The Farmer (1977)

I was fortunate enough to see this film, and it is one of the best 70’s style revenge film, but also wisely uses screen time to build up the plight of the lead character, and also has some great “revenge” sequences.You can see why Columbia pictured decided to release this. The film starts with the lead, Kiel Martin (Gary Conway) in a train, and how he gets beat up and kicked off a train for helping a black soldier buy a drink (it was no-no back then) as this shows what a decent character he is, but how he can’t seem to escape violence since earning a silver star in the War.

Through a chain of events (some of them rather rushed, so I assume it was either explained in the original script or that scene was cut out for time) he is hired by a gangster (Michael Dante) to go after the gangsters who blinded him, and in return, give him the cash needed to save the farm! And thru a pulsating music score by Hugo Montenegro, he dispatches them one by one! It is more similar to ROLLING THUNDER in the nihilistic feel revenge genre, and only weak point of the film is Gary Conway, who is rather bland, and too “city” to be really convincing as the title character. Still it is a classic for it’s era,and not to be missed by any fans of this genre. Just dont expect it to be in vain with todays action films ,as the unavailability of this title for 26 years has caused this film to be in so many peoples must see list,that their expectation level must be really high, so I am afraid they might be rather disappointed with what to expect of it.

Just enjoy the more “character driven, and that character reaches to the point of revenge” films of yesteryears, then you will agree, THE FARMER is right near the best of them, like ROLLING THUNDER, FIGHTING MAD and BREAKING POINT. In fact, I think Fred Williamson might have been influenced by this film, as his film MEAN JOHNNY BARROWS is very very similar in the storyline department with THE FARMER. He also hired Dante in THE BIG SCORE so he must have really liked THE FARMER.

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