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The Farmer (1977) - Blu-ray Review

The Farmer (1977)

“You made two mistakes.  One was getting up and the other was making fun of Shirley Temple.”

Directed by David Berlatsky and starring Gary Conway as a decorated World War II veteran who returns home to try to save his farm from being taken over by the bank, The Farmer, a blood-soaked revenge thriller, absolutely grabs your attention at the beginning as a diner car on a train suddenly turns violent thanks to a bunch of racist and unruly passengers who take offense to Kyle demanding the waiter serve a black veteran who is also returning from the battlefield.

"rousing revenge which ought to please any fan of the B-grade badassery"


The kicker here is that the waiter is also black.  He doesn’t want to lose his job and tows the company policy against African Americans being served in the diner car and Native Americans.  Kyle is having none of it.  No, sir.  Not here in the United States.  The other guests in the car say otherwise and suddenly their banjos are being used as weapons and fists start flying here and there smashing against everything they find offensive.

What a homecoming, Kyle!!  

And it only gets worse.  Once Kyle arrives back on the family farm, he discovers that his farm is being foreclosed on by the bank.  Taxes are owed and the bank is not happy with how it has been handled in his absence, after his father died.  A one-manned farm can’t make money, the bank says.  Who cares about his silver star?  Can he make money from it?  Nope.

Already the policies and attitudes of corporate America are coming into focus as Berlatsky, in his one and only film, takes aim at the hypocrisy which is now standard practice here.  Something is wrong with America if this is how we treat our veterans, and The Farmer isn't afraid to pull the trigger. 

Things don’t get any better for Mr. Martin, especially when a drunk driver, a gambler who owes a mobster a huge chunk of change, crashes his car just off his property.  The gambler Johnny O'Neill (Michael Dante) gives him some money for his troubles, but the mobster he owes even bigger bucks, too - Passini (George Memmoli) - gets pissed and decides to do something about it.The Farmer (1977)

Violence begets violence, you know.  And their blinding of Johnny O (followed by the burning of Kyle’s farm once they realize he even got involved in the first place) leads him to take matters into his own hands.  That military training comes in handy as he accepts Johnny O’s offer of $50,000 to track down and kill all five of the gangsters, including the Atlanta mob boss.

While low in budget, The Farmer is high in spirits as Kyle turns the screw on the Atlanta machine and brings it down to the ground, leveled in smoldering rubble just like the farm they set ablaze.  There’s plenty of violence and even a rape - thanks to the involvement of Johnny O’s girlfriend Betty (Angel Tompkins, Prime Cut, One Man Jury, The Teacher) - for Kyle to get pissed about.  He doesn’t even bat an eye.  These dumbass goons are going DOWN!

The Farmer’s narrative fields are mostly dry and flat, BUT that last half hour?!  Holy sheet, man.  It’s some rousing revenge which ought to please any fan of the B-grade badassery.  

Also starring Timothy Scott (Fried Green Tomatoes, Lolly Madonna XXX, Eye of the Tiger), Johnny Popwell (In the Heat of the Night, The Visitor), Eric Weston (Evilspeak, The Iron Triangle), and Stratton Leopold (The Visitor, Wise Blood), with music composed by legendary composer Hugo Montenegro (The Wrecking Crew, The Lady in Cement), The Farmer, which was distributed by Columbia Pictures in 1977, has not been seen since its debut, where it quickly disappeared onto cable for a few showings and then disappeared altogether. 

The Farmer doesn’t get mad. He gets even!  Get blinded by . . . ACID!  The Farmer, a cult classic with revenge on its mind, is now on blu-ray thanks to Scorpion Releasing and Diabolik DVD, where it can be pre-ordered! Act fast, this release is limited to 2000 copies.

3/5 beers

 

The Farmer (1977)

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Scorpion Releasing
Available on Blu-ray
- February 8, 2022
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Region-free playback

After the end of World War II, soldier Kyle Martin (Gary Conway, Land of the Giants, Once is Not Enough, Burke’s Law) has returned to his family farm in Georgia. Now back home in the southern USA, Kyle discovers that the local bank wants to foreclose on his family’s farm. But Kyle then saves the life of a local gambler Johnny O' (Michael Dante, Winterhawk, The Naked Kiss) from a burning car accident and is rewarded $15,000, delivered by Johnny O's girl Betty (Angel Tompkins, Prime Cut, One Man Jury, The Teacher). However, that was still not enough money to pay the bank for the farm. When Johnny O' gets blinded for past-posting on a horse race run by a local gangster Pessinni (George Memmoli, Blue Collar, Lunch Wagon, Phantom of the Paradise) and his local thugs, he offers Kyle the money he needs to save the farm in return for killing off the gangsters one by one. 

Video:

The Farmer has been newly scanned from the original negatives and features an overall better presentation than expected.  Colors are not muted, and the night scenes are fairly well defined.  There’s plenty of gore and killer actions, which is handled with solid close-ups and defined edges.  While it is lower in budget, the overall HD upgrade is ripe with solid details, especially when it comes to faces.  A slipcover is also included

Audio:

This release features a standard English DTS-HD 2.0 Mono audio mix, which comes out with guns blazing.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

The fact that this movie is now on blu-ray is reason enough to celebrate.

  • HD Scan of the Original Negatives
  • Music Only Track
  • HD Trailer for “The Farmer”
  • Scorpion Trailers

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 3/5 stars
  Video  3/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 3/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

3/5 stars


Film Details

The Farmer (1977)

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
97 mins
Director
: David Berlatsky
Writer:
John Carmody; Janice Eymann; George Fargo
Cast:
Gary Conway; Angel Tompkins; Michael Dante
Genre
: Action | Drama
Tagline:
He doesn't get mad. He gets even.
Memorable Movie Quote: "You made two mistakes... one was getting up, the other was making fun of Shirley Temple."
Theatrical Distributor:
Columbia Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
April 1977
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
February 8, 2022.
Synopsis: After the end of World War II, soldier Kyle Martin (Gary Conway, Land of the Giants, Once is Not Enough, Burke's Law) has returned to his family farm in Georgia. Now back home in the southern USA, Kyle discovers that the local bank wants to foreclose on his family's farm. But Kyle then saves the life of a local gambler Johnny O' (Michael Dante, Winterhawk, The Naked Kiss) from a burning car accident his life quickly spirals out of control.

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The Farmer (1977)

 

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