You have to give the makers of 1982’s The Ghost Dance — don’t stop, don’t stop the Ghost Dance — credit. They decided to be the very first Native American slasher, telling the story of a medicine man named Aranjo who becomes possessed by the spirit of Nahalla, a warrior who hated the white man and even turned their women against them.
This being 1982, one of the Native Americans — Tom Eagle — is played by Victor Mohica, a Puerto Rican actor. Kind of like how I was stunned to learn that Chief Jay Strongbow was really an Italian named Joe Scarpa.
That said, Frank Salsedo is in this and he was the hereditary chief of the Mishewal Wappo Tribe. He also shows up in Creepshow 2 as Ben Whitemoon.
Written and directed by Peter F. Buffa, who only has a TV documentary series to his credit otherwise, this is a very studious slasher, with plenty of discussion of the past of Native American tribes.
This was shot in Tucson, Arizona’s Colossal Cave, the same setting for Night of the Lepus, Frankenstein Island, The Trial of Billy Jack, The Incredible Petrified World and the Suzanne Somers against Satan made-for-TV movie Seduced By Evil.
There is a good movie in here somewhere. But this isn’t it.
You can watch this on Amazon Prime.