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   “They spell love like you’d spell lust, and they’ve already turned ten towns to dust!”Along with Love Camp 7 (also released in 1969), The Scavengers is among the more notorious films to emerge from the demented but unique minds of director R. L. FROST (often credited as Lee Frost) and producer-writer BOB CRESSE. Set not long after the end of the Civil War, The Scavengers follows a bunch of dirty, renegade Confederate soldiers from Tennessee who, unaware that peace has been declared, set out for the small, nearly deserted town of Tazewell, intent on robbing a Yankee coach that’s purported to be carrying a military payroll of nearly $300,000 in gold coins.Led by the unbalanced Captain Harris (effectively played by the scary-looking JONATHAN BLISS), the Rebs ride into Tazewell and immediately begin to rip up the local saloon, commandeering the bar by killing the bartender, and cavorting with the local whores, including Miss USCHI DIGART. (“Wanna go upstairs for a quarter?” Madame Lucille asks one of the men. “How ‘bout a dime?”)Ambushing the coach after an evening of drunken debauchery, Harris becomes enraged when he discovers that it’s only carrying a paltry $2,400 in gold. He also refuses to believe Union Lieutenant Nelson when he explains that the war has been over for two months: “We don’t trust a Yankee’s word!” Convinced that another coach will be coming with the rest of the payroll, Harris amuses himself by belting Nelson and attacking Nelson’s pretty blonde fiancée Faith (MARIA LEASE) and her black maid Nancy. Allowing his men to get Nancy, “if they can stand the idea,” Harris himself attempts to get Faith but, in one of the film’s more interesting and repellent scenes, is unable to. Faith hisses at him, before Harris tells her how his wife and son were killed -- and eaten! -- by plantation slaves that had been freed by the Yanks.The Scavengers races toward a suitably violent climax when Nancy escapes -- by stabbing one of the gang in the neck with a lengthy hat pin -- and is taken in by a group of liberated and well-armed slaves who return to Tazewell to teach Harris and his men a nasty lesson....Surprisingly, The Scavengers frequently rises above its poverty-row budget and exploitative intentions. Cresse’s dialogue is often sharp and tough, and the plot itself is quite engrossing. (It also echoes those old stories about Japanese soldiers stranded on Pacific islands who continued to believe World War II was raging decades after Japan surrendered). Even the action sequences -- replete with Wild Bunch-style slow motion -- are suitably rousing and well staged. Featuring on-screen appearances by Frost and producer WES BISHOP, The Scavengers was also released as Ambush, Rebel Vixens, and Renegade Raiders, and, two years later, even had some bogus hardcore inserts edited in for a 1971 re-release as The Grabbers.From a 35mm quick-on-the-draw print. #3876 -- John Harrison, Graveyard Tramp


Format: DVD-R

Year: 1969

Color: Color

Starring: Maria LeaseCo-starring: Uschi Digart

Other cast: Michael Dikova , Roda Spain , John Bliss

Directed by: R.L. Frost

Scavengers, The (Adults Only)

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