The Peace Killers


1h 28m 1971

Brief Synopsis

Siblings Kristy and Jeffrey are buying supplies at a remote desert gas station when some members of a biker gang come cruising in. The bikers recognize Kristy, who used to be the main squeeze of the gang's leader before she ran away. The pair get away, but the bikers find out that they're living in a nearby commune, and start making their battle plans to bring Kristy back.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
Oct 1971
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Damocles Productions
Distribution Company
Transvue Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
"Rebel" and "White Dove," composed and sung by Ruthann Friedman.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 28m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (DeLuxe)

Synopsis

In the Arizona desert near Tucson, Jeff and his sister Kristen, who live in a commune with a group of hippies, drive their Volkswagen bus to pick up supplies at a small store and gas station owned by Ben. Soon after, Gadget, Cowboy and Whitey, three members of the Death Row motorcycle gang arrive, and when Jeff sees them, he becomes alarmed and instructs Ben to take Kristy out the back door. Jeff then climbs into his van, and when Kristy spots Cowboy, she jumps into the van and speeds off with Jeff. Catching a fleeting glimipse of Kristy, who was once the girlfriend of Death Row leader Rebel until she ran away to join the commune, Cowboy hurries to notify Rebel that she is in the vicinity. Determined to punish Kristy for deserting him, Rebel orders the other gang members to stay behind while he, Cowboy, Gadget and Whitey search for her. When Jeff stops the van along the side of the road, Kristy tells him that Rebel threatened to kill her if she ever left him and recalls the gang rape of another woman who tried to leave. They then proceed to the commune where Alex, the leader, is preaching love and peace. Meanwhile, Rebel and the others reach Ben's store, where they torture him into revealing Kristy's whereabouts by puncturing his palm with a pencil. When Kristy tells Alex that the gang may be coming for her, Alex calls a meeting of the commune and advocates a non-violent approach, arguing that reason always wins out over violence. In the middle of the discussion, Rebel and the others roar into the meeting room with their motorcycles, overturning the table and destroying the furniture. Jeff is in the backroom with Kristy, and when he realizes what is happening, warns her to run to the barn and ride off on the horse stabled there if she senses danger. When Alex asks Rebel peacefully to leave, Rebel boasts that he is going to brutally rape Kristy and stations Gadget to watch the hippies while he, Whitey and Cowboy go to look for her. As Gadget threatens to shoot Alex unless one of the women has sex with him, Jeff steps out from the back room, knife in hand. When Alex tries to get Jeff to drop the knife, Gadget swerves around and wounds Jeff. To protect Jeff, Alex stands in front of him, prompting the gang members to carry Alex to the peace symbol that hangs above the commune gate and tie him, spread-eagled, across it. Hearing screams coming from the house, Kristy gallops out of the barn on horseback and is pursued by the gang on their motorcycles. They catch up to her when she falls off her horse, and after ripping open her blouse, tie her to their motorcycles and drag her through the dirt. Driving to a roadside dive, they decide to smoke spot and drink beer before raping her. After tying her up and hiding her in the bushes, they go inside, and once alone, Kristy makes her way to the road where she is found by Black Widow, the female leader of an integrated motorcycle gang that is at war with Death Row. Black Widow, whose face had been brutally scarred by Rebel, decides to spite him by rescuing Kristy. After flattening the tires of the Death Row motorcycles, Black Widow loads Kristy onto her bike and takes her back to the commune. Although Black Widow warns the hippies that the Death Row gang will return, Alex still advocates peace. Jeff, however, asks Black Widow to stay and help fight, vowing to kill Rebel and his thugs, and when the others rally around Jeff, Alex walks off. Under the supervision of Black Widow and her gang, the hippies spring into action, carving makeshift spears out of wood and sharpening peace symbol medallions into dangerous weapons. Kristy is working in the yard when Rebel appears, and as she runs away, he follows her into the house, where the hippies lock the doors and attack him with spears. Lassoing the door handles with a rope, Cowboy revs up his bike, tugging at the rope. Just as Black Widow is about to cut up Rebel, the doors break open and Gadget shoots Black Widow and one of the hippies. Cowboy is stabbed in the ensuing skirmish, and as Alex stands by a tree in the distance, he hears the sounds of violence. Enraged, one of the Black Widow gang impales Gadget with a pitchfork while one of the hippies stabs Whitey. In the melee, Rebel breaks loose and begins to chase Kristy. When Rebel tackles Kristy and beats her, Alex pulls him off her and starts to strangle him, but Kristy intervenes to stop Alex from killing him. Soon after, the sheriff arrives to restore order. Alex, his belief in pacifism shattered, is consoled by Kristy, who assures him that the violence is in the past. Noticing a peace symbol medallion lying in the dirt, a detective picks it up and tosses it to Alex. When Alex encloses his hand around the medallion, its sharp edges pierce his skin.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Release Date
Oct 1971
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Damocles Productions
Distribution Company
Transvue Pictures Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
"Rebel" and "White Dove," composed and sung by Ruthann Friedman.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 28m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (DeLuxe)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Douglas Schwartz's onscreen credit reads: "Directed and edited by." Diana Maddox's onscreen credits reads: "Associate producer, script editor and editing consultant." R. J. Louis' onscreen credit reads: "Production manager and assistant director." Although the film was not registered for copyright, a copyright statement for Transvue Pictures Corp. appears in the onscreen credits. The film opens with the image of a peace symbol, over which the word "peace" is superimposed. The symbol then shatters as the word "killers" appears below the word peace. The opening credits then roll over a montage composed of out-of-focus images of marijuana plants and shots of the scruffy-looking "Cowboy," "Gadget" and "Whitey" awakening from a drug-induced stupor to the sound of a motorcycle rally. The closing cast credits appear over the image of "Alex's" bleeding hand holding a peace symbol. "Kristy's" story of the gang rape is told in a flashback staged in psychedelic colors and images. The Peace Killers marked the motion picture debut of Michael Ontkean.
       Throughout the film, parallels are made between Alex and Jesus. Alex's character is introduced wearing long, white robes and preaching the tenets of peace and love. Later in the film, he is spread-eagled across a peace sign, emulating the image of Christ on the cross. At the end of the film, Alex's hand is pierced by the sharpened edges of the peace symbol. The character of "Cowboy" was made to resemble Charles Manson, who influenced four of his cult members to commit the infamous murders of the actress Sharon Tate and her friends on August 9, 1969. On the night of August 10, 1969, Manson accompanied six "family" members on another attack, on supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary. The trial of Manson and three of the members of the "Manson family" (the fourth did not stand trial until later because of extradition proceedings against him) ran from 24 June-January 25, 1971, resulting in a murder conviction and death sentence for all the defendants. In 1972, however, the California Supreme Court abolished the death penalty in the state and as a result, the defendants are serving life sentences. For more information on Manson, consult the entry above for The Other Side of Madness.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1971

Released in United States 1971