Time Of The Heathen Image

Time Of The Heathen

By Michael Talbot-Haynes | May 17, 2024

NOW IN THEATERS! Just like it says in the song by The Obsessed, we are going to get stoned back to the Bomb Age with the gorgeous 4k restoration of the 1961 mind-blowing lost classic Time Of The Heathen, directed by Peter Kass. The screenplay, written by Kass and Calvin Floyd, is set four years after the U.S. dropped atom bombs on Japan. Gaunt (John Heffernan) is a drifter, walking town to town across the country with a bible in his pocket. He assures local sheriff Cal (Nathaniel White) that he is just passing through and isn’t looking for trouble.

“…Link plans to kill Gaunt and the boy as well.”

Meanwhile, deep in the woods, Link (Orville Howard) is heading into town. He tells his housekeeper Marie (Ethel Ayler) to hurry up and finish, as he doesn’t like the way his son Ted (Stewart Heller) is drooling over her. Link’s disapproval seems rooted in the fact that Marie and her young son Jesse (Barry Collins) are black, which peckerwoods like him seem to have a problem with. After Link leaves, Ted keeps following Marie around while she rejects his advances. Ted gets violent, accidentally killing Marie and then raping her corpse.

Her son Jesse is out in the forest and runs into Gaunt wandering. Jesse is mute and runs away, leaving a bewildered Gaunt to follow up. They come back across Ted and the violated body of Jesse’s mom. Ted keeps pleading that it was an accident when Link comes back from town. After Ted tells Link it was an accident, Link questions Gaunt. Gaunt says he saw nothing and doesn’t know anything. Link then informs the drifter that he plans to blame Gaunt for the murder, with Ted backing him up. Gaunt and Jesse go running into the forest. Link then informs Ted that they are going hunting, as Link plans to kill Gaunt and the boy as well.

Time Of The Heathen (1961)

Directed: Peter Kass

Written: Peter Kass, Calvin Floyd

Starring: John Heffernan, Barry Collins, Ethel Ayler, Orville Howard, Stewart Heller, etc.

Movie score: 10/10

Time Of The Heathen Image

"…on the same level of acid majesty as Alejandro Jodorowsky or Ken Russell."

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