The strains of guitar music greet us as we are presented with a talented hippie playing for spare change on a sidewalk. Soon, a grinning leather jacketed hoodlum confronts the footloose minstrel and begins to help himself to the coins that have been collecting in an open guitar case. When the hippie tries to put a stop to it, he finds himself getting roughed up and taunted, only to be rescued seconds later by “The Badger”, a colorful superhero with mean kung-fu moves and a powerful punch. The mugger gets decked, but the question on the hippie’s mind is, “Did this situation really call for violence?” An argument ensues between the hippie and his masked savior about the pros and cons of responding violently to violent problems. It all gets very philosophical before the mugger returns and the hippie’s theories are put to the test in the final action sequence.
The fact that I speak of a final “action sequence” rather than a constructive summit on mutual understanding ought to give you a clue about the ultimate merits of the hippie’s ideals. In the end, the Badger leaves the hippie to re-examine his bleeding heart and leaves the mugger merely bleeding.
Whether or not you have a problem understanding either side of the argument, you will likely have a bigger problem understanding the dialog. The sound quality is such that it is difficult to make out all the lines that are spoken by the Badger and the hippie. The film still manages to plunge ahead and ultimately make its point, but at what cost to character development? The only thing that the badger is really able to verbally express is a fascination with the hippie’s Birkenstocks.
Violence may not always be the answer, but it’s certainly the most interesting thing about this film. In the brief fight sequences, the director experiments with various reverse angle action edits with some success. My only quibble would be the sheer amount of blood flying (and then draining) out of the bad guy’s mouth when it is struck by the Badger’s fist. Barring a blood blister the size of a grapefruit on the guy’s lip, it is doubtful that even the most successful punch would result in this much blood loss.