Cowboy Rick, on his way to visit his sweetheart, encounters a bevy of beautiful Indian maidens and dallies with one of them. Later, when one of the girls is murdered by a passing no-good, the tribe falsely blames Rick and sentences him to die. But Tuwanna, the chief's daughter with whom Rick, um, dallied, has other ideas.
Also Known As: Cattle Riggers, Le totem du sexe, Ramrodder, Savage Passion
A minor nudie western classic
When softcore sex films first started to catch on back in the '50s, filmmakers began injecting nudity and sex into every type of plot they could think of. One of the most novel exploitation subgenres that resulted is the nudie western, a type of film that vividly illustrates just how wild the west really was. THE RAMRODDER is a relatively late but noteworthy entry in the realm of naughty westerns.
While returning home to his bride Lucy (Julia Blackburn) after finishing a cattle drive, rancher Rick (Jim Gentry) spies a group of gorgeous Indian maidens frolicking nude in a river. After a saddle-tramp bandit attacks him and leaves him for dead, one of the gals, the luscious Princess Tuwana (Kathy Williams), comes to his aid and befriends him. The two make love in a lake and fall for one another, even though Rick is engaged to Lucy and Tuwana is promised by tribal law to the chief's short-tempered son. When the same scoundrel who assaulted Rick rapes an Indian virgin, Rick gets blamed for the crime and a trio of rebellious young braves vow revenge on the entire white race. It all leads to more violence and an unexpectedly downbeat ending.
Fortunately, the plot never gets in the way of the frequent and mostly gratuitous exploitation scenes, during which Tuwana performs an erotic tribal `Dance of the Virgin' (before her fateful interlude with Rick, of course!), competes against her rival Lucy in a topless catfight, and gets strung up naked by her wrists and whipped. Director Ed Forsyth makes the most of all the nudity, too. During Tuwana's dance, he uses a low angle camera shot that stares straight up into her crotch, and when she wrestles with Lucy, he includes several close ups of the actresses bouncing their big breasts against one another.
Thanks to this fetishistic approach and the presence of Ms. Williams, who doesn't look at all Native American but is drop-dead gorgeous regardless, the movie is a minor exploitation classic. Adding to the film's notoriety, the bandit is played by Bobby Beausoliel, who was arrested in connection with the Manson murders shortly after appearing in this film.
`Ramrodder,' in case you're curious, is a now obscure term for a person who leads a cattle drive. Somehow, though, I have a sneaking suspicion Forsyth might have had more carnal connotations in mind when he chose the title.
Cute girls, not much plot
Budget? What budget? The producer probably gave the prop master a couple of bucks and sent him down to the local Western apparel shop for some cowboy outfits, and told him to pick up some leather bootstraps and chamois cloths for Indian garb on his way back. A couple of tepees, a house, some cute actresses, and they were ready to make a movie.
Don't watch this film for the story line or plot twists. Don't watch it for the stilted dialogue. Watch it for Marsha Jordan, who has a pretty good body even by today's standards, and some of the soft porn scenes. There's some topless female wrestling, a striptease around a campfire, and a few other examples of female exploitation. At one point Ms. Jordan even gets tied to a tree, stripped naked, and whipped in order to prove her love for her husband and to prove the innocence of a cowboy charged with rape (you'll have to see the movie to understand). This scene is actually pretty well done considering the budget and that it was made in 1969. They even included some fake blood for dramatic effect, and the hits are shown onscreen (really cheap movies show such things offscreen so that they don't have to pay for special effects).
The title refers to a type of black-powder gun, but it was obviously chosen for its double-meaning. Still, it's better than "Brand of Shame".
Even as nudie cuties go not very good
This is an awful film. Yea the girls are pretty but its not very good. The plot having a cowboy get involved with an Indian maiden would be interesting if the sex didn't get in the way. Well, okay it might be interesting, but its not, because its so badly paced and and only partly acted. I can only imagine what the close ups of the dancing tushes looked like on a big screen, probably more laughable then they do on TV. (I won't even mention the topless knife fight between two women who are tied together and spend the whole thing chest to chest. Never read about that in the old west) This is a film that requires liberal use of fast forward.
I like schlock films but this is ridiculous. There is a reason that I don't go for this sort of films and that they tend not be very good, the plot taking a back seat to breasts. The original nudie cuties as they are called were originally nudist films or films where there was no touching but as the adult industry began to grow the film makers either tried to be clever or tried to exploit something else in order to put butts in seats. The clever ones were very few which only left hacks who were of limited talent. The comedies often came off best with the humor approaching the first grade level, infantile but harmlessly fun. Something that could rarely be said about any other genre cross dressed as a nudie.
The Ramrodder looks good and has a couple of nice pieces but its done in by being neither western nor sex film.
I need not watch this again.
Of interest to probably no one, the rapist and killer in the film was played by Bobby Beausoleil, a member of the Manson family who was arrested for murdering a school teacher not long after filming wrapped.
Obviously these sort of things will ruin some peoples lives.
Pretty awful, but still a curiosity to watch
Not the greatest western ever made (or even the greatest low budget film ever made), Ramrodder is still watchable, though there is little to recommend it. The Indians in the film quite obviously are not Native Americans from their appearance, and it is mistakes like this that make the movie unintentionally funny. Very good looking girls in the movie make up for a lot of faults in the plot and acting, however. Ramrodder is also noteworthy for having Charles Manson associate Bobby Beausoleil in it; apparently it was filmed several months before he was arrested. Ramrodder is worth watching maybe once, but only one time.
Only logged in users may leave a review.