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Death Hunt (1981)

aka Death Hunt

"The Saga Of Two Rivals Who Clash As Enemies And Triumph As Heroes."

Directed By: 
Details: 97 mins · English · R (USA)

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Cast:

Small Albert Johnson
Small Sgt. Edgar Millen, RCMP
Small Const. Alvin Adams, RCMP
Small Sundog / George Washington Lincoln Brown
Small Hazel
Small Capt. Hank Tucker, RCAF (the pilot)
Small Vanessa McBride
Small Clarence
Small Beeler
Small Ned Warren
No_movie_poster The Pilot
No_movie_poster Hawkins
No_movie_poster Lewis
No_movie_poster Indian Woman
No_movie_poster Bill Luce

Crew:

No_movie_poster Peter R. Hunt Director
No_movie_poster Murray Shostak Production
No_movie_poster Michael Grais Writer
No_movie_poster Mark Victor Writer
No_movie_poster John F. Burnett Editing

Taglines:

"The Saga Of Two Rivals Who Clash As Enemies And Triumph As Heroes."

Plot:

In the Yukon Territory in 1931, solitary American trapper Albert Johnson (Charles Bronson), comes across an organised dog fight. One of the dogs, a white German Shepherd, is badly injured and Johnson forcibly takes it, paying $200 to its owner, a vicious trapper named Hazel.


Aggrieved by his treatment and claiming the dog was stolen from him, Hazel (Ed Lauter), leads several of his friends to Johnson's isolated cabin. The men then attack the cabin, shooting while others create a diversion. Johnson kills one of them, Jimmy Tom (Denis Lacroix), after he shoots Sitka, the dog, which Johnson has nursed back to health.


Once they discover that Johnson has bought 700 rounds of ammunition from the local trading post and paid in $100 bills, the trappers become convinced that he is the "mad trapper", a possibly mythical, psychopathic, serial-killing figure who supposedly murders other trappers in the wilderness and takes their gold teeth.


An old trapper, Bill Luce (Henry Beckman), warns Johnson that the law is coming for him. Johnson fortifies his cabin.


Sergeant Edgar Millen (Lee Marvin), commander of the local Royal Canadian Mounted Police post, seems a tough but humane man. He has a tracker named Sundog Brown (Carl Weathers), and a new constable named Alvin Adams (Andrew Stevens), plus a new lover in Vanessa McBride (Angie Dickinson).


Millen leads a posse of mounties and trappers to the cabin. He parleys with Johnson, telling him that he has a pretty good idea of what happened and if Johnson comes with him they can get it sorted out. However, before Johnson can answer, one of the trappers opens fire. Several of the trappers end up killed, including one who is shot for screaming by one of his friends. The posse uses dynamite to blow up the cabin, but Johnson escapes, shooting dead a mountie, Constable Hawkins (Jon Cedar).


Millen, Sundog and Adams, joined by Hazel with his tracker dogs, set off into the frozen wilderness after Johnson. The case has made front-page news across the country, so many trappers also set off after the RCMP, attracted by a $1,000 bounty that has been placed on Johnson's life. Captain Hank Tucker (Scott Hylands), a Royal Canadian Air Force pilot, is also sent by the government to join the hunt, which is causing a national embarrassment. He reveals that Johnson was a member of a United States Army special intelligence unit during World War I.


Johnson utilizes a number of tracking techniques to avoid Millen's posse and the bounty hunters, living off the land in treacherous winter conditions. As the hunt continues, Millen begins to respect Johnson's uncommon abilities while growing to resent the intrusion of so many outsiders.


Luce comes across two of the trappers camping in the wilderness and shoots them both dead before pulling out their gold teeth. He, it seems, is the real mad trapper.


The pursuers catch up to Johnson. Tucker begins to carelessly machine-gun the area, killing Sundog. The enraged Millen and Adams shoot down the plane with their rifles; Tucker crashes into a canyon wall and is killed. Johnson escapes after killing Hazel.


Luce comes across Johnson and tries to kill him, presumably attracted by the reward. Johnson tricks him and captures him at gunpoint. Millen spots Johnson and opens fire; the bullet hits him in the face, rendering him unrecognisable. As they examine the body, both Millen and Adams spot the real Johnson, dressed in Lusk's clothes, on a ridge above them. The man they shot was Lusk dressed in Johnson's clothes.


The mounties allow Johnson to flee into Alaska, well aware that everything he did was in self-defense. As the other pursuers appear, Adams tells them that Millen has killed Johnson. A trapper finds that the body has a pocket full of gold teeth, so they celebrate the killing of the "mad trapper."

Release Dates:

Theatrical : Turkey

Theatrical : 1981-05-22 : United States of America

Theatrical : 1981-06-18 : Netherlands

Theatrical : 1981-07-01 : France

Theatrical : 1981-07-24 : Denmark

Theatrical : 1981-09-10 : West Germany

Theatrical : 1981-09-21 : Spain

Theatrical : 1981-10-30 : Norway

Theatrical : 1981-11-12 : Uruguay

Theatrical : 1981-12-03 : Australia

Theatrical : 1981-12-21 : Sweden

Theatrical : 1982-03-11 : Portugal

Theatrical : 1982-07-23 : Finland

DVD : 2005-01-25