A STREET KID IN A CURRUPT, AND VIOLENT NEW YORK CITY SURVIVES YEARS OF DANGER. HE MOVES WEST,GETS HITCHED, AND IS COMPELED TO TEACH HIS BULLIED MUTE SON HOW TO SURVIVE A RAGING WESTERN TOWN.
In 1859 on the Oregon trail at night, by a bright fire pit, there are four men. A rattlesnake is heard. Brad Jamestown is one man, the other three are drunken bullies drinking whisky, spitting, and belching. A wagon passes by, it needs grease for a squeaking wheel. The drunks decide to start trouble with some soft singing pioneers close by. One boozer says, "Lets teach them singin how ta turn a toe." Another drunk states, "I ain't beat no one senseless fer a month. The biggest drunk says, " Lets go play with them stupids." Brad Jamestown says in a loud voice, " Find another place to play." The biggest bully yells, "Mind ya own damn bussines." The husky Brad stands up. "Play with someone who can beat you." The pissed off bully pulls his razor sharp Bowie from its sheath, and madly charges. "Ya bastard." Brad thrusts his hands low in front of the brutes face, to block the view of his foot. As hard as he can, Brad kicks the bully in his crotch. The screaming bully falls against the big fire pit. He knocks rocks into the pit, sending large flames, and a spray of red hot sparks high into the air. The bully is squirming on his stomach in agony. Brad quickly picks up the knife on the ground, grabs the bully's hair, and drives his knee hard into the pit of the bully's back. Brad quickly slices a long bloody cut across the brute's ass.
Later in the western adventure Brad's mute son's brawling, drawing his weapon, and marksmenship are better than most all others in past western adventures. His abilities are logical. The mute can't speak, so his senses of sight, and touch are sharper. His father also has the son realize the importance of awareness, then more of his senses become assets. When killers in the untamed town of Shrike confront Sam he can’t speak, so all of his attention is on their body movements, and evil attitudes. Audiences will be taken in when they see how Sam's father taught him unusual bone breaking fighting, and how to skillfully use weapons.
A very tight wire of truth runs throughout the tale that audiences' belief will cling to. Even the unusual fighting methods are not made up. Each impressive, and violent movements are the same that the author used when he was involved in fights many years ago. The same exact bone breaking ways are seen. The adventure always follows the tight wire of logic. All is not fantasy, this adventure is alive. The wire of logic keeps beliveability in the adventure to impress and ignite the veiwers awe.
In the very beginning of the novel, when Brad was a young lad, his parents were murdered. When tied and helpless, their throats were slit. Brad then lived on the streets of New York City. The painful street beatings he received created a fanatical desire to learn how to street fight. Two tough, but decent men who owned a saloon, filled with thugs, and hooligans took the young boy in during a cold, bitter, winters night. Jason was a dangerous fighting black man. He taught young Brad his vicious ways to fight. Yet, Jason told Brad, "If you’re going to fight every jackass you meet, be prepared to fight every day for the rest of your life."
To back up reality more, little known historical facts are exposed throughout the adventure. When Brad was a young reporter for the New York Times. His mentor told him, "Don't trust information. One writer convinced the New York Sun into printing an article. It stated immigrants were being brought to New York City from England by balloon. The writer's name, who created the true hoax was, Edgar Allan Poe."
The weatern adventure becomes a tale of constant intensity. The violence surprises the veiwers, and anticipation is always present. The tight wire does not give. When Brad goes west on the dangerous Oregon Trail, he meets his wife to be. Soon her father dies of cholera. As Ann and Brad walk away from the grave, she says,"You love someone, when they pass away, you realize you didn't say, you loved them enough."
Sam's personality falls between his parents. Brad gives instant justice. He is a justifiable killer, but still has a layer of compassion, that he learned from a dying child. Ann is a believer. During one of Sam's low moods she said, "I know what you're thinking, why did the LORD deny you? Maybe he's taking you into deep waters because your foes won't know how to swim."
Big school yard bullies pick fights with the mute, and some low life townsfolk humiliate him. All give Sam a natural inner streak of anger. When Brad becomes aware of Sam's bullying he teaches the violence he mastered to his mute son. He says, "I'm going to teach you how to handle bully boys, and how to kill a man, if he has it coming. It won't be a like a card game, If you know a man is set on killing, you cheat. Draw and kill the bastard." An instant look of wanting to learn appears in Sam's eyes like magic. As Sam's ability to shoot and fight became stronger his personality changes each day. Brad constantly works on Sam's physical and mental hablts. "Habit suceeds when thinking fails." Brad once said to Sam, "Don't ever think you can't be the best. That's like being a bird living in a cage, you'll never fly." Sam becomes more like his father daily.
Sam's loneliness ends when he meets, Marianna Martinez. These young ones need each other. Today's youth will relate to their troubles. Love has tenderness, but it should not include fear.
Brad didn't intend to live in a hell hole town like Shrike, California. gold failures, and killers enjoy getting a man helpless, and then use a knife to learn where his gold was discovered. Harsh and ignorant men that think they are the best with their fists, and guns live, and travel through the wild town of Shrike. At this point in the yarn viewers see the results of Sam's violent learning. Close to his best he kills Mr. Bell's favorite son, in self-defense.
All kinds of bastards released from a near by prison, work at the wealthy Bell ranch. It's a heartless realm. Bell's three sons have nasty attitudes, as if they were ridden hard and put up wet. Bell's wife was killed by a wild, unbroken horse. She was kicked in the head. Bell had the horse tied to its stall and he killed the horse with an axe. He also arranges a rape. The rotten actions of Bell, the son of a bitch, causes his mind to become twisted. With his over whelming need for revenge, he must kill Sam for killing his son. The failures of professional gunmen, who think they are unbeatable, is his last straw. Near the end of the violent tale Bell's crazed mind is like a broken shit house door hanging by one loose hinge.
When Bell and his remaining sons kill Sam's parents, the tale leaps to an even higher level of intensity. Sam weeps when holding his dying mother. She said "Do what your father ....." Viewers will always feel the mute's pain in their mind as he kneels by the graves of his parents. The only sanity he has comes from the words that he put on their cross. "No souls are buried here." The man kneeling is not the same man that rises. Sam's hate becomes stronger than his father's teachings. He rides to Bell's ranch for a slaughter. Not enough killing takes place like Sam thought when he left Bell's ranch.
Bell servives, and hires professional guns. He knows only the meanest, and smartest can bring Sam to him. He can be shot up, but must be alive. Bell is loco, and wants to use his axe again.
There is not a musical score. The blend of the Sam's silence, and natural sounds, makes up for Sam's silence. The blend keeps the story moving fast, and tight. The audience has one more element to think about. Is a sound an indication that something will happen, or is it meaningless? The blend creates another element to keep the viewers from thinking ahead. What will come first, distraction or action.
This low budget, yet classic film shows how silence really is golden when mingled with natural sounds. This believable adventure will capture viewers attention at all ages. Tears, fights, death, love, and little unknown historical facts adds to the tight wire.
The unforgettable ending has never been seen in previous films. It will stay in the minds of viewers for months. The director's artistic freedom is never ending. Actors will give their big toe to play the unyielding mute, or the tenacious father. Actually the reaction to natural sounds, truth, and the town of Shrike's violence adds to the intense adventure. Truth clings to the wire through out the story. At times, viewers will live in the mind of Sam, they will try to understand the mute's thinking, hate, and sorrow. This adventure is alive!
Borden Davis, 805-777-7700 htt://www.silentbrand.com
Original copyright 2008.
Only perchase the book"s fifth edition available in Noverber, 2018.