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Encyclopedia of Arkansas Minute: 'Fighting Mad'

B-movie king Roger Corman gave an early boost to the career of the man who later directed “The Silence Of The Lambs.”

Jonathan Demme wrote and directed “Fighting Mad,” a 1976 epic starring Peter Fonda and featuring Scott Glenn. The movie about a horse farmer who seeks bloody retribution after a strip mining firm kills his family members fit Corman's formula of a little violence but not too much, a little sex but not too much, a little politics but not too much.

The redneck revenge movie was shot on location in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Clarksville and rural Washington County, and featured several local actors. A review in Variety held that “‘Fighting Mad’ doesn't waste time on rounded characters or motivational development, but delivers its full quota of explosions, car chases, stabbings and other turn-ons for the vigilante mentality that seems to have appeal today.”

Demme went on to direct such films as “Philadelphia” and “Melvin and Howard,” winning an Academy Award for “Silence Of The Lambs.”

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