Framed (Karlson, 1974)

Framed mixes the violent angst of 1970’s American cinema with old school Noir seediness in a diabolical revenge story from genre giant Phil Karlson. In this Southern tale of sadism and brutality, Joe Don Baker’s gambler/bar owner shifts from fall guy to merciless hound after a long prison stint, returning to the society that failed him with writhing intensity and impatience. The entire film feels like one long, sweaty foray into a bloody domino effect created by corrupt institutions covering up their slimy exploits, and the end result isn’t pretty. During its almost comedic final moments, Framed comes close to glorifying it’s violent heroes through a mix of smarmy charm and grotesque casualness, as if getting your ear blown off or being eaten by a dog is just a part of everyday life.

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