“Mohawk” finally arrived on home video this week. Naturally, this is my realm as I’m prone to repeat viewings. This time, I couldn’t help but focus on the arc of Oak. She begins wild and untamed like the typical natives depicted on film. It’s when she has to rationalize the supernatural trappings of her people that she gets understand her purpose. A lesser film would’ve played up her pregnancy more, but it effectively takes a back seat to Oak becoming a warrior. Something something abyss gazing back and all that jazz.
Regardless of how you feel about the ending or mid 70s camerawork, this film did something I truly appreciate. It turned violence into the art form it deserves to be. That doesn’t mean it became Grand Guignol styled Bava and Tarantino bloodbaths that demand attention. Violence is a tool to drive vengeful rage when embodied by key figures. When Oak’s lover Calvin begins the attack that triggers the film, Calvin uses violence as expected. Enraged Mohawk native demands respect and honor for the loss of his tribe members.
Holt and the American soldiers respond back with the nation’s early beginnings of war machine. Nature means nothing to them, as it’s just extra debris to march through to their ultimate purpose. Yet, when Oak reaches out through supernatural, maternal and downtrodden means…she takes violence to a new level. In Marvel Comics, there’s the concept of the Ultimate Nullifier. It’s a hidden cosmic device that has the means of destroying figures like Galactus.
The weapon is retrieved with the knowledge that it destroys the individual targeted and the one firing it at a target. The act of nullification isn’t glamorized, but seen as a necessity to bring balance back to the natural world. Sometimes, it’s a Jack Kirby creation and other teams it’s a skull masked warrior violently returning peace to the Woods. Either way…it’s terrific.
- 2.40:1 1080p transfer
- DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track