Sunday, January 08, 2017

Movie Ads of the Week: The Many Titles of CAMPER JOHN (1973)



Filmed in the summer of 1972 under the titles ONCE UPON A TRIBE and UP YOURS, PILGRIM! by director Sean MacGregor (DEVIL TIMES FIVE, NIGHTMARE COUNTY), the low-budget "Indiansploitation" action pic CAMPER JOHN stars William Smith as Camper John Allen, a Native American falsely accused of raping and murdering a white girl. Smith co-produced the film with his LAREDO co-star, Peter Brown. The cast also includes Gene Evans, Joe Flynn, Barbara Luna, R.G. Armstrong, Henry Brandon, and Arch Johnson. Cinemation Industries acquired the film for a theatrical release in 1973. The ad above is from the Iowa City, IA opening on October 2, 1974.


A month later (November 15, 1974) it played in Tucson, AZ with a different ad campaign as THE SINS OF BETTY SCHAFFER.


When the film opened in Detroit, MI on June 18, 1975, the title had been changed again, to I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE. Cinemation president Jerry Gross ripped off this title from a 1959 black-and-white French film that had been released in the U.S. by Audubon Films in 1963 (Audubon had also published a paperback of the Boris Vian source novel, J'irai cracher sur vos tombes). Gross used the title again more famously in 1980 when he re-released Meir Zarchi's notorious rape-revenge flick DAY OF THE WOMAN (1978) as I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE.


In the 1980s, the film played on TV and was released to home video as GENTLE SAVAGE.

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