The Dark Wind (1991)

Article #1559 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 6-21-2005
Posting Date: 11-18-2005
Directed by Errol Morris
Featuring Lou Diamond Phillips, Gary Farmer, John Karlen

A Navajo policeman assigned to catch a vandal witnesses a plane accident that is tied to drug smugglers. He then finds himself caught up in a series of murders and is targeted by corrupt federal agents.

If you’ve been following this series of write-ups, you probably have two questions. First of all, why have I made this leap into the decade of the nineties when most of my coverage recently has been in the sixties and seventies and the latest date I’ve reached previous to this listing is 1982? I have an explanation. I choose the movies for my hunt list going through my various sources, picking ten at a time and then going with the earliest date. “John Stanley’s Creature Features Strike Back” guide has a New Update section in the middle of the book, and most of the movies are from the early nineties. With very little competition from earlier years, it was inevitable that I would have to select one from a very late vintage, and this was the choice.

The other question is about the nature of the fantastic content in the movie, something that does not come out in the above description. Part of the plot surrounds the rituals of Navajo witchcraft, and there are touches of Navajo and Hopi mysticism as well. At heart, it’s a crime drama, and I found it rather enjoyable, if slow and somewhat confusing at times. Still, it all comes together at the end, and the performances are quite good throughout. Genre-wise, it’s marginal, but not bad.

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