Shadow of the Hawk (1976) starring Jan-Michael Vincent, Marilyn Hassett, Chief Dan George, Pia Shandel directed by George McCowan, Daryl Duke Movie Review

Shadow of the Hawk (1976)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Jan-Michael Vincent in Shadow of the Hawk (1976)

Chief Hawks His Magic

Old Man Hawk (Chief Dan George) knows something isn't right and somewhere someone is using evil magic to try and grab his powers which is why he heads to the city to find his grandson Mike (Jan-Michael Vincent). As a young executive with an active social life Mike is happy to see his grandfather but just as happy to put him on the Greyhound back home, that is until reporter Maureen (Marilyn Hassett) who befriended the old man makes Mike feel bad for abandoning his grandfather. Now the three must return home so that young Mike can run a series of battles in order to stop the evil spirits attacking Old Man Hawk.

There is a scene early on in "Shadow of the Hawk" where having put the moves on a girl, Mike ends up in a swimming pool where he finds himself fighting off an attack from something in a native style mask. Fortunately Mike not only is able to hold his breath a long time but once it is over put it out of his mind as just a vision and gets on with life. Man Mike must be a special guy, so special that later on when driving Grandpa and Maureen back home a run in with a mystery black car and then no brakes doesn't phase him either. Maybe for teens who watched "Shadow of the Hawk" back in 1976 these scenes and many others were mysterious, dangerous and exciting but watched now they end up a bit cheesy with only a few of these scenes having any sort of impact such as the destruction of a car thanks to magic.

Now in fairness the mystery of what is happening in "Shadow of the Hawk" is okay and keeps you entertained up to a point but at the same time there are aspects of "Shadow of the Hawk" which are shockingly cheesy and make it weak. Despite this Jan-Michael Vincent is solid as the handsome young Mike, pulling of some knitwear like he was modelling it and he works well with Marilyn Hassett in an incredibly predictable romantic side to the movie. But the star of "Shadow of the Hawk" is Chief Dan George who's knowing looks and delivery of some terrible dialogue constantly entertains as he brings a mischievous element to the character.

What this all boils down to is that "Shadow of the Hawk" is one of those movies which probably still entertain those who watched it the first time around in 1976 but for those coming across it now it lacks the horror and excitement as well as decent dialogue to make it more than only moderately entertaining. Plus it features one the most hilarious bear fight scenes you will ever watch with poor editing making it obvious when it goes from bear trainer with real bear to Jan-Michael Vincent fighting a guy in a bad bear costume.