Cinema: Peckinpah: Primitive Horror

Straw Dogs is Sam Peckinpah's first film without a hero. It is indeed his first film to challenge the very ideal of heroism around which his work so far has been built. In Ride the High Country (1961), his main characters were two aging lawmen who could not, even when they tried, abandon their own code of honor. By the time of The Wild Bunch (1969), the main characters had turned into a ragged troop of bandits, but the code persisted. It was their adherence to a suicidal notion of dignity that made these outlaws heroes...

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