Guyana: Cult of the Damned (aka Guyana: Crime of the Century) is a 1970 Mexican-American exploitation drama written and directed by René Cardona Jr. (Tintorera, The Bermuda Triangle). The film was shot in Mexico, was based on the Jonestown Massacre. The names of the central characters are slightly tweaked from the historical ones, the film is set in “Johnsontown” rather than Jonestown, the cult is led by “Reverend James Johnson” (Stuart Whitman, Shadows in an Empty Room, Rio Conchos, Maniac!) rather than Rev. Jim Warren Jones, and the murdered Congressman is “Lee O’Brien” (Gene Barry, The War of the Worlds and TV’s Burke’s Law) instead of Leo Ryan. Guyana: Cult of the Damned features a stellar cast that includes John Ireland (Red River), Joseph Cotten (The Third Man), Yvonne De Carlo (TV’s The Munsters), Bradford Dillman (Chosen Survivors), Nadiuska (Conan the Barbarian), Hugo Stiglitz (Tintorera) and Robert DoQui (The Devil’s 8). Now see this cult classic thriller in HD, from a brand new 2K scan!
As embodied by Alan Bates, Butley falls back on the surgically precise wit and savage eloquence that helped put him in his current circumstances in the first place. The blitzkrieg of vitriolic commentary with which Butley engages lovers, students, rivals, and allies, all with equal ferocity, becomes a glass bottom boat illuminating the churning depths of his bankrupted soul. Acclaimed playwright Harold Pinter, in what Time Magazine hailed as “a quite superior directorial debut,” turns author Simon Gray’s single-set, dialogue driven stage play into an irresistible dynamic visual experience that tracks Bates’ hilarious and fearless performance with cunning precision.
Bates and an expert supporting cast, including OscarÃ‚Â® winner Jessica Tandy (Driving Miss Daisy), joust with a sly, self-referencing wit and an unselfconscious exuberance that is breathtaking. With every verbal parry and valedictory flourish of wordplay, Butley’s life becomes more of an inescapable bear trap of thwarted ambition, clandestine affection, and squandered brilliance.