California-born director W.L. Norton began his interesting if uneven output with the underrated 1972 drama Cisco Pike, starring Gene Hackman, Kris Kristofferson, Karen Black, and Harry Dean Stanton. Despite this cast and some good reviews, the movie somehow got lost amid a brace of drug-based crime films coming out at the time, and Norton next turned up working on television. Norton's 1972 TV movie Gargoyles, starring Cornell Wilde and Bernie Casey, was a superb horror movie, atmospheric, well paced, and exceptionally convincing (helped by Stan Winston's monster make-up). Since then, however, Norton has not had an opportunity to show off, mostly working in less noticeable vehicles such as the ill-fated More American Graffiti (1979), the TV production Tour of Duty (1987), and 1991's False Arrest.