Walking Tall: The Final Chapter (1977)

Genres - Action  |   Sub-Genres - Action Thriller, Docudrama, Police Drama  |   Release Date - Aug 10, 1977 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 112 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Walking Tall: Final Chapter is one of the more unusual sequels you'll ever see. By this point in the Buford Pusser saga, the only real-life events left for the filmmakers to dramatize were his downfall and tragic demise. As a result, Howard B. Kreitsek's script has an episodic feel as it attempts to fashion these last threads into a satisfying narrative. The end result is more compelling that one might think but it also has a depressive feeling to it, leaning heavy on the melodrama and never straying too far from a doomy feel of tragedy. Thankfully, the cast is up to the task: Bo Svenson handles the extreme emotional highs and lows that Buford Pusser faces with the right mix of stoicism and vulnerability while Logan Ramsey brings a true sense of mania to his villainous role, creating a character who seems to get crazier with each scene as his obsession with Pusser intensifies. Elsewhere, series regulars like Bruce Glover and Noah Beery Jr. add steady support for the leads. Behind the camera, Jack Starrett gives the film a steady flow and punctuates it with some nice action scenes: the best of the latter moments is a hard-hitting scene where Buford storms and destroys a juke joint single-handed to take revenge for a fallen friend. The end result doesn't seem like it should work but is unusual enough (and skillfully made enough) to hold the interest of a fan of the series. As a result, fans who liked the first two films in the series will want to see Walking Tall: Final Chapter.