Guyana: Crime of the Century (1979)
Directed by René Cardona Jr.
Writing credits René Cardona Jr.
Stuart Whitman.... Reverend James Johnson
Gene Barry.... Congressman Lee O'Brien
John Ireland.... Dave Cole
Joseph Cotten.... Richard Gable
Reverend James Johnson leads his followers to Johnsontown. Not Jonestown. Johnsontown. They build a camp in the jungles of Guyana. It's supposed to be a paradise away from the corrupting influence of the United States. Of course it's all a lie. The cult members do hard labor and are rewarded with rice. This all leads to a visit from a congressman and a buffet line of poisoned fruit punch.
Of course this little exploitation movie is based on the real Jonestown massacre. The names have been changed to protect the innocent, (Whatever!). So you know going into this movie that you will see a mass suicide. This is the ghoulish highlight. We get to watch babies being force fed poison and other scenes of poisoned drinks being shoved down people's throats. I wondered why the cult members kept lining up for drinks when they could see their fellow Johnsontown residents howling in agony in front of them. Ah, cult members. How wacky.
Most of the movie is spent listening to the pompous Rev. Johnson preach to his mindless flock. He gathers them together several times to tell them why he's great and the rest of the world stinks. SNORE! You'll just have to bear through these scenes to make it to the slaughter scene. There are a few scenes of discipline and torture to keep things interesting on the way to the fruit punch exodus. Is the destination worth the trip? Hard to say. I've always wondered what a bunch of brain washed dolts killing themselves looked like. Now I know. Thanks, "Guyana, Crime of the Century"!
SCORE: 1.5 out of 4 mindless dolts drinking tasty fruit punch