Fighting Mad
Theatrical release poster by Joseph Smith
Directed byJonathan Demme
Written byJonathan Demme
Produced byRoger Corman
CinematographyMichael W. Watkins
Edited byAnthony Magro
Music byBruce Langhorne
Santa Fe Productions
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • October 8, 1976 (1976-10-08)
Running time
88 minutes
CountryUnited States

Fighting Mad is a 1976 American action film directed by Jonathan Demme, about an Arkansas farmer played by Peter Fonda who uses Guerrilla tactics against corrupt land developers attempting to evict his family and his neighbors in order to stripmine their land.[2]


An evil corporation tries to pressure a bunch of Arkansas farmers and ranchers to sell their land so they can strip-mine it for coal. The fiercely proud and stubborn Hunter family refuse to give in. This leads to a bitter conflict that results in several casualties. Eventually the take-charge no-nonsense Tom Hunter exacts a harsh revenge on the villains with the help of his bow and arrow.



The movie was one of four Roger Corman made for 20th Century Fox. In making the film, Corman analysed three other recent low-budget rural action thrillers that had been big hits: Billy Jack (1971), Walking Tall (1973) and Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry (1974). He deduced they had three things in common: a hero with an off-beat sidekick, an unusual mode of transport and an interesting weapon. This is why the Peter Fonda character travels on an old motorcycle with his toddler son and uses a compound bow.[1] Corman said "It was an attempt, once more, to follow a style that you're probably familiar with now—an action picture with a certain social comment."[3]

Fonda later wrote "Like his work. Jonathan was amazing. He was so full of positive attitude, anything was possible. He never let on to any stress or pressure, and he was basically working for free."[4]


  1. ^ a b Christopher T Koetting, Mind Warp!: The Fantastic True Story of Roger Corman's New World Pictures, Hemlock Books. 2009 p 99
  2. ^ Fighting Mad at the American Film Institute Catalog
  3. ^ Corman, Roger (1979). The movie world of Roger Corman. Chelsea House. p. 154.
  4. ^ Fonda, Peter (1998). Don't tell dad : a memoir. Hyperion. p. 414. ISBN 9780786861118.