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Apaches

One of the most disturbing public safety films depicts six children being picked off one-by-one by deadly farming machinery.

Documentary 1977 27 mins

Overview

One of the most famous and disturbing films from the Central Office of Information, Apaches warns of the perils of playing on farmyards as it follows six children and their deadly games.

Three years before directing The Long Good Friday, John Mackenzie memorably integrates B-movie vernacular into this public safety film, riffing on the iconography of Westerns as the kids play cowboys ‘n’ Indians, and almost utilising a ‘slasher’ film format in the sequential presentation of their tragic deaths. The chilling way in which the Apaches die in-turn, yet curiously continue their adventures to their grim conclusion, may lack realism but adds to the film’s dream-like atmosphere. Despite only being broadcast in ITV franchises that covered rural areas, the film had a lasting effect on the psyche of the nation’s youth and broke all booking records at the time for a COI film.