The horror film Avenged is picking up steam, with screenings at horror festivals and positive reviews from horror-fan websites.
It was, until recently, known as Savaged, a name that obviously referred to its Native American storyline. You can read the full plot summary at the movie's website, but it boils down to this: A "rape-revenge" story (this is an established horror subgenre) in which the victim channels a long-dead Apache chief (played by Native actor Rick Mora) and exacts her bloody revenge with arrows, daggers and tomahawks.
The dead chief in the film is based on the story of Mangas Coloradas, an Apache chief who was famously betrayed by General Joseph Rodman West of the California Militia. Mangas Coloradas met with West in 1863 to discuss peace; West had him executed and decapitated, boiled the skin off his skull, and sent it to a phrenologist in New York City.
Filmmakers said in a video interview that they "went to great lengths to involve the Apache community [and] hired an Apache consultant" while making the movie.
Any use of Native culture in a genre film such as Avenged (which is still called Savaged outside of North America) is bound to provoke a variety of reactions in Indian country, from outrage to no-big-deal. Avenged is already available as video-on-demand and will be released on DVD on April 21 -- would you watch it?