Follow TV Tropes


Film / The Ghost Dance

Go To

A Slasher Movie from 1980.

A medicine man is possessed by a spirit of a dead Native American cult leader Nahalla, whose body has just been dug up from an excavation site nearby. He then starts killing people and stalks one of the excavation members, Dr. Kay Foster.

This film has the examples:

  • Big Bad: Nahalla, The Savage Indian spirit killing everybody.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Tom Eagle keeps waking up from nightmares about his traumatic past.
  • Dark Messiah: Nahalla was initially a part of the Ghost Dance religion, but didn't come to agree with the notion of living peacefully with the takers of their lands. He started his own branch, which had more violent take on things.
  • Downer Ending: Nahalla's spirit is seemingly destroyed, at the cost of Ocacio's life, and Tom and Kay prepare to burn the body to prevent him from coming back again. However, the body suddenly springs up and Nahalla's wife possesses Kay again, both spirits preparing to kill Tom.
  • Identical Stranger: Nahalla stalks Kay because she is a dead ringer for his dead wife.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: After having sex with her boyfriend, Carol is impaled on a spear held by a statue in the museum.
  • Not Quite Dead: After Nahalla's spirit is defeated with Ocacio's help, Tom and Kay try to destroy his corpse to remove him from this world for good. The corpse springs to life to stop Tom, and Kay is also shown to be still under Nahalla's control, giving the film a Downer Ending.
  • Slashed Throat: After being possessed, Aranjo wakes up his wife at night and cuts her throat.
  • Soft Glass: Averted. One man is hurt when he stumbles over a glass container, breaking it. He is then killed with one of the glass shards.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Nahalla can change into animals. He turns into a dog to kill one of Aranjo's wife's friends and later enters Kay's house in the guise of a cat.