August 01, 1988 12:00 PM

A lone rider. A dusty, dull town, Well, dusty anyway. By night the backwater turns into helltown, overrun by teen rapists. No one retaliates. Shame, Or is it Shane? No matter. It’s a classic Western setup with a twist. The setting is Australia, the rider is a woman and her vehicle is a motorcycle. Maybe it’s foolhardy of Asta Cadell, played by Aussie actress Deborra-Lee Furness, to think she can right these wrongs on her own. But Coop and the Duke would have tried. Screenwriters Beverly Blankenship and Michael Brindley borrow indiscriminately from good movies (High Noon, Bad Day at Black Rock) and bad (Billy Jack). But director Steve Jodrell provocatively illustrates how male sexual fantasies often link up with violence. And Furness—part femme fatale, part feminist avenger—is a stunner. In this potent action-drama she catches the eye and the conscience. (R)

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