Painted Hero

The Painted Hero is a film about the rodeo circuit and Virgil Kidder, a rodeo clown, and his trip to Waco Texas. Virgil is the best rodeo clown in the business, but an accident with a bull rider seven years earlier left his reputation in Waco tarnished. Virgil vowed he would never return. Virgil is minding his own business taking off his make-up in front of a bull pen when Brownie, a long time friend of his, approaches. Brownie is one of the few people who stood by Virgil after the accident in Waco. Virgil recognizes that look on Brownie's face and realizes he wants something. Brownie informs Virgil that his next stop is Waco and that he really needs Virgil there to work the bulls. When Virgil refuses, Brownie reminds him of a debt owed, and he has no choice but to pay up. Virgil lets Brownie know that after this trip he is paid up on all debts. As soon as Virgil enters Waco the trouble starts with a rider named Roddy. Roddy is the nephew of Gill, the man who was involved in the accident seven years earlier. Gill also happens to be the sheriff. Virgil is constantly being harassed by Roddy and his uncle, Gill. To make matters worse, trouble seems to follow Virgil as he is pursued by Teresa, Roddy's sister and Gill's neice, a crazed young thrill seeking woman who won't leave him alone. Her zest for living on the edge eventually gets her killed with Virgil as the prime suspect. Virgil is arrested only to escape and while hiding from the police he conducts his own investigation. All of Virgils clues lead to a bizarre revelation which points to Gill as the real killer. In the end Roddy confronts Gill at the rodeo and when he learns the truth he becomes enraged. Before anyone realizes what he is doing Roddy releases a bull from a holding pen and the animal charges at Gill, killing him. Virgil can now move on with his life and leave Waco along with the past and present bad memories.

  • Starring: Dwight Yokam and Bo Hopkins
  • Director(s): Terry Benedict
  • Producer(s): Sound Shore Films
  • Screenwriter(s): Stan Bertheaud, Terry Benedict
  • Distributor: Cabin Fever
  • Animal Coordinator: Unknown
  • Release Date: Wednesday, June 28, 1995
  • Rating: Not Monitored

Featured Animal Action

The balance of the animal action is in the rodeo scenes where Virgil aids the riders by distracting the bulls after the ride is completed. All of the rodeo scenes were filmed in cuts with footage from a professional rodeo conducted by Bull Riders Only, insurted during post-production. The close ups of the actors were filmed in cuts with the use of a mechanical bull and technically insurted during post-production. In one scene a rider is thrown from the bulls back as he lunges into the arena and Virgil distracts the bull while the rider exits safely. There are many riders thrown and bulls slamming against the sides of the arena as the rodeo continues. A bull bursts out of the gate and spins around and the rider drops to the ground as the bull comes rushing towards him. Virgil rushes out to help the rider and the bull horn hooks him from behind to send him sailing upward. In yet another scene Roddy gets thrown off the wrong side of the bull and is caught in the ropes and Virgil comes in to cut him loose. Then the bull chases Virgil out of the arena. All of the rodeo scenes were filmed in cuts with footage from a professional rodeo edited during post-production. The close ups of the actors were filmed in cuts with the use of a mechanical bull. A bull rams into a fence while Virgil is taking off his clown make-up. The horns smash thru the boards of the fence and Virgil kicks them back inside the pen. In this scene you see the bull and then you see the actor but never at the same time. When Virgil kicks the fence all you see is the fence being kicked not the bulls face or contact with his horns. This also was shot in cuts. Roddy lets the bull out of the pen after he hears how Gill killed Teresa and the Bull charges at Gill killing him. In this scene you see the bull becoming agitated with all the commotion taking place outside his pen. Then in another scene you see Roddy open the gate to the pen. A bull comes rushing out charging in Gills direction. Again in this scene you see the bull and then the actors as it was shot in cuts and edited in post-production. Virgil is on a window ledge when he is on the run and a cat is sitting there and hisses at him. American Humane was present on set and monitored the animal action. We are rating Painted Hero On May 5, B. Sands informed the production company that the we could not give them a disclaimer because of the rodeo manager violating our guidelines. Do I rate it unacceptable??? The Painted Hero is a film about the rodeo circuit and Virgil Kidder, a rodeo clown, and his trip to Waco Texas. Virgil is the best rodeo clown in the business, but an accident with a bull rider seven years earlier left his reputation in Waco tarnished. Virgil vowed he would never return. Virgil is minding his own business taking off his make up in front of a bull pen when Brownie approaches. Brownie is a long time friend of Virgil's and one of the few men that stuck with him after the accident in Waco. Virgil recognizes that look on Brownie's face and realizes he wants something. Brownie informs Virgil that his next stop is Waco and that he really needs Virgil there to work the bulls. When Virgil refuses, Brownie reminds him of a debt owed, and he has no choice but to pay up. Virgil lets Brownie know that after this trip he is paid up on all debts. As soon as Virgil enters Waco the trouble starts with a rider named Roddy Roddy is the nephew of Gill, the man who was involved in the accident seven years earlier. Gill also happens to be the sheriff. Roddy rides the bull at the rodeo and Virgil congratulates him afterwards. Roddy immediately lets Virgil know how he feels about him as he snubs his outstretched hand. Virgil is constantly being harassed by Roddy and his uncle, Gill. After the rodeo is over for the day Virgil spots a girl watching him. He finds out that her name is Teresa, Roddy's sister and she follows Virgil every where, which infuriates her brother. Teresa is a strange young woman and most people think of her as being wild and a little crazy. When she is drunk she believes she is a vampire and one night she insists that Virgil put her in the trunk to hide her from the sun rise. So it comes as no surprise to Virgil, when a few days later he goes to get in his car in the morning and finds tape on his trunk. A sort of calling card that Teresa leaves behind when she has been there. The night before Teresa came looking for Virgil and he avoided her so he figures she must have decided to wait in the trunk. When Virgil opens his trunk he is expecting to find a tierd, hung-over Teresa but instead he finds her dead, stabbed through the heart. The sheriff immediately pins it on Virgil and takes him into custody but Virgil escapes and goes in search of the real killer. After thinking back over the last couple of days he remembers Roddy and Teresa fighting which gives him the idea that it was Roddy who killed her. His search leads him to the Rodeo where Roddy is competing in the finals of the bull riding. When the competition is over and Virgil questions Roddy they all realize who the culprit is, Gill. Teresa had confronted Gill with something she had discovered about him from his past. He was involved in an auto accident years earlier and an unidentified woman was killed. Teresa figured out that the woman was her mother and that Gill was her father not her uncle. She threatened to tell everyone if Gill didn't leave Virgil alone. That would have ruined his reelection for sheriff and he couldn't risk that, so he killed her, putting her body in Virgil's car. Roddy becomes enraged as the truth comes out. He releases a bull from the corall and it charges at Gill, killing him. .Everyone knows the truth and Virgil leaves Waco with a sense of freedom that he hasn't known in a long time. He can finally put the past seven years to rest and get on with his.