The Ghost Dance (film)

The Ghost Dance is a 1982 American Western slasher film directed and co-written by Peter F. Buffa, and starring Julie Amato, Victor Mohica, Henry Bal, and Frank Salsedo. Its plot follows a Native American shaman who becomes possessed by an evil spirit that drives him to kill.[2] It was the first slasher film to be based around and feature Native American characters.[4]

The Ghost Dance
VHS Cover
Directed byPeter F. Buffa
Produced byRobert Sutton
Screenplay by
  • Peter F. Buffa
  • Robert Sutton
Music byJoseph Byrd
CinematographyFred Murphy
Distributed byTrans World Entertainment[2]
Running time
96 minutes[3]
CountryUnited States
Budget$1,000,000 (estimated)


The spirit of a long-dead warrior, Nahalla, possesses Aranjo, a local Native American man, after an archaeologist, Dr. Kay Foster, unearths Nahalla's remains during an exploratory excavation. Through Aranjo, Nahalla exacts a murderous rampage.


  • Julie Amato as Dr. Kay Foster
  • Victor Mohica as Tom Eagle
  • Henry Bal as Nahalla/Aranjo
  • Frank Salsedo as Ocacio
  • Felicia Leon as Rea
  • Frank Soto as Basowaya


Home media

The film was released for the first time on DVD by Mediabox on April 24, 2006.[5]


  1. "The Ghost Dance (1982)". British Film Institute. Retrieved August 25, 2018.
  2. Pitts, Michael R. (2013). Western Movies: A Guide to 5,105 Feature Films (2nd ed.). Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. p. 1538. ISBN 978-0-786-46372-5.
  3. Hilger, Michael (2015). Native Americans in the Movies: Portrayals from Silent Films to the Present. New York: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 174. ISBN 978-1-442-24002-5.
  4. Sykes, Brad (2018). Terror in the Desert: Dark Cinema of the American Southwest. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. p. 136. ISBN 978-1-476-63132-5.
  5. "Ghost Dance (1983) - Peter Bufa, Ken McMullen". Allmovie. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
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