Reviewed by: C St. John
Starring: Timothy Daly, William O'Leary, Neal McDonough | Directed by: Dick Lowry | Produced by: Dick Lowry | Written by: Phil Penningroth
It’s not easy viewing “Ambush In Waco”, the true story of the rise and fall of David Koresh, leader of the Branch Davidians, who in 1993 fought the ATF and FBI for 51 days along with many of his followers. Although there is little violence for today’s standards and there is no onscreen sex or nudity there is a chilling edge running throughout this movie. Everytime Koresh is onscreen, brilliantly played by Tim (“The Fugitive” TV Series) Daly, I really felt like I was watching a man possessed by an evil spirit.
Critics of this film have slated it as not being that true to the facts and many have condemned it altogether as being “fascist garbage” but I thought it was very well made and gave a good overview of what happened. I have read quite a few reports and books on Waco and although some things have been washed over for the screen it is still a good look at the whole events leading up to the tragedy in which 4 ATF agents and many of Koresh’s followers lost their lives. The thing that disturbed me the most was the fact that Koresh and his followers really believed that he was Christ come again to partake in a sinful life, a sinful messiah, and that he had the right to have sex with any of the females he choose, to give them his seed. Koresh was known to have slept with many women and girls, some as young as 11 years old. There was a lot more they could have included in this film but with it being a made-for-TV movie there was only so much the producers could get away with.
This film is worth watching just to see how “false prophets” take the Word and twist it to suit their own agenda, something that is happening all too much these days. Interestingly Koresh still has many followers that believe that he was the Messiah, but I challenge them with a quote taken straight from the film… “If Koresh really is Jesus, bury him under a rock and see if he rises in three days.”
Year of Release—1993