Chaske Spencer To Play Lead in 'Winter in the Blood'

Chaske Spencer has recently signed on to play the lead role in Winter in the Blood, the first novel of Native American author James Welch. Chaske will play the character of "Virgil First Raise."

Here is the synopsis provided by the official website of the film:

Virgil First Raise wakes with a shiner and a hangover in a roadside ditch on the hardscrabble plains of Montana. As he rises to face the scorching day he sees a vision of his father lying dead at his feet. Impossible-- his father froze to death in a snowdrift years earlier. The vision fades.

Nursing an old injury, Virgil limps back to the small ranch that he runs with his mother, Teresa, and his ancient Grandmother. Teresa tells Virgil that his young wife, Agnes, has taken his rifle and electric razor and left for town. Virgil seems more concerned about the gun than the girl because, as he tells Grandmother, “it meant something once.”

Virgil is frozen too. Stuck in a numbed-out existence he is haunted by childhood memories-- some happy, some tragic-- of his beloved big brother Mose. The most painful memory is of a roundup the boys attempted just before the onslaught of winter. Adolescent high jinks, a stubborn cow and a freak accident combined to crush Virgil’s knee—- and kill Mose.

The memory of that death, coupled with ridicule from his mother’s hilarious but overbearing suitor, Lame Bull, and Teresa’s warning that there is “no longer a place for you here”, prompts Virgil to leave the ranch on a quest to retrieve his runaway bride and stolen possessions.

Virgil’s search for Agnes in the cowboy-and-Indian towns of Montana’s “Hi-line” leads him to the Airplane Man, an eccentric outsider who recruits him for a murky smuggling operation. Virgil’s payment is a car that runs and a boozy bedroom skirmish with Malvina, a beguiling barmaid. As Virgil and Airplane Man embark on this ill-conceived scheme two mysterious men in suits-- Feds? Corporate goons?—- shadow them.


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