CONTINUED FROM PART 1...
CELLULOID SINS 6: MOONSHINE MANIA, ON THE ROAD AGAIN & SOUTHERN INHOSPITALITY PART 2
Directed by Paul Bartel
The annual Trans-American outlaw road race--A cross country demolition derby without rules!
This Roger Corman four way crash and burn was a co-production between New World, Harbor Properties, Cross Country Productions and Shaw Brothers of Hong Kong and cost a cool 1 million dollars, which was a huge amount for a New World film at the time. Hell, that was a lot of money for New World period. New World did their best movies with very little money, anyway and CANNONBALL!, while frequently exciting, falls somewhere in the middle. This was the first movie to be based on the real life 'Cannonball Run', began in 1971 as a public statement against the nationwide and mandatory 55 mph speedlimit. Like with THE GUMBALL RALLY (which came after this movie), Hal Needham and company lifted the most salvageable parts from under CANNONBALL's hood. The similarities are striking, even moreso than those in GUMBALL RALLY released a few weeks later.
New World's favorite son, David Carradine plays Coy 'Cannonball' Buckman, a paroled convict who went to prison for a crime he didn't commit. He enters the Trans American Grand Prix, a wild and highly illegal over 55 high speed road race along with a motley clutch of even wilder racing personalities. Dick Miller (A BUCKET OF BLOOD, CRAZY MAMA, MOVING VIOLATION, PIRANHA) plays Buckman's brother, Bennie who, through his ties with the mob, has a vested interest that Coy win the race--his life. Paul Bartel was unhappy being saddled with another race car movie (he previously was at the wheel of New World's smash hit DEATHRACE 2000 the previous year), and the result is uneven at times. There's laughs (some of the comedy is laced with gallows humor particularly from Bartel's character) mixed with occasionally strong scenes of violence including a massive multi car pile up that contains enough explosions and twisted metal for several hot rod pictures. The script is also a bit deeper than the average film of this type.
Watch for Sylvester Stallone and Martin Scorcese as two mobsters enjoying a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken with Bartel who also plays a mafioso. Definitely a New World curio, there's a cool cast to go along with it. Frequent villain Bill McKinney (OUTLAW JOSEY WALES, WHEN YOU COMIN' BACK, RED RYDER?) plays Carradine's arch nemesis, Cade Redman; Gerrit Graham (PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE, USED CARS) is a country singin' cowpoke; Robert Carradine (JACKSON COUNTY JAIL, ORCA, REVENGE OF THE NERDS) and Belinda Balaski (BOBBIE JOE & THE OUTLAW, FOOD OF THE GODS, PIRANHA, THE HOWLING) are lovers who join in the race; others in the cast are Actor/writer/producer Carl Gottlieb (JAWS series, CAVEMAN); frequent Bartel collaborator Mary Woronov (DEATHRACE 2000, EATING RAOUL), James Keach (THE LONG RIDERS, MOVING VIOLATIONS; 1985) as a German racing driver and even Roger Corman himself puts in a cameo. It might sputter a little here and there, but CANNONBALL! will get you where you gotta go and fast!
THE GUMBALL RALLY 1976
Directed by Chuck Bail
It's a hilarious coast-to-coast, 180 mile an hour, go for broke, outrageous road race with the world's most expensive cars. And it's all just for glory and a gumball machine
The 'Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash' was a real and illegal auto road race that began back in the early 1970's and was the brainchild of Brock Yates and Steve Smith. Several films were made inspired by the race the most famous of which was THE CANNONBALL RUN in 1981 and its sequel in 1984 (both from Warner Brothers). THE GUMBALL RALLY (also a Warner production) was a big budget, stunt-filled extravaganza that was made without the support of the actual races creators. The film and its scope is reminiscent of Blake Edwards' THE GREAT RACE from 1965 with a dash of IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD (1964) comic insanity.
With scarcely any plot to speak of, THE CANNONBALL RUN liberally borrowed various elements from New World's CANNONBALL! and Chuck Bail's sprawling road race/chaser film. There's two cop drivers, two female drivers (more distinguished than those in the CANNONBALL RUN movies), one of them being SWITCHBLADE SISTERS (1975) own Joanne Nail. Gary Busey is one half of the 'Good Ol' Boy' team. There's also a racer who prefers a motorcycle and even a run in with a motorcycle gang. The only major difference between Bail and Needham's movie is that the Southern and Country ambiance dominates the latter while the former seldom has that 'Deep South' feel about it.
The cast isn't as star-studded as Needham's movies, but GUMBALL RALLY has its fair share of big league and exploitation thespians. Among the cast are Raul Julia (THE ADDAMS FAMILY), Colleen Camp (THE GAME OF DEATH, SMOKEY & THE BANDIT 3), Tricia O'Neil (THE LEGEND OF NIGGER CHARLEY, PIRANHA 2) and Susan Flannery (THE TOWERING INFERNO). Raul Julia steals the show from everyone else as the libindous Italian lover of women; He loves cars and lovemaking. Tricia O'Neil is also notable as the busty pin-up model who inadvertantly gets involved in the race. Keep your ear on for Casey Kasem as the voice on the radio chronicling the events. The action is plentiful during the near two hours of fast and furious crashes, explosions and comedy. Just as the trailer states, "The cars are the stars!"
A SMALL TOWN IN TEXAS 1976
Directed by Jack Starrett
All Poke wanted was to get his girl and get out. All the sheriff wanted...was to get Poke.
Poke Jackson returns to his hometown from doing five years in prison after being framed by Duke Calley, the town sheriff. Wanting nothing more but to take his girl and his now five year old son away to California for a new life, Poke soon learns that while he was away, his girlfriend, Mary Lee has taken up with Duke. The sheriff isn't the least bit happy to see Poke back in town and things take a turn for the worse when Poke witnesses Duke double cross one of his own men paid to assassinate an Hispanic politician running for Congress. Now framed for a double murder he didn't commit, Poke must make a stand against the killer lawman, or die trying.
A SMALL TOWN IN TEXAS was notable exploitation maverick, Jack Starrett's version of MACON COUNTY LINE (1974). It's a damn good clone, too. It goes for the best of both worlds--the characterization of JACKSON COUNTY JAIL and the car chasers like DIRTY MARY, CRAZY LARRY (1974). It pretty much succeeds across the board even retaining 'Dirty Mary' herself, Susan George (FRIGHT, MANDINGO), who was a much better actress than she was often given credit for, plays the tormented girlfriend of Poke Jackson; torn between the man she loves and the unhinged Duke Calley, the exceedingly psychotic sheriff of this SMALL TOWN IN TEXAS.
Timothy Bottoms was an up and coming talent having starred in the Oscar winning film THE PAPER CHASE in 1972. He later ended up in low brow entertainment like WHAT WAITS BELOW, the Spanish flick THE SEA SERPENT from director Amando De Ossorio and IN THE SHADOW OF KILIMANJARO (all 1984). Bo Hopkins (THE WILD BUNCH, MIDNIGHT EXPRESS, TENTACLES) really ignites the film and burns it to a cinder with his incendiary performance as the brutish sheriff of the town. Morgan Woodward (FINAL CHAPTER-WALKING TALL, SPEEDTRAP), perennial villain of both the big and small screen is corrupt politician C.J. Crane. Canadian actor Art Hindle (BLACK CHRISTMAS) is Boogie, Poke's best friend, George 'Buck' Flower (THE WILDERNESS FAMILY, ILSA, SHE WOLF OF THE SS) is drunken bootlegger, Bull Parker. Clay Tanner, a friend of Starrett's has a minor role as a deputy. SMALL TOWN is a great suspenser, but staying there will prove Hazzard-ous to your health.
MOVING VIOLATION 1976
Directed by Charles S. Dubin
Cam and Eddie have just witnessed a murder...but there's no one they can tell...because in this town the cops are the killers!
This Roger Corman produced 20th Century Fox movie stumbles into MACON COUNTY LINE country with this tale of a drifter from Detroit who meets up with a young girl working an ice cream stand. The two hit it off, but their fling is short lived once they witness a crooked sheriff gun down his deputy for fear of revealing some under handed dealings between the lawman and a big business tycoon. The two go on the run while the sheriff gets his posse together with orders to shoot to kill. Eddie (GREEN ACRES) Albert plays a defense attorney who tries to help the hapless couple out and keep them alive long enough to bring the corrupt cop to justice.
This hot lead road racer from Fox combines MACON COUNTY's 'Dangerous Dixie' theatrics with DIRTY MARY, CRAZY LARRY's stunt-filled, no holds barred abandon. It makes for an uneasy mix, treading precariously from a violent chase film to its 'Chicken Pickin' enhanced car chases, smash ups and explosions. Barbara Peeters, the spit-fire female filmmaker who helmed HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP for Corman in 1980 not only did second unit direction here, but also was the stunt coordinator! Peeters also did 2nd unit on EAT MY DUST She definitely showed an opulent eye for spectacular set pieces. She eventually became a director in her own right, although her career ran out gas by the late 1980s.
While the action is almost non stop, the abrupt and intermittent change in tone keeps the whole enterprise from having much in the way of good gas mileage, but is definitely hot under the hood with a lot of horsepower. It's possibly the most action packed of all the MACON COUNTY clones, but has less dramatic prominence. During the final ten minutes, the movie finally settles on being deadly serious and has a denouement only slightly less grim than its inspiration. Still, the many elaborate set pieces save this reckless, car crashin' fender bender from blowing a gasket and crash and burning.
EAT MY DUST 1976
Directed by Charles B. Griffith
Ron Howard pops the clutch and tells the world to...EAT MY DUST!
Corman scored a big box office win with this super-charged action/comedy starring Ron Howard, who had previously been Opie on ANDY GRIFFITH and was then enjoying success on HAPPY DAYS. Originally called THE CAR, Universal had a big budget thriller with the same name and asked Corman if they could have the title. After an ingenious survey was conducted regarding prospective film titles, THE CAR came in last place so Corman gave up the title. Universal's movie subsequently stalled during its theatrical run while Corman's tire squeling car crasher beat it to the box office finish line. Incidentally, director Charles Griffith has a different take on how the title came about.
Howard is Hoover Niebold, the rebellious young son of the local sheriff desperate to impress the hot blonde Darlene. As 'The Real Don Steele' puts it in the trailer, "Darlene is into fast cars and Hoover is into Darlene!" The troublemaking debutante pushes Hoover into stealing 'Mabel', a prize winning super stocker belonging to Big Bubba Jones. The two (along with a few friends including Howard's real life brother, Clint) take off on a fast paced trek across Puckerbush County pursued by the police and anyone else with a fast car. Howard agreed to do this movie on the pretense that he could direct a feature of his own. Corman was all for it so EAT MY DUST! was ready to roll.
Akin to the old 'Juvenile Delinquent' movies of the 1950s, the script takes the tried and true formula of rabble-rousers vs. authority and injects it with dozens of car chases all accompanied by the requisite banjo twangin' tunes these Hoot 'n Hollerin' Hayseed flicks live by. Imaginative stuntwork, creative photographic touches, and a healthy dose of off the wall humor (there's another in-joke to Corman's LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS) moves things along at a breakneck pace. It's the comedy version of DIRTY MARY, CRAZY LARRY (1974) souped up with a DUKES OF HAZZARD sensibility and the charm of a Looney Tunes Cartoon. EAT MY DUST! is a classic model car that rarely puts on the brakes and keeps the pedal to the metal from start to finish.
GRAND THEFT AUTO 1977
Directed by Ron Howard
Ron Howard's funnier and faster...He's a high speed disaster!
Free wheeling Sam Freeman and his girlfriend Paula Powers want to get married, but her politician parents won't have it preferring she marry the prudish and grandly nerdy Collins Hedgeworth. The two lovers steal her father Bigby's rolls royce and make for Las Vegas for the nuptials. Determined to stop the wedding, Bigby puts in a call to his mobster buddies as well as the hair-brained Hedgeworth offering $25,000 to anyone that can get Sam and Paula off the road. With a big payout promised, every screwball in town with a fast car and dreams of grandeur set out to intercept the two youngsters before they can tie the knot.
With the wild success of EAT MY DUST, Ron Howard got his first directing gig with this similar and bigger budgeted follow up. It's essentially the same movie, only with more of everything that was in the first movie. While it was more than profitable, the sequel didn't make more money than the first one. Howard's family worked in various capacity on this production and even Marion Ross, his TV mom on HAPPY DAYS has a cameo role as the kooky mother to Collin Hedgworth, the pretentious, bumbling buffoon whose guilty of GRAND THEFT by stealing the movie away from everyone else. Look for perennial country fried bit player, Hoke Howell (THE KLANSMAN, KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS) as money hungry bible thumper out to get himself that cool 25 grand.
Like a lot of other high speed chase movies, an assortment of flashy cars get totaled in spectacular demolition derby fashion. Its sole distinction from the other 'Vehicular Destruction' pictures is that it's missing the 'Good Ol' Boy' scenario. Everything else is the same, though. Instead of chases through the muddy, backwoods countryside, a good chunk of these moving violations occur on the concrete tracks of main highways and suburban neighborhoods and others out on the interstate out in the desert. GRAND THEFT AUTO is quite possibly the King of the Car Crashers boasting an impressive and near endless barrage of stunts and explosions. Fully equipped with all the required car chase cliches and more twisted metal than you can fill a junkyard with, buckle up for this fast ridin', hard drivin', fuel burnin', motor revvin' good time.
THUNDER & LIGHTNING 1977
Directed by Corey Allen
It's 250 proof fun as they bust up the biggest moonshine racket in the country!
Harley Thomas is a Southern moonrunner in Wickiwatchie county, Florida engaged to Nancy Sue, the daughter to Ralph Junior Hunnicutt who manufactures Honey Dew soft drinks during the day and bottles of wacky whiskey at night. Harley's small time operation associates collide with big Ralph's bootlegging. Hunnicutt tries to rub out his competition which rubs Harley the wrong way. When its learned that some malignant mountain dew has left the building, Harley and Nancy Sue kick it into high gear to halt the hootch before it reaches its destination. Chase fans will love this one especially Harley's '57 Chevy which is seemingly impervious to damage.
This is also the damndest 'PG' rating I've ever seen what with the flurry of expletives, bare breasts and ass shakin' in yer face. There's also gator wrasslin' (in church no less) where a preacher proclaims hellfire and damnation while trying to hog tie a rascally reptile to the thunderous applause of his congregation. The script is witty as all hell peppered with spicy catch phrases, one liners and plentiful Southern Fried laffs and self-effacing humor. Corey (AVALANCHE) Allen's film is essentially an exaggerated parody of comical contraband mash movies. The stunt drivers and coordinators work overtime on some amazing crashes and chases including one on airboats in the swamplands of the Everglades. THUNDER & LIGHTNING is one of a quartet of movies Corman produced for 20TH Century Fox (the others being CAPONE, FIGHTING MAD and MOVING VIOLATION).
The cast are admirably over the top as are all the Southern drawls. One of the funniest is Roger C. Carmel, formerly Harry Mudd, interstellar pirate from two of the original STAR TREK episodes. Kate Jackson (who's from Alabama) plays Carradine's spunky, overly religious love interest. She was Sabrina Duncan on CHARLIE'S ANGELS at the time. Sterling Holloway, a frequent and popular voice actor had nearly 200 films to his credit and plays an overalls wearing moonshiner. Charles Napier is almost unrecognizable with a full beard as Jim Bob. He ambushes Carradine prompting the line, "Hey, asshole! Knock off the kung fu shit!" Brain-dead from start to finish, you'll have a down home good time with this quick fix moonshine madness. Take yer shoes off and sit a spell.
MOONSHINE COUNTY EXPRESS 1977
Directed by Gus Trikonis
100 Proof Women Runnin' Shine 'Cross The County Line!
An excellent cast highlights this New World distributed redneck rivalry hixploitation flick. John Saxon (THE GLOVE, BLOOD BEACH, BLACK CHRISTMAS) seems an odd choice to play a deep south hot rod racer/whiskey driver, but it isn't the first time he's taken on a role that seems a stretch for him. He does his best with the role and isn't bad, although his accent comes and goes. It's just an unusual turn for Saxon usually accustomed to playing Mexican's in westerns and cops in horror movies. New World picked this film up from producer Ed Carlin. It was initially called SHINE and was something of a clone to a similar movie from the previous year entitled DIXIE DYNAMITE.
Saxon co-stars alongside Susan Howard (DALLAS), Claudia Jennings (DEATHSPORT, THE GREAT TEXAS DYNAMITE CHASE) and Maureen McCormick (THE BRADY BUNCH) as three wily sisters whose moonshiner dad is snuffed out by a rival and rugged illegal liquor king. This big money man in the ten gallon hat tries to muscle in on the three feisty females, but they have muscles of their own and with J.B. Johnson (Saxon) on their side, they are quadruple the trouble. Things take a more violent turn when Starkey (Conrad) is unable to peacefully force the three girls to fork over their prized assets. Sweetwater (Woodward) ends up doing things his way which leads to more bloodshed.
While it follows the tried and true formula of typical New World fodder, MOONSHINE COUNTY EXPRESS contains a surprising amount of characterization when in most of these kinds of movies, the characters are secondary to the action. And some characters suffer here as there's so many of them. But what a cast--in addition to those mentioned, there's William Conrad (CANNON), Morgan Woodward (SPEEDTRAP), Albert Salmi (SUPERSTITION, BLACK OAK CONSPIRACY), Candice Rialson (CANDY STRIPE NURSES, HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD) and Jeff Corey (BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS). There's just a smidgen of nudity, but plenty of cars, stars, car chases, car crashes and enough violence as a 'PG' rating will allow. Get yer' ticket for the MOONSHINE COUNTY EXPRESS.
Directed by Earl Bellamy
Crazy for speed and driving for revenge!
This high speed, nitro fueled action comedy transplants the mud boggin' 'Good Ol' Boy' backwoods chase schtick to the concrete streets of Phoenix, Arizona. Joe Don Baker (WALKING TALL, THE PACK) plays Pete Novick, a fast driving private investigator hired by Captain Hogan (Morgan Woodward from MOONSHINE COUNTY EXPRESS) to hunt down a resourceful car thief called 'The Road Runner' who easily and repeatedly evades police capture and raises lots of hell on the city streets. He also attracts the ire of Spillano, a mafioso whose pissed that one million in heroine has been stolen by the hot rod crook. Nifty Nolan (Tyne Daly of CAGNEY & LACEY), a former flame of Novick helps him track 'The Road Runner'.
SPEEDTRAP is filled with car chases, pile ups, explosions and mightily impressive car stunts for an independent feature. There's also fist fights thrown into the mix. It definitely holds its own among other successful similar movies including EAT MY DUST! (1976) and SMOKEY & THE BANDIT (1977). While it's definitely a 'B' picture, Bellamy's film is possibly more ambitious than the more high profile big studio vehicles of that time. It's all grandly silly and loudly abrasive fun, and the plethora of action, creative photographic touches deliver a lot of bang for the explosive buck.
Baker, the William Shatner of Drive In movies, is a curious choice for the lead, but the man was a good actor and was forever identified with his WALKING TALL performance. He was so good in that film, it's difficult to imagine him playing anything else but that type of character. Burt Reynolds would have been a logical choice here, but I like Baker just fine although others may find him an odd pick for a high speed detective. Earl Bellamy, the director of countless television shows (with lots of classic westerns) has an eye for action. He also helmed WALKING TALL PART 2 in 1975 which saw Bo Svenson take over for Joe Don Baker. Richard Jaekel (THE DARK, THE GREEN SLIME) is Billy, Novick's friend. Robert Loggia (SCARFACE, BIG) is the seedy Spillano. Lana Woods (DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER) and Roberta Collins (THE BIG DOLL HOUSE) round out the awesome exploitation cast. Collins is especially memorable as a clumsy blonde trying to get her license and causes more destruction than 'The Road Runner'. SPEEDTRAP is high octane thrills that's great for some 'Hit & Run' fun.
BLACK OAK CONSPIRACY 1977
Directed by Bob Kelljan
They beat him, shot him, framed him for murder--but they couldn't stop him from busting the BLACK OAK CONSPIRACY
Struggling Hollywood stuntman Jingo Johnson returns home to Black Oak County to see his seriously ill mother and finds out his childhood home and land has been sold under duplicitous circumstances involving a shady sheriff and an unscrupulous businessman. The sheriff and the land baron's son try to force Jingo out of Oklahoma, but he refuses to budge. Things take a bloody turn when the sheriff, realizing his days are numbered, goes on a killing spree eliminating his co-conspirators and setting the stage for a showdown with Jingo.
Jesse Vint (FORBIDDEN WORLD) returns to MACON COUNTY country in this, a film he co-wrote and stars as the lead, Jingo (his real name is Ralph, but don't call him that). The title conspiracy is a money racket that several of the town's most reputable residents have a hand in. The elderly are promised free health care if they agree to hand over their property. The senior citizens are then slowly and unknowingly poisoned to death while all their assets are sold off to outside parties for a tidy profit. The sheriff, the big land baron, the town doctor and some of the rest home staff are in on it. Eerily enough, this plotline parallels the current governments plan for "healthcare reform". A slow burn, this action suspense yarn is from Bob Kelljan (COUNT YORGA films, SCREAM, BLACULA, SCREAM).
Karen Carlson (THE OCTAGON) is the beautiful love interest. Albert Salmi (MOONSHINE COUNTY EXPRESS, EMPIRE OF THE ANTS) is the psycho sheriff Grimes, his last name befitting his character perfectly. Robert F. Lyons (DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW, 10 TO MIDNIGHT, MURPHY'S LAW) is the spoiled, but violent son of the seedy land robber, Bryan Hancock (Douglas V. Fowly from THE WHITE BUFFALO and FROM NOON TILL THREE). Mary Wilcox, who played the self centered nurse in PSYCHIC KILLER (1975) plays virtually the same sexy role here as a nurse and the sheriff's mistress. She's also in LOVE ME DEADLY (1973) with Lyle Waggoner. The beautifully perky Janus Blythe (Ruby in the HILLS HAVE EYES films) plays a hot and horny teenager here who briefly sheds her clothes.
Ted White, a stuntman, plays a thug here and later played Jason Voorhees in THE FINAL CHAPTER. Star, Vint had a big hand in the production of the film and Roger Corman released the movie, but it seemingly got lost in the shuffle of so many similar movies. Characterization takes center stage here as there's little action but what's here is taut and suspenseful. The fist fights are exceptionally well staged and the ending captures a frightening degree of desolation with the towering mountainous locale. The movie also features more sex than usual and one of the best exploding head gags towards the end. Those seeking lots of action may want to take a detour through Black Oak County, but more patient viewers will likely enjoy their stay.
RUCKUS IN MADOC COUNTY 1981
Directed by Max Kleven
A comedy romp across country roads!
By the 1980s, the well from which the hillbilly style chaser and the 'Trouble In the Backwoods' flicks sprang had all but dried up. The two biggest box office examples, SMOKEY & THE BANDIT (1977) and THE CANNONBALL RUN (1981), despite being rip offs of earlier movies, left the others in the dust. RUCKUS was an independent film distributed by New World Pictures. It's a pseudo serious action film with occasional sprinkles of country fried comedy. When New World retitled it RUCKUS IN MADOC COUNTY, the marketing accentuated both the action and the comic elements, the trailer completely eliminating the serious portion of the storyline. New World also released it under the title EAT MY SMOKE, in an apparent bid to attract the big crowds that flocked to the Ron Howard comedy car chase smash, EAT MY DUST! (1976).
Dirk Benedict (Starbuck on the original BATTLESTAR GALACTICA in '78) is Kyle Hanson, a disturbed Vietnam vet who gets out of a sanitarium and wanders into a small Alabama backwoods hamlet. Wishing to just be left alone, he immediately attracts the attention of the sheriff and a handful of the local yokels who dislike strangers in town. A gang of the rednecks try to intimidate him which sets Hanson off and then the chase begins. He soon meets up with Jenny Bellows (A cute as a button Linda Blair), whose husband (also in Vietnam) is MIA. The two eventually strike up a relationship while the dimwitted hillbillies keep pushing Kyle till the inevitable comical conclusion that ends on an upbeat note.
Getting a release under a few different titles, the movie failed to stir up a RUCKUS during its theatrical run. In 1982, Sylvester Stallone would direct and star in an unabashedly similar movie--FIRST BLOOD. The Italian Stallion's movie was decidedly more serious and far more violent, but the congenerous portions of the script are unmistakable (Hanson even sets traps in the woods and paints himself up with mud). RUCKUS occasionally ponders the trials of dealing with a loved one away in a war not knowing whether they are alive or dead. It's still a 'B' movie, but a peculiar amalgamation of action, comedy and melodrama.
The director, Max Kleven had a pronounced career as a stunt coordinator in many Hollywood blockbusters. The rest of the big names in the cast do well with what they're given. Richard Farnsworth (THE LEGEND OF THE LONE RANGER, MISERY) and Ben Johnson (THE WILD BUNCH, THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN). Matt Clark steals the show as the main source of the comedy relief, Cecil Grant, the running gag redneck who nearly takes out everyone but his intended target. Rife with impressive stunts, explosions, smooth sounding country tunes contributed by Willie Nelson (sung by Janie Fricke) and a general down home feel of 'B' grade good fun, fans of easy going low budget filler may wanna head down to Madoc County to raise a RUCKUS.
Coming Soon, it's a futuristic journey into a Post Apocalyptic Wasteland ruled by gangs of relentless killers seeking the last of Earth's resources and the total elimination of the remaining remnants of civilized man! SEE the brutality of inner city warlords in a death struggle amidst the ruins and rubble of New York City!! SEE futuristic hardware and death machines of war mongering sadists!! This is APOCALYPSE TOMORROW and it's in YOUR FUTURE!! THE END IS COMING SOON!!!