my Movie

Movie Details

Title:   The Girls from Thunder Strip
Director:   David Hewitt
Year:   1968
Genre:   Hicksploitation
Times Seen:   1
Last Seen:   08.15.07

Other Movies Seen By This Director (0)

Notes History
Date Viewed Venue Note
08.15.07Weird Wednesday yeeeehaw! More banjo music. I don't actually particularly like banjo as an instrument or banjo music but something happens when it enters my ears that just makes my legs go tapping and my fingers go air-picking. Who knows why but I apologize to those sitting next to me tonight or a few weeks ago for Hooch. I can't help it.

So, Jack Starrett and Casey Kasem are definitely the best parts of this movie. Lars went out and bought a handful of Juicy Fruit packs for us to chew during one scene in particular where Starrett's Texas Twang makes chewing it sound unquestionably like the right thing to do (much like Mr. Goodbar with Penitentiary, potato salad with Penitentiary 2, and milk with Night Warning). But every one of their (few) scenes together, they share real chemistry and were hilarious.

Stuntman Gary Kent was also good in this, focusing his steely blue eyes into a hell of a bastard rapist, part of a trio biker gang ("Hells Chosen Few" a leftover from Hewitt's previous film... I guess they're a very chosen few; three) that harass a redneck ("What's that smell?"), get thrown in jail, get busted out, kill cops, and die. The other part of the movie has to do with three sisters running a moonshine still... or something. Truth be told, the movie's not very good. at all. There's no sense of cohesion or connective tissue, no through lines, no set ups, nothing like that. But damn if it wasn't fun to watch with a full crowd, especially since the bunny rabbit rapist himself Gary Kent was in the audience!

Before the show, he regaled us with anecdotes about Hewitt's complete lack of knowledge when it came to making movies ("He was a nice guy but pretty clueless, so he just tried to copy Al (Adamson)), and a few stories about this film's shooting location: Spahn Ranch. In the 9-day shoot, they filmed most of this stuff up there with all the creepy crawlies begging lunch off them every day. In fact, Kent and production manager Bud Cardos hired Charlie Manson to fix their dune buggy at one point (I guess for a different film since I didn't see any dune buggies here. Maybe he was talking about Mitchell (heh)) and had to threaten him to fulfill his end of the bargin (something about Bud ripping him a new asshole). Apparently he cowed pretty easily; Kent said he couldn't imagine anyone following him anywhere. But he told another story where the crew broke for lunch one day out near a well, unbeknownst to all of them that the rotting decaying corpse of a stuntman they had killed was laying down in the well! Apparently they were up there after the killings but before Manson was caught... pretty damn creepy!

Lars mentioned Jody McCrea's "wooden" performance in the intro. Oh man was he right. Toward the end the film actually becomes suspensefull, not because the lengthy chase sequences are done well or anything but because McCrea keeps stopping to deliver run-and-gun dialogue in hour-long meditations. It makes you wonder if he's just giving up the chase or what, then he'll casually mention having to get that guy or that he's on the hunt and he'll start running again. This ultimately pays off (after way too long, nearing Psycho from Texas length here for the final chase) when the biker "gang" leader takes refuge in a dark cave: a decidedly unwise decision (REEEOOWWWR!).

Back to Starrett though. I completely buy that he could intimidate those three bikers to the point where they'd voluntarily get in the back seat of his car. Although the "crazy one"'s hippie song against police brutality was nice, it was even nicer when he got knocked out by flailing shards of acoustic guitar. "I hurt mah finger..."

Again, not a good movie, but fun. I'd agree with what (Lars said) Frank Henenlotter said about the film: "Like Hee Haw but with death."

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