Truckin’ Buddy McCoy (1982)

All actors have to start somewhere and that “somewhere,” for some actors, is a hicksploitation flick. So, before he gained mainstream recognition as Dr. Peter White on the early ‘80s TV series St. Elsewhere, and the late ‘80s series Tour of Duty as Sgt. Zeke Anderson, Terrance Knox made his leading man debut as the country truckin’ good ‘ol boy, Buddy McCoy.

Buddy is an unemployed man-child who loves to party hard and raise ‘emself sum good ‘ol boy hell, much to the chagrin of his loyal model-photographer girlfriend. He suddenly finds his preferred, irresponsible lifestyle financed by a streak of good luck: he enters a trucker’s magazine contest and wins a shiny new, 1981 Mack Super-Liner and $50,000 in cash. So what’s the right thing to do? Do you marry your longtime girlfriend and build a stable life? Or do you go all “Easy Rider” in a big rig?

Yep. Buddy chooses a Two Lane Blacktop existence crossed with some Smokey and the Bandit shenanigans as he sets off on a cross-country, L.A to Oklahoma road trip. As is the case with these hick romps: Buddy meets the usual array of country-eclectic bumpkins; however, there’s no corrupt sheriffs, no car chases n’ crashes, no bar fights, no falsely-accused-of-a-crime inciting incidents to start the manhunt, and no Sally “Frog” Field to bring on the trouble. So, if you’re looking for some White Line Fever or Rolling Thunder* action, this isn’t the film to watch. It’s just Buddy having good times on the road with some harmless PG-rated sexcapades.

If this all sounds familiar, then it’ll be no shock to you that during the course of the film, when Buddy picks up a rider by the name of “B.J,” Buddy makes a joke about where his “bear” is. Yep, it’s an in-joke to the 1978 to 1981 trucker-themed TV series, BJ and the Bear, which is the same “road” our Buddy McCoy travels.

Truckin’ Buddy McCoy was marketed overseas as Convoy 3—as a sequel to Kris Kristofferson’s 1978 trucker flick, Convoy. Only one problem: Convoy is a straight action film and Truckin’ Buddy McCoy is a pseudo-Smokey and the Bandit comedy romp. Which post-1978 trucksploitation flick was marketed as Convoy 2? Your guess is as good as ours. The B&S Movies research team came up empty.

While Truckin’ Buddy McCoy served as the only directing credit for Richard Demarco, writer Rick Blumenthal’s work as a producer goes back to an early Sylvester Stallone flick, No Place to Hide (1973, aka Rebel), and into the early ‘90s with the portmanteau Grim Prairie Tales, and the kickboxing flick, Bloodmatch.

The cinematographer behind John Carpenter’s Black Moon Rising, Russian-born Misha Suslov, lensed this hicksploitation classic (yes, they are classics in the analog hearts of the B&S crew!), as well as Smokey and the Judge and the “dark” Christmas romp, Prancer. While we lost our inner Suslov-ness over the years, we were happy to discover Suslov is still keepin’ the eye-in-the-glass with the 2020 country-romance The Girls of Summer.

There’s no trailer available, but you can watch the full movie on You Tube.

* Check out our “The 8 Films of Quentin Tarantino’s Rolling Thunder Films“—a company he named after the film.

About the Author: You can read the music and film reviews of R.D Francis on Medium and learn more about his work on Facebook.

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