Redneck Miller (1976)

Quentin Tarantino screened this hicksploitation “radio on film” obscurity during a three-night festival (on a “Redneck Night” that featured 1974’s Hot Summer in Barefoot County and 1977’s Polk County Pot Plane) to mark the May 2007 closing of the iconic Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Downtown, Austin, Texas.

I once owned a copy of this redneck radio romp on VHS from a TV (edited) taping, which I think was purchased through the VHS grey market dealer VSOM: Video Search of Miami. Or was it Sinister Cinema? Something Weird Video? It was a while back from one of those greys that advertised in the back pages of either Psychotronic Video or Cult Cinema magazines.

Anyway, I lost my copy of Redneck Miller, along with The Dirty Mind of Young Sally (an X-Rated sex-bore about a radio station secretary who ran a pirate radio station from the back of her pimp’s 18-wheeler) and Dennis Devine’s Scream precursor, Dead Girls (1990; a rock flick; not a radio flick), to a bad case of mold—which happens from time-to-time with low-grade VHS tapes from bargain-imprints. Live and learn.

I had always hoped the Q would release Redneck Miller as part of his Rolling Thunder Pictures imprint, but Miramax shut down the specialty label before we got a restored VHS copy. And since this has never been released on VHS home video, there’s no online VHS rips. Not even a copy of the trailer or any photo stills.

Shot in Charlotte, North Carolina, and making the rounds on the Southeastern U.S Drive-In Circuit via numerous double and triple bills in throughout 1976 and 1977, Redneck Miller stars Al Adamson stock player Geoffrey Land as DJ “Redneck” Miller, a disc jockey on a decrepit, small-town radio station. He finds himself on the wrong side of the local thug-pimp when he beds Pearl, Supermac’s (Lou Walker) squeeze. So while Red is bedding his best friend’s wife, Rachel, Supermac’s gang kidnaps her. And when Red thwarts the kidnapping, they steal Miller’s beloved chopper in retaliation and use it to transport drugs—and set up Red as a drug mule. Between all of the sex and fighting, Red works to clear his name.

Geoffrey Land’s career mostly consists of Al Adamson’s (Brain of Blood, Satan’s Sadists) Drive-In/Grindhouse trash-fests The Female Bunch (1971), Jessi’s Girls (1975; western “Death Wish” with a female), Black Heat (1976), and Doctor Dracula (1978). His best known works are two of Adamson’s most successful films: 1975’s Blazing Stewardesses and the Exorcist knockoff, 1978’s Nurse Sherri.

The bit part, B-Movie career of familiar black actor Lou Walker culminated with roles support roles in Mississippi Burning (1988) with Gene Hackman, My Cousin Vinny with Joe Pesci (1992), and The Firm (1993) alongside Tom Cruise.

Screenwriters Joseph Alvarez and W. Henry Smith knew their backwoods: they also collectively wrote 1974’s Hot Summer in Barefoot County and 1975’s Trucker’s Women. I’ve never heard of or seen their early ‘70s precursors Preacherman and Preacherman Meets Widderwoman—and good luck finding those two obscurities (yeah, it figures Sam heard of it!). The same goes for director John Clayton’s Summerdog (1977) and Duncan’s World—never seen them on VHS or UHF-TV.

Say what? You need more redneck flicks? Then check out our “Top 70 Good ‘Ol Boys Film List” that round-ups our month-long reviews of downhome, hicksploitation obscurities released from 1972 to 1986. And you can learn more about Quentin Tarantino’s love of film with “Exploring: The 8 Films of Tarantino’s Rolling Thunder Pictures.” And we’re reviewing movies set inside radio stations all this week, which we will round up with another one of our patented “Exploring” featurettes his coming Saturday at 6 PM with even more radio flicks.

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

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