Okay, so this is more grindhouse . . . than fast. And it’s more hicksploitation . . . than furious. But this Smokey and the Bandit, drive-in rush job by Lawrence Woolner’s — an exhibitor who had made a number of films, including several with Roger Corman — Dimension Pictures under the thumb of Warner Bros. is rife with all of the fast and furious car chases and crashes we came for.
And besides: we’re talking Dimension Pictures here. Do you realize how many Lawrence Woolner drive-in flicks you’ve seen: Invasion of the Bee Girls, ‘Gator Bait, and Dolemite are a few. And how can we forget Scum of the Earth and The Redeemer: Son of Satan (aka Class Reunion Massacre).
And if that doesn’t entice you: Quentin Tarantino “Easter Eggs” the Dixie Dynamite theatrical one-sheet in Deathproof. And, for you Steve McQueen fans: he’s an uncredited motorcycle stuntman on the film. (Hey, $200 bucks is $200 bucks.)
You still never saw Dixie Dynamite? Well, you surely saw its stunts recycled as stock footage (as with Flash and the Firecat; also reviewed this week) in the Lee Major-starring TV series The Fall Guy. (Opps! Lee starred in his own fast n’ furious romp: The Last Chase; also reviewed this week).
Oh, yeah, the plot (such as it is): When their moonshiner pappy is killed by a corrupt deputy, two curvaceous young girls of the Daisy Duke-variety (the smokin’ Jane Anne Johnstone and Kathy McHaley as Dixie and Patsy) take over daddy’s business and set out for revenge in a Dukes of Hazzard meets Robin Hood tale. (Do you know your Dukes roots? No? Check out our review of Moonrunners.)
Hey, wait a cotton pickin’ minute ya’ll. Isn’t this just all a trial run for Thelma and Louise made 15 years later.
Oh, hell, yes, Bocephus!
But we’z all gits Warren Oates (Two-Lane Blacktop) as a motocross racer and old family friend that helps the girls, and we get our Sheriff Buford T. Justice in the form of Sheriff Phil Marsh played by Christopher George (Mortuary!, Day of the Animals! City of the Living Dead!, Grizzly!). And there’s the always welcomed R.G Armstrong, again, who’s been down this road before with Burt Reynolds in the rednecksploitation influencer, 1973’s White Lightning.
This is out in a couple of different reissue-imprints as an easily attainable DVD, but you can check it out on You Tube.
Don’t forget: We had a huge “Redneck Week” blowout back in August 2019, which we recapped — and explore even more films — with our “The Top 70 Good Ol’ Boys Film List: 1972 to 1986” featurette. There. Finally! We did it, Sam! We reviewed Dixie Dynamite! Cross it off the list!
About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.