We’ve talked quite a bit about writer-director-producers Ferd and Beverly Sebastian in the paragraphs of our reviews for ‘Gator Bait and AC/DC: Let There Be Rock (which they imported and recut) and Rocktober Blood* (four times!). The drive-in oeuvre of their Sebastian International Pictures was a studio that was second-to-none in churning out one Roger Cormanesque ‘make ’em-fast-make ’em cheap hit film after another.
This crime caper tale — primarily written by Beverly with Ferd as her co-writer; she, in turn, served as a co-director to Ferd — we’ve got two reformed, California “Summer of Love” hippies in a tricked-out dune buggy pulling heists. Ah, but this is lighthearted caper, so if it sounds a lot like Smokey and the Bandit — two years before we knew anything about a gold eagle-blazed black Trans Ams — it probably is.
“The Flash” of these proceedings is the affable Tricia Sembera, who, while on her way to becoming the next Claudia Jennings (‘Gator Bait) courtesy of getting her start with the Sebastians, retired from the business after making this, her lone film. After continuing her 20-year successful overseas modeling career with Ford Models, she came out of retirement to do one more film: the 1980 ABC-TV movie The Ivory Ape starring Jack Palance.
“The Firecat” of these crime caper shenanigans is TV actor Roger Davis, who you know for his two year, 120-plus episode run as Charles Delaware Tate on TV’s Dark Shadows, as Jeff Clark in the 1970 House of Dark Shadows theatrical film, and the scuzzy redneck romp, 1976’s Nashville Girl. (And I remember him as the human-Cylon hybrid “Andromus” from the awful-dreadful Galactica: 1980. Sorry, Rog.)
Together, as the Flash and the Firecat, they concoct an idea to use The Flash’s blonde bombshell wiles to seduce Tracy Walley, the teen son (Tracy Sebastian, aka Trey Loren, aka Billy Eye Harper) of a bank manager (ubiquitous TV actor Phil Burns**), and ride the dopey, love-struck puppy around town in her “cool” dune buggy and buy him an Orange Fanta, etc. Meanwhile, The Firecat calls in a ransom demand and walks out of the bank with $30K large — without pulling a gun. Of course . . . Tracy Walley isn’t kidnapped because, going back to our Smokey and the Bandit analogy: he’s “Frog,” aka Sally Field, who was “kidnapped” by the Bandit. And, as we say often around here, “the chase” ensues.
Hey, wait a minute. I know this footage! It was used on The Fall Guy!
Yep! STOCK FOOTAGE ALERT!
The chase comes courtesy of Sheriff C.W. Thurston, played by the always welcomed Dub Taylor (known for 1972’s The Getaway and 1969’s The Wild Bunch, and too many other films — 260 — across film and TV to mention). Also on their trail is Milo Pewett, played by Richard “Jaws” Kiel (The Humanoid), who could care less about the kid and more about the cash.
Hey! There’s Newell Alexander (who also appears in 2012’s Easy Rider: The Ride Back, which we reviewed for our first “Fast & Furious Week”). And there’s George “Buck” Flowers! YEAH! So, basically all of the underdog actors from the ’60 and ’70s we care about here at B&S About Movies are in this movie.
* Yeah, we love Billy Eye and Rocktober Blood around here . . . a love only matched by our admiration for Sammy Curr in the other “No False Metal” classic of our youth: Trick or Treat.
- No False Metal: Rocktober Blood
- Box Office Failures: Rocktober Blood 2: Billy’s Revenge
- Rocktober Blood: A Second Look: Remembering Nigel Benjamin
- Seven Notes of Terror (the Euro-Italian reimaging of Rocktober Blood reviewed for our “Giallo Week“)
** Sorry Sam: Don’t fire me, man. But Phil Burns was Marty Seinfeld, Jerry’s dad for one episode. He was soon fired and replaced by Barry Frank. So, you may want to ban Phil Burn and Barry Frank movies, so as to stop my Seinfeld insanity.