Take This Job and Shove It (1981)

“Take This Job and Shove It”, was written by David Allan Coe and sung by Johnny Paycheck, the only number one song Paycheck would ever have. Beyond Coe doing his own version, it was also covered by the Dead Kennedys, Canibus with Biz Markie and Chuck Barris and the Hollywood Cowboys during the last episode of The Gong Show.

Shot in Dubuque, Iowa at the Dubuque Star Brewery and in Minneapolis, Minnesota, this is the very first movie to feature monster trucks. Bob Chandler’s Bigfoot #1 is Ray’s (Tim Thomerson) pick-up truck and Everett Jasmer’s USA-1, called “Thunderin’ Lightning,” is also in the film.

Take This Job and Shove It is all about The Ellison Group, run by Sam Ellison (Eddie Albert), who buys up local businesses and makes them profitable by making them just like every other business. His two hatchetmen are Dick Ebersol* (Martin Mull) and Frank Macklin (Robert Hayes). Macklin usually goes well at assignments like this, but now he has to go back to his hometown and just might have to fire his childhood best friends.

This film has an amazing cast, with Art Carney as brewery owner Charlie Pickett and Barbara Hershey as Macklin’s old girlfriend J.M. Halsted, plus David Keith, Royal Dano,  James Karen, George Lindsey, Len Lasser, Penelope Milford and cameos for Charlie Rich, Coe and Paycheck.

Take This Job and Shove It was directed by Gus Trikonis, who knows all about making great drive-in and redneck movies like SupercockNashville GirlThe SidehackersMoonshine County Express and The Evil. It was written by Barry Schneider, who wrote another song-based film, Harper Valley P.T.A. (plus RubyRoller BoogieClass of 1984Cocaine: One Man’s Seduction and Deadly Force, so great work Barry) and Jeffrey Bernini.

You can get this on blu ray from Kino Lorber.

*This has to be no accident and a joke at the expense of the former chairman of NBC Sports and Saturday Night Live producer.

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