Difficult as it might seem to make a boring movie about mobsters fighting a madam who runs a whorehouse out of a truck stop, one should never underestimate director Mark L. Lester’s capacity for turning promising notions into terrible movies. During the ’80s, he spent wads of cash on such turkeys as Firestarter (1984) and Commando (1985), but during the early to mid-’70s, when he was just beginning his directorial reign of terror, Lester employed budgets as meager as his cinematic gifts. Lester’s third feature, Truck Stop Women, is truly abysmal thanks to this combination of brainless storytelling and yard-sale production values. The gist of the piece is that blowsy, middle-aged Anna (Lieux Dressler) operates a successful brothel along a trucking route, aided by her sexy daughters Rose (Claudia Jennings) and Tina (Jennifer Burton). Big-city gangster Smith (John Martin0) tries to muscle in on the business, eventually turning Rose against her mother. Violence ensues. The grimy nature of Truck Stop Women is made clear by the opening scene: Smith murders a naked man and women while they’re screwing in a bubble bath, to the accompaniment of an upbeat country song containing the lyrics, “if it feels good, do it.” Huh? The story unravels at regular intervals, the numerous sex scenes have the sleazy quality of no-budget porn, and the underscore is excruciatingly bad. (The music in some scenes sounds like it resulted from a concussion victim reflexively flailing fingers across a keyboard.) Even the presence of red-hot strawberry blonde Claudia Jennings, a onetime Playboy model, isn’t enough to make this bilge tolerable.
Truck Stop Women: SQUARE