Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Girls from Thunder Strip (1970)



It’s astonishing how often inept ’70s filmmakers botched simple ideas for drive-in flicks—after all, conjuring a passable exploitation flick shouldn’t involve more than matching a lurid concept with a trite plot, then filming lots of gratuitous sex and violence. Try explaining that to David L. Hewitt, the culprit behind The Girls from Thunder Strip. The picture ostensibly pits a trio of sexy moonshiners against a gang of greasy bikers, so the juxtaposition of rural and urban sensibilities should have resulted in something eventful and trashy. Emphasis on should have. Among myriad other problems, Hewitt fails to identify a proper leading character, so the picture jumps from one underdeveloped character to the next seemingly at random. Worse, Hewitt and his collaborators integrate a third set of characters, redneck dudes who sorta-kinda align with the moonshiners, so the basic conflict between two distinct factions gets muddied. The list of flaws goes on. Although Gary Graver’s cinematography is frequently imaginative, the acting is generally as bad as the storytelling, and The Girls from Thunder Strip lacks conviction as sexploitation. In what should be the movie’s tawdriest scene, a buxom moonshiner bathes herself in a pond while wearing lingerie. Is she cleaning herself or doing laundry? Another sure sign the film lacks direction? The most entertaining scenes are comic-relief bits in which famed DJ/actor Casey Kasem, who plays a dopey federal agent, bickers with B-movie actor/director Jack Starrett, who plays a grumpy sheriff.

The Girls from Thunder Strip: LAME

5 comments:

bistis6 said...

The poster makes it look the cast is made up of puppets from THUNDERBIRDS and CAPTAIN SCARLET.

Guy Callaway said...

"after all, conjuring a passable exploitation flick shouldn’t involve more than matching a lurid concept with a trite plot, then filming lots of gratuitous sex and violence.."
Oh, man, the number of times I've said this! ;)
To understand the auteur that is Hewitt, look no further than his masterpiece 'The Mighty Gorga'.

Peter L. Winkler said...

bistis6 - By gosh, you're right!

Steven Thompson said...

Screenplay writer Pat Boyette was a TV newsman turned comic book artist (mainly for Charlton Comics) who also made several low budget films himself.

Guy Callaway said...

Well spotted, Steven. He's responsible for the fascinating/weird 'The Dungeon of Harrow' (62).