Saturday, January 11, 2014

Moonrunners (1975)

Director: Gy Waldron

Writer: Gy Waldron

Composer: ???

Starring: James Mitchum, Kiel Martin, Arthur Hunnicutt, Chris Forbes, George Ellis, Pete Munro, Joan Blackman, Waylon Jennings, Ralph Mooney, Don Brooks, Fred Newell, Larry Whitemore, Duke Goff, Richie Albright, Elain 'Spanky' McFarlane

More info: IMDb

Tagline: You take a load of 200 proof corn liquor through a Georgia roadblock at 100 miles an hour and if you ain't a dead man, you're a moonrunner.

Plot: Grady and Bobby Lee run moonshine for Uncle Jesse, who prides himself on his old-school moonshining methods, and refuses to buckle in to the 'big business moonshine' of Jake, who controls these parts for New York mobsters.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Nah.

So I'm sittin' here watchin' this and I'm hearing things like "Uncle Jesse", "Cooter" and "Roscoe P. Coltrane".  That can only mean one thing.  THE DUKES OF HAZZARD TV show, but the show didn't happen until '79 and this is '75.  Well, I stopped the picture to investigate and it turns out writer/director Gy Waldron used this film as the starting point for creating DUKES.  Way cool.  Now I'm back in the picture and with that knowledge I'm having some fun.  Waylon Jennings even lends his voiceover periodically in the film just like he would later famously do for the TV show.  At about an hour and forty five minutes, it's one of the longest moonshine hicksploitation pictures I've come across but it's pretty entertaining.  I wouldn't go so far as to say it's a home run but there's a lot to like, especially if you're a fan of the show (which I was nearly 35 years ago but I haven't seen it since the early 80s). You've got your car chases, cars chasing cars, and more car chases.  While they aren't likely to bowl you over with awesomeness, there are some nice moments.  Then there's the bubblegum intrigue of runnin' 'shine and all of that.  There are a couple of surprises, namely a certain someone's death and the ending.  If you're remotely into these types of 70s staple genre films then you need to put this one near the top of your list.  You can watch the full flick on YouTube.

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