Retina Rot


Monday, December 6, 2010


Director: Robert Greenwalt

Cast: Kim Darby, Annie Potts, Harry Dean Stanton, Fred Willard, Arthur Godfrey, Billy Carter, Rory Calhoun, Avery Schreiber, Rance Howard

Plot: When her husband (Fred Willard) is shot by smugglers looking a stash hidden in his truck, plucky Ginny (Kim Darby) has to take over as the breadwinner to keep up payments on their truck. She teams up with butch trucker Flatbed Annie (Annie Potts) who teaches her the way of the road, much to the chagrin of a repo man (Harry Dean Stanton) on their tail.

Notes: Clearly a quick cash-in on the '70s trucker genre that provided a regular paycheck for Jerry Reed, Flatbed Annie and Sweetie Pie: Lady Truckers (Seriously, that's the full title, and it must always be written as such) provides a fair share of lukewarm TV-movie thrills while peppering things with well-known character actors and light drama. Sure, there's Harry Dean Stanton in a pre-Repo Man vehicle pursuant role, but there's also Fred Willard as the husband (he spends most of the movie in a hospital bed), Rory Calhoun as a sympathetic cohort, Arthur Godfrey as Willard's boss and, oddest of all, Billy Carter as a deputy in the best cameo by a sitting president's brother until Roger Clinton showed up in Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings.

Kim Darby stars, but it's Annie Potts' show as she spits venom at everyone that doesn't respect her for her awesome butchness. (Though the movie does make clear that she's interested in men, thanks to a tacked-on bit involving an ex-boyfriend.) The smuggling sub-plot seems more like an afterthought, as most of the action sequences are dictated by Harry Dean Stanton's repo man rather than the gun-bearing cocaine dealers in hot pursuit, but it's still a well-made, if light, Tuesday evening timekiller from Robert Greenwald, who directed Xanadu the following year. This is... better?

The unwieldy on-screen "Flatbed Lady Annie Truckers Sweetiepie:" title.

Annie Potts prepares her Runaways audition tape.

The man behind "Billy Beer" knows you ain't from around these parts.

Harry Dean Stanton tells Kim Darby the Repo Code.

Status: released on VHS -- I can't find any trace of the DVD pictured above, so it may be a bootleg.


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