The Girls From Thunder Strip (1970, directed by David L. Hewitt)

This one is pretty bad.

A group of dirty, good-for-nothing bikers roll into a Southern town.  Led by Teach (Gary Kent), the bikers are obsessed with murder and rape, the latter of which opens the film and is treated in a fashion that is meant to be comedic.  When some pointless bullying of a gas station attendant leads to the gang’s only female member getting stabbed to death, the bikers are arrested and thrown in the county jail.

Meanwhile, three sisters (Maray Ayres, Megan Timothy, and Melinda MacHarg) are making their own moonshine and selling it to the local hillbillies.  A federal agent (played by Casey Kasem, the DJ who used to countdown the Top 40 songs in America and who voiced Scooby-Doo’s stoner friend, Shaggy) comes to town and insists that the local sheriff (Jack Starrett) arrest the three sisters.  However, only one of the sisters is taken to jail while the other two escape.  The federal agent manages to accidentally blow up the still but he only ends up with a face full of soot as a result.  That Kasem can survive getting blown up without getting so much of a scratch on him would make sense if the rest of The Girls From Thunder Strip were presented as being a live-action cartoon but it’s not so the entire Kasem storyline feels like it was lifted from another, more light-hearted moonshiner movie.

With the help of the bikers, the incarcerated sister is able to break out of the county jail.  But just because they helped each other, that doesn’t mean that the sisters trust the bikers, especially after the bikers murder a deputy who happened to be a cousin to the bootleggers.  The bikers try to take over the moonshine business while the sisters (and one convenient mountain lion) take on the bikers.

The movie is all over the place.  On the one hand, you’ve got the bikers raping and killing nearly everyone they meet.  On the other hand, you’ve got Casey Kasem, playing a federal agent and pursuing the sisters with all the panache of a cartoon cat chasing a mouse.  The action scenes are lousy.  The characters have no motivation.  With one exception, the actors are terrible and no, that exception is not Casey Kasem.  Instead, the one exception is Jack Starrett, who plays the sheriff.  Starrett, with his trademark gravelly voice, was a director who had sideline playing intimidating authority figures.  In First Blood, he played Galt, the worst member of Brian Dennehy’s police force.  (He was the one who laughed when he ordered the deputies to shave Rambo with a straight razor.  Later he fell out of a helicopter and Rambo was blamed for his death.)  Starrett gives the same performance in The Girls From Thunder Strip that he later gave in First Blood and since the sheriff is not actually given a name, I’ve decided that he and Galt are the same character and Girls From Thunder Strip takes place in the Rambo Cinematic Universe.

Other than providing a look at the early life of Art Galt, there’s not much else to recommend The Girls From Thunder Strip.  Even aficionados of the biker and moonshine genres will want to look elsewhere.

One response to “The Girls From Thunder Strip (1970, directed by David L. Hewitt)

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 7/4/22 — 7/10/22 | Through the Shattered Lens

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