Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Imperial Swordsman
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
  Moonshine County Express A Whiskey Chaser
Year: 1977
Director: Gus Trikonis
Stars: John Saxon, Susan Howard, William Conrad, Morgan Woodward, Claudia Jennings, Jeff Corey, Dub Taylor, Maureen McCormick, Albert Salmi, Len Lesser, Bruce Kimball, Candice Rialson, E.J. André, Fred Foresman, Dick Esterly, Tom Heaton
Genre: Drama, Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Pap Hammer (Fred Foresman) makes his money out in the middle of the Deep South's nowhere by brewing moonshine, and by all accounts his is some of the best around, which attracts the attention of his rival in the area, Jack Starkey (William Conrad). Starkey sends his right hand man, Sweetwater (Morgan Woodward) and his henchmen to seek out Hammer's still and before he can do anything about it, they have filled Pap and his helpers full of lead. He leaves three daughters behind, but also a letter to them in his will - instructions about how to track down a huge stash of illegal and very lucrative booze...

If you're wondering why The Dukes of Hazzard ever took off in the way it did on television, you simply have to point to the popularity of drive-in features like Moonshine County Express; sure, there was Smokey and the Bandit and its big budget ilk, but producers such as Roger Corman were creating lower budget exploitation efforts such as this in a far greater amount. A massive success like Smokey only came along once in a while, but Corman was more persistent, hiring recognisable but not too expensive talent in front of the camera and solid backup behind it. This was only one of those examples, but it has dropped below the radar since its initial release.

A slightly surprising state of affairs when you look at the cast, most of whom made their name on television - for the bad guys, Conrad was the famously rotund cop Cannon and Woodward had a string of guest appearances to ensure audiences of the day would know his face. As for the good guys, top-billed John Saxon had been labouring in this kind of entertainment long enough to be considered a star in his field, while the three Hammer sisters consisted of the eldest, Dottie, played by Susan Howard of Dallas, the middle one, Betty, by taken from us too soon cult starlet Claudia Jennings, and the youngest, Sissy, none other than The Brady Bunch's Maureen McCormick. This is full of actors who will provoke the "Wait, isn't that him/her from..." response.

As for the plot, screenwriters Daniel Ansley and Hubert Smith took a different take on the old bootleggers avoiding the thugs and cops tale by having those bootleggers be women. The feminist angle isn't overstated by any means, but these sisters are a decent representation of capable women, and while they begin the movie in a man-hating stance they mellow thanks to the charm of Saxon's J.B. Johnson, a racing car driver who runs the alcohol for the rivals but is made to see the error of his ways by Dottie's good sense. In return, Dottie sees that not all men are worthless when J.B. agrees to help her out; it's a pity she had to break down in tears before they saw eye to eye, but this is a minor slip.

You might think this scenario was ripe for comedy, but director Gus Trikonis keeps things largely dramatic throughout, indicating that the laughs are thin on the ground, but you should be taking this seriously. Nowhere is that more obvious than when Sweetwater and his heavies show up at the Hammer shack and proceed to shoot a few million holes in it - they even kill the pet dog, just to show what utter scoundrels they are to attack a trio of females who would have ignored them otherwise. With that in mind, the Hammer girls opt to take action, and if there's a problem it's that at times the villains are treated like figures of fun even when we've seen they resort to murder to get their own way. There's no doubt that the three sisters are the real deal, of course, and with a few car chases in the backwoods roads thrown in what you have may not be brilliant, but does pass the time agreeably. Music by Fred Werner.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 5047 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M


Last Updated: