28 September 2008


United States - 1980
Director- Frank Q. Dobbs
Paragon Video Productions, 1984, VHS
Run time - 1 hour, 35 min.

On the basis of the preview I saw on the Mongrel tape I found at goodwill, I picked up Hotwire, a movie about stealing cars and fallin’ in love, duh.

Rednecky right from the getgo, it remains to be seen if this is intended to pander, or to mock redneckery. Greasy hardass cop Harley, George Kennedy, raids a hotel room in which Billy Ed is humpin’ to arrest him on trumped up charges of car theft. While doing time in jail, Billy Ed is visited by Fair Deal Farley, Harley’s equally greasy used car salesman twin brother, also played by George Kennedy. Farley offers Billy Ed a pardon if he’ll come and work for him as a repo-man. With little to lose, Billy Ed agrees and is soon cruising the streets with a rough and grimy bespectacled old car thief who claims to have first hotwired a Model-A. George Hammersmith Forney, better known as The Weasel (Strother Martin) a wheedling dirtbag who guzzles Firebird by the bottle, curses, fights and would be wearing fingerless gloves if this wasn’t set in the Southish.

Together The Weasel and Billy Ed engage in various car thieving, or repossessing as it were, antics set to the same knee-slapping banjo music I’d expect to hear in Hazard County. Billy Ed soon gets sick of Farley’s slick-dealing and tells him to shove the job, but some awkward crosscut scenes of the twins discussing his incarceration and a homely but off-limits girl-next-door return him to the hotwire fold.

Deciding to play both fields with a newfound confident insolence, the idea here being that he is “hotwiring” someone else’s girl, Billy Ed finds himself courting the surrogate daughter of the town crime-boss-with-the-sheriff-in-his-pocket. Billy Ed is surely going to have a hell of a time of the rest of this movie, but if the comedy sticker someone rather generously applied to the box indicates, it will probably end with some kind of homely redemption and some hotrods.

1 comment:


have always been a big fan of the theme song