The Great Texas Dynamite Chase (2001) from Tuna

The Great Texas Dynamite Chase (1977) is from Roger Corman, and like so many Corman films, has futures stars, good production value, lots of skin, and was made for the drive-in theater market. As the film opens, Candy Morgan has just escape from prison using some sticks of dynamite that the prison had thoughtfully taught her to use on a work gang. She then robs a bank, to give the money to her family to save their farm. Ellie-Jo Turner has just been fired from her teller job for being late, and ends up helping Candy collect the money. Ellie-Jo decides this is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to her, and ends up joining Candy. The two cut a wide swath through Texas banks, the cops, and several men, looking for equal parts money and fun. The men in their life are expendable toys, which is an unusual gender reversal for the 70's.

Take away the sex, the fun, the nudity and the dynamite, and replace it with overbearing feminist dialogue, and you have Thelma and Louise, which was, at least in part, inspired by this film. The film was directed by Emmy winning Michael Pressman, best known for his work in TV.


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bare bones

The part of Candy was played by Claudia Jennings, Playmate of the month, September, 1968, and later playmate of the year. She was arguably the best actress among the former Playmates, and was the queen of the drive-in movie, with such credits as Gator Bait, and Sisters of Death. She died tragically in an auto accident at age 29, ending what could have been a huge career. She shows everything in several nude scenes in this film. Ellie-Jo was played by Jocelyn Jones, who shows breasts and buns, again in several scenes. Jocelyn had several roles spread through 3 decades, but works mainly teaching drama.

As you know, I have a high regard for this genre, but frankly, this film somewhat transcends even that. It is entertainment, not great cinema, but it is great entertainment. It has pace, action, humor, decent production values, great acting, and a happy ending.

The Critics Vote

  • Maltin 1.5/4

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 4.4 
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a high C+.

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