by Adam Wilcox
So we open up on a naked guy, and a naked girl in a bathtub, when two wise guys that looked like they walked out of Pulp Fiction walk in and blow them away. Cut away to an empty road, with two good looking ladies stranded by the side of a road wearing as little as legally possible. They are standing next to a car in the middle of the road that looks like it might be broke down, because the hood is up. A truck pulls over to help, and as the driver walks up to help, one of the ladies comes up from behind, and smacks him on the back of the head with a wrench. Two minutes later, the women are in the truck driving, and they see some dude on the side of the road. They pick up this dude, and one of them goes into the back of the truck for a little bit of this, and little bit of that. The truck pulls up to “Anna’s Place”, where we immediately cut to Anna Lieux Dressler talking on the phone like an operator, while she happens to spy on several women doing the hokey pokey with several other patrons. All of this is done while whimsical banjo music is playing, AND THIS IS JUST THE FIRST FIVE MINUTES OF THE MOVIE!!!
I have to confess, I figured I was in for a treat, I made a run to my home concession stand for popcorn, this aught to be a HOOT! However… The problem with this movie, is that it can neither find a tone, nor decide what it wants to be.
The plot is basically that Anna runs a brothel/truck chop shop. A bunch of mafia guys from “the east” want to take over the operation. Also, there is a subplot of her daughter Rose (Claudia Jennings), is losing interest in the truck stop, and wants to get away from her controlling mother.
In any tangible universe, that is actually not the worst plot to a movie. In fact with the right director, it could be pretty bad ass. The problem is that this movie is directed by Mark Lester, the same genius who made Commando, Firestarter, Roller Boogie, and Class of 1999, which is why I wanted to watch it in the first place. Also with a poster and a title like that…how about boobs? If we are following Joe Bob Briggs style drive in totals, give us the boobs. There are plenty of boobs. In fact the plot and story occasionally peeks out around the boobs to remind you that you are watching a movie that is trying to tell a story.
With movies like this, I would be OK with the boobs for chuckles gag while the banjo music constantly reminds us that this movie is about REDNECKS, in case you might be too stupid to remember. But this movie’s worst sin is the inability to pick a tone. If it was supposed to be an action movie, let’s commit to that. If it is supposed to be high drama, let’s do that. If this is supposed to be a slapstick comedy with boobs and banjo music, then commit to that. Trying to blend all of them together makes any of the other genres not work. Like one minute I am supposed to laugh while a sheriff is chasing a half naked woman half his age out into the parking lot wearing nothing but his tighty whiteys and a cowboy hat, and the next minute some lady is getting shot through the chest. It’s too much excess, and not enough glue to make any of it work at all. At this point the film makes you feel guilty for laughing at any of that stuff earlier, and who needs a movie called Truck Stop Women to make you feel bad about yourself?! Fuck you movie!
It’s not to say the movie is complete loss. There are some moments of half way competent acting. Some not so much. The two “wise guys” are about as Italian as Mario and Luigi. The overall story is not the worst thing I have ever heard, but again…pick a tone movie! It’s basically Sons of Anarchy meets Meatballs, meets Smokey and the Bandit. Yes all of those movies are fun, but not meant to be mixed together. Kind of like Spaghetti, Ice Cream, and Tuna salad, might be great, but not mixed together and served to you in a paper bowl at room temperature. Yes this one is a hot mess. I am giving it 2 out of 5 cheese curds. Barely worth your time. Move along cowboys. Ten Four?