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Will Zens...I wonder what makes a guy tick? What makes a fella take a bite into a slab of cinema babybacks and play filmmaker? Some future Scorseses have a story to tell, some just love the power and potential money, my question is what possessed this damn Will Zens? The man responsible for The Starfighters, Trucker's Women, HOT SUMMER IN BAREFOOT COUNTY and more. Bulk stock of airplanes flying, cars racing, and country music are used as central elements to Zens' wonderworks and there is of course his back to back Southern Tour De Forci' "Barefoot" and "Trucker's." To call Zens a "hack" might be an understatement comparable to saying Michael Jackson is "scary," or Bin Laden is "fucked." You get the picture, Zens was no autuer.

With HOT SUMMER IN BAREFOOT COUNTY, Will Zens found a way to fuck up a perfectly effective formula...a simple tried and true premise...and he fucked it. Here goes...Barefoot girls, nekkid girls, moonshine, a corrupt sheriff, a handsome out of towner and some local redneck trouble makers. Now given those ingredients you have to try pretty frickin' hard to not glean a tad of entertainment value out of a movie crafted with that recipe. The South was absolutely ripe with these type of epics week in and week out at the drive-in and Zens somehow single-handedly brought us a "boring" Moonshine Nudie! Filmed just about the same weekend as his truckerless trucker tome, Zens shits out two classless classics of crap. That might be some kind of record, WIll Zens, that is one amazing feat. Tits, trucks, moonshine and I am still not amused, it must be that time of the month.

As mentioned BAREFOOT is about an all female band of Moonshiners lead by a matriarch who is just trying to eek out a living for her and her daughters, plain old supply and demand. Folks in Hanson County want moonshine and they supply it, with a little help from the local owner of the greasy spoon and a sheriff who is willing to look the other way, kinda sorta. But all good things must come to an end and the "state" has noticed that there is some unlawfulness going on and decide that the way to combat this crimewave set off by these moonshiners is to get a man inside. A country boy, a man who can relate to to these hayseeds, become of them and ultimately shut down the operation. Well, needless to say, the sheriff ain't to happy about the thought of an outsider sniffing around these parts, given that he is totally incompetent. His deputy is a chronic funny book reader and they tool around town, destroying county property, eating free meals and generally grab-dicking their way through "upholding the law."

This all sounds familiar for sure, and you have to wonder if the makers of Smokey and the Bandit hadn't paid a little to much attention to the possible potential of the bumbling Southern sheriff motif we are introduced to in BAREFOOT. Potential is the key word. BAREFOOT is lumped in with the brilliant Albert T. Viola's "Preacherman" from 1971, which plays perfectly as a slice of white trash corrupt religiosity that was re-released along with BAREFOOT by Troma. But, believe me when I tell you the only similarity between these 2 films are the drive-ins where they played. Zens was guilty of smelling the long green the South offered for stories about rubes outsmarting the law and getting the gals but inspiration wasn't enough to pull Zens along into actual competent story telling. I should also note that he didn't have much talent (money) to work with as they featured players in BAREFOOT are straight out of North Carolina dinner theater. Our portly sheriff brought to life by Charles Elledge literally played in the same outdoor theater for 30 years in the hills of N.C. Unfortunately it shows only in appearance, as any moment you are expecting a "Poor Urich" to fall from his overdyed Falstaff-like beard. Which is even explained in the plot of the movie as some sort of statement against his wife or some horseshit about not shaving.

Our revenuer with a heart of gold farmboy-turned-lawman from the Capital (Don Jones) at any moment seems capable of being fashioned into a pinebox derby racer. Pure pine his performance is as wooden and "radio" like as it gets... but an interesting plot twist from this film, where nothing really ever happens, is he actually falls for the homliest of the moonshining sisters and keeps his copness from her even though they are betrothed... little, yellow, different. Not all is lost on BAREFOOT, as I garnered a few chuckles from the hijinx of the horney locals who seem to literally rape any gal they come near. Man, times sure were different, "No" really did mean "yes" if you paid attention to the movies from the 60's and 70's. If a girl struggles, just cover her mouth and keep on grinding, pulling and a tearing to you hit pay dirt...yep, that is sex, Southern Drive-in ways. The gals, most notably Sherry Robinson who you might recognize from the H.G. Lewis effort "The Gruesome Twosome" are all cute, voluputeous and not very good actresses but, believe it or not, harness the power to pull off the best performances in BAREFOOT.

The local diner that serves as the central HQ for the moonshining runs is the same diner used in Trucker Women and it poses one serious question. Was the owner of the diner compensated with cans of black pepper? On the shelving in every scene there seems to be an overabundance of something that in my experience "goes a long way." "One can of black pepper per life time," has been my motto and dammit, I love black pepper!

BAREFOOT played at drive-ins well into the 80s, as second or third feature fodder with hits like "Macon County Line", "White Line Fever" and other Southern triumphs and I personally remember it, it seems I remember it being better. Maybe my judgement is jaded because of the smoking rawk and roll song by fellow Kentuckians and sometime stagemates "Nine Pound Hammer" which sports the same title. Either way, HOT SUMMER IN BAREFOOT COUNTY probably is best left for persons of iron will who will sit though a movie just for what it represented as opposed to what it was. We here at Brains On Film will do it, so maybe you won't have to. May the South forever be remembered for something other than slavery; moonshining, trucking, Funnel Cakes and Drive-in movies.

Barefootin', dood doot doot doo, barefootin'!

Hot roadblock in Barefoot County.


How about I frig you in the ass with this?

Alas Urich, foiled again!

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That is a still, moonshine still. It's nice isn't it?

Urich, Urich, hold my hat boy!

Rabscallions at church...

I know Don, this movie is really bad.

WhooooHoooo non-consensual sex!

Okay, now this shot is a good one, thank you Will Zens.

More Barefoot County Beauties!

You talking about my Black Pepper? I got your Black Pepper, boy!


More non-consensual sex, squish!

Is that Rape, Prof. Tread?

HeHeHe...stupid cop.

Me thinks the maiden doth outsmart myselve. Drats!

You guessed it more jolly raping!
Brains On Film 2003