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
doot doot doo, barefootin'!
|Hot roadblock in
|How about I frig
you in the ass with this?
|Alas Urich, foiled
Gestapo Black Exploitation?
From Tobacco Row It's Good!
Squad Join Today!
Meateater Do Not Touch!
Stranger Run Run Opie!
House On Hwy 5 Sheesh!
Locked Doors It's Dirty!
Massacre Some Like It.
Pussy It had to be done
Alley It is Rock.
Woman Truck. Woman.
Freak A Classic for You!
Geek Bigfoot Porn
School Ghosthustlers Wow!
Island You Must See!
Not that kinda Cock!
Alienator Feeling Alienated?
Island Vanity and the Beast
Spree Tim Ritter's $0 budget wonder
Prof. Tread still can't sleep.
Tramp She is sumpin' else.
Footmen Tire You...? Heavy religiosity!
Knievel Evel of Course!
Killing Of A Chinese Bookie! Smart Guy.
Pink Angels Gayness, and Bikes
Burning The 80's, ahhh the 80's.
- The Winged Serpant! Larry Cohen rules!
For Your Life! WARNING Racist content
Tall Buford Pusser in the Hizouse!
Camp Internet Geeks Unite!
Losers Ya Loser!
of the Mutilated Bro. George gets busy.
Me An Angel Gal Biker and more.
Grim Reaper Reap on.
One of William Girdler's triumphs.
At Dawn A Modern Classic.
Boy Carradine, Dress, Dourif!
Hollywood Rape-Slaughter Rare expose'.
Savage Weekend. Take
Dead and Buried.
A Should-be Classic.
Summer In Barefoot County. PeeUww!
Night Train To
Terror Choo Choo!
Drink Your Blood Glug, glug!
Russ Meyer and breasts!
Stop Women Honnnk HonnnnK!
Deadly Darling! Pigs!
the Germ Fighter! Clean up!
Doesn't Cathy Eat Breakfast? Why?!
County Express! Glug, Glug!
The Night God Screamed!
White Dog Racists
City Slickers get offed!
Times Five Sean MacGregor's Titantic!
at the Red Wolf Inn Burp!
Eyes See It
Greatest Sinner One of the best!
Baby! Goo Goo!
Camp Nightmare Viva the Revolution!
of the Beast Creatures Booga!
Play Dead Incest craziness!
of Death Vacation madness!
Come, Evil Go! Bye, Bye Sinners!
Strutters Get Black Sucker!
Pretty Eddie Deep South Craziness!
Golem Jewish Folklore or what?
NYC Apartment Blues
To Kill A Clown
Alan Alda Vietnam Vet!
Spook Who Sat Next To The Door Booya!
Woke Up Early The Day I Died Mr. Ed Wood.
Mutilation Man Andy Copp goes arty on us!
People Across The Lake Good TV!
Woman Hunt Load Up Gents.
Are The Damned Dammit!