Monday, November 15, 2010

bad/awesome flixxx review: Roadie (1980)

"Time is evaporatin', Roadie"- Mohammad Johnson

"The muscians make it rock but the roadies make it roll!" - Lola

"Everything works if you let it"- Travis W. Redfish

"Od-a mightydamn- it's a catfight!"- Ramblin Jack Elliot

I happened across this flick out on tour last month at the very reasonable price of ONE DOLLAR! Brand new too. I had never heard of this one but the cover had everything I needed to decide I had to watch it: appearances by Hank Williams Jr., Blondie, Roy Orbison, Alice Cooper, and more, starring Meatloaf and Art Carney, AND the fat dude with the mustache from the Ernest movies that did his eyes back and forth?!? Done Deal. Bring it on.

I didn't know if this was going to be pure shit or totally awesome when I got it, but I'm so psyched on this that I've already watched it twice. Immediately I wonder why no one ever talks about this flick. There are a lot of rocknroll and country stars in it, and it seems like it holds the same kind of place that the Blues Brothers would in the annals of rock movie history. Anyway... It starts outside of Austin, Texas with one BB Muldoon driving a Shiner Beer truck onto a ranch to pick up his buddy Travis W. Redfish. Art Carney stars as Corpus Redfish, Travis's father, and we are introduced his sister Alice Poo there as well.

Quickly the flick gets underway as Travis begins his day much like every other day, driving around and delivering Shiner Beer throughout South Texas. But just as they begin "chair dancin" they come upon an RV that seems to be broken down. They are about to pass by, when Travis lays eyes on the "only woman he's ever respected as a person ever". And so the adventure begins.

Manager Ace and crew have broken down on the side of the road with Hank Williams Jr's gear in tow. Travis quickly fixes the situation, and Lola Boulabaisse is a "groupie" along for the ride in hopes of making her way to NYC to meet Alice Cooper and make it with him (for her first time). Lola convinces Travis to come along for the ride and drive them to Austin. Upon arriving in Austin they meet up with Mohammad Johnson (Don Cornelius, long time host of Soul Train) the promoter of the Traveling Rocknroll Circus. Fans are jumping on the RV demanding that they hurry up so Hank Jr can play. Very quickly again Lola uses her feminine wiles to convince Travis to hang out and help roadie the gear in so the show can go on. He does, and they do. Then Travis gets in a fight and goes into "brainlock". They get him to drive them to the airport with a full on Blues Brothers style cop chase scene and drive straight into a plane headed for LA.

After that Travis and Lola have many adventures around the country where Travis seems to always come up with the solution to any problem that comes to him. There are a ton of cameo appearances by bands and characters. There's a lot of live perfomances too including Blondie covering Johnny Cash, Hank Williams Jr performing with Roy Orbison, Alice Cooper, Asleep at the Wheel. Theres a whole band of midgets called Snow White!! Anyway, I recommend this one, seems like you can find it cheap and its totally worth it for the jams and laughs alone. The soundtrack is tight too with songs written just for the movie by Cheap Trick and the Joe Ely band. Get it. Watch it. Love it.

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