Smokey and the Hotwire Gang

From 1979, this cheap cash-in on the Smokey franchise, the CB  craze and custom vans probably sounded like a good idea in theory but in practise it takes a long time for the story to fall into place.

Starring the ‘other’ Keach (James) as an Okie car thief driving a stolen  car that has a toilet bowl as a passenger seat, and a supporting cast of non descript TV actors that you won’t remember, the story revolves  around Miss Brookhurst aka HotWire, who runs hookers as well as a high end stolen car ring. She’s also about to branch out into high end robbery with a plan to knock off an armoured car.

Trouble is Keach overhears the plan and tries to score the money himself. The non descript badguys steal a custom van, thus making themselves very high profile as the CB circuit goes into action to recover it, the badguys meanwhile use the van, loaded with a machine gun, to hold up the armoured car and the chase is on. Throw in truckstop hookers, a coupla young rich fellas who it turns out are the heroes, even though they really aren’t the main story, Smokey himself ( a good ol’ boy) plus his mad driver Junior and you have this mess.

Then Keach manages to steal the van full o’ cash and they are all after him! Meanwhile the CB radios rattle, the 70s sheilas wander around in Daisy Dukes and bikinis, there’s a dwarf chauffeur, Junior’s driving skills, badguys who are totally interchangeable and the great banter ‘tween Keach and his offsider.

This movie is a total mess and it’s no surprise to find out first time director Anthony Cardoza was the man behind such stellar productions as Beast Of Yucca Flats, Bigfoot and The Hellcats. Or that T. Gary Cardoza wrote the script and I think Ma and Pa Cardoza had a cameo in the flick too (as did Anthony himself as HotWire’s main squeeze).

So bad it’s good, this falls apart a lot, takes half way through the film to actually make sense and has no boobies!!! I mean what the hell? Even better, this print is washed out and at one stage interrupted by the reel ending (IE: black screen, End of Part 2 Reel) – like the movie itself, there is no effort to upgrade this baby.

It is what it is, you either love this sorta hokum or you will throw something at the screen. I love it but I like to drink and this is a movie you should be drunk to watch.

Special Features:

Are you kidding? Chapter Selection is it

Smokey and the Hot Wire Gang is available on DVD from MVD Entertainment.

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