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Thunder and Lightning
When the astute movie geeks fall all over themselves calling Roger Corman the B-movie king, it's mainly because, well, the guy has produced almost 400 movies in his career, so clearly he has "quantity" working in his favor. But those who sit down and actually watch Corman's output respect the filmmaker for an even better reason: a lot of his schlocky flicks are actually pretty damn entertaining!
Once you get past the well-known Corman classics like Death Race 2000, Big Bad Mama, and Boxcar Bertha, you'll still have well over 350 movies to pick through, one of which is the 1977 car-crash comedy called Thunder and Lightning.
Starring a pair of TV stars fresh from two rather popular programs (David Carradine of Kung Fu & Kate Jackson of Charlie's Angels), T & L exists mainly to showcase some pretty spectacular chase scenes and crash-stunts, and the flick does its job with very little extraneous baggage.
Basically, Carradine is an amiable moonshine-runner who is engaged to the Everglades' cutest little rich girl. Unfortunately, her Daddy is mixed up in some really nasty business affairs, which means the mismatched lovers must stay one step ahead of local goons, the Florida state police, a few mobster hit-men, and various alligators, bees, and chickens. (Don't ask.)
Director Corey Allen sets up the simplistic affair with no delusions of anything beyond B-movie fun, which explains much of T & L is packed with familiar faces, crazy car crashes, a few stray boobies, and a whole lot of high-speed pursuits. The screenplay is just a tiny bit wittier than you might expect from a car-crash flick, and, barring a few dry side-trips, Thunder and Lightning moves at an appreciably brisk clip.
(Interesting note: T & L was the screenwriting debut of a man named William Hjortsberg; following this flick, he'd do another moonshine movie for TV before penning Ridley Scott's Legend and several novels, one of which was called Falling Angel, the book that was used as the inspiration for Alan Parker's fantastic Angel Heart.)
Video: Choose between an anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) transfer, which is kinda grainy but perfectly watchable, or a Full Frame whatever on side B.
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is the main track, although you can pick through 1.0 in your choice of English, French, and Spanish if you like. Optional subtitles are available in English and Spanish.
Extras: Just the original theatrical trailer for Thunder and Lightning.
It's got alligators, bees, boobies, explosions, alcoholics, sidekicks, henchmen, assassins, chases, crashes, molotov cocktails, and more chases. If that sounds like a good time to you, feel free to give Thunder and Lightning a rental some time.