Elegant John is dying of Old Man Movie Illness but he wants to make one last perfect run before he goes. So he sneaks out of the hospital and steals his rig out of the impound lot and goes off in search of a load to deliver, picking up an uptight hitchhiker who won't stop spouting religious jargle along the way.
Meanwhile, Penelope's brothel gets shut down by the police and, rather than go to jail, the girls decide to skip town and set up a new house in South Carolina.
Golly, I wonder how these two plot threads will intersect?
The Great Smokey Roadblock is a summer Sunday afternoon movie, when it's too hot to move and you just want to watch something that's entertaining without having to think about it. It's probably not the best movie I've ever seen, but it was fun.
And the cast is awesome: Henry Fonda; Eileen Brennan; Robert Englund; Susan Sarandon; Austin Pendelton; a bunch of people who looked familiar but I don't think I knew who they were.
I only really had two problems with the movie:
1) Beebo (the hitchhiker) loosens up about midway through the movie, I guess because he and one of the hookers fall for each other, but rather than show that happening he just gets turned into a background character. As soon as he stops spouting religious jargle they don't give him anything to do at all. I think The Liberation Of Beebo (or whatever) would've been a good subplot (and I'd think that even if he weren't played by Robert Englund).
2) This one is spoilerish so you may skip it if you like. The movie could have had two logical endings: a happy one and a sad one. It had both. The sad one just seemed kind of tacked on and pointless. We all knew that was going to happen, but we didn't need visual proof. But I guess because it's a movie from the seventies it had to end on a downer.
Also, this is pretty much amusing only to me, but The Great Smokey Roadblock and Eaten Alive came out the same year, and I just think it would be too funny if Beebo and Buck were the same person (not just played by the same guy). He starts out all uptight and "I serve no man" and blah blah blah, then he learns to loosen up thanks to his girlfriend the prostitute. Someone starts calling him Buck, the nickname sticks. He loosens up too much and starts frequenting other brothels and cue the beginning of Eaten Alive.
This very lazy fan fiction brought to you by me.
End of line.