Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Shine On

03 Shine On
February 24, 1979
Music: William Broughton
Writer: Chris Lucky and Frank Lupo
Director: Christian I. Nyby II

Fans of '70s exploitation movies should get a kick out of "Shine On." They'll certainly be familiar with the guest actors, including the racktastic Kimberly Beck, familiar from MASSACRE AT CENTRAL HIGH and as the Final Girl in FRIDAY THE 13TH–THE FINAL CHAPTER, and the wonderful Roberta Collins (THE BIG DOLL HOUSE, DEATH RACE 2000). The episode also bears more than a passing resemblance to the 1977 drive-in hit MOONSHINE COUNTY EXPRESS, which has the same basic plot. I'm sure guest star Albert Salmi noticed the similarity; he was in MOONSHINE COUNTY EXPRESS.

BJ (Greg Evigan) is kidnapped by three horny sisters (Beck, Collins and Janet Louise Johnson, then coming off ABC's NANCY DREW TV series), who force him to perform odd jobs around their farm until they can prepare their next batch of moonshine for delivery. With their dad (who's never seen) in the hospital waiting for a costly operation, the Smith sisters need to make their delivery and get paid pronto. Unfortunately, rival moonshiner Orville Rucker (Salmi) and his two dimwit sons (Dirk Blocker from BAA BAA BLACK SHEEP and DELIVERANCE's creepy hillbilly Bill McKinney) want the Smith's stash for themselves.

Semi mayhem is kept to somewhat of a minimum this time 'round, though it does figure in the stunt-filled finale, as the girls tear off Johnson's jeans and use them to make wicks for the "moonshine cocktails" they toss at Salmi's pursuing vehicle. Evigan likely had a good time kissing his leading ladies, and director Nyby keeps the show moving at a good clip. Nyby, the son of director Christian Nyby, who worked concurrently with his son on some of the same TV series, making cataloging their credits something of a mess, remained a busy helmer clear through the mid-2000s, directed several episodes of DIAGNOSIS: MURDER and most (if not all) of the Perry Mason TV-movies.

"Shine On" is one of writer Frank Lupo's earliest credits. He soon graduated to producer on THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO and went on to write and produce several other Stephen J. Cannell series, including THE A-TEAM and HUNTER (which he also created).

1 comment:

Matt Farkas said...

Like Candice Rialson, Roberta Collins really should've gone on to have a more sustained career. Her performances in THE BIG DOLL HOUSE and CAGED HEAT - alternately desperate, good-humored, compassionate, lusty, and menacing - are especially good, so it's a shame to see her turn up a few years later in barely-there performances in DEATH WISH II and SCHOOL SPIRIT.