Monday, June 09, 2008

Never Give A Trucker An Even Break

06 Never Give a Trucker an Even Break
March 24, 1979
Music: Peter Ivers
Teleplay: Frank Lupo
Story: Frank Lupo and Richard Lindheim
Director: Christian I. Nyby II

This substandard episode of BJ AND THE BEAR is notable for the early, tragic deaths of two of its creative personnel. The score was composed by Peter Ivers, who seems to have been an odd choice to hire for a series like BJ AND THE BEAR. Ivers was a prominent New England-based New Wave musician who hung out with the National Lampoon crowd and penned a song for David Lynch to use in his debut feature, the midnight hit ERASERHEAD. Prior to BJ, Ivers was hired by Ron Howard and/or Roger Corman to score Howard's directorial debut, the drive-in car-crash comedy GRAND THEFT AUTO. I was unaware before now that Ivers had ever worked in episodic television. He was murdered in Los Angeles in 1983.

Guest actress Angela Aames was only 32 years old when she died of heart failure in 1988. Blessed—or cursed, depending upon how one looks at it—with an eye-popping curvaceous figure, Aames bounced between episodic television and exploitation films, almost always playing a sexy girl with little else to offer beyond her breasts. H.O.T.S. (notorious for its topless touch football game) and Jim Wynorski's THE LOST EMPIRE provided her with her most prominent roles, even though they, too, asked her to jiggle for her paycheck.

In "Never Give a Trucker an Even Break," Aames gets plenty of screen time, but little character development (par for the course for this series), as Charisse, the secretary to con man Aaron Wainwright (Beau Kayser), a shady promoter who books a stunt motorcycle rider for a carnival, planning to skip to Mexico with the profits, rather than give it to charity as promised. BJ (Greg Evigan) becomes involved when he agrees to transport the stuntwoman, Tara (Cassie Yates), and her gear to the site, only to discover that Aaron is his old Vietnam buddy. Two gunsels from Aaron's past stick their nose in as well, leading to a wild chase scene along some oceanside cliffs.


Anonymous said...


Hal said...

Angela Aames also has an extended nude scene in ...ALL THE MARBLES (1981), Robert Aldrich's final film and one about that rarely explored topic, women's professional tag team wrestling. I'll have to check this episode out sometime just to see her in role with her clothes on. :)

RikerDonegal said...

She was the girl from the opening credits of Automan, yes?

Where cursor, um, buzzed her?