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Let’s play redneck bingo! Thunder and Lightning, a Corman-produced hicksploitation “comedy” starring Kate Jackson and David Carradine, has the following things you could use to fill your card:

Caterpillar hat
Jim Bob
gratuitous use of the word boy
grown man calling another, older man “son”
rebel flag on the wall
Winn Dixie
a possum
the phrase “dumb shit” used to refer to a person

Conversely, there are things I never expected to see, such as a man with the last name “Feinberg” playing a character called “Bubba,” the voice of Winnie the Pooh coming out of a moonshiner, or a man preaching a sermon while wrestling a gator in a sandpit in church.

The plot, such as it is, is this: independent bootleggers versus bootleggers who own a soft drink bottling plant (what kind of Coke? Well, it’s honeysuckle soda called “Honey Dew,” that kind of Coke) versus the mafia. David Carradine can drive the hell out of an airboat, and I enjoyed his fight with Charles Napier during which Napier told him to “knock of the kung fu shit.” About two thirds of the movie is one single car chase; this is no Bullitt, but it’s not Polk County Pot Plane either. I appreciated that Carradine didn’t fake a southern accent, and I miss him, but although I was entertained, I wasn’t sorry to see this end.

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