Based on the song by C.W. McCall, Convoy, one of Samuel Peckinpah’s last films, is the story of a trucker named Rubber Duck, played by Kris Kristofferson, and his escape from a sheriff named Dirty Lyle, who has apparently suffered a psychotic break and has decided to destroy all truckers, starting with the Duck.
- Having the balls to base an entire movie on the song “Convoy.” = +10pts.
- Before looking her up on IMDB, we could have sworn that Ali McGraw was dead. Probably because of [SPOILER!] Love Story, or because of her epic pre-skin cancer awareness suntan. = -13pts.
- Breaker, breaker, this is the Rubber Duck. I got a bear report on a hightail and I’m running front door on a rocking chair sasquatch…aw…hell…. I’m just stringing words together. I don’t know what I’m talking about. = -7pts.
- Slang that most people now associate with an entirely different subculture than truckers, such as, “That’s some fun lovin’ bear you got there!” = +25pts.
- We want a CB radio just so we can order food at oncoming truck stops. = +6pts.
- “He bounces like a Kwanzai beaver.” We have no idea what this line means (we’re afraid to type the word beaver into Google search on a shared computer), but it’s fantastic. = +17pts.
- Someone turn off the honkey tonk piano music – it’s causing a brawl! = +7pts.
- We got ourselves a convoy! = +50pts.
- Kris Kristofferson forgot to take off his shirt for a full 20 minutes. = -20pts.
- Smoothest intro to a character ever: “My name is Bob Buckman sir, and I hate truckers.” = +12pts.
- This part of Arizona looks nothing like southern California. = -10pts.
- “Here's the plan: When we get to the pass, we're gonna put on our fish costumes, pass out the Vaseline an' an extra ration o' rum for the men.” This might be the weirdest line we’ve ever heard. = +27pts.
- Disturbing to watch Peckinpah’s slo mo violence style applied to attempted vehicular homicide with a comic soundtrack. = -7pts.
- Letting a trucker named Big Nasty join your convoy by “slipping in the backdoor.” = -17pts.
- “Hand me a t-shirt, would ya?” No, Kris Kristofferson, the t-shirt represents your loss of power! Noooooooo! = -10pts.
- Kris Kristofferson has been driving a truckload of nitro the whole time? That’s…well, it’s just irresponsible. = -25pts.
- Kris Kristofferson watches you sleep. =-13pts.
- “I’d like to have a moment alone with the Duck.”=+10pts.
- 1978: A man steals a truckload of nitro from God knows where, and he’s a populist hero. 2013: A man steals a truckload of nitro, and he’s…not a populist hero. = -23pts.
- Destroying the center of a small town to save one man. = -17pts.
- To Mexico, the historically free society where no one will give a damn about you and your rogue truck of nitro! = -15pts.
- Peckinpah’s usual climactic gory splatters of blood replaced by horrific splatter of melted ice cream. = +25pts.
Available on: Netflix streaming, Amazon streaming
Convoy has heart. It’s an over-simplified, childish fantasy of a heart, but it’s there. Ernest Borgnine is enjoyably villainous as the crazy sheriff who comes right out and declares that he represents The Law. Why does The Law have to hassle truckers all the time? We don’t know. We just know that The Law is a bad, bad, psychotic thing, and giving The Law a run for its money by smashing things with trucks and your blue-collar buddies makes for good times, laughter, and friendships that last a lifetime.
Score Technician: Alex Pearlstein