Movie Dictator Club: Convoy (1978)


My entry in the Movie Dictator Club for the month of April, 2009!

Written By: Bill L. Norton
Directed By: Sam Peckinpah

I used to be a trucker, that is vital information for this movie, because Convoy is all about trucking. A lot of the archetypes and stereotypes Convoy puts forth do ring true, especially in the beginning. The talking on the CB, dealing with the police, stopping at some dust hole to get terrible grub. Some of what it portrays went out in the 80’s, the easy women all over the place and the glamorous ideal image of the trucker. But, the basics of what they show still hold true to this day, so for that very reason I found the beginning of Convoy fascinating.

That fascination didn’t last, because it quickly turned into, “Oh my Odin, what am I watching?” The movie quickly switches gears into an experiment in cheese, and I mean everything was cheesy. The set-ups, the acting, the humor, the sex, the violence, you name it and Convoy found a way to make it cheesy. At the same time the editing and cutting of the movie was pretty messed up, a few times a frame would repeat itself exactly. But the cheese doesn’t end at the beginning, it carries until the end. Convoy gets more and more absurd as it goes along.

The highlight of Convoy is easily the cheese, but that can only be said until Kris Kristofferson takes his shirt off. At that point he becomes all that matters about the movie, because he is manliness personified. He’s a complete caricature and a terribly constructed character, but hot damn if he isn’t all sorts of manhood with his short off.

The funniest aspect of Convoy for me was the lack of consequences. Nothing happens to the renegade truckers ever, not even at the end. The movie keeps moving forward and refuses to stop for anything. Spider Mike is getting the crap beat out of him, well let’s get the trucks there as fast as possible so we can destroy the town. Widow Woman’s rig just went over, hop in another one and let’s keep going. It really is an absurd story structure where nothing ever happens to any character, the story must move forward.

I did find the first hour of Convoy to be lots of cheesy fun, but there was a middle twenty minute span before they wrecked the Texas town and the ridiculous bridge showdown took place that Convoy turned dreadfully dull. If a movie is bad it needs to stay interesting, that’s the only way I can give it the so bad it’s good label, but for all its cheesy goodness Convoy bored the heck out of me at some points.

That’s it for my April Movie Dictator Club dictation, thank you for that one Thor. It’s not a movie I would consider awesome in its terribleness, that was the subject for April, but it did have moments that were awesome in their cheesiness. Unfortunately it was just too boring for me to elevate to the status of something like BloodRayne or Idle Hands. Convoy ends up being a miss for me, and an odd movie from Sam Peckinpah.




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