Bullet Points: Sixpack Annie
Not all action movies have to keep you on the edge of your seat with intense action filled with explosions and heart pounding suspense. There are times when you have a hankering to watch an action film and also have a laugh. Exploitation films were perfect at filling the niches of action films, particularly when it comes to action comedies. Unfortunately, highbrow action films tend to look down at exploitation films because they are not serious enough. My uncle gave me the best quote when it comes to those action films who look down on exploitation films. “Personally, I don’t want to know an exploitation film that isn’t a dreamer, or a sillyheart. And I sure don’t want to know one who takes their action career seriously. I don’t have a college degree. I don’t even have a job. But I know a good action comedy when I see one. Because they’re ALL good action films, until the dried-out, brain-dead skag highbrow action films drag them down and convince them they’re no good.” One of those good exploitation action comedies that bucks the convention of highbrow action films is 1975’s Sixpack Annie so let’s crack open this Bullet Points and take a look.
- The smallest thing about her is the town she came from. Sixpack Annie Bodine (Lindsay Bloom) is a young, fun-loving girl from the fictional Titwillow, Georgia. Annie has earned the nickname Sixpack because of her love for beer, specifically in the form of a package containing six ice-cold cans of deliciousness. Even though Annie loves drinking beer and chasing boys, her true love is her family. Annie works for her Aunt Tess at the family diner with her best friend Mary Lou. The bank is threatening to foreclose on the diner unless Aunt Tess can come up with $5,641.87 in one week. Annie takes it upon herself to come up with the money to save the diner and a perfect setup for action comedy hijinks is afoot.
- Lookout… She’s legal now. There is no way for Annie to make the money fast enough in sleepy Titwillow. One of her suitors, Bobby Joe (a young Bruce Boxleitner of Kuffs fame) doesn’t have enough money in his raggedy jeans to pay for a stamp on a postcard. Sheriff Waters is enamored with Sixpack Annie and wants her to be his wife. After Sheriff Waters promises her the money, Annie is close to accepting his proposal only to find out that he doesn’t have the money, but will get it by giving out parking tickets. Annie finally decides the only way to help Aunt Tess is to go to Miami and get the money from what she thinks is her rich sister Flora. Annie and Mary Lou make the road trip to Miami and a perfect setup for action comedy hijinks is afoot.
- Too young to care – Too fast to catch. On the trip to Miami, Annie and Mary Lou do something that just screams 1970s road trip, they pick up a couple of hitchhikers. They both find their two new male companions attractive, but when they catch the pair kissing in the bed of the pickup truck, Annie pulls the old ‘truck is on fire, everybody out and then pull away after they get out’ gag. Mary Lou finds it such a waste that two good looking men would be kissing and Annie thinks they must have had Yankee blood in them because Southern men wouldn’t act that way. Racism and sexism! Annie and Mary Lou finally make it to Miami and a perfect setup for action comedy hijinks is afoot.
- She’s the pop top princess with the recyclable can. Once Annie and Mary Lou have arrived in Miami, they discover that Flora has not been 100% accurate about her financial situation. Annie must find another method of raising the money, i.e. finding a sugar daddy. Once in Miami, there are drunk Texans, delusional Frenchmen, women dressed like rats, flamboyant bartenders, city slickers and enough action and comedy jammed down your throat that if it was a cigar you’d have to set fire to your ass to light it. Annie and Mary Lou finish up their week in Miami and return to Titwillow without the money only to have a perfect resolution for an action comedy film afoot.
Sixpack Annie is not as action packed as some of the movies you might be used to watching (but probably more action than On the Borderline.) There are the requisite car chases and fight scenes, but it is all presented in a light-hearted manner designed for laughs. Sixpack Annie is not for you highbrow action snobs, but definitely recommended for any normal person with a funny bone, but if you are not convinced here are six refreshing Bonus Bullet Points. That is the same number as in a six pack! Just like the title of the movie! There are six cans of beer in a six pack! There are six Bonus Bullet Points for Sixpack Annie! I am sure this is all purely intentional.
- While Sixpack Annie may seem like a documentary on the lifestyles of rural southern Americans, it is actually part of the hixploitation subgenre of exploitation films. The action and jokes are only exaggerations and stereotypes and do not represent the fine folks of Dixie.
- Every time a scene comes back to Aunt Tess’ diner, we are treated to sexist jokes about the wives and girlfriend of one of a pair of ubiquitous old codgers. One my favorites is, Luke: “Hank, I bought my girlfriend a new car yesterday.” Hank: “Chevrolet?” Luke: “About twice a week.”
- When Annie and Mary Lou visit the local Titwillow bar, there are some more good “bad” jokes like, “What’s the difference between a circus and a Las Vegas chorus line? The circus is an array of cunning stunts.”
- While the soundtrack is minimal, you music lovers will undoubtedly enjoy Mary Lou’s excellent rendition of “Red Hot Nuts” during a bar room brawl.
- Richard Kennedy as the drunk Texan plays a fine drunk, but he can’t hold a candle to the greatest drunk comedian of all time, The Lovable Lush himself, Mr. Foster Brooks.
- Billy Barty makes a small (get it?!?!) uncredited appearance at the end of the film.