Peter’s Retro Reviews: Breaker! Breaker! (1977)

September 2, 2011

Breaker Breaker Movie Posterby Peter Nielsen

For the next month or so, I’ll be doing reviews with a certain theme to them. Sound good? Or at least slightly interesting? Maybe you’re thinking that my mind has taken a left turn towards “Nutso City”, but I thought it would be a cool idea. My chosen theme for the next couple of weeks is… Trucker-movies!!

I now see a couple of you picking up the phone to find me a free bunk at a nice retirement home. “Trucker-movies? What? Is he nuts?” Nope! I’m not! Geekishly challenged perhaps, but not nuts. I like these movies and I guess by now, you know I like all types of movies and by doing these reviews I hope I can get you interested in some of them too.

So… Let’s start this bad boy with Breaker! Breaker! from 1977. An ok little action-flick starring the man, the myth, the legend… Mr. Chuck Norris. It’s not one of his greatest movies, but it’s the only one with him as a trucker. I’ve always been a fan of Mr. Norris and, apart from 3 (I think), I have all of his movies on my shelf. Oh, and also Walker Texas Ranger! And now I know you’ve gotten me a nice room at said retirement home!

Chuck Norris plays J.D. Dawes who’s returning home after a long haul to see his kid-brother Billy, played by Michael Augenstein. Billy is a dirt-bike racer, but of course also a truck-driver who’s going to embark on his first solo-ride the next day and after some big-brotherly advice J.D sends Billy on his way.

J.D and Billy

J.D and Billy

He is lured into the little town of Texas City which is run by the corrupt Judge Trimmings, played by George Murdock (Earthquake, The American President), and his two henchmen Sergeant Strode and Deputy Boles. They’re played by Don Gentry (The Bionic Woman, Killer Bees) and Ron Cedillos (His only movie credit is this one). Actually, the whole town is corrupt and if you, as an outsider, get into trouble here, you’re more than likely to disappear or at least get severely beat up.

This is what happens to Billy when he gets the good judge pissed off. When he doesn’t show up J.D gets worried and decides to go look for him in Texas City. On the outskirts of town he gets ambushed by some of the local moonshiners who shoot up his radiator, so he has to find a mechanic in town who can fix his van for him. Having done that, he starts snooping around to try and find out what’s happened to Billy. He has a little run-in with the good judge and his men, which results in J.D running away from the scene and the judge’s men more or less limping.

J.D is kicking ass!

J.D is kicking ass!

He befriends the only two in town not resenting him, the waitress Arlene and her son Tony. Well, actually he more than befriends Arlene, which further infuriates the judge, since his son used to be married to her, so Tony is his grandson.

Not that that make him treat them any nicer, though. He is after all a greedy son of a bitch who only cares about money. There’s a scene with a town meeting that shows how corrupt the town really is and pretty soon J.D has the whole town after him and we have a big fight that takes us through the streets with Chuck Norris kicking some serious butt…

There's always time to arm-wrestle!

There’s always time to arm-wrestle!

He eventually ends up in jail and is going to be lynched the following day, but now one of J.D’s friends, Burton, played by the great Jack Nance (Eraserhead, Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet) is starting to worry and calls up his trucker-buddies. He explains the situation and asks if they want to join him on a little “trip” to Texas City and of course they do!

We soon have an armada of trucks bearing down on the little town and the people wonder what that sound is? Thunder? Nah, can’t be ‘cuz the sky is clear. Then the first trucks start to appear…

A simple, yet entertaining story and as I stated earlier, not one of the best Chuck Norris-movies, but still good enough. The acting is “basic” at best and the dialogue is… well, let’s just leave that subject alone, but the butt-kicking action is great. To be honest, I think this movie was made just to get in on the trucker-craze at the time and of course to show off some good ‘ol Chuck Norris-moves and you know what? That’s perfectly ok with me.

Well, my friends, I hope this hasn’t put you off too much and that you’ll still want to join me for another “Trucker-special”, which next week will be the fantastic Smokey and the Bandit.

Until next time…

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