Georgia Peaches (1980) – By Duane L. Martin

Dusty Tyree (Dirk Benedict) is a shine runner. His girlfriend Sue Lynn (Terri Nunn) runs a local garage with her sister Lorette (Tanya Tucker), who’s been out trying to make her name as a country music star and has just returned back home. These three have a bit of a problem. The cops are always after Dusty, and the local dragon lady, Vivian Stark (Sally Kirkland), who has her fingers into everything dirty that’s going on in the region, wants the land the garage is on. When she tries to set the three up however by planting stolen cars on their property, they’re offered a deal by treasury agent Randolph Dukane (Lane Smith). If they help investigate Stark and break up her crime ring, they’ll get a full pardon. With little choice, the three go undercover to penetrate the local underworld, and find a whole lot more than they bargained for.

This film was originally a pilot for a proposed television series, which obviously went nowhere. The acting is typical of the type of thing you’d see on television in the late 70’s or early 80’s, but for a variety of reasons, the whole thing just comes off as unbelievable and somewhat boring. I won’t go so far as to say it’s horrible, because it’s really not that bad, and some parts are even quite enjoyable, but all in all it ended up just being ok.

For starters, if this had been done as an actual film, and written to be that way, I think it would have been far better than it was as a television pilot. The potential was there to have a really cool, fun movie, but with the limitations imposed by trying to make it for television, it severely limited the type of action and dialogue that could be used, which in the end just made it feel like any other cheesy crime show of the period.

Something else that kind of ruined it for me was Tanya Tucker. She really just can’t act. She was horrible. Contrast that to the performance put in by Terri Nunn (who by the way was the lead singer of the band Berlin), and it’s like night and day. Terri was just fine in her role, and even likeable. Dirk Benedict was also likeable, but I dare anyone to watch him on screen without thinking of him as Face in the A-Team.

The action was ok, the story was ok, the characters were ok… Do you see where I’m going with this? The whole thing was just ok. It’s a good, fairly fun time waster for a lazy Sunday afternoon with some fun and likeable characters and a story you don’t have to think too much about. It’s not so bad that it’s a one time watcher though, and you’ll likely pop it in the player more than once in the years to come.

This film was released on a two-disc Roger Corman’s Cult Classics triple feature from Shout Factory. The only special features on any of the films are the trailers, but the visual quality is very good and you really can’t go wrong getting anything from Shout Factory. Fortunately, one of the films in the release, The Great Texas Dynamite Chase, is really great, and alone is worth the price. Georgia Peaches isn’t bad, but it isn’t awesome either. The third film is Smokey Bites the Dust, which was really just one long chase and mostly a waste of time. Still, just for that one great film, you’ll want to add this release to your collection.

You can find out more about the release or order yourself a copy from Shout Factory here.