15 Really Good Movies for Rednecks

Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at 1:15 am

These 15 really good movies for rednecks are ideal for fans of Larry the Cable Guy or anyone who has a gun rack in the back of their pickup. These lowbrow films almost exclusively take place in the southern United States, and they’re loaded with brawls, bullets, booze, and scantily-clad babes. Everyone has a little redneck inside of them, so go ahead and release yours by renting (or buying) one of the following.

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Road House (1989) – When it comes to redneck favorites, it’s hard to beat the adventures of Dalton (Swayze), the best cooler in the business. Hired to clean up the Double Deuce, Dalton soon falls in love with the local doctor (Kelly Lynch) and raises the ire of local bad guy Brad Wesley (Ben Gazzara). But the real star of the show is Wade Garrett (Sam Elliott), Dalton’s mentor and limping bundle of machismo. Memorable lines (“I used to fuck guys like you in prison.”), plenty of fighting, and great tunes from the late Jeff Healey. It’ll make you want to head to the nearest bar and pick a fight, which is probably why rednecks love it so much.

Joe Dirt (2001) – David Spade headlines this comedy about a lovable redneck who recounts his life story to a bemused disc jockey (Dennis Miller) and millions of listeners. Comical and white-trashy situations include: being abandoned by his parents at the Grand Canyon, getting bullied by Kid Rock, finding a lucky meteor, being abducted by a serial killer, and sleeping with a girl (Jaime Pressly) who might be his sister. And whatever you do, don’t miss Christopher Walken as a janitor who’s also a member of the witness protection program.

Breaker, Breaker (1977) – While Chuck Norris usually confines his karate-kicking self to martial arts films, this time he breaks the mold as a truck driver seeking to rescue his brother from imprisonment by a corrupt judge. The film was once spoofed on Conan O’Brien, and just get a load of this line from the movie poster, “Don’t muck around with an 18-wheel trucker…he’s got a CB radio and a hundred friends who just might get mad!” When you mix karate and truck driving, you’ve got the recipe for a splendid white trash cocktail.

Gator (1976) – Burt Reynolds became the king of the redneck movies by starring in films like Gator, the sequel to White Lightning. Gator McKlusky starts the movie by getting out of prison, which immediately earns him all kinds of redneck credibility. He also lives in a swamp and makes moonshine, something even Jeff Foxworthy wouldn’t have the guts to do. But before he can help the feds nab a corrupt politician, he’ll have to deal with the seedy Bama McCall (Jerry Reed) and his 7’3” bodyguard named Bones (William Engesser). And if all that wasn’t redneck enough, the film is co-directed by James Best, the man better known as Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane on The Dukes of Hazzard.

Concrete Cowboys (1979) – Speaking of Jerry Reed, the country picker and part-time actor shows off his redneck roots in this TV movie about two Montana cowpokes who open up a detective agency in Nashville. While business isn’t exactly booming, they soon find themselves investigating a kidnapping case involving a singer. Reed plays the aptly-named J.D. Reed, and Tom Selleck is his partner, Will Eubanks. Any movie that lets Barbara Mandrell and Ray Stevens play themselves can’t be all bad.

Walking Tall (1973) – You know you’re watching a redneck movie when a retired pro wrestler gets assaulted in a brothel/gambling den, needs 200 stitches, and then runs for sheriff to clean up local corruption. And did I mention that Sheriff Buford Pusser (Joe Don Baker) carries an assortment of giant sticks, beats the hell out of criminals, and is based on the real-life law officer of the same name? A number of sequels and remakes have followed, but none captures the pure southern flavor of the original.

Deliverance (1972) – Burt Reynolds makes another appearance on the list, and this time he’s joined by Ned Beatty, Jon Voight and Ronny Cox. They play a group of pals who decide to canoe down a Georgia river, but they soon run afoul of deranged hillbillies with a fetish for hearing grown men squeal like pigs. Reynolds gets to kill people with a bow, and another standout scene features Ronny Cox and an inbred albino kid playing “Dueling Banjos.” For a great parody of the latter, check out Eli Roth’s Cabin Fever.

Chrystal (2005) – Billy Bob Thornton stars in another film where the main character is just getting out of prison. In this case, he’s done 16 years for crashing his car, which killed his son and left his wife with a permanent neck injury. Now returning home a changed man, he must avoid the temptations of the past (drugs) and try to reconnect with his spouse, Chrystal (Lisa Blount). Set in the state of Arkansas, the film provides an authentic look at life in the South (complete with catfish and hush puppies). Alabama native Walton Goggins co-stars.

White Lightning (1973) – Burt Reynolds (again!) stars as Gator McKlusky, a moonshine runner who agrees to help the feds get a corrupt sheriff (Ned Beatty) responsible for the death of Gator’s younger brother. The protagonist begins the film in prison, so we’re once again forced to give out bonus redneck points. The movie is also notable for the high occurrence of fistfights, car chases, naked women, and gunplay–all things that rednecks look forward to on the weekend.

Urban Cowboy (1980) – John Travolta plays a small-town boy who moves to Houston and gets caught up in the honky-tonk lifestyle. This leads to plenty of hangovers, one-night stands, bouts of mechanical bull-riding, fights with Scott Glenn, and doing the nasty with Debra Winger. The soundtrack was also a monster hit, boosted by songs from Kenny Rogers, Mickey Gilley (whose Gilley‘s nightclub was the setting for much of the film), Johnny Lee, Charlie Daniels and Anne Murray.

Smokey and the Bandit (1977) – Okay, Burt Reynolds, this is getting ridiculous. Burt plays Bo “The Bandit” Darville, an expert driver with only 28 hours to haul 400 cases of beer from Texarkana, Texas to Georgia. Along with his pal, Cletus “Snowman” Snow (Jerry Reed), Bandit heads out for Georgia, but they pick up an extra passenger along the way in the person of runaway bride Carrie (Sally Field). As luck would have it, her intended groom is the son of Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason), and the remainder of the film is a chase between the Smokey and the Bandit. After this film was released, everyone wanted to own a Trans Am, and only Star Wars made more money at the 1977 box office.

Every Which Way But Loose (1978) – Clint Eastwood stars alongside an orangutan named Clyde in this tale of a bare-knuckle fighter and his search for love, respect, and some extra cash. Ruth Gordon co-stars as the feisty Ma Boggs, and you won’t want to miss Philo Beddoe’s (Eastwood) constant run-ins with the motorcycle gang known as The Black Widows (“Right turn, Clyde.”).

Any Which Way You Can (1980) – The gang returns in this sequel to the hit Clint Eastwood monkey movie. This time around, Philo Beddoe (Eastwood) is matched up against Jack Wilson (William Smith) in a bare-knuckled fight for the ages. The mob gets involved, and so do The Black Widows and ex-girlfriend Lynn Halsey-Taylor (Sandra Locke). An epic fistfight ends the film, as Beddoe and Wilson beat other silly, pause to drink a beer, and wax philosophic on the nature of heterosexual love.

Poor White Trash (2000) – With a title like Poor White Trash, how could I not include it on a list of 15 really good movies for rednecks? Mike Bronco (Tony Denman) wants to get out of the trailer park, but none of his schemes ever seem to go as planned…at least not until he decides to become a burglar and recruit his best friend (Jacob Tierney) and mom (Sean Young). The film is rounded out with plenty of oddball characters portrayed by recognizable faces (including William Devane, Jaime Pressly, Danielle Harris and M. Emmet Walsh).

Sling Blade (1996) – Billy Bob Thornton makes the list in another film set in rural Arkansas, and this is the project that catapulted him to superstardom and got all those Tom Petty comparisons started. He plays Karl Childers, a mentally impaired man just released from a psychiatric hospital. Confined since the age of 12, Karl struggles to understand the outside world but soon befriends a young boy named Frank (Lucas Black) and his mother. John Ritter plays the mother’s homosexual friend, and Dwight Yoakam is a delight as her no-good boyfriend, Doyle. Karl killed his own mother and her boyfriend, by the way, so you’ve gotta wonder if someone isn’t going to end up with a toe tag.

All these white trash classics are available from Netflix, and we’ll get a small commission for sending you there. Please help, as I’ve got a car on blocks in the front yard that needs to be towed away pronto.

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