• Bobbie Jo And The Outlaw (Blu-Ray)

    Released By: Kino Lorber/Scorpion Releasing
    Released On: December 08, 2015
    Director: Mark L. Lester
    Cast: Lynda Carter, Marjoe Gortner, Jesse Vint
    Year: 1976
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    The Movie:

    Lyle Wheeler (Marjoe Gortner) is living the dream, roaming care-free from town-to-town, and making his living in quick-draw demonstrations for spectators enamored by the Old West. When his car breaks down after a demonstration, he opts out of fixing it and instead decides to hijack the fancy yellow Mustang of a traveling leather salesman. Spotted by a cruiser-driving Smokey while speeding down the highway in New Mexico brings out the outlaw in Lyle, and he rams the cruiser off the road into a fiery mess...just for the fun of it...and carries on his merry way.

    His travels bring him to a western-themed drive-in restaurant, where he first lays eyes on the beautiful Bobbie Jo (Lynda Carter), a sassy carhop in a stetson and cowboy boots. When she ignores his wanton stares and sends her co-worker Essie (Belinda Balaski) over to service him, he overcomes the cold shoulder and creepily follows her to the home that she shares with her mother; a big fan of the Lord who disagrees with her daughter's runnin' around. Fed up with her mother's lectures on kissing boys, Bobbie Jo takes the easy route and jumps in the car with Lyle, hitting the road. After a deep conversation in which she confesses her dream of being a country singer, Lyle in turn tells her that he's always wanted to be like Billy The Kid, which warms her up enough to play him a country song that she wrote, accompanied by some poorly-mimed guitar playing. His further appreciation of her music gets their kindred spirits a little hot in the pants, and the two consummate their new-found relationship in the great outdoors.

    Moving on down the road, now with Essie in tow, Lyle asserts his outlawness even further when he proves to be adept at pinball hustling, which gets them into a scrape with some local hoods; and if there was every any doubt of his badassery, he blasts it away when the threesome trip their balls off in a mountain stream with an Indian and some mushrooms, with Lyle's vision showing him as an Old West gunfighter, hunted down by a posse. Unfortunately, outlaw don't mean intelligent, and Lyle's insistence on keeping the stolen Mustang draws the attention of the police, resulting in a high-speed chase that sends the trio to shack up with Bobbie Jo's stripper sister Pearl and her boyfriend Slick Callahan. But Slick is into some nasty outlaw habits himself, and Lyle gets caught up in a murder during a regular burglary. Forced together to survive and stay out of jail, the gang head south on a bank-robbing, M16-toting mission of chaos, and Lyle's drug-induced vision of being relentlessly pursued by the law becomes a reality.

    Bobbie Jo And The Outlaw, to get the obvious out of the way first, is a damn fun movie. It's not particularly well-done, it's not the most competent display of filmmaking, but when has that ever gotten in the way of a good film? Mark L. Lester, whose resume reads like a list of awesome, keeps the film rolling along at a good clip for the most part, though he does falter here and there; and really, the only complaint would be that some of it moves a little TOO fast, though whether this is the fault of the editor or the director is up for debate; but there are some pretty rough cuts in here. That aside, entertainment factor is high, with a perfect cast complimenting a simplistic story. Marjoe Gortner is essentially the guy that Matthew McConaughey plays in Dazed and Confused, with an alrightalrightalright attitude throughout. Lynda Carter is competent for the most part (though she does head into laughably horrible at moments) and the notable nude scenes that she appears in are....refreshing...and Belinda Balaski brings a dynamic to the group that is simply wonderful.

    Sure, some of the scenes are unintentionally funny; and they definitely get their mileage out of Bobby Bare's track, "Those City Lights"; but Bobbie Jo and The Outlaw remains a thoroughly entertaining example of the types of films that were made in the 70's that you just don't see anymore. And hey, Lynda Carter.


    Bobbie Jo And The Outlaw comes to Kino/Scorpion Blu in an AVC-encoded transfer that is pretty much par for the course when it comes to Kino Lorber. There's no real cleanup or restoration done here, the picture has a good deal of dirt and a bit of damage, and the blacks could be a little deeper...but otherwise, this is a perfectly serviceable print with lots of detail and grain. Though it's mentioned in the commentary that the film is 1.85:1, and 1.85:1 is written on the back of the case, I'll be damned if I can see this in any way but 1.78:1...and no, there's no overscan happening on my TV, and A/B'ing it with another 1.85:1 transfer doesn't show that there's anything wrong with the display.

    Also par for the Kino course is a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track that's actually pretty rough compared to some of their other releases. Though the dialogue is relatively clear for the most part, sections of the track are slightly distorted and/or muffled, and the whole thing sits somewhere around the tinny/abrasive range for dynamics. Nonetheless, it's not a chore to listen to, and shouldn't dissuade fans of the film or potential buyers.

    There are no subtitles provided for this release.

    The first group of extras on the disc are three on-camera interviews; with Director Mark L. Lester (11:56), Producer/Pearl Actress Merrie Lynn Ross (16:35), and Essie Actress Belinda Balaski (11:21). A wide range of topics are discussed in the three interviews, some of them redundant, some of them contradictory (such as the hiring of Dennis Hopper), but you can expect to hear about the characters, wardrobe, how Merrie Lynn Ross did just about everything, and of course, Lynda Carter's nude scenes.

    The next extra is a commentary with Mark Lester, where he talks about the New Mexico locations, the inspiration for the film (an Eagles song!), the statements that the film makes, and how easy it was making a movie in the 70's compared to later years. Though it starts off well, there are some huge gaps in the commentary and spots where Lester trails off, and a moderator would definitely have been handy.

    A Trailer for the film rounds out the extras.

    The Final Word:

    It's fun, it's fast-paced, and it's got three of the four food groups in sex, drugs, and violence (no rock n roll, just country). What's not to like? Also, Lynda Carter.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!

    Comments 4 Comments
    1. Jason C's Avatar
      Jason C -
      Nice review Mark. Love the screens . I enjoyed the hell out of this film and will be upgrading my MGM MOD DVD.
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      Can't take credit for the caps, that's all Mr. Jane, but thanks for the kind words. It's a good-lookin' film.
    1. texastab's Avatar
      texastab -
      I managed a movie theater for the summer of 1976. We were part of AIP's "prestigious" chain (back in the days of Red Carpet Theaters, Blue Ribbon Theaters, etc.). The first double feature playing when I started was "Bobbi Jo And The Outlaw" and "They Came From Within!" Lester and Cronenberg - nice beginning to a ridiculous job for a nineteen year old...
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      Sounds like a good time!