• Six Pack

    Released by: Anchor Bay Entertainment
    Relased on: 4/4/2006
    Director: Daniel Petrie
    Cast: Kenny Rogers, Erin Grey, Diane Lane, Barry Corbin, Anthony Michael Hall
    Year: 1982
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    The Movie:

    Six Pack really does have it all in terms of the talent that the producers managed to wrangle up to work on this film. Not only is it directed by Daniel Petrie, the same man who worked with Paul Newman on Fort Apache – The Bronx, and not only does it star steely-eyed Kenneth Ray Rogers as well sex pots Erin Grey and Diane Lane, but it’s the big screen debut of one Anthony Michael Hall! Yep, before he went on to warm hearts and wet panties in The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles or before he charmed the world as Rusty in National Lampoon’s Vacation, old Anthony was cast oppostie The Gambler himself in this tale of a race car driver and his orphan friends.

    But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself…

    Six Pack tells the story of Brewster Baker (Kenny Rogers of The Gambler), a steely-eyed stock car driver who is trucking along with his car tied on to the back of his motorhome. As he’s driving through Texas one fine sunny day he stops along the way to get some gas and after taking care of business comes back out to find that someone has stripped the goods off of his car! This sucks for many reasons, but it sucks most of all because Brewster was planning to make his big comeback with that car and now that it’s been turned into a shell of its former self, that’s going to be tricky. Brewster’s a man who don’t take no crap, however, and he chases after the would be car theives and finds out that they’re not the nefarious hoodlums he’d expected to find but they are in fact a gang of six orphan kids, the youngest being seven and the oldest, Breezy (the stunning Diane Lane of Unfaithful in an early role), being sixteen.

    Brewster is curious about how this has all come about and through some slick detective work he finds out that the Sheriff (Barry Corbin of The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas who has played a Sheriff at least a dozen times throughout his career) is actually the brains behind the operation and this discover lands him in the clink. Good thing for Brewster that the kids have taken a shining to him and Swifty (Robby Still) manages to impersonate a cowboy/gunfighter type and spring him from his cold, dark cell. Brewster decides he’d better split and the kids tag along with him but the Sheriff doesn’t want word getting out about his criminal dealings and so he chases after them. Good thing these kids can repair cars in their sleep – they monkeyed with the Sheriff’s cruister and put a stop to his high speed pursuit. This causes Brewster to think things over and while he doesn’t want to admit it, that big, soft heart of his is starting to warm up to these little rascals, despite what his girlfriend Lilah (Erin Gray of Buck Rogers) thinks. He decides to take them on as his pit crew and with their help manages to get his career back on track. Things are going pretty smooth for Brewster and company until his old arch-rival, Terk (Terry Kiser who has showed up in no less than three episodes of Walker: Texas Ranger), shows up and that pesky Sheriff makes his return…

    Six Pack isn’t very good nor is it well made and truth be told it’s not very funny either but it is weird – just check out the sing along scene for proof! As such, it manages to be a pretty enjoyable time killer. Once one is able to see past the novelty of watching Kenny Rogers and his steely eyes in the role of a stock car driver you’re able to appreciate the number of odd little cameos and bit parts that this film has to offer. The six kids in the film will work their way into your heart in much the way they worked their way into Kenny’s whether you like it or not (especially Diane Lane…yowza!) and it’s interesting to see how Kenny Rogers’ character finds himself falling into the role of surrogate dad as the movie progresses. He starts to care about them, going so far as to correct Swifty’s language (this kid swears like a truck driver and Robby Still’s performance really drives home the fact that these kids have had a hard knock life) and counselling Breezy on her wanton ways, even though he doesn’t really want to care. It’s strange, but it’s also touching and really it simply serves as an extension of the growth we see his best known character, Brady Hawkes from The Gambler movies, go through with Bruce Boxleitner’s character in those films, times six. Kenny Rogers seems to excel in roles where he is a wise and worldy man who ends up taking someone in need of a father figure under his wing and schooling them in the ways of man. In much the same way that many of his better songs have life lessons to teach us, so too do many of his films, Six Pack being no exception.


    The 1.85.1 anamorphic widescreen video on this DVD is sold despite a few scenes that exhibit some moderate grain and mild print damage. Color reproduction is solid from start to finish and while there are a couple of scenes that do look just a hair on the soft side, there are also a few others where the detail is so clear you can almost count the hairs on Kenny’s two chins.

    The Dolby Digital Mono soundtrack isn’t bad. There’s a bit of hiss in one or two spots but other than that the dialogue is clean and clear and you won’t have any problems following the action. Pay close attention to the soundtrack used throughout the film as it features some of Kenny’s soothing music which just adds to the charm of the film. Additionally, if you listen even closer, you’ll hear the sounds of Merle Haggard and Crystal Gale as well!

    Unfortunately the only supplement on this release is the film’s original theatrical trailer, which plays up some of the racing scenes. This is a film that really should have had a commentary or in-depth retrospective documentary – it would have been interesting to hear of Kenny’s real life relationship with the child actors from the film or about the stunt driving/stock car scenes in the film, but no, we don’t get any of that, which is a real shame. What a wasted opportunity. For shame, Anchor Bay Home Entertainment. For shame!

    The Final Word:

    Anchor Bay gives Six Pack a fine presentation that really should have had more supplments but which otherwise does this oddball Kenny Rogers starring vehicle justice.