Killers Three (1968)

In this exploitation flick, Johnny (Robert Walker, Jr.) is a driver for a backwoods moonshine boss, constantly outrunning a pair of inept Feds. Hi Army buddy, Roger (Dick Clark) comes to visit Johnny, wife Carol (Diane Varsi), and their son Tony. The first half of the film is slow-moving and dull, but once Johnny hatches a far-fetched robbery plan that backfires miserably, all four are on the run and the movie picks up somewhat. In the spirit of BONNIE AND CLYDE, which was released the previous year, KILLERS THREE attempts to draw a sympathetic picture of Johnny, Carol, and Roger as they successfully evade the authorities through the underbrush of North Carolina. In the final ten minutes, the movie succeeds on this score, only because in the shadow of overwhelming fire power provided by the Feds and the cops, the running criminals seem almost brave as they fight on. On reflection, though, it is only dumb luck and a contrived script that keeps them going. The stupidity of their crimes and continued killings works against the fragile sympathy evoked here and there during the course of this crude movie. You can tell this film was tailor-made for drive-in showings — Merle Haggard’s repetitive Greek-chorus balladeering reiterates all plot points two, three, maybe four times; when the talk-talk-talk gets too cooked, the makers throw in a car chase.