SATURDAY NIGHT SPECIAL is an umpteenth-generation retooling of THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, ostensibly grounded in the Nashville music scene on the strength of some of its real-life cameos. Using Music Row ringers in both lead and incidental roles, it tries to weld a quintessential film
noir story line to the crying-in-your-beer conventions of country weepers.
Itinerant songwriter Travis (Billy Burnette) happens into a small-town Tennessee tavern run by redneck behemoth T.J. (Rick Dean). T.J.'s wife Darlene (Maria Ford), a peroxide honey in a biker bra, is little more than a glorified barmaid, but clearly has the crackle of ambition in her eyes.
Onstage, Travis clicks with the house band, which luckily already knows all of his songs, and is offered a steady weekend gig, with some bartender shifts tossed in to pay the rent. He and Darlene try to sidestep the animal magnetism growing between them, but soon enough they're swappin' spit and
bumpin' uglies, while T.J. drinks himself into a beer-foam coma.
T.J.'s constant abuse, second nature by now, finally crosses a line, and Darlene hatches a plan, roping Travis in with the oldest of all leverages. When T.J. takes the trash out at night, Travis brains him with a tire iron. Everything goes smoothly enough, except that the back door is locked
afterwards, and Travis suspects Darlene of trying to set him up. They still manage to make love while scattering his ashes, though. The cops sniff around, but the pair escape justice until Darlene's true colors finally show through. She pulls the same scam with some other poor sap, leaving Travis
lying in the alley with his head split open.
Billy Burnette is a Nashville country songwriter and guitarist; his band features a number of Nashville session cats, including Dwight Twilley and former Dylan protege Carla Olsen (who played the memorable guitar lead in the "Sweetheart Like You" video). He's an odd choice as a B-movie romantic
lead, however: his prominent lower jaw and wiry crabwise stage moves make him resemble a lowbrow Springsteen with a permanent pout. The videotape carries a 1992 copyright by Capricorn Records, the legendary Allman Brothers label out of Georgia, but the film's of little interest except as a piece
of pop music trivia. (And if it's Nashville auteurism you're looking for, anyway, track down WEBB WILDER, PRIVATE EYE, which features Tootsie's Orchid Lounge mainstay and A THING CALLED LOVE star Webb Wilder as a grain belt gumshoe on the trail of UFOs, and features the immortal line of dialogue,
"I'm fixin' to pop the top on a tallboy can of whoopass.") SATURDAY NIGHT SPECIAL was released to video in rated and unrated versions; the unrated version has a running time of 77 minutes. (Violence, nudity, sexual situations, adult situations, profanity.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1994
- Rating: R
- Review: SATURDAY NIGHT SPECIAL is an umpteenth-generation retooling of THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE, ostensibly grounded in the Nashville music scene on the strength of some of its real-life cameos. Using Music Row ringers in both lead and incidental roles, it t… (more)