“Stroker Ace” is a 1980’s ode to fried chicken, topless dudes and the ultra smooth taste of Winston cigarettes.
[Reason #1 for Burt Reynolds month: Burt Reynolds supposedly turned down a role in “Terms of Endearment”(one that Jack Nicholson won an OSCAR for) to play Stroker Ace.]
Stroker Ace(Burt Reynolds) is the bad boy of the NASCAR circuit. He says and does whatever he wants and wins with almost as much ease, when he has a car that can keep up with him. The only problem is his abrasiveness keeps sponsors away. Stroker’s pit chief Lugs(Jim Nabors) does what he can to hold things together, but it just isn’t working anymore.
Stroker has no choice but to sign with Clyde Torkle(Ned Beatty) the owner of The Chicken Pit chain of fried chicken restaurants. Mostly through being an idiot, he signs the enormous contract without reading it. Hilarity supposedly ensues when Stroker realizes there were unexpected clauses. He’s forced to do ribbon cutting ceremonies and other brilliantly funny things like wear a chicken suit. Ha. Ha. Classic comedy.
Burt Reynolds is playing his “I’m Burt F’N Reynolds” character that developed after he discovered he could make movies where he plays himself and people will still see them because he’s Burt F’N Reynolds. If you’re down with Burt being Burt, then you’ll be fine with his performance here. Jim Nabors reprises his role as “the guy who’s never been laid” and sings to cement his status as “that guy who people think are really goofy but has a nice singin’ voice.”(Ok… no more “made up names for things” in this review…)
“Stroker Ace” is really weird when it comes down to it. Most of the attempts at comedy aren’t successful, but there’s plenty of unintentional comedy and WTF moments. Including seeing how many men in the 1970s/80s didn’t wear shirts and a scene where I’m 95% sure Burt Reynolds rapes the female lead. It does, however, have it’s own theme song written by Charlie Daniels.[Legit Note: Theme songs for crappy movies need to make a come back] Also, keep an eye out for cameos from confederate flags and the “Mistress of the Dark”(I didn’t make that one up) Elvira.
“Stroker Ace” isn’t a groundbreaking piece of cinema. Hell, it isn’t even a decent piece of cinema, but it is the perfect movie to put on for a lazy Saturday and Nap During.