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Girls on the Road

2.2 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Two wild teenage girls, Debbie (Kathleen Cody) and Karen (Dianne Hull, FIFTH FLOOR, ALOHA BOBBY AND ROSE) hit the road for some freedom, boys, and unexpected danger in this 1973 drive-in classic! The girls pick up a handsome Vietnam veteran (Michael Ontkean, TWIN PEAKS, SLAP SHOT, MAID TO ORDER) who is still troubled from his time at war, but is trying his best to fit in. They all end up at a hippie encounter session run by John (Ralph Waite, THE WALTONS, THE BODYGUARD) in a peaceful village by the ocean. It's all fun and games until the girls discover that a serial killer is murdering girls.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Ontkean, Dianne Hull, Ralph Waite, Kathleen Cody
  • Directors: Tom Schmidt
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Scorpion Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 31, 2010
  • Run Time: 79 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003KO1JQ2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,637 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Girls on the Road" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Two young girls, Karen (Dianna Hull) and Debbie (Kathleen Cody), hit the wide-open road in search of kicks, ignoring the fact that a serial killer is murdering young women along the beach of California's Big Sur. They rent a car, drive recklessly (a cop gives Karen a ticket for throwing her bra out the window) and screw with the heads of a series of hitch-hikers (including two gay guys), nearly hitting one guy on the side of the road. These girls are nothing but two spoiled brats who only care about themselves. Also on the road hitch-hiking is recently-released manic depressive Army soldier Will (Michael Ontkean), who we see in the beginning of the film beating up two guys playing pool in a bar for no reason at all, after having a flashback (which he has frequently) with his Army psychiatrist (who releases Will after telling him that the Army has done all they can). Will may also be the serial killer on the loose. Karen and Debbie pick up Will and he brings them to the Institute For Human Potential, a hippie encounter group run by Will's old friend John (Ralph Waite). John tells Will to ditch the Army uniform ("It's a false identity.") if he wants to stay at the Institute. Karen and Debbie catch the eye of The Maker (John McMurtry), a creepy Institute teacher and old Army buddy of Will's. The trio then go to Debbie's parents' beach house, where a bunch of hippies are squatting. One of them knocks out Will and they take off. When Will comes to, he grabs his gun and goes after them. When nighttime comes and Will doesn't return, Debbie and Karen go back to the Institute looking for him. John returns with them to the beach house, where they find a groggy Will waiting by the door. John invites the girls to come back to the Institute in the morning and walks back to the Institute.Read more ›
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This is one of the worst 70's drive-in movies I've ever seen, and I'm a fan of drive-in movies. The most important point is it's only 41 minutes of an 80 minute movie. What the heck Amazon, where's the rest of the movie? Even if the rest of the movie was there I don't think it would help this dog. In the first half there are so many cliches and holes in the plot the missing second half couldn't possibly fix it. Oh, if you were looking for some 70's sexploitation you won't find it here. Zero - Zip, just stupid dialog. What a bore!
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obvious from the outset that "the soldier" hadn't done the murders at Big Sur since he wasn't there at that time. The emphasis on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was an intentionally misleading artifice. Throwing the uniform which had been the origins of the traumatic stresses was a clear indication of restoring health as was accepting "no" for an answer from the primary girl and perhaps even the *choice* not to accept the other girl. Similarly obvious that the promoter of fantasies "the Maker" was an obsessive avoider of reality to the point of killing characters he didn't want around any more. That "the Maker" was a prime mover in the group grope situations similarly indicated avoidance of the essential rights and perquisites of Individual humans. No mystery in this movie which proclaimed itself to be about mysterious killings. The photography was a major weak point as was the effort to create a "mystery" out of a script entirely lacking in mysterious content.
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This is a pretty dumb low-budget film, but I actually like dumb low-budget films, lol. The big surprise here was seeing Ralph Wait, the dad in the Waltons, as a beach bum philosopher/guru. It's worth watching for that. It's really not that bad of a film and if, like me, you remember the 60s vividly, you'll probably get a kick out of a some of it. The filmmaking is surprisingly solid, except EXCEPT for the weird flashback out-of-focus scenes, they are annoying and very humorous. Thank God for the fast forward button!

It's free with Amazon Prime (and I hope a lot of these old B movies show up there) and so what the heck, you can watch it for free and get a look at Daddy Walton with a beard dressed up like a hippy. :)
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Girls on the Road (also known as Hot Summer Week in case you're trying to find additional info on it) is trying to be waaay too many films at once - a coming-of-age film, a political commentary on the effects of war, a thriller and a slasher/horror for maybe five seconds. The acting is fairly decent, but the storyline drags on into nothingness for the longest stretch of the film. The only reason I stayed watching it was to see some early work of Michael Onkean (who later starred and will star again as Sheriff Harry S. Truman in Twin Peaks). But the ending is spliced together because apparently they forgot that they're supposed to catch the killer who is mentioned in the film description. Better films await.
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This film is not complete! 41 mins. Where's the rest of it? Who is killing all the hippies? Peace, love, dud.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The new Scorpion DVD (released in 2010) is far superior to the old VHS release of the film from the 1980's. The DVD is anamorphic widescreen, and has a couple of extras: an interview with the screenwriter and a trailer preview.

My four-star rating mainly pertains to the new DVD itself. The movie is fun enough, but not a drive-in classic. It was released in 1972 under the title HOT SUMMMER WEEK, and then later retitled GIRLS ON THE ROAD. The girls only spend the first half of the film on the road, so the retitling is a bit exploitative (wow-a drive-in movie being exploited?).

One of the girls is played by Kathleen Cody, who mainly played "the girlfriend" or "the cute girl" in some Disney comedies. It's fun to see her get a little trashy in this film, and a nice change from her normal goody-two-shoes personna.

Those who enjoy films like THE YOUNG GRADUATES (1971) and THE YOUNG CYCLE GIRLS (1978) would probably like this one, too.
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