Lolly-Madonna XXX (1973) Kidnap, Moonshine, Screaming Piggies & Happy Families

Lolly-Madonna XXX (1973) poster kidnap movie artwork

With that wonderfully exploitative title, Lolly-Madonna XXX it really grabs your attention. And to be honest I really didn’t know what I was getting myself involved with. I’d found out pretty early on in the film that the triple X wasn’t there for it’s pornographic nature but in fact it relates to “kiss kiss kiss”. However, don’t get me wrong, this film is still strictly 18 certificate material.

I’d been sitting on Lolly-Madonna XXX looking for the right time to watch it. In my usual film watching fashion I’d gone in as uninformed to the plot as I possibly could. With just the title and that tough poster image above. A terrified young lady tied up with two figures standing over her with clenched fists and guns. It’s hard to find the right time to feel in the mood for such tough films! I’d imagined it was gonna be something like Wolf Lake. Which I’d imagined looked similar but in reality they couldn’t be further apart. Saying that, one thing does connect them and that would be the growling, snarling Rod Steiger.

Lolly-Madonna XXX (1973) Rod Steiger - Laban FeatherLolly-Madonna XXX (1973) Robert Ryan

It was a nice surprise to see Rod Steiger name appear in the opening credits. Then my excitement rose as the names kept coming. Robert Ryan was next. I couldn’t believe it. So many famous names and faces. (See the cast list below)  How, with so many big names, can this film be relativity unknown? It must be because it was gonna be rubbish right? Cue up my next surprise….. This film was exceptional, it had me transfixed from the get go.

Lolly-Madonna XXX (1973) Ed Lauter - Hawk rusting truck

What on Earth could it be about and whats with that title?

You know you’re in for it when a movie starts with melodramatic music set to a collage of family photo’s with happy, smiling faces. Wonderful memories of two friendly family units set within rural Nashville, Tennessee. What really could go wrong for these two neighbors, The Feathers and The Gutshalls? Yeah of course we know it. Our false sense of security is thrown completely straight outta the window! A few years have passed and the vibe has completely changed. The land looks poor, the faces worn. A deep sadness fills the air. Broken down houses and rusting cars fill the muddy yards. Two characters jump into an old truck and excitingly drive into town. Three men watch. You can only describe these men as hillbillies.

Lolly-Madonna XXX (1973) the Feathers family photo

The Feathers

Lolly-Madonna XXX (1973) the Gutshalls family photo

The Gutshalls

With the arrival of a letter signed Lolly-Madonna and three kisses announcing she would be at the bus stop interchange at a certain time. The two men drive to intercept her. Little do they know that the letter is a fake. Just a rouse to get them out the way for the other three men. Unfortunately for a young girl called Roonie Gill (Season Hubley), sitting innocently waiting for her bus, her day was about to change.

Lolly-Madonna XXX (1973) Ed Lauter - Hawk Roonie Gill (Season Hubley)

This moment was the catalyst that would push these two now warring, feuding families into frenzy. Smashing moonshine equipment, stealing pigs, trespassing on each others land, fighting and bickering against one another and even within their own clan. These two families had gone from friends to bitter enemies over the course of a year and one tragic accident. A bubbling deep infested hatred was about to explode.

The Feathers Clan

Rod Steiger – Laban Feather
Katherine Squire – Chickie Feather
Scott Wilson – Thrush
Jeff Bridges – Zack
Timothy Scott – Skylar
Ed Lauter – Hawk
Randy Quaid – Finch

The Gutshall Clan

Robert Ryan – Pap Gutshall
Tresa Hughes – Elspeth Gutshall
Kiel Martin – Ludie
Joan Goodfellow – Sister E
Paul Koslo – Villum
Gary Busey – Zeb

Lolly-Madonna XXX (1973) Kiel Martin (Ludie) Paul Koslo (Villum) Gary Busey (Zeb)

What was to come during these bitter feuds was not just horrific violence and crazed madness but strangely caught up in all the mayhem is a real deep core of emotional darkness. Complexed emotions trapped in blood and family pride. All caused from one traumatic accident that threw everyone into despair and now with the arrival of Lolly-Madonna the fires have been well and truly stoked.

Lolly-Madonna XXX (1973) Roonie Gill (Season Hubley) Jeff Bridges - Zack

Tagline – A simple prank… a game…nobody won.

  • Lolly-Madonna XXX is directed by Richard C. Sarafian.
  • Richard C. Sarafian is known for the brilliant 1971 thriller Vanishing Point (I’m super psyched to see this again soon). And a film called Man in the Wilderness (1971) with Richard Harris which I have just found out is based on the same story as Leo DiCaprio character in The Revenant (2015)
  • Lolly-Madonna XXX is based on a book by author Sue Grafton 1969 novel called The Lolly-Madonna War.
  • The film is obviously inspired by the infamous Hatfield–McCoy feud of the 19th century.

Lolly-Madonna XXX (1973) poster pitchfork simple prank gone wrong movie artwork

You know what I wasn’t expecting this to be a “proper” film if you know what I mean. On a bit of research I read it really split the critics at the time. Some absolutely hating it. Maybe it’s aged better in these times? I don’t know but I was drawn into this deeply channeling film that hits hard with violence but can instantly counteract that savage nature with unconditional beautiful sweet moments. In those scenes the actors pour every ounce of their talents without over doing it. Whether it’s a fleeting moment talking about tears, the beautiful scenery or being an imaginary Elvis or standing up for your family, whatever the consequences. You’ll need to hold on to those sweet moments, tightly, to help take away the screaming bacon!

Worth tracking down if you haven’t seen it. If you have please let me know what you thought. Was it just me that thought it was an incredible film?

Thanks as always for taking the time to see what’s been on ole Wolfies watch list.

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14 thoughts on “Lolly-Madonna XXX (1973) Kidnap, Moonshine, Screaming Piggies & Happy Families

  1. Another Ryan film notched on your gun belt. What an impressive cast in this and looking back it’s my earliest memory of some of these guys having seen the film as a youngster on late night TV when I probably shouldn’t have been. No wonder I’ve been a fan of guys like Ed Lauter my whole life. Here’s a “Take” from way back to enjoy …. https://mikestakeonthemovies.com/2016/01/03/man-in-the-wilderness-1971/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Always enjoy catching a Ryan film and it was unintensional too. So it was a nice bonus. Yeah man I can imagine you were too young to see it. It’s well hardcore in places. Hehe by hook or by crook we woudl squeeze in whatever crazy film we could back then regardless of age. Remember seeing “The Exterminator” at not much older than 10 years old and oh course it obviously freaked me out. LOL I must revisit it one day. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I did know the title of this one but nothing else. Like you I probably assumed it was a bad exploitation flick. When I started reading, I guessed this was set in the ’20s or ’30s but it seems to be contemporary.

    Robert Ryan is usually good. Rod Steiger is always interesting. Not always good, but always interesting! I’m kind of interested in this now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • hehe yeah ole moody pants Rod Steiger. I always love him as he’s in one of my all time favourite films. Giù la testa aka Fistful of Dynamite AKA Duck You Sucker. Hehe yes he can be Mr hit with a selection of miss but like you say he’s always interesting.

      I tell you what Jay, Lolly-Madonna hit me for six. It was right out the park unexpected brilliant. Maybe it was just the right perfect moment I was in but it got me hook line and sinker.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I was ten years old when this movie was released, and with Pussycat Theaters located throughout the San Diego area, I naturally assumed that XXX meant rated XXX, stupidly not noticing the PG box right there on the poster. And good lord, what a cast list…names I recognize from all walks of cinematic life. And Richard C. Sarafian…I just watched a film he directed, that hmmm, you may find out about this coming Sunday!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Never heard of this, but it sounds like a crazy ride!
    I definitely hope in my next life I’m named Roonie. I’d get a lotta crap at school for it, but later in life it’d be great.
    Interesting about Richard Harris in a movie based on the same story as The Revenant.
    I only remember Richard Harris in two things: Orca and Unforgiven. He’s really good, obviously, but his son Jared…superb. Did you see any of the TV series The Terror?

    It’s funny about Lolly-Madonna, though, how you describe it, because it looks SUPER low budget, but you obviously thought it was very well done. We were watching Silent Running tonight and talking about the exact same thing–mostly where effects were concerned, though. It was really low budget, but some of the “ship” effects and space effects were REALLY well done, like better than the back projection in Alien, which came later. Lolly-Madonna seems like it was very well acted and really pulls the viewer in, which is all we can ask for with movies, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    • First things first please except my apologise for the late reply.
      Second. No way! How on Earth didn’t I know or even blooming realise that Jared was Richard Harris’s son! I was completely speechless (I blame that moment for taking 3 days to get back to your comment hehe). Seriously I’ve just watched the insanely brilliant Chernobyl which he stars in and I never knew. (massive recommendation if you haven’t seen it). Plus he’s in so many amazing films and series. Doh! LOL and I know his name so well but never put two and two together. He even looks like him when you know. What a doofus I am.!!!
      I keep meaning to watch The Terror. I know I’m gonna love it. I need to bump that right up the list. Might start it this weekend if I can.

      Silent Running is a wonderful film and big favourite of mine. It’s directed by Douglas Trumbull who was the special guy from 2001 A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner and Close Encounters. That’s why the ships looks so cool on the low budget. Plus you get the cute robots Huey, Dewey and Louie.

      I’d had a few jam jars of moonshine and was in the perfect place for Lolly-Madonna and got really taken in by the whole story. Yeah it grabbed me and had me pulled right into its compelling and rather depressing world.

      ps funny on the Roonie 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I feel you, brah, lol. I didn’t realize about Jared till hubby told me.
    Chernobyl was fanTAStic!
    Huey, Dewey and Louie–does everyone know but me they’re actually people who have no legs who are walking on their arms in the costume?!
    Another hubbyism. He knows all things film-wise…….. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep I did know that. Say that’s another reason why CGI is so wack! It’s taking those jobs away. Yeah maybe they don’t really want to do them though who really wouldn’t wanna be in a Hollywood film and be a darling cute little robot! Now they even shrink the actors down taking even more jobs away. Now how is that “woke” Hollywooooood. Hey!
      Of course I half jest but you know what I mean. 🙂
      Chernobyl was incredible. So good to hear you both saw that too.
      I watched the first two episodes of The Terror! last night. My oh my I’m totally hooked. The look of it is amazing! The actors incredible, the ice is character all of it’s own. Thanks for the kick up the derrière.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. So glad you’re liking it. You’ll love the rest too. I read the book years ago! The mini-series lives up to the book’s greatness, thank God.
    True about jobs, though. The artistry, imagination, woodworking, actual building and painting by hand sets and props, etc., etc……all those jobs gone. And they often DID SO MUCH BETTER!

    Waaaaah!

    Liked by 1 person

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