Somewhere in the Ozarks: Buford (J.Pat O'Malley) has a girlfriend,
Mellie (Valerie Allen) much too pretty for an old good-for-nothing like
him - but he has witnessed her robbing and murdering somebody, so he has
taken her money and offered her a place to hide out. Now she claims she's
pregnant from him and insists on a marriage - why, I'm not sure. They are
soon enough married by travelling preacher Perkins (William Schallert),
too, even if that man eventually proves to be nothing but a conman who
knows Mellie from back in the day.
Buford's son Chub (Peter Colt) is
madly in love with Mellie, and he's afraid the kid she's carrying is his
and now wants to run away with her - but she keeps him at arm's length.
other son Rafe (Buzz Martin) on the other hand is in love with the
neighbour's girl Honey Bee (Jenny Maxwell), but her father Silas (Jackie
Searl) would rather shoot him than entrust him with his girl. Buford's
daughter Lucyanne (Nan Peterson) though has promised Rafe to help them
In the finale, Silas leads a lynchmob to Buford's house, but
instead of a shooting, all the conflicts of the story are resolved: the
preacher is revealed as the conman he is, but tells Mellie the man she
thinks she has killed has never actually died, so she's not a wanted woman
at all. And since she's not married to Buford, either, and has only made
up being pregnant, she leaves with the preacher. Rafe and Honey Bee get
engaged officially after her dad witnessed her trying to protect Rafe with
her life. Chub decides to go to town to try and make it on his own. And
Buford and Lucyann decide to go a bit downstream in their houseboat to
start all over. Oh, and the local distillery blows up.
best moments, this backwoods drama seems to anticipate the films of Russ
Meyer, both in tone and in plot, and even though there is no nudity in
this film (hardly surprising for a movie from 1963), it does feature a
handful of quite overt allusions. However, in its entirety, this film can
only be compared unfavourably to Meyer's body of work: Where Meyer was
hard-hitting, this film seems weirdly undecisive, where Meyer was
enjoyably mean this one is ambivalent, and while Meyer's dialogue was
always poignant, this one's just talky.
Now don't get me wrong, Shotgun
Wedding is not a total failure, for the most part it's not bad in
nailing the white trash backwoods atmosphere at least - it's just not a
very good film either.