31 January 2001 | katzenjammer
An interesting era- but questionable.....
"Honky" is about the inter-racial relationship between two high school kids, sliding off the rails in Middle America. Sheila (Brenda Sykes) is seventeen, black and some would say "a wild card". Her carefree attitude is, in part, defiance against her wealthy middle-class background.
At a high school football rally, she meets a white boy, Wayne (John Neilson) and the two hit it off. Wayne's mother is played by Marion Ross from TV's "Happy Days"- perhaps a spur for Sheila's attraction towards Wayne.
After a few sequences highlighting long lost daisy-age dialogue, Sheila asks for Wayne's help in dealing grass. After doing a drug run, the two get high and smash their wheels into another car. On this, the two pack their bags and flee west to California. On their way they encounter a doubtful group of rednecks, with a brutal plan in mind for the couple.
I don't know how accurate such films from the early '70s reflected racial attitudes of middle America- but ending this film on such a pessimistic note was a cop out. Why do so many films depicting Black and white relationships head towards an inevitable tragic outcome? It's also unfortunate that a character such as Sheila, living life with a rebellious sense of fun, should have to reach such a brutal comeuppance.
Still, there's much appeal for those wishing to dig up this 1971 time capsule. I'll even double this films rating thanks to Brenda Sykes- who is absolutely gorgeous. Someone should track her down for "Honky 2000", hopefully with an update on its racial comment.