Max Baer's friendly fascist is one reason, but not the only one, to catch this disturbing 1974 film. In fact, Baer's smiling, upright sheriff seems a blood brother in some twisted sense to Mayberry's Andy Griffith. Based on fact, the movie portrays the misadventures of real-life brothers Alan and Jesse Vint, as they frolic through the 1950's South on their way to a date with the Army. Bad luck and Sheriff Baer however turn their joyride into a nightmare that finally ends in tragedy. The last scenes are a suspense-filled stunner. This is Baer's production and he uses it to observe the effects of gun culture, brutality, and race prejudice in fairly subtle fashion. Except for Geoffrey Lewis's overdone station attendant, the acting is first rate, with Joan Blackman a long way from her frothy Elvis movies. Special recognition should go to the casting of the two southern lowlifes who are the most convincing and sinister drifters I've seen, and are guaranteed to put chills up the spine. At times the script seems too deliberate, as though there are explanations for everything. Still, this is a first-rate thriller that deserves its cult status, and is ultimately a long, long way from the bucholic ideal of Sheriff Andy's Mayberry.