Mark L. Lester’s Truck Stop Women is an exploitation feature that treats sex, violence, and sensationalism with love and affection. And Steel Arena is an interesting look at small-town America, where people will risk their lives for entertainment.
When I interviewed the esteemed Producer/Director Roger Corman for Claudia Jennings’ biography, he said Unholy Rollers was his favorite of the four films Claudia appeared in for him. As Claudia’s breakthrough film, Unholy Rollers established the character she would be identified with until her death. Beautiful, fearless and ruthless, Karen Walker epitomized the Hollywood Bitch Goddess that many thought represented Claudia’s true nature. The film is noteworthy because it marked Claudia’s debut as a major B movie actress.
“A locker room look at the toughest broads in the world!”
This film was typical of the drive-in features Claudia Jennings appeared in the early 1970’s, with one notable exception. Although Truck Stop Women demonstrated what audiences would identify as the quintessential Claudia Jennings character, this was no working class, feminist hero Karen Walker from Unholy Rollers… In this film, Claudia commits about every original sin and violates a few new ones. She could easily be considered one of the screen’s best villains- a living nightmare, having no feelings for fellow human beings, and perhaps the sexiest sociopath of all time.
“No rig was too big for them to handle!”
For Claudia, The Man Who Fell to Earth was a dream come true. She was working with a veteran, respected director on a major film. This is what she had been waiting for… While her role was unbilled and her screen time was very limited, her impact on the movie was much greater than her brief appearance would indicate.