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Buster and Billie (1974)

Georgia, 1948. Backward Billie (Joan Goodfellow) – who has been constantly abused by young men of the town – finally finds someone who will offer her real concern. It’s Buster Lane (Jan-Michael Vincent) who is engaged to be married to Margie (Pamela Sue Martin).

Soon, Buster breaks off his relationship with Margie and the rest of the town is shocked to see him going around with Billie in public and he’s scorned.

Eventually, the boys (Buster’s “friends”) that were having their way with Billie before Buster became her beau and her self-esteem was elevated, come looking for some more action.

Of course, Billie resists and fights back but she is beaten, raped and killed by the boys.

Buster finds her body shortly after the killing and ends up killing two of the boys. He is released from jail on bail just after Billie’s funeral, where she was buried with only Buster’s parents and the preacher being present. Even her own parents did not attend.

Goodfellow is fine as Billie, a sad figure with whom we sympathise more and more as her background and situation are revealed. But what the film gains in characterisation by the two leads it loses in its shallow treatment of Buster’s school friends and the other townsfolk.

Buster Lane
Jan-Michael Vincent
Margie Hooks
Pamela Sue Martin
Billie Jo Truluck
Joan Goodfellow
Clifton James
Robert Englund
Mrs Lane
Jessie Lee Fulton
Mr Lane
J.B. Joiner
Dell C. Payne
Mark Pendergraft
David Paul Dean
David Little
Vernon Beatty
Mrs Hooks
Doris Pearce
Mr Hooks
Carl Reddick
Dale Pearce

Daniel Petrie