Gus Trikonis was a very efficient and underrated director of delightfully down'n'dirty '70s drive-in low-budget exploitation fare.
Born on November 21, 1937, in New York City, Trikonis began his show business career as both an actor and a dancer in Broadway plays and movies. His most popular film role was as Indio in the magnificent musical classic West Side Story. He made his debut as director in 1969 with the biker flick Five the Hard Way, following it with the pleasingly silly soft-core romp The Student Body and the marvelously lively psycho trash gem The Swinging Barmaids. The first-rate Nashville Girl and the immensely entertaining Moonshine County Express were two superior entries in the then fashionable redneck picture sub-genre. The Evil was likewise a strong and scary haunted house horror item. The hilariously rowdy blue collar comedy Take This Job and Shove It was Trikonis' biggest mainstream success, while the extremely fun'n'funky Dance of the Dwarfs was a nifty blend of both the jungle action adventure and monster horror movie genres. By the early '80s Trikonis began directing mostly for television. He did a bunch of made-for-TV pictures and directed episodes of TV shows.
Trikonis was married to Goldie Hawn from 1969 to 1974. Outside of acting and directing, Trikonis has done several oil paintings.