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"Eat My Dust" is a broad, cartoony action comedy from the Roger Corman hit factory. Just one of a number of car chase / car crash movies he made during this period, it stars ever likable Ron Howard, at the height of his 'Happy Days' fame. Ron plays Hoover Niebold, a young man who's determined to impress a sexy rich girl, Darlene Kurtz (luscious blonde Christopher Norris). So he steals "Mabel", the prized vehicle of race car driver Big Bubba Jones (Dave Madden of 'The Partridge Family'). He, Darlene, and his entourage (including Rons' younger brother Clint) then partake in an epic pursuit that takes up most of the hour and a half long run time.
People who love high speeds, lots of energy, impressive camera work, and grand scale vehicular mayhem are certain to have a fine time with this one. It's not for you if you're looking for depth, meaning, character development, and a really meaty story. Fortunately, writer / director Charles B. Griffith, a longtime Corman collaborator, knows how to satisfy the target audience, and gives "Eat My Dust" quite a bit of humor as well. It definitely has a chaotic feel to it at times, and characters often don't so much speak their dialogue as yell it. David Grisman composed the infectious, flavorful music score, serving as the perfect accompaniment. The stunt work is first rate, with Barbara Peeters ("Humanoids from the Deep") and the second unit giving it 100% percent.
Many of the performances are appropriately broad. With so many of the adult characters coming off as boobs, it's not too hard to root for Hoover and company. Warren J. Kemmerling plays Hoovers' lawman father, and there's a fair amount of familiar faces among the supporting cast: Brad David, Peter Isacksen, Rons' actor father Rance (as one of the deputies), Paul Bartel, Corbin Bernsen (as a slow witted gas station attendant), and Beach Dickerson. Ron is as engaging as he's ever been, and Norris is tantalizing as the object of his lust.
Overall, "Eat My Dust" is good of its type.
Seven out of 10.
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