William Smith plays Lonnie Johnson, an aging race car driver, who's sponsor, FastCo Motor Treatment, represented by John Saxon, is about to can him due their quest for a youthful and cheaper image. Claudia Jennings is his long-distance girlfriend in a not wholly original, but fascinating look at the traveling race-car circuit and it's casualties.
This may be the ultimate drive-in feature; part-documentary, part-exploitation puncuated by moments of eerie silence that proves Cronenberg can do anything he wants with any type of material and make it interesting. Strange, lingering scenes of mechanics maintaining vehicles with up-close clinical precision (as well as surreal inside-the-car camerawork) will satisfy Cronenberg's most hardcore fans, as well as the sense of desolation and alienation amongst the highways, broken-down racetracks, and most importantly, the fans and drivers of the Pacific Northwest. This may be Cronenberg's most interesting film, since it's material you would never expect him to tackle, and because it's the least-seen movie in his catalogue. Highly recommended and worth tracking down by any means necessary.
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