5.3/10
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12 user 7 critic

Death Car on the Freeway (1979)

Not Rated | | Mystery, Thriller | TV Movie 25 September 1979
A unknown, psychotic driver uses his van to kill unsuspecting female drivers on the freeway.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jan / Jan Claussen
...
Ralph Chandler
...
Lieutenant Haller
...
Mrs. Sheel
...
Rosemary
...
Lynn Bernheimer
...
Mr. Frisch
Alfie Wise ...
Ace Durham
...
Ray Jeffries
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Barry Hill
Tara Buckman ...
Jane Guston
...
Becky Lyons
Nancy Stephens ...
Christine
Gloria Stroock ...
Dr. Rita Glass
...
Mr. Blanchard
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Storyline

A woman is badly shaken when she is run off the freeway and nearly killed by a crazy van-driver. Her story is not taken too seriously by TV or the police - until another woman is killed in similar circumstances, also by a dark van. The police seem to have no leads, so a TV reporter starts investigating the similarities between the cases. As the deaths mount, she takes hazard-driving lessons. When she finally locates the driver's whereabouts, he's missing, but chases her onto the freeway... Written by Cynan Rees <cynanrees@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He Kills With a Van. Beautiful Women Are His Victims. Until One Meets Him Head On!

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

25 September 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Autoroute pour la mort  »

Filming Locations:


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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shelley Hack's TV debut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Penny Dreadful (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Feminist ramblings on the freeway
23 June 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After rewatching the exceptional TV-movie, Duel, recently, I started searching for other, similar flicks in the "horror on the highway" genre, and stumbled onto this quite odd, obscure (and quite bleached- out) flick about a van driver and targeting single women on the LA motorways. The print that I saw was quite bleached out, making some scenes almost unwatchable. The film also had a decidedly brown/ grey pallet, which coupled with the print's washed out, faint look, made it look like a sepia-toned black-and-white movie.

Part of the reason Duel was so effective was its setting on a lonely desert road over the course of a single day. With this film's action transplanted to busy LA motorways, it loses the feeling of isolation, and taking place over several days robs it of the urgency and immediacy Duel also had. The unseen driver targeting numerous people instead of just one, as Duel did, makes it difficult to get attached to any of the characters, or care if they survive.

The idea of the van driver changing the look of his van to confuse the people (after a description is broadcast on television) was a novel twist the first time, but lost its effectiveness when it was done repeatedly.

There were some decent enough car crashes and (curious) explosions, but they are widely separated, and what lies between is a lot of women's lib and feminist ramblings shoved down the audiences' collective throat, and the whole ordeal is further negated by the fact that we know the killer's identity will remain a secret, burned to a crisp in some fiery climactic explosion, and, sure enough.....


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