Down 5,658 this week

Running on Empty (1982)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.8/10 from 229 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 2 critic

This film collects just what it was like to be in Australia in the early 80's. It's about hot cars, hot chicks and hot times. The story begins when two local street racers agree to race Fox... See full summary »



0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 15 titles
created 12 Mar 2011
a list of 17 titles
created 30 Jun 2011
a list of 843 titles
created 17 Oct 2011
a list of 122 titles
created 10 Jan 2013

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Running on Empty (1982)

Running on Empty (1982) on IMDb 5.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Running on Empty.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

About a married woman who falls in love with a single mom.

Director: Nitara Lee Osbourne
Stars: Kathleen Benner, Rachel Owens, Jose Rosete
Stone (1974)
Action | Drama | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Members of the Grave Diggers Motorcycle Club are being knocked off one by one, and someone needs to find out why! Sandy Harbutt's timeless Australian cult film about a bunch of renegades riding Kawasaki 900s.

Director: Sandy Harbutt
Stars: Ken Shorter, Sandy Harbutt, Deryck Barnes
Action | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

In the near future, drive-in theatres are turned into concentration camps for the undesirable and unemployed. The prisoners don't really care to escape because they are fed and they have a ... See full summary »

Director: Brian Trenchard-Smith
Stars: Ned Manning, Natalie McCurry, Peter Whitford
Dirty Deeds (2002)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Set in 1960's Sydney, this is the story of an Australian gangster whose booming business, buoyed by the influx of U.S. soldiers in town for R&R during their tours in Vietnam, attracts the ... See full summary »

Director: David Caesar
Stars: Bryan Brown, Toni Collette, John Goodman
Comedy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

The small town of Paris, Australia deliberately causes car accidents, then sells/salvages all valuables from the wrecks as a means of economy.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Terry Camilleri, John Meillon, Kevin Miles
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Joey owns a pizza parlor, and is married to Rosalee, and is a major womanizer. Rosalee goes to extremes when she finds he has been cheating.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Stars: Kevin Kline, Tracey Ullman, William Hurt
Dogfight (1991)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

1963, the night before the 18 years old "Birdlace" Eddie and his friends are shipped to Vietnam. They play a dirty game called 'Dogfight': all of them seek a woman for a party, and who ... See full summary »

Director: Nancy Savoca
Stars: River Phoenix, Lili Taylor, Richard Panebianco
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Story of two men drag racing across the USA in a primer grey 55 chevy. Wilson is the mechanic, James Taylor is the driver.

Director: Monte Hellman
Stars: James Taylor, Warren Oates, Laurie Bird
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

After discovering that a group of car thieves may have something to do with his father's untimely death, Steve pursues the criminals and attempts to capture them as well as prove his prowess as a racecar driver.

Director: Quentin Masters
Stars: James Laurie, Gia Carides, Max Cullen


Cast overview, first billed only:
Terry Serio ...
Deborah Conway ...
Richard Moir ...
Penne Hackforth-Jones ...
Vangelis Mourikis ...
Grahame Bond ...
Bob Barrett ...
Warren Blondell ...
Jon Darling ...
Peter Davies ...
Ram's Mate
Kristoffer Greaves ...
Paul Johnstone ...
Lecherous Garage Attendant
Maurice Hughes ...


This film collects just what it was like to be in Australia in the early 80's. It's about hot cars, hot chicks and hot times. The story begins when two local street racers agree to race Fox, the faster street drag racer there is. After two of the three race rounds, the race is no longer a game, but more of a survival! Written by Graham Wilson Jr <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He'll win at any cost... See more »


Action | Drama | Sport


See all certifications »




Release Date:

5 August 1982 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Fast Lane Fever  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Both the lead actors in this movie have fronted Australian rock bands. Deborah Conway is famous for being the lead singer of Do Re Mi whilst Terry Serio was in the band The Elks. See more »


In the opening scene Fox is racing a yellow 1969 HT Holden Monaro. When the HT crashes over the VW it changes into a 1968 HK Holden Monaro. Note tail lights. See more »


Rebel: [sitting in the garage with Mike's trashed Falcon] Gimme a go, Mike... let me fix your car for you.
Mike: [knowing he can't afford to pay Rebel] Mmm, couldn't do that, mate.
Rebel: No, I mean really fix it... make her fly! She's a 351, right? I've got some nitrous oxide injection 'round that's a sweet sensation.
See more »


Referenced in The Flying Doctors: Is Nothing Sacred? (1986) See more »


It All Comes Runnin' Back
Sung by Terry Serio
Music & Words by Peter Crosbie & John Clark
Available on Regular Records through WEA
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Running on Emty on DVD
2 May 2007 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

For those of you out there who have seen this pic on VHS, I would recommend the DVD. In fact the VHS is utter rubbish. The main reason is that the film was shot widescreen (2.55:1) and the producers ran out of money making the VHS version and released it as 4:3. The result is that several actors are not on screen at all, and in many drag races, less than half the cars are showing since one is on each side of the screen. The DVD is actually a reasonable version of the film.

A lot of the best scenes in the film were cut before the final release. They were viewed as being too offensive to minority groups. In fact the prospect of a US release caused even more cuts in the film. For example, the Americans reputedly did not understand words such as Petrol & Strides.

Mike's dad and mum were meant to be hippies. The dad survives in the film as a wasted dope smoking guitarist. But the following scene with the mum was cut. The scene took place in the roof space of the house which was lined with aluminium foil, fluoro lights and filled with plants... you get the picture. The producers had rounded up a lot of real plants for the foreground and when they saw the result on the big sheet, they freaked and the scene was cut. Cowards!

Yes, the film is noted as an Australian cult classic. Voted #2 in Street machines best 100 films of all time, narrowly missing out to Mad Max ll. The latter had over 10 times the budget of ROE. In fact the budget on ROE was so small that the director could not afford to wreck any of the cars... even though there would have been a public outcry if anyone had wrecked a real HO. (compare that with Smoky and the Bandit or Blues Bros where dozens of cars were wrecked.)

So there's one real GTHO and two fakes. One of the fakes was bought from the local indigenous community in Cobar after the standby GTHO crashed into the back of the Country Boy's truck. (That was unscripted! The car was meant to burst out from the side of the truck.) Because the budget was so tight, the car was made up with ordinary brown masking tape instead of the painted on gold trim of the real thing.

The 55 chev is absolutely real. The car began as a very plain 4 door and was brilliantly and quickly converted to the blown '55 in the film. The motor was a marinised 545 which made around 1000 bhp. This was reduced to around 600 for the filming. The car was able to easily to 170 mph as show in several scenes in the film.

Just for the record, anyone with $12,000 could have picked up ALL the cars after the film. The HO, the Dodge, the '53 Ute, Rammer's 53 Chev... the lot. Wonder where they are now?


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What the...! deafman
It all comes running back thegen-1
DVD vs VHS? paranoid_dysfunction
Discuss Running on Empty (1982) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: