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Packard Walsh and his motorized gang control and terrorize an Arizona desert town where they force drivers to drag-race so they can 'win' their vehicles. After Walsh stabs the decent teenager Jamie Hankins to death for being intimate with a girl whom Walsh wants for himself, the mysterious Jake Kesey arrives, an extremely cool motor-biker with an invincible car. Jake befriends Jamie's girlfriend Keri Johnson, takes Jamie's sweet brother Billy under his wing and manages what Sheriff Loomis can not - the methodical and otherworldly elimination of Packard's criminal gang. Written by
The black car featured in the movie was a real-life technological wonder, the Dodge M4S. A joint effort of the Dodge Division of Chrysler Motors and PPG Industries, one of the highly sophisticated PPG Pace Cars for the PPG-CART Indy Car World Series. The M4S was designed and constructed at an estimated cost of $1.5 million, and featured performance and technology to match that lofty figure. The innovative body design was developed in the Chrysler studios, while PPG developed the finish - a special bronze pearl paint job formulated just for this car. The M4S was powered by a Chrysler 2.2-liter four-cylinder one-of-a-kind engine that exceeded 194 mph. According to Gary Hellerstein, transportation coordinator for this film, a total of seven versions of the M4S were needed for filming. The original, on loan from Dodge, was used for close-ups and details. Two more "drivers", consisting of perfectly detailed bodies on dune buggy chassis, were used for stunt driving chores. There were four "shells", empty bodies on bare, towable frames, that were sacrificed in various crash scenes. See more »
At no point during the movie is the blower on Minty's Firebird ever shown to be functional despite having two carbs mounted on it. The butterfly valves on the air intake never open either. Normally it's impossible for an engine to run this way; however, when the blower is ripped off during the crash, there are a few frames showing it has no rotors inside.
It is possible that the blower is cosmetic and does not work. There would be no rotors inside it and there would be no need for it to function. It also would not inhibit the performance of the vehicle. See more »
[to the crowd who stood around watching Packard abduct Keri and beat and kick Billy to the ground]
You bastard chickenshits! You let him take her!
See more »
Great action, good characterisation, superb soundtrack
One of my all-time favourites. A nice idea in the spirit of "The Car" or "Christine" with great action (mostly of well-show car chases in Tucson, Arizona). The characters were well constructed and (on the whole) well implemented by the actors, with Nick Cassavetes stealing the show as nutter, Packard Walsh.
It also launched the careers of Charlie Sheen and Sherilyn Fenn (Fenn's fans will be happy to see "more" of her in this one).
The rock soundtrack is superb and a real collectors' item nowadays.
The original video cover was nice in that it was a holographic cover. Subsequent sell-thrus resorted to a standard litho-printed cover.
For a night in with a pizza and a few mates round, this is a great film.
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