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
Packard Walsh drove a late-1970s Chevrolet Corvette with a custom paint job and nose clip, with the tail of an 84 Vette; Oggie drove a 1986 Dodge Daytona Turbo Z; Minty drove a 1977 Pontiac Firebird with a highly-visible (but apparently non-functional) supercharger; Skank and Gutterboy drove a beat-up 1966 Plymouth Barracuda; Rughead was driving a late-70's Chevrolet pickup. The couple who are cheated out of their car in the first race were driving a similar Daytona Turbo Z. The police drove a variety of mid-1980's Plymouth Caravelles and Gran Furys, as well as early-1980's Chevrolet Malibus; Sheriff Loomis drove a "civilian" Plymouth Caravelle. See more »
After the garage shootout Packard's Corvette shows large repairs on the back, although it was only shot on the front. See more »
Look, Pack, you don't get my car. And if you're not nice you're not gonna get your burgers with the mayo and thousand island the way you love 'em.
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It makes me laugh when I read bad reviews of this movie. No one claimed it was a classic, no claimed it would win awards or prizes for depth of storyline etc.
What it does have is earnest performances, fantastic fx, amazing score and very pretty photography.
Yes, laugh at the shadow of the camera (in the days before monitors) during the race scenes, at least they bothered to use real cars on real roads at high speed, unlike pathetic cgi cars (fast & the furious, 2 fast 2 furious, gone in 60 seconds) with crap physics.
This movie is totally innovative, nothing like it before or since and there are a lot of techniques used in this movie that I haven't seen bettered since. The bit where Jake's scrambler breaks into 4 meteorites still looks great, the tasteful re-animation of the Wraith mobile after crashes (nowadays that would probably be done using reverse photography).
The action scenes in Mad Max & Mad Max 2 are sped up and look ridiculous. (Watch the bit in Mad Max 2 just before he crashes his Interceptor...you'll see.)
The acting is pantomimish (baddies=very bad, goodies=very good) but that is the style of this movie. We know that these actors are capable of more in-depth characterisations, but this is a shallow b-movie. That's all it's supposed to be. Anyone who watches this movie and expects anything other than popcorn fodder is an absolute idiot. Moaning about technical problems and poor acting only makes you look like an idiot. And let's face it, even today's biggest blockbusters are chock full of mistakes and glitches.
You don't watch a Carry On movie and then say "Oh, that was quite unrealistic, and the acting is bad." That's the point. It's silly farce. You're not supposed to take it seriously!
I'm also aware that Charlie Sheen hates this movie and he must have good reason.
Strangely enough, I'm surprised that this movie was not seized upon by the pompous comic book brigade! I guess, if it was a little more Gothic and The Wraith was brooding and had a troubled back story it would have been more accepted. I'm glad it didn't and wasn't.
If it was made now, it would have stinking CGI fx and too much back story.
It's a bubblegum movie. You don't like it, don't watch it. As a b-movie for it's time, it is a technically superior easy watch which still towers over many newer movies of the same genre.
The Crow? Pompous nonsense!
The Wraith? Know's it's place and doesn't try to overstep it's mark!
And for people moaning about rubbish acting, check out Matthew Barry's performance when Billy Hankins realises Jake is his brother. It's an amazing, emotionally charged moment. I dare you to disagree and if you do you must be tripping.
Stop henpecking this movie.....it's ace, I tell you...ACE!
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