Roadracers (TV Movie 1994) Poster

(1994 TV Movie)

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8/10
The 50's like they never showed them in the 50's!
GirlwonderReturns29 December 2000
I first heard about this movie from a friend who knew of my love for the 50's rockabilly era, and I must admit I had my reservations. David Arquette, the kooky 1-800-CALL-ATT guy, as a tough, ultra-cool 50's rebel? I didn't think it could possibly work. Then I watched the movie, and discovered just how well casting an actor against type can work. Arquette truly brought Dude Delaney to life, and he was also fortunate enough to be surrounded by a perfect supporting cast. I especially liked O'Neal Compton as diner proprietor J.T. and the always-dependable William Sadler as Sarge, although John Hawkes, as lovable 'freak' Nixer, stole every scene he appeared in. Salma Hayek did a good job of making me alternately love and hate her Donna. Overall, I thought Roadracers was a lot of fun - quirky, exciting, funny, and with a great rockabilly soundtrack that had me dancing in my living room. Bravo to Robert Rodriguez - go, cat, go!!!!
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8/10
Wild, cool and funk-ay!
The_Core17 November 2000
Wild, cool and funky, "Road Racers" is a gem of a movie. The quintessential "wild-assing" picture, and I disagree with Maltin that there was too much violence. Only five minutes right at the end? The rest of the violence was mainly verbal, and I felt for all the characters, including "Teddy Leather. The real crook in the movie was his father, the police chief, and in the end there were really no victims. Life Happens, and in the end Dude gets it together and does NOT end up like his father. Hidden plot complexities make this film watchable well over one time.

Nicely done! Rent it on video some night if you like wild, crazy, unpredictable and humorous. This movie is "Grease" for grownups. If you're a smoker, make sure you can smoke wherever you see the movie, everyone is smoking constantly throughout the picture.

Hurt only by its low budget... some of the cuts in the car chase scenes really bite. But you could tell David Arquette really had some fun with this role. 8/10.
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10/10
The coolest Dude
Aridriel12 February 1999
Nothing even comes close to this masterpiece. No wonder Tarantino's favorite director is Robert Rodriguez. The cars, the grease, the music, the Dude, Salma Hayek, the ambience, the...the...the...I'm speechless
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Great movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
reno_johnny12 November 2004
Maybe not one of the best movies ever made, but certainly a true masterpiece of entertaining. It's a typical Roderiquez movie, but has a lot more fun added to it than his other pictures. It's made with a lot of pleasure and it's seen with a lot of pleasure. Even if you don't like rock & roll there's enough for everybody to go around. Especially the dialogs are great: over the top but on the cutting edge. And for the rock & roll fans: it has an outstanding soundtrack. It's only a shame that it hasn't been brought out on cd. And I was disappointed that Johnny Reno (the Sax player) doesn't make such cool music in real than in the movie. And all this is just my humble opinion.
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9/10
boy meets girl
Soul Man5 May 2000
Roadracers is one of those brilliant films that hardly anybody knows about. It was made for TV, but don't let that scare you away. Rodriguez once again proves what a genius he really is. The music, the everything... there is no redundancy in this film, every but of dialogue is carefully plotted out. Scenes like the grease on the rollerskating rink should have gone down in histpory with classics like "frankly my dear, i dont give a damn" or the Graduate's leg-angle. Notice the names: Dude and Donna (= boy and girl). The film was most definately inspired by Copela's Ruble Fish. Please, if you haven't yet, see this masterpiece, it's definately worth your while.
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Underrated, funny homo-erotic sausage roll incident, great soundtrack!!
ligeia547 August 2004
Roadracers is an underrated and hugely enjoyable film. The plot is, of course, not very original (though this could be due to it being a remake of a drive-in classic?? :) ), but I feel that this general plot is hiding the deeper sub-plots of the film. There is Salma Hayek's portrayal of Donna, Hispanic and adopted by 'white' parents. It's rather disappointing that director Rodriguez that he fails to bring Donna's enigmatic family history to the forefront, and we are left wondering why this was even included in the film if it was never going to be solved. The cruelty of authority is (as always) revealed by redneck thug, 'Sarge' who shamelessly will try anything to get rebel Doody out of his town. Primarily, Roadracers is entertaining, and there are countless scenes that are hilarious. One of my particular favourites is the homo-erotic scene which involves 'Sarge', his lieutenant and a sausage roll. Sarge takes such delight in fondling his sausage roll, claiming that his 'momma makes 'em specially for 'im', and instructs his foolish lieutenent to similarly inspect, molest and finally indulge in his own roll. Sarge takes similar glee in producing the pastries firstly from a pocket in his jacket, and then seemingly from another pocket elsewhere... I was almost expecting him to pull one out from another bodily location... Nixer is delightful as Dood's endearing sidekick, and David Arquette does an excellent job on playing the character of the restless teen (he's also mightily aesthetically pleasing- eye candy if you will.) The soundtrack is also great, as are the characters of Teddy Leather and his cronies (my own names for them? :the Pig and Neanderthal Man- I'm sure people who've seen the film know which one is which!!) I basically think that just because Roadracers is a TV movie, it shouldn't be ignored separately from Rodriguez's more recent films - after all you can see in this film the makings of a great director, and most of his usual trademarks.
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A very entertaining quickie TV movie with a strong performance from David Arquette.
Infofreak9 November 2003
For a quickie TV movie 'Roadracers' is a hell of a lot of fun. Robert Rodriguez made this homage to AIP in between his astonishing low budget debut 'El Mariachi' and its disappointing sequel 'Desperado'. David Arquette's performance really makes this one work. I often find Arquette's stoner characters to be irritating but he's quite different here, and really good. His greaser character Buddy must decide between playing guitar in a rock'n'roll band or playing the hand destiny has dealt him in a small town that despises him. Rodgriguez regular Salma Hayek plays Arquette's girlfriend, and his geeky best friend who is obsessed with 'Invasion Of The Body Snatchers' is played by John Hawkes who you will probably remember from the opening sequence of 'From Dusk Til Dawn'. And then there's William Sadler as the sheriff who detests Buddy. Sadler's always good no matter what he's in. I can't argue that this is a great movie but it is a very entertaining one, and worth tracking down.
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Fantastic for a TV movie!
BStalker30 November 1998
Wow! It's very rare to get such an excellent, entertaining film made for TV. It's a cool homage to 50's road movies with David Arquette on top, TOP form as possibly the coolest character ever put to screen. Rodriguez' unmistakable editing and filming style combined with a snappy soundtrack and a nice dark tone to the story make this a must-see. It should have been released in cinemas.
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10/10
One of Robert Rodriguez's Best
rosadorico19 August 2006
Dude Delaney (David Arquette) is seen as the town "lost cause". At least to his girlfriend Donna's (Salma Hayek) parents, and the town sheriff (masterfully played by William Sadler). But it doesn't matter to Dude since he won't run like his father did, years ago. So the sheriff sets his son, Teddy Leather(Jason Wiles) to finish Dude off, once and for all. Luckily Dude has some plans of his own. It comes down to timing, as Dude is in a race to make his dream of being in a rock band, even all scores, make his girl happy, and keep from becoming a grease stain. Originally released on Showtime's short-lived series, Rebel Highway. It was BY FAR the best of the show, and (in my opinion) one of the best film's to date. It contains everything a movie should. It has love, humor, violence, revenge, fast cars, and great music. Not to mention a cast that fits their roles perfectly. A definite must see for ANYONE who is lucky to track down a copy.
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7/10
This sleeper needs DVD release
Joe-14614 May 2005
A friend of mine saw this movie on Showtime & recommended it. I had the good fortune to rent - & later buy the laserdisc version which includes a Director's commentary track. The film's good, but RR's commentary makes it MUCH better. Hearing how he ended up getting this gig, what exactly he was given to work with and how he ended up with the film you're watching, is another great story for fans of the director or just film-making in general. On the comment track he alludes to lots of other material that he has from this project, like videos made during production, and makes an offhand comment to the effect that 'someday if this ever comes out on DVD....' Well, I for one would stand in line for a copy. If you enjoy the 10 minute film school features & other extras on RR's DVDs, you too should petition the powers that be to release RoadRacers on DVD - along with the original (&/or new) commentary track & extras.

It's am important step in Rodriguez' evolution from maverick indy to maverick big-league filmmaker. A DVD version would be a must-have for any fan.
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10/10
Rodriguez is a master
ronquillojetli18 July 2000
This was Robert Rodriguez's follow up film to El Mariachi, but was released after Desperado. I must say that Rodriguez has some of the best talent as a director. He himself can make big movies with Jerry Bruckheimer. Roadracers is a showcase mainly for Rodriguez because he makes a made for cable movie turn into a movie that should have been on the big screen. Scene stealer Salma Hayek makes her debut here. All I have to say is that Rodriguez needs to make more movies without Tarantino and make his own with a bigger studio like Paramount or Warner Bros. other than Dimension. Rodriguez has a lot of talent and will be remembered better than Tarntino.
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4/10
Many good ideas, but not to the usual quality level
mchevroulet27 May 2006
I love many Rodriguez movies (as much as I love Tarentino's movies) for their incredible ideas, they way it goes slowly to a nightmare, the references to other movies, the fantastic music, but I must say that in this movie I didn't find the master who made Desperado, From Dust till Dawn and Sin City.

Examples of Rodriguez touch: the cars colors, the end of the movie (the very end...), the image layout on several scenes...

A must see for all fans who want to understand other Rodriguez movies, and a movie to avoid for people who just want to have fun with an action movie.
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one line summary
pancake_repairman7 November 2003
This movie is just nuts. It's a true original. It has so many little things that are just stupid and seem to have no point, but is ultimately tied together as a serious drama, which is really weird. Even movies that defy convention conform to some rules, but this is just all over the map and I love it. The bald girl losing her wig was both puzzling and hilarious both times it happened. It makes you wonder why such a ridiculously juvenile comedic device was used in such inappropriate circumstances, and I guess that may well be the whole point of it. It actually did hold together as a serious drama despite the odd tangents, which is all the more impressive.
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8/10
I never liked those 'fifties-movies' like Grease and Westside Story, but this movie was different.
Max Power27 February 2000
Arquette and Hayek are two of my favorite actors and Robert Rodriguez is in my top3 of favorite directors so this movie had to be great, and it sure was.

I never liked those 'fifties-movies' like Grease and Westside Story, but this movie was different. It may start as just another happy rockabilly-movie, but after 45 minutes it changes in a cool Rodriguez-style action-movie.

David Arquette(Scream 1,2,3), Salma Hayek(From Dusk till Dawn) and the other actors did a great job and Rodriguez again showed he's a great director. I've been a fan of Arquette since Scream and this movie is one of his best I've seen so far. The music is great too. It's not my style, but it fits this movie perfectly.

I give this movie an 8 and a half out of 10.
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this movie rocks
threeonatree26 May 2003
i dont care what any one says about this flick. i think its genius, i guess if into guys and want to see antonio banderas, then watch desperado. robert rodriguez is great. i loved spy kids too and i know it was'nt "desperado" or "from dusk.." and its hole not whole.
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8/10
Cool...
stamper28 August 1999
This movie was on TV some time ago and since I like Robert Rodriguez movies a lot (most of them), I thought I give it a try. It was great, Dudee (Arquette) and Donna (Hayek) were so cool, the music was great, a real macho kind of movie. The bad guys and the story were great to, plus it was funny at some points too. So if your a rockabilly fan and a fan of the fifties life style you must see it you MUST! Trust me!
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10/10
My all time favourite movie
skelter1 February 1999
I saw this movie one night at a friends house, and I haven't been able to find it since. It gets played occasionally on those 'cool' movie channels but I always miss it. After seeing it once, it became my favourite movie of all time. I haven't quite figured out why, but it just is.
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7/10
Road Rage
spelvini6 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
At one solitary moment in this droning yabba-jabba kitsch flicker one of the supporting actors, John Hawkes' lonely and latent Nixer speaks to O'Neal Compton playing a lowly diner cook and imparts a highly perceptive philosophically existential observation using a single French fried potato for illustration: "Looky here, J.T. From here to eternity is the time before I was born, and from here to eternity is the time after I die. "And this... is the only chance I get... to do it." The moment stops the forward lumbering motion of the story cold, and brings up the question of the mind at work behind this film.

In some nebulous 1950s Southern California town, Dude Delaney (David Arquette) spends a lot of time tooling around in his 55 Chevy out-running the Police and going up against the cop's protected kids. His girl Donna (Salma Hayek) is Mexican, adopted by a white couple and the two are constantly terrorized by the local Police Chief Sarge (William Sadler) who uses his own son Teddy Leather (Jason Wiles) to goad Dude into breaking the law so he can arrest him. As Teddy rises to his father's demands he resorts to extreme measures that bring him and Dude into confrontation and causes the sacrifice of many of those close to dude and what he holds dear.

Shot entirely in 13 days after Wes Craven dropped out to direct the New Nightmare flick, the million-dollar feature Roadracers is a jokey testament to the integrity and determination that marked the early B-films of the studio period, and if you start to wonder just why you are wasting time with it, think about the intentions behind the project.

Director Robert Rodriguez has built a reputation with film school grads and dropouts alike because he touts his disdain for big-budget film productions, claiming that he can make a decent movie for a fraction of what someone like Brian DePalma makes a movie for. He's right because Rodriguez has a down-to-earth attitude in both his tastes and his abilities… but his films all exhibit this baseness, and if you are looking for polish and pizazz, you probably won't find it with this director.

This movie is loud, flat-footed, obvious, and subversive. You may find yourself getting ahead of the flick on nearly every plot point- if you do it means that you're far too sophisticated for this kind of retro throw-back. That's okay because in the words of Pauline Kael "Movies are so rarely great art that if we cannot appreciate great trash we have very little reason to be interested in them." You may find yourself repeating this to yourself after the screen fades, thinking about near fetishistic moments in the film like the way David Arquette's Dude Delaney applies grease to his hair from a nearby can, or the way that William Sadler's Sarge fondles the hot-dog lunch his mother has made for him and proudly shares with his cop partner, or the way a girl's beehive hairdo destructs during a car race. I guess there a better ways to waste 90 minutes…
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7/10
Nice early Rodriguez film
freemanpatrick719 June 2013
David Arquette must be the most focused guitar player on the planet. How anyone could have Salma Hayek crawling all over his lap and STILL focus on playing guitar is beyond me. If Salma ever got that close to me I'd have trouble remembering how to breathe. This movie was a surprise to me in many ways. 1. I didn't even know it existed until a few months ago. 2. It was filmed almost entirely in my home town of Whittier, CA 3. Robert Rodriguez shows us yet again how a master can do almost anything with a minimal budget as long as everyone gets out of his way. Rodriguez and Tom Nix wrote the script in 10 days, shot it in 13, and edited it in 15. How does anyone outside of TV even do that? Plus Rodriguez, unlike TV, delivers something that's enjoyable to watch. And the big plus with the DVD is Rodriguez' commentary, complimentary to his 10 minute film school. That alone is worth the price of admission.
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8/10
A total blast
Woodyanders10 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Rowdy and defiant hot shot rebel Dude Delaney (a supremely cool performance by David Arquette) yearns to escape from his repressive small town existence. His fiery girlfriend Donna (an appealing portrayal by Selma Hayek, who looks absolutely gorgeous) and oddball nonconformist buddy Nixer (a delightfully quirky turn by John Hawkes) offer some relief, but Dude finds himself in deep trouble when he runs afoul of both brutal crooked sheriff Sarge (William Sadler in fine hard-nosed form) and a gang of thugs led by Sarge's antagonistic son Teddy (well played to the hateful jerky hilt by Jason Wiles). Director/co-writer Robert Rodriguez brings a funky hopped-up style, a winningly brash sensibility, and a positively galvanizing go-for-it vitality to the hugely entertaining premise: The zippy pace rarely flags for a minute, the stifling conformity and conservatism of the 50's period is vividly rendered without any sappy nostalgic sentiment, and the startling last third erupts with several jolting moments of sudden explosive violence. Moreover, it's acted with zest by an enthusiastic cast, with especially stand-out work from Arquette, Hayek, Sadler, Hawkes, and O'Neal Compton as gruff no-nonsense diner owner J.T. Kevin McCarthy pops up in a neat cameo appearance. Further invigorated by Roberto Schaefer's vibrant cinematography and a right-on rocking soundtrack, this honey overall rates as the cat's groovy pajamas.
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8/10
Great movie
Maniac-920 January 2013
Roadracers is a little movie that Robert Rodriguez did as part of a series of short movies for Showtime for their Rebel Highway series. The movie is about a bunch of 1950's era rock n' roll rebels, who doesn't love that? David Arquette in one of the few roles of his where he's not pretty cool for once, I would say that this is probably Arquett's best performance of his career. You have Salma Hayek making her U.S. film debut in this movie and not what is popularly believed to be Desperado. If you're a fan of greaser fare like Cry-Baby, Grease and the TV show Happy Days then this is most definitely a movie for you. The movie has a great surf rock score.
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9/10
A Whole Lot Of Cool
LeonLouisRicci26 July 2012
Rockabilly music and good performances, combined with stylish photography and an a whole lot of cool make this made-for-Showtime movie stand alongside the Director's later more seasoned and polished work.

Hampered by a low budget, the car chases and outdoor scenes show some lack of an expanded view of things, but if you are along for the ride it doesn't seem to matter much. In fact it may even add to the small town, penned-up teenage angst.

Every character in the film is dead-on believable and it rocks with a rhythm and angry attitude that is alluring and it has an articulate feel for the scene and setting.
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10/10
A must see for a Rockabilly fan!
tommigun29 September 1998
This movie is really awesome! I consider myself as a great rockabilly fan and I've never seen anything that would reflect my feelings so well. Those cats and chicks are so cool, just like the music on the soundtrack. I really like this movie and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves the music and lifestyle of the late Fifties. Well, every time I watch it, I like it better...
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9/10
Can't get much better than this...
KimmyIdol16 October 2000
This has to be one of the coolest greaser movies I've ever seen. I know, you think David Arquette and you can't get Deputy Dewey out of your head. I'm tellin' ya, the man pulled off rockabilly sexy like you wouldn't believe. William Sadler is great as the bad cop/town jerk's dad. The music was out of this world. This is definitely not a serious look at life in the fifties, but c'mon! The roller rink scene, the hair catching on fire, it's classic. Make sure you see this movie, and make sure you stick around for the outtakes after the credits start to roll.
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8/10
Unexpected Rockabilly Mayhem
digigod-738-6715273 May 2018
TV Movie by Robert Rodriguez? Already a conundrum... And starring David Arquette as the anti hero? Gotta be worth looking at.

Not disappointing... Great performances all around, great Rock 'n Roll soundtrack, violence, sexiness and rebellion...

It works.
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