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Joy Ride: An Auto Theft (1976)

Val & Tim swipe Randall's car to enjoy a little harmless spin. Buoyed by their increased status and mobility, they convince their girlfriends to hop in. However, as the road takes a twist, the joy ride takes a similar turn...to DISASTER!


Bill Crain (as William Crain)


Bill Crain (as William Crain), Tom Schulman


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Complete credited cast:
Kari Michaelsen Kari Michaelsen ... Kari (as Kari Markussen)
Victoria Paige Meyerink ... Vicky (as Victoria Meyerink)
Tim Palladino Tim Palladino ... Tim
Val Thorgusen Val Thorgusen ... Val


This cautionary tale, based on a real-life incident, was aimed to depict the dangers of teen-aged joy riding. Val and Tim are two bored teen-aged boys who decide they need a car to pick up girls. As they scoff at an older teen-ager named Randy, the two boys make good on their plan to steal his car (Randy had left the keys in the ignition). Val and Tim invite two female friends named Kari and Vicki along on their joy ride to a wooded area just outside of town. The foursome lose track of time and realize they need to get the car back before Randy has it reported stolen. An unlicensed Val speeds and drives recklessly, and is quickly pursued by a highway patrolman. Ignoring his passengers' pleas to pull over (or at least slow down), Val loses control of the car and - in a struggle between Val and Kari - collides head-on with side of a cliff. The post-script reveals the grim aftermath: Val, Tim and Kari are killed in the crash, and Vicki is rendered paralyzed. Written by Brian Rathjen <briguy_52732@yahoo.com>

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Drama | Short







Company Credits

Production Co:

Barr Films See more »
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Did You Know?


The film starts with one of the boys playing pinball. As the camera shows the machine, you can see that the scores are both zero, even though it looks and sounds like the game is being played. See more »

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User Reviews

Heavy-handed But Effective 70s Juvenile Ed film
3 October 2003 | by secragtSee all my reviews

At 13 minutes, this short is a predictable and fairly amateurish "crime never pays" morality tale, but it does pack a punch, particularly at the end. The acting is pure 70s novice, but one of the girlfriend actors freaks out pretty effectively as the joyride slowly morphs into a death march into the side of a mountain. If you saw this in school, I bet you remember it (I haven't seen it in 27 years but it has stayed with me for some reason). Not as gory as the DEATH ON THE HIGHWAY or FACES OF DEATH series, this is still clearly intended to scare kids into good road behavior. I don't know if it curbed car theft but it probably did decrease some children's desire to be in cars going around sharp mountain turns.

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