Saturday, June 1, 2013

Junesploitation Day 1: Cars!

A white-hot juggernaut at 200 miles per hour!

Junesploitation kicks off with a GREAT exploitation genre: Cars! Carsploitation movies are a staple of '70s drive-ins. But don't feel the need to watch one of the classics like Vanishing Point or Gone in 60 Seconds (1974). Any movie with a prominent car can be a carsploitation movie.

Leave your reviews in the comments below!

START YOUR ENGINES!!

36 comments:

  1. RACE WITH THE DEVIL (1975) for the first time on DVD.

    You gotta love 70's exploitation flicks that sold a pig in a poke to drive-in audiences, in this case a rural Texas horror show disguised as a vacation-gone-bad chase flick. Even with Peter Fonda slumming (though his turned-on face when he starts enjoying fighting back is a highlight) Warren Oates is predictably awesome and "Race with the Devil" builds a head of steam that pays in expected (pretty rad car chase action) and unexpected ways (that ending... on a PG movie!). You will believe an old pick-up truck can do a two-wheelie!

    Click the title above for a link to Patrick's DVDVERDICT review of the Blu-ray for both "Ride with the Devil" and perennial car exploitation classic "Dirty Mary Crazy Larry."

    A few other NEW-TO-ME MOVIES from recent days.

    5/29/13: "Midnight Cowboy: The Hobo Edition." Jerry Schatzberg's SCARECROW (1973) at NYC's Film Forum.

    5/30/13:
    'The name's Connery, NEAL Connery!' Alberto De Martino's OPERATION DOUBLE 007 (1967) on DVD.

    5/31/13:
    Because 'Italian Horror!' for F This Movie's JUNESPLOITATION cannot come soon enough! :D Lucio Fulci's DON'T TORTURE A DUCKLING (1972) on DVD

    6/1/13: Jack Starrett's RIDE WITH THE DEVIL (1975) on DVD.

    CLICK HERE TO READ REVIEWS

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  2. Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)

    A more serious and thought provoking movie than I was expecting for my first entry of Junesploitation. Ill be honest and I think a lot of this movie was over my head at the moment due to the heavy use of characters and events as metaphors (apparently). Its a movie about "guys" and their "cars" driving on the "road" with a "girl" across America. Main praise goes to GTO, who as a character just got more interesting as the movie went on without ever letting us know who he is.

    JUNESPLOITATION!!!

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    1. Two down, and both flicks feature Warren Oates at his Warren Oatiest best ("GTO" is my favorite character in "Two-Lane Blacktop" by far). And, as existentialist as the movie is (I don't call it the "2001: A Space Odyssey" of car movies for nothing) you have to agree Brad that the '55 Chevy car used on the film is one sweet fine ride. :-)

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    2. I watched Two Lane Blacktop too (James Taylor REPRESENT). I had a similar reaction to Brad. I liked the movie, but it wasn't really an exploitation movie in the "fun" sense. The movie plays a long game -- it didn't offer many immediate thrills (though I did like it a lot), but I'll bet it gets better with repeat viewings. Great car movie, just a little ponderous.

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    3. Slowest movie about a car race, that's not a car race, ever.

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    4. ^^^ I know. Isn't it wonderful? ;-)

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  3. On JB's suggestion (and Patrick's insistance) I watched Deathrace 2000 (1974). It's a strange little satire, full of cheap fixes. It's like a cut rate version of Rollerball, or some similar deathsport movie. The inclusion of color commentary though, brings an interesting flavor to the satire. The only problem is, that there is nothing I haven't seen before, which dulls the impact a little. You can easily see where movies like RUnning Man and Hunger Games got some inspiration though.

    It's silly and fun, and has all the things a Junespolitation movie should have, but I felt like I was being hit over the head a few times. Not bad, but I occasionally had flash backs to Shock Treatment, and no movie should do that to me.

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    1. "It's a hand grenade."

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    2. Yeah, I was going to just let that one go unmentioned.

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  4. Death Race 2000

    Grey beat me to it and said it well. About as subtle as a hand grenade, which is about what you'd expect from Corman and Paul Bartel. I agree about the color commentary being the best thing about the movie (with the name "Grace Pander" being my favorite thing ever this week). Sadly our current culture of reality tv and gossip-birthed "stars" doesn't seem too far from embracing a death sport as the next big thing, so the movie still works pretty well. Also, I adore the hand-drawn opening credits. I have a suspicion I may like this one more the second time, and I'll definitely give it another look.

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  5. Death Race 2 (2010)

    (Death Race Announcer): Welcome to Death Race 2, the race filled with incomprehensible action, weird sound drops, and people taking this crap way too seriously. Starring Luke "Junior Varsity Statham" Goss. Yeah! Subscribe to the next stage now or better yet clear that clog in the bathroom it's getting gross.

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  6. Hit and Run

    A good modern car movie directed and written by Dax Shepard starring Bradley Cooper, Kristen Bell, and Tom Arnold. That's right, Tom Arnold and Dax Shepard in the same movie! I can't think of a better way to start JUNESPLOITATION! According to IMDb, all of the cars featured in the film are from Dax Shepards own collection and you can definitely tell that he loves the genre. Bradley Cooper plays a dyed-haired criminal looking to get revenge on Dax Shepard's character, who testified against him and was forced to go into witness protection. Unfortunately, Bradley Cooper's performance is nothing special and reminded me alot his performance in the Hangover. Dax Shepard actually ends up giving the best performance, which was a surprise.

    The movie has some pretty good car chases and I found myself really enjoying it when Dax Shepard wasn't trying to insert unnecessary gay and prison rape humor.

    Overall I would recommend the movie, it's not super ambitious but achieves what it sets out to be; a small, entertaining car movie. And plus, Dax Shepard's name is so fun to say.

    DAXPLOITATION!

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  7. The Road Warrior (1981)

    This is a post-apocalyptic punk Western (yes, I know it's in Australia - keep going West, smartypants) where the homesteaders fight for the most precious substance of all - gasoline (any true gearhead will understand). Featuring Jason Voorhees as the great Lord Humungus, and Dr. Greg House as an autogyro pilot. Awesome automotive action, and one of the great all-time "I"m going to count to 3..." scenes.

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  8. USED CARS. No better way to kick off the month than with Kurt Russell, right? (It’s Kurt-sploitation!) This movie is screamingly funny, non-PC without constantly going for the gross-outs. The people who made THE HANGOVER could learn a lot from USED CARS. The actual car action comes at the end, when the “mile of cars” drives across the desert to meet a deadline, with the characters jumping from car to car. Everything about this movie is great, and the commentary is just as funny as the movie (It’s comment-sploitation!). Nobody laughs like Kurt Russell on a commentary.

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  9. GRAND THEFT AUTO(1977)

    I really enjoyed this. It was fun to glimpse at a time when Ron Howard had hair. While this was Howard's dierctorial debut, this film has producer Roger Corman's fingerprintsall over it, from cameos from Corman regulars to the fun low-budget feel.

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    1. Fun is well put. Saw Cormen in the credits, and was all, "Wha?". The soon after Joe Dante. This was such an easy entry point for me into this month.

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  10. Moonrunners (1974) The movie that eventually birthed my favorite TV show of all time, this didn't quite live up to the promise I thought it had, nor did it have the level of car chases I was expecting. It did do some things with cars I've never seen, though. For instance, I've never seen a car chase through the woods. Not on a path or a trail through the woods, but actually through the trees.

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    1. ....and you just sold me on it.

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  11. The Car (1977) I felt like I was watching two different movies jammed together. The bits with the killer car were ridiculous, and the music wasn’t helping. But every actor is taking the whole movie very seriously, and not in an over the top campy way. I also found it very interesting that with each death, the movie took the time to reflect and grieve…and then kill someone else. With a car.

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    1. That sounds glorious. Might look that one up for a Free Space day.

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    2. Definitely worth a view. It's on Netflix Instant.

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  12. Grand Theft Auto
    Fresh off your bing with season 4 of Arrested Development, the narrotor stars in It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World on a road trip to vegas, with product placement by Burger King. Watch as he rushes to start his first of many marriages as a slightly paler Ruby Rhod narrators from a helicopter and car. Notice how little the trip from LA to Vegas has changed in 36 years. If you hate the 1%, wake up after an hour to see a Rolls Royce destroyed in what seems to be an early Jackass skit. Oh and a car goes through a living room in slo mo for no reason, except for awesomeness.

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  13. A Junesploitation Day 1 Twofer:

    Grand Theft Auto (1977): Goofy, stupid, silly and fun, Ron Howard's directorial debut shows no trace of his future Apollo 13 awesomeness.

    Senna (2010): An unbelievably compelling, dramatic and emotional documentary about Brazilian F1 driver (and legend) Ayrton Senna. I knew nothing about this world before pressing play, and found myself watching with my mouth open for the entire movie. I can't believe it sat in my Netflix queue for over two years. And, while not a genuine "carsploitation" film, I'm so glad I watched it. Genuinely moving. One of the best docs I've seen in years.

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    1. "Senna" is awesome, saw it when it first came out in a sold-out theater and the entire audience was spellbound by it. Alain Prost is even better than "The King of Kong's" Billy Mitchell as a real-life villain you can't help but root against. Did you watch the international version of "Senna" (about 2 1/2 hrs.) or the American one (under 2 hrs.)? Either one is fine but the longer one is packed with even more fascinating footage and bio data.

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    2. American; Netflix instant.

      Although I disagree about Alain Prost. I felt sympathy for him.

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  14. JOY RIDE.
    Semi-trucks are scary. What ever happened to LeeLee Sobieski? What happened to Steve Zahn (other than Treme)? Luckily, we all know what Paul Walker has been doing. Ohhhh... did anyone watch FAST 6 today?

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  15. Grand Theft Auto

    This movie had me at "Get out of my mansion!" and contains every element you want in a car-sploitation movie: car chases/jumps/crashes, ugly actors, insane acting, helicopters, evil politicians. Lots of fun, worth the watch.

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  16. Cannonball Run II - (1984)

    Yep, part II - I like it better than the original - don't know why, but I do. Perfect opportunity to revisit this film, still held up.

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  18. This amazing seamless triptych of scenes from Cars 2 just debuted at Apple's iTunes Movie Trailers site.

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