Monday, June 24, 2024

Junesploitation 2024 Day 24: Cars!


  1. CORVETTE SUMMER (1978, dir. Matthew Robbins)

    Who knew Luke Skywalker was secretly a motorhead? And very possessive. Recorded off of Turner Classic Movies last year, I had no idea what Corvette Summer was about. I did not even know if there would be a lot of cars in this. Well, there are, and you even get some vansploitation. Mark Hamill is a high school senior whose only interest in life is cars. He is so proud of the Corvette his auto class has rebuilt that he goes to Las Vegas in search of the car after it is stolen. He also gets involved with a young woman (Annie Potts) from his hometown who picks him up hitchhiking. Corvette Summer has a lot of charm courtesy of the leads, and there is plenty of car action to keep you entertained. The film inadvertently is also a documentary of Las Vegas in the late 1970s. A pleasant surprise that feels like a drive-in movie despite the big studio polish.

  2. Cannonball (1976, dir. Paul Bartel)

    "Cannonball" Buckman is one of the colorful and quirky participants taking part in an illegal, no-rules cross-country road race from Los Angeles to New York City, which quickly devolves into deliberate crashes, sabotage, roadside fistfights and outright assassinations. And an occasional bout of roadside sex.

    A well-directed racing movie with plenty of car stunts is always fun, the comedy is slightly more hit than miss, and the supporting cast bench is impressively deep, but David Carradine's main character is pretty unlikeable and I couldn't care less about his backstory.

  3. Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga(2024)

    I watched this a few days ago, but am going to slot it in here as I probably won't have time later today for a movie. It was good! Really good! I liked how patient it was unfurling the story; we spend more than a 3rd of the movie with "young Furiosa".

    I had a couple cars movies I really wanted to watch. Perhaps I'll squeeze one in for the last Free Day.

    dir. H.B. “Toby” Halicki

    Helicopter heists! Cars crashing into boats!
    Tigers in Cadillacs! Girls in knit bikinis! Red, 1970 Dodge Challenger R/Ts stolen, towed and crushed!

    It’s a remake/sequel/pseudo-director’s cut of GONE IN 60 SECONDS, and it’s also the movie being made in Halicki’s follow up to Gone, THE JUNKMAN.

    It’s largely repurposed footage from Gone in 60 Seconds and The Junkman with new footage to create a storyline featuring a hyper-obsessed police captain played by Hoyt Axton.

    Of course, we don’t really know what it could have been. Halicki had purchased over 400 cars to destroy while making GONE IN 60 SECONDS 2. But it’s sadly the movie Halicki died making.

    A steel cable that was supposed to topple a water tower broke and sheared off a telephone pole that fell on Halicki, killing him instantly.

    He never would’ve won an Oscar, but the world is poorer for the crazy, car chase, car crash movies Halicki never got to make.

    RIP Toby, king of the car crash.

    “What’s the license?”
    -“You do know me! Mister Cool was already taken!”

    1. Well, that's my cue to rewatch Gone in 60 seconds. I haven't watched it since i got the blu-ray more than 10 years ago (which came with dvds of the other stuff Halicki did, including Deadline Auto Theft)

      Might as well watch the remake after that, it's been a while. I'll report back 😁

    2. It’s a lot of reused footage from Gone, but as it’s one of the greatest car chases of all time, watching it twice in one day doesn’t sound that bad. 😜

    3. I'm pretty sure i saw a bit of the footage from Gone in Stunt Rock too

  5. The Cars That Ate Paris (1974)

    This has been my backup option for Cars day for several years now, and today it's finally getting its time in the sun.

    1. This has been my back up too. Can’t wait to see if I should make this a must watch tonight.

    dir. by Edward Sampson & John Ireland

    story by & produced by & stunt driving by & state trooper performance by Roger Corman

    And it’s the movie that convinced Corman that he wanted to be a director.

    John Ireland and Dorothy Malone (hot bookshop owner from The Big Sleep) had great chemistry. But then, a waffle iron could have had great chemistry she was so hot! And this is one of her few true leading roles.

    “Mrs. John Howell, you small son Peter is at the announcer’s booth. He says he isn’t lost, but you are.”

  7. Taxi 5 (2018, dir. Franck Gastambide)

    Completed my run of the Taxi series over the last 5 Cars Days of Junesploitation. In summary: I feel safe in calling Taxi an action-comedy classic. Taxi 2, while inferior, still had a lot going for it. 3, 4, and 5 were real diminishing returns and can be skipped.

    1. Oh man, Taxi 1 is so great. Just the soundtrack is full of bangers. The sequels go the way of the F&F franchise. Taxi 5 is unwatchable to me

  8. Gone in 60 Seconds (1974): a 97 minutes movie with a 45 minutes car chase and multiple cars destroyed, this is what Cars Day is all about. I got the blu-ray from )only 13$us) all those years ago, and without realizing it was from the official Gi60S store (i don't know if they have a proper online store, or ebay). They were kind enough to add dvds of H.B. Halicki other movies (mostly re-edit of Gi60S, with added shots to tell a different story). Let's just say i was pleasantly surprised when i opened the package. I add to jump through hoops to get it too. Back then it didn't ship to Canada, so with the help of a friend we figured out a way around it. I regret nothing. What a fun movie full of cool cars and crazy car stunts.

    I'll watch the remake later today 🙂

    1. Gone is Sixty Seconds (2000): movie's bad, not because i saw the original first, i wasn't aware of it when i saw this remake back in the day, it's just boring. Nicolas Cage gives his all, as usual, so that's always entertaining.

    2. Sounds like something that needs to be added to the Junsploitation watchlist.

  9. GRAN TURISMO (2023)
    You know the story, because we all saw that trailer a billion times last year: A gamer who’s into racing games gets a chance to race for real. The movie feels the need to repeat this premise over and over, with characters asking, “You think a gamer can do this?” every chance they get. The actual races capture a genuine sense of speed, although adding the game graphics to illustrate our young hero’s POV was kind of hokey. David Harbour remains his gruff self, but he has some great bits as the shouting coach. The movie’s not bad, it’s just basic.

    Scumbag men treat women horribly, but these women are tough, and revenge is theirs. This is a gross, slimy movie. But it’s also dull, with a lot of just sitting around and chatting. We spend more time with the abusive men rather than the heroic women, which has me nervously questioning where the filmmakers’ sympathies are. And although this was on the “carsploitation” list, there’s no car chase action. What a bummer.

    Bonus Universal Monster-sploitation: SHE-WOLF OF LONDON (1946)
    Murders are occurring all over London, and wealthy socialite Phyllis may or may not be… a she-wolf! This one's more suspense/mystery than a monster flick, but still quite enjoyable for what it is.

    1. I really enjoyed Grand Turismo. I'm not a fan of the main actor, but while not breaking any ground, i think the movie is very rewatchable

  10. Death Race 2000 (1975)

    A perfect choice for Cars! day. Trying to ensure I hit a LOT of Cormam this month and this is one of the best. Humor, action, violence, satire, and incredible cars! It's like Speed Racer meets the role playing game Car Wars. I really hope a boutique label works on a 4k with tons of bonus material some day!!

    1. There was a game titled Carmageddon which was originally supposed to be a sequel to the movie. Fun game too.

  11. Baby Driver (2017)

    Like a hot rod with a couple of misfiring cylinders, but it still goes fast and has sick flames painted on the hood.

  12. After spending way too much time looking for Cars Day! choices, I settled on one new-to-me flick and two old favorites where cars aren't prominently featured but they do play major/minor roles. Hey, it's day 24 and Junesploitation! fatigue is real. I invoke the all-mighty LOOPHOLESPLOITATION!


    A Marcus Killerby Australian pick from Cars Day! 2022
    , "Money Movers" is less car flick and more Ozploitation heist thriller that was clearly inspired by Jacques Becker's prison escape opus "Le Trou." Directed by Bruce Beresford ("Driving Miss Daisy," "Tender Mercies") and based on a novel by a man who ran his own Australian armored car company, the minutia of how millions of Australian dollars are physically counted, moved and protected feels authentic. The movie opens and closes with bloody action set-pieces, so a lengthy middle portion establishes the multiple factions (some inside Darcy's own company, others outside) vying to either rob or protect the place on the day 20 million are scheduled to be dropped. Shame the 4x3 Tubi transfer lacks subtitles, so a good portion of the dialogue/plot was lost to me due to thick Aussie accents. Some recognizable faces (Bryan Brown, Ed Deveraux, Tony Donner, etc.) but "MM" is worth seeing for the old-fashioned thrill of seeing a well-planned heist fall apart. 3.65 BOLD CUTTERS REMOVING TOES (OUCH!... out of 5)

    I just wanted an excuse to rewatch "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" is 4K and, surprise, it looks/sounds terrific. Not demo worthy material, but OG Jennifer Gray (before the surgery), Mia Sara and downtown Chicago have never looked so good. This being 'Car Day!' I have to focus my attention of Alan Ruck's Cameron and his off-screen father's 1961 Ferrari GT250. From the way Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) manipulates Cameron to get his hands on this set of wheels to the way it's destruction ultimately becomes the personality-building device through which Cameron develops into a strong character that emerges from his initial sidekick trappings (with a mostly off-screen joyride by two Chicago parking lot attendants set to the best use of the "Star Wars" theme ever in the middle :-D), this is no ordinary movie car. It's a status symbol of wealth and independence that any kid back in the 80's would covet, and John Hughes milks it for all its worth to show how effective Ferris' ability to BS his way through life is. Great flick, and even cooler (fake) movie car. 4 PRINCIPAL ROONEY WALKS OF SHAME (out of 5).

    I was in the mood for a disposable 007 flick, and good old Roger Moore is it. I have a soft spot for 1981's "For Your Eyes Only" for both being a return to grounded reality after the outer space hijinks of "Moonraker." Michael Gothard dying when Bond kicks his car off a cliff is such a badass moment for the character. But the ski chase against a pair of motorcycle-driving assassins going down a hill and into a bobsled run (not to mention the last peek at "Blofeld"-like bold dude before his official return in 2015's "Spectre") also anchor this deep into Moore's cheesy era. Alas, "FYEO" features my favorite car chase in a 007 movie. When Bond is escaping from the compound where Ferrara (John Moreno) is killed by revenge-seeking Melina (Carole Bouquet) he's trying to get to his cool gadget-filled car that he hid in nearby woods. But before he gets to it a goon smashes the window and the super car explodes, leaving James no choice but to take Melina's jalopy. Some clever editing, Bill Conti with a killer action tune (so much brass!) and a couple of good stunts make an entertaining ride before Moore does the obligatory 'My name's Bond...' line. Come for Topol eating pistachios and 007 climbing a mountain by rope, stay to watch James reject the advances of a teenager (Lynn-Holly Johnson's Bibi). :-O 3.85 BANANA NOSES (out of 5).

  13. Alabama Dirt(2017 Dir. Tom Stout)
    "Our boys going to state" Why does that line sound so out of place in a movie about racing cars? Honestly, I didn't even know Alabama had a state championship for dirt track racing before today.but I looked it up. Its a real thing. The movies alternate title is 'Furious in Alabama' which only works because the lead kind of looks like Paul Walker.

  14. Two Lane Blacktop (1971)
    I know this film has an incredible reputation as a cult film (“the ultimate road movie”) but Good Lord, it’s awfully slow for a film about race cars. Warren Oates seems to be improvising all of his dialogue. I’m convinced that between takes, stars James Taylor and Dennis Wilson had a competition going as to who could get more stoned. Snooze-inducing slice of the early Seventies, a guided tour of shitty gas stations and roadside diners.