HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Assassin
Die, Mommie, Die!
All the Money in the World
Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, The
Black Panther
Children's Hour, The
Mayhem
Sphere
Guyver, The
Night School
Loveless
Ragtime
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Murders in the Rue Morgue
Wound, The
Scalawag
Let's Get Harry
Girl with Green Eyes
Sunchaser, The
Tom Jones
Downsizing
Defiant Ones, The
Centerfold Girls, The
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The
120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
Safe Place, A
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Cargo
Entertainer, The
   
 
Newest Articles
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
   
 
  Cannonball Road RunnersBuy this film here.
Year: 1976
Director: Paul Bartel
Stars: David Carradine, Bill McKinney, Veronica Hamel, Gerrit Graham, Robert Carradine, Belinda Balaski, Archie Hahn, Dick Miller, Mary Woronov, Carl Gottlieb, Judy Canova, Diane Lee Hart, Glynn Rubin, Paul Bartel, Joe Dante, Martin Scorcese, Sylvester Stallone
Genre: Action
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: The Trans-American Grand Prix is a race from Los Angeles to New York non-stop, and it's fast, deadly and highly illegal with a hundred thousand dollar prize at the end of it. Disgraced racing driver Coy "Cannonball" Buckman (David Carradine) awakes after a nightmare where he was shot at the wheel of his car; he checks his watch and sees it's time to leave, and he does so without waking his parole officer girlfriend (Veronica Hamel). After reading his goodbye note, she catches up with him at the starting line, warning him that so much as a speeding fine will send him back to jail, so he invites her along for the ride, and she reluctantly agrees. The police are on their way to break up the race, and without further ado, the cars speed off...

Written by the director Paul Bartel and future blockbuster producer Don Simpson, Cannonball was part of the cycle of of great race movies that was started by the low budget success of Death Race 2000, another Bartel movie produced by Roger Corman (who also appears briefly, along with a host of New World behind-the-scenes talent). Obviously the inspiration for The Cannonball Run - the title is undeniably similar - it came out about the same time as the more expensive The Gumball Rally, but while that was an out and out comedy, Cannonball suffers from a tone that is never certain how funny or serious it's supposed to be.

Buckman's fellow competitors are a motley bunch to keep things interesting. One driver is a family man who cheats by flying his car in a cargo plane to New York and spending the time in a motel room with his mistress. Another is supposed to be driving an old couple's Lincoln to New York without a scratch, so you can guess how that car ends up. Next are a teenage couple in the girl's father's car. Then there are the three girls, led by Mary Woronov, who are driving a big blue van and using their feminine wiles to get what they want. And let's not forget the caricatured German driver (James Keach) who constantly talks to himself in broken English as he motors along.

But Buckman's chief rival is Cade Redman (a villainous Bill McKinney) who is determined to run Buckman off the road, and is accompanied by a country singer, Perman Waters (Gerrit Graham) and his manager to pay his way. The scenes inside Redman's car sum up the confused presentation: Redman is obviously a dangerous customer, but Perman is a comedic figure, constantly trying to broadcast his songs over a microphone to the local radio stations. It's no surprise when the irritated Redman eventually throws the singer's guitar out of the window.

Some of the humour is funny, as when gangster Bartel (yes, he acts in this too) has Buckman's untrustworthy brother (Dick Miller) beaten up as he serenades him in the style of Cole Porter. The cops are portrayed as idiots, as expected, just for that anti-authority stance, and to provide the girls with foils to their antics, plus star Carradine gets to show off some kung fu moves in a couple of fight scenes. The stunts resemble footage from a demolition derby - well, a demolition derby with extremely explosive cars anyway, and there's a completely gratuitous pile up at the end. Strong on action, but repetitive with it, Cannonball is diverting, but should have concentrated on the comedy angle; all those deaths just make the film uneven. Still, the fine cast almost makes up for it. Music by David A. Axelrod.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 6119 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: