HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
Butt Boy
Dog of Flanders, The
Bushido Blade, The
Jiu Jitsu
Blind
Space Sheriff Gavan: The Movie
Fireworks, Should We See It from the Side or the Bottom?
   
 
Newest Articles
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
   
 
  Dirty Mary Crazy Larry The Need for Speed
Year: 1974
Director: John Hough
Stars: Peter Fonda, Susan George, Adam Roarke, Vic Morrow, Kenneth Tobey, Eugene Daniels, Lynn Borden, Janear Hines, Elizabeth James, Adrianne Herman, T.J. Castronovo, James W. Gavin, Al Rossi, Ben Niems, George Westcott, Tom O'Neill, Roddy McDowall
Genre: Drama, Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Larry (Peter Fonda) should have said goodbye. This morning he rushed out of the motel room he had spent the night with Mary (Susan George) in and jumped into the car of his best friend Deke (Adam Roarke), whereupon they both drove off to set about the task in hand. That being a supermarket robbery, which they orchestrated by taking the wife (Lynn Borden) of the manager (Roddy McDowall, uncredited) and holding her hostage until her husband handed over the cash, collected by the laidback Larry. However, on emerging into the street he finds someone in the getaway car: it's Mary, and she isn't going to get lost no matter how much Larry tries to persuade her...

Ah, the seventies car movie. There's a certain je ne sais quoi about them, isn't there? You could watch a serious one, like Vanishing Point or Two Lane Blacktop, or you could go for a light-hearted one, like The Gumball Rally or Smokey and the Bandit. This is one of the more serious ones, as although there may have been comedic elements it wasn't particularly funny and more of a drama as it played out - a drama with frequent action sequences thanks to director John Hough's implementation of an expert stunt team which saw plenty of excellent car chases as Larry takes the wheel and tries to elude the cops, whose own patrol vehicles are no match for the power of what these three have for an engine.

So what if the "naturalistic" dialogue sounds pretty phoney now? Judging by the script, the film didn't care one jot if you liked the central trio whatsoever as not one of the actors made any moves to be at all sympathetic: Fonda is arrogant, George is irritating and Roarke is cold. Except that wasn't quite true, as for all their hard to ignore faults the viewer may have found themselves oddly warming to them, purely thanks to the cops, as was typical in these efforts hailing from this era, being even less likeable. They were led by Vic Morrow, who in a spot of uneasy foreshadowing for how he would end his life spends most of the movie, too much in fact, as a passenger in a helicopter, even winding up dangerously buzzing the criminals.

But it was those chases which contained all the right elements: flash manoeuvres, loud engines, lots of dust, property being destroyed and police cars frequently run off the road, all set in those huge wide open spaces between the lives of others, where you can live as you pleased albeit with the threat of The Man hanging over you and to be negotiated with should you take that theme of freedom too far. Larry treats fleeing from the law as a race, and the taciturn Deke is there for the equivalent of pit stops when his partner in crime grows overly reckless. By turning this into a game of sorts, a sport if you will, Larry lifts the burden of his lawbreaking and encourages us in the audience to regard this similarly, as something exhilarating with the wind in your face and the chance you could be sent flying off the track at any second only rendering it more vital.

Yet there was a price to pay, and that was summed up in one of the most memorable endings in all of seventies car chase cinema. On second viewing you're anticipating it all the way through and it colours your perception of the characters' lives, something in the first watch you were expecting to be more carefree, even blithely immoral for all its championing of the outlaw glamour they inhabit. That revisit reveals more than you might have expected; listen for the lack of incidental music, not one note is played other than the occasional song we hear over the radio, which could be ominous when an exciting tune might have enhanced the edgier aspects, but without it reveals an almost eerie, watchful quality as if we are biding our time waiting for some denouement or other. For all four of the main players, this was one of their defining cult movies, and as a late night television staple it has been drawing viewers in for decades; you might not like them here exactly, although George and Roarke share a tender scene late on, but they are compelling, as is the film.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 18480 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

John Hough  (1941 - )

British director who began work as a director for 60s TV show The Avengers. Directed a wide variety of mostly genre movies over the last 30 years, the most notable being Hammer's Twins of Evil, The Legend of Hell House, Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, Brass Target, Incubus and Biggles. Also turned in Disney pictures Escape to Witch Mountain and The Watcher in the Woods, plus straight-to-video turkey Howling IV.

 
Review Comments (1)


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 star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: