HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Greenland
Broil
Dead Pigs
Willy's Wonderland
It's in the Air
School's Out Forever
Breeder
Stump the Guesser
Sator
Last Warning, The
PVT CHAT
Ascent, The
Clementine
Hurt by Paradise
Saint Maud
Johnny Frenchman
Glitch in the Matrix, A
Beginning
Meeting the Man: James Baldwin in Paris
Funeral Home, The
Sailors Three
   
 
Newest Articles
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
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
   
 
  Hot Rods to Hell Driven To Distraction
Year: 1967
Director: John Brahm
Stars: Dana Andrews, Jeanne Crain, Mimsy Farmer, Laurie Mock, Paul Bertoya, Gene Kirkwood, Jeffrey Byron, George Ives, Hortense Petra, William Mims, Paul Genge, Peter Oliphant, Harry Hickox, Charles P. Thompson, Mickey Rooney Jr, Liz Renay
Genre: Drama, Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Tom Phillips (Dana Andrews) was looking forward to Christmas when he was driving back home to meet his family, but it didn't work out that way. A heavy fog settled over the area, and the traffic suffered as a result, so when he met with a drunk driver it didn't end up too well for him, in fact he landed in hospital with an injured back. Not only that, as his previous confidence disappeared while he recuperated, leaving him reluctant to do anything very much, working or spending time with anybody aside from his wife Peg (Jeanne Crain), teenage daughter Tina (Laurie Mock) plus youngest son Jamie (Jeffrey Byron). However, his brother visited him with a proposal: how about they buy a motel out in the Californian desert?

A what in the where now? Apparently this is the sure thing to cure Tom's blues, never mind a psychiatrist who could talk him through his stress, nope, what he needs is to be a manager of a business whose custom will either be the occasional overnight driver or a not so salubrious punter. So which do you think he and his family encounter when they finally head off to see the property? The clue's in the title in a television movie that was judged too sensational for the small screen and released to drive-ins instead. And then broadcast on television soon after anyway, but that was to this production's benefit as it generated a degree of interest in cult movie enthusiasts it might not otherwise have done.

Needless to say, Hot Rods to Hell looked fairly over the top at the time, and now it looks fairly ridiculous, though not without entertainment value. It was arriving at a point when if it had been made a couple of years later the tables would have turned and the Phillips family may well have been the bad guys trying to stop the wild kids' fun; bloodshed would have been the result. There's not much of the claret here, but there is plenty of action if your idea of action is witnessing hot rods driving up and down the same stretch of highway at a speed limit challenging rate, though Tom - a "square" in the view of Duke (Paul Bertoya) and his gang of scallywags who include a pre-giallo, considerably revved up Mimsy Farmer - is there to do more than simply tut-tut at the antics of the youngsters.

Nope, he and his brood are there to be terrorised, and there are intriguing elements to take away from the movie as well as titters at how silly it often appeared. Tom didn't really do anything wrong when he was picked on by Duke and company, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, so this escalates from the thugs bullying the Phillips for no reason to them actively seeking a reason to justify their actions. What they choose is that Tom is to take over the local motel, which they assume he will make respectable which is the last thing they want since that is their hangout, a place where current owner Lank Dailey (George Ives) likes to cater for the younger patron (we even see him dancing with them) to the strains of the Mickey Rooney Jr combo.

That the youths are exactly right, the resolutely middle-aged Tom will put a stop to the shenanigans, would make him the villain in any other era to follow, but in this case you have to admit that this was not a film for the kids, it was designed to put the wind up, then reassure, the older generation. Jeanne Crain's expressions of melodramatic panic are a source of humour for many these days, but they would be wholly sympathised with by the straightlaced folks watching this on the box that it was intended for; the closest twenty-first century equivalent from Britain would be the fearmongering Eden Lake, it was part of the same purpose to decry the wayward youth and bolster the powers of those in charge. We see a granite-faced cop (Paul Genge) pop up every so often to tell off anyone potentially breaking the law (notably a Sunday driver who should know better sending picnickers flying at an oasis of a holiday spot), but it takes Tom's newfound resolve to restore the peace and send the hotrodders away meekly. Probably did his back wonders as well. Music by Fred Karger.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1497 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 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
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: