Thursday, February 9, 2017

1976 - CANNONBALL, aka CARQUAKE



Yet another film based on the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash a cross country race that was popular in the 1970's.  This illegal race spawned 5 movies including this one.  The Cannonball Run, The Cannonball RUN II, The Gumball Rally and Speed Zone

The film was produced by Roger Corman and directed by Paul Bartel who had filmed Death Race 2000 the previous year.  Paul Bartel was sort of a cult director who apparently wasn't entirely happy to be stuck in the car race genre. But Bartel stuck enough of his sense of humor into the story to make the film a lot of fun to watch.

From left to right Scorcese, Paul Bartel and Sylvester Stallone.

The film has a real interesting cast to put it mildly.  David Carradine, Carradne's brother Robert, Gerritt Graham, Judy Canova, Carl Gottlieb, Dick Miller and James Keach.  In addition there are lots of directors in the film.  Paul Bartel plays a role as a bad guy.  Martin Scorcese and Sylvester Stallone show up in one scene eating Kentucky Fried Chicken.  Joe Dante, Don Simpson, Roger Corman, Jonathan Kaplan and Alan Akrush all have small parts. 

Cannonball follows the Corman formula as usual, a little sex, a little action and a little social commentary.  This is a fun film and I would dare say a better one than the Burt Reynolds Cannonball films.

93 Minutes.

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