Packard Walsh and his motorized gang control and terrorize an Arizona desert town where they force drivers to drag-race so they can 'win' their vehicles. After Walsh stabs the decent teenager Jamie Hankins to death for being intimate with a girl whom Walsh wants for himself, the mysterious Jake Kesey arrives, an extremely cool motor-biker with an invincible car. Jake befriends Jamie's girlfriend Keri Johnson, takes Jamie's sweet brother Billy under his wing and manages what Sheriff Loomis can not - the methodical and otherworldly elimination of Packard's criminal gang.Written by
This film contains recognizable elements from a clutch of other popular films: lights flying along lonely roadways and up into the night sky (Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)), heavy, mechanical breathing from a lone menacing figure dressed in an all-black body suit (Darth Vader in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)), road pirates terrorizing a wasteland territory in their modified cars (Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981))), waving a handkerchief between two cars to start a two-car road race (Rebel Without a Cause (1955)) and a dark car from Hell (The Car (1977)). "I don't know, but whoever he was, he's weird and pissed off!" is a strikingly similar line to one spoken in The Thing (1982). See more »
When Keri walks home after Pachard's death, her stockinged feet sound like hard leather shoe soles against the pavement. See more »
[after The Wraith has transformed into Jake]
You know who I am.
[pause, then she realizes the truth]
[She runs into his arms and they embrace]
This is as close as I could come to who I once was.
It's close enough.
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Tv and some video rental versions - the ones most most commonly seen or found - do not include extended love scenes featuring topless nudity of Sherilyn Fenn. See more »
Great action, good characterisation, superb soundtrack
One of my all-time favourites. A nice idea in the spirit of "The Car" or "Christine" with great action (mostly of well-show car chases in Tucson, Arizona). The characters were well constructed and (on the whole) well implemented by the actors, with Nick Cassavetes stealing the show as nutter, Packard Walsh.
It also launched the careers of Charlie Sheen and Sherilyn Fenn (Fenn's fans will be happy to see "more" of her in this one).
The rock soundtrack is superb and a real collectors' item nowadays.
The original video cover was nice in that it was a holographic cover. Subsequent sell-thrus resorted to a standard litho-printed cover.
For a night in with a pizza and a few mates round, this is a great film.
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