HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Storm Boy
Storm Boy
Frozen II
White Sheik, The
Whalebone Box, The
Hunt, The
Invisible Man, The
Honey Boy
System Crasher
Judy & Punch
Bacurau
Battling Butler
Vivarium
Seven Chances
Dogs Don't Wear Pants
Navigator, The
Knives Out
Hit!
Charlie's Angels
Passport to Shame
Le Mans '66
Keep Fit
Doctor Sleep
Friend or Foe
Brass Target
Mine and the Minotaur, The
Sky Pirates
Syncopation
Sea Children, The
Ghost of a Chance, A
Go Kart Go
Great Buster, The
Seventy Deadly Pills
Wings of Mystery
Treasure at the Mill
VFW
Crime Wave
Terminator: Dark Fate
Slithis
Antonio Gaudi
   
 
Newest Articles
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
Godzilla Goes to Hollywood
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
   
 
  Car Wash Better Than Digging A Ditch
Year: 1976
Director: Michael Schultz
Stars: Franklin Ajaye, Sully Boyar, Richard Brestoff, George Carlin, Irwin Corey, Ivan Dixon, Bill Duke, Antonio Fargas, Arthur French, Lorraine Gary, Darrow Igus, Leonard Jackson, Otis Day, Lauren Jones, Melanie Mayron, Garrett Morris, Richard Pryor, Ray Vitte
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: It's another day at this car wash in Los Angeles, a place whose selling point is that the cleaning is all done by hand and few machines are used, something its owner, Mr. B (Sully Boyar), takes great pride in, but masks the fact that he's losing money to the automated versions. Something he can't afford is to pay employees who don't turn up, or turn up late, as Duane (Bill Duke) does; he's a militant who you had better call Abdullah or there will be trouble, and his job is on the line. The other employees include T.C. (Franklin Ajaye), an aspiring comic book artist who wants to create black superheroes, but everyone is dreaming of a better life than the car wash...

Car Wash was a substantial hit in the seventies, a loosely assembled, seemingly improvised comedy that was actually scripted by future director Joel Schumacher. Whether its success was down to the catchy soundtrack more than the actual comedy value was debatable, but Rose Royce's classic early disco theme is still heard today, a testament to its longevity. The film, however, is almost treated as an afterthought to the music, and when you see it you'll realise that this was the best part, as the humour is broad and obvious.

But it's not a dead loss, as the ensemble cast worked hard to bring their mainly blue collar characters to life, and they all emerge as having value in the face of the daily grind. The camaraderie is the most important part of their day, when they're not, for example, thinking about going on the stage in a song and dance act as Floyd (Darrow Igus) and Lloyd (DeWayne Jessie) are, or arguing with a girlfriend about going back to college or else their marriage is off. Each of the workers gets their own bit of business, be it humorous or dramatic, and they all paint a vivid picture.

The film is not especially funny anymore, with much of the gags centred around pranks, so there's a fair few instances of people getting soaked with all that water about and the odd indulgence of, say, hot peppers hidden in a sandwich. The cast is notable, including among the better known faces the ever-impressive Duke as the put upon but angry Abdullah, George Carlin as a taxi driver searching for the "tall, blonde, black woman" who dodged a fare, Antonio Fargas as the flamboyant gay Lindy and a guest appearance by Richard Pryor, flanked by The Pointer Sisters no less, as a shady evangelist who is treated as a hero by some.

But for all the hijinks, there's a sense of desperation to these people, as if they are just about keeping their heads above water and using their good humour to cover up their worries, financial and otherwise. When Hippo (James Spinks) gets to enjoy himself with prostitute Marleen (Lauren Jones), the only thing he has to pay her with is his beloved radio, and after the fact he appears to regret his actions. Similarly, T.C.'s drive to win a competition on the radio is approached as funny, but masks his urgent desire to catch a break. It does end happily for most of them, if such a rambling feature can build to something akin to a finale, and there's a mood of optimism that they can all work out their troubles if they are careful. Car Wash is of its time, but interesting with it. Music by Norman Whitfield.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3909 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Michael Schultz  (1938 - )

American director, from the theatre, of largely disposable entertainment, including Cooley High, Car Wash, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Greased Lightning, Scavenger Hunt, Krush Groove, The Last Dragon and Disorderlies. Notable as one of the first black mainstream directors, after some TV in the seventies (The Rockford Files, Starsky and Hutch) he concentrated on television full time from the late eighties onwards.

 
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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: