HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Gumball Rally, The Wacky Races
Year: 1976
Director: Chuck Bail
Stars: Michael Sarrazin, Raul Julia, Tim McIntire, Nicholas Pryor, Norman Burton, Gary Busey, John Durren, Susan Flannery, Steven Keats, Joanne Nail, J. Pat O'Malley, Harvey Jason, Lazaro Perez, Tricia O'Neill, Vaughn Taylor, Wally Taylor, Colleen Camp
Genre: Comedy, ActionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Michael Bannon (Michael Sarrazin) is the head of a powerful confectionary company, but as he sits in yet another board meeting, bored out of his mind, he feels the need for speed once more. As an executive drones on, Bannon calls up Samuel Graves (Nicholas Pryor), a university professor he knows and says one word: "Gumball". Graves protests, fully aware of what he means, but "Gumball" is the whole message, and that message is spread to other pertinent folks around the United States so that soon a collection of drivers has been assembled in New York City, all raring to go in a highly illegal road race across the country. And one cop, Roscoe (Norman Burton) is determined to stop them.

There were a bundle of driving movies with ensemble casts released in the nineteen-seventies and early eighties, many apparently inspired by the stunt-filled, comic antics of It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. This example was one of the first, and some would say, the best of them, written by Leon Capetanos from the story by him and director Chuck Bail, a stuntman himself in his other job. The cast might not be quite as star-filled as the others, but what they lack in fame they make up for in amusement as every one of the two-person teams gets to shine - and the actors did much of their own driving as well.

Initially, they all meet in a restaurant to hear the plan. The rules? There are no rules, they just have to travel from New York to Long Beach, California in the fastest possible time. The record to beat is Bannon's, and they're all determined to better him, but really the race is between two teams, the Bannon and Graves one and their friendly rivals Smith (Tim McIntire) and Franco (Raul Julia). Julia is absolutely great in this, as a Italian Lothario whose appetite for cars is only overtaken by his love of the ladies, and many of the biggest laughs are thanks to his antics as he pursues his two great passions throughout the film.

That's not to say that the other characters are overshadowed, far from it. Gary Busey is funny as the intentionally annoying mechanic of a professional stunt driver known as "Mr Guts" (John Durren), who is wound up by his crude behaviour. There are two housewives in the race (Susan Flannery and Joanne Nail) who make the mistake of telling a couple of rednecks, "If you can catch me, you can have me!". There are also a pair of cops (Steven Keats and Wally Taylor) who use the trick of turning on the siren to beat the traffic. But one of the funniest is the "Mad Hungarian" (Harvey Jason), an accident-prone motorcyclist who never speaks a word in the movie.

The stunts and driving are superb, with plentiful crashes and narrow escapes, meaning you never get a chance to catch your breath while watching. Roscoe's efforts to stop the race predictably come to naught as Bannon, Smith and company are too clever for him by half (or so they think). If there's a drawback it's the episodic nature of the plotting, which was probably unavoidable, but it means you never get a sense of the teams really racing against each other; in fact, they barely see each other until the end and the contest is won. However, the brash humour and general spectacle should be sufficient as the film's air of fun is infectious, and The Gumball Rally, based on a real race, is indeed one of the best of its type proving you don't need Burt Reynolds to do this sort of thing right. Music by Dominic Frontiere.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 7008 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
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: