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
   
 
  Vanishing Point Catch Me If You Can
Year: 1971
Director: Richard C. Sarafian
Stars: Barry Newman, Cleavon Little, Dean Jagger, Victoria Medlin, Paul Koslo, Robert Donner, Timothy Scott, Gilda Texter, Karl Swenson, Severn Darden
Genre: Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Kowalski (Barry Newman) makes his living driving cars for delivery across the U.S.A. One night, he makes a bet with his drug dealer friend that he can drive from Denver, Colorado to San Francisco in under twenty four hours, but along the way he attracts the unwelcome attention of the police. His hazardous driving makes him a wanted man, and soon he is being chased at high speeds along the desert highways all the while becoming a hero of the people who thought heroes were a thing of the past...

Yet another film from a big studio designed to appeal to any counterculture leanings in young people after Easy Rider was a hit, epic hippy hangover flick Vanishing Point was scripted by Guillermo Cain (a pseudonym for a Cuban film critic whose previous credit had been Brit cult flick Wonderwall). The film stakes out its territory early on, with a sequence showing Kowalski in his supercharged, white 1970 Dodge Challenger being forced to flee from a police roadblock and mysteriously disappearing - it's all vaguely meaningful and exciting to watch at the same time.

After this we go back to see the start of the chase, where Kowalski arrives to pick up a new car, despite having been awake for hours, and takes speed (appropriately) in preparation for his marathon drive. The car chase sequences, and John A. Alonzo's photography in general, are terrific, brimming with energy as stunt driver Carey Loftin takes the wheel of the Challenger as it charges across the roads, through the countryside and finally out into the desert as he tries to escape the cops, who all the while are being strewn like debris in Kowalski's wake.

Although the cops are depicted as dumb rednecks, not a sympathetic one amongst them, Kowalski does meet up with helpful souls on his journey. All the way, his exploits are commented on by DJ Super Soul (Cleavon Little) from a small radio station out in the middle of a isolated smalltown (the townsfolk look as if they'd rather hear Patsy Cline than the DJ's blues rock) - our hero builds a spiritual link with him that means they can hold a conversation as long as the radio is playing. Kowalski is aided by a rattlesnake collector (Dean Jagger) in Death Valley, and a biker as he nears the end of his adventure, and there are many eccentric characters he crosses paths with, like the foolhardy racer, the preacher at a revivalist meeting, or the two gay criminals (who push a broken down car with "Just Married" written on the back).

But what of Kowalski himself? What makes him so cool? Well, not too much, to be honest. Flashbacks to his past reveal him as a troubled soul, a Vietnam War veteran, an ex-cop who was repelled by the corruption, a banned racing driver, and a heartbroken man whose girlfriend has drowned in a surfing accident. All this seems too calculated in its attempt to appeal to the widest variety of viewers, be they square and disillusioned or hip and looking for a champion. Everyone he meets seems to see what they want in him, be that a friend on the road, someone to exploit, or an enemy to be conquered, lending the character his "between the lines" persona throughout.

As played by Newman, Kowalski has no personality that you'd notice, he's the strong silent type who is afforded the occasional flash of humour or compassion. In fact it's the car that's cool, that Dodge Challenger bulleting across the screen, performing amazing stunt moves, is the true hero of the piece. Kowalski is a man whose only meaning in life has become the chase, and when he has nowhere left to excape to, he reaches the conclusion he has nothing left to live for - and he won't give the cops the satisfaction of catching him. But what has he achieved? His final act looks like an futile gesture. Plus, he trashes the car. Remade for TV in 1997, and if you see the British edit, Charlotte Rampling shows up as a stoned hitcher in a late on scene that proves an eerie foreshadowing of Kowalski's ultimate fate. Rock band Primal Scream loved the movie, but didn't like the music (which includes Delaney and Bonnie in person), so wrote their own soundtrack with the concept album named after it, which is worth a listen.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 18605 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Richard C. Sarafian  (1925 - 2013)

American director and actor who worked as a TV director until the late 60s, when he turned his hand to atmospheric films like the haunting British drama Run Wild, Run Free, the existential road movie Vanishing Point and the Burt Reynolds western The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing. Less successful were the Sean Connery vehicle The Next Man and Sunburn, with Farrah Fawcett. As an actor can be spotted more recently in films like Bulworth, Blue Streak and The Crossing Guard.

 
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
  Louise Hackett
Darren Jones
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: