Monday, October 17, 2011

26 Films: Roadracers

A throw back to 50s JD pictures should open with a car chase intercut with a rockabilly band. Robert Rodriguez knows this and that exactly how he opens his entry in the Rebel Highway series, Roadracers.  The series, a revival of the American International Pictures of the 50s and 60s, ran for ten-feature length made for Cable TV films. Roadracers is about Dude Delany, a small town outsider who dreams of leaving to become a rockabilly star. He’s on the outs with the town sheriff.

     The film includes an early performance by John Hawkes from Winters Bone and Deadwood, along with a solid turn with by William Saddler.  The perfect music selection included Link Wray and Hasil Adkins, and Gene Vincent. It’s not some long lost treasure, it’s simply a solid entertaining film that catches a young cast and crew making a B film and having some fun.

     Re-watching it has gotten me geeked to revisit the rest of the series. and thanks to the magic of the Internet I have 5 of them on the way on DVD. I do have to wonder why we don’t have a box set of these from the Shout Factory or someone like that.

The complete series includes:

        Girls in Prison - Directed by John McNaughton and starring Anne Heche and Ione Skye.
        Dragstrip Girl - Directed by Mary Lambert and starring Mark Dacascos and Natasha Gregson Wagner.
        Shake, Rattle and Rock! - Directed by Allan Arkush and starring RenĂ©e Zellweger and Howie Mandel.
        Runaway Daughters - Directed by Joe Dante and starring Julie Bowen and Paul Rudd.
        Roadracers - Directed by Robert Rodriguez and starring David Arquette and Salma Hayek.
        Reform School Girl - Directed by Jonathan Kaplan and starring Aimee Graham and Matt LeBlanc.
        Motorcycle Gang - Directed by John Milius and starring Gerald McRaney and Jake Busey.
        Jailbreakers - Directed by William Friedkin and starring Antonio Sabato Jr. and Shannen Doherty.
        Cool and the Crazy - Directed by Ralph Bakshi and starring Jared Leto and Alicia Silverstone.

 Check out my thoughts on the soundtrack later this week.

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