Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Race with the Devil

Jack Starrett | 1975 | 88 min | US

Peter Fonda essentially stars as Peter Fonda in this great drive-in exploitation flick that surpasses the realm of drive-in exploitation flicks. Fonda and his friend Frank (Warren Oates) set off for a road trip with their girlfriends in a tricked out motor home. At their first stop they enjoy some dirtbike racing, some laughs, + eighty pitchers of martinis. Late in the night after the womenfolk have gone to bed, Peter + Frank enjoy a quiet six nightcaps under the stars. When they spot a bonfire off in the distance they creep closer in the hopes that they might catch an orgy. The seventies were so fucked up that this was actually a suitable plot device.

Alas, there would be no orgy at all. Instead. . . SATANISTS! The two are spotted after witnessing a human sacrifice + race away from the scene with a cadre of the Devil worshipers trailing. The rest of the movie follows the pals on their road trip as they become increasingly victimized + suspicious of all those around them. The growing paranoia of the friends combined with the general default creepiness of the American South makes for a gripping movie. The climax also features an extended road race with some terrific stunt work. Big time recommends for Race with the Devil.

And although the first couple might worry you, fear not: the director only shoehorns the two Fonda motorcycle races into the picture early on.

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