peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2023 10 25 VanishingPoint

Vanishing Point (1971)

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A Cleavon Little jag from Blazing Saddles. Also eventually inevitable due to Tarantino's boosterism. Barry Newman leads, woodenly, or is it the much-fetishized white Dodge Challenger? I think his job is to take the car from Colorado to California but it doesn't seem to matter what condition it arrives in, and for reasons unspecified he decides to go on a cannonball run. Adding to the strangeness is that he appears to have all the time in the world to engage with a variety of counterculturalists. (Newman's background is Việt Nam, police force, race car driver, dead surfer-girl lover, all shown in flashback.) Going right over the top is Little's (humourless) blind radio DJ who feeds him information from a police scanner. So Easy Rider but just the one bloke in a car, witless Talk Radio without Bogosian.

What I totally didn't get was how the Dodge Challenger, being so fast and powerful and all, got overhauled regularly by the cop cars.

Beneath Roger Ebert's radar. Roger Greenspun.