Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Grindhouse Flicks: Race with the Devil

Greetings my readers and on to Day 3 of Grindhouse Flicks. This is an interesting one. Imagine incorporating a horror film with action and car chases. A weird one, right? Don't worry it's not The Hitcher or its unfortunate remake. Instead we have two couples on out vacation on their way to Aspen Colorado. Rather than fly like sensible people they are gonna make an adventure of it with a RV and hopefully Trumpy of Pod People will not make an appearance. This is Race with the Devil.

Oh stop pouting, I didn't mean to eat all your jerky.

Written by exploitation writers Wes Bishop (The Pick-Up, Love Camp 7, Chain Gang Women, The Thing with Two Heads and The Black Gestapo) and writer/director Lee Frost (Hot Spur, Chain Gang Women, The Thing with Two Heads, Two for the Money, Policewomen and The Black Gestapo) and directed by actor/director Jack Starret (Cry Blood, Apache, Night Chase, Slaughter, Cleopatra Jones, A Small Town in Texas and Final Chapter: Walking Tall) we are clearly in for some unusual and possible taboo.

Roger Marsh (Peter Fonda of Easy Rider, Futureworld, Outlaw Blues, Molly & Gina, Love and a .45 and Escape from L.A.) and his business partner/racing buddy Frank Stewart (Warren Oates of In the Heat of the Night, The Wild Bunch, Badlands, Stripes, The Border, Blue Thunder and Tough Enough) run a fairly prosperous motorcycle dealership between designing their own cycles and pawning off Hodaka 100s they decide it is time for a break and Frank preps a 30 foot RV for everyone's enjoyment. Frank's wife Alice (Loretta Swit of M*A*S*H, Freebie and the Bean, The Love Boat, Beer, 14 Going on 30 and Forest Warrior) has got it all packed and Roger's wife Kelly (Lara Parker of Dark Shadows, Adventures of the Queen, Mobile One, The Solitary Man, Galactica 1980 and Rooster) is all excited to bring the Lhas Apso along.


After more than a few hours on the road, everyone is getting a bit punchy, probably due to roadside food and too much I-Spy games. The lot sets up camp in a remote area of central Texas...barely 3 hours from San Antonio so you know they are making great time and the guys break out the dirt bikes to cut loose. The ladies tuckered from the lengthy trek across Texas (large frickin' state lemme tell you) so they turn in while the fellas go out wandering for a bit, chewing the fat when they stumble across what looks to be a human sacrifice??? The guys get jumped by the Satanists and have to duke their way out of harm's way, make it back to the RV and hightail it out of there.

The local butt scratcher, I mean sheriff (R.G. Armstrong of Lone Wolf McQuade, Trapper John, M.D., The Best of Times, Jocks, Predator, Friday the 13th The Series and Payback) sits on his doughy good ole boy ass and tells the fellas you probably just saw some hippies killing a dog and overreacting to it. The gang insists on going to Amarillo and give this sample of dirt with the victim's blood to the authorities while the girls have lifted a few books on the occult from the local library. SHAME!!!

With the Satanists in hot pursuit of our foursome (didn't mean for that to sound dirty) Frank and Roger buy a couple of splatter guns to defend themselves.

Will anyone come to their rescue? Will the Satanists raise the dark lord and master? Will Lara Parker regret being in a Satanist movie?

A few comments on the movie now.

Writer Wes Bishop appears as Deputy Dave and the director Jack Starrett was the gas station attendant towards the end of the flick. Lara Parker used to be roomies with Jane Fonda when they were attending Vassar College.

Jack Starrett replaced Lee Frost when Head of Fox Alan Ladd Jr was less than satisfied with the dailies and demanded the footage be re-shot so most Lee's work was in the trash. This was in theatres 7 days after JAWS was released. Bad timing fellas.

Leatherface is sporting a new look.  Good for him.