I have a vague recollection of seeing it on the big screen when it came out, and I believe I gave it a rewatch not all that long after when it came out on home video. I don’t recall being all that impressed with it – as I said, my recall of it is a bit nebulous – but as is always the case in films centered on fast moving vehicles what truly matters most is, was, and forever will be ‘the car’ … and I’m pretty sure I found this one damn nifty up there in the lights. It may not have been the kind of thing I would’ve wanted to drive, but it made for some grand action sequences – nothing quite on par with the Fast and the Furious franchise, but hey! It was the 1980’s!
IMDB.com reports that the script was written by John Carpenter, Desmond Nakano, and William Gray; and I believe it was heavily promoted at the time using the Carpenter name. Harley Cokeliss directed, and I do know that Cokeliss had helmed Battletruck (1982) only a few years before. Perhaps the association with futuristic vehicles was what the producers had on their mind when the signed the writer/director to the gig. And what an impressive cast! Tommy Lee Jones. Linda Hamilton. Richard Jaeckel. And the great Robert Vaughn, one of my all-time favorite actors (who never quite gets the love he deserves).
Here’s the film’s plot summary as provided by the good people at IMDB.com:
“A thief, Quint, is hired by the Justice Department to steal incriminating tapes from a corrupt corporation. The tapes vanish when Quint hides them in the back of a hydrodynamic powered racing car that is stolen by a hot car ring.”