I Saw A Film!
Hot Rod girl! She’s driving the hotrods, those old fifty’s buggies with the engines exposed. But, only in the beginning of the show. The movie quickly stops being about a lady hot-rodder and switches over to a death in the family, with a new wiseass in town challenging everyone’s driving skills with daredevil behavior. Which is a shame, the film seems misnamed.
Chuck Connors is a cop trying to get the kids to keep the racing at the track. This is the first time I’ve seen a film basically about the argument of having a legal place to race. Frank Gorshin plays one of the group of race-happy guys and the styles and language are a lot of fun to see.
Before long our reluctant mechanic (the real center of the story), played by old TV cowboy John Smith, having lost his little brother in a drag race, is drawn back into the racing when Bronc (seriously?!) arrives. He’s full of fast-talking irreverent attitude and careless driving antics. He starts hitting on Hot Rod Girl, who up until now was the bestie of Jeff, the moping mechanic who lost his hot-headed younger in a stupid street drag. He’s sworn off racing, or . . . has he? On the streets of Any Town USA they get into a challenge match and a little kid on a bicycle is killed, and Bronc blames Jeff, but Chuck Connors sees that Bronc’s dragster has all the indications of having done the evil deed.
Oof. This is a great title, without a movie sadly. It spends its time trying to build a case for keeping the racing in a designated area, but this doesn’t account for road rage and the desire to showboat on the street.
For a going-on-70 year old movie, it’s a lot of fun to consider the boundaries being pushed by having Lori Nelson as the opening champion Hot-Rodder, it must have made people nearly swoon. This is running free on prime, and suffers from having that over-contrasty print problem.
The actor playing Bronc is a barely known entity without much on his IMDB page, just a nameless juvenile delinquent.