Friday, September 16, 2011

Used Cars (1980)

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Starring: Kurt Russell, Jack Warden, Gerrit Graham, Frank McRae, Deborah Harmon, Joe Flaherty, David L. Lander, Michael McKean, Alfonso Arau, Al Lewis

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Trust us.

Plot: Used car salesman Rudy Russo needs money to run for State Senate, so he approaches his boss Luke. Luke agrees to front him the $10,000 he needs, but then encounters an "accident" orchestrated by his brother Roy, who runs the car lot across the street. Roy is hoping to claim title to his brother's property because Roy's paying off the mayor to put the new interstate through the area. After Luke disappears, it's all out war between the competing car shops, and no nasty trick is off limits as Rudy and his gang fight to keep Roy from taking Luke's property. Then Luke's daughter shows up.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again? YES!

JESUS PALOMINO! I laughed my fucking ass off! Hell, I've known about this picture since it came out yet I somehow never got to it until now. HOLY SHIT!

"It's too...fucking...high!" Classic.

I expected 90 minutes of two neighboring competing used car lots trying to one-up each other to get customers but I had no idea it would be a near-two hour comedy goldmine loaded with car stunts and outrageousness. EVERYONE is hilarious from Kurt Russell, to Jack Warden, the always reliably funny Frank McRae to Al Lewis (as a take-no-shit judge that'll leave you howling). This movie is goddamn hysterical from start to finish.

Stunts, you say? The last 20 minutes has got some kick ass car stunts and with some very daring shit done by Russell. You don't see actors doing real shit like that these days. This was made at the tail end of the 70s, a decade that pushed the envelope in car chases and stunts and there's some amazing work in this one.

One minor thing I got a kick out of was how many people in this picture had also just worked on 1941 (1979) behind and in front of the camera. Steven Spielberg who directed 1941 was also one of the producers of this one. It was a gas picking people out who participated in one of Spielberg's most hated, but one of my favorite, films.

If you haven't seen this yet then you owe it to yourself. USED CARS is one hell of a funny picture and I'm kicking myself in the pants that it's taken 30 years to finally get around to seeing it. To think of all the laughs I have deprived myself of for three decades. That's a high price to pay for procrastination. "It's too...fucking...high!"

Here's a little bonus of something I found...

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