Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Speed Driver (1980)

Director: Stelvio Massi

Writers: Artur Brauner, Massimo De Rita, Luis Maria Delgado

Composer: Stelvio Cipriani

Starring: Fabio Testi, Orazio Orlando, Senta Berger, Francisco Rabal, Manuel Zarzo, Romano Puppo, Luis Rivera

More info: IMDb

Plot: Rudi is an illegal street racer named whose reputation in the area becomes so strong that he is hired by a drug kingpin to compete professionally on the circuit.  Mix in a dame and some drug crimes and you've got yourself a conflict.

My rating: 3/10

Will I watch it again? No.

Woof!  Four writers are credited with creating this by-the-numbers script.  I don't mind that it's so predictable but there's nothing at all interesting about this picture.  It's one cliche after another but with A LOT of racing footage that is almost entirely comprised of closeups of cars where you see the car they want you to look at with very little else inside the frame.  Most of the time I couldn't tell what was going on with who.  I knew which car was Rudy's (Testi) but you don't get a chance to see the big picture.  When someone crashes or there's some kind of an accident, you don't get to see what caused it; you just see someone spinning or trying to get off the track.  The love story is typical, none of the conflicts between Rudy and everyone else (it seems like he gets pissed off at every A level and B level character) deliver any dramatic punch, and there's just too much fat between the story and the racing footage.  That's bad enough on its own but this picture clocks in a twelve minutes shy of two hours and it's not good enough to deserve that much time.  The ending wraps up insanely fast where you find out that everything worked out for Rudy and friends like a nice bow on a package that miraculously wrapped itself up saving the filmmakers from having to show the audience any evidence of the quick exposition vomit that just came out of Napoli's (Orlando) mouth.  

The print I watched was a lousy fullscreen VHS quality one.  That trailer above looks better than what I watched.  IMDb doesn't list what scope this was filmed but I imagine this is a damn sight better seeing this widescreen in a theater but then it's got too many problems that would keep even that from making this good enough to recommend. 

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