Shocktober Drive-In Movie ’75

In the spirit of my upcoming SECRETS OF THE PARANORMAL 70’s show at Other Cinema and SHOCKTOBER! it’s a great time to revisit this big drive-in hit from 20th Century Fox, written by exploitation maestro Lee Frost and directed by the reliable Jack Starrett. RACE WITH THE DEVIL stars Peter Fonda and Warren Oates (their second co-starring role since Fonda’s unique THE HIRED HAND (1971)) whose real life friendship gives them a natural bond and with a more developed script could have created some memorable¬†characters. As it is, they’re merely the epitome of 70’s badass cool and that’s alright, man; I mean, Warren Oates in a drive-in road horror film with satanists, motorcyclists and good ol’ fashion Stuntman Mike-approved Recreational Vehicle chases (double this at the New Beverly with TWO LANE BLACKTOP). Oates in fact HAD an RV that he cruised around like his own traveling party. Now that must have been Hell On Wheels. The lady folk are given short shrift screaming, but Starrett creates a truly paranoid creepy atmosphere and raises the stakes until the action-packed surprising climax redolent of the era. RACE THE DEVIL holds up devilishly well and to say more would be a sin…Hell Yeah!

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