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Vanishing Point


1971's VANISHING POINT is a cult drive-in classic and an interesting relic of the car chase/70's hippie culture film era. I have VERY distinct memories of seeing this with my brother Mark at the Thomas Mall theatre in Scottsdale and seeing a naked girl riding a motorcycle on the poster. I was 10 and Mark was 14. As you can imagine, we couldn't buy our tickets fast enough...haha. Looking back, I think everything but the car chases must have gone WAY over my head!

Barry Newman stars as Kowalski, a former war hero/cop/stock car driver who makes a bet he can deliver a Dodge Challenger from Denver to San Francisco in 15 hours. Along the way, he meets a religious cult, an old man in the desert (Dean Jagger at his crotchety best) and our previously mentioned nude girl on a motorcycle. He also gets radio support from DJ Super Soul (Cleavon Little in an energetic performance just before he exploded in Blazing Saddles). Some of the 1971 views of drugs, gay culture and racial attitudes have NOT aged well, but it's still a great car chase flick!

With it's place in the memories of my youth, it remains a guilty pleasure.

I think with some chemicals, this would be an A, sober it's an amusing relic with some great action scenes and an interesting anti-hero, earning a C.

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