89. Cannonball (1976)

Cannonball

*The Warlock opens the door to his lair. He’s wearing a black wife beater, blue jeans, white sneakers and black gargoyle shades. He’s holding a glass of root beer*

Warlock: Welcome to my lair….welcome I don’t think so, but enter. Enter my lair if you dare. I’m your host The Warlock.

*Warlock thrusts his fist to the sky and a bolt of lightning strikes. He walks inside*

Warlock: Today we take a look at Cannonball! A movie about a cross-country race for money. Why? Nobody knows.

*Mr.America is in the recliner with his arms folded. He’s wearing green camo fatigues, vest and hat with black combat boots and aviator shades*

America: Like you would know anything about racing.

Warlock: Ha! I can outrace your Ford Explorer any day.

America: Not talking about that. Talking about my panzer!

Warlock: What?

America: I bet you 500 dollars I can outrace you to the end of the street in the Pershing.

Warlock: Are you out of your mind? I’ll take that bet. I’ll see you after the movie.

*Warlock takes his seat in the middle of the couch*

Warlock: So let’s look at Cannonball!

 

*The Warlock reads the tag-line*

Warlock: “This is another story of the secret Coast to Coast auto race across America. The only rule is, the first to finish is the winner. Naturally, anyone driving 55 isn’t going to win.”

America: Sammy Hagar would be proud.

 

*Coy “Cannonball” Buckman (David Carradine) gets shot in the head and crashes his car*

America: The hell?

 

*Buckman wakes up*

America: Only a dream.

 

*Mechanic says the suspension is tighter than a kangaroo*

Warlock: HAhahaha

 

*Zippo (Archie Hahn) is working on the car at 4:30 in the morning. Buckman says don’t wake Linda (Veronica Hamel). Meanwhile Bennie Buckman (Dick Miller) is up to no good*

Warlock: Yeah, and quit waking the neighborhood up.

 

*Beutell (Stanley Bennett Clay) tells Mrs Schulenberg (Mary-Robin Redd) wants her car for the week. Mr. Schulenberg (Saul Krugman) was like who was that.

Warlock: Nice tie

 

*Sandy (Mary Woronov) pulls up in her van and tells Wendy (Diane Lee Hart) and Ginny (Glynn Rubin) to shake their asses when they get in*

Warlock: I like this girl already

America: Ohhh yeah.

 

*Perman Waters (Gerrit Graham) plays acoustic guitar in a red cowboy hat while sitting on a curb*

America: Looks like he got beat out as head Elvis impersonator.

 

*Cade Redmond (Bill McKinney) pulls up in a black cadillac and is riding with Perman. Meanwhile Linda gets a goodbye note from Coy*

Warlock: Interesting.

 

*Dennis Caldwell (David Arkin) is reporting the race and how it runs*

America: Hi Dennis.

 

*Brad Phillips (Patrick Wright) and Peter talk about how the race will be shown a week after the race airs*

America: Your logic is stupid. If they show it a week after the race, congrats, you did it without them knowing. You ruined any future race because now they know!

 

*Wolfe Messer (James Keach) says he wants to win the 100 grand*

America: And somewhere a sailing ship has lost its captain.

 

*Jim Crandall (Robert Carradine) and his girlfriend are racing and she says they’re going to buy a house on the beach*

America: We can go with that.

 

*Terry McMillan (Carl Gottlieb) tells Harriet (Lea Gould) he’s doing it for her and the kids*

Warlock: Family man.

 

*Sandy plows through a construction site*

Warlock: Wheeeeeee

 

*Linda shows up to wish Coy luck. She doesn’t want him to race. Redmond walks up and trash talks him. Then throws his jack away*

America: What a heel.

 

*Brad says the cops are on their way. The race is on*

Warlock: And they’re off.

America: Not quite…still sitting.

 

*Crandall plays guitar in his car. Coy says goodbye to Bennie and brings Linda with him*

Warlock: Good luck.

 

*Warlock makes fun of the soundtrack*

America: Noooooooooo.

 

*Sandy gets there just ahead of the cops*

America: Run for your lives!!!!

 

*The cops says the race is off. Brad “What race?”

Warlock: We just imagined the whole thing.

 

*Zippo is driving the exact same car as Coy*

Warlock: Bahahahahaha that’s hilarious.

America: Great ploy, someone is gonna try to kill Zippo and Coy will avenge him.

 

*Wolfe talks to himself*

Warlock: He’s talking to himself.

America: Hmmmmm

 

*Wolfe insults Terry and blows by him. Meanwhile Bennie walks into Lester Marks (Paul Bartel) house. He says “What do you think?”

America: Horrible.

 

*Bennie wants to bet 10 grand on Coy and Lester says he’s not good for it*

Warlock: Deadbeat.

America: Nice oompa loompa lighting.

 

*Terry drives into a Super Guppy*

America: That’s awesome.

 

*Wolfe goes mano e mano with Coy and he smokes a pipe as he does*

Warlock: Bahahahhaa.

 

*Crandall’s girl sings a song as he drives. Wolfe blows right by him*

Warlock: I can see he’s not concerned about winning.

 

*Bennie places a bet on Coy as Beutell hits on Sandy*

Warlock: Oh jesus.

 

*Sandy runs Beutell off the road*

Warlock: That didn’t take long.

 

*Perman won’t shut up and Redman tells calls him an asshole*

Warlock: Why doesn’t he just shoot him?

 

*Redman spots Coy and guns it for him*

Warlock: A little early for this.

 

*Redman spins out Coy and Coy calls Zippo to come get him*

Warlock: Wow, did not see that coming.

 

*Coy sends Linda off with Zippo in exchange for Zippo’s hat*

Warlock: What a trade.

 

*Beutell comes back to Sandy’s van and the girls taunt him. They open fore with an extinguisher and he goes off-road*

America: You can lay off the horn now.

 

*Terry embraces Louisa (Louisa Mortiz) and talk about their plan of victory*

America: I hope this guy loses miserably.

 

*Lester is with two mafiosos (Martin Scorsese and Sylvester Stallone) and they grill him*

Warlock: You got one of the best known directors and actors in bit roles, that’s amazing.

 

*Bennie spots Zippo but thinks its Coy*

America: What did I say?

 

*Redman knocks Beutell off the road and knocks the hubcaps off*

Warlock: This guy’s having no luck.

 

*Wolfe is ahead of the rest of the pack and he continues to talk to himself*

Warlock: Hahaha

 

*A cruiser goes to pull over Wolfe*

Warlock: Oh shit, its the cops.

 

*Wolfe goes to pull over then speeds off*

Warlock: Did you expect him to go quietly?

America: No.

 

*Wolfe kicks it to 100 and the car explodes. On the plane Brad is pissed*

Warlock Did not see that coming.

America: Are they gonna explain that?

 

*Crandall’s girl drives as he catches some Z’s. They hear a noise and pull over, he opens the hood, closes it and goes on his way*

America: Pretty mundane

 

*Perman continues to sing as Redman laughs*

Warlock: That’s hilarious.

 

*Coy rams into Redman from behind*

America: My turn!

 

*Redman grabs a gun*

Warlock: HE’S GOT A GUN!!!

 

*Redman shoots out Coy’s tire and Coy pulls over. He looks for his jack but remembered Redman threw it away*

Warlock: Brilliant plan by Redman.

 

*Coy backs his car onto a guardrail to change his tire. Meanwhile Crandall pulls into a service station. He says the nearest autoshop is 200 miles away*

America: He’ll never make it.

 

*Terry brings Louisa to a hotel room*

Warlock: What do you think?

America: Ughhhhhh

 

*Zippo and Linda share character development. He and Coy grew up together*

Warlock: Oh boy, character development.

 

*Cops pull over Coy when he’s back on the road. Coy gets out of the car and the cop frisks him. Cop pulls a gun and Coy wipes him out with kung-fu*

Warlock: Great product placement.

 

*Coy asks who hired him but he;s out cold*

America: Did you think he’d talk to you after you knocked him out?

 

*Terry and Louisa play around in a bathrub as Bennie shows up to talk to the Cop. Bennie calls him a moron when he realizes that was Coy the Cop attacked*

Warlock: You moron.

 

*Zippo is in first, Redman is in second, Coy is in third place, Sandy 4th, Beutell fifth*

Warlock: Bobby Carradine is no where in sight.

America: and cheating asshole is cheating. I’d like to point out how badly this is done in front of a blue screen.

 

*Coy pulls up to Redman’s car. He confronts Redman in the gas station. Redman offers Coy a beer*

America: Oh hi.

 

*Redman throws beer at him and they fight. Redman wins the fight and runs out, kicks out Coy’s headlights and drives off*

Warlock: What a heel.

 

*Coy pays the gas station dude for the damage*

Warlock: What a face.

 

*Wendy and Ginny catch Z’s as the cops go after Sandy next*

Warlock: Their turn.

 

*The cops stop head of the car and they walk back to them. The two girls hit on the cops, one cop tells the other to go in the cruiser. Ginny and Wendy take care of them*

Warlock: What a crew.

 

*Coy figures out his lights are gone and he’s pissed*

Warlock: For the movie protagonist, he’s letting the heel kick his ass.

 

*Coy falls asleep at the wheel and rolls his car*

Warlock: He’s fucked.

America: No he’s not….oh wait, yeah he is. You’re done buddy.

 

*Coy walks away*

America: Why are you walking the wrong way?

 

*Lester’s thugs beat up Bennie*

Warlock: Why are they beating him up?

America: He bet on Coy and Coy is losing.

 

*Guy in overalls and green t-shirt with A’s hat works on Coy’s car*

Warlock: Hey Luigi!

 

*Luigi shows Coy their car, its painted green but almost the same car. He loves the car*

Warlock: Back in the race.

 

*The two cops get serviced in the van as Sandy keeps driving*

Warlock: Whoever said the sexual revolution is over? Hogwash…

 

*Beutell pulls up alongside Sandy and is pissed*

America: This guy again?

 

*Beutell tosses several cans of kerosene into the police cruiser and tosses a match…KABOOM. The two cops run out in their underwear and argue as Sandy drives off*

Warlock: That was nice.

 

*Louisa and Terry continue to have their fun*

America: Ughhhhh. By my calculations, you’re still an asshole.

 

*Redman and Perman sing as Crandall and his gf, now known as Maryann (Belinda Balaski) strums. Perman walks up and says hi. Crandall asks if he’s in the race, he says yes. He asks for her guitar and she gives it to him*

Warlock: Wowwwwwwww.

 

*Redman hears Zippo is ahead of him and is pissed*

Warlock: Wonderful.

 

*Redman radios his trucker buddies to ambush Zippo, thinking its Coy*

America: I told you, I told you, I told you.

 

*Zippo drives into the truckers. Zippo gets his ass kicked and Linda beats everyone half to death*

America: Those guys weren’t expecting that one.

 

*Coy rams Redman in the green car*

America: Guess who’s back.

 

*Redman is rammed off road as Linda finishes off the truckers*

Warlock: Wow.

 

*Coy drives up in the green car and knocks down a trucker who plants something on the green car. Zippo goes to check the cars as Coy and Linda talk to each other*

Warlock: Character development.

 

*Zippo notices that the trucker didn’t plant a bum but cut the fuel line. Zippo and Linda take off and Coy tries to fix the fuel line. Meanwhile Crandall says instead of buying a house, he should run for mayor*

Warlock: Is he high or something?

America: Wow.

 

*Beutell is all over the road as Crandall and Maryanne drive up. They beep the horn to wake him and he spins out*

Warlock: Not having a good race.

 

*Crandall’s car finally dies and they wonder if they should steal another car*

Warlock: Wow…..just wow…come on Bobby.

 

*A cop pulls up as Maryann and Crandall bullshit him into getting another car started for them*

Warlock: That was easy.

 

*The cop comes back and Maryann drives away in the Corvette as Crandall hops in the cruiser and drives off. They drive a bit, Crandall gets out and tosses the key away then hops in the vette with Maryann*

Warlock; Brilliant.

 

*Redman throws Perman and his mother out of the car and rides off after Coy*

Warlock: Time for the showdown.

 

*Coy and Redman go mano e mano and Redman has to shed a police cruiser*

Warlock: Boing

 

*Coy notices the bridge is out*

Warlock: Not that way.

America: Definitely not that way

 

*Redman starts shooting at Coy and drives after him up the bridge*

Warlock: I see what he’s doing

 

*Coy guns it and flys over the bridge. The piece of guitar that Redman punched out is under his pedal and he goes flying off the bridge, car explodes*

Warlock: Bye bye Redman.

 

*Beutell wants to go with Zippo*

Warlock: Oh jesus.

 

*Bennie’s buddy holes up with a sniper rifle and kills Zippo with a sniper shot. Linda jumps out of the car just in time before it explodes. Beutell runs over the sniper and kills him. Crandall and Maryann pick up Linda and rescue her*

Warlock: Its a rescue!

 

*Crandall and Maryann take Linda to the hospital*

Warlock: So Redman’s done, Zippo’s done, Wolfe is done. That leaves these kids, Terry the cheater, Beutell, Sandy and Coy.

 

*Cars to continue to explode for no reason*

Warlock: Hahahahaha

America: Hahahaha wow.

 

*Sandy tries to navigate through the exploding cars*

Warlock: Don’t touch anything or you’ll magically explode.

 

*Sandy makes her way to the finish line as Terry pulls up first. He’s the winner. She says she left the champagne on the plane. Terry is disqualified*

Warlock: You idiot.

 

*Sandy makes it to NYC but forgot where the finish line is. Coy is on his way too. Lester sings the song over as Lester in the movie drops Bennie off in NYC*

Warlock: Gotta end it somehow.

 

*Sandy crashes into someone and a pier six brawl develops. Coy pulls into the winner’s circle. He wins and Bennie is there to greet him*

Warlock: Wow.

 

*Newscasters tell Coy that Zippo is dead. Bennie goes to stamp the ticket and Coy figures out that Bennie was fucking people up all along. Coy refuses to stamp the winner’s ticket and Bennie stands there holding the bag. Lester waits for Bennie and drags him off*

Warlock: So Coy disqualifies himself. That just leaves Beutell and the kids.

 

*Crandall pulls into the finish line and he’s the official winner since Coy didn’t stamp the ticket*

Warlock: Who saw THAT coming at the beginning of the movie?

 

*Coy runs up to Linda’s hospital bed, they kiss*

Warlock: Awwwwww.

America: Barf.

 

*Beutell shows up to pick up the Schulenbergs in the nearly destroyed car.. He says better check the oil. End credits*

Warlock: Hahaha good ending.

 

Mr. America’s assessment: I’ll give it a 6. It was 70’s cheese

The Warlock’s assessment: I’ll give it a 6 too. Bobby Carradine winning the race was priceless.

Final Grade: 6 out of 10 – Good

 

*The Warlock rises from the couch*

Warlock: Alright its go time.

America: You’re going down.

 

*Next we see America in his M26 Pershing revving it up. He looks over at Warlock who is in the 1958 Plymouth Fury next to the tank. Warlock revvs up the engine*

Warlock: Going down buddy.

America: In your dreams.

 

*Lady T walks up wearing a white tanktop and white shorts. She raises the flag as Warlock and America get ready. She waves the flag and they’re off……..sort of. Warlock’s car doesn’t move and America’s tank moves at a snail’s pace down the street*

Warlock: What the? Are you kidding?

 

*America opens the hatch and  sticks his head out of the panzer, holding a bucket of fluid*

America: Missing something Warlock?

Warlock: Oh you cheating bastard!

 

*America laughs and pulls the hatch down with Warlock’s transmission fluid in his hand. Warlock jumps out of his car, runs after the tank and jumps on it. He pounds on the hatch and yells. Meanwhile Lady T looks at the camera*

Lady T: Have a pleasant evening.

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