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  • bensonmum215 July 2005
    • The basic premise of Cannonball has been done several times - a diverse group of drivers compete in a cross-country race where anything goes. Sound familiar? Hal Nedham ripped the guts out of Cannonball for his Cannonball Run made five years later. The difference, though, is that while Cannonball is often funny with some great action, Cannonball Run is often too over-the-top and unwatchable. It's too bad that Bartel's movie isn't as well known as Nedham's. While it will never be confused with Citizen Kane, Cannonball is a thrill-a-minute, cheese-filled good time.


    • Bartel's direction is one of the highlights of the movie. You would think that a 90+ minute movie of watching cars race might get boring. It's not. Bartel keeps things moving and there's never a dull moment. Bartel does a great job of mixing race action, comedy, fight scenes, and a little drama to create a well-balanced, enjoyable movie.


    • As far as acting goes, David Carradine naturally stands out. He's a car driving, butt kicking machine. Carradine is able to add a little authenticity to the movie by doing a lot of his own driving. There are a couple of spinouts where you can actually see that it's Carradine sitting behind the wheel.


    • My biggest complaint with Cannonball involves the spectacular pile-up at the end of the movie. It gets off to a good start with cars plowing into each other followed by explosion after explosion. The problem is that it goes on for so long that it started to have a morbid feel to it. It bothered me that, as a viewer, I could only assume that there were people supposedly driving those cars that were bursting into flames and I didn't see any survivors. I can only assume that everyone was burned to a crisp. Sure it's a little picky, but it bothered me.
  • Of all the movies about cross country road races (Cannonball 1 and 2, Gumball Rally, et all) I always thought this was easily the best, even though you tend to hear about it the least. David Carradine is great as the star driver, trying to reclaim some past glory and get another shot at a racing career. And Dick Miller as his corrupt brother? Magnificent! Other New World Pictures stars abound!

    Lots of great cars, and car action as well, especially the final chase between Carradine and the film's villain, driving a wicked Dodge Charger. Sure there's some bad acting and some bad direction, but as far as being a 70's car/B-flick, it ranks high. One interesting note - the very last image shown in New World's "Death Race 2000" was of an incompleted elevated highway road section, just like the kind Carradine jumps his car across during the big chase. You gotta buy an old used video if you wanna see this one, which would be great on a widescreen DVD. I actually saw this in the theater and would love to see in widescreen again!
  • 'Cannonball' is one of the least remembered of the short-lived but successful 1970s car race/car crash genre begun by 'The Gumball Rally'. What really makes this one stand out is that it was directed by the late Paul Bartel (in between his immortal black comedy classics 'Death Race 2000' and 'Eating Raoul'), and features an impressive supporting cast of cult actors and Bartel buddies. 'Death Race 2000's David Carradine once again stars, this time as "Cannonball" Buckman, an ex-con who desperately wants to win the illegal Trans American road race. His older brother Benny (the legendary Dick Miller) gets him set up with a car, and bets enormous sums of money on him, mainly with the eccentric but ruthless bookie and amateur songwriter Lester Marks (played by Bartel himself). If Cannonball loses Benny will enter into a world of pain, so Benny tries any and every trick he can think of to ensure Cannonball's competitors lose. Cannonball's main competition is the borderline psychotic Redman ('Deliverance's Bill McKinney), but the race also includes Cannonball's sidekick Zippo (Archie Hahn), his parole officer girlfriend (Veronica Hammel), a bus full of babes led by frequent Bartel co-star Mary Woronov, an aspiring country singer (Gerrit Graham), and surfer types Robert Carradine and Belinda Balaski. 1970s exploitation fans will recognize these actors, and several others that make appearances throughout this stupid but fun movie, and buffs will also spot various film makers in cameos including Roger Corman, Martin Scorsese and Joe Dante. The whole thing is very incestuous and self-indulgent, but the cast looks like they're having a lot of fun. Maybe not as much as the viewer will, but it's still an entertaining ride if you kick back and have a beer or two when watching it.
  • David Carradine takes part in an illegal anything goes cross-country race from California to New York. Paul Bartel's second attempt at the race movie, while good isn't as fun as his previous "Death Race 2000". It's still fun in parts, but lacks the pacing and memorable characters (except for Carradine and the always watchable Dick Miller)

    My Grade: C+

    DVD Extras: Interviews with David Carradine, Mary Woronov, and Roger Corman; Poster and Stills gallery; 3 TV spots; and Theatrical Trailer

    1 Easter Egg: Highlight a hidden car in the Extras menu for a Carquake/ the giant spider invasion combo trailer
  • Cannonball.

    The movie that broke the dam and started a flood of films revolving around illegal coast to coast car races, really isn't half bad. That is so long as you don't forget its a B grade film. There are moments during it's one and half hours of engine revving running time that you are could be duped into thinking that the film makers had something higher purpose in mind they fleshed out the script on an empty pizza box to this masterpiece. The opening scene (a dream scene no less) just oozes style and stinks and I mean that in a (it reeks like gym socks kind of a way) of finesse. It comes complete with a cryptic voice over and a heart beat soundtrack...enthralling.

    David Carradine plays the titular Cannonball. He's the strong silent type with a dodgy past, he's out to win the Trans American to get his life back on track, after spending some time in the slammer for a crime he didn't commit. In what 70's film didn't he play this guy? There's your token bad guy complete with a black Dodge Charger that is looking to do him (being titular Cannonball) in at any cost. Why? Because you can't have a movie like this with out a bad guy. Its like sex with out the wet patch, they come hand in hand.

    Made in that 70's dirty "we couldn't afford to buy better film" style that is normally reserved for Porn films and early sword and sorcery flicks the film makers have covered off all the stereotypes that we have come to know and love from these kinds of movies. We have a European with an exotic car, a couple of girls in a car going fast and wearing little, a ethnic minority character with little luck when it comes to cars or women. The a fore mentioned brooding anti-hero good guy type, the maniacal bad guy and a host of token others that matter little to the grand scheme of things, oh and of course more than its fair share of stupid cops.

    The real stars of this movie however are the cars, let's be honest it's the only reason this movie was made. A showcase of some of the most popular American and a token European muscle car, ever to make their way on to the road. Let us review; Dodge Charger, Trans Am's (must be popular because there are two of them), a Corvette, Mustangs and all the hotted up customs you could ever want. They are all thrown though their paces but though the budget prevented any real fancy camera work really show off their moves. However there is some really decent action sequences here, that exceed the movie's standing as an the aforementioned 'we couldn't afford to buy better film' and make it memorable even by today's blockbuster standards. The highlights to look for, the massive car pile up on the interstate towards the end and the trashing of the Detomaso Pantera. So as you can imagine there's enough car carnage to make even the most Blues Brother hardened fan giddy with excitement.

    To sum up, Cannonball is a bit of Tuesday night fun and to be enjoyed at its best, watched with a few friends and some strong liquor. Don't for get to look for Martin Scorsese and Sylvester Stallone in early cameo roles.
  • The story of "Cannonball" is about an illegal coast-to-coast car race in the USA. Of course, also some saboteurs are on the road to guarantee a not smoothly course of events...

    Obviously not as great as Paul Bartel´s predecessor "Death Race 2000" "Cannonball" is a trash classic and cheese de luxe: cheesy acting, cheesy stunts, cheesy humour, cheesy dialogues... take a lot of car chases, explosions and add some campy humour and you´ve got "Cannonball"! But it´s always great fun to watch! A highly entertaining C-grade movie which is also very interesting for the prominent supporting cast, because Roger Corman, Martin Scorcese, Jonathan Kaplan, Joe Dante or Sly Stallone have small roles in this funny gem!

    Fasten your seat belts and enjoy!!!
  • This film is proof positive that you do not need a large budget, an A-list cast, or a complex script to entertain. Some times ya just need Fast cars, beautiful girls, and quirky characters(some played way over the top). Cannonball delivers just that,and becomes a joyride of a film. One of the first two car films based on the real"CANNONBALL SEA-TO-SHINING SEA RACE",(the other being"THE GUMBALL RALLY")it is far better than Hal Needhams "CANNONBALL RUN" films. Where they are goofy,and unintresting, "CANNONBALL" and "GUMBALL RALLY" are funny, and entertaining.

    The acting,and directing while not awe inspiring is consistent.(comon we have seen much worse). And I love the seventies(porno film) stock that this was shot on. Maybe im just too sentimental, but at two in the mornin,fix some hot pockets, open a cold beer, and start your engines. Unfortunately this film is not available on dvd, and even Amazon doesnt show a copy on vhs.
  • What is this about cross-country racing? I saw "The Gumball Rally" and it's mostly comedy and adventure, this one is more high octane. David Carradine who's fresh from "Kung Fu" plays Coy "Cannonball" Buckman, a ex-con who makes this race an important part of his life. Veronica Hamel(before hitting it big as "Hill Street Blues" character, Joyce Davenport) as parole officer, Linda Maxwell. Everybody gets to the spot in California in a coast-to-coast race where anything goes. Scheming and cheating, sabotaging other vehicles, everyone wants the big money. A friend of Coy emulated him, and Coy's brother Bennie(Dick Miller) placed some explosives under a German driver's car. When the truth of the traffic accident surfaces, Linda realized that Coy wasn't a guilty man. His Trans-Am was totaled,and his replacement car is a mean Ford Mustang. The car pileup was sickening, and the young kids help out Linda after Coy's friend was killed. And Coy himself would rather win fare and square, than having the competition eliminated by extreme matters. Looks like Linda was more important to him than the money. And the young kids deserved it more. This movie has got plenty of action, and plenty of laughs, and David Carradine haven't lost his touch in his moves. 3 out of 5 stars
  • Warning: Spoilers
    'Cannonball' tells the story of a motley crew of determined racers as they battle against each other in a cross country road race with no rules.

    It doesn't really need a plot. This film is about one thing and one thing only: cars, and the wondrous ways in which they can be wrecked. A year after Death Race 2000, Bartel and Carradine team up again here, probably just cashing in on the cult status of their pedestrian chewing masterpiece. Carradine plays a sort of anti-Frankenstein; Cannonball might be the title role, but he isn't as cool and devious as he was in DR2000. The supporting cast are all fine, keeping their tongue firmly in cheek and never letting the campy attitude of the film slip. But the cast in general plays second fiddle to the cars and explosions.

    Brains aren't required, but that only adds to the fun. It's particularly hilarious when the German driver gets blown up, and five minutes later someone is reading a newspaper with his death as the headline. The fact that the cars in this film tend to explode after colliding with something moving at two miles an hour tells you what kind of mindset you need to watch this. But if you don't laugh at the truly monumental, explosive pile up that takes place near the end of the film you need some help. Plus, watch out for the Stallone - Scorsese cameo that lasts literally seconds.

    If you enjoyed similar road racing classics like Death Race and Grand Theft Auto you should love this. Everything that is enjoyable about B movies is here, and I will never get bored of films like this.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A motley collection of petrolheads compete in an illegal trans-America coast-to-coast car race from Santa Monica in California to downtown New York City.

    This movie is stupid, completely irresponsible, has no redeeming qualities and is terrific fun. It's also probably the definitive seventies Roger Corman / New World Pictures cult classic (although Death Race 2000 is more famous), featuring virtually every cult actor and director who ever worked for the great Corman (and later for Joe Dante) in its large cast. Everyone is terrific in it, though my favourites are the elder Carradine, Miller, the adorably cute Balaski, and Woronov. Keach has a hilarious bit as a professional German racer with a Von Richthofen accent, Arkush and Dante are equally funny as a couple of goofs who lend Carradine their car, and Scorsese and an unbilled Stallone have cameos as two mafia hoods. There really isn't much to say about the movie except that if you like B-movie stars, nutty stunts, fights, bad jokes and girls in nurses' outfits (all of which I do), this is the film for you. Written by Bartel and Simpson, along with The Gumball Rally it kicked off the spate of big studio road-racer movies (most of which were made by Hal Needham). Featuring great guerilla-style hand-held photography by Tak Fujimoto, high-octane stuntwork by Alan Gibbs, some very bad songs by David Axelrod, Bartel and Graham, and lots of corvettes, pontiacs, mustangs, lincolns and caddies. In the UK, this was given the stupid alternative title of Carquake.
  • David Carradine races again. His first race was in Death Race 2000 (1975). It was not too unlike this movie in that the racers were trying to get across the country in an anything goes race. The monumental difference is that in Death Race the race was wholly sanctioned and they aimed to kill people along the way for points. Check it out if you want to see Sylvester Stallone as a bad guy.

    Cannonball is about an illegal cross country race starting in sunny California and ending in the streets of New York. There is a lot of horsepower and metal in this film which seemed to be a theme of the 70's (Gone in 60 Seconds, Smokey and the Bandit, Death Race 2000, Cannonball, etc.). The 70's was all about massive car pile ups and explosions too. Today we've replaced that with destruction of entire cities by either superpowered beings or large creatures. We've replaced one destruction porn with another.

    Cannonball was OK. It was fine for looking at nice cars, some nice women, and some wreckage. There were occasional laughs but overall the product was mediocre. It wasn't a strong plot, it wasn't funny enough, and none of the characters stood out. Entertaining? Yes. Would I recommend it? No.
  • Here's yet another reason to accentuate the 1970's was the absolute greatest decade for cult-trash cinema output (as if we weren't convinced enough already): Carsploitation movies! There are only a handful of them, they all look alike and most film-loving audiences will probably detest them, but … damn, are they ever entertaining! "Cannonball!" – although I must say I prefer the much cheesier video title "Carquake" – is brought to us by the same team that made the brilliant and unequaled "Death Race 2000" one year earlier, and it many ways it feels as if writer/director Paul Bartel injected all the silly comedy that he couldn't put in "Death Race" into this film instead. This film is more of a straightforward comedy whereas "Death Race" was a black comedy (apparently not everybody finds the idea of wiping pedestrians off the road for points funny). The concept of this film is much simpler: bunch of eccentric people participate in an illegally organized cross-country race from California to New York City. Ex-convict Coy Buckman is obviously the most talented racer, so his competitors will have to revert to ingenious cheating if they want to stand a chance. The main storyline as described here is obviously very simplistic, but one could also claim there are numerous little sub plot story lines that are all terrific and imaginative. The lead character Coy Buckman is already quite intriguing. He dragged his sexy female parole officer along in the race and has a mechanic who idolizes him so much that he literally wants to be Cannonball! Every contestant in the race is worth mentioning, like the obnoxious German in his canary-yellow sport car and the psychopathic Redman and his country-singing and guitar-playing co-pilot. Outside the race there's quite a lot going on as well, like Coy's sleazy brother Bennie trying to sabotage the most important rivals because he bet a huge some of money on the winner. Although the comical ambiance definitely overrules, "Cannonball!" nevertheless remains a bona fide action/spectacle movie with copious crashes, macho showdowns, explosions and violent painful deaths. The climax, which features a mass accident with cars piling up seemingly forever, exactly demonstrates the blending of humor and action. The cast is full of pleasingly familiar faces, especially if you know a thing or two about B-movies. Apart from the brothers Carradine (David and Robert), there's Mary Woronov, Dick Miller, Carl Gottlieb and director Paul Bartel himself (in a hilarious role). Buckle up for some sheer cult-excitement!
  • mm-3926 September 1999
    9/10
    Funny
    This movie is cheaply made, and is very stupied. If you take it seriously then you will hate this movie. A few drinks latter you will love Premen Watters(the singing cowboy). If you love cars, crashes, and cheap humor rent it. The German auto racer make this movie worth renting all by himself.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    CANNONBALL aka CARQUAKE! is a typical car chase flick of the 1970s, written and directed by Paul Bartel but with Roger Corman's fingerprints all over it. It has the same cult feel as DEATH RACE 2000 but less of the destructive mayhem, aside from the incendiary climax. David Carradine once again plays the lead, a fighting driver going cross country up against various kooks and oddballs. The car scenes are okay although noticeably low budget, and the most interesting thing about this today are the brief blink-and-miss-'em cameos from no less than Martin Scorsese, Joe Dante and Corman himself. Dick Miller also has a small role and makes the most of it.
  • dantransam12 June 2020
    Fantastic movie for car fanatics! Typical cool 70s car movie,lots of action a little cheese and humour, just wish there was a soundtrack available!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Cannonball is why I watch movies.

    It stars a cast of people that honestly, only someone like me would care about, and it's made by people just as colorful, a crew of folks that would go on to dominate the film industry after emerging from the Roger Corman film cycle. It's everything great about Cannonball Run, but both more serious and ridiculous, sometimes within the very same scene.

    This is everything I want to watch.

    Much like the aforementioned Cannonball Run, as well as Speed Zone and The Gumball Rally, this movie was inspired by Erwin G. "Cannonball" Baker, who raced across the United States several times and by the race named after him, the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash. This illegal cross-continent road race was started by Car and Driver editor Brock Yates to protest the 55 MPH speed limit.

    David Carradine plays Coy "Cannonball" Buckman, who has just been released from serving time for the death of a girl while he was driving drunk. He's been entered into the illegal Los Angeles to New York City Trans-America Grand Prix in the hopes that he can get his racing career restarted.

    That's because Modern Motors has promised a contract to either him or his arch-rival Cade Redman (Bill McKinney, Deliverance, First Blood). Meanwhile, Coy has to somehow convince his lover/parole officer Linda Maxwell (Veronica Hamel, When Time Ran Out) to allow him to race.

    Redman doesn't have it easy either - his expenses are being paid by Sharma Capri (Judy "The Ozark Nightingale" Canova, who hosted her own national radio show from 1942 to 1955) and client, country singer Perman Waters (Gerrit Graham, amazing as always, just like he is in Terrorvision and Phantom of the Paradise).

    Other racers include:

    Young lovers Jim Crandell (Robert Carradine, Revenge of the Nerds) and Maryann (Belinda Balaski, every Joe Dante movie), who take her daddy's Corvette and enter the race

    Terry McMillan (Carl Gottlieb, one of the writers of Jaws!), a middle aged man driving a Chevrolet Blazer

    Beutell, who has taken a Lincoln Continental from a kindly old and rich couple and promised to get it to New York City safely

    A tricked out van driven by three waitress - Sandy (Mary Woronov you have my heart), Ginny (stuntwoman Glynn Rubin) and Wendy (Diane Lee Hart, The Giant Spider Invasion)

    German driver Wolfe Messer (James Keach, Sunburst) in a De Tomaso Pantera

    Zippo (Archie Hahn, who was one of the Juicy Fruits in Phantom of Paradise), who is Coy's best friend and drives a Pontiac Trans Am just like his buddy.

    What Coy doesn't know is that his brother Bennie (Dick Miller) has bet that he will win and will do anything to ensure that happens, including killing Messer. Meanwhile, McMillan has his car - and mistress Louisa (Louisa Moritz, Myra from Death Race 2000) - flown to the finish line.

    Redman kicks Perman - who becomes a big country star when his song about the race takes off - and Sharma out of his car, but in his final battle with Coy, a piece of Perman's guitar gets stuck in the gas pedal and he dies in a big crash. While all this is going on, Zippo is in the lead, so Bennie sends out a hitman to off him. Coy had put his girl in that car as he felt it was safer - actually it was Zippo who did the drink driving and Coy covered for his friend - but a major crash ensues and Linda is taken to the hospital by Jim and Maryann.

    Terry and Louisa arrive first at the finish line, but Louisa accidentally tells the judges that they flew most of the way. The girls in the van get lost and crash, while Coy makes it to the finish line. Just before he's about to win, he learns Linda is in teh hospital and races off to see her. This leaves his brother to be killed by gangster Lester Marks (Paul Bartel, who also directed the film) and his men (Sylvester Stallone makes a cameo, as does Martin Scorsese, as mafioso).

    Jim and Maryann win the race and the $100,000, while Coy gets his racing contract and the girl, and Beutell delivers the now destroyed Lincoln to its owners.

    Other actors who show up for the madness are John Herzfeld (who was in Cobra and wrote and directed the films Escape Plan: The Extractors and 2 Days In the Valley), Patrick Wright (Wicked Wicked, Caged Heat, Graduation Day), future directors and at the time Corman assistants/editors Allan Arkush (Rock 'n Roll High School) and Joe Dante (more movies than I can name, all of them wonderful), Roger Corman himself as a District Attorney, Jonathan Kaplan (director of White Line Fever, The Accused and The Student Teachers), Aron Kincaid (who was the voice of the Iron Sheik and Bobby Heenan on Hulk Hogan's Rock 'n' Wrestling and Killer Croc on Batman: The Animated Series), Joseph McBride (writer of Rock 'n Roll High School), Read Morgan (The Car), John Alderman (New Year's Evil) and even superproducer Don Simpson, who co-write the movie with Bartel. This movie is what happens when everyone working for Corman at the time all gets together so the budget can have extras.

    Paul Bartel did not enjoy making this film because he felt he was being typecast as an action director. But after he only made $5,000 after spending a year of his life making Death Race 2000, it was the only kind of movie people wanted from him. "Corman had drummed into me the idea that if Death Race 2000 had been harder and more real it would have been more popular. Like a fool, I believed him."

    Bartel wasn't a fan of cars and racing, so he loaded the movie with cameos and character gimmicks. His favorite scene was when he plays the piano and sings while two gangsters beat up Dick Miller. And the end is pretty rough for a movie that's so funny, so star David Carradine tried to talk to Bartel about how disturbing he intended it to be.

    When Joe Bob Briggs did his How Rednecks Saved Hollywood show, he mentioned that this movie destroys The Cannonball Run. As always, he was right.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I saw the sequel first, so I expected an entertaining, sometimes funny car race. What I got was an action movie with a surprising amount of death and even some sex scenes (even though not explicit ones).

    It had some nice details. Like a driver getting tired during twilight because the lights don't work. Or using the crash barrier to lift a car and change tires because he couldn't use the jack. Clever!

    Granted, the movie had some plot holes and the story wasn't always top-notch. Another downside is the acting. David Carradine did his part and the "evil" drivers played well, but the rest seemed quite forgettable to me.

    Still a decent road movie with quite a few twists and turns. As long as you don't second-guess things too much.
  • CANNONBALL (2 outta 5 stars) Pretty dreary low budget car chase movie starring David Carradine and directed by Paul Bartel who teamed up for the classic "Death Race 2000" the year before. This time out inspiration seems to be have been replaced by desperation. The movie isn't really terrible... but there isn't much of it that you'll remember afterwards. Carradine plays the title character, the hottest and the coolest driver in the world who is determined to win an illegal cross country car race. Well, the plot is pretty much the same as "Death Race" and a lot of the same actors show up... but it's a pretty tepid follow-up. The wit and the satire of the previous movie are missing in action... this movie tries to be funny but it's the same kind of cheap, cornball gags you saw in practically *every* car chase flick in the '70s. The stuntwork is particularly unimpressive as well. The chief rule seems to be: "When in doubt, run someone off the road." Brief cameo appearance by Martin Scorsese and Sylvester Stallone... probably the only time the two will ever work together.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Following hot on the scorching asphalt skid-marks of the impish "The Gumball Rally," Paul Bartel's characteristically deadpan, quirky, slyly subversive cross country road race car picture presents a blithely apocalyptic vision that's akin to the anarchic world views shown in the equally madcap "Freebie and the Bean," the truly twisted "The Mad Bomber," and the totally gaga "The Candy Snatchers": All those noisy, tire-yelping, rubber-shredding, metal-bending automobile mishaps featured herein play a crucial role in Bartel's merrily askew and jaundiced presentation of a world in constant uproar, where any sense of balance, tranquility and equilibrium gets messily disrupted on a frequent nerve-frying basis (a savage gas station fisticuffs scuffle and the wildly chaotic mondo destructo Jersey Turnpike massive car pile-up sequence in particular really hammer this point home).

    Among the race's contestants are David Carradine as stolid, tight-lipped, nerves-of-pure-brass ex-con champ Coy "Cannonball" Buckman, future "Hill Street Blues" regular Veronica Hammel as Buckman's loyal, fretful, karate-chopping police lady gal pal, Archie Hahn as Buckman's trustworthy, but feeble-minded mechanic Zippo, a gloriously crazed Bill McKinney as Buckman's chortling, maniacal, pistol-packing nutso rival Cade Redman (note the disconcertingly similar first and last names, a chilling blurring of the fine line between good and evil), Robert Carradine and the beauteous Belinda Balaski as a sweet, starry-eyed California surfer couple, a hilariously goofy Gerrit Graham as a pathetic no-talent aspiring country-and-western singer/songwriter, Mary Woronov in customary venomous b**chy and aggressive sexually ambiguous full-throttle nasty mode, Stanley Clay as a jive-talking hipster soul bro, and a repellently arrogant James Keach as a stuck-up, condescending German driver who meets a fiery untimely end. Among the folks watching the race from the sidelines are Dick Miller as Buckman's shady gambler brother, Bartel as a singing, piano-playing, Cole Porter-loving Mob capo, Martin Scorsese and Sylvestor Stallone as gangster flunkies, Joe Dante and Allen Arkush as geeky car buffs, Robert Altman film regular David Arkin as a timid grocery store counterman, Jonathan Kaplan as a gas station attendant, the eternally vacuous Louisa Moritz in one of her standard bubble-brained blonde bimbo parts, Patrick Wright as the rich guy who sponsors the race, and even legendary B-movie pioneer Roger Corman as an uptight district attorney (!).

    The strangely dark, fatalistic tone, rampant amorality, intensely ugly dialogue ("What the god**mn hell are you trying to to do, you f**got moron!?"), assorted foul play tactics the race's participants gleefully engage in, the useless, ineffective cops, opportunistic a**hole media, Tak Fujimoto's madly darting, hyperactive, vertigo-inducing cinematography, the crooked, string-pulling, game-rigging dirty double deals perpetuated by the mob-backed race officials, the general unpleasantness of the mostly mean and despicable characters (even Carradine's morally ambivalent "hero" isn't very likable or appealing), the loose, ramshackle narrative structure, a creepy opening credits nightmare sequence, and especially the murderously ferocious pandemonium on the open freeways cars getting trashed and blowing up real good smash 'em up vehicular carnage create a sense of deliriously out-of-control non-stop bedlam that's as profoundly discomfiting as it is utterly exhilarating. The disgustingly safe and sanitized "Cannonball Run" junkers ain't got nothing on this delightfully diabolical and severely bent gearhead treat.
  • Not sure what to say. i saw nothing at all good about this movie. Not funny, not interesting, not anything. And the "crash scene" at the end might be the most stupid thing I've ever seen in a movie. It lasts forever, as one car after another drives into the wreck. And each one, even the ones going slow, explode like they have a hydrogen bomb in them. The most fake and worst special effects I've ever seen. And it seems like it's never going to end, not realistic at all. The characters are not interesting at all, it was hard just to stay awake through it. I was thinking it might have some connection to the Cannonball Run movies when I first saw it come on, but it doesn't. Don't waste your time watching this pile of crap.
  • One of Paul Bartel's more dreadful efforts -- definitely nowhere close to being in the same league with either "Eating Raoul" or "Death Race 2000." Granted it's typical of '70s "realistic"-appearing movies/TV shows, but the acting is by & large mediocre & the violence gratuitous. In addition, there is a lot of filler that is frankly inane & complements the plot line about as well as Ripple does Chateaubriand. About the best one can say for it is that David Carradine's & Veronica Hamel's performances are fairly good, & the explosion/crash FX are first-rate. Any of the iterations of "Cannonball Run" is superior to this, & that's based just on film merits & not starring casts. This travesty makes even "BJ & the Bear" look good. :(
  • This picture was released on July 6 1976 starring David Carradine as Coy Cannonball Buckman, Bill McKinney as Cade Redman and Veronica Hamel as Linda Maxwell. A former employee rips off his own Death Race 2000 in this mindless car-crash saga, containing more twisted metal than a bombed-out steel mill. The nominal storyline concerns an illegal auto race from Los Angeles to New York that promises the winner 100,000 dollars. Coy "Cannonball" Buckman, is the race leader who drags his girlfriend, Linda along for the ride. Linda is not very happy to be the passenger in this race because she has has a job and a boss to answer too. Cade Redman tools around in a loud red Trans Am, while Cannonball's nemesis barrels along in a big, black Plymouth, trying to outsmart Cannonball at every turn and exit ramp. Things start to go wrong as cars start breaking down and you need money to fix them. The only way to fix them is with your sponsor's money but there's no which means no money. I bought this movie because of Veronica Hamel and she was a big disappointment. Even though this movie had a leading actress her performance was not good so I give this movie 4 weasel stars.
  • Director Paul Baurtel's follow-up to his cult hit "Death Race 2000" was this pretty awful little action picture that has all the amateurishness of the previous film but about half the budget - which wasn't so high to begin with! It's a crummy-looking, unfunny, unexciting film, but at least it has some beautiful women and some fast cars..... (*1/2)
  • continuing my plan to watch every Sly Stallone movie in his filmography in order, I come to Cannonball aka Carquake

    Plot In A Paragraph: Based on an actual event, the Cannonball Baker Sea to Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, organised by Brock Yates to protest the 55 mph speed limit then in effect in the U.S.

    Does that plus sound familiar?? Of course it does, it's also the plot to "Cannonball Run" the Burt Reynolds movie which was considerably more successful than this one.

    This must been a frustrating time for Sly, as he had decent parts in "Capone" and "Death Race 2000" before a non speaking part in "Farewell My Lovely" whilst here he has one scene with Martin Scorsese and another character, where they sit eating Kentucky Fried Chicken and he is is uncredited in a movie where 'reporter at finish line gets a credit'.

    Thankfully this was the last time this happened, as he struck gold with his next movie. A little movie about a boxer from Philadelphia.
  • Yes, Carradine is back in the driver's seat in this overrated Corman classic. An unruly cross country road race, some of it's contestants that desperate to attain that big windfall, they will stoop to some dirty play, and even murder, one of the contestant's brother's relying on this jackpot to get him out of a jam. A zealous German driver is one such victim, who's car blows up, when he exceeds 160. This fittingly suits the moment, while reaching the crescendo to a familiar anthem he sings at deafening volume. Cannonball has enough color in it's characters to make it entertaining, some of them engaging to watch. Watch for Robert Carradine, before his 'Nerd' days as a Live saver chewing hit-man who takes out a driver on a freeway, and nearly Carradine's girl. This hit, backfires on him, where he get's crushed by a jacked up car that comes off it's springs and falls atop him, in it's only scene of gore, which earns it it's R rating. McKinney is great as Carradine's nemesis, a suicidal driver who doesn't stop, except for beer. He has company in the form of a big country singer, and his agent I think. One scene sees him get tanked, when he's set upon by Carradine and this liquor store is turned upside down, Carradine paying for damages of course, with what little he has. He sabotages Carradine's chances of winning a few times, where in the end, Mckinney meets his deadliest fate. What goes around, comes around. One family guy playing around on the side, has a cargo plane fly his jeep most of the way, so he can afford other luxuries. God knows how he didn't get spotted. I guess you can't have spying eyes on everyone all the time. His bimbo mistress, blurts out something she shouldn't of, resulting in his elimination, I thought was one of Cannonball's few funny moments. Check out the black dude driving this old couple's car to New York. See what becomes left of it, as our driver, void of guilt, meets the couple, then saunters across the city street, all hip too. Not a bad Carradine actioner.
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