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STUDIO: Buena Vista Home Video
RUNNING TIME: 89 minutes
• How to crash on a dime: The Making of Eat my Dust!
• Original Trailer
If the characters from Waiting for Guffman remade Smokey in the Bandit in the style of Robert Altman you might get something like this… note I said the CHARACTERS from Waiting for Guffman, not the actors. That makes all the difference in the world.
Ron Howard, Ron Howard’s brother, Ron Howard’s dad, Christopher Norris’ ass and Corben Bernsen as the retarded gas station attendant.
Ron Howard in a kid named Hoover. He likes stock car racing and Christopher Norris’ ass. Christopher Norris likes fast cars and Opie penis in and around her mouth. Hoover’s Dad is a wacky curmudgeon of a douche bag sheriff. Hoover goes to the stock car races and steals the stock car of this guy Big Bubba Jones (played by the guy who played Kincaid on The Partridge Family). The car’s name is Mable. Hoover piles Norris’ hot ass into the stolen car along with his gaggle of retarded hillbilly friends and Hoover and his gaggle of retarded hillbilly friends are chased by the douche bag sheriff’s gaggle of retarded hillbilly deputies. Ron Howard wears a funny hat and has a funny name. Skylarking and property damage ensues.
Despite the box office success of the original and the return of Nick Cage in the role of Johnny Blaze budget cuts really hurt the credibility of the Ghost Rider sequel.
In the introduction to Eat My Dust Roger Corman tells us that Eat My Dust was one of his biggest money makers during the seventies. It also says the same thing on the box. In watching the movie it is easy to see why.
Eat My Dust is not a good movie… it is a car chase comedy in which most of the gags fall flat and the car chases are poorly staged and suspense free. It isn’t particularly funny or car chasey. As a film it isn’t quite as good as The Chase starring Chuck Sheen and OG Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So… why then is it easy to see why it was a great little cash cow for Roger Corman? It is perfect drive-in material. Slap Opie Cunningham’s name on the poster, along with a picture of a muscle car launching through the air and WHAMMO you’ve got a movie that appeals to every twelve to twenty year old male of that particular era. Its classic Grindhouse, several key attention grabbing elements, (in this case fast cars and authority defying teenagers) slapped together with a creaky script and put on celluloid for as little money as humanly possible.
Another reason why Eat My Dust is a perfect drive-in movie or Saturday matinee is that you don’t have to actually pay attention to the movie to enjoy it. Teens could do the heavy petting in the back row of the theater or the back seat of their car without things like plot, spectacle or character development to distract them from staining the seat with their bodily fluids.
Now… since this is a DVD and not a fifty cent double bill at a rundown theater or drive-in WHY should you buy or rent Eat My Dust? Truth is there is no GOOD reason to rent or buy this particular flick on the ol’ digital versatile disc. I mean unless you are a Roger Corman or Clint Howard completeist this just isn’t a movie that is going to rev anyone’s engine. Ron Howard steals what amounts to the General Lee to impress a girl, and the rest of the film consists of a lot of lame gags related to wreaking police cars and embarrassing cops. This movie along with a few others from the same era was the inspiration for the Dukes of Hazard. It plays like an 90 minute episode of Dukes of Hazard…
Speaking of bodily fluids…
Despite all its flaws Eat My Dust fails to inspire hatred. It is an innocuous piece of entertainment. There is a “we made this up as we went along” quality to the precedings that is sort of endearing. Characters engage in questionable behavior like drinking and driving, firing a weapon from a moving vehicle while under the influence and of course Opie fucking. One can see people do things of this nature and know that while at the time these things were socially acceptable they are now frowned upon. There is humor to be found in that. Eat My Dust also has plenty of unintentional laughs to make up for the failure of the supposed intentional ones. Ron Howard is a charming lead and Christopher Norris plays an emotional unavailable hot girl very well. Her character is the only one with any kind of depth or subtlety which is admirable as it was not necessary for her to create a character or be anything but eye candy. The other characters are one note and even unnamed in most cases. The villain of the piece, The Opie character’s hard ass Sheriff father is played by Warren J. Kemmerling as the kind of teeth grinding, gruff figure of authority that you find in almost every teen comedy. The other characters fade in and out of the picture and leave little impression… except of course for Clint Howard who leaves one with the nightmares one always experiences after laying eyes on Clint Howard.
If you saw the bootleg of Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four and thought IT was bad… Recently unearthed and coming to a comic book convention floor near you… ROGER CORMAN’S X-MEN!!!
There is something to be said for the score by David Grisman which is unobtrusive and melancholy. It adds a that certain level of Robert Altman for the retarded that I spoke of earlier to the whole thing. Twangy country/folk guitar adds to the aimlessness in a way that almost fools you into thinking that the film is actually saying something about teenage life by being so shallow and without meaning or purpose. It invokes a feeling of wasted youth that belongs in a much better film.
The only thing of real note about this film is the fact that Ron Howard only did the movie with the understanding that Roger Corman would allow him to direct the next picture he acted in for New World. So… without Eat My Dust we wouldn’t have The Missing or The Da Vinci Code. Gee, thanks a lot, Roger Corman. Other than that Eat My Dust isn’t terrible, it isn’t great, it isn’t even particularly good. It just is.
When Richie finally found his thrill it wasn’t on Blueberry Hill but he wasn’t one to look a gift horse in the mouth… or ass.
The flick is in full screen, the sound is mono but since it sort of replicates the kind of drive in, Saturday afternoon television aspect of the whole thing I’m not bothered. It was probably shot in 1:33:1 and heard on that shitting speaker box that people used to hang from their car window in the fist place. It is touted as the SUPERCHARGED EDITION on the cover but only has an intro by Corman, a quick featurette in which everyone talks about how cheap the movie was, how much it made for New World and how awesome Ron Howard is even though he couldn’t be bothered to be interviewed about the film and probably won’t even give the DVD a spin. Considering how much of a non-entity the film is it is a blessing not to have to sit through a commentary with Chris Norris and the director and hear them repeat the same info from the doc included over and over for ninety minutes. There is a trailer that is interesting in that if they played a trailer cut the same way for a new movie people might fall asleep and miss the feature that it preceded.
Five seconds after leaving the bucket of blood and Deputy Allen was already overcome with regret. He really shouldn’t have granted Lohan her freedom in exchange for sexual favors.
6.2 out of 10