RUNNING TIME: 91 minutes
• Cheezy Flicks Manifesto
• Intermission featurette
Supervan Vs. The Man
Katie Saylor, Morgan Woodward, T.B. Trenton, Mark Schneider, Len Lesser, and Charles Bukowski
When Clint’s custom van is destroyed while preventing an innocent girl
from being raped by bikers, he’s forced to travel cross country in the
eco-friendly Supervan in an effort to win five grand in the annual Freakout van competition. Along the
way he must out stay one step ahead of the law, out run the bikers, and maybe even find time to fall in love.
Even the Incredible Hulk knows there’s only one way to make Supervan watchable…
Originally released in 1977, it’s hard to tell if Supervan
was ever really cool. My bet is it wasn’t. The film is dated, no doubt about it.
70’s Vanner Culture is really nothing more than a blip on the radar of pop culture
history. I wasn’t there at the time, but I can only imagine a movie made on the subject being akin to Snap Bracelet: The Motion Picture or 11 Tamagotchi’s
Attack! The film hasn’t aged well, and I mean that literally. The transfer to
DVD is so shitty watching it makes you want to constantly adjust the tracking on your non-existent VCR. One
of the most telling moments of the movie comes during the closing credits. We’re shown a montage of the custom vans used during the filming. Someone must
have owned these things. As silly and as foreign as the vanner culture may seem
to us now, it obviously meant a great deal to these people. At the core of any good cheesy movie is the belief by the filmmakers that whatever they were doing at the time had soul and purpose. Still, you never
get the idea that Supervan was anything more than an attempt to cash in on a
youth craze at the time.
enough to elevate the movie out of the gutter it so gloriously wallows, but
enough to connect the film to the present while leaving hopelessly buried in the
past. For starters the main conflict involves an oil company in
league with one of the major auto manufactures in an attempt to push their newest
gas guzzling models on the youth of the day. The Supervan itself is in essence
an electric car, with a whole litany of white collar bay guys lining up to
kill it. Throw in a couple nods to CB culture, the obvious digs at organized religion and the hypocrisy of the upper class, and you’ve got a movie that
still manages to have some teeth in modern day society even after being
completely immersed in it’s own world.
Even First Officer Spock knows there’s only way way to make Supervan watchable…
down and the film delves into random shots of kids partying and vans driving
around empty fields. Interestingly enough these are the only portions of the film
containing any drug or alcohol use. The main characters are portrayed as rowdy,
quick witted, yet surprisingly clean and sober young adults. Clint’s main focus
is staying one step ahead of the law and winning the van competition to get the
five grand. The fact that he’s doing so using the eco-friendly Supervan to beat
out the gas guzzling competition is of little to no consequence to him. Just
like the bad guys, he’s in it for the money. Oh, and what of the big climax at
the Freakout? It boils down to two vans trying to drive up a muddy hill.
It’s meant to be enjoyed with a case of beer and a couple of buds. Any attempt
to view the film with any cultural significance or for plot and theme will
result in utter disappointment. This film was re-released by Cheezy Flicks with
such conditions in mind, as the distribution company’s title says it all. It’s
cheese, plain and simple. Originally the film may have had a different purpose,
but 30 years later the powers that be have chose to bring this piece of shit
out of the gutters and into our basements for one reason and one reason only; to make us laugh. In that respect, mission accomplished.
are you going to be on a movie that’s supposed to be this horrible?
And yes, even this Teenage Imposter knows there’s only one way to make it through Supervan.
The DVD comes stocked with a pretty decent amount of
supplemental material, even if none of it actually pertains to Supervan itself.
We get trailers for a few other Cheezy Flicks releases, the most notable include Convoy, The
Legend of Foggy Bottom Creek, and Savannah Smiles. There’s an intermission featurette
that includes all that drive-in movie promo shit we’ve seen a dozen times. One
thing that stood out though was an ad for Bernz-O-Matic in car heaters. This is basically a propane fueled
mini heater that clips into the inside of your car window so allowing drive-ins
to stay open all year round. It’s totally laughable how fucking dangerous this thing is, but also makes you wonder if the reason such a thing even existed
is because they trusted people more back then. Finally we’re treated to the Cheezy films manifesto, defiantly proclaiming
their intent to re-release some of the worst movies mankind has ever created.
5 out of 10