DAY 14. THE MONSTER MILE: One about cars or racing.
If you’re going to make a race car movie in 1981 and you’re Anthony M. Dawson — ahem Antonio Margheriti — and you’ve got the Italians, the Spanish and some Mexicans interested in your film, you propose only one actor who can be in your film. Travolta.
And oh yeah, John Steiner. Everyone loves John Steiner!
Paul (Travolta) and Nick (Vittorio Mezzogiorno, The House of the Yellow Carpet) are race car buddies who run afoul of the mob and a double-crossing antiques dealer named Janice (Ana Obregón, who is in Treasure of the Four Crowns and a fixture in the scandal sheets, what with being a Jeffrey Epstein client, a rumored affair with David Beckham that caused his wife Victoria to refer to her as a “geriatric Barbie” and paying her bodyguards to assault reporters). They get the perfect car to be winners — a red Trans-Am — and end up finally racing in the Imperial Crash, which seems like something out of Speed Racer in all the best of ways.
Steiner is Kirby, the person who is buying all the antiques off of Janice. He ends up flooding most of his estate and challenging our heroes to a race that destroys most of his home, crashes his car and drenches his butler. And he loves it!
This is a big dumb Italian version of a big dumb American race movie, which is something I never knew I wanted but totally know that I now love. You know what’s missing from those movies? Model cars and a synth-ed out soundtrack. This one has that, including a model train crash and numerous scenes of firepits being jumped, cars racing down hills, non-stop motor noise and protagonists who whip dynamite out of moving cars like they’re done it a million times before.
I’m not saying that I want Antonio Margheriti to direct everything I watch, but if the ratio was 75% Margheriti, this would be a much better life.
You can watch this on YouTube.