Shaker Run (1985)

Will you look at that one-sheet. That’s not too blatant of a Smokey and the Bandit rip off, is it? (Or is it Smokey and the Judge. Or Smokey and the Good Time Outlaws? Or Smokey Bites the Dust?)

To be honest, this movie is really dumb. Fun. But dumb, in a Lee Majors The Last Chase kinda-way (yep, we reviewed that ditty this week; search for it). Take one part Mad Rockatansky and one part Burt Reynolds. Strip away the story and characters — and just focus on the cars. Vroom-vroom: yer git yerselves a movie, Hoss.

So, “The Bandit,” aka Cliff Roberston (yep, Grand-pa Ben Parker from the Spider-Man franchise), is Judd Pierson, a down-and-out stock racer slummin’ on the carnival circuit-for-a-buck as a daredevil driver with his sidekick, The Snowman, aka Casey Lee (yep, ex-teen idol Leif Garrett of Thunder Alley, who’s actually very good here) at his side.

Then they meet their “Frog” in the form of Dr. Christine Ruben: she decides to double-cross the New Zealand government and smuggle a lethal bio-agent out of a military-backed research facility — and she needs The Bandit and The Snowman. And when you’re hard up for cash, and a hot doctor bats her eyelash-sob story, you take the hook. Sucker. Then nice, loooong car chases — and the ensuing crashes — takes us eastbound and down.

Unfortunately, there’s no freebie uploads on any streaming platforms. So, beside the clip above, you can check out these extended 8:00 and 20:00 You Tube clips that distill the film down into what we came for: the car chases. And since this was a New Zealand-shot film, that country’s NZ On Screen website offers up an 10:00 excerpt from the film. If you like what you see, you can stream over on Amazon Prime.

About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.

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