The Last Chase (1981)

Damn you, Burt Reynolds! Damn you, Mel Gibson! And damn you, Canadian film industry! For we blame each of you for this utterly dumb collision of Smokey and the Bandit and Mad Max*. And does anyone remember 1979’s Americathon with “Mr. President” John Ritter? And we’ll blame Burt twice because, since this is a cross-country race to a “free zone” in California where there are no vehicular rules, we have a touch of Cannonball Run. What the hell: let’s blame David Carradine, too. For if 1976’s Cannonball had a jet plane, we’d have The Last Chase.

Yes. You heard us right. This is a movie about a car vs. a jet plane. For in a petrol-void world, the last chase will not be between a futuristic, Spaghetti Westerneque cop and punk-mohawked warlord: the end shall be waged between a Porsche driven by an ex-bionic man and a fighter jet piloted by an ex-penguin.

Remember Firebird 2015 with Darren McGavin? Well, if you thought that future was FUBAR’d. . . .

Warning: The Logan’s Run-inspired city may not appear in the actual film.

In this futuristic tale set in 2011, Lee Majors (who, no matter how hard he tried, couldn’t transition out of TV into film) stars as “The Bandit” and Mickey from Rocky, yes, Burgess Meredith,” stars as “Sheriff Buford T. Justice.” Only the Pengy is a burnt-out, ex-hot shot Air Force pilot assigned to fire up a mothballed fighter jet and chase down Major’s gas scofflaw.

And I, desperate for entertainment in my youth, went to my town’s little duplex to see this.

Shame on me.

Argh! No freebie uploads. This is a Crown International Pictures production. Isn’t their entire catalog in the public domain? Oh, well. We did find this 3:00 opening credits clip, alternate-extended trailer, and a segment of the first 30-minutes, with Part 2 and Part 3. The Last Chase was originally released on VHS by Vestron Video (now a division of Lions Gate Entertainment), which licensed the film to DVD in May 2011 through Code Red Releasing.

* While we’ve never reviewed Mad Max itself, we certainly reviewed all of its knockoffs with our “Atomic Dust Bin of Apocalyptic Films ” Part 1 and Part 2 round-up featurettes packed with links to all of our reviews.

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

4 thoughts on “The Last Chase (1981)

    • Yeah, The Last Chase has a nostalgia value to it. And there’s a bit more to the movie — message wise — but since it is our “Fast and Furious Week,” I stuck to the car aspects. If we had reviewed this during our “Apoc Month,” I would have written a much different take on it. It’s a decent concept that’s undone by it’s budget restraints. So, instead of Soylent Green, we get an ’80s Italian apoc knockoff-vibe.

      Another one I remember with Lee was Agency with Robert Mitchum (?), which concerned subliminal messages in TV commercials. But yes, loved The Fall Guy!

      Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

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