Pit Stop (1969)

There’s no pit stop in this movie, which is based on figure 8 racing, which features a track that purposely intersects itself, increasing the risk of collisions. That inspired Jack Hill, who originally wanted to call this The Winner.

Rick is an amateur drag racer who is in a racing feud with Hawk Sidney (an impossibly young Sid Haig, who didn’t know how to drive a car!) over a sponsorship from Grant Willard. They’re also battling over the affections of the gorgeous Jolene (Beverly Washburn, who was Elizabeth in Spider Baby), but finally come to an understanding, even after Hawk destroys Rick’s car.

Rick’s next feud is with the champion, Ed McCleod, and his real conquest is that man’s neglected wife Ellen (Ellen Burstyn!). As they have a climactic race, there’s a big crash and old Ed walks away instead of being put on a stretcher. This manly act has broken his neck and cost him his life, but as Rick attempts to take his place in the spotlight, he loses the respect of everyone, ending the film as its villain instead of the hero.

Man, you can’t go wrong with Jack Hill. Whether you pick this movie, the aforementioned Spider Baby or grab CoffySwitchblade SistersFoxy Brown or even Sorceress, you’re going to get something way better than you expect, which to me is the hallmark of a great talent.

You can watch this on YouTube.

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