Chester Jump (Tom Ligon) dreams of being a racecar driver but for now, he’s fixing cars for Babe Duggers (Logan Ramsey; Mama Fratelli was his real-life wife). So until he gets there, he’s going on a rambling journey through Florida, picking up service industry women, challenging other men to races, fighting with his family and just trying to get by.
Then he goes from dirt to stock racing, finally succeeding in a demoliton derby before he walks away alone.
Take a look at that poster.
None of that happens in this movie.
What does are long arguments between Chester and his father, playd by an incredible Conrad Bain years before he was Mr. Drummond. He’s drunken, brutal and bleak. Jack Nance, Judd Hirsch and Sally Kirkland are also here in very small parts.
Also known as Fury On Wheels, this film was directed by Joseph Manduke (Omega Syndrome, the movie version of Beatlemania) and written by Richard Wheelwright in his only screen credit. It was shot at the now closed Golden Gate Speedway and many of that scenes locals were used as extras and as stunt drivers.
As for the character of Dutchman, you may recognize the voice. He’s “Voice of God” Norman Rose, who like Bain was also in Who Killed Mary What’s Her Name? He was also the voice of radio drama Dimension X, the voice in the Juan Valdez coffee commerical and the narrator for the American version of Message from Space.
Robert Koster, who was the second unit director, played the Scarecrow in Dark Night of the Scarecrow, while cinematographer Gregory Sandor also worked on Sisters, The Born Losers and The House on Bare Mountain. Working as the script and continuity supervisor? William Kerwin’s sister Betty. And the most interesting trivia of all is that the music producer for Jump was Martin Mull, years before he’d start acting.