Directors: Daniel Haller, Charles B. Griffith, and Michael Pressman
Shout! Factory

This set is not Shout! Factory's finest hour since it contains three lesser-known films from the extensive Corman library, but fans should still enjoy this triple car-chase marathon from the good people at Shout!

First up on disc 1 is THE GEORGIA PEACHES, a made-for-TV movie executive produced by Roger Corman which was hopefully the start of a new CBS television series. Two sisters (country music singer Tanya Tucker and Terri Nunn, lead singer of the rock group Berlin) who run an auto garage in the deep south, along with their moonshine running friend Dusty Tyree (Dirk Benedict, TV's "The A-Team") are extorted into being government agents to bust up a crime ring run by respectable businesswoman Vivian Stark (Sally Kirkland, BIG BAD MAMA) if the three friends want to keep their garage and house. After a fight at the Dixie Truck Stop between Dusty and loutish employee Ed (stuntman David Cass), he pulls a knife on Dusty, but the owner Joe Don Carter (David Hayward, VAN NUYS BLVD.) shows up just in time to fire Ed and decides to hire Dusty to his company, but it proves short-lived when they find out Joe Don works for Vivian and after a car chase that takes out the tires in his van, he gets KO'd by Dusty. The remainder of the film has our heroes outwitting Stark and her cronies. In addition to the hijinks and chase scenes, we get Tucker and Nunn performing musical numbers.

The supporting cast also includes Lane Smith (THE DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN) as bumbling but tough federal agent Randolph Dukane, Noble Willingham (FIGHTING MAD), and Burton Gilliam (BLAZING SADDLES). Despite the title, this film was shot in South Carolina as well as California. It comes off as enjoyable but is mostly silly and tame compared to other Corman films from the period, but then again, it was shot for television. Since Shout! was unable to obtain original film elements of the aired TV version (a short disclaimer found inside the DVD case explains the situation), they included the longer international theatrical version titled FOLLOW THAT CAR and it's presented in a nice 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The transfer looks good with the usual coating of grain, but during the truck stop fight scene, the screen crops from the left for a few seconds before returning to normal, it might have been due to the transfer or part of the film itself, but I have no idea as it's hard to tell. The Dolby Digital mono audio is in good condition.

Also included on the first disc is SMOKEY BITES THE DUST, a mindless car chase-a-thon from the latter-day Corman/New World era and is not a solid effort, but it never stops being entertaining. Set in the fictional Cyco County in the deep south (actually Southern California), mischievous teenager Roscoe Wilton (Jimmy McNichol) steals cars on a daily basis to make fools of the local Sheriff (Walter Barnes, HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER) and his bumbling deputy Bentley (Kedrick Wolfe, UP FROM THE DEPTHS). He also has his eye on Peggy Sue Turner (Janet Julian, CHOKE CANYON) who happens to be the Sheriff's daughter. On the day of the homecoming parade at the high school, Roscoe steals the main car owned by Glen Wilson (Dick Miller) and with Peggy Sue in the passenger side, it's a wild, non-stop chase through five different counties and police cars careening in every direction.

I don't exactly know why Roger Corman made this, as it contains a great deal of stock footage from many of his previous New World car chase efforts (including EAT MY DUST, MOVING VIOLATION, GRAND THEFT AUTO and THUNDER AND LIGHTNING). Corman obviously wanted to try something different and he did, but despite the thin storyline and even having the filmmakers using cars to match the stock footage, it's rather pointless and absurd. Even the subplot having local moonshiner Lester (Patrick Campbell, SATURDAY THE 14TH) selling his recipe to a deranged group of sheiks, led by Mel Welles, doesn't add anything, but towards the end, makes sense as there's a slapstick fight scene to top everything off. Also appearing are Charles Howerton (THE BLACK GESTAPO) as Sheriff Turner's rival, John Blyth Barrymore (older brother of Drew) as Roscoe's rival/friend Harold and Kari Lizer (PRIVATE SCHOOL) as his girlfriend.

Originally released on VHS by Charter Entertainment, Shout! presents the film in a standard 1.33:1 full frame transfer sourced from a 35mm theatrical print with rather heavy grain (only when the stock footage comes in), dirt and debris, and some lines present, but it looks a lot more better than a VHS dub of it I own which was a mess to begin with. Shout! obviously couldn't find the right materials to create a widescreen master. The mono audio comes through clear with no problems.

The final feature on Disc 2 is THE GREAT TEXAS DYNAMITE CHASE starring Claudia Jennings (GATOR BAIT) and Jocelyn Jones (THE ENFORCER) as gal pals Candy Morgan and Elle-Jo Turner who turn to robbing banks to earn cash, using dynamite to blow up the vaults and having the cops on their tail all the time. One day, they take charming Slim (Johnny Crawford, TV's “The Rifleman”) as a hostage and he later becomes a partner-in-crime. He soon takes a romantic liking to Elle-Jo until he soon gets bumped off by shotgun-wielding cops. The film was an early effort by Michael Pressman, who later helmed a lot of well-known comedies. Sean Daniel, who soon became an executive at Universal, served as assistant director and even became a producer. This film is fun with plenty of lowbrow humor, car chases, exploding dynamite, and of course, sex and nudity. Stefan Giersach (CARRIE) appears as a clueless hotel clerk and Amy Irving's mother Priscilla Pointer (her son David Irving was the film's producer) plays a bank teller.

Released on VHS by Warner Home Video in the oversized cardboard boxes/clamshells and by New Concorde on DVD in 2002 in a full-frame transfer, most likely sourced from a video master, Shout! presents it in a anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1) transfer, again sourced from a 35mm print with scratches, grain, and some lines present in the source material, but colors are nice and vibrant and the mono audio is clear with no imperfections. Extras on the entire set are limited to only the original trailers for SMOKEY BITES THE DUST and THE GREAT TEXAS DYNAMITE CHASE (although the inside DVD case features posters for the films and an print ad for the premiere of THE GEORGIA PEACHES). A reissue trailer for THE GREAT TEXAS DYNAMITE CHASE, titled DYNAMITE WOMEN, exists, so it's a shame that wasn't included on here. (Kyle McElravy)