Strap yourself into a car that flies 240 miles an hour down a quarter mile track.
An early departure from director David Cronenberg's canon of visceral horror, 1979's Fast Company profiles one of his personal passions, racecars, in a gritty melodrama that also features exciting racetrack footage. Veteran toughguy William Smith is top-billed as a champion drag racer who clashes with the unscrupulous oil-company executive (John Saxon) who sponsors his team.
"Man, David Cronenberg's films are pretty fucked up."
"Yeah totally. Well, the 2 he did with Aragorn aren't really fucked up and Fast Company isn't fucked up at all."
"What's Fast Company about?"
"It about cars."
"Oh, its that one about people who like to bone during car crashes right?"
"No, that's Crash."
"The one that won the Oscar and totally blows dick?"
"Well what happens in Fast Company?"
"People race cars and have sex."
"Is the sex really freaky like it usually is in Cronenberg films?"
"Well, one girl has motor oil poured on her boobs."
C'mon, that it? At least tell me there are some car wrecks that mess people up."
"There are car crashes... but no gore"
"That sounds lame."
"Yeah, it was pretty lame."
Seriously, what the fucking fuck?! What is this?! This is the strangest Cronenberg film I've seen thus far. And it's strange not because it has a lot of gore or demented scenes like someone fucking someone else in a bullet wound (hmmm... that sounds great, I wonder if there's a movie in which we see something similar). That's not why this film is peculiar. It's because this is different from what you would normally expect from a Cronenberg film. It's light, it's funny and it kicks ass in the old B-movie style. It's about drag racing. I kind of expected Cronenberg to be a car enthusiast after seeing Shivers and Rabid recently. Both films have car crashes in…
Temptation might be to focus on that Cronenbergian mingling of flesh and machinery, but the real conflict here is commerce versus meritocracy, showmanship versus sportsmanship. It's not psychologically complex or viscerally haunting in the Cronenberg tradition but it is a blast, and I'm not inclined to complain that "it doesn't feel like a Cronenberg movie" when I'd watch a drag racing movie starring William Smith, John Saxon, and Claudia Jennings in a heartbeat no matter who directed it.
My Father claims he was an extra in this. He did live in Edmonton in the late 70's so it's entirely possible, but I have no proof. It's the safest thing Cronenberg has ever done, and apparently he really likes it so it's got that going for it.
"Life is fast at 240 miles an hour"
Fast Company is not Naked Lunch or Videodrome, I can tell you that much. what is the film trying to say? Well, pretty much nothing outside of what is there.. This is a B-Movie from any angle you want to see it.
A couple of foxy hitchhikers who wind up with motor oil seductively slathered all over their boobs, close-up shoots of nice looking cars, five races and a plane crash is what you get from Cronenberg.
Fast Company is cheesy, eye rolling and dumb, but at least is well paced, the camera work was decent and I guess Cronenberg needed to pay the bills, i mean is not cheap trying to finance a film like The Brood you know?
human guts, car guts. trade one body for another.
Filed under "oddly entertaining".
Despite the 3 American lead actors, this is a very Canadian movie, made in 1978 Edmonton. Well acted and well shot, everything looked great. The drag racing looked pretty real if maybe a little boring. That's it? One little sprint per race, really? Okay. The plot was very slight and the screenplay was the failing of the flick. How is everyone not in jail at the end of this movie?
An outlier from most any angle. The racing bits are fun; the cars twitch and spasm like a standard Cronenberg protagonist, but the in-between moments are, dare I say, a drag(!!!). In some ways this feels like Cronenberg was trying to make an "American" film, with it's heartland rock 'n' roll tracks book-ending the film, the endless blue skies and very un-Cronenbergian strong yet silentish leading males. I put off seeing this for many years and that's really just fine.
Stubby beer bottles, fast cars, dudes with lots of hair, naked women, and John Saxon. Feels more like a sports movie crossed with a sex comedy at times, rather than what I'd expect from a Cronenberg film....until the ending, which doesn't seem to belong with this movie but does feel like something Cronenberg would do.
Well I think this qualifies as the weirdest movie in Cronenberg's filmography.
Very surprised I stuck all the way through this.
It depicts a way of life as much as being an actioner and therefore if not great a bit better than the ordinary.
Definitely the most untypical Cronenberg film of all but somehow beautiful as this simple racer film is completely immersed in warm golden colors and , despite "the bad corporation guy (John Saxon) vs. free sport spirit" story, the film is simply fun and yes, with a warm heart. Maybe one of the most personal films Cronenberg did in his career. Mark Irwins camera is also fetishising the dragster in a true love way and this is very typical Cronenberg but not in a dissecting, analyzing way more a sort of "that´s my weekend, guys" !
Not forgetting the "threesome-motoroil-scene". I liked it :)
I felt like I was watching a 1970s saturday-morning series for young boys (except for the nudity).
What got on my nerves were the "sang" sections, where stuff happens in the background while this "hard rock" with lame lyrics is played...
All the films mentioned by name in Kim Newman's definitive encyclopedia of horror films, Nightmare Movies. Well worth a read.…