TV Cream

Films: G is for...

Gumball Rally, The

Sort of the first (Paul Bartel’s cheapo, rubbish Cannonball came out the same year) and certainly the best (don’t cf The Cannonball Run, for God’s sake) of all the comedy car chase films inspired by the real-life annual event where a load of thoroughly unpleasant rich kids drive their old sports cars very fast from New York to Long Beach, as all but completely ripped off by Alan Martin and Jamie Hewlett for one of their early Deadline comic strips. A rear-view mirror-discarding Raul Julia heads a largely unknown (to us, anyway) cast including a laidback redneck, the obligatory pair of “babes” out to “seduce” their competitors, the obligatory car that never gets started and, best of all, a deranged moustachioed bloke on a tin pot motorbike. The opening dash through the streets of New York is admittedly the best bit, but the final chase through the LA sewers (earlier and better than Grease’s version) is worth waiting for, and there’s enough comedy stunts to keep non-car bores happy throughout.

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