Fast Company (1979)

I finished watching Fast Company from David Cronenberg from 1979, something very different than. What you think Cronenberg would do, no weird story or crazy stuff. This is a Drive In movie for sure. It has too staples of B movies, William Smith and John Saxon are very good here. Smith plays Lonnie “Lucky Man” Johnson a big deal race car driver with a crew sponsored by Fast Co a engine additive with Saxon as the Fast CO man with only dollar signs in his eyes, in one scene he doesn’t care about winning just getting the Fast Co name out there. Also on hand playing Smith’s girlfriend is Claudia Jennings, the very lovely November Playmate 1969, who was taken far to soon from this world.

This story is more on drama but there is some action with the racing but its very realistic

Smith and his crew race over the Northwest at small towns. At the beginning another driver Billy 'The Kid' Brocker played by Nicholas Campbell as the funny car driver is forced to the sideline by Lonnie’s car bursting into flames. This leads to Smith punching out Saxon and he taking away the car and using another driver played by Cedric Smith, a rival but not a bad guy. Smith has a plan to get the car back for one last race.

The video here for the most part is very good, the colors are bright and actors’ skin tone is right on, almost like you’re in the room with them. A few scenes have a lot of grain especially showing the sky while they are driving town to town but there is one scene that is so clear its almost 3D.

The audio here is good with a 5.1 DTS track and for our richer friends a 7.1 Dolby True HD track.

The extras here are a commentary with Cronenberg and an interview with Smith and Saxon, its cool to see them play off each other; I wish it were longer though.

In addition there is an interview with Cronenberg’s Director of Photography Mark Irwin who discusses this and other films he did with Cronenberg.

All in all this is a fun Drive In Drama about an era that has long been gone. If you like the 2 leads its well worth a look.  I recommend the movie.  For more information on this and the other BluRay releases from Blue Underground check out their website at  

3 out of 4

reviewed by Steve Benningfield

© Copyright 2009 John Shatzer