Car Movie Enthusiast Reviews


Title and Review
1st Tier! Heart Like a Wheel. 1983. 

This is a great film, inspiring, and worthwhile to add to your collection. It's the true story of Shirley Muldowney and her drag racing career.

This might be a candidate to promote to my "Must-Have" list:  Can an obscure drag racing film make the cut?

  • Starring: Bonnie Bedelia, Beau Bridges, Anthony Edwards (w/hair)
  • Label: 20th Century Fox
  • Year: 1983
  • Color
  • Format: VHS - NTSC
  • Available: yes (DVD available in the fall of 2006)


  Hell Drivers. 1957.

British. A gravel-truck trucker is caught up in exposing the racket the boss is running. Being an ex-con himself leaves him in a dangerous situation. This is a really interesting film, the fast truck driving will make your skin crawl.

Take a close look and you'll spot Sean Connery, a couple of years before he landed the Bond role. You'll also see Patrick McGoohan, David McCallum, and Jill Ireland. Noir style.

Hidden, The: 1987.

LA cop pursues an alien who implants himself in humans, causing them to commit crimes and other mayhem. In the meantime, the alien has a fine appreciation of hot exotic cars, and hard metal music. Hey, is this alien really such a bad guy?.

  Hitcher, The: 2007.

Sean Bean, Sophia Bush. Predictable and thoroughly violent "action" B-movie. A young college couple picks up a hitchhiker, who of course turns out to be an absolute psycho. Long chase scenes across the southwest, with the police initially misunderstanding who the murderer actually is. Couple of shades of The Terminator, with a seedy motel and death by truck.

The end is entirely predictable, but the way the movie gets there is definitely not. At one point the hitcher has a late-seventies black and gold Trans-am. The couple originally drove an Olds 442. 

Actually a remake of a 1986 film (with C. Thomas Howell and Rutger Hauer - not too hard to figure out who plays what there!) that I have not seen. That film also had a sequel, The Hitcher 2.

And wouldn't you know it, the producers also did the The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

  Hot Car Girl, 1958.

Another 50s-era story of a good girl gone bad. It all happens when she gets involved with some other teens stealing car parts to sell. Directed by Bernard L Kowalski, who also directed Krakatoa, East of Java (which wasn't east of Java - which should give you a clue as to the quality of that film!) and dozens of other film and TV episodes in a career ranging from the late fifties into the nineties. Unfortunately, this one is not available from any source I can find... to bad, it might be fun to add to the collection as yet another example of the "good girl gone bad" genre of the 50s.

2nd Tier! Hot Rod Girl: 1956.

The one to get ("chicken race...rock n roll ... youth on the loose"). Stars Lori Nelson (yum), Chuck Connors. "In an attempt to curb teenage drag racing, policeman Chuck Connors sets up a supervised racetrack, but the accidental death of a boy threatens all involved". "Are these our children? Teenage terrorists tearing up the street". 1956. Lots of juvenile delinquents.

Definitely a B-film, but worth having in your collection. Chuck is a cop who is trying to give the kids a break by setting up a legitimate drag strip for them. Of course some bad types show up who want to race on the street - leading to tragic consequences. Lori is a basically good kid (with just a hint of bad) who inexplicably has enough money for a classic T-Bird. Frank Gorshin is of course the bad guy who likes to chicken race.

Some good T-Bird shots on the drag strip.

Starring: Lori Nelson, Chuck Connors, Frank Gorshin

Label: Digital Media Experience

Color, 75 min

Format: VHS - NTSC; DVD


Hot Rods to Hell: 1967.

Dana Andrews picks the wrong new job, and the local hot rod gang sets out to terrorize him and and his family, including the usual "loose" pre-pubescent daughter.

Hot Rod Rumble: 1957. 

More juvenile delinquents. What kids drove before Mustang GTs came along.