|BANZAI RUNNER (director/writer: John G. Thomas; screenwriter: Paul Harange; cinematographer: Howard A. Wexler; editor: Drake Silliman; music: Joel Goldsmith; cast: Dean Stockwell (Billy Baxter), John Shepherd (Beck Baxter), Charles Dierkop (Traven), Billy Drago (Syszek), Barry Sattels (Osborne), Dawn Schneider (Shelley), Ann Cooper (Maysie), Rick Fitts (Winaton), Mary Lou Kenworthy (Dallas); Runtime: 88; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: John G. Thomas/Kenneth L. Hulbert; Vidmark Entertainment; 1987)|
|"If you like
car chases, you might want to check out this
film for its three high-speed chases; that is,
if they weren't so unexciting."
by Dennis Schwartz
lackluster and absurd action film
written/directed/produced by John G. Thomas ("Tin
Man"/"Arizona Heat"/"Hamal 18"), that's based on real
events that took place in Las Vegas. It was shot on
location at California City, California.
Baxter (Dean Stockwell) patrols the California
highways on the route to Las Vegas, fanatically
looking for speeders. He obsesses to
find the hit-and-run driver in a black Porsche who
killed his brother and sister-in-law. Billy gets fired
when he shows he's too zealous to nab speeders and
goes on a speedy joyride to make a point that the
highway patrol cars are too slow to catch today's
speeders. Since he's in debt and his wife's divorce
settlement to take his home is being finalized, he
accepts when approached by a DEA agent to work for
them undercover to catch cocaine smugglers. They are a
ring of hit-and-run drivers who stage illegal
dangerous races in the desert and are known as the
Banzai Runners. Partnering with his nephew, the son of
his dead brother, Beck Baxter (John Shepherd), they
infiltrate where the mostly spoiled rich boys hang out
to race their custom-made expensive sports cars for
thrills. Billy is soon led to a drug dealer named Syszek
(Billy Drago), who used to own the black Porsche that
killed his brother.
If you like car chases, you might want to check out this film for its three high-speed chases; that is, if they weren't so unexciting.
REVIEWED ON 6/4/2015 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ