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HOT ROD (1979) aka Rebel Of The Road

A drag racer enters a local championship race. However, he runs up against the town boss a corupt sherriff who has already made arrangements to ensure his own son wins the race. Scenes filmed at the now defunct Baylands Raceway Park (also called the Fremont Drag Strip) in San Jose California.

This made-for-TV movie starred Gregg Henry, Grant Goodeve, and Robert Culp. The plot in this one has our hero Brian Addison (Henry) heading to the fictional Munn's Rootbeer Drag Race Nationals held in Lyons, California (the racing scenes were filmed at Fremont, CA). Addison is driving a 1965 Plymouth that is short on looks but is filled with a fire-breathing 426-Hemi. Meanwhile, papa-Munn (Culp) has the drag races fixed so that his kid, Sonny Munn(Goodeve), will win the races and go on to certain fame-and-fortune. How does he do that? Every competitor that doesn't run a Munn's decal on his car gets harassed by the local corrupt cops, that's how. Addison immediately develops an adversarial relationship with Sonny Munn who drives a hopped-up 1969 Olds Cutlass. Their first confrontation in a street race results in Addison's Plymouth being destoyed in a crash. Ouch! A sympathetic junkyard owner gives Addison a 1941 Willys if he promises to beat the hated Munn's. The speed-shop owner throws in a 6-71 GMC blower just for kicks, and Brian installs the Hemi engine from the Plymouth into the Willys. Well, alright! Sonny Munn, with the cops help, then steals the Willys and blows the Hemi by over-revving it! Damn! Brian's only hope is to steal another Hemi engine out of a local police car so that he can continue to race. Lyons, CA apparently is the only place on the planet with Hemi-engined AMC Matador police cars, but don't get sidetracked with details! Does he eventually defeat Sonny Munn in the Nationals to preserve the honor of good-guys everywhere? Do you have to ask? The story is preposterous, the acting is horrible, and the writing is ridiculuous, but this one is still a must-see!

Factual errors
When Sonny Munn blows up the Hemi motor in Brian Edison's Willys, Edison steals another Hemi out of Police Chief Marsden's AMC Matador patrol car. AMC never used Chrysler Hemis.

Director: George Armitage
Writer: George Armitage
Gregg Henry - Brian Edison
Pernell Roberts - Sheriff Marsden
Robin Mattson - Jenny
Grant Goodeve - Sonny Munn
Robert Culp - T.L. Munn
Royce D. Applegate - Johnny Hurricane
Topo Swope - Sprout
Ed Begley Jr. - Clay Sound Mix: Mono
Color: Color
Aspect Ratio: 1.33 : 1
Runtime: 97 min
Release Date: 25 May 1979 (USA)
Filming Locations:Alviso, California, USA (opening scenes), Baylands Raceway Park - 44333 Christy Lane, Fremont, California, USA, Calistoga, Napa Valley, California, USA



General Release
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