Universal 1440 (the studio’s direct-to-video division) continues to churn out unwanted quasi-sequels to its dormant deep catalog with The Car: Road to Revenge.
The Production: 1/5
There are many movies I would love to see sequels to, and some I even ask myself, with their large fan base, why the studio or rights owner hasn’t moved forward. Movies like The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai. As much as I liked 1977’s The Car, not once did I ever wonder if anyone would ever make or need a sequel. Apparently, writer Michael Tabb (Werewolf: The Beast Among Us) and director G.J. Echternkamp (Death Race 2050) seemed to think so, and thus we have the direct to video sequel The Car: Road the Revenge, 42 years later.
So, in a futuristic and corrupt cyberpunk city, District Attorney James Caddock (Jamie Bamber) is killed and thrown out of his high-rise office building, landing on a black sedan. He then melds with the sedan, becoming a vigilante on wheels, running down those that have wronged him. Um, okay, but wasn’t The Car about a driverless black sedan that was mowing down innocents in a small desert town? Isn’t this quite the opposite? And do I really care? Those are just the tip of the iceberg of problems with this film. The movie opens with what I suppose is supposed to be a high speed chase though the city streets, but is rather obviously a chase shot on a crowded studio backlot where the cars never exceed 30 miles per hour (if that) and the filmmakers failed to even try to speed up the footage in post production to make the cars appear fast. There are continuity errors galore, so I guess this could make a good drinking game, where everyone has to down a shot with every continuity error that appears on screen. The Car: Road to Revenge looks more like a Roger Corman quickie from the 1970s that was made only because they had access to existing sets. I’m surprised this hasn’t shown up on Netflix yet, as most Universal 1440 productions often arrive on the service day and date with their DVD release.
3D Rating: NA
Universal’s 480p MPEG-2 transfer is pretty much what one would expect for a film of this type. The movie was shot with lots of darkness and shadows, which, unfortunately, causes a lot of those scenes to appear, well, dark with little to no shadow detail to speak of. Black clothing blends in to dark backgrounds, dark leather upholstery has no noticeable textures. Since this is supposed to be a “futuristic” movie, colors are often washed out. The video is about as ugly as the film itself.
The only soundtrack included is a very front-heavy Dolby Digital 5.1 track at 448 kbps in English. Surrounds are implored mostly as ambience with Frederick Wiedsmann’s score bleeding to the rears. LFE is non-existent, not even registering during crashes, thuds, and explosions. On a positive note, dialogue is clear throughout (although it often doesn’t make much sense).
Special Features: 0/5
There are no extras whatsoever on this release.
The Car: Road to Revenge is a sequel in name only, and a rather unwatchable movie to boot. Proceed with caution.