Starring Ron Howard, Christopher Norris
Written By: Charles B. Griffith
Directed By: Charles B. Griffith
Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Buy on Amazon.com link
“Eat My Dust” was one of Roger Corman’s biggest moneymakers and it’s fairly easy to see why. The movie came out in the 70’s right around the same time that the whole muscle car, good lawbreaker vs. corrupt police officer craze kicked into full swing with movies like “Smokey and the Bandit” and TV shows such as “The Dukes of Hazzard” and it had one of the strongest plots out of any of the Corman flicks. In fact, the bright orangish-red racecar that is used in “Eat My Dust” probably influenced the greatest car in the known universe, the General Lee.
Ron Howard (Happy Days) stars as Hoover Niebold, a young rule breaker whose only goal is to impress Darlene (Christopher Norris) a sweet blonde with a fetish for going fast. Hoover finds out that the only way to impress Darlene is to steal a racecar from the local track and take it out for a long test drive. Of course, the fuzz is on their tail in no time. There’s one big problem…the sheriff is also Hoover’s dad. Hoover and his gang of reckless, troublemaking teenagers make like a banana and lickity split. The incompetent police force end up causing more property damage and bodily injury just by being out on the road than they would at HQ with a box of fresh Dunkin’ Donuts. Hoover manages to ditch his friends and spend some “quality” time with Darlene alone. After one goofy police chase after another, Hoover manages to rack up a police record that would put Al Capone to shame and, as the movie comes to a conclusion, finds out that some women just like it fast no matter who the man is and that he might be the next Richard Petty…after he gets out of prison.
I would have to say that, even though the movie was goofy at times, it was a lot of fun to watch and that there were a lot of interwoven plotlines that kept things interesting on all fronts. The rebel son/sheriff dad thing, the speed freak girl that is only interested in one thing and it’s not Hoover and the “bad guys” joining the “good guys” who aren’t really the “good guys” were all interesting twists on a movie that could have been stale if not for the creative writing of Charles Griffith. Who would have thought that the police would have to ask for help from a bunch of drunken redneck racecar drivers in order to bring in the sheriff’s own son?
“Eat My Dust” was a fun, fast-paced film with enough twists to make a pretzel jealous. Some of the chase scenes were goofy and were repetitive at times but the overall feel of the movie reminded me a lot of “The Dukes of Hazzard”. If this film wasn’t a major influence on the creators of the Dukes, then someone wasn’t paying enough attention to “Eat My Dust”. This movie fits right into my collection between “The Dukes of Hazzard” and “Death Race: 2000” only without the gore of “Death Race” and minus one big ol’ white Cadillac with bull horns.
How To Crash On A Dime: The Making Of “Eat My Dust”
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Full Screen (1.33:1)
French and Spanish
Favorite Scenes: The police slowly destroying a farm while chasing Hoover and the final chase scene over the cliff.
Running Time: 89 minutes