Crime writer Donald E. Westlake once described his favorite novelist, Peter Rabe, as the author of the “best books with the worst titles ever written.” Whoever wrote a screenplay and called it Drive Angry is in the same boat, except possibly for the “best movie” part, from the looks of this trailer. Not that that’s necessarily a problem.
Or, as HitFix puts it: “What? It looks trashy, you say? Well, yes it does. That’s why we go.” The film comes out in the U.S. on February 25.
But I just can’t get over that title; who the hell signed off on that? Writing and producing trash frees a filmmaker or novelist to come up with the most exquisite titles in history. Like, for instance, Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things. The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies. Mother, May I Sleep with Danger? None But the Lethal Heart. The True Son of the Beast. I Dismember Mama. The Case of The Kidnapped Porn Starlet. Or I Killed My Lesbian Wife, Hung Her on a Meat Hook, and Now I Have a Three-Picture Deal at Disney. Which, no, I didn’t make up. Ben Affleck did.
So who thought “Drive Angry” would get the point across?
But wait. Let’s get back to the “film” itself. The basic premise is that Nicolas Cage escapes from Hell to avenge his daughter’s sacrificial murder at the hands of a Satanic cult, and to prevent that same cult from sacrificing his granddaughter. Are you with me? He’s pursued by a Satanic operative named “The Accountant,” played by William Fichtner.
Here’s more about it from HitFix:
In [this clip], named ‘Hydrogen truck rampage‘ the satanic Fichtner cheerfully brings a truck filed with very explosive Hydrogen to a police roadblock…the tone is irreverent and rockabilly. This clip reinforces the ‘over the top’ message that all other previews and press materials have been sending. No, it’s not Oscar-bait.
If the impossible car stunt left you wanting, check out the RED BAND trailer [at the bottom of this post]. It is not safe for work at all, and is entitled ‘Gunfight Sex’ which pretty much explains it all. You’ve been warned.
And we have been warned, but you don’t really get the sense of how trashy the Gunfight Sex clip is until you enter your birthdate. That’s how extra-feelthy this is. For those who don’t wish to subject themselves to such craptacular gun-fu-slash-sex-fu, I braved it for ya. Having gone there, I can tell you that the more srsly you take this movie, the more insane you would have to be. Srsly.
Trashy? Yes, yes that is why we go. And with a pedigree like this, how could you not!?!? Drive Angry, which incidentally is BEING RELEASED IN FUCKING 3D, is directed by Patrick Lussier, a sort of Wes Craven protege, and written by Lussier and Todd Farmer, author of Jason X (the tenth Friday the 13th movie — “Kill her, Mommy!!!!”) and the 2009 remake of the 1981 Canadian slasher flick My Bloody Valentine. Is this gonna be quality cinema, or what? Gee, it’s almost like seeing a movie, except you need a shower afterwards.
Now…don’t get me wrong. Writing franchise work is a time-honored way to get those things called “landlords” off your back, so I respect it. And as a big fan of the action-horror genre, I expect a certain bouquet of trash when I visit the cinema with the express purpose of seeing heads blown open like casaba melons. And Rockabilly From Hell? Mas oui. Bring dat shit on.
But the esteemed Mr. Cage, in my opinion, has not been turning out the quality action-trash lately. He hit a recent terrifyingly brief artistic stride as Fu Manchu in the Grindcore trailer for Werewolf Women of the SS, sure. But National Treasure? National BALLS. Gone in 60 Seconds? Asleep in 60 Seconds. Ghost Rider? Choad Rider. And as for Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans? Um…duh-HUH? The very concept of that thing terrifies me so much I can’t even bring myself to look at the box, and I’m not talking about that flavorful fright that apes the sensation of skeletal fingers crawling up your back — I’m talking, how loud can I scream WHAT THE FUCK!?!? ‘Cause I’d like to scream it exactly that loud.
Let’s tell it like it is, though. All this bellyaching about “quality cinema” comes from a man who thinks Brides of Dracula is the goddamn living end. I used to drive twenty minutes just to rent bizarre Italian Giallo movies VHS-taped from Hungarian dubs off of Swedish TV, all on the promise that some unlucky starlet and her oversexed boyfriend would, at 12 minutes 16 seconds or thereabouts, be the subject of a particularly gruesome celluloid demise involving bulletproof glass and a meat cleaver. So who am I to throw stones?
Just to make things extra-sweet, did I mention — I think I musta — that the Operative of Satan tryna track Saint Nic down is played by none other than William Fichtner…? Fichtner hit his career pinnacle, in my opinion, in 1999’s brilliant rave-thriller Go, when he made Scott Wolf smell him by way of selling the poor bastard Amway. (Spoiler alert: It worked. Spoiler alert: I pee my pants every time).
But just having William Fichtner play a Satan Commando isn’t enough to make me totally happy about this flick. That part’s taken care of by the fact that his character is named “The Accountant.”
Oh, Lord have mercy: the snooty American Studies whackjobs are lining up to slice-and-dice this one six ways from Walpurchisnacht.
Let the mayhem begin, bubba.
Yes, but did he ask anyone to SMELL HIM? That’s what makes great acting.
Fichtner is great — I haven’t seen him in Prison Break but I’m sure he’s excellent. I have such an abiding fondness for his scenes in Go.