In many ways this is the film Bartel wanted Death Race 2000 to be. Once again starring David Carradine and constructed around another Trans-American race, it is both better and worse. The comedy cut from Death Race by producer Roger Corman - here guesting as the DA who tries to ban the race - is now present with a vengeance: Gerrit Graham's would-be country singer and a marvellous comic-strip pile-up of cars provide the film's highlights. That said, Cannonball lacks its predecessor's dramatic tension, and by the middle of the film Bartel's disregard for narrative in favour of a series of jokes leaves no dramatic resolution. The movie also features a number of in-joke guest appearances, including (in addition to Corman and Bartel himself) Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Kaplan, Joe Dante, Allan Arkush and Sylvester Stallone.
Cast and crew
Paul Bartel, Donald C Simpson