Drag racing may seem an aberrant subject for the Carl Dreyer of Splatter, but the sport is the man's secret passion, and it shows. The hokey plot is strictly off the peg: when soft-hearted hairy-arse drag racers are shit-sandwiched between corrupt team manager (Saxon at his most reptilian) and the mean-minded neanderthal opposition, they come up smelling like roses. But Cronenberg's obsessive attention to the detail of preparing the machines, mixing the fuel, armour-plating the drivers and theical skills of winning, makes the track sequences enthralling. The weakness (in line with every other racetrack saga) is that once off the track, the picture hits the skids. Instead of following through the ruthless drive of the drag strip, it indulges in ill-advised sidetracks into softcore sex, gags and rock'n'roll, a brand of exploitation the late Claudia Jennings (here in her last screen role) made her own in the likes of Truck Stop Women. But at the beginning, middle and end, there are still the races, staged amid the racket and the razzmatazz with Cronenberg's customary skill.