Car Crash (1981)

3.0 out of 5

Anthony "Dawson" Margheriti lays on some seriously intimidating Italian miniatures in this noisy, goofy race-car movie that owes as much to Stelvio Massi as it does the aesthetic car crashes that earn the movie its sophisticated title.

Joey Travolta and Vittorio Mezzogiorno make for a surprisingly charismatic couple of lovable motorheads, and even the movie's moments devoted to more emotional and quieter things like friendship and other gooshy stuff and an obnoxious love interest who tags along on the ride to Acapulco never sidetrack from the story, which is car crashes.

Lots of entertaining 80s details include a rocking Jan Hammer-style synthesizer score and Travolta's skin tight designer jeans and Members Only jacket, plus the movie features one of the most nauseating, bulbous screen villains to rival recently honored Golden Globe winner Mo'Nique.

The vehicular destruction on display, particularly one sequence involving a car leaping a moving train, only to become entangled in remarkably strong telephone wires and likely incinerating director Margheriti's entire miniature facility, easily surpasses James Cameron.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics