"Road Rage is dead. This is an injustice only standing in a carefully constructed tableau can set right."
Later on, Road Rage works underneath his car in the middle of the junkyard behind the Hamstead Garage. The rider in black approaches him and just stands there. Road Rage, sensing something is amiss, threatens to beat the black rider senseless. Because when there's a complete stranger dressed all in black in the middle of the summer standing beside the jack that's preventing a car from crushing you, the best thing to do is threaten physical violence while still underneath the car. The rider says something, but thanks to the idiotic sound editing used to make the rider sound scary, it's completely unintelligible. Whatever it was, the rider tips over the jack, causing the car to crush Road Rage. If anyone out there is remotely surprised by that, please seek counseling immediately. It's a known fact that if you work underneath a car in a horror movie, it will fall and crush you. And doing so while on the property of the guy who owns the medallion that your gang/cult leader wants for some magic ritual is just begging for trouble. To make matters worse, there's a flashback to before the race between Mikey and Otto, where Road Rage and Otto discuss how they removed Mikey's brake pads. So let's recap: Road Rage takes Mikey's brake pads, ensuring his death. Then he undergoes a bizarre ritual at the hands of Jessie's arch rival. He then breaks into Jessie's property and works on his car using parts he steals from Jessie's junkyard. And when someone approaches him while he's underneath his car on Jessie's property, he starts throwing threats around. Mikey's death was pretty obvious from the start, but I think Road Rage may actually take the cake for the most predictable death in movie history. Congratulations, Road Rage.
Otto suspects something may be up when he can't find Road Rage, so he takes the rest of the gang to the junkyard, where they find the body. One of their gang members is dead. Do they call the cops? Do they give him a proper burial? Do they mourn for their lifelong friend? Do they swear revenge? Nope. Do they rush to get a tow truck so they can salvage the car? You betcha. We should all be so lucky to have such a close circle of friends. Or, more accurately, we should all be so lucky to have such a pathetic excuse for a script.
The rider in black wears a helmet to disguise his horrible secret: he has a head the size of a medicine ball.
Chain Gang returns to the Hamstead Garage to treat himself to a slow motion walk. Seriously, there is a full sixty seconds of film devoted to nothing but Chain Gang walking. In a movie that's only eighty minutes long because of a drawn out credits sequence, you'd think they wouldn't have to give a full minute of screen time to the miracle of Chain Gang managing to put one foot in front of the other. I guess it's David DeCoteau's way of proving that he doesn't have to do things quickly to screw up a movie. He can screw up a movie in slow motion just as easily. Chain Gang goes into the garage and wonders out loud where the medallion could be. He searches for it for all of no time whatsoever before giving up. Literally, he just stands in one spot, looks straight ahead, and decides he can't find it. Frustrated, he decides to bust up Jessie's car instead. Before he gets the chance, though, a chain drops down from the ceiling and swings around his neck about thirty times, although when the shot finally pulls back, it's only gone around thrice. The chain then pulls him off the ground and hangs him until he dies. Meanwhile, Wiper, in all his shirtless glory, is on a mission to rummage through Jessie's house for any sign of the medallion. Despite the fact that the entire gang is obsessed with cars, Only Otto ever seems to drive anywhere. The rest of them just walk so as to maximize the bouncing of their mantitties. Wiper suddenly finds himself being faced down by a black car, with the rider in black behind the wheel. The rider guns the engine, and Wiper runs for it. I'll never understand why people in movies feel that they can outrun a car by running straight ahead of it. It doesn't matter how much good cover there is available, they always just run in a straight line right down the road. Surprise surprise, Wiper gets run down. Perhaps in heaven he'll have a better nickname, such as Dipshit.
With two days left to August Moon, whatever the hell that is, Otto, Clutch, Chopper, and Axle find the bodies of Wiper and Chain Gang strung up outside their hideout. Otto leads another purification ritual, this time for Clutch. Even with their ranks so severely reduced, Chopper doesn't participate. Now it's just a mostly naked Axle rubbing liquid all over a mostly naked Clutch. All the while, Jessie and Natalie catch up over a dinner out, then go back to his place for some sex. And at the same time, the rider in black suits up and heads out down the road. It's all one big DeCoteau montage that seems to show every remaining character in the movie occupied with something else while the rider does his thing. The newly purified Clutch treats himself to a soda, but little does he know, it will be his last. The rider whacks him on the back of the head with a wrench. It's not exactly as supernatural as the chains that move by themselves, and it's not exactly as appropriate as vehicular homicide, but it'll do. Man, that purification ritual is a freaking death sentence!
Man, Axle, you know you've got problems when you can't even get the guy in the pink tank top to touch you.
Speaking of the purification ritual, when they can't find Clutch with only one day until August Moon, Otto decides to throw caution to the wind and purify Axle, too. Okay, now with Otto leading the ritual, there's no one left in the entire gang to rub the blood all over Axle's torso except Chopper. So naturally, Axle has to rub the blood on himself. Chopper sucks. This time, Jessie manages to spy on them while they enact the ritual and swear to kill him. As the last man to be purified, Axle takes it on himself to become the movie's new badass. He even goes so far as to put on more clothes than anyone else in the movie, having the audacity to wear a jacket. Like the others, he doesn't have to wait long before squaring off against the rider in the black car. Thinking it's Jessie, Axle tells him that he was the one who sabotaged his father's car. The rider starts to drive toward Axle. However, Axle is prepared, he whips out a shotgun and fires a few shots at the car, which is coming straight at him. Naturally, he misses every time, and gets run over. That has to be embarrassing. Thus far, I have to say I'm not impressed with the powers Mikoleth bestows upon his servants.
Otto and Chopper run into Natalie, who says that she saw a rider in black run down Axle. Otto makes her pledge to kill Jessie, then sends her after him with Chopper as insurance. Once they leave, though, Otto calls Jessie and tells him that he has Natalie and he's going to kill her. It's actually a decently well thought out plan, in that he's so sure that Natalie will try to warn Jessie that he send Chopper with her to kill her the minute she screws up. Meanwhile, Jessie isn't even there, as he's on his way to meet Otto, who is planning to kill him on his own. Of course, if he's so sure Natalie is untrustworthy, he could have always killed her himself and saved the time and trouble, but all the same, it's still one of the best ideas in the movie. Sadly, it's a precursor to one of the worst ideas in the movie.
Like Otto had predicted, Natalie tries to find Jessie to warn him. Chopper tries to slit her throat, but in typical movie villain fashion, she takes too damn long talking about it and Natalie is able to escape. She leads Chopper on a chase through the junkyard which culminates when they finally meet face to face again. As Chopper prepares to cut Natalie into pieces, Natalie tells her to stab herself in the chest instead, and she does. Just like that. Makes tons of sense, right? Just wait, it gets better.
Otto is soooo baked.
Thinking Natalie is in danger (I guess he doesn't know about her ability to make women stab themselves in the cleavage), Jessie shows up at Otto's location. In the two minutes since he was last onscreen, Otto has somehow become really evil, as if evidenced by a pair of incredibly fake red contact lenses and an audio effect that causes everything he says to be echoed in the same unintelligible voice that the rider in black uses. It's a shame, because this is one scene where Otto's cool, emotionless acting would actually be sufficient to pull off the role, but with the second voice talking underneath him, a lot of his lines get lost or come off as sounding moronic. And he talks on and on and on until he finally shows off another power of his - the ability to make the ground explode by looking at it. Not too shabby, eh? All he has to do is look at something and it explodes. You'd think he'd be able to kill Jessie with that, since he only has to get him in line of sight and they're both standing right out in the open. But no, he keeps making the ground explode behind him.
Since Jessie has a medallion, too, he figures he can make explosions as well, and lo and behold, he's right. That's got to sting a little for Otto, knowing that he's prayed to his Speed Demon every day, spilled his blood regularly, and generally given his life over in exchange for this power, and all Jessie had to do was take the medallion out of a box for the same abilities. They have a ridiculous showdown in which they both seem completely unable to hit one another. Finally, Otto manages to knock Jessie down by making the ground explode nowhere near him. It's probably the farthest miss in the entire fight. Nonetheless, Otto is able to take Jessie's medallion from him. Unfortunately, at his moment of triumph, the rider in black shows up. Lifting the helmet's visor, the rider is revealed to actually be Natalie, who runs Otto over, end of story. That's right, it was Natalie all along. Turns out she's some kind of super being for some reason. She and Jessie drive off, and a ten minute credit sequence starts to roll, including clips that basically recap the entire movie.
"Speed Demon" has more loose ends than I can keep track of. For instance, what the hell was August Moon? Why was it such an important date? What would Otto have done with both medallions? Since when do the medallions that are only supposed to make the wearer drive faster also give them pyrokinetic powers? Where did Natalie get her powers from? For that matter, what the hell was her problem? When she killed Road Rage, there was nothing to indicate that she knew he had a hand in Mikey's death. And why, in a movie about racers who have medallions that make them incredible drivers and who spend their time customizing their cars, was the final showdown settled between two guys standing still and looking at various patches of ground? These are just a few of the questions that spring to mind. Another good one might be, why the hell did anyone think this would be a worthwhile movie to produce? With ten minutes of credits, flashbacks a-plenty, minute-long slo-mo walking sequences, and constant barrages of clips that recap scenes from earlier in the movie, "Speed Demon" still fell short of an hour and a half. Not that I'm complaining. If David DeCoteau had stretched it another five minutes, I have no doubt that it just would have been five more minutes of men in their underwear rubbing each other. Believe me, no one needs that.
|Special Effects:||- 7|
|Music / Sound:||- 5|
Editor's Note: Due to a freak power outage, this obituary of Barbara Bush was written without the benefit of research. In order to pay our respects to this great woman in a timely fashion, we have decided to post this piece as-is. We hope you forgive any errors on our part.
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