When dealing with the movies that arrived in Episode IV’s aftermath, it’s almost impossible to rationalize it. Yes, the rational historian in me says that Star Wars was no different than any other film. However, why did Mark Hamill choose his follow-up so poorly? The answer kinda boils down to what was available.
Modern audiences can’t understand how slowly productions moved back then. Well, major studio productions. Given the proximity to Lucas, it was only natural that Mark Hamill would pair up with Friends of Lucas (Matthew Robbins and Hal Barwood) on a new film. The duo would make Dragonslayer in 1981, but what about this little gem of the Summer of 1978.
Annie Potts remains the element of the film that still irks me. Potts plays Vanessa, a prostitute-in-training. Don’t know what that means? Well, the film doesn’t really know either. However, it doesn’t stop her from getting into shenanigans while Mark Hamill tries to rescue his car. The sheer volume of fetishism in this film deserves a whitepaper.
Anyways, it’s not long before Hamill realizes that his pre Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure style quest has been perpetrated by his shop teacher’s illegal interests. There are car races, chases and a near sexual assault that follows. It was 1978, kids. There was a Gas Crisis and only 3 channels on the TV. General audience interests were a little uncouth.
Warner Archive has released a Blu-ray that surprised me. No special features, but the A/V Quality is out of this world. Growing up watching this movie on repeat Turner Time airings, didn’t prepare me for this level of perfection. That’s no knock on TBS, but the 1080p transfer makes it almost look like a new film. The DTS-HD 2.0 MONO track is period strong, but damn. The film pops through out the presentation.