Thursday, May 24, 2012

Video Purgatory :: Why Isn't This Available on DVD Again? :: Charles Band's Crash! (1976)

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"Take a moment and try to envision what a
feature-length episode of Night Gallery would
have been like if directed by Hal Needham.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx -- The Foywonder
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx From Here to Obscurity
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Ho-kay, folks, see if you can wrap your head around this plot: When an irascible old fart who's confined to a wheelchair (Ferrer) decides all of his cumulative woes and problems are solely the fault of his much younger trophy wife (Lyon), he vows to kill her. Now, sure, cinematically speaking, this standard and well tread plot is never as easy as it sounds, and so, filmmakers like to spice things up and throw a few more bananas into the plot-pudding, hoping to make it taste better than the last time -- or at least taste a little different. Here, producer and director Charles Band decided what this tired old plot needed was a demon-possessed automobile to, and I quote, "Smash other, defenseless cars into a mass of twisted metal."

Now we're getting somewhere! But how will this development help the husband murder the wife, you ask? Well, it doesn't, but that part of the plot is nothing more than an excuse to set-up the killer car. See, when Mr. Crankypants sics his murder weapon of choice, his pet Doberman, on the wife, she tries to escape in her trusty convertible. Of course this strategy backfires since the top is down, allowing the dog to hop in and severely maul the victim, causing a horrendous wreck, which she barely survives.

Rushed to the hospital, mummified in bandages, her mind lost to shock and amnesia, the only thing the wife seems to react to is a trinket recently found at a swap meet, currently held in a death-grip, that is allegedly in the shape of an ancient demon named Akaza -- though honestly, this totem looks more like a one-eyed gremlin trying to pinch-off a deuce.

Anyways ... soon enough, the constipated demon not only possesses her but also re-animates her junked auto AND her husbands well-chair! Turning them both into sentient, rampaging vehicles bent on homicidal vengeance, culminating in a Mexican stand-off between the no-goodnik husband and the killer car from hell.

Only future Full Moon front man Charles Band would have the kahonies to try and cash in on the dubious demon-possession and The Amazing Dobermans and the cataclysmic car chase-n-wreck boom of the late 1970's all in the same movie. And though most sources claim this film wasn't released until 1977, I've got some contradicting ads for Crash! from December of 1976. Whenever it was released, one can only hope they handed out souvenir Akaza totems at the concession stand. Sadly, this whole plot description is completely second hand as I've yet to have the privilege of seeing this, though not for a lack of trying. Please, somebody, anybody, get this thing out on DVD or Blu-ray or streaming as soon as humanly possible. Thanks.

Crash! (1976) BLC Services Inc. :: Group 1 International Distribution Organization Ltd. / P: Charles Band / D: Charles Band / W: Marc Marais / C: Andrew Davis / E: Harry Keramidas / M: Andrew Belling / S: José Ferrer, Sue Lyon, John Carradine, John Ericson, Leslie Parrish


Stacia said...


I have to tell you, I'm not 100% sure I didn't see this edited on TV on some Saturday afternoon. It looks uncomfortably familiar.

Are your screencaps widescreen? Wait, let me rephrase: Did you see this in widescreen, you lucky bastard?

Stacia said...

Er, commenting again so I can subscribe to comments. Whee.

W.B. Kelso said...

No. I haven't seen this at all. One of those morgue finds where a little more research turned up something I needed to see, like, yesterday. Alas, all efforts have been for naught. The images were pilfered and cropped from several VHS boxes both foreign and domestic.

Anonymous said...

fullmoon direct dot com has it..

W.B. Kelso said...


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