There’s nothing quite so dreary as an exploitation movie that isn’t actually exploitive, except perhaps an exploitation movie that wears out its welcome with an excessive running time. Unluckily for all concerned, Corvette Summer is both. Though packaged as a sexy car flick with exuberant young stars, it’s actually a tedious comedy adventure hampered by screechy lead performances. Notable as the first movie Mark Hamill made after Star Wars (1977), Corvette Summer tracks the adventures of Kenneth (Hamill), a high school student who travels the Southwest trying to recover a stolen car—the tricked-out Corvette he lovingly assembled for auto-shop class. Along the way, he encounters wanna-be hooker Vanessa (played by an emaciated young Annie Potts), and they run the requisite gauntlet of halting sexual encounters, screaming arguments, and sitcom-style misunderstandings. Kenneth also crosses paths with various uninteresting characters like a con man, a car thief, and a Vegas gambler. Partridge Family redhead Danny Bonaduce is in the mix as one of the hero’s high-school pals, and it’s a sad comment on the movie that his scenes are the most entertaining. Corvette Summer should be amusing and campy, with its disco score and slapstick gags, but Hamill and Potts are so unpleasant they suck the life out of the thing. Hamill is way too petulant and intense in every scene, and Potts’ line deliveries range from purring to whining to shouting. Oddly, the worst aspect of Corvette Summer is that it’s well-made: Director Matthew Robbins, who later helmed the excellent fantasy flick Dragonslayer (1981), is so focused on efficient camerawork and storytelling that he forgets to loosen up and have fun. As a result, Corvette Summer is stuck in neutral for 105 forgettable minutes.
Corvette Summer: LAME