Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Supervan (1977)



Considering how much fun people had in the ’70s customizing their vans and using them for makeout sessions, it’s a bummer that none of the many flicks made about van culture is any good. Even Supervan, the emphatic title of which suggests it should be apex of its subgenre, is a superdud. Employing the familiar elements of an I-gotta-be-me hero, a semi-illicit road race, and a villain determined to suppress innovative new technology, Supervan is so enervated in terms of characterization, plotting, and style that it’s excruciatingly boring. The hero is Clint Morgan (Mark Schneider), a suburban kid obsessed with prepping his pirate-themed van, the Sea Witch, for competition in the “Second Annual Non-National Bicentennial Invitational Freakout ’76.” While heading to the race, Clint overhears an attempted gang rape on his CB radio—yes, really!—and rescues the would-be victim. She’s Karen Trenton (Katie Saylor), who just happens to be the daughter of T.B. Trenton (Morgan Woodward), an evil oil executive. He hired a scientist to create a customized gas-guzzler van. Instead, the scientist created “Vandora, the Supervan,” a solar-powered vehicle that looks like something out of a sci-fi movie. After losing the Sea Witch in an accident, Morgan becomes the driver of Vandora, with Karen at his side. Never mind asking what the scientist was planning to do before a driver conveniently crossed his path. Supervan is filled with dreary montages of vans driving down highways, plus sleazy shots of ladies in revealing clothes at the base camp for the road race. Other affronts to good taste include the film’s dorky theme song, an offensive portrayal of gay characters, and Schneider’s lifeless performance.

Supervan: LAME

5 comments:

greg6363 said...

A "publicity student"? I think you mean "publicity stunt". Yes, I read every review, especially those covering the cinematic dreck of the decade.

By Peter Hanson said...

Have no fear, much more dreck looms in the future of this blog.

Bob Johns said...

For some strange reason, I feel the need to track this one down! What format did you find it on? And I swear I had a matchbox car that looked just like that.

DPicasso said...

Somehow escaping mention in this review is a cameo by Charles Bukowski- the 'waterboy' at the wet T-shirt contest.

William Blake Hall said...

Bob Johns , believe it or not this is on Youtube.