Plot: What’s it about?
Johnny (Mark Dacascos) is a working class young man with hopes of rising above his means, but he has taken some bad turns in his efforts. He works as a valet and as all the cars come through him, he knows every make & model in the lot and he puts this information to use, as part of his plan to climb the social ladder. The data on the cars is passed on to a ring of car thieves, who then have better access & knowledge about their targets, so they get in & out faster and with less risk, always a good prospect. But it isn’t an expensive automobile that catches his eye the most, instead the beautiful young woman behind the wheel. Her name is Laura (Natasha Gregson Wagner) and while she drives a very nice vehicle, Johnny is more interested in her and since she is rich, this seems like a perfect chain of events. But even after the two become involved, it is a constant struggle for them, as the clash between cultures is immense. Can their love overcome the odds, or will their differences wind up breaking them apart forever?
Another installment in Showtime’s Rebel Highway series, Dragstrip Girl is one of the better movies from the collection, but that isn’t saying much. This should have been a fast paced, wild ride about rebellious teens, hot romance, and intense car races, but it ends up with none of those elements, which is a real disappointment. It has some moments of romance and even has some races, but these are poorly executed and infrequent, which means for most of the eighty-three minutes, this one is a real bore. The pace moves slow, the writing is bad, the stunts come off as cheap, and the cast is misused, very little goes right with Dragstrip Girl, to be honest. I do like some of the casting choices, such as Mark Dacascos (Drive), Natasha Gregson Wagner (Modern Vampires), and Traci Lords (Cry-Baby), but their talents are tossed down the drain here, thanks to very lackluster material. I think this is one of those movies that is worth a look on cable, but I can’t recommend this as a purchase. Dimension has tagged it with a very steep price and added no value materials, so catch this on cable or failing that, a rental should work.
Video: How does it look?
Dragstrip Girl is presented in a full frame transfer, as intended. This was a rather low budget production and Dimension hasn’t put much effort behind this treatment, so the results leave a lot to be desired. The image shows more grain than I would like, as well as various print defects that rain on the parade, ones which could have been touched up with ease, but I guess Dimension just wanted to rush this one out. This level of performance carries over to colors, contrast, and flesh tones too, all of which are passable, but should look much better. I know this isn’t a high profile title, but Dimension should have taken more time with Dragstrip Girl’s transfer, as there are a lot of flaws present, all of which most studios would have fixed.
Audio: How does it sound?
Not much to like here either, as the 2.0 surround option covers the basics, but runs & hides whenever more power is needed. The sound effects have little presence and almost always sound thin, even during more audio driven moments like the races. This is bad news indeed, as those scenes should pop with dynamic audio and don’t, so the scenes lose much of the impact they could have held. The music is also rather thin, while dialogue is clean and well placed, but isn’t as sharp as I would like, all things considered. This is not the worst audio mix out there, but it drops the ball when the pressure is on and the film suffers here as a result. This disc also includes English subtitles, should you need those.
Supplements: What are the extras?