Plot: What’s it about?
Hoover (Ron Howard) has fallen head over heels for Darlene (Christopher Norris), but she only seems to be interested in guys with killer cars. While Hoover doesn’t own a fast car himself, he is so smitten with the beautiful Darlene, he decides to steal one and take her for a ride. So Hoover boosts a car with a powerful engine, picks up Darlene and hopes he can impress her, even if the wheels aren’t his. The ride is supposed to be fast and fun, but things start to get out of control and before long, the police are in pursuit of the joyriders. Hoover’s own father is Sheriff, but the law is the law and now the fun ride has turned into a hot pursuit. Hoover doesn’t plan to pull over, but can he outrace the police forever?
I miss the days of practical car crash movies, I love to see wild chases performed by skilled drivers and insane crashes that aren’t computer generated. In the 1970s, car crash cinema was hot and Eat My Dust is a good example, with some great driving sequences that are fun to watch. I wouldn’t put this in the same league with the original Gone in 60 Seconds, but for a low budget production, the car stunts are more than solid. Roger Corman states this is was a huge moneymaker for him, with a big part of that success due to the presence of Ron Howard. His Happy Days fame probably drew in a lot of fans, but his performance here is decent and he was able to move into direction from here, thanks to a deal with Roger Corman. Eat My Dust isn’t a great movie, but it has some fun moments and if you love old school car stunts, the flick is worth a rental.
Video: How does it look?
Eat My Dust is presented in full frame, which represents an open matte version of the intended 1,85:1 widescreen presentation. This is a decent transfer, given the material involved, but unremarkable. The print has grain, debris, and marks, but detail is passable, though again, not great. The colors have faded a little, but look fine and contrast is good for the most part. Not a great transfer, but not a terrible one, either.
Audio: How does it sound?
This movie could use an audio overhaul, as the car chases sound unimpressive in this mono soundtrack. A little more power is pushed out in the action driven scenes, but not that much. The audio has a thin overall sound, but this is a low budget movie from the 70s, so we shouldn’t expect the world. The sound effects are decent, but limited and the music sounds fine. I found dialogue to be clear for the most part, as time hasn’t worn the elements too much here. This disc also includes French and Spanish subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes a nine minute featurette, as well as the film’s theatrical trailer.