Jack Hill
USA 1969
92 min

The plot relates the story of loner Rick Bowman, a mean-looking greaser, who gets tossed in the local slammer after beating the local hot rod in a late-night drag race. Rick is subsequently bailed out by the owner of the other car, sleazy racing promoter Grant Willard, who is always on the lookout for fresh talent, and who offers to sponsor Rick as a driver in a new type of figure-8 racing. Rick, who astutely nixes Willard's offer after watching a race and its deadly intersection, can't swallow the egomaniac antics of the race's usual winner, Hawk Sidney, and unastutely decides to join Willard's stable of drivers alongside Ed in order to teach the Hawk the lesson he so richly deserves. But there's more to this figure-8 mayhem than meets the eye. After totalling two cars in as many races, Rick is taken aside by a geezer racer, and is tutored in the finer points of the game's strategies. Rick puts the practice to good use, winning the next race by forcing Hawk to wipe out his hot new customized racer. Not content to just beat him on the track, Rick steals Hawk's girlfriend, Jolene, at the victory party. Later, the pissed pair are wildly attacked by a sledgehammer-wielding Hawk, who beats the crap out of Rick, then hammers his car into scrap metal. The stiff competition takes its toll on all, however, as Ed can't get it up for Ellen, Rick can't get it up for Jolene, he hilariously lies in bed, reading a copy of «Hot Rod» magazine, and Hawk has transformed from a confident loudmouth into a wimpering loser.
Finally, the race begins. Hawk's car breaks down early in the race, so he's out of it. By the end of the race, with Ed leading and Rick second, Rick bumps Ed's car into a spin and passes him to win the trophy. Ed's car is then whacked by another racer, and he sustains what seems to be a minor neck injury. A few hours later he's dead. Rick arrives at the hospital and is greeted by a disgruntled Hawk, an accusing Ellen, a hateful Jolene and a pragmatic Willard, who invites Rick to be his main driver in the next big race. Rick pauses for a moment, then shrugs, opens the car door and seals his contract with Willard. There is, in fact, a serious documentary feel to the action parts of Pit Stop, as Hill accurately and authentically records a number of now-vanished fads, showing us the original studio/workshop of «Kustom Kar King» George Barris, dune buggy hill climbing competitions, oval and figure 8 stock car racing, old race tracks, and even car wreckers at work.

This film is screened together with mit <filmlink id=\"2856\">1:42.08</filmlink>
1966, George Lucas, 6 min

  • Brian Donlevy
  • Sid Haig
  • Richard Davalos
  • Ellen Burstyn
  • Beverly Washburn
  • George Washburn
Lee Strosnider
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