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Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry/Race with the Devil (1974) - Blu-ray Review

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Dirty Mary Crazy Larry / Race With the Devil - Blu-ray Review

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4 stars

Starring the legendary Peter Fonda, this action-packed double feature release from Shout Factory features a couple of classic drive-in B-movies – Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry and Race with the Devil – from 1974 and both, no matter how you put it, are worth checking out.  Any fan of B-movies, great, crackling dialogue and some hard-hitting car/stunt sequences needs to pick up their copy of this dynamic release as soon as humanly possible.

In Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, Peter Fonda stars as a former NASCAR racer looking to score some quick cash. Mary (Susan George) is a sexy groupie aching to take a fast ride. Together with mechanic Deke (Adam Roarke), they pull off a cold-blooded supermarket heist and hit the highway.  With a maniacal lawman (Vic Morrow) on their trail, the team has to survive the hundreds of miles of roadblocks and an entire police force that stand between their ’69 Dodge Charger R/T 440 and their freedom.

And in Race with the Devil, Fonda stars with and his old friend Warren Oates as their characters and their wives (Lara Parker, Loretta Swit) go on vacation in their RV.  It was supposed to be the best damn vacation they ever had. But their RV road trip takes a deadly detour at a secluded campsite when they accidentally witness a satanic. Now horror hits the highway as the couples are pursued by satanic cultists through some of the most intense car chases through rural Texas and into one of the greatest twist endings in drive-in movie history.

These are great films that survive the test of time because they were assembled by crews of passionate artisans and freaks who know exactly what the ‘70s were all about.  They are not exploitation films, mind you.  There are serious investors involved and their money is matched by the intensity on the screen.  They are legitimate independent films that Hollywood doesn’t have the balls to make.  Bless you, Fonda.  Race with the Devil is directed by Jack Starrett (The Losers, Cleopatra Jones), who was also an actor and played the memorable role of the vicious Deputy Galt in First BloodDirty Mary, Crazy Larry is directed by John Hough (The Legend Of Hell House, The Incubus).

The two films aren’t Easy Rider knock-offs either.  Each film is memorable and stands solidly on its own merits.  Like Fonda himself, these films are breezy and seemingly unaware of their own existence.  Fonda is obviously the man in charge behind the scenes and, having learned a lot from Roger Corman, he flexes his production know-how to get more bang out of these two releases for maximum impact and drive-in enjoyment.

Clever to the end, each film builds and builds until it delivers an endgame that is worth the trip.  For Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, the 25-minute finale takes place in a 50-square-mile grove where intersections are damn-near impossible to make at the speeds they travel.  In Race with the Devil, the shocking twist is a nightmare turned real that still freaks me out.  While not as subtle as Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, the film packs a serious punch in its balls-to-the-wall endgame maneuverings.

Let the cargasm of destruction begin with these B-movie drive-in classics!

{2jtab: Blu-ray Review}

Dirty Mary Crazy Larry / Race With the Devil - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
4 stars

5 Stars



Blu-ray Experience
4.5 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - May 28, 2013
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: None
Audio:
English: DTS-HD 2.0 Mono
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: Region-free

Both 20th Century Fox films have been given the deluxe Blu-Ray treatment in the “Action-Packed Double Feature” from Shout Factory. There’s a certain antithesis to taking a couple of dirty road pictures and cleaning them up for perfect 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 high definition.  The transfers of both these films make for a beautiful viewing experience.  Maybe the colors don’t pop like you want them to but they are pretty clean of debris and dirt.  The lonely Texas desert in Race with the Devil and the lush green groves in Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry are both brought to vibrant life, enhancing the quaint surroundings to contrast with the fast-paced insanity barreling down the highways through them.  A standard Dolby 2.0 stereo track accompanies each film.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Each film has its own commentary.  For Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, its director – John Hough – guides viewers through the ups and downs of the film’s production.  For Race with the Devil, Executive Producer Paul Maslansky and actress Lara Parker do the talking as the film is discussed.

Special Features:

Shout Factory has assembled a good collection of interviews with Hough, Susan George and, of course, Peter Fonda.  Fonda gets a nice extended featurette as he discusses some of the classic B-movie shenanigans he has made.  Paul Nuckles gets his own featurette, too.

  • Ride The Wild Side (10 min)
  • Hell On Wheels (23 min)
  • Interview with Paul Nuckles (8 min)
  • Theatrical trailers (5 min)
  • TV/Radio Spots (3 min)

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