Film Friday: Season of the Kitsch
EPISODE SIXTEEN: IT AIN’T SO SWEET, LOOKING BACK ON IT
The Gearheads attempt to enjoy the first “Film Friday” episode, and in honor of this being the first week of Summer, made a grave error.
We watched “Corvette Summer.”
Three of the Gearheads rented it on Amazon; one went right on ahead and purchased it on iTunes. Buyer’s remorse? You’ll have to listen to the episode to see just how deep that rabbit hole goes. There’s nostalgia, kitsch, and, well, this movie. It makes you wonder if they had stuck with the title The Hot One, or its working title Stingray (which was registered for another cruddy film that also had a Corvette).
“Luke, join me or you’ll star in CORVETTE SUMMER.”
– Mike Nelson, MST3K, episode 513
IT’S AN INTERACTIVE EPISODE – HOW THIS ALL WORKS
You can join the Gearheads, and watch along with us! Simply grab a copy of the movie (you can rent or purchase it here on Amazon, or purchase it on iTunes, too), cue that bad boy up as described in the podcast (get to the :10 mark, and let ‘er rip when we do!), and enjoy. We’d suggest having a beverage handy, and leaving your expectations outdoors. If you haven’t seen this one in a while, you may have some preconceived notions about what it’s like.
So did we.
THE GEARHEADS REFLECT ON THE FILM THROUGH A HAZE OF METALFLAKE
Rather than even try to break the show down to just some bullet-pointed notes, we thought it best to just jot them down here. Except for Alex. He went all bullet happy. Either way, you’re welcome.
Trailer for corvette summer (1978) starring mark hamill. high quality
Between the release of Star Wars Episode Four, A New Hope, and Episode Five, The Empire Strikes back, actor Mark Hamill was involved in a car accident.
This film is that accident.
I honestly don’t recall it being this bad. I mean, the only thing that saves it is Annie Potts. The rest is terribly written at best, poorly acted when at its worst, and just plain poorly filmed the rest of the time. Inflicted with major gaps in the storytelling, this thing is like some foreshadowing to latest Star Wars movie on more than just a few levels. The title of Beck’s song “Corvette Bummer” kind of sums it up neatly. It’s the discount store version of a car movie; heck it even has a Great Value edition Willem Dafoe played by Kim Milford.
The good stuff: As poorly written as this film is, there is a lot to be said for establishing exposition by way of a few simple scenes with the car. However, it all gets blown apart over and over again by some very blatant Achillean themes. I mean seriously, between the bizarre teacher/student relationship and so forth, it’s uncomfortable to watch. And I attended Catholic school. Case in point, the shop teacher, played by Eugene Roch is just effing bizarre.
ALL THINGS ARE DELICATELY INTERCONNECTED. EVEN HERE.
Weirder still, Roche played “Captain Tim Greenwood” in Steven J. Cannell’s TV series Stingray (episode 11, season 2)! Continuing his connection with weird-looking red cars, he was also in Hardcastle and McCormick. Let’s go even weirder, why not? He was in an episode of Taxi named “The Road Not Taken,” an episode of Night Court entitled “Hit the Road, Jack,” two episodes of Webster (“Rearview Mirror, Parts 1 & 2”), four episodes of Perfect Strangers (but only two could be tied in, car-wise with “The Break-In” and “The Horn Blows at Midnight”), and weirdest of all, considering the character relationship in this monstrosity, a Priest in the TV movie A Friend to Die For in 1994 AND another in 2003’s The Division. The ghost of Summer‘s past just never seemed to leave him.
On the plus side, it has Annie Potts. Driving an apparently Tardis-esque custom van. So let’s just talk about her instead. Sweet Annie Potts. Sigh… Give me a minute or two.
Where were we? Oh yeah, the movie. I’m kinda sleepy now, so it’s probably for the best that the film left no open ends to justify a sequel. Not sure if I have a Corvette Summer round two in me.
Star Wars Episode Zero begins in a galaxy not so far away, with Luke Skywalker searching for love in all the wrong places. Throughout his journey he falls for Princess Vanessa (his other sister) before encountering one hideous gold third gen Corvette, which in more than one scene he chases down on foot. Must be the Force. We will forever call the gold version of this car C3PO.
In this non-Speilberg storyline, Luke steals the car, paints the car overnight, runs from guys wielding chains, hides in a barrel of filthy Rotella, has a 300 miles chase scene in which he never stops for fuel, then walks away from his “dream car” to live happily ever after with sister Vanessa.
Yeah, it was that bad. Sadly, as I child I saw the movie and thought it was pretty cool. It wasn’t. Funny thing, I must have mashed several movies into one because I though Corvette Summer was about a kid who moves to Southern California in his custom ‘Vette and life was wonderful… only to wake up and realize it was a dream and California wasn’t all that great. I have no idea where that story line came from.
Oh well, save the $4 and don’t rent the movie. Better yet, save $15 and don’t BUY it!
ALEX THROWS SOME BULLET POINTS:
• Some cars are timeless, the Corvette in the movie has not aged well.
• There was a LOT of crushed velvet in that movie
• The Vanessa van was kinda cool, but I never knew the Chevy Vandura had such room inside
• The movie had the feel of an ABC Afterschool Special. Cheezy story line, terrible acting
• I like Annie Potts better back in 1978. Her voice sounds like a mash-up of Fran Drescher and Gilbert Gottfried.
• Why did every middle-aged guy in the movie have a poorly fitting polyester suit that they wore in every scene?
• The brown Suburban was the Best Supporting Actor
Well, nothing. He couldn’t be bothered to participate beyond watching the movie. That said, we’re looking to replace him. Do you like to talk? Can you throw down three hundred or so words every six months (give or take an0ther four months, roughly) on your own website for Brian to edit? Drop us a line.
Not the best film on any level, really. Is it a “car guy” classic? Nope. Not even a good movie for a drive-in, really, as it’s just annoying and distracting.
However, we plan on doing more of these, and getting the format all ironed-out. We truly appreciate you taking the time to suffer through the movie with us, and hope you had a good time! We’d love to hear your thoughts, critiques, anecdotes, etc, and invite you to share them in the comments below, please!
And let us know your thoughts on which film we should all experience next time!
The Round Six Podcast makes no claim of ownership and only uses any footage, sound clips or cited examples from the film for purposes of commentary, criticism and education under Fair Use. The opinions expressed are those of the persons writing them, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Round Six Podcast as a whole, and are presented as entertainment or satirical criticism only.
Please support the art of filmmaking by purchasing, renting, or viewing these movies on home media or streaming services, if available.
…or by making a better film than this thing. I know that we’d sure appreciate it.
IMAGE AND VIDEO CREDITS (“WHERE THE KITSCH COMES FROM”):
Corvette Summer trailer: To be Concluded YouTube
Screaming Luke Skywalker: inverse.com