The Worst Automobile Films of All Time

They will’t all be gems. No, no, there are some horrible automobile films on the market! And never simply dangerous for us gearheads, however dangerous movies usually. We beforehand highlighted among the greatest automobile films, and now we transfer in the other way. Listed here are 5 of the worst automobile films ever. 

#1: Redline

This isn’t simply one of many worst automobile films however the single worst film in historical past. Interval. Not even the likes of Overdrive or Buying and selling Paint can compete with the sheer stupidity that’s Redline. Significantly, Frankie & Annette films work higher. The “plot” is razor-thin, the filmmakers have contempt for primary physics, and the appearing is bottom-of-the-barrel terrible. Simply desirous about it makes me really feel sick.

The Redline “Storyline”

As many reviewers have already pointed out, the plot is comically dangerous: a band of road racers is funded by a bunch of millionaires. Naturally, these millionaires wager over their high-powered supercars and who has one of the best drivers. Unique? Gilligan’s Island was extra authentic than this. The narrative is sort of a knock-knock joke, minus the punch line, and the characters are straight out of a Nancy cartoon.

Casting & “Performing”

Redline stars Nadia Bjorlin as Natasha, an auto mechanic, aspiring musician, and extremely expert race automobile driver tormented by her father’s dying at a NASCAR race a few years in the past. Earlier than Redline, Bjorlin was a cleaning soap opera actress however received the decision right here as a result of she was engaged to producer Daniel Sadek. 

Certain, she’s approach out of her depth and expertise, however even the opposite, considerably extra seasoned professionals in Redline reek. Tim Matheson (the man who performed Otter in Animal Home) is Jerry Brecken, a high-rolling professional gambler. Angus Macfadyen performs the generically named Michael D’Orazio, a mob boss and likewise a high-rolling professional gambler. 

I’ve seen Matheson and Macfadyen do properly in different roles, however right here? Matheson’s efforts appear like first-take materials, and Macfadyen is just out of it: flouncing and floating round in cheesecloth outfits in a single scene, making an attempt to be a violent mob man within the subsequent.

The ostensible lead is Carlo, performed by Nathan Phillips. USAF veteran Carlo is again from a tour of obligation in Iraq whose brother, Jason (Jesse Johnson), resides with their mob boss uncle Michael D’Orazio (Gah, simply typing that made my head harm)!

Redline poster: worst car movies of all time.
“It’s laborious to say whether or not gleaming cars or ladies’s our bodies are given the extra fetishlike therapy on this self-importance manufacturing.” ~ Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter (Rotten Tomatoes). Photograph: Signature Movies.

Physics Past Perception

Automobile films can and do play quick and free with physics, however Redline takes it to an unbelievable low. Automobiles flip for no cause, can in some way cross nice distances in mere minutes, and impossibly outrun cops. Redline doesn’t draw back from any of this, regardless of how factually inaccurate it could be. Certainly, as a rule, it pulls some CHiPs-level stunt, then spends an excessive amount of time on solid reactions.

All the opposite dangerous automobile film tropes are right here in abundance: a number of upshifts, squealing tires on gravel, the proverbial “have to go sooner, so I’ll simply mash down on the fuel,” villainous seems to be between drivers, and explosions it doesn’t matter what. At all times explosions. It’s like this Sadek fool spent zero time round vehicles. However he had, and it will get so very a lot worse.

Redline & The World Monetary Disaster

Daniel Sadek, who made Redline, was a third-grade dropout from Lebanon. After coming to America, he offered vehicles and finally based the subprime lending agency Fast Mortgage Funding. Sadek’s take-home earnings finally reached $5 million a month. He used the bucks to purchase a number of houses in SoCal and Vegas, construct up his assortment of supercars, and feed his ravenous need for playing. Mainly, he made Redline to point out off his automobile assortment and his fiancé.

Fast Mortgage Funding folded within the wake of the 2008 subprime mortgage disaster, however not earlier than racking up record profits. Sadek closely borrowed cash towards anticipated income from Redline, which then tanked, making $8.3 million towards $33 million in manufacturing and advertising and marketing prices. 

Redline and Fast Mortgage Funding was such a clown present that CNBC’s Home of Playing cards used it as an example of the immoderation of the pre-meltdown mortgage market. Sadek misplaced his escrow and lending licenses over withdrawing tens of millions from his company accounts to gamble in Vegas and was finally sued by Bellagio and Wells Fargo over unpaid money owed and repeated money advances performed at resorts worldwide. He was listed by Self-importance Honest as quantity 86 of their 100 to Blame for the economic crisis, calling him “Predator Zero within the subprime-mortgage sport.”

Ugh, I would like a bathe!

#2: Pushed

Pushed, the 2001 Sylvester Stallone racing film is to not be confused with the John DeLorean film of the identical identify starring Jason Sudeikis, Judy Greer, and Lee Tempo. That Pushed was top-notch via and thru. This Pushed is among the many worst automobile films ever made.

Cleaning soap Opera Plot

This Pushed facilities on a younger hot-shoe driver Jimmy Bly and his effort to win the CART Indycar championship. The film begins midway into the season, with our hero already successful 5 races. His brother and enterprise supervisor is extra involved with cash and sponsorships, placing large strain on younger Jimmy. In the meantime, different racers suppose his fiancée Sophia is turning into “a distraction,” so Jimmy dumps her and begins successful once more.

If that isn’t cleaning soap opera sufficient, we’ve got Jimmy’s double-dealing group proprietor, Carl Henry, who brings in former champ Joe “The Hummer” Tanto to mentor Jimmy as a teammate. Tanto’s ex, the trashy Cathy Heguy, is married to Jimmy’s (now former) teammate Memo. Regardless of all this, Joe and Memo are nonetheless associates. 

Will younger Jimmy Bly win? Regardless of all of the obstacles laid in his approach, you wouldn’t be shocked within the slightest to seek out out that Jimmy wins all of it, will get his lady again, and wins the respect of all his opponents. Oops, spoilers!

Renny Harlin Did This?

Sure, Renny Harlin was the director of Pushed. Harlin had performed such movies as A Nightmare on Elm Road 4: The Dream GraspDie Exhausting 2CliffhangerThe Lengthy Kiss Goodnight, and Deep Blue Sea. In different phrases, he ought to have recognized higher however didn’t.

Not solely is Pushed poorly written, however the technical features are laughably dangerous. Some stunts are so poorly filmed you may see the wires holding the vehicles up. You’ll be able to simply see how the vehicles are pretend shells, or all of the skid marks from a number of takes, and simply plain awful movie inventory – tons of movie college 101 errors from a veteran director right here. 

The Solid That Couldn’t Act

Vogue mannequin Kip Pardue (Keep in mind the Titans) is our lead right here as rookie hot-shoe Jimmy Bly. He’s passible and inoffensive. Pardue is a strong C plus (grading on a curve), but it surely’s the remainder of the solid that basically bombs.  

First, we’ve received the legendary Sylvester Stallone as Joe “The Hummer” Tanto, veteran racing champion. Like every thing else he’s performed since Rocky, he’s horrible, hoping for charisma to hold the load right here and failing miserably. Then there’s the late Burt Reynolds as group boss Carl Henry. Burt by no means had a lot vary, however he’s significantly dangerous right here. Bly’s rival Beau Brandenburg is performed by veteran German actor Til Schweiger. I’ve seen him do nice performances earlier than, however not right here. The fabulous Gina Gershon’s expertise is wasted as Cathy Heguy Moreno, Memo’s spouse, Joe’s ex. 

Simply How Dangerous Was Pushed?

Let’s simply put it this fashion: the one accolades Pushed acquired have been seven nominations on the 22nd Golden Raspberry Awards. These included Worst Image, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, Worst Display screen Couple (for Reynolds and Stallone), and twice for Worst Supporting Actor (Reynolds and Stallone), with Estella Warren successful Worst Supporting Actress. 

#2: Days of Thunder

Days of Thunder is just not almost as dangerous as Stallone’s Pushed, however in numerous methods, its failure is much more spectacular. The movie hit theatres in June 1990 at a time when nobody had performed a severe racing film for many years. On prime of that, it was a big-budget, massively hyped star automobile from the solid and crew that made Prime Gun. With Tom Cruise within the lead, Days of Thunder was destined to be the hit that might re-write the racing style and provides it the respect it deserved. Sadly, it was frickin terrible.

Prime Run

Initially, Days of Thunder was to be titled Prime Run, which ought to provide you with some concept of how new and imaginative the story was. Days of Thunder follows a younger up-and-coming driver (Cruise) who’s a bit bit wild however is aware of he’s received the expertise and moxie to make it to the highest. Alongside the best way, he faces adversity, powerful opponents, and bodily challenges, however ultimately – with the assistance of his stalwart crew – he wins the massive race and will get the lady. 

The plot is as predictable and formulaic as actually each different Tom Cruise film. It was by no means attainable to disclose any spoilers about Days of Thunder as a result of there are none. 

Nice Actors (Plus Cruise & Kidman)

Probably the most grating factor about Days of Thunder is that it has wonderful actors like Robert Duvall, Randy Quaid, Michael Rooker, John C. Reilly, and Cary Elwes. However even thespians of this caliber can’t get round a paper-thin plot and characters as flat as Kansas. 

And their names? Insulting 4th-grade ingenuity. Robert Duvall is crew chief Harry Hogge, to not be confused with real-life Harry Hyde. Michael Rooker is Rowdy Burns, imply and short-tempered, driving an all-black Exxon Chevy with aggression, similar to Dale Earnhardt. Quaid and Elwes have generic characters which might be proper off the rack, and like most of their castmates, their expertise is completely wasted right here.

Not so are the skills of Cruise and Kidman. Even mixed, they don’t have the appearing chops of a dinner plate, and their on-screen “chemistry” reaffirms that Days of Thunder is among the many worst automobile films so far. Cruise performs Cole Trickle, to not be confused with real-life driver Dick Trickle. Like another Cruise film, he’s simply taking part in himself, pretending as if he may actually drive or fly jets or no matter.

Trickle’s love curiosity is neurosurgeon Dr. Claire Lewicki performed by Cruise’s then-wife Nicole Kidman. She is among the many least convincing medical doctors in cinema historical past, and so they cribbed the character identify from the late NASCAR champ Alan Kulwicki.

Redeeming Qualities

Maybe one of the best half about Days of Thunder is its late ’80s and early ’90s nostalgia. Hendrick Motorsports equipped the stockcars, there are many cameo appearances from NASCAR royalty, and Hans Zimmer’s musical rating is alongside the soundtrack’s principal reduce, Final Word of Freedom, sung by David Coverdale of Whitesnake. Sure, there are redeeming qualities, simply not sufficient to get Days of Thunder throughout the end line.

#4: Child Driver

Child is a getaway driver in Atlanta. He survived a childhood automobile crash that killed his dad and mom and left him with tinnitus, however he finds therapeutic in music, iPods completely jammed into his ears. Child transports crews of robbers contracted by felony mastermind Doc as payback for offending Doc. Child begins courting a waitress named Debora. Despite the fact that the following job almost will get botched, Child’s driving expertise saves the day!

Together with his debt paid, Child quits the lifetime of crime and begins delivering pizzas (and never meals supply within the superior Preliminary D approach). The evil Doc forces Child to tug one final job, robbing a submit workplace by threatening to harm Debora and Child’s foster father ought to he refuse. Yeah, it’s not a lot of a plot, but it surely’s not less than partially higher than Redline.

Edgar Wright Made This?

Some of the puzzling issues about Child Driver is that Edgar Wright wrote and directed it. He made Shaun of the LifelessSizzling FuzzScott Pilgrim vs. the World, and the pleasant The Sparks Brothers. How he got here up with one thing as trite and banal as Child Driver is a thriller. 

Nice Solid, Mediocre Supply

Ansel Elgort and Lily James play Child and Debora. Elgort is usually silent, brooding, and appears to be doing a dreadful Brando imitation more often than not. Debora is one more interchangeable ingénue character that Hollywood cranks out today, and there isn’t a lot James can do to beat the cliché right here.

Disgraced chicken-hawker Kevin Spacey performs Doc. Spacey is often an awesome actor, however you may’t inform that right here. He’s flat. The identical goes for John Hamm, who performs Buddy. I’ve seen Hamm do nice work, however in Child Driver, all we get is a coke-addled twitch. Jamie Foxx performs Leon ‘Bats’ Jefferson III, Doc’s cruel henchman, and is dimensionless. The identical goes for Jon Bernthal as Griff, one in all Doc’s thugs.

Child’s Driving

Individuals screamed and shouted about how nice the stunt work was in Child Driver, about how all of the driving was actual and never CGI, and so far as that goes, they’re proper. The issue isn’t Child’s driving; it’s what he’s driving round. 

See, when he’s bombing down that alley, as an example, and J-turning his approach round dumpsters and parked vehicles, lacking them by inches, he ain’t doing jack. Certain, that’s an actual WRX being thrown round, however all of the stuff he’s simply lacking narrowly, that’s the CGI bit. It’s a intelligent trick, and as quickly as I noticed what Wright was doing, the entire home of playing cards fell aside.

#5: Any Quick & Livid Film

You inform some random individual you’re into vehicles, and the very first thing that pops into their head is, “Oh, like The Quick & Livid films?” Ugh! No, not like that! Do individuals actually suppose we’re on the market boosting VCRs and dragging financial institution vaults across the streets of Rio? Order the present Quick & Livid field set, and you’ll formally have eight of the worst automobile films without delay.

Not Automobile Films, Simply Have Automobiles In Them

The primary Quick & Livid captured the vibe of the import tuner scene; that a lot is true. The movie helped encourage a brand new technology of automobile collectors and addressed numerous features of the gearhead scene circa 2001 however after that? Fuhgettaboutit. After that, it was off to the races of 1 far-fetched caper after one other. Fairly quickly, we’re rationalizing automobile chases involving submarines and placing Pontiac Fieros into suborbital flight.

As Dominic Toretto will let you know, these films are about household, or, as he pronounces it, fambly. It’s a catch-all term for the series meant to convey that anybody on the Toretto aspect of the road is nice, and anybody not is suspect. It’s about as deep as these films get and, I suppose, offers a veneer of acceptability to the group’s actions.

True, each Quick & Livid flick is loaded with vehicles, however by this level, they’re simply props. Kudos to them for protecting the vehicles fascinating and getting the appropriate ones with the appropriate character, although. Brian (performed by the late Paul Walker) was into JDM stuff. Dom was a real blue American with a deserved affiliation for Mopar merchandise. Varied and varied different characters have been identifiable by their rides of selection: Han was into high-end Asian rides, often personalized, and Letty additionally favored American iron. 

All that’s inappropriate with how Quick & Livid handled the vehicles. All the same old tropes that drive gearheads bazookas are current: 18 upshifts throughout a drag race, variable physics, pointless explosions. Sigh, we virtually had our personal gearhead collection, however alas. Perhaps subsequent time.

Worst Automobile Films Conclusion

And there you have got it, fellow gearheads, the worst automobile films we may give you. View these at your personal peril! If there are another horrible automobile films we missed, let us know on Twitter

Longtime Automoblog author Tony Borroz has labored on common driving video games as a content material professional, along with working for aerospace firms, software program giants, and as a film stuntman. He lives within the northeast nook of the northwestern-most a part of the Pacific Northwest.