Corvettes on the screen

I’ve noted a couple of times on this blog that few memorable movies or TV series have featured a Corvette as an important part of the production.

The only one that comes immediately to mind is “Route 66” …

… although as you know from this blog, there are lesser examples:

Corvette Online reports on the next one featuring actor-turned-governor-turned actor Arnold Schwarzenegger:

Thanks to this recent post on Collider.com, we learned that the former Governator himself will be staring in a new movie titled The Last Stand. The synopsis follows a typical cop-chases-cartel-leader-with-hostage-in-tow story line, which actually sounds like it might be pretty good. But what really grabbed our attention were the cars that are reportedly going to be featured in the movie. The Bad-Guy car is said to be a “specially-outfitted Corvette ZR1”, and if the movie poster is any indication Schwarzenegger will be chasing down the bad guys in a new Camaro ZL1.

Corvette Online points out that “Muscle cars can take a good movie and make it even better, or take a really crappy movie and make it somewhat tolerable.”

That’s one point of view. The contrary is demonstrated in several other movies that feature Corvettes, perhaps unfortunately.

The movie “Stingray” features TV character actor (as in you don’t know his name, but you recognize his face) William Watson and Christopher Mitchum, son of Robert, in a movie in which two drug dealers discover they probably shouldn’t have stashed their $1 million in a ’64 Corvette parked in a used car lot.

About “Stingray,” Corvette Online writes:

There are some situations that even the addition of coolest of cars cannot improve.

The scene in this clip inserts two stereotypically dumb rednecks driving a beat up Chevy pick-up into the car chase mix. The “hilarity” ensues as the “country boys” and the “master criminals” battle it out to on the road to see who has the lowest IQs. And since no car chase scene is complete without an explosion, hand grenades magically appear to end the rolling roadblock.

Corvette Summer” makes Fox News‘ list of the six best movies featuring Corvettes. (Which isn’t really much of a list, since in the other five movies Vettes make only brief appearances.)

First: The car is a disaster. Asymmetrical hood scoops. Conversion to right-hand drive. Elimination of the iconic hidden headlights.

As for the movie itself, according to IMDB.com:

For a shop class project, he and his classmates build a Corvette (“Stingray”). The car is a big hit — so big, in fact, that gets stolen! Kenny, having fallen in love with the car, sets out on a summer-long adventure in Las Vegas to find it. Along the way, he meets up with a “hooker-in-training” named “Vanessa”. The two encounter danger and romance as they try to steal back the Stingray.

Then there’s “Nasty Hero“: “Chase delivers expensive cars between car dealers or to their rich customers. Six months ago he was deceived and caught by the police with a stolen car. Now he’s back with a black Porsche to find the bad guys and to take revenge.”

On a scale of 1 to 10, IMDB.com gave it a 3.2.

And there’s “Mad Foxes,” discovered 30 years after its production when it showed up on YouTube, as Corvette Online writes:

First released in West Germany in August of ’81 and directed by Paul Grau, the half-assed Nazi/biker film is a cheaply-filmed exploitation film revolving around the theme of revenge, as our featured protagonist and his C3 customized by Neufield Special Cars chases and gets chased by a mob of swastika-wearing street hoods.

As you’d probably expect, the trick C3 takes the spotlight, and if it doesn’t stand as evidence of what customizing in the late ’70s and early ’80s was all about then we honestly don’t know what will! The 3rd-Gen Vette’s stereotypical orange and yellow crescendo of custom striping screams of what was in vogue during the golden age of disco-era hot rodding.

Somehow “Mad Foxes” generates a 5.6 from IMDB.com, despite one review that calls it “properly the stupidest movie ever made”:

The dubbing is properly the worst ever and the film is drenched in blood, swastikas, disco, heavy metal, small bikes, sex and bad acting. The spirit of Herschell Gordon Lewis lives on, so get a copy of this obscure anti-masterpiece!

“Anti-masterpiece” sounds like the 1981 California-only Corvette with a 305 V-8 and automatic.

The Internet Movie Cars Database lists 1,439 separate uses of Corvettes in TV or movies, including cartoon versions.  Only “Corvette Summer,” “Mad Foxes,” and the TV and movie iterations of “Stingray” rate five stars, “The vehicle is part of the movie.” Go to four stars, “Vehicle used a lot by main character or for a long time,” and you get such movies as “Kiss Me Deadly” (the second car Mike Hammer has) …

… something called “Hot Rods to Hell” …

… “King of the Mountain” …

… “Body Heat” …

… the ’80s flick “Less Than Zero” …

… “The A-Team” …

… “Sunset Grill” …

… a German TV series I mentioned here last week, “Alarm für Cobra 11 – Die Autobahnpolizei”…

… and, well, read the rest for yourself.

There’s still an opportunity for someone to write a movie that features a Corvette that isn’t as ludicrous as “Corvette Summer.” If I could only write scripts for “Super Steve: Man of Action” …

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