Movies that Time Forgot

3 Feb

Classic movies of the past are remembered and often honored. They continue to live on movie channels and Blu-Ray discs and are watched and analyzed by cinema scholars and ordinary fans. But, what about the movies that did not become classics – the ones that had a short run on the silver screen and a bit longer run on late night cable. These are not analyzed or held up as artistic achievements. They are the movies that time forgot. They exist only as memory fragments of those who saw them. Today, a stream of consciousness led me to such a movie.

This was test day in my classes, and I promise that teachers love test days. While the students are searching their brains for answers they hope will come, teachers can sit back and relax. For me, this means a day of surfing the internet. An activity such as this can get tedious after a while and can lead to some strange places. A stop by the Entertainment Weekly website led me on a journey that I never expected.

As I scanned the site for news about The Hunger Games movie, I noticed a snippet about Sherilyn Fenn, an 80s vixen that I was totally infatuated with, and her upcoming role on a television show that I never heard of. Wondering what she looks like these days, I googled her images and found that she has aged well. Then, I went to the Internet Movie Database to recount her career. There was Boxing Helena, a controversial movie if I remember correctly, and Two Moon Junction, an erotic thriller designed to show off Fenn’s assets. Interestingly, it was also the last film for Burl Ives and Herve “Da Plane, Da Plane” Villechaize. But, I didn’t stay with Two Moon Junction for long because I suddenly remembered my favorite Sherilyn Fenn movie, The Wraith.

Charlie Sheen used to be cool. Here's the proof.

In The Wraith, Charlie Sheen, Fenn’s boyfriend, was killed by a drag-racing gang. Apparently, he took tiger blood before his death because Sheen comes back as the Wraith, a drag-racing, ass-kicking ghost – perhaps the coolest ghost ever. He had a fast car and an awesome racing helmet. He kills the gang leader, Nick Cassavetes, in the end, and Sherilyn finally figures out who he really is. Then, Sheen drives off into the sunset. Too bad for him that his career has not had the same cool fade out. As I read about The Wraith, I began thinking about other car chase movies and remembered The Last Chase.

The Six Million Dollar Man meets Speed Racer

I watched The Last Chase almost every time it was on cable. This movie starred Lee Majors as an old race car driver living in a future USA that has faced some real issues. A plague had killed millions, and OPEC had cut off our oil supply. A totalitarian government ruled over a populace that traveled by bicycles and electric golf carts. Apparently, golfing was still a popular pastime. Majors, the government spokesman proclaiming the evils of cars, tired of this way of life a rebuilt a race car that he had hidden under the house. After picking up a stowaway in the form of Chris Makepeace, Majors heads on a cross-country trip to “free California”, which has broken away and started using gas-guzzling cars. This has always seemed ironic to me. A state full of environmentalists who do not want us to pump our own fuel ends up being the one that brings the fuel back. At any rate, the government unleashes Burgess Meredith, an old Vietnam War pilot, to chase the car in an antique fighter jet. How can a movie be better than that?

For some reason, this movie has always stuck with me, and certain spots stood out.

1. Chris Makepeace learned how to drive in a race  car. How cool is that?

2. Authorities used an old Coca-Cola delivery truck to block the roads. I wonder if it still had fizz.

3. Native Americans took back control of their land once the USA retreated to the cities. This was always my favorite part. With a lot of patience, they won in the end.

Anyway, I have always wanted to see this movie again, so I headed over to Amazon to see if it was available. Lo and behold, it has been released on DVD, and I bought it immediately. I suppose it wasn’t Blu-Ray worthy. So, my trip through the movies that time forgot led me to The Last Chase, which I eventually caught. I wonder if it will be as good as I remember.

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6 Responses to “Movies that Time Forgot”

  1. booksnob February 3, 2012 at 04:58 #

    I remember The Wraith!

    I had a response all ready to go in my head, but then I went to look something up (for reference) and went on an IMDB wild goose chase. I ended up on Near Dark (favourite vampire movie EVER) and then started googling Jenny Wright, trying to figure out what happened to her.

    • surroundedbyimbeciles February 3, 2012 at 05:07 #

      IMDB is like a blackhole. It can suck up hours and brain cells. The trivia section is the best. I click on it every time a movie comes on. Priest just ended, and I have been looking it up. Not much trivia, but the message board just kills it. I’m not sure I have a favorite vampire movie – maybe Love at First Bite. Ha. Of course, no vampire can compare to Grandpa on The Munsters.

      • booksnob February 5, 2012 at 22:32 #

        How weird, Priest is what my dad is watching right now (for probably the eleventy billionth time).

        I have found that I prefer the iPhone app for IMDB better than the desktop site. Even if I’m on the computer, I’ll pick up my phone of iPod to look something up because it’s easier to navigate.

      • surroundedbyimbeciles February 6, 2012 at 05:04 #

        Your dad watches Priest? That’s cool. My dad wouldn’t be caught undead watching something like that. I like the iPhone app as well. Less cluttered. I’m not a fan of the iPad app though.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Looking at the Future Through a Glass Filled with Jack Daniel’s | Surrounded By Imbeciles - August 29, 2013

    […] I was filled with cold medicine and drinking Jack Daniel’s when I got the urge to watch The Last Chase, a movie about a bleak future. Being a movie made in 1981, that bleak future was supposed to happen […]

  2. The Conspiracy of Michael Pare’s Acting Career | Surrounded By Imbeciles - December 21, 2013

    […] brought to mind several movies that would not be considered classics. Like a good blogger, I wrote a post about it. A few days ago that same movie-themed stream of consciousness hit me again as I was […]

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