“Used Cars” (1980) dir. Robert Zemeckis

At one point in the distant past (over 30 years ago), director Robert Zemeckis was one of the funniest, weirdest, and raunchiest comedy film directors around.  While “Back to the Future” sent Zemeckis and his co-writer Bob Gale onto greener commercial pastures, “Used Cars,” from 1980, was the highlight of Zemeckis’s (and Gale’s) career.  An unapologeticaly politically incorrect tale of corruption and sleaze with a scumbag (albeit with a heart of gold … or at least bronze) as its hero.  And seriously, F–K Snake Plissken!  Kurt Russell was never better than he was playing sleazebag used car salesman Rudy Russo.  Zemeckis and Gale split up professionally and Zemeckis involved himself with increasingly commercial, but blander projects (“Romancing the Stone,” “Forrest Gump,” “Contact,” and the extremely disturbing-looking computer animated film “Polar Express”).  Yes, I’ll admit the first “Back to the Future” film has its charms, but “Used Cars” was THE BEST Zemeckis and Gale film.   Let’s pour some wine on the ground in honor of what Zemeckis could have been as a director, a wonderful cross between Preston Sturges and John Waters (and if you don’t think that concept is golden, then f–k off!).

1 thought on ““Used Cars” (1980) dir. Robert Zemeckis

  1. Firstly can I thank you for your comment on my Steve Earle blogs. I have a couple more planned but one of them is stuck at “Hey, just listen to this album because it is so great !”.
    That’s a big shout for Zemeckis. Preston Sturges is, in my opinion, the greatest of all film directors. So sophisticated, modern and funny. I show his films to young guys raised on the Coen brothers pointing out the ideas they have pinched & that as fine as John Goodman is, he is not William Demarest.
    I will watch “Used Cars” tonight as I have a quiet Saturday. Tomorrow our crew is actually going to a gig ! Wilko Johnson was a good friend of mine in the Dr Feelgood days. There will probably not be a chance to catch up on old times. It is enough to be going to a place where the music is live and loud.
    Enjoy your weekend. Peace.

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