RACE WITH THE DEVIL (1975)
Section of the cinematic cemetery: Motorhome mayhem
Cause of (premature) death: This low-flying B-movie has gone in and out of distribution since its original DVD release in 2005 making it (sometimes) hard to find. In 2011 it was re-released as part of a Peter Fonda DVD doublefeature with another Fonda film: Dirty Larry, Crazy Mary.
What its tombstone would read: Cross-country camper trip went satanically awry.
Why it should be revived: The atmosphere of this slow-building film starts to get sinister when two couples witness a terrifying crime in an unfamiliar town during their vacation. When the sherif in town insists on undermining their concerns by using the old, “Don’t worry, it’s probably just the hippies” routine, these four know something’s amiss, but what? By the time they figure it out, both they and their house-on-wheels are in for a ride. Blending the car chase and horror genres, this movie knows how to create a suffocating sense of anxiety amid the freedom of the road. High octane and heavy on the occult, even the daylight scenes are creepy in this movie. Watch this if you’re into snake fights, dead pets, Aztec satanism (?!), leery townsfolk, and Peter Fonda in aviators on a dirt bike.