Saturday, August 29, 2009

Big Three

From a 70's parody to the real thing: Mother, Jugs and Speed. Actually, I think this selection was inspired by the ambulance in Cannonball Run.

Mother is Bill Cosby, the kindly goofball driver at an independent LA ambulance company. Jugs is, of course, Raquel Welch, the secretary/dispatcher who wants to be more. Speed is a newcomer, played by a young Harvey Keitel. He was a cop until he was accused of dealing speed. While on suspension, he joins the ambulance crew.

The presence of the Cos may lead you to suspect a light-hearted romp, say, like Cannonball Run. That's true in a way, but this is an ambulance company. There is a serious body count in this movie. They seem to be hauling more cold than warm meat, and it shows on their temperament. The comedy is pretty black.

That said, it is also pretty funny. It is also very 70's - 1976, to be specific, although it feels a little older, due to the drugs and racial themes. When slimeball driver Larry Hagman offers to take Jugs to a Cat Stevens concert, I thought we were in a parody of the period. Maybe were, but it is a contemporary parody.

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