Fast Company


1h 20m 1979

Film Details

MPAA Rating
R
Genre
Comedy
Release Date
1979
Location
Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Synopsis

Crew

Phil Adams

Stunts

Jon Anderson

Camera Operator

Gary Armstrong

Other

Roger Bate

Gaffer

Gordie Bonin

Stunts

Gary Bourgeois

Sound

Caryl Brandt

Production Manager

Terry Burke

Sound Effects Editor

Gail Carr

Casting

Bruce Carwardine

Sound Effects Editor

Bette Chadwick

Casting

Sherry Cohen

Production Coordinator

David Cronenberg

Screenplay

Neil Dainard

Other

Mark Damien

Stunts

Bryan Day

Sound

Thomas L. Fisher

Special Effects

Isabelle Foord

Production Assistant

Geoff Goodwin

Other

Margaret Hanley

Script Supervisor

Margaret Hanly

Continuity

Joan Hodgins

Hair

Bob Holmes

Best Boy

Robert Holmes

Camera Operator

John Hunter

Other

Mark Irwin

Director Of Photography

Mark Irwin

Other

Maris H. Jansons

Key Grip

Jim Kaufman

Assistant Director

Peter Lauterman

Property Master

Michael M Lebowitz

Producer

Graham Light

Technical Advisor

Jim Long

Assistant Director

Dave Mcaree

Props Assistant

Bat Mcgrath

Song Performer

Richard Mead

Production Assistant

Robin Miller

Camera Assistant

Fred Mollin

Music

Fred Mollin

Song Performer

Fred Mollin

Music Arranger

Fred Mollin

Song

Larry Mollin

Song

Robert Murphy

Production Assistant

Jan Newman

Makeup

Peter O'brian

Producer

Bob Papirnick

Stunts

Ken Pappes

Boom Operator

Wendy Partridge

Wardrobe Assistant

David M Perlmutter

Executive Producer

Rick Porter

Photography

Walley Protz

Technical Advisor

Ronald Sanders

Editor

Phil Savath

Screenplay

Courtney Smith

Screenplay

Courtney Smith

Producer

Carol Spier

Art Director

Michael Stanely

Song Performer

Arnie Stewart

Sound Editor

Madeleine Stewart

Wardrobe Assistant

David Street

Sound Editor

Christopher Tate

Boom Operator

John Thomas

Special Effects Assistant

Alan Treen

Story By

Alan Treen

From Story

Jerry Verheul

Other

Peter Von King

Special Effects Assistant

Delphine White

Costumes

Lee Wright

Grip

Film Details

MPAA Rating
R
Genre
Comedy
Release Date
1979
Location
Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Articles

Fast Company on DVD


A David Cronenberg drag racing film? Yep, the Canadian director whose career started with visceral but unusually smart horror movies (Rabid, Scanners) and continued with top-notch films from "unfilmable" novels (Naked Lunch, Crash, Spider) has one real anomaly in his filmography. That's 1979's rarely seen Fast Company, a tale of souped-up cars, drag racers and the women who love them, pretty much in that order. Now the film is available in an extras-laden DVD from Blue Underground (though Cronenberg-philes will want to spring for a limited-edition two-disc version that includes the rare early shorts Stereo and Crimes of the Future).

Fast Company is a 70s B-movie through and through. Lonnie, nicknamed Lucky Man and played by William Smith (Red Dawn, Any Which Way You Can), is an aging drag racer bankrolled by a large oil company called FastCo. The company representative (John Saxon) is a scheming sleazeball only interested in money no matter what its source. Toss in Lonnie's up-and-coming driver protege, a competing driver and a long-distance girlfriend (exploitation queen Claudia Jennings in her final role) and it's not hard to see the slots where everything fits.

What doesn't quite fit is Fast Company's place in Cronenberg's career. There's nothing of the fascination with extremes of behavior that mark his other films and while it has a sharp and striking visual appeal (courtesy cinematographer Mark Irwin who worked on five other Cronenberg films) Fast Company is really an of-the-moment film that's briefly entertaining but soon fades away. The acting has a pressed-for-time bluntness that's entirely appropriate for the subject, the music is embarassing sub-Springsteen (some of it by third-tier rocker Michael Stanley) and you're not going to be surprised by anything. In fact it looks like Cronenberg was more interested in the drag racing than the characters since quasi-documentary segments make up big chunks of the film (at one point even including a superimposed time clock to measure a race's progress).

Still, forget the Cronenberg connection and Fast Company has some drive-in charm. William Smith's filmography stretches to almost 300 films and he displays some of the weathered charisma that sustained such a run. Despite being second-billed Jennings isn't in the film much, really appearing only in the second half (despite a brief phone-call sequence earlier that looks like a post-production reshoot). Even then she doesn't have much to do. In real life Jennings' career and personal life had been going through a rough patch (she had just been passed over as a replacment in Charlies Angels apparently due to the network's uneasiness about her Playboy past) and it's possible either that her role was reduced or she was brought in purely for marquee value. John Saxon, of course, is one of those actors who bring a welcome intensity to any role they play and he keeps the potentially one-dimensional promoter plausible and at times almost more substantial than the "good guys."

The disc extras include interviews with Saxon, William Smith and Mark Irwin but the highlight is an amiable commentary by Cronenberg that actually makes Fast Company more appealing. It's an interesting look into the tricks and turns of low-budget filmmaking, going from financing to sound design to second-unit work, but also discussing aspects of real-life drag racing culture. That's something Cronenberg knew a bit about since he had a serious interest in various forms of auto racing that led to making Fast Company. He addresses the film's status as apparently non-auteur work-for-hire by pointing out that, as with any artist, there are a lot of things personally important to him which never appear in his films. Overall, he hits the point when he says, "I really wanted it to be a classic B-movie with the things that are lovable about B-movies." Fast Company isn't a classic but at least deserved to be rescued from near-oblivion.

For more information about Fast Company, visit Blue Underground. To order Fast Company, go to TCM Shopping.

by Lang Thompson
Fast Company On Dvd

Fast Company on DVD

A David Cronenberg drag racing film? Yep, the Canadian director whose career started with visceral but unusually smart horror movies (Rabid, Scanners) and continued with top-notch films from "unfilmable" novels (Naked Lunch, Crash, Spider) has one real anomaly in his filmography. That's 1979's rarely seen Fast Company, a tale of souped-up cars, drag racers and the women who love them, pretty much in that order. Now the film is available in an extras-laden DVD from Blue Underground (though Cronenberg-philes will want to spring for a limited-edition two-disc version that includes the rare early shorts Stereo and Crimes of the Future). Fast Company is a 70s B-movie through and through. Lonnie, nicknamed Lucky Man and played by William Smith (Red Dawn, Any Which Way You Can), is an aging drag racer bankrolled by a large oil company called FastCo. The company representative (John Saxon) is a scheming sleazeball only interested in money no matter what its source. Toss in Lonnie's up-and-coming driver protege, a competing driver and a long-distance girlfriend (exploitation queen Claudia Jennings in her final role) and it's not hard to see the slots where everything fits. What doesn't quite fit is Fast Company's place in Cronenberg's career. There's nothing of the fascination with extremes of behavior that mark his other films and while it has a sharp and striking visual appeal (courtesy cinematographer Mark Irwin who worked on five other Cronenberg films) Fast Company is really an of-the-moment film that's briefly entertaining but soon fades away. The acting has a pressed-for-time bluntness that's entirely appropriate for the subject, the music is embarassing sub-Springsteen (some of it by third-tier rocker Michael Stanley) and you're not going to be surprised by anything. In fact it looks like Cronenberg was more interested in the drag racing than the characters since quasi-documentary segments make up big chunks of the film (at one point even including a superimposed time clock to measure a race's progress). Still, forget the Cronenberg connection and Fast Company has some drive-in charm. William Smith's filmography stretches to almost 300 films and he displays some of the weathered charisma that sustained such a run. Despite being second-billed Jennings isn't in the film much, really appearing only in the second half (despite a brief phone-call sequence earlier that looks like a post-production reshoot). Even then she doesn't have much to do. In real life Jennings' career and personal life had been going through a rough patch (she had just been passed over as a replacment in Charlies Angels apparently due to the network's uneasiness about her Playboy past) and it's possible either that her role was reduced or she was brought in purely for marquee value. John Saxon, of course, is one of those actors who bring a welcome intensity to any role they play and he keeps the potentially one-dimensional promoter plausible and at times almost more substantial than the "good guys." The disc extras include interviews with Saxon, William Smith and Mark Irwin but the highlight is an amiable commentary by Cronenberg that actually makes Fast Company more appealing. It's an interesting look into the tricks and turns of low-budget filmmaking, going from financing to sound design to second-unit work, but also discussing aspects of real-life drag racing culture. That's something Cronenberg knew a bit about since he had a serious interest in various forms of auto racing that led to making Fast Company. He addresses the film's status as apparently non-auteur work-for-hire by pointing out that, as with any artist, there are a lot of things personally important to him which never appear in his films. Overall, he hits the point when he says, "I really wanted it to be a classic B-movie with the things that are lovable about B-movies." Fast Company isn't a classic but at least deserved to be rescued from near-oblivion. For more information about Fast Company, visit Blue Underground. To order Fast Company, go to TCM Shopping. by Lang Thompson

Quotes

What are you gonna do now?
- Elder
We will enjoy our life.
- Lonnie 'Lucky Man' Johnson
Yes, at least for one week.
- Sammy

Trivia

Finnish video release's cover sheet mentions Jodie Foster having a role in this movie. Actually Judy Foster is in the cast.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1979

Released in United States June 1979

Completed shooting August 29, 1978.

Began shooting July 21, 1978.

Neil Dainerd's role is uncredited.

Released in Edmunton, Alberta May 18, 1979.

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1979

Released in United States June 1979