Fast Company


At first glance, Fast Company seems like a predictable 1970s gearhead film of no special merit, obviously a film which spent more time on drive-in screens than in indoor theaters, but it has several interesting facets which merit some discussion.

First, it was directed by none other than the eccentric Canadian auteur David Cronenberg, although none of his usual bizarre obsessions make an appearance. It is a straightforward movie about the drag racing circuit in Canada and the Pacific Northwest. While it's not quite in Hal Needham's goofy good-ol'-boy territory, it's so mainstream that if someone told you it was directed by a young Ron Howard, you'd shrug your shoulders and accept that fact without suspicion. Why did one of our weirdest sci-fi/horror directors make this realistic, grounded film about such a pedestrian subject? Apparently Cronenberg loves fast cars and considered this a labor of love. Rumor has it that he still has a nostalgic fondness for this rarely-seen film.

Second, the film was the last ever made by the former Playboy Playmate of the Year, Claudia Jennings, who was kind of a staple feature of drive-in flicks in the seventies. Not long after making this film, she fell asleep at the wheel of her VW convertible and died in a fatal car crash. That was a while back as I write this in 2010. If she were still alive, she would now be 60, but she never even saw the sun rise on her 30th birthday. Memento mori.

Third, there is some good old-fashioned seventies-style nudity, and the quality of these clips is excellent. The film was shot well, the original print was competently mastered, and the film is available on Blu-Ray. As I write this many fine films have not yet come to Blu-Ray, but this obscure exploitation film has. Heaven knows why that is true because there can't be that much demand for it. Hell, most people don't even know it exists. Whatever the reason for the disc's existence, it all worked out nicely for those of us interested in screen nudity. Here's the nudity report:

Two female hitchhikers ride in the van of a young racer. Good scene. It ends as they kid shows the girls how to use engine additives in some creative ways. Here is the film clip in which Cheri Hilsabeck and Sonya Ratke show their breasts before and after getting greased up. Neither of them ever appeared in any other film, dressed or undressed, and I don't know which is which. Samples below.

Judy Foster showed her breasts briefly in two different scenes. She appeared in three Canadian movies and some TV guest appearances in minor shows in the late 70s and 80s. Samples below.

To be completely accurate, Claudia Jennings did no nudity, but she appeared in transparent lingerie, which is about as close as you can get to nudity without actually exposing yourself. Samples below.




  • * Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe).

  • * White asterisk: expanded format.

  • * Blue asterisk: not mine.

  • No asterisk: it probably sucks.


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