Directed by: A.J. Prowse
Screenplay: Patrick Edgeworth
Starring: Sam Jones, Catherine Bach, Don Swayze, Billy Blanks
A post Flash Gordon Sam Jones and Don, brother of Patrick, Swayze star in this groovy slice of vehicular mayhem exploitation which features a lot more drama that one may expect from a film featuring Mad Max style pickup trucks causing damage on the highways. Jones is Steve who takes a job working for a highway clean up crew so he can earn a wage and keep custody of his young daughter. He drives a souped up and armoured pick up truck listening out for road accidents so he can get to them before Don Swayze’s Nelson and his crew (including a pre Talons of the Eagle and TC 2000 Billy Blanks: cool!) get there first: whoever clears the wrecks first, gets paid. With Steve now on the roads business is down for Nelson and he sets to fix this by any means necessary. Meanwhile Steve also has his pesky in laws to deal with who are trying to gain custody of their granddaughter, also by any means necessary.
Driving Force is basically a blue-collar exploitation flick. While is features it fair share of vehicular action and destruction much of the narrative is concerned with Steve’s blossoming relationship with Dukes of Hazard hottie Catherine Bach, his fight to keep hold of his daughter and his ongoing grudge with Nelson. Steve is just a good guy trying to do right. This might sound lame for a flick called Driving Force and while it’s disappointing there wasn't more truck stunt action, this is still a solid little B-movie. Jones is very good as the constantly put upon Steve, his relationship with Bach feels real and while Swayze is as scuzzy as ever his character is actually dying from cancer giving him a sort of doesn't care if he lives or dies attitude which gives his bad guy an interesting dynamic. While it never really feels sci-fi, Driving Force is set in a not too distant future meaning all the trucks are suitably Mad Max in design. We even get a cool scene where Steve and his mate tool up and overhaul his truck, a la The A-Team, making it a badass machine for the final showdown.
Much of the dueling truck stunt action comes in the second half with an impressive showdown featuring several trucks battling one another, crashing, smashing, playing chicken and generally exploding. Its cool stuff all delivered in old school style with stunt drivers being put through their paces. There could have been a bit more of this but what there is, is good stuff. Driving Force is probably the best, and only, futuristic truck chase family drama you are ever likely to see but it’s actually pretty decent and one of Sam Jones’ better entries in his low budget action movie career.
Keep on truckin’!