Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Even after mulling it over a couple of days, I can't decide if Motorama has some deep meaning OR if it's just weird for the sake of being weird...."not that there's anything wrong with that" (last quote was for all of you Seinfeld junkies). I do know that it was beautifully shot and the direction was spot on and surprisingly, especially since the star is a 10 year old boy (in real life, I think he was 12), the acting was top notch.
Motorama begins with Gus working in his basement while his parents argue upstairs. We find he's working on a set of leg extensions, which will enable him to drive the cherry red Mustang he has stolen. Gus leaves on a cross country trip through what can only be described as The United States in an alternate reality. Along the way, he becomes obsessed with collecting contest cards from Chimera Gas Stations. Collecting all of the letters M-O-T-O-R-A-M-A will make Gus eligible for the $500 million cash prize.
For most of the movie, Motorama is pure road movie, as Gus travels from gas station to gas station collecting Motorama Cards and meeting different characters along his journey. A few of these meetings are where this blog and Motorama cross paths. The first is when Gus cashes in his piggy bank change at the bank, the teller is Martha Quinn of MTV fame. Later in the movie, Gus crosses paths with two actual musicians: When Gus is eating at a restaurant he meets a dimwitted bus boy played by Flea from The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Later in the movie, Gus goes into a biker bar where he is forced into an arm wrestling contest with one of the guys hanging out there, Vern, who is played by Meat Loaf. Although he isn't in the movie, Andy Summers of The Police composed the soundtrack for Motorama.
I'm not going to delve very much into the plot, since I think Motorama is best watched without the viewer having a lot of prior knowledge of what is going to happen. I will tell you that the last 15 minutes might throw you for a loop and cause you to say WTF. Speaking of a WTF moment there is a "bonus trailer" on the DVD, which turns out to be for Joe Dirt starring David Spade. Much like myself, this may cause you once again to say WTF, but then again, maybe it's just the perfect mindbender ending for the DVD.
I couldn't find a trailer on youtube for Motorama, however, you can watch the whole movie in parts there. Instead I'm including a video of Meat Loaf doing a great version of Ram Jam's "Black Betty", a song that will always make you drive your car just a little faster.