In honor of the seventh (and final) The Fast and the Furious movie, (RIP Paul Walker), arguably the most successful driving movie franchise in film history, Mel Rook & The Seven Deadly Sins presents: The Fast 7: A Furious 7 Inspired Car-Loving Mega-Post.
This will be 7 lists of my 7 favorite car & driving pop culture… things. The Categories: TV, Movies, Video Games, Fantasy Cars, Batmobiles (Batman gets his own category), Sports Cars and ending with my 7 favorite Movie Car Chase Scenes.
To the list(s)…First up television…
My 7 favorite driving TV shows that really know how to cut to the chase.
7. Knight Rider (1982-86)
Created by Glen A. Larson
David Hasselhoff and a talking car. What’s not to love about this cheesy 80’s driving show? KITTs voice. I didn’t like KITTs voice. He should have sounded more like a Cylon.
6. Transporter: The Series (2013-Current)
Based on Transporter by Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen
A decent adaptation of the Transporter movie series (with Jason Statham). At least for one season. The second season of this show was a bit rough after a big cast shake-up. But the first season was so good it should be renewed for a third.
5. Wacky Races (1968)
Produced by William Hanna & Joseph Barbera
Wacky Races was an animated version of the movie The Great Race (1965) with Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood. It was always fun, funny and wacky.
“And they’re off… to a standing start. And why not. They’ve been chained to a post by shifty Dick Dastardly, who shifts into the wrong gear.”
4. The Dukes of Hazzard (1979-85)
Created by Gy Waldron and Jerry Rushing
Two pretty cowboys and their little sister (with the long lovely legs) outrun the local corrupt sheriff (Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane) and his deputies. Waylon Jennings did the narration and sang the theme song. I was not the biggest fan of this show but I loved the car chases, the jumps, the stunts, the bad guys and Daisy Duke.
3. Starsky & Hutch (1975-79)
Created by William Frederick Blinn and Ryan Matthew Blinn
So many alleys to speed down while chasing the crooks. It’s a wonder they didn’t run-over more homeless people than they did. Starsky & Hutch were always jumping on cars and chasing down bad guys. And Huggy Bear was somehow always involved.
Poor Huggy Bear. It’s hard out there for a pimp.. or snitch or whatever he was.
2. CHiPs (1977-83)
Created by Rick Rosner
Yeah, I know the main characters were on motorcycles and not in cars but this show was one big car chase scene… seriously. And every couple of weeks or so there would be a huge 20 to 30 car pile-up on the Interstate highway. Ponch & John. California Highway Patrol… CHiPs.
But my favorite driving show will always be…
1. Speed Racer (1966-68)
Written by Jinzō Toriumi (adapted by Peter Fernandez)
My favorite cartoon growing up. I wanted a Mach 5 so bad… and a monkey. I wanted a monkey to hide in the trunk. (Fishbone dedicated an entire album to the little guy called Chim Chim’s Badass Revenge… one of their best). This show is dated and awful but when I was little it made me happy. And there weren’t a lot of things that made me happy.
My 7 Favorite Driving Games: The seven best and (most fun… for me) driving and racing video games (I go for realism. So these are all about the real cars and not cartoon cars)
7. Gran Turismo (1998 – Playstation)
Developed by Polyphony Digital
The licenses. The music. The mechanics. The best racing franchise and driving simulator of all-time hands down. This is the one that started it all. And these guys were just getting started. I remember having the old beige PS1 and marveling at how pretty this game was.
6. Grand Theft Auto IV (2008 – X-Box 360)
Developed by Rockstar Games
Sure there’s shooting and running around and stuff but the driving was the best thing about it. You could just drive all night listening to the radio. The radio stations were the best. Speeding through the city late at night. Why even play the story. Just get in a car and drive. Or in a truck. Or a motorcycle.
5. Grand Turismo 3: A-spec (2001 – PS2)
Developed by Polyphony Digital
One of the best-selling video games of all-time, Gran Turismo 3: A-spec featured incredibly gorgeous graphics (for that generation) and realistic cars with the opportunity to tweak every aspect of your car’s performance. And the dual-shock controller so you could feel the engine humming and feel every bump on the road.
I would spend hours and hours trying to cut tenths of seconds off my track time, all to the sound of another fantastic soundtrack featuring great songs by The Cardigans and Soul Coughing and Foo Fighters.
4. Burnout Paradise (2008 – PS3)
Developed by Criterion Games
Street racing gone mad. This game was a lot like Grand Theft Auto but without the shooting and with a multi-player mode so you could race other players online.
Not to mention the insanely fun crash mode where head-on crashes are rewarded with points for the more you roll and the more other cars you get involved in the wreckage. So much fun. And a pretty decent soundtrack.
3. Pole Position (1982 – Arcade)
Developed by Namco
The first racing game worth a damn. Pole Position was an arcade favorite of mine. I could spend twenty dollars in quarters just trying to qualify, make pole position and leave my competition in the dust again and again.
2. Pole Position II (1983 – Arcade)
Developed by Namco
I loved this game so much. More tracks and better graphics this time around. It’s just a better game. I can still hear the beeps that started every race. BEEP (red light) BEEP (yellow light) BEEEEEP (green light) Go.
But my favorite driving game is still…
1. Gran Turismo 5 (2010 – PS3)
Developed by Polyphony Digital
I guess there’s something about the odd numbers in this franchise. This game is great. Winning new cars by racing online. Buying used cars. Collecting different drivers for your friends to race against while you were offline in the cool B-spec mode. Coming back online to collect your winnings. This game is awesome.
Not to mention the addition of NASCAR and more difficult licenses (How do they drive those heavy-ass cars?) and more downloadable tracks. Gran Turismo 5 is still my favorite racing game. Perhaps the greatest racing game of all-time.
I don’t have a PS4 yet but if I were to get one it would be because I wanted the newest Gran Turismo game when it comes out. But for now I’m still playing 5. (I skipped 6 because there was nothing new). So Gran Turismo 5 is still my go to game when I feel the need for speed. My favorite.
My 7 Favorite Driving Movies.
7. Drive (2011)
Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
Written by Hossein Amini Based on Drive by James Sallis
Starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman, Oscar Isaac & Christina Hendricks
It’s in the title. This movie is like a meditation. Great cast. Lots of tension. Good driving scenes. The best Ryan Gosling in my opinion. Great driving throughout.
6. The Fast and the Furious (2001)
Directed by Rob Cohen
Written by Gary Scott Thompson, Erik Bergquist & David Ayer Based on “Racer X” by Ken Li
Starring Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Rick Yune, Chad Lindberg, Johnny Strong & Ted Levine
The first one is the best one (actually it’s the only good one). Hot girls and fast cars and street racing. What else do you need? Well… A better plot for one. Better acting for two. Better directing for three. But for a car and racing fan it’s still a lot of fun.
5. The Transporter (2002)
Directed by Louis Leterrier & Corey Yuen
Written by Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen
Starring Jason Statham, Shu Qi, François Berléand & Matt Schulze
Great driving. Yes. But this movie is all about Jason Statham kicking serious ass. And he’s very hot. There’s something about Jason Statham that is very very hot.
4. Bullitt (1968)
Directed by Peter Yates
Written by Alan R. Trustman & Harry Kleiner Based on Mute Witness by Robert L. Fish
Starring Steve McQueen, Robert Vaughn & Jacqueline Bisset
You can’t list the best driving movies without including Bullitt and his bad-ass Mustang. With one of the best car chase scenes of all-time (maybe even the best), Steve McQueen and Bullitt comes in at number four on my list of great driving movies.
3. Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)
Directed by Dominic Sena
Written by Scott Rosenberg Based on the movie Gone in 60 Seconds (1974) by H.B. Halicki
Starring Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Giovanni Ribisi & Delroy Lindo
I love this movie because while Nicholas Cage is Nicholas Cage-ing, Angelina Jolie is Angelina Jolie-ing. And a lot of cool cars.
Everybody is stealing cars and out-running cops and looking cool while doing it. I love Gone in 60 Seconds. It’s one of the coolest movies of all-time.
2. The Cannonball Run (1981)
Directed Hal Needham
Written by Brock Yates
Starring Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Farrah Fawcett, Jackie Chan, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. & Dom DeLuise
Classic driving comedy with Burt Reynolds and a cast of hundreds racing across country. It was kind of raunchy for its time but tame by today’s standards. Still loads of fun if a little dated and a tad bit racist and sexist and.. we were crappy people back then. But you know… it was the 80’s. We were all on coke.
With the added bonus of both Adrienne Barbeau and Farrah Fawcett in the prime of their hotness, The Cannonball Run is what you get if you took Wacky Races, The Fast and the Furious and the Burnout Paradise game then threw in every famous actor from the 70’s.
A young Jackie Chan, Dom DeLuise, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Roger Moore and cameos galore. This is one crazy movie. They made two more but they never came close to matching the magic from the first one.
However my favorite driving movie is…
1. Speed Racer (2008)
Written & Directed by The Wachowskis
Based on Speed Racer by Tatsuo Yoshida
Starring Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci, John Goodman, Susan Sarandon, Matthew Fox, Benno Fürmann, Hiroyuki Sanada, Rain & Richard Roundtree
Incredibly campy and colorful, the Wachovski brought the Speed Racer cartoon to the big screen with unapologetic enthusiasm. Maybe a little too much. But the racing scenes are some of the most exciting and acrobatic racing ever on film. I usually go for realism but these races are anything but real. The laws of physics need not apply. The cars skid around on impossibly shaped tracks that look like they were built from Matchbox and Hot Wheels tracks welded together by… well… by me as a kid. They look like they were put together by me. I love this movie so much. The cars don’t so much as race. The cars battle each other like high-flying martial artists on wires. Which, as far as I can remember, was the spirit of the original Speed Racer cartoons. Pass the cereal.
I love this movie. And it got such a bad rap. I saw a review on-line that was just a picture of a plastic Mach 5 with a dog turd on top of it (seriously). The Wachovski’s say this was a movie for the Speed Racer fans. And they are correct. Because I am a Speed Racer fan. And this is a really bad bad bad bad really bad movie… that I loved. Don’t judge me.
Fantasy Cars (Non-Batmobile Division)
My 7 Favorite Fantasy Cars: The seven coolest fictional cars that aren’t the Batmobile. But no hovercraft. If it doesn’t roll on the ground at some point, it ain’t on this list.
7. KITT (Knight Rider 1982)
I didn’t like the voice of the original KITT. It sounded kind of whiny and too human but I loved the controls and the special gadgets and weapons.
I loved that the steering wheel looked like a game controller for a flight simulator.
6. DeLorean Time Machine (Back to the Future 1985)
One, it was a DeLorean. Two, it was a time machine. And three, that baby could fly. “Roads? where we’re going we don’t need roads.”
But the best part about it was that it was a freaking time machine… in a DeLorean.
5. Aston Martin DB5 (Goldfinger 1964)
The classic Aston Martin. James Bond’s first tricked out car. Still one of the best. And you can’t beat the classics. You never forget your first car. Revolving license plates. Bullet proof shields. The tire slashers in the wheel hub. Smoke screen. Oil slick. Machine guns in the front. And say it with me people… Ejector Seat on the passenger side.
Bond: Ejector seat? You’re joking!
Q: I never joke about my work, 007
4. Lotus Espirit (The Spy Who Loved Me 1977)
I put the Lotus above the Aston Martin on this list because It’s part car, part submarine… all bad-ass. This was the coolest James Bond car because of how the dashboard changed to the submarine controls and the periscope when it submerged.
And of course the torpedoes in the front were handy for dealing with those sharks with the freaking lasers on their freaking heads..
3. The Mach 5 (Speed Racer 1967)
You were expecting something else?
Look at these buttons. Look at them! Eat your heart out, James Bond.
The Mach 5 was the best. My favorite one of its gadgets was the auto jacks underneath that made the car jump over obstacles. I know. I know. It wouldn’t be possible in real life. But it was still cool to me as a kid. The laws of physics be damned. BOING
2. Lola (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D 2013)
Lola is a Chevrolet Corvette C1 already a cool classic car but Agent Coulson had it modified so that she can float like a hover craft and fly like a jet..
But Coulson takes pains to remind everyone that she’s still the same Corvette where it counts; underneath… and don’t touch her. Don’t touch Lola. Flying cars rock.
So my number one favorite is…
1. Blade Runner Police Spinner (Blade Runner 1982)
There have been many movies with flying cars in them. Fifth Element had flying cars but they weren’t really cars they were hover vehicles shaped like cars. Others have had what were essentially airplanes that looked like cars. Harry Potter made a car fly but was it designed to do that? The Jetson’s flew but they never rolled so that’s not a car. Luke’s car was a land speeder. So just another freaking hovercraft. And we’ve already seen Lola.
The best flying cars were the Spinners from Blade Runner (quite possibly the best film ever made). This is how you do flying cars, people. Gorgeous design. Function, form, realism. If there were flying cars today, you know only the police would have them. Police, Fire Department, EMT… no one else would fly.
Fantasy Cars (Batmobile Division)
My 7 Favorite Batmobiles
7. The Batmobile (from Batman Forever 1995)
Directed by Joel Schumacher
Say what you want about the movie but at least The Batmobile was pretty… pretty phallic. Form over function in every single way. And most definitely penis shaped. Am I right?
6. The Batmobile (from Batman the TV Series 1966)
Created by William Dozier
“Atomic batteries to power. Turbines to speed.” I loved this show growing up. Almost as much as I loved Speed Racer. (Didn’t think I could sneak in another Speed Racer reference did you?) A bunch of cool gadgets including a saw blade in the front to cut tow cables, a car phone and computer terminal. (This was in the 60s people)
5. The Bat Tumbler (from Batman Begins, The Dark Knight & The Dark Knight Rises 2005, 2008 & 2012)
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Function over form. I love it. An all-terrain tank with a low center of gravity. Definitely the most practical of all the Batmobiles. Speed, weapons and armor.
4. The Batmobile (from Batman: The Animated Series 1992)
Developed by Bruce Timm & Eric Radomski
Art Deco gorgeousness. The best Batman series by far was Batman: The Animated Series. Some of the best writing of the Batman universe. And the artwork had a classic cartoon feel like something from the 40s. This was close to Tim Burton’s Batmobile but with sleeker lines and that gorgeous Art Deco style.
3. The Batmobile (from Batman & Batman Returns 1989-92)
Directed by Tim Burton
More function than form but still very pretty. Part tank, part sports car. The grappling hook for sharp turns was a nice touch. This car was hot.
And of course the voice-activated impenetrable shielding for when Batman had to get out.
2. The Batmobile (from Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice 2016)
Directed by Zack Snyder
Speaking of tanks, tumblers and sports cars that double as Swiss army knives… The new Batmobile is sick. Deadly and sick. More of a Mech than a mobile. This bad boy is ready for battle. I predict some serious destruction.
Outstanding. I just hope the movie lives up to the hype this new Batmobile has generated.
But my favorite Batmobile is not a mobile at all… I’m sorry. I have to cheat here because this thing is bad-ass. Absolutely bad-ass. It’s the…
1. The Bat Pod/ Bat Cycle (from The Dark Knight & The Dark Knight Rises 2008 & 2012)
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Everything about it is appealing. The way it turns. The front-mounted guns. The controls. The suspension. The way Catwoman looks when she’s riding it. The way Heath’s Joker looks when he’s jousting with it. The Bat Pod rocks.
This thing is amazing and I want one. I want one now. Right now.
But it’s not real. So let’s talk about real cars that I still can’t have…
Sports Cars (Real Cars)
My 7 Favorite Real Cars: The seven coolest cars I would own if I were obnoxiously wealthy, juvenile, in the midst of a mid-life crisis and doubted my sexual prowess.
In other words… Penis mobiles.
7. Ford Mustang Mach 1
I love a Mustang. If I owned this I would never drive slow. Never. ‘I’m going to the store. I’ll be back in exactly 5 seconds.”
6. Shelby GT500 Cobra
Not as penis-y as the others but just as powerful and gorgeous.
5. Corvette Z06
Sweet ride and I even like the color. Sing it, Prince. “Little Yellow Corvette…”
4. Jaguar E-Type
If that’s not a penis mobile. I don’t know what is. It’s a Jaguar.
3. Tesla Roadster
I had to include a Tesla on this list. They make electric sexy. I want this one in black.
2. Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR-X
Hell yeah. Hell fucking yeah. Hurry up and build that highway between Alaska and Siberia so I can drive around the world in this. From cape to cape… Yeah baby.
1. Porsche 918 Spyder
The kind of car you jump into while wearing driving gloves and a scarf.. because, you know, it gets cold when you’re driving fast. Porsche. There is no substitute.
And the last category in my car loving mega post…
Car Chase Scenes
My 7 Favorite Chase Scenes (from non-racing movies… because in racing movies every other scene is a car chase. The whole damn thing is a car chase)
7. Matrix Reloaded (2003)
Super exciting motorcycle chase from another Wachovski film that gets a bad rap.
6. Die Another Day (2002)
An amazing car battle between James Bond’s tricked out Aston Martin and an equally tricked out Jaguar.
5. The Blues Brothers (1980)
They drive through a mall. ’nuff said.
4. The Bourne Identity (2002)
I love the European car chases because the streets are narrower and every so often there’s a flight of stairs in the way.
3. Ronin (1998)
This tunnel chase is off the freaking chain.
2. The French Connection (1971)
This is one of the best chase scenes ever. This blows me away every time I see it.
But at number one with a bullet…
1. Bullitt (1968)
Arguably the best car chase ever. But on this list it just beats out The French Connection by a car length. The French Connection comes in second only because there is just one car in the chase. But that William Friedkin subway chase is incredible.
I hope you enjoyed my Car-Loving Mega Post. And I hope you enjoy Furious 7 in theaters on Friday. (or not. Honestly, I’ve only seen the first one… and I love cars)
What’s your favorite car chase? car game? car movie? car show? Did I miss yours? Let me know in the comments.
Catch you later,