Jack Hill’s Pit Stop (1969) – An Artful Racing Film

October 1, 2015 | By

Yes, contrary to a sense of hyperbole, the poster is accurate: there is an ax fight.

Arrow Video / MVD Visual’s second Jack Hill release is the underrated, no longer forgotten stock car racing ‘art film’ Pit Stop, shot in 1967 but unreleased until 1969 – a move that didn’t help the film’s chances at the box office, sending it to oblivion for a few decades.

Not unlike Spider Baby, Pit Stop takes unexpected turns in its narrative, which seems to be a typical trait of Hill as writer-director: step away from the conventional, stay fixed on characters, and make sure every scene stays true to their identities.

Pit Stop is also a fascinating time capsule, featuring an insane race track design – a figure 8 – where physical damage to metal and bones was sure to happen at some point.

Arrow’s Blu-ray is another gorgeous special edition, crafted with affection for Hill and a little film that’s partly arty, partly drama, and juicy exploitation.

Coming next: Woody Allen’s A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy (1982) on Blu from Twilight Time, and a pair of indie sci-fi thrillers.




Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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