Deadline Autotheft

Deadline Autotheft

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Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: H.B. Halicki

Producer: H.B. Halicki

Deadline Autotheft Review


I can't tell you how many hours it took me to figure out the strange pedigree of Deadline Autotheft. Here's the story.

Billed on a new DVD with Gone in 60 Seconds 2, Deadline is listed as the third movie in a trilogy of Gone in 60 Seconds movies. Not the 2000 Nicolas Cage movie (which was a remake of these films), a series of films of sorts produced in the 1970s and 1980s. Only director (and producer/writer/star) H.B. Halicki died during the production of Gone in 60 Seconds 2, which was unfinished and never released. So how did Deadline Autotheft come to be? Well, I've never seen the original 60 Seconds, but it appears that Autotheft is just a reissue of that film (and judging by the sideburns, it's gotta be) with a little 1980s footage (from a film called The Junkman) spliced into it. Watching the flick, it's jarring and strange, and oddly compelling, much like, ahem, watching a car wreck.

If you're familiar with any of the 60 Seconds films, you know the story: Elite car thief has scant time to deliver 40 cars, stolen according to specific needs. They're named after women and represent some of the rarest cars in the world. Really this is an excuse to execute a ton of car chases and a triple-digit number of car crashes, as our bushy-haired heroes speed throughout the greater Long Beach area with Smokey in pursuit. There isn't much more to the movie than this, though some of the moments (newscaster interviewing elderly couple about seeing a police shootout) are hysterical in their quirky badness.

Gone in 60 Seconds/Deadline Autotheft deserves cult status and perhaps with this DVD release it will get it. Included on the disc is the 30 minutes of Gone in 60 Seconds 2 that still exist -- featuring a Battlebots-looking wedge car called "The Slicer" (kids yell "Slicer!" as it goes by) -- and introductions to both movies from Halicki's widow. She smiles a lot, maybe too much. Apparently after 20 years she's happy to be making a little money on this deal. Also worth activating is the "crash count" feature, which keeps a running tally of how many cars get wrecked during both films. In 60 Seconds 2, it's over 250 vehicles in just 30 minutes!


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Deadline Autotheft Rating

" Grim "

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