Blue Underground adds to its impressive catalogue with this hot release of the David Cronenberg exploitation gem, Fast Company. Delivering not only a gorgeous version of the film, the DVD is stuffed with extras that highlight the director and even his later projects. Technically, the disc is a dream, starting with the anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen transfer supervised by cinematographer Mark Irwin and struck from the original negative. With little-to-no age marks and rich colors throughout the film, Fast Company now belies its drive-in roots thanks to attention to detail -- something that is enriched even more by the sound mixes. Four audio options are included, with the highlights being the 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround EX and 6.1 DTS ES tracks. Full of depth, clear of distortion, and rip-roarin' when the engines are gunned, it's hard to say whether the film ever warranted such a high level treatment, though any gripes should be thrown out of the window after feeling your teeth rattle in the racing scenes. If that weren't enough, there's also a Dolby Surround 2.0 track along with the Original Mono mix for those looking to relive the grindhouse feel.
As far as extras go, you can't get any better than a David Cronenberg commentary. Sure, he's got the monotone thing going, but that will always be who he is, and never will it take away from your appreciation of what the man has to say. Fast Company always seemed to be the black sheep in the director's filmography, though you'll find that much of what propelled the film directly corresponds to many of his interests and hobbies. Cronenberg has been a car enthusiast most of his life, and after hearing him talk about the various "firsts" that they achieved in Canadian filmmaking and the true love he has for this particular time and place, the bigger picture just seems to make sense with this somewhat simple flick. The high-quality extras continue with a 12-minute interview with star William Smith and cult favorite John Saxon, along with a 14-minute interview with Irwin that covers his collaborative years with the director. The theatrical trailer, an extensive photo gallery, and a Claudia Jennings bio have also been included on the disc. Also released in a two-disc Limited Edition that includes both Stereo and Crimes of the Future, this disc is a must-own for any fan of this acclaimed director.
Fast Company Amidst such formative shockers as Shivers, Rabid and The Brood, writer/director David Cronenberg dashed off this semi-documentary. Fast Company relates the life story of race car champion Lonnie Johnson. The ubiquitous William Smith, veteran of many a low-budget cycle flick, is quite convincing as Johnson. The film does not shirk in its depiction of the principal character's womanizing, which in itself is surprisingly endearing. Cronenberg also offers an indictment against corporate sponsors who tend to squeeze drivers like Johnson dry of all their salability. And, of course, we're offered plenty of breathtaking racing scenes, some of them real, others skillfully reenacted. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi