4.1/10
193
8 user 28 critic

Supervan (1977)

PG | | Action, Comedy | March 1977 (USA)
A man named Clint enters a solar-powered van called Vandora into a competition called Freakout.

Director:

Lamar Card

Writers:

John Arnoldy (story), Robert Easter (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Schneider ... Clint Morgan
Katie Saylor ... Karen Trenton
Morgan Woodward ... T.B. Trenton
Len Lesser ... Banks
Skip Riley Skip Riley ... Vince
Bruce Kimball Bruce Kimball ... Sarge
Tom Kindle Tom Kindle ... Boseley
George Barris ... King of the Customizers
Jerry Stark ... Janitor
John Chambers John Chambers ... Preacher
Don Ramsey Don Ramsey ... Cop
Ralph Seeley Ralph Seeley ... Clint's Father
Richard Sobek Richard Sobek ... Grinder
Julie Rush Julie Rush ... Waitress
Vic Jolley Vic Jolley ... Jailer
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Storyline

Mark Schneider plays a restless young man who quits his job at his dad's garage because he's "got a chance to do something." Specifically, he's got a chance to drive his van "The Sea Witch"-emblazoned with his CB handle, Morgan The Pirate-to The Invitational Freak-Out, a "van-in" held in Kansas City, where custom van owners gather to smoke weed, screw in the woods, and show off their machines for cash and prizes. Along the way, though, Schneider meets Katie Saylor, a rich runaway who's been detained at a junkyard by "a couple of friendly bikers on their way to a rape." Schneider saves Saylor, but in the process, The Sea Witch gets crushed by a compactor. So Schneider goes to see a friend who's a rebel auto designer, and the friend offers Schneider and Saylor Vandora, a solar-powered van that was rejected by the fat cats at Mid-American Motors. Written by Noel Murray

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Get That Free Wheelin' Feelin' See more »

Genres:

Action | Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

March 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

SuperVan See more »

Filming Locations:

Savannah, Missouri, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Empire Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There were scale reproductions sold as merchandising for the film, which is unusual for the genre. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jay Leno's Garage: Child at Heart (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Good Buddy
Sung by Vandora Express
Written by Andy DiMartino, Mark Mercury (as Mark Gibbons) and Ron Johnson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A man with a van and a plan.
30 December 2017 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

Mark Schneider ('Santa Barbara') stars as Clint Morgan, a young man who wants to strike out on his own rather than follow the path that his father has set for him. He plans on entering his van in a "Freakout Competition" for vanners, with his eyes on the $5000 grand prize. However, his van gets totalled after he saves Karen (Katie Saylor, "Invasion of the Bee Girls") from being raped, and her attackers give pursuit. But good fortune comes his way: good friend Bosley (TV veteran Tom Kindle) has designed a futuristic, solar powered "super van" dubbed "Vandora" which he lets Clint use. This puts Clint at odds with Karens' arrogant fat cat father T.B. Trenton (Morgan Woodward, "Moonshine County Express"), an auto industry hot shot who's already entered his own "Trenton Trucker" into the event.

"Supervan" is no great shakes; it doesn't have much of a story, for one thing. But it's still pretty good fun for lovers of 1970s drive-in cinema. It's got a respectable amount of vehicular action and stunts, a healthy dose of comedy, a wonderful soundtrack, and is overall an amiable, appealing portrait of "vanner" culture in the 70s. Some of these vans are quite impressive in their designs and art. Legendary custom vehicle creator George Barris designed the title mode of transportation, and also appears in the film as himself. Director Lamar Card ("The Clones") keeps it all reasonably upbeat and never too unpleasant, while still understanding the requirements of an exploitation picture from this era. (There are several loving close-up shots of ladies in wet T-shirts.) Adding a goofy, science fiction element is the fact that this van is equipped with a laser gun (!), allowing for a few cheesy effects.

Attractive couple Schneider and Saylor are engaging leads, and Kindle is likewise endearing in his key supporting role. Len "Uncle Leo" Lesser turns up as a cop, and Bruce Kimball ("Drive In Massacre") as Trentons' flunky. But the show is often stolen by excellent veteran character actor Woodward, who seems to be relishing the opportunity to chew on the scenery in some scenes.

If you're into vans, or just exploitation cinema in general, you're sure to have a decent time with this one.

Seven out of 10.


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