Cannonball is a pretty interesting film that is a lot more thoughtful than the excitable poster and ads imply, perhaps having more in common with Vanishing Point and Two-Lane Blacktop than Death Race 2000. Nevertheless, it certainly delivers on the carquaking action. And watch out for small, sometimes uncredited appearances from Sylvester Stallone, Martin Scorsese, Roger Corman, Joe Dante, Allan Arkush, Jonathan Kaplan, Carl Gottlieb and Bartel himself, making this perhaps the film with the most director cameos ever made.
For monster movie-fixated kids at the time, however, The Giant Spider Invasion was the main attraction, even if it was officially at the bottom of the bill. Even at the time, though, kids quickly picked up on the fact that this was low-rent stuff with hilariously bad special effects. But shoddy giant spiders are still giant spiders, and with the addition of more gruesomeness than was usually found in ‘A’ certificate films (though this was the era of Jaws, Grizzly and Tentacles all having a similar rating, suggesting a strange blind spot from the censors when it came to oversized monsters) and the brief nudity, all of which would not pass as family entertainment now.
Online video allowing, we’ll seek out more classic double bills to share with you in the future.