Van Nuys Blvd. (film)
|Van Nuys Blvd.|
Movie Poster: Van Nuys Boulevard (1979)
|Directed by||William Sachs|
Marilyn Jacobs Tenser|
Newton P. Jacobs
Michael D. Castle
|Written by||William Sachs|
|Edited by||George Bowers|
Van Nuys Blvd. is a 1979 comedy film written and directed by William Sachs and released by Crown International Pictures. It features 1974 Playboy Playmate of the Year Cynthia Wood. The film’s tag line is: "The Greatest Cruisin' in the Land Takes Place on the Street -- Where it all Began..."
The film tells the story of a small-town boy who hears about the wild nights of cruising Van Nuys Boulevard in California. He drives out there to check it out, and gets involved with drag racers, topless dancers and bikers.
Because director William Sachs' style is often rather surrealist, a number of comedic scenes of a police officer on a beach, being handcuffed to his car, show a gradually more and more surrealist tone as the film progresses. In the course of the film, he gets approached by a mysterious biker stealing his possessions, a dog and ultimately, towards the end of the film, his own mother who is worried about her boy while police searches for his location.
The time between the initial ideas for the film and its release was merely three months. It was filmed in eighteen days. For the scene in which two cars are smashed, the director originally wanted the cars to be wrecked completely, with doors flying off and other parts being destroyed. He jokingly recalls that while filming, they discovered that modern cars were better built than expected, so the damage done with hammers and other tools turned out to be not as severe as originally planned.
For locals who see the film, they can laugh when one of the characters dares the other--"Want to do a Raymer?" Raymer Street, next to the Metrolink railroad, is a long straightway street in an industrial zone perfect for "drag racing".
Because the film and therefore cruising on Van Nuys Boulevard became very popular among young people, the Los Angeles Police Department had to close down the street. It is reported that, after the movie was released, people from many places went to cruise on the road. William Sachs recalls one event where people from Japan were cruising the boulevard in Taxis.
The cast includes:
- Bill Adler as Bobby
- Cynthia Wood as Moon
- Dennis Bowen as Greg
- Melissa Prophet as Camille
- David Hayward as Leon Barnes “Chooch”
- Tara Strohmeier as Wanda
- The Kansas City Kings Glitter Girls
[A] good natured summer season comedy...Writer-director William Sachs has taken a fast, light touch.
A film that Sachs intended to be something of a satire of “car movies,” and easily the most technically competent Vansploitation film.
Sachs has directed the proceedings with an affecting light touch.
- "Internet Movie Database: Van Nuys Boulevard".
- Trailer for Van Nuys Blvd. on YouTube
- Audio commentary by William Sachs on the DVD by BCI Eclipse / Mill Creek
- "VFTLA.org: Resume of William Sachs (PDF)" (PDF). Retrieved May 26, 2016.
- "medium.com: Article about van films of the 1970s". Retrieved May 27, 2016.