As a point of comparison, the remake cost roughly 200 times as much to make in real dollars. It highlights something that has been much on my mind these last few years: psychotronic film has gone mainstream.
Or has it? Because when films like Gone in 60 Seconds or Parts: The Clonus Horror are remade, they lose their individuality. They become just another blockbuster. That doesn’t make them bad. But it does mean that there is a certain sameness to them that is the result of getting the full blockbuster treatment.
Gone in 60 Seconds
Gone in 60 Seconds was created by HB Halicki. He was the son of a towing company family who started his own in southern California. He did some work in and around the independent film scene before he decided to make the film.
With the exception of editor Warner E Leighton, Halicki relied primarily on an inexperienced crew. And yet, the results are exceptional. People mostly talk about the 40-minute car chase that ends the film. But I’m more impressed with the first hour.
One exceptional aspect of the film is all the inside information that it provides — from car theft to police work to the insurance industry. It all comes off like a really exciting documentary.
It’s also beautifully shot. When I first saw it, I figured that Halicki must have hired an experienced camera operator and cinematographer. But no.
Another aspect of it is the dense sound editing. You can’t possibly catch it all on one viewing. It’s as exciting as the action on the screen.
Overall, it’s just a wonderful story that has you hooked from the start. I imagine that Halicki was a great raconteur. There isn’t a lot to the story of Gone in 60 Seconds, but the telling is great.
The film was a big hit at the time. But since then, it’s been neglected and dismissed as just a car-chase film. There is so much more here and if you haven’t seen it, you owe it to yourself.
Later HB Halicki
Halicki went on to create a few more films that were similar in nature and usually in plot. But during a stunt for Gone in 60 Seconds 2, he was killed at the age of 48.
You can get Gone in 60 Seconds on DVD but the Blu-ray and combo DVD/Blu-ray are both cheaper. The single Blu-ray comes with some interviews. The combo comes with more including a commentary with cinematographer Jack Vacek and editor Leighton. The film is also on Amazon Prime.
Gone in 60 Seconds cover image via Amazon under Fair Use.