Need For Speed failed to run away with the box office title this weekend, which went instead to the inimitable Mr. Peabody & Sherman. The car racing movie, based on one of the most successful video game series of all time, also failed with critics, who in general said that even the action usually paled in comparison to the obvious benchmark of the Fast & Furious franchise. (The Guardian called it “Perfunctory tosh.”)

As usual we at TV Mix seek to find you alternatives when Hollywood let’s you down. Here are a duo of adrenalin charged, car chase heavy films available to watch free on FilmOn’s VOD service now.
The short Getaway In Stockholm 9 is a great, real-life ignition for an alternative program. This ninth in the series features two Porsche 911 GT3 modified sports cars, and as usual with the once-a-year series, the illegal run with car-mounted cameras takes place in the early morning hours during late autumn. While the series may have had at least some staged elements in its early incarnations, by this round, the chases are very real. Unfortunately, they have also had tragic repercussions, as a Finnish importer of the series fatally struck a young girl with his car in 2002.

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In Hot Pursuit aka Polk County Pot Plane (1977) is also a much more organic (could one say, green?) alternative to Need (interestingly, In Hot Pursuit is the title of one of the video game’s incarnations), embellishing a real life 1975 event in which a Douglas DC-4 landed on top of a mountain in Polk County, Georgia, laden with a couple of tons of marijuana and hashish. Local authorities captured most of the shipment and arrested most of those involved. However, an amateur filmmaker named Jim West stepped in to take advantage of their uncertainty as to what to do with the plane.

With no filmic experience, but enough cash and friends on hand, West managed to acquire the actual plane, write a script and shoot a film which contained stunts that would have Quentin Tarantino gushing (and imitating in some instances) years down the line. The outrageous stunts and acting were apparently all done by Southern amateurs, on the ‘fly’, their authentic accents, New Riders/Panama Red wardrobe and casual insanity carrying the day. The soundtrack is one element that seems more polished. After an unpromising circus-like opening theme, the score settles into some blistering, greasy wah-wah funk and fusion.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to locate the performers, not that it should take away from your green holiday entertainment.

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