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Greatest American Hero – Summer DVD Review – The Hit Car

greatest american hero

The Greatest American Hero
The Hit Car

Original Air date: Mar 25, 1981

Shannon – Associate Editor
shannon@thetwocentscorp.com

Some kind of crazy car with tiny little headlights and slits in otherwise obscured windows cruises along.  It’s gray and kind of looks like a tank so I hereby dub it “Tankmobile”.  I wonder how they can even see to drive this thing. In a different car, an agent from the FBI is escorting a key witness to a safe location when the Tankmobile runs them off the road and opens fire.  The agent is shot and down and the witness gal takes off on foot.

Ralph and Pam discuss Ralph’s plans to have his class perform “The Taming of The Shrew”.  Pam thinks it’s nuts but Ralph thinks it’s an awesome idea.  They walk in the gym where the class is fighting with the fake swords.  Ralph tries to get their attention by whistling but they ignore him so he shuts the lights out on them.  Tony says he ain’t down with this Shakespeare stuff because he ain’t running around in no long johns.  Ralph says he understands what that’s like but that they’re going to do this.  The group is less than enthusiastic as is Pam when Ralph informs her she’ll be helping with the blocking and costumes and set design and basically doing all the work.

Bill shows up and pulls Ralph to the side.  Bill says they need to hurry up and get on the plane to San Francisco, oh and hey, he’s running this show thankyouverymuch.  Ralph disagrees and says he can’t just pack up and leave on short notice.  Ralph says has to get a babysitter for Kevin but Bill already has arranged for someone from the bureau to babysit.  And there’s our convenient out for Kevin for the week.  Pam just thinks she’ll duck out now, kthxbai, but Bill tells her that she’s basically a glorified secretary and they need her.  Our feisty lawyer is no man’s go-fer but goes along with it.  Bill says he’s got a witness against the biggest drug dealer around, Johnny The Dancer, and they need to bring her back to L.A.  Bill’s been chasing Johnny for 15 years and this is his big chance to bring him down.  Pam is concerned that Starlet (the witness) is a showgirl and is too pretty and will therefore attempt to steal her man.  Off go Bill and Ralph to San Fran.

Johnny is on the deck of his penthouse apartment.  Johnny, being the thug he is, has a New Yawk accent.  That’s how you know he’s a bad guy.  They know Bill is on the way and they talk about how they want to use the Tankmobile to take him down but it has to happen in San Fran county because of Johnny’s alibi.

Ralph and Bill argue in the car about Pam’s role in all this and Ralph says he doesn’t want to just duck in a phone booth, put on the suit and “wham, bam, pass the jam”.  What the heck does that even mean, Ralph?  He’s such a nerd.  I blame the ‘fro. So Ralph and Bill knock on Starlet’s door.  Starlet is a tall, gorgeous blonde and she immediately flirts with Ralph who lies down like an oriental rug.  Bill asks Starlet where her bags are cause they got a plane to catch but Starlet says her psychic told her not to fly.  Uh yeah, that worked out well for her last time.   Remember the Tankmobile, hon?  So Starlet tries her feminine wiles on Ralph.  Ok, so first we have Rhonda the skank trying to get with Ralph and then we got Miss Vegas Showgirl, so what?  Is the suit putting out pheromones or something?  Surely it’s not the ‘fro drawing them in and well, William Katt just ain’t all that hot.

Anyway, Bill is trying to convince Starlet to go when Johnny’s goons start shooting through the window.  Ralph goes into the hotel room’s bathroom and puts on the suit and tries to fly to where the goons are but lands in someone else’s hotel room instead interrupting some possible coitus activities. Ooh, awkward.  He takes there stairs outta there still dressed in the suit and goes down to the lobby where everyone looks at him like he’s crazy.  Which he is, but they don’t know that.  Ralph ganks a trenchcoat from the coat room and hightails it back to Starlet’s.

Starlet gets her way and they drive back to L.A.  Starlet is impressed that Ralph is reading Shakespeare and tells him how sexy intellect is.  I don’t know how she would know since she has none.  Bill is sick of Starlet’s inane yapping and wants to stay the night in Santa Barbara.  Starlet won’t sleep anywhere that isn’t by the water because her astral chart says not to.  Bill isn’t down with that, but Ralph has an idea.  Pam’s parents have a beach house there that they can use.  Ralph calls up Pam to set it up.  Pam doesn’t like it but says she’ll be there in a couple of hours.  So, if they’re that close, how come they don’t just keep driving?  Stupid.

A crappy Joey Scarbury song plays over the montage of them driving to the beach house.  Starlet is putting on makeup in the dark.  I’m interested to see what kind of hot mess my face would be in if I put my lipstick on in the pitch black.  Pam is waiting at the house when they get there.  Pam sizes Starlet up.  Bill grouses at the lack of food in the house.  Pam is not pleased.

Johnny talks to his goon and they know the whereabouts of Bill, Ralph, and Starlet.  Johnny says he wants to read about their murder in the paper.  Extra! Extra!  Blonde Showgirl shot!  Wham, Bam, No one gives a damn!  Also, this is before the days of GPS so how exactly does Johnny know what the Super Suit gang is up to?  Hmmmmm.

Ralph grouses some more over the eats in the joint.  He tells Pam he noticed Starlet working on Ralph and gives Pam permission to beat the crap out of her.  While Ralph is putting on his super suit Starlet bangs on the door and is annoying as crap.  Ralph sees two guys in a car in the psychic floating screeny thing.

The goons start shooting and Ralph goes out to take care of things.  The goons have really bad hair plugs by the way.  Also, I’ve never heard a gun go “peeeeoing peeeeeoing” before.  So Bill manages to take down one of the goons while the other gets away.  Ralph gives chase.  Seriously, William Katt is running in place here.  He has to be.  This is the silliest looking running I’ve ever seen.  Even my 3 year old fake runs more realistically than this.  Ralph jogs up next to the goon in the van and orders him to pull over.  The guy is shocked and puts the pedal to the metal but Ralph grabs the side mirror and digs his heels in and stops the van.  Why wouldn’t the mirror have just broken off?  Ralph pulls the goon out of the van and throws him to the ground.  Ok, that’s kind of hot.

Bill wants Ralph to hightail it out of there so the cops don’t see him.  Ralph doesn’t want to fly but Bill tells him he’s gotta.  Ralph does and ends up crashing in the ocean.

Johnny is none too pleased to know his guys didn’t make with the killing.  Johnny’s Numbah 2 guy tells him it’s gonna happen.

Bill is in the process of escorting Starlet into the courthouse when the Tankmobile shows up and opens fire on them.  Bill takes a bullet in the leg and the D.A. takes Starlet inside.  When she gets inside she pleads the 5th.  Uh, what?  Ralph figures out that Starlet was leading Bill around so that Johnny could kill him.  Bill doesn’t want to believe him.

In the car, Ralph and Bill argue about their partnership.  Bill stops the car for cigars and goes into the restaurant where Johnny and his gang are eating.  Bill slops a plate of spaghetti on Johnny’s new tux.  Oh, he’s also got a gun pointed right at Johnny’s chest.  Bill leaves and asks Ralph to drive.  Johnny gets a gun and follows them in a truck.  Ralph talks and talks and talks while Bill keeps tabs on Johnny in the side mirror.  Ralph drives up to the school where all the kids are waiting for him.  Bill has just led the bad guys to where the kids and their parents are.  The Tankmobile is here with the guns and starts shooting the place up.

Ralph runs off to change into the suit.  He really needs to invest in some breakaway pants.  Check out the Chippendale outlet, dude.  While he’s doing that, Bill’s holding off the Tankmobile single handedly.  Johnny really should fire the gunman of this car because he is a lousy shot.  Ralph tries to fly again but bungles it, of course, and ends up scooting up under the Tankmobile and lifting it up on two wheels and giving it a little shaky-shake.  Johnny won’t come out of the car.  Bill shoots in the car and Johnny decides now might be a good time to turn himself in.  Wow, that was anticlimactic.

The kids put on the show and Tony tries on his Brando impression.  It’s awful, of course.  Bill’s there, pretending to listen to Shakespeare but he’s really listening to the game on the radio.  Ralph looks at the camera with some kinda of crazy-eyed goofy grin and we’re out until next time.

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