Bunche did a typically brilliant write-up on the 1975 film that the new car-chase thingy borrowed its title and a couple of plot points from.
Steve saw this film the way it was meant for, as part of a midnight double-bill at some filthy cinematic 9th circle of hell, surrounded by like-minded gorehounds and probably baked out of his mind. My pussy, suburban version of the grindhouse was late-night cable, the volume set at almost nothing in case my parents caught me. Lacking the proper cinematic and social context, I found this film incredibly disturbing. I didn't understand that it was a comedy. (I didn't really get pitch-black social satire at age 11.) I figured it was a sober analysis of what I could expect the world to be like when I hit adulthood.
I therefore had a few sleepless nights courtesy of this low-budget, schlocky Roger Corman nightmare of casual brutality, personified by David Carradine's faceless, emotionless angel of death. As cheap-looking as the costume is, there's something incredibly arresting about it. (This is two years before Star Wars--you tell me if Vader wasn't partly influenced by this character). Looking at it now I still get a chill. A great example of how a lack of resources can lead to brilliance.
I haven't the slightest interest in finding out what Paul W.S. Anderson and his legions of corporate focus-testers have done with it.