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The Junkman (1982)

aka The Junkman

"From junk cars to movie stars"

Directed By: 
Written By: 
Details: 96 mins · English · PG (USA)


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"From junk cars to movie stars"


The Junkman is set in a high-stakes world of wealth, glamor, and power. Harlan B. Hollis (H. B. Halicki) struggles to stay alive when a jealous public relations manager (Christopher Stone) hires a team of assassins (Kopi Sotiropulos, Tony Ostermeir, Dave Logue, and Rita Rickard) to kill him. The manager, also Hollis' brother-in-law, resents Hollis for making the movie Gone in 60 Seconds, which is premiering at the Cinerama Dome.

The film starts with the head hitman Frank Spyros (Sotiropulos) answering a pay phone and getting instructions from a then unknown person to go ahead with a hit on Hollis as he drives to the James Dean Festival in Cholame, California. The same unknown person inserts a video tape into a VCR, a highlight video of Hollis's life. The person ejects the video and crumples up a publicity shot of Hollis.

Hollis is then seen cutting a rear differential out of a car in a junkyard, while his business manager Richard Hill (Richard L. Muse) quietly looks on. Hollis requests a helicopter and instructs that he doesn't care how much an upcoming junkyard party cost, as long as everybody had a good time.

Hollis proceeds to filming a new car chase scene for his movie Gone in 60 Seconds, ending with a car plunging into a deep puddle. The film crew is then seen, along with Hollis' daughter Kelly (Kelly Busia). Reporter Susan Clark (Susan Shaw) arrives with a camera crew to interview Hollis for a story, interviewing his PR Manager and brother-in-law Michael Fox (Stone) first, then actor in Hollis' movie Hoyt Axton, and finally catching up to Hollis, as he gives Kelly an early birthday present, a horse.

Hollis meets up with Arthur Wheeler (Lang Jeffries) at his office to detail the itinerary for the next two days. Hollis then goes with Kelly to his ranch in Paso Robles for the weekend. Spyros meets with the rest of his team of assassins at the airport to detail the plan to kill Hollis, which would include the mystery man behind the hit flying one of the air covers. The next day, Hollis meets up with Warner E. Leighton to discuss the editing changes to the movie.

As Hollis drives to the James Dean festival, he's unaware that killers are tracking his every move. Hollis is ambushed in his car by a trio of assassins. The entire first hour of the film is dominated by the ensuing chase, and the wreckage that follows. After eliminating most of the assassins, only the air cover flown by the mystery man is left. After Hollis crashes into the side of a house, the air cover drops a grenade into the house, with it exploding seconds after. Left for dead, Hollis manages to escape a fiery death and is meet by Clark and her camera crew. They all head back to Los Angeles to figure out who's trying to kill him.

Later, Clark shows Hollis a picture found in the burned wreckage of one of the air covers' planes. Hollis identifies it as an unreleased publicity shot, indicating someone from inside of his own company is trying to kill him.

Hollis manages to get back to his house to get his daughter Kelly's piggy bank and then takes a cab to see Hoyt to ask him to loan him some money, a gun and a car. He offers his wife's brand new 1981 Chevrolet Corvette. Back at Hollis' office Fox and Wheeler argue over letting Clark in with her crew to finish the story she was doing. Fox sighting Hill now owning the company gives him the decision of whether to grant Clark access. He does, and they proceed to finish the story.

Later, Hollis sneaks into the office, but is meet by his security guard Dennis (Dennis Stoufer), who thinks he is an intruder and attempts to shoot him several times. Hollis escapes in his stunt car Eleanor, meets Clark's film crew and they all escape as the police arrive. The next day, Black Bird, who survived a car crash in Paso Robles, sets off a car bomb in Fox's car, which was thought to be occupied by Hill. Fox is relieved to find Hill was not in the car.

As Clark is about to go on the air with a news cast, her boss Larry Bergleman (Dan Grimaldi) demands to know her source of info of the apparent death of Hollis. He gives her information about recreational planes that were used in the hit. With that information, Clark and the crew go to the airport to interview a pilot, who happens to be Frank Spyros, the head assassin. When she mentions the particular biplane he was explaining was involved in the Hollis murder, he becomes exasperated and refuses to continue the interview until a later date.

Afterwards, Black Bird Shoots Spyros and takes a bomb he assembled. Hollis, on a tip from Clark arrives to confront Spyros, who he finds dead, with a plan on his desk to where the bomb will be planted, in a limousine at the movie premier. An assistant discovers Hollis with a gun, standing over a dead Spyros. Hollis threatens the assistant with the gun and escapes. The assistant calls the police. As Hollis races to the premier, a police chase ensues, thinking Hollis was a murderer. The chase ends with Hollis crashing the Corvette into an old woman's Chevrolet Citation, which she just purchased, splitting it in two. After Hollis escapes from the wrecked Corvette, the old woman attempts to give chase in the remaining front half of her car.

With the aid of Goodyear Blimp, he travels to the Cinerama Dome, where the premier is held. He discovers the mystery man to be Fox, who subsequently slips off the edge of the theater roof. Clark's crew find the bomb in the limo, throw it into a parking lot, and it explodes, blowing up several cars in the process.

At the end of the film, Hollis embraces Kelly, and he begins her surprise birthday party, where he gives her a new 1982 Pontiac Trans Am for a birthday present.

Release Dates:

DVD : 2002-02-19