Epic Tuesday Time Killer: BURNOUT – This 1979 Drag Racing Movie Is So Awful It Rules

Epic Tuesday Time Killer: BURNOUT – This 1979 Drag Racing Movie Is So Awful It Rules

I have to sincerely thank champion NHRA top alcohol dragster crew chief Adam Rhodes for the tip to a movie that I had never heard of let alone seen. The name of the movie is Burnout and it was released in 1979. The plot is amazingly simple…in fact EVERYTHING about this movie is amazing simple. There’s a kid named Scott who is a troubled teenager (played by a guy in his 30s) and while his rich father wants him to come work for the family business, all that Scott wants to do is drag race. The father disapproves of this until the son shows him hat drag racing is all about and then he strokes a check to put the kid in business and he goes racing.

While all of that sounds like a tired storyline, at least it is acted out by people who likely earned roles on the recommendation of their parole officer.


The reason that this movie rules for anyone who loves drag racing history and the reason that the whole thing is padded with incredible footage shot on great cameras at tracks like OCIR, Indy, Fontana, the Las Vegas Speedrome and others. Even more wild is that the drag racers in the move are the real guys! Walt Rhodes plays….WALT RHODES. These guys go to Donovan Engineering and lo and behold there’s Ed Donovan in the movie! The amount of racer cameos is awesome and the fact that Rhodes and the guys on his team agreed to do this because the production basically covered their fuel bill to the US Nationals is amazing.

The acting and plot suck beyond all recognition but the racing footage, the drag racers and industry people shown, all of that is awesome and well worth the watch.  You will see things that no one else has recorded footage of in drag racing history. Want an example? How about Bob Correll crashing the Kitecycle on a jump before the start of a 64 Funny Car show at Orange County International Raceway!

You gotta watch.

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7 thoughts on “Epic Tuesday Time Killer: BURNOUT – This 1979 Drag Racing Movie Is So Awful It Rules

  1. Rock On!

    Cool flick. Don’t know how I missed this growing up in my drive in movies days. I had three theatres with 8 screens in total within 20 minutes of my home. They have all been turned into subdivisions now. Land values are too high in the Greater Toronto Area for that anymore.

  2. 442

    Terrible movie, the only thing worth talking about is the acoustic guitar music in the first 15 minutes.

  3. Anthony Castillo

    I’ve seen it, and it is a lot of fun. This despite the super lame plot and bad acting. The behind the scenes stuff and the race footage make it all worth while. Let us also not forget how cool the 70’s were.

  4. Pure Heaven Fan

    Just watched it. Loved all the real footage. One thing though, they announced Leon Fitzgerald in Pure Hell. Was that ever a thing?

  5. ron g

    That’s the worst drag racing movie I’ve ever seen… I LOVE IT!! And I thought HOT ROD 1979 was bad! But yeah, lots of cool footage. Thanks for posting!

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