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Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
Dust To Glory (documentary)
Director: Dana Brown
Music: Nathan Furst
Running Time: 90 minutes
Rating: PG 13
If you have ever wondered what guys see in vehicle racing, you don't have to go further than Dust To Glory. It's all about speed and the attitude that your time will come--whether it is going 100 mph on a dirt road in Baja, California or on a street in your hometown. The focus of this film is the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, the longest non-stop, point-to-point race in the world. Director Dana Brown (Step Into Liquid) tackles the job of filming participants of the race and stunning photography, it is.
The film follows the adventures of motorcycle racer "Mouse" McCoy (looking remarkably like General Hospital actor Steve Burton), who is in the race as a serious endeavor. Humor is incidentally provided by the legendary Mario Andretti, who is a guest at the 37-year-old race for the first time, finding himself stranded in the middle of nowhere until a farm truck comes along to give him a ride.
The style of racing is "off-road," which means every pothole, gully and hill is fair game for a motorcycle or modified Volkswagen Beetle or modified pick-up truck. At speeds in excess of 100 mph, the guys (and women) take their lives in their hands. The difference being, ". . . women ask directions. . ." If you meet a slower racer on a one-lane road, gently bump them from behind to move over. Racers help each other out as they are in the middle of nowhere and scorpions don't carry wrenches.
Baja California is described as "being half-way between the Old West and the Twilight Zone" This part of the world is seen in all its glory from the vantage point of a camera mounted on the front of a speeding vehicle or from helicopters. One spectacular section follows McCoy as he attempts to gain a lead by taking a shortcut along a wet beach. Any mishap at 100 mph would be certain death, but he travels on, ticking off seconds. Not only that, but the racers drive these speeds at night, too, with only their headlights or a moon (if lucky) to guide them. One running joke throughout the film is that of a retired racer who spent one night crossing the Baja Peninsula going in the wrong direction when he tried to guide himself by stars.
A local orphanage benefits from this racing event and people are apt to be tailgating at 4 a.m. in the desert as they wait for their favorite racer to appear. Would football or baseball fans do this? As it stands, Dust To Glory is an intense look at off-road racing with stunning photography and a rousing soundtrack by Nathan Furst. Enjoy, but watch yourself when you leave the parking lot.
Copyright 2005 Marie Asner