Monday, August 24, 2009

Greg Evigan takes on the "Phantom Racer"

We have to admit, there's not a single movie that Syfy puts in its 9 p.m. Saturday timeslot that we won't watch, being diehard fans of the creature-feature and all. So Greg Evigan had an easy audience in BRBTV when he told us back in June about the movie he was exec-producing and starring in for the science-fiction network (see our June 30 post). Frankly, we couldn't wait. And we didn't have to wait! The movie, called "Phantom Racer," aired this past Saturday.

Our own Willie Gust of "Dallas," who more famously starred in "B.J. and the Bear" right after kidnapping little Lucy Ewing, was looking comfy and right at home behind the wheel of a big rig again as J.J. Sawyer in the movie, his first foray into producing. Playing younger than his 55 years here, Evigan is a former racecar driver returning to his hometown after 17 years. He reunites with an old buddy, Cliff, who confesses that he and their other friend, Cutter, had actually sabotaged J.J.'s car in the big race crash that claimed Cutter's life so many years before (a crash for which J.J. was blamed). And if Evigan is playing young, his love interest in the film, former "Baywatch" babe Nicole Eggert, was right on target for her own 37 years as Tammy, the onetime love interest of all three of the racing friends. She's now married to Cliff and is the mother of a teen girl.

You can see the big reveal from a half-mile down the track, especially if you've ever seen a soap in your life (!), but the real fun of this film is the car. You see, ole Cutter didn't take too kindly to being offed in the race, so he has returned to commandeer the old racing car as the "Phantom Racer." As the invisible driver, he clips off Cliff and several others, then comes after J.J.

We have to admit, what we liked most about this movie was that it showed you actually can use actors past their 20s in lead roles. Actors don't die when they hit 35, ya know? Why not use more of our beloved classic TV stars? Anyhow ... you could certainly see Evigan's influence in other ways, like the inside joke of Tammy's daughter, Jesse, as she sarcastically tells J.J., "You killed my two dads." (Well, we don't think Evigan killed the show, Jesse -- it was pretty good, if we recall! And thanks, Mr. Evigan, for J.J.'s significant pause and half-smirk; we thought you were gonna look right at the camera to make sure we all got it!)

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