Howdy all you Supercultists out there on the interwebz! I’m Bad Movie Professor Cameron Coker (BS in “Ice Cube” with a minor in “Giant Keys”) and I’ll be posting my hype-tacular speeches every week along with some long lost speeches from past Supercult Shows!
From September of 2013 it’s the speech for Torque! Biker Cary Ford is a maverick biker who just got back into town. After six months of laying low in Thailand Ford is a wanted man by the FBI, rival gang leader Henry James, and even his irritated girlfriend Shane, but things go from bad to worse when the kid brother of Trey, the leader of the Reapers biker gang, ends up dead and Ford is the prime suspect. Now Cary Ford is on the run once again at 160 mph! Can he clear his name and bring the true villains to justice? Rev your engines, it’s time for some Torque!
Starring Martin Henderson, Ice Cube, Monet Mazur, and Jay Hernandez, Torque is a 2004 action movie that has been described bay many as ‘The Fast and the Furious with Motorcycles’…which makes sense because Torque was produced by Neal H. Moritz, known for producing the Fast and the Furious movies. The director Joseph Kahn, who had his feature film directorial debut with Torque, even said that his intention was to make a “piss take” version of the Fast and the Furious franchise. Torque specifically references The Fast and the Furious at one point, taking a line directly from the film. Henderson’s character Ford borrows Vin Diesel’s line, “I live my life a quarter-mile at a time.” To which Shane (Monet Mazur) replies, “That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard.” The opening of the film gives you all the information you need about what you are about to step into, right down to the spinning road sign that reads, “cars suck”. Impossible camera moves, ridiculous action scenes, X-ray shots of the insides of engines spinning up… Torque’s main ingredients are eye candy, 95 Octane, and Wired X505 Energy drinks. Torque includes people racing across the tops of trains, fist, knife, and gunfights from the backs of motorcycles, a motorcycle duel in which the combatants attempt to smack each other with their front or rear tires, and a scene where a motorcycle drives while leaking gas and a stray bullet strikes the gas trail, lighting it on fire, thus creating a flaming tire track of sorts that chases the bike as it drives along at mach 1. The creators of Torque demanded so much style and intensity that at one point they go for a shot of a man plunging his keys into the ignition…with the camera in the ignition! The perspective of the shot was so impossible that they decided to fake it and give the actor a massive foot-long key to shove into the camera lens. All of that to achieve a desired look for a half-second long shot. The director has a cameo as one of the passengers on the train as the bike drives through the train car. Jesse James of West Coast Choppers and Monster Garage also makes an appearance in the scene where Ford and his girlfriend Shane are talking inside the tent. Two of Jesse James’ custom choppers also make appearances later in the movie as the bikes that Henry James’, Ford’s rival, stores his drugs in. The “Jet Turbine” Y2K bike that Cary Ford rides near the end of the film to catch Henry actually exists – Jay Leno owns one. Its proper name is the MTT Turbine SUPERBIKE. It is touted as the most powerful production bike in the world and is powered by a Rolls Royce Allison 250 series gas turbine engine commonly used in helicopters. Did you get that? Go back and read it again. Yeah. The engine that is used on helicopters to spin the propeller…to make them fly…that engine is spinning his back wheel. This is a motorcycle that uses jet fuel to propel your ass across the ground…and it’s street legal. Despite opening at #3 at the US Box office it was only able to rake in 46.5 million against a production budget of approximately 40 million. However it was nominated for several Taurus World Stunt Awards, which give out yearly awards to stunt performers in movies with categories like “Best Fight”, “Best Fire Stunt”, and “Best High Work”, as in best stunt that forces some poor stuntman somewhere really high up off the ground. Torque was nominated for “Best Specialty Stunt” and “Best Overall Stunt by a Stunt Man” but was sadly beaten out by Taxi and Spiderman II respectively. However, the “Best Overall Stunt by a Stunt Man” Category was actually dominated by Torque that year meaning that though they Torque didn’t actually win, they were nominated multiple times for the multiple awesome stunts from the movie. The nominees read “Spiderman II, Torque, Torque, Collateral, and Torque.” Torque got mostly negative reviews when it came out, the general consensus being that it was, “Silly and noisy…stylish fun for the MTV crowd.” However, Jeremy Wheeler at allmovie.com rated Torque 3 starts out of 5 praising, “Torque is a shot of adrenaline straight to the heart, eliciting so many moments of amped-up and overblown excitement that those with medical conditions (and very serious taste in film) should probably stay ten blocks away…. this little slice of joy relishes in being abundantly over-the-top at every explosive turn.” Meanwhile Nick Rogers from Rotten Tomatoes poetically describes Torque as, “Red Bull: The Movie”
Clearly Torque is a movie that knows exactly what it wants to be and revels in over-the-top stunts and stylish action sequences. With a 23% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 3.8 on IMDB it’s easy to see why this movie has achieved cult status with motorcycle enthusiasts and racing film buffs alike. It’s the best bad motorcycle film we could get our hands on and it also happens to include a genuine opportunity for Ice Cube to say the phrase, “F#@^ the Police” in context! The Supercult show is proud to present Torque! Spoilers: