Taglines: Life begins after 55!
An assortment of people gather at a countryside inn in preparation for the infamous “Cannonball Run”, an illegal three-day cross-country race from Washington, D.C. to Santa Monica where the winner and five runners-up will receive $1 million. However, the hot-headed Washington Chief of Police Spiro T. Edsel (Peter Boyle), along with his long-suffering sidekick Whitman (Don Lake), arrests all of the drivers to prevent the race from happening. As a result, sponsors must find replacement drivers by the next day.
Leo Ross (Eugene Levy), seeing that his old school rival, Charlie Cronan (John Candy), has driving skills while working as a parking valet, bullies him into driving his BMW. Ross also persuades Charlie to bring along Tiffany (Donna Dixon), a dimwitted Marilyn Monroe-esque actress.
Vic DeRubis (Joe Flaherty) is a hitman-for-hire sent to kill Alec Stewart (Matt Frewer), an English deadbeat and compulsive gambler who has squandered money that he borrowed from loan sharks. Alec convinces Vic to ride with him, hoping to win the Cannonball Run and pay off the various mobsters. They team up in a Jaguar XJS.
Lee Roberts (Melody Anderson) and Margaret (Shari Belafonte) take over a Ferrari Daytona Spyder after the driver they are trying to woo is arrested. MIT graduates into electronics and gadgets, they are tempted by the prize money and the challenge.
When the driver of the Lamborghini is arrested, a skittish Italian porter named Valentino Rosatti (Brian George) is forced to drive it by Flash (Art Hindle), a former policeman who wants the money for his own reasons.
Nelson and Randolph Van Sloan (Dick Smothers and Tom Smothers), two millionaires and the only drivers not arrested in the police sweep, enter in a Bentley Corniche convertible. They spend most of their time trying to secretly catch a flight to Los Angeles in order to win by foul means.
Speed Zone (also known as Cannonball Fever), released in 1989, is a comedy set around an illegal cross-country race (inspired by the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash).
The film stars many alumni of SCTV, including John Candy, Eugene Levy and Joe Flaherty. The cast also includes Donna Dixon, Matt Frewer, Tim Matheson, Mimi Kuzyk, Melody Anderson, Shari Belafonte, Dick and Tom Smothers, Peter Boyle, Don Lake, Alyssa Milano, John Schneider, Brooke Shields, Michael Spinks, Lee Van Cleef, Harvey Atkin, Brian George, Art Hindle, Louis Del Grande, Carl Lewis and Richard Petty.
Speed Zone (1989)
Directed by: Jim Drake
Starring: Peter Boyle, Melody Anderson, Donna Dixon, John Candy, Tim Matheson, Joe Flaherty, Mimi Kuzyk, Shari Belafonte, Brian George, Dick Smothers
Screenplay by: Michael Short
Production Design by: Richard Hudolin
Cinematography by: François Protat, Robert Saad
Film Editing by: Michael Economou
Costume Design by: Paul-André Guérin
Set Decoration by: Gilles Aird, Patricia Hall
Art Direction by: Richard Hudolin
Music by: David Wheatley
Distributed by: Orion Pictures
Release Date: April 21, 1989