Moving Violations (1985) – By Duane L. Martin


When a group of misfits get busted on various traffic violations by a pair of extremely overzealous motorcycle cops, they all somehow end up in court on the same day and get sentenced to complete thirty days worth of traffic school. If they fail to pass the course, their vehicles will be confiscated and sold.

The head misfit, so to speak, is Dana Cannon (John Murray). When the cops in question, who’ve already had a run in with him, see him leaning up against a vehicle in the parking lot of a local fast food place that the police all seem to eat at, they have a confrontation with him which leads to them beating the crap out of his car with their batons. Unfortunately, it wasn’t his car at all. It was their captain’s car, and it was a mistake that got them both demoted and sent to teach traffic school.

This film is filled to the brim with recognizable stars of the era. John Murray is the brother of Bill and Brian Murray, which is plainly obvious not only in the way he looks, but the way he acts and delivers his lines as well. The jerky male cop is played by James Keach, brother of Stacy Keach. Then you have Jennifer Tilly playing a ditzy NASA rocket scientist, Brian Backer, Ned Eisenberg, Clara (Where’s the beef?) Peller, Wendie Jo Sperber, Nedra Volz, Fred Willard, and many others. There’s one scene in particular with Fred Willard and Wendy Jo Sperber that will have you smiling all the way through it because it’s…well, I don’t want to spoil it. Just watch the movie.

Sally Kellerman plays the crooked judge who’s been working a scam in which she makes sure that no one passes the drivers training program, and then after their vehicles are confiscated, the cars are sold off and she splits the money with whoever’s running the class. She also sleeps with them, which Deputy Halik’s (Keach) partner Virginia doesn’t appreciate, since the two of them have had a steady thing going for quite some time.

The story in this film is just ridiculous, but in a good way. There were a lot of really zany comedies made back then. Films like Kentucky Fried Movie, Airplane, and Police Academy were films in which the most ridiculous stuff happened, and this is most definitely one of those films. You’d think a film with such a large cast would suffer from trying to spread itself out among them so much that the story would suffer, but this film handles the large cast perfectly. It narrows its focus down to the characters that are important to the story, or even just what’s going on in any particular scene, and keeps things tight.

This new release from Kino Lorber includes audio commentary by Writer/Director Neal Israel, and the original theatrical trailer. A huge bonus on this one is that it comes with English subtitles! I’d love to see more of that on these releases, as I’ve said many times, so I was particularly happy to see it on this one.

This is one of those films that’s just ridiculous and fun. I saw this movie back in the day, probably on a VHS rental, so when I saw that it was getting the blu-ray treatment from Kino Lorber, I jumped at the chance to review it. There are so many scenes in this film that will have you either laughing, or at the very least smiling until your cheeks hurt. This isn’t just one to watch, this is one you’ll want to own so you can watch it over and over again, so pick yourself up a copy and add it to your collection. You won’t regret it.

If you’d like to find out more about this release, you can check out its page on the Kino Lorber website here: