WHEELS OF TERROR
Wheels of Terror, which was also made as a tv movie, is another of these Duel wannabes. It is a fairly blatant copy. Like Duel, we never get to see any driver all we know is that the car is driven by someone who likes to abduct and molest children and the film becomes more about the battle between two vehicles. Exactly like Duel, the evil vehicle is black, dirty and has mirrored windows. The only difference is that here it is the larger vehicle (a bus) that is the good vehicle, while the car (a Dodge Charger) is the nemesis and that the good vehicle is pursuing the bad vehicle rather than vice versa. Unlike the abovementioned Duel imitators, this dispenses with any idea of a paranormal explanation for the vehicle.
Wheels of Terror spends more time than Duel did in the preliminary scenes a number of scenes with Joanna Cassidy and her daughter, with the people that maintain the garage, her driving the bus to and from the school and picking children up. These are interspersed with several scenes with the black car seemingly stalking her where the film tries to play a series of there again/gone again tricks on us, improbably having nobody but Joanna see the car in its appearances.
Fully two-thirds of the film is taken up by a single vehicular chase scene with Joanna Cassidy pursuing the car in the bus. These scenes contain some solid and reasonable stunt/action set-pieces. Among these, there are at least a couple of seat-edge scenes one where the bus comes to a halt teetering on the edge of cliff and Joanna Cassidy desperately tries to get the faulty reverse gear to work as the car comes up behind and tries to ram them over; and another with the car driving alongside the bus on a quarry road as Marcie Leeds climbs out of the sun roof and jumps across to the bus, left precariously hanging from one of the buss open windows at the same time as the car rams the side of the bus only inches beneath where she is.
On the other hand, the whole pursuit does leave you with some questions of safety why Joanna Cassidy would think that engaging in a high-speed vehicular chase while driving a bus full of children would not get her fired from her job, let alone criminally prosecuted; and secondly, why someone would so recklessly attempt to ram and try to drive a car containing her own daughter off the road.
Wheels of Terror was the only genre film of director Christopher Cain who had elsewhere made the likes of The Principal (1987), Young Guns (1988) and The Next Karate Kid (1994), among others. Screenwriter Alan B. McElroy has an interesting number of films to his credits including Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) and subsequent to this the genre likes of Spawn (1997), Left Behind (2000), Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever (2002), Wrong Turn (2003), Thr3e (2006), Tekken (2010) and The Perfect Guy (2015).
Full film available online here:-