Home » Check Out This Surprisingly Good VW Beetle Cop-Car Chase Scene In A Crappy Elvis Movie

Check Out This Surprisingly Good VW Beetle Cop-Car Chase Scene In A Crappy Elvis Movie

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Full disclosure: I’m not so old nor so entertainment-starved that I’ve ever seen an Elvis movie. From what I’ve been able to gather, they were kind of low-effort crap even back in the day, watched by the same generation of people who would happily stare at Gilligan’s Island or My Mother The Car until twin icicles of drool grew from the corners of their mouths. That said, one of these movies, 1967’s Double Trouble, a movie that even gets lousy reviews on the Elvis History Blog, does feature a pretty great all-Volkswagen Beetle car chase, where the Beetles are police cars. That’s worth something, right? Sure it is!

I know you want to see what an Elvis-driving-a-police-Beetle car chase is like, right? In what I’m told is the lowest-grossing Elvis movie of all? Of course you do! You’re a human being! Here you go:

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Hot damn, right? Let’s walk through this a bit, really squeeze all the pleasure out of this little bit of cinema as possible, like squeezing the last bit of salmon roe out of the tube and onto your toothbrush.

First, let’s look at these Police Beetles, which are supposed to be from the Antwerp police department, but likely weren’t seeing as how this was shot in Culver City at the MGM lot.

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Elvisvw2Elvis gets into the fetching black-and-white POLITIE car. This looks like a ’65, possibly a ’64.

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Meanwhile five cops get into the gray ’63 cop car. Five! And they’re substantial people, too. In a 40 horsepower car about to engage in a chase. They’re already giving Elvis like a 15 pound-per-hp advantage here.

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You may be wondering why The King is craning his neck around to look behind him. Well, it appears someone stole the inside rear view mirror, that’s why! Man, and on a cop car, even!

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They’re really whipping these things around!

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This exciting intersection scene also has a ’39 Packard and a ’62 Ford Zodiac, adding some nice variety there. I’m not sure I’d think that Packard would be a likely choice for Antwerp, but I guess in the dark they figured no one would care.

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Look at those angry cops! According to what I’ve read, the plot involved Elvis was mistakenly believed to have some heisted jewels in his luggage? So many mid-’60s movies seemed to involve jewel heists. Was this a crucial part of the global economy back then? The international jewel heist exchange?

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Of course they have to make it very clear how packed-in everyone is in the back of that Beetle. Three full-grown adults in that back seat is an accomplishment.

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I do like how the air intake vents are painted a contrasting color there. Very fetching, Antwerp Police.

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And, of course, I love how the chase ends with some manner of fantastic off-screen multi-car crash that ends up with a smashed hood on one cop car, Elvis’ car with the front wheel cleanly removed, and with the hubcap still firmly in place, another car parked nearby, and an entirely different red Beetle on its side, somehow. All ending up in what looks like an apartment building courtyard? Wow!

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Look at this poor bastard, wondering what the hell just went so very wrong. But, hey, he sort of got to meet Elvis!

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed that. I sure did.

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Grippy Caballeros
Grippy Caballeros
10 months ago

Least satisfying end of a car chase scene. It was like the budget ran out right in the middle. Also, the King def rocking a coat he borrowed from James Dean…

Last edited 10 months ago by Grippy Caballeros
GertVAG
GertVAG
10 months ago

Packards were imported by D’Ieteren in Belgium (Studebakers were even assembled here, in the same factory that made VWs in Forest, near Brussels). American cars had some popularity with notables (like doctors, lawyers etc) here.

Antwerp indeed had beetles in the police force. But they were normally of one colour (dark blue), in the seventies this became white.

W124
W124
10 months ago

I just popped in to tell you that Kalles Kaviar is fuckin awesome! One of the things I’d surely miss if i didn’t live in the Nordics.

Crank Shaft
Crank Shaft
10 months ago

I confess I’m not as impressed as Jason. Most of it seems to be actors swaying back and forth in a stationary Bug in front of rear-projection driving action.I believe the most apt description would be: Droll.

However, Elvis’s outfit (and hair) Tres Chic!

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
10 months ago

How many Qualudes can a VW Bug hold?
I don’t know, Elvis keeps eating them before we can count them…

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
10 months ago

I didn’t watch the movie and I never will. However, ‘the police think you have stolen jewels in your suitcase’ is a pretty easy situation to fix as a white guy in the 60’s. You just open your suitcase and let the officers have a rummage around.
Maybe I’m missing some crucial piece of information that is in the film but I’ll never know.

Amberturnsignalsarebetter
Amberturnsignalsarebetter
10 months ago

Jason, I am genuinely shocked that you wrote an entire article about this car chase and didn’t even mention the extra/stuntman that did one of the most exaggerated fall backwards in the history of cinema after ‘almost’ being run over.

If anyone deserved an award for their performance in this movie it was “astonished bystander narrowly avoided by car #2”, but even now his artistry is overlooked by the critics…

Fe2 O3
Fe2 O3
10 months ago

Yeah the ~600 lbs weight difference in the two cars would have the king leaving the fussy inspector(s) in the dust immediately, nevermind the head start. Not to mention.. I’m not sure how they followed him around so many blind corners being so far behind.

Knowonelse
Knowonelse
10 months ago

I like how Elvis so very very quickly exited the car and entered the apartment and was already talking to others by the time the chase car arrived. Elvis wasn’t just fast with the hips, but quikc on the feet as well!

Steve P
Steve P
10 months ago

The actor playing the Inspector is better known for his role as General Burkhalter on Hogan’s Heroes.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve P

Leon Askin – also played the Soviet foreign trade negotiator in One, Two Three! (offered to trade a new Moskvitch for an attractive secretary at Coca-Cola’s West German offices). He was sort of typecast in the same kinds of roles, but was always fun to watch regardless.

Lew Schiller
Lew Schiller
10 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

One Two Three is a great movie

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
10 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

Both Leon and Werner Col Klink were quite accomplished musicians.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
10 months ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

That’s very true, Werner Klemperer was really an interesting guy, and the complete polar opposite of the Klink character

Lew Schiller
Lew Schiller
10 months ago

Was it “Speedway” in which he daily’s a Duesenberg?
That said my favorite Elvis movie is “Cripple Me”.

Silent But Deadly
Silent But Deadly
10 months ago

Elvis was the Jason Statham of his day…

Gerontius Garland
Gerontius Garland
10 months ago

My favourite is Spinout, where Elvis plays a racer. He drives a white Shelby Cobra with red gumballs, except there’s a scene where he drives into a pond or something, and the car in the water is a Mistral kit car. Even though it’s a 2 seat roadster painted the same, it really doesn’t look like a Cobra at all.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
10 months ago

Ah, Elvis movies. The King of Schlock and Dolls still reigns.

Eric Busch
Eric Busch
10 months ago

Hey Torch….

I think this so why you keep missing your review deadlines.

Maybe David should take away your YouTube privileges.

Slirt
Slirt
10 months ago

how did you not mention the US-spec bumpers with overriders?

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