Buses, vans and subway trains

speedJan de Bont's Speed (1994) is a pretty stock-standard action movie. It has a pretty clever plot. It involves Keanu Reeves and a bus. You've probably seen it. What you may not have noticed, however, is the worst throwaway line in movie history.

(And that's saying something, considering Speed contains such dialogue gems as "It's cans, it's okay, it's cans".)

There's a moment toward the finale of the film where an extra spouts a line of dialogue. There's no real reason he has to say anything, but he does anyway. I can picture the editing room: the scene is cut, the audio is laid in, and the director and editor are arguing over whether a soundbite needs to be overlaid as the extra does his thing. The correct answer is "no". The answer they chose to go with is "sure, lets see if we can dig up something that seems relevant enough", followed with the addendum "but really isn't".

They've clearly rifled through all of their available chunks of pre-recorded dialogue, hoping to find a sound clip that fit. And when I say "fit", I mean "with a shoehorn and vaseline".

Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock ride the remains of half a subway carriage as it roosts through the pavement of an unfinished railway station and skids down three or four blocks of a Los Angeles street -- on its side -- before coming to rest against a blue minivan. The driver of the van climbs out, bewildered, staring at the bizarre sight of an upturned and halved railway train on the roadway. And he says:

"I can't believe he hit my van."

No one would say this. A more appropriate outburst would be "HOLY SHIT, A RAILWAY TRAIN", or "JESUS, THAT WAS LUCKY, I'M STILL ALIVE".

This may be the worst line since "You're the man now, dog", and I think Speed is all the better for it.

Exotic beverage: Speed

Speed. "Speed" is a licensed trademark of "Steb", and is apparently canned..or manufactured..or something, in Clayton, Victoria. It's distributed by L-Z Distribution. Not sure if there was ever an A-K Distribution. More research needed.

No spectacularly bizarre ingredients, but it does contain Citric Aurantium, which has no redeeming qualities other than being used occasionally as a flavouring in Asian dishes.

I guess the ultimate way to get people to buy your product is to name it as though it contains narcotics. Or to name it after a Keanu Reeves movie.

It's a darkish, dusty maroon. Purple, really. The photos don't do it justice. My camera is red/purple colourblind. It's quite fizzy. (The drink. Not the camera.)

It's got a really strong stink of raspberry, combined with a smell of stale beer and methylated spirits. That said, though, it doesn't smell too bad. What the hell is wrong with me?


It tastes slightly of raspberry and quite a bit like the official standard of "energy drinks", which is the overpowering flavour of vitamin B, usually coupled with some horrendous fruit flavour trying to hose it away. It's got quite a rough texture, too. Although having described it, it's still not that bad.

Once again I have to deal with the fundamental vitamin B flavour trying to eat away at my soft palate. The methylated spirits aroma from before again reappears, which isn't the most pleasant experience.

It's not that bad. I can't say much more than that. After all of the above mocking, it's still quite drinkable.

Exotic beverage: Speed Chrome

Apparently chrome is yellow. I haven't opened this can yet. The name conjures some interesting possibilities, two of which are: It looks like chrome. This is unlikely, as I'm unaware of it having become legal to include actual metal in beverages. The other alternative is: It acts like chrome, meaning you can spray it into a rag and inhale it for happy fun time. I doubt both reasons, but bear in mind we are talking about an energy drink manufacturer who's modus operandi is "name it after something morally reprehensible".

It doesn't look like chrome. It looks like slightly greenish, carbonated wee.

When you open the can, there's an overwhelming stink of window cleaner. On sniffing the liquid itself, it smells like a relatively benign fruit drink. Whether or not it's actually benign, I'm as yet unsure.

Mm, wee.

It's...............interesting. It's slightly fruity. The other sensation it carries is quite similar to the "HOLY CRAP IS IT MILK OR IS IT SODA" effect the choc-orange Fanta Spider demonstrated. It's like there's a haze of awkward gaseous matter surrounding the real flavour, which, like most energy drinks, consists mostly of strong, sweet fruit flavours attempting to mask the overwhelming presence of Vitamin Berocca.

The flavour dissipates pretty quickly, leaving you with the horrid tang of vitamin B and the weird sensation of the "flavour haze" described above, which doesn't seem to go away, no matter how much other fluid you consume afterward.

It's not pleasant, but that's okay. Few of these drinks actually are. As they go, this one's pretty middle-of-the-road. It's got gross bits, it's got good bits. At least it's not liquid metal.

Update: I just took a huge swig, thinking "it's not that bad! You just typed out an essay saying so!", but...it is. It's horrid. It tastes like really nasty fruit drink with some methylated spirits in it, and possibly some pee. Blurgh.