Drag Kings: The Need for Speed

60 minutes • Documentary • Produced in association with: A&E • Production year: 2000

DRAG KINGS: The jangle of keys, the clanging of metal, the screech of burning tires and the thunder of engines as cars roar by the camera.

DRAG KINGS: THE NEED FOR SPEED is a one-hour documentary that brings viewers inside the shadowy subculture of illegal street racing—an ever-growing phenomenon. Employing gritty, cinema-verite style imagery, DRAG KINGS tracks the after-hours racing scene: garages dedicated to creating the ultimate power-enhanced vehicle; all-night hang-outs where challenges are made and bets are laid; blocked off highways overtaken by racers and their convoys; back-alley territorial scuffles between dragger; and crash sites, where the dangers of the addiction to speed are witnessed. Still, as the film shows, the possibility of death is recklessly disregarded by the hard-core racers. In their colourful idiom, they continually revel in the rush of the race. Ordinary blue-collar days are juxtaposed with the high-speed nights of the ‘drag kings’.

At the heart of this documentary is the cat-and-mouse game between the cops, determined to put an end to the rising death toll amongst racers, and the fraternity of draggers, relentlessly driven by an insatiable quest for speed. The audience becomes privy not only to the illegal activities of the street racers, but also to the inner workings of the special Anti-Racer Police Task Force, whose chopper stalks the clandestine gatherings of the draggers.

DRAG KINGS will take you on a thrilling ride. You can bet your life on it.

Written by: Robin Bicknell & Elliott Halpern
Directed by: Robin Bicknell
Producers: Simcha Jacobovici and Elliott Halpern
Executive Producer: Jack Rabinovitch