Film review: GASHOLE  auto articles car culture auto book reviews
Gashole. Click image to enlarge

By Jim Kerr

It isn’t a curse word, but after viewing the documentary film GASHOLE, you might be tempted to utter a few. This 100-minute film is not the type of movie that will ever be shown in mainstream theatres, but with its release as a DVD this spring, those interested in driving, fuel prices, the economy and the environment will find this DVD provokes some serious thought and discussion while being entertaining at the same time.

Some might see the movie more as a docu-drama rather than a documentary, but regardless of your viewpoint, it is an interesting film filled with interviews and facts that, when put together, may lead you to believe there is a conspiracy to keep our oil prices high. Warning: GASHOLE is about U.S. oil, the oil companies, government regulators and the political and economic implications of supply and demand. Canada is different. How different is up to you to decide.

GASHOLE starts with a conspiracy theory. Have you ever heard about special carburetors on vehicles that would get over 100 miles per gallon? None of these cars are available to the public today. They have been bought, stolen, and have simply disappeared, says the documentary, which looks back at vehicles such as the 1948 Buick Roadmaster, whose owner who invented a water injected carburetor. Although the car has disappeared, the owner told others he had been bought out by an oil company and was not to build any more units. Has big oil been hiding these inventions so they could generate more sales and profits?

Film review: GASHOLE  auto articles car culture auto book reviews
Gashole. Click image to enlarge

The movie goes on to take a look at other inventors, including Rudolf Diesel who invented alternate fuel engines that would or could operate with renewable energy resources. Diesel and other inventors mysteriously died, which adds to the conspiracy theory.

A part of the movie takes a look at the oil industry and politics. Millions of dollars have been spent supporting political figures. Does this influence how they look at regulating gas prices? One would think so. Is it true? One can only look at the facts presented in the film, and they lead one to believe it is.

The oil industry is a complex business. The film looks at the history of U.S. oil and how one company, Standard Oil, came to dominate the industry in its early stages. While Standard Oil no longer dominates, they have spawned a whole range of oil companies that exert enormous influence, both politically and socially. The impact of overseas oil on our gas supply and pricing is also looked at.

Of particular interest is the film’s look at alternate fuels such as biodiesel, ethanol, hydrogen and electricity. Although this is a brief look at these alternates, it does highlight their impact on gasoline prices and how the oil companies may react. While publicly they may support alternate fuels, do they really support them?

I ran through a range of emotions watching GASHOLE, from anger to sadness to curiosity to hope. If nothing else, this documentary will create awareness of the current state of affairs in world oil politics and how they affect gas prices. There are alternatives and GASHOLE offers these as hope for our future.

If you are looking for a family movie for a rainy summer night, this isn’t the best choice. If you are looking for an interesting, thought provoking film, GASHOLE is a good choice. Directors Jeremy Wagener and Scott D. Roberts have done an excellent job in putting this together.