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Low-Speed Chase

"Put your helmet on, we'll be reaching speeds of three!"

The High Speed Chase Scene has been a staple of action movies for decades, and the most obvious way to parody it is to remove the "high speed" part, and have the action take place below 5mph.

With that simple change, all the usual staples - the Sheet of Glass, the Lemming Cops, the Wronski Feint - become ridiculous, while tropes like Slo-Mo Big Air and Every Car Is a Pinto become downright surreal. Expect heaping helpings of Overly Long Gags as characters desperately brace for an impact that's a long time coming. Relies heavily on Mundane Made Awesome

While it might be hard to believe, a dramatic variant also exists. Just make the pursuer a terrifying Implacable Man and the pursued a broken wreck trying to crawl away from a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. This has to be done carefully, or it can easily slip into Narm territory.

Note that Slow Motion chases don't count - the characters should actually be travelling at that speed.


Examples:

Advertising
  • The commercial for Mario Kart DS shows a pair of old women in a golf cart at an airport being chased by airport security in another golf cart.

Anime and Manga
  • Scorpiomon (who had just eaten, and is not in the greatest shape in the first place) chasing Joe, Mimi, Palmon, and Gomamon (who are all exhausted) in Digimon Adventure.

Comic Books
  • Astérix in Lutetia: Asterix and Obelix are chasing an ox cart on a Roman highway, but since the cart goes at a leisurely walking pace, they easily catch up with it. Yet the ironic caption for the panel is "And the breathtaking chase begins!" Obelix stops the cart by dovetailing it and stopping in front of it, which obviously is not impressive at all when done at 5 MPH.
  • Used in a story of Cattivik: Our anti-hero is chased by a stubborn carabiniere and the fast chase slowly declines to a walking pace, then to a agonizing crawl.

Film
  • Blades of Glory boasted a hilarious chase scene between one of the protagonists and antagonists which happens while they're both wearing ice skates—on pavement.
  • Undercover Brother. The title character and Sista Girl are chased by security guards on a golf course - with both groups driving electric golf carts.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 did this a lot, as it seems many low-budget movies didn't have the budget or influence to get permission to cordon off roads or exceed the speed limit.
    • In the MST3Ked Space Mutiny, the final chase is down an inside corridor between what looks like a handful of modified baggage carts (Mike and the Bots referred to them as 'floor waxers'). It's hard to look action-packed when it's pretty clear that any of the actors could get out on foot and run laps around the pursuers and pursued. The climactic showdown between the Hero and Villain ended with a chase in said carts, which is as undignified as one would imagine.
    • Similarly, the Ed Wood movie Jail Bait features a car chase at about 20 MPH, possibly because Wood couldn't afford stunt drivers or insurance.
  • A dramatic example in Snake Eyes as a badly-beaten Santoro staggers away to try and find the girl his former friend Dunne is hoping to kill. Dunne, knowing he'll lead him right to the girl, simply walks calmly after him.
  • Something similar happens in the slow-speed climax of A Fish Called Wanda, when Otto is trapped in cement and is unable to run away from Ken, gradually approaching in a steamroller.
  • The stair lift chase in the German movie Neues vom Wixxer. It even ends in an Every Stairlift is a Pinto moment.
  • One chase scene in The Way of the Gun was so slow that the henchmen following the crooks who just kidnapped the pregnant lady were pushing the car along with their feet.
  • The Terminator series and spinoffs use the implacable man variant, with a damaged Terminator pursuing an injured human, especially in the climax of the first movie.
  • Cockneys Vs Zombies has a scene where an elderly man with a Zimmerframe is chased by a shambling zombie.
  • The Heat has the overweight, out-of-breath and possibly slightly concussed Sgt. Mullins pursuing a drug dealer whose groin she just pulverised by yanking him down onto the fence he was trying to clamber over, both of them shambling and groaning. She eventually catches him up by throwing a watermelon at his back, knocking him down.
  • In Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, Alan, Pat and Michael lead the police on a low speed chase in the mobile studio, broadcasting traffic information about the low speed chase while they do so.
  • The Ed Wood turkey Jail Bait has a car chase that looks as if they're doing 10 MPH.

Literature
  • Dramatic example: The short story The Quest for Blank Claveringi has a scientist stuck on an island with two giant man-eating snails. They're not much faster than normal snails, and so aren't much of a threat...unless you're on a tiny island with barely anywhere to hide.

Live-Action TV
  • In Malcolm in the Middle, Reese's first driving lesson turns into an Escalating Chase, eventually culminating in his leading the whole thing through the test course and passing with flying colors.
  • Happens on Seinfeld when George gets a scooter-chair. The show's climax features him slowly driving down the street, being chased by a group of old folks who are also on scooter-chairs.
  • The Father Ted episode "Speed 3" where Father Dougal is trapped on a milk float that will explode if the speed drops below four miles an hour. Among other chase tropes, includes a scene where the float is careering towards a huge pile of Cardboard Boxes, and Ted has to move them out of the way... one by one.
  • Justified's "Blaze of Glory" ends on one of these, between a U.S. Marshall with a bum knee and an old man dying of emphysema. The latter has taken off his oxygen tank, both because it's slowing him down and he's entertaining death as an option, and the Marshall is trying to get it back to him.
  • In an episode of 7th Heaven, Simon, a new driver, gets into a low speed car chase aided by his grandfather who has dementia but who is supposed to be helping him learn to drive.
  • There are a few occasions of this in Doctor Who, usually due to Special Effects Failure.
    • "Day of the Daleks" features a motorised tricycle on which the Doctor and Jo attempt to escape from the Ogrons (because Jon Pertwee had thought the tricycle was cool) - which, again, doesn't appear to go notably faster than walking speed.
    • "Warriors of the Deep" featured the Myrka, which was unfortunately unfinished; as a result, it can barely move, and so characters can't really 'run' away from it.
    • In "The Happiness Patrol", the eponymous patrol are mounted on go-karts that do not seem to travel much faster than walking pace. The Doctor and Ace steal one to flee on.
    • This can happen in the modern series too. In "The Unicorn and the Wasp" we get a rather slow car chase, but it's justified because the episode takes place in the nineteen twenties.

Webcomics
  • The Sluggy Freelance story "Girls' Night Out" features a chase on "Smegway" personal transporters, which a human could easily outrun.

Western Animation
  • The Simpsons
    • Sideshow Bob trying to make an escape in the Wright Brothers' plane, while police cars drove slowly behind him trying to catch him with nets.
    • Chief Wiggum chasing the duck who took his badge.
    • Grandpa Simpson chasing a tortoise that has his false teeth.
    • Homer and Bart fleeing an angry mob in a parade float that tops out at 5 m.p.h. in "Bart's Inner Child".
  • South Park:
    • Kenny and Cartman get into an extremely slow version of the O.J. Simpson police chase in a battery-powered toy car.
    • "I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining" has the boys tying to outrun the onset of killer boredom on a 4 mile-an-hour boat.
    • There's a tricycle race of appropriate speed between Eric and Kyle in "Cartoon Wars". A police car somehow loses control trying to keep up.
  • In Futurama, there's a chase scene at the Central Bureaucracy on "slowmobiles", hover-scooters that travel at slightly less than walking pace.
  • The Fairly OddParents: Timmy is trying to outrun his mind-controlled friends, who are trying to capture and brainwash him. However, their scooters are set to a mere 2 mph - any faster would mean they would spill their milk (the source of the mind control).
  • The Viva Pinata cartoon had a chase on really slow moving forklifts.
  • One Robot Chicken sketch featured a baby Terminator and robot dog battling it out in an epic low-speed chase.
    • Snail Cop with a megaphone: "YOUUUU ARE GOIIIIIINGGGG TOOOOOO FAAAAAAAAAASST! PULLLLLLLL OVVEERRRRRR IMMMEDIATELEEEEEEEEEEEEY!"
  • In an episode of The Cleveland Show set in New York, Cleveland orders a taxi driver to chase after another taxi driver. However, being New York, there's so much traffic that Cleveland could have caught up to the driver by walking.
  • Taz-Mania: In "Return of the Road to Taz-Mania Strikes Back" Hugh, Drew and Taz get involved in a golf buggy chase. At one point Jean, who is on foot, overtakes them to remind them that they still need to buy orange juice.
  • The Littlest Pet Shop (2012) episode "Heart of Parkness" has a pursuit down a park's creek where both parties are in rubber-ducky swan paddleboats. The people getting pursued never even notice there's someone on their tail.


Low ClearanceChase SceneMagic Brakes
Low ClearanceComedy TropesMa'am Shock
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