For decades now I've had a dim memory of a movie I watched on cable as a little kid; a movie that was clearly not for my age group but I managed to watch anyway (Mom must have been doing laundry). I could only remember two details: Lots of car crashes, and a scene where a woman was locked into a closet-sized oven and the heat turned way up. That was some ripe nightmare fuel for my young mind, and that imagery has stayed in my mind all these years. In fact, it might just be the first movie image to have done so.
I've desperately tried to find out the title of this flick. Even with the power of the Internet, I had a lot of trouble here. I had an 80% certainty that the word "Crash!" popped up on the screen during the film. However, I could not be certain if this was the title, if it was some pizazz during a trailer for the film, or if it was some kind of tribute to the styling of the Batman TV show.
There was a 1977 film called Crash! directed by Charles Band (long before he went on to produce dozens of the most memorable direct-to-video fodder of the Eighties), but there wasn't enough evidence to prove that it was the one I remember. Sure, it had automotive carnage, but then again so many movies did after Smokey and the Bandit hit it big.
Finally, finally I came across a review of it at the Dread Central website. The reviewer, Foywonder, did a blow-by-blow of the plot and included this nugget of information: "The old cripple tries killing her again by locking her in the sauna and cranking up the heat". BINGO!
I am indebted to Foywonder (and I sent him an email telling him so). The final note, however, is a bummer: The movie is not on DVD and is extremely rare on VHS. I may not ever see this film again, but at least the mystery is solved.