Movie Review – The Car

1977 Universal Pictures

GP Alert

The CarStraight from Hell’s body shop comes The Car!

I have to admit to being a serious junky when it comes to certain cheesy 1970’s and 1980’s horror and science fiction movies. I know they’re bad but I can’t help but loving them. It’s an addiction I can live with and I will happily feed it as long as I live. The Car is one of those movies that I just love. I first saw this movie on HBO and I must have watched it about twenty times or more. Even as a child I knew it was goofy but I didn’t care. To this day no matter what anyone says I will defend the entertainment value of this movie to the bitter end!

The Car is set in a small town out in the middle of the desert that becomes the target of a mysterious car that has a nasty habit of running over people. After two bicyclist and a hitchhiker are ruthlessly mowed down the police lock down the area in an attempt to trap the perpetrator and stop the vehicular homicide. What they didn’t count on is the fact the car has no driver and ordinary laws of psychics don’t seem to apply this hellish creation.

The Car is an easy movie to describe, it’s Jaws with a car. The Car is structured very much like Jaws and feels like Jaws just without the quality writing, acting, directing, and all that other silly stuff. Basically it’s a lame ripoff that happens to be a lot of fun.

There is nothing too complex about this movie. There’s a killer car on the loose and the law must find a way to stop it before it kills again. The plot is simple, the characters are simple, and that’s about it. There is some attempt to give depth to a few of the characters with a couple of subplots but it doesn’t really work all that well. The dialogue is atrocious at times and some of the camera angles and use of sped up footage are bizarre to say the least. But it doesn’t matter the Car is the star and the rest is just a bunch of filler. The existence of this car is never explained. Why it attacks this small town is a mystery. It’s just a good excuse to drive a cool car around and destroy things. Can’t ask for more than that in this kind of movie except maybe for some gratuitous nudity.

The good:

The title character. The menacing monstrous beast of a car built specially for the movie is one of my favorite four wheeled creations of all time. A heavily modified 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III black coupe with no door handles, a lowered roof, one way windows, and a car horn straight from the depths of Hades.

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I love how the car just appears out of the desert and starts going crazy on this small town.

I love the music score by Leonard Rosenman.

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Kim Richards is so damn cute.

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Holy smokes! I never had any teachers like this.

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Or this!

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There are some cool locations in The Car.

dvd_snapshot_00.41.43_[2013.05.06_16.36.21] The not so good:

I can understand speeding up the footage of the car seeing as it has supernatural abilities but why speed up the footage of the police cars and motorcycle? There is a whole sequence where all the driving footage is sped up and it just looks goofy especially the footage of James Brolin on his motorcycle.

Random thoughts and observations:

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Not too many movies start off with a quote from the Satanic Bible.

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These two are equivalent to the first victim of the shark in Jaws.

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Filmed in CarVision!

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Uh oh, could be trouble. Quick duck and cover!

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Students practice marching at a fairground. This is the Jaws beach scene…

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…complete with a policeman keeping an eye out for the car.

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Not doing a very good job of it either. What’s the sun gleaming off from out in the desert? Hmmmmmm…

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The car even gets a shark fin sticking out of the water scene.

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The car is kept obscured by dust or only the front end is shown in the first half of the movie.

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The big reveal of the car forty six minutes into the movie. Too bad the nimrods who created the trailer showed the car in all its glory.

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Not something you want to see when you take a corner…

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…or when you turn around in your locked garage.

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“Wade I think I hear the car!”
That thing she’s holding is called a telephone kids!

During the end credits there is footage of the car riding through the deserted streets of a larger city. Was there a sequel planned at some point?

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The Car 2: Car in the City

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