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

The Best and Worst Movie and TV Cars (ATV’s and Motorcycles Too)

Writing my review of Mad Max got me thinking about movie and TV cars and that of course led me to write up a list of my favorite and least favorite fantastical road and off road vehicles of all time. So here is that list. These are ordered by the release date of the movie or TV show.

The best:

66 Batmobile

The Batmobile created by George Barris in 1965 for the super campy 1966 to 1968 TV series. Awesome car despite the fact it would probably suck to drive in the rain.

Death Race 2000 II

The Gator Car or The Monster from the 1975 cult movie Death Race 2000. Cheesy as hell but I love the look.

The Car

The big bad-ass killer car from the 1977 movie The Car. Not a terrific movie but I just love the mean look of this beast. Also built by George Barris.

Landmaster

The 10 ton + Landmaster built by Jefferies Automotive for the 1977 movie Damnation Alley. It’s big, it’s ugly, and it’s awesome.

Corvette Summer

Made for the 1978 movie Corvette Summer this is a Corvette Stingray with modified bodywork, custom paint job, and with right hand steering.  I realize this is not from one of my favorite genres but I just love this car!

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The beaten Pursuit Special from 1982’s Mad Max 2/The Road Warrior. I love how it looked in the original movie but the extra juice tanks on the back and the battered look just add to the character.

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The Spinner from the 1982 masterpiece Blade Runner. A very cool flying car, not quite as nice as The Jetson’s flying cars but pretty close.

89 Batmobile

The super cool Batmobile from Tim Burton’s visually amazing 1989 Batman. Looks great, too bad it could only go 35 MPH.

The worst:

Paris

The spiny VW Bug from the 1974 movie The Cars That Ate Paris. Terrible movie and silly car.

The butt ugly solar car from the 1977 Logan's Run TV series. I loved this thing when I was a kid. Now not so much.

The butt ugly solar car from the 1977 Logan’s Run TV series. I loved this thing when I was a kid, not so much now.

Galactica 1980

The goofy flying motorcycles from the horrendous TV series Galactica 1980.

Megaforce

1982’s Megaforce featured every possible variation of badly designed vehicle whether it was a dune buggy, motorcycle, etc. Nothing scares a villain like permed rejects from Dance Fever wearing gold spandex and driving fruity weapons of mass destruction.

Black Moon Rising

The prototype super car from the 1986 movie Black Moon Rising. Looks like it got ironed. The title is the best part of the movie.

The Wraith

The unimpressive car from the terrible but very entertaining 1986 move The Wraith (or Wraith The). Stupid fun movie but the car never did anything for me…

...this may have had something to do with the fact Sherilyn Fenn was in the movie and the car was pushed out of my mind.

…this may have something to do with the fact Sherilyn Fenn was in the movie and the car was pushed out of my mind for some strange reason.

BF Batmobile

The tacky, cheesy, tasteless, and utterly stupid pimped out Batmobile from the sometimes entertaining 1995 movie Batman Forever. This thing makes my stomach churn.

Nemo Car

Last but not least is Captain Nemo’s gaudy car from 2003’s The League of Somewhat Above Average Gentlemen. Not too ostentatious at all.