This low-budget thriller from 1977 has developed a sizable following, and can be seen in pieces on Youtube. Cheesy, yes, but it’s better than you’d expect– and it stars a George Barris custom job.
Title: The Car
Available from Amazon.com
Cast, Crew, and Other Info:
Directed by Elliot Silverstein.
The Car designed by George Barris
Full Cast and crew may be found here.
For no apparent reason, a possessed car begins terrorizing a small town in the American southwest.
The film features some decent stunt work, and the night scene in Lauren’s house demonstrates The Car’s ability to transcend its idiotic premise.
The film features some non-stereotypical Native American characters—- still a rarity in films that are not expressly about Indians.
The ridiculous, red-filtered car-o-vision effect.
Originality: 2/6 They’ve crossed Jaws with Duel and thrown in a little of The Exorcist. This might seem highly derivative, but ripping off those three particular movies at once represents a bizarre kind of originality.
Effects: 4/6 These are good, considering the times and the budget.
Acting: 4/6 The actors don’t embarrass themselves, despite some awkward dialogue. A few put in strong performances; the rest at least match the standards set by the better tv-movies of the era.
Emotional Response: 4/6. The filmmakers have kept it fun and relatively exciting.
Overall: 4/6 The Car is in some respects a better film than Christine, but not as good as Duel. This is the sort of movie you can watch while handing out Halloween candy. You don’t really need to keep up with the plot developments, and the kiddies at your door won’t be traumatized by inappropriate dialogue.
In total, The Car receives a score of 26/42.
Seventies Movie Check-list!
- Overwrought score: Yes
- Hero with Burt hair and porn ‘stache: Yes
- Hip cop: Yes
- Feisty Heroine: Yes
- Liberated sexuality: Yes
- “Jiggle”: Yes
- Short shorts: Yes
- Tight pants: Yes
- Dude with baaad outfit: No
- Precocious kids: Yes
- Viet Nam Vet: Yes
- Zany hippiesque outsider: Yes
- Fat sheriff: No (but a couple of the deputies are overweight)
- Car chases: Duh, yes.
- Cool motorcycle: Yes
- Custom Van: No—- but did I mention the George Barris car?
- Inexplicably exploding vehicle: Yes
- Paranormal/occult gooblygook: Yes
- Official corruption: No
- Drug references: No
- Gratuitous Social Issues: Yes (spousal abuse and alcoholism)
- Someone getting called “turkey”: Yes
- Ambiguous Ending: Yes.