Thursday, 26 December 2013

Film Review:- The Car (1977)

"The Car" is a 1977 horror/thriller film, playing on the myth of "the devils rider", which has popped up before in various forms of storytelling since the middle ages.

Set in a backwater town named "Santa Ynez" in Utah, the films plot revolves around the sudden appearance of a mysterious black car which kills several people by running them over.
Local policeman Captain Wade Parent ( James Brolin ) tries to solve the mystery, which at first the police put down to the work of a maniac, however as the film pans out, it turns out to be a much more sinister threat than a simple psycho murderer. The film also stars a very young looking Ronny Cox as a bible thumping deputy who struggles with alcoholism, as well as a whole host of other people who I've never heard of.

The film itself was poorly received by critics on first release, citing bad acting, poor scripting and dodgy effects (even though there arent many effects on show in this film, and even then the quality of them isnt bad compared to some films of the time with much larger budgets ).
Over time though, this film has gathered a bit of a cult following, and I have yet to see many examples of other films like it, save for the awful "Maximum Overdrive", which is a shame really because its a really good basic idea for a storyline.

On a side note, the Car featured in the film was a prop created especially for this film by famed Hollywood car mod guru George Barris, and when you first see it it really does look menacing, although the film uses the old 50's B movie cliche of keeping the audience from seeing the bad guy/monster in full until half way through the story.

Nonetheless, despite its original critics moaning about crap acting and campiness, "The Car" is a pretty good no brainer watch, although I'd hardly refer to it as a "horror" film now, but still its a good way of spending 90 minutes watching some good, old fashioned honest entertainment without any hidden subtexts  etc.

I give it 3 skid marks out of 5

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