asten your seatbelts for the terrifying thrill ride that has become a cult classic! The peaceful tranquility of a small Western town is disturbed when a murderous car wreaks havoc by viciously mowing down innocent victims. The new sheriff, Wade Parent (James Brolin, The Amityville Horror), may be the only one who can stop this menace in its tracks. But what Wade Parent doesn't realize is that the driver of this indestructible vehicle is far more dangerous than any man... because it is driven by pure evil.
In the film, THE CAR, the sleepy town of San Ynez, in Thomas Country Utah, is put on high alert when several people are found dead after being mowed down by a mysterious black car. When the car eventually returns in a bid to kill eye eyewitness Amos, only to strike and kill Sheriff Everett, his Deputy, Wade Parent takes over. However little did he know what he was in for. When the mysterious car without a driver returns to further terrorize, the town, including his young daughters, and girlfriend, Lauren, Wade must buckle down and take matters in his own hands, as he goes against the unknown....whatever demonic entity is controlling the car. In the end, Parent, his colleagues, as well as Amos, collectively attempt to corner the car up in the mountains, where they hope to destroy the car once and for all.
Now, here is a film that I have seen a handful of times, after discovering it years back. It's 1979's THE CAR, starring one of my favorites, James Brolin. My reasoning for revisiting it so many times over, isn't because THE CAR is a great, or even good film. No. It's just simply silly fun. As if you could not tell from the above synopsis, THE CAR is a film not to be taken seriously. No, not in the least bit. It's pure B-Movie fantasy right from the beginning. It presents a "What if" scenario - what if a car was posessed by a demonic force, and what if it was seemingly indestructible, and killed at will? That is the question the film poses within a quite, sleepy town, when the townsfolk are hit with the unexpected. Overall, it's a campy delight. Yes, sometimes its campiness is even a bit too much, even for itself, but overall, it's a fairly fun time to witness.
As with the film itself, there are some pretty fun performances/appearances all around. From John Marley as the original Sheriff Everett, Ronny Cox as a Police Officer named, Luke, and R.G. Armstrong, as the town drunk, Amos. The film is further supported with appearances from Kathleen Lloyd as Parent's girlfriend Laure. while sisters, Kim and Kyle Richards(the aunts of Paris and Nicki Hilton, and long before their stint as Real Housewives of Beverly Hills) portray his daughters in the film. But it is indeed Brolin, whom I feel makes THE CAR as fun as it is. Throughout the film, you just get a sense that Brolin knew just how campy this was, as he embraces it. Personally, I liked him in the lead role. Had it been anyone else, i'm not so sure I would have like it as much.
To close, there's not too much that I can say about this film that I haven't said already. Not a great film, but one that is fairly entertaining. It's a classic B-Movie that's in the same vein as CHRISTINE or MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE.
The film is presented via an HD transfer by SCREAM! FACTORY. Some diehard fans have complained that other releases have utilized better prints, while others also mention that the version used here is missing some sound effects. Effects that were gone in previous releases as well. I am no expert on this film, so I couldn't elaborate on this. But what I can mention, is what I see, in that the film both looks and sounds pretty good here. As for special features, the disc features 3 interviews, TV/Radio spots, a still gallery, and the film's theatrical trailer.
Some detals about these features are as follows :
"Mystery of THE CAR" - Interview with Director Elliot Silverstein (9m 16s)
Here, the Director of THE CAR, takes about the development of the film, and how Universal wanted a JAWS on land" type of film. He also talks about the many difficulties both he and the crew faced, and how an onset accident could have very well been fatal for him.
"The Navajo Connection" - interview with Director Actress Geraldine Keams (12m 10s) Actress Geraldine
Keams("Donna") talks about being Navajo, and growing up on the Reservation. Furthermore she talks about how she got into acting, and especally how she got involved with THE CAR. She further talks about what it was like on set, working with the cast, and Director Elliot Silverstein, and what she liked most about the film.
"Just Like Riding a Bike" - Interview with Director Actress Melody Scott Thomas (11m 52s)
Actress Melody Scott Thomas(Suzie Pullbrook) talks about her beginning as an Actress as a child actor, and how at age 20, she got the small part as one of the film's first victims. She also talks about the difficulties of working with the Director and the hot conditions of Utah.
IMPRESSION OF THE FILM
As I said above, while THE CAR isn't great, and it didn't exactly become the "JAWS on land" that Universal hoped it would be, it certainly is still a lot of fun, despite all of the challenges it faced. I watch it when I want to watch something fun and that's why i'd recommend it.
Special Features include :
- NEW Mystery Of The Car An Interview With Producer/Director Elliot Silverstein
- NEW The Navajo Connection An Interview With Actress Geraldine Keams
- NEW Just Like Riding A Bike - An Interview With Actress Melody Thomas Scott
- Theatrical Trailer
- TV Spot
- Radio Spots
- Still Gallery