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DVD Review: The Car (1977)

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The Car (1977)

Directed by Elliot Silverstein

The Car DVD (1977)The Car is a 70s horror movie, starring James Brolin and Kathleen Lloyd. Obviously, I won't be surprising anyone when I say that it is about a car; and like the car in John Carpenter's Christine, this vehicle seems to have a life of its own. I suppose it would be an easy thing to compare the two movies and say they came from the same mould, but that's not the case at all—not in my opinion anyway. I first saw both movies back in the eighties. I liked them both then and I still do now. The car in Christine is a shiny, eye-catching mechanical monster that stalks its victims to the sound of the funky, old, rock and roll music playing on its radio. The car in this movie has no radio though; the only sounds come from its engine, the squealing of its tyres and the blasting of its terrible horn. The car's horn emits such an abrasive noise that it can send shudders down your backbone and make you want to plug your ears. You hear quite a lot of the horn throughout the movie as well, because the car seems to use it as a means of intimidating its victims and announcing its evil intentions.

Lauren taunts The Car, but it won't enter hallowed groundAt the beginning of the movie a young couple are bicycling along a high mountain road. It is a sunny day and there are some nice views for them to admire. Somewhere behind them though, in the distance, a cloud of dust is sweeping along the desert roads. The camera shows the couple on their bikes, it shows the dust, then the couple again and eventually the car that is causing all the dust. It is rather an ugly-looking, black monstrosity and every now and again the viewer is treated to a view through the windshield of the car. The car has tinted windows. From the outside they look black, but from inside it is like looking through amber. As you might expect, the car soon catches up with the young couple and, after a few caustic blasts of its horn, it ends their days of bicycles and mountain roads forever, leaving just a shoe lying in the road next to a badly buckled, but still spinning, wheel.

Brolin plays policeman, Wade Parent, who lives with his two young daughters and just happens to be knocking off one of their teachers:  a young lady called Lauren. Lauren is a fun girl and she and Wade make a nice couple who seem to have the children's blessings if they ever decide to get it together on a more permanent basis. Unfortunately for all concerned though, trouble is coming to town. The car's next victim is a young tuba player who is hoping for a lift. Hitchhiking has never been so dangerous and the car reverses over his dead body a few times just to make sure the tread marks are good and deep. Fortunately for the weak of stomach, the viewer is not shown the carnage up close and in glorious Technicolor. This is a movie from the seventies, remember, and they did things a little differently back then. With modern movies the viewer might need to keep a barf-bag handy but an imagination is not necessary. The Car leaves it all to the viewer's imagination. We know the guy's mincemeat. We don't need to see it.  Even the bird in the tree has been shocked into silence.

The car has so little respect for law and order that even the poor, old sheriff gets to take as few tyre tracks to his coffin with him. One deputy starts hitting the bottle a few more deputies start getting hit by the car and nobody in the town is safe.

To add a few extra worries to Wade's collection, an old Indian woman—who witnessed the sheriff's murder—says that the car had no driver!

The Car DVD (1977)

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The Car isn't going to be to everyone's taste I am sure, but it has stood the test of time pretty well and even though the vehicles in it give away the movie's age it still does not come across as feeling dated.

A big, black car with a bad attitude and no driver, what more could any horror fan want?


 James Brolin            ...  Wade Parent
 Kathleen Lloyd          ...  Lauren
 John Marley               ...  Everett
 R.G. Armstrong          ...  Amos Clements
 John Rubinstein          ...  John Morris
 Elizabeth Thompson   ...  Margie
 Roy Jenson                 ...  Ray Mott
 Kim Richards              ...  Lynn Marie

 Kyle Richards             ...  Debbie

 Kate Murtagh              ...  Miss McDonald
 Robert Phillips             ...  Metcalf
 Doris Dowling             ...  Bertha
 Henry O'Brien             ...  Chas
 Eddie Little Sky           ...  Denson

 Lee McLaughlin          ...  Marvin Fats
 Margaret Willey          ...  Navajo Woman
 Read Morgan              ...  Mac Gruder

 Ernie F. Orsatti           ...  Dalton
 Joshua Davis              ...  Jimmy

 Geraldine Keams         ...  Donna
 Hank Hamilton            ...  Al Ashberry
 John Moio                   ...  Parker
 Melody Thomas Scott ...  Suzie Pullbrook
 Bob Woodlock            ...  Pete Keil
 James Rawley             ...  Thompson
 Louis Welch                ...  Berry
 Bryan O'Byrne            ...  Wally

 Don Keefer                 ...  Dr. Pullbrook
 Steve Gravers              ...  Mr. Mackey
 Tony Brande               ...  Joe

 Ronny Cox                   ...  Luke

DVD Information:

Aspect Ratio







96 minutes

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