Movie Reviews

Christine (1983): Movie Review + Special Edition DVD Information

This review of John Carpenter’s Christine movie has two parts. First, there is the movie review. Then there is little information about the Special Edition Collector’s DVD. I own a copy so this gives me the opportunity to share information about the bonus features.

John Carpenter’s Christine: Movie Review

John Carpenter's Christine (1983) Special Edition Collector's DVDWhen it comes to the movie, John Carpenter always seems to get top billing. However, let’s not forget it’s really Stephen King’s Christine. He wrote the book, after all. John Carpenter only directed the movie. Having said that, he did an excellent job. So did the members of the cast. If you want to see a movie about a scary car, you won’t find a better option than Christine.

John Carpenter’s Christine movie is very similar to Stephen King’s book about a nerdy high-school boy who buys an old car, fixes it up, and becomes obsessed with it. The boy’s name is Arnie Cunningham. The car is a Plymouth Fury and it has a name too. It’s called Christine and it may be truer to say Arnie becomes possessed by his new set of wheels.

There are a few differences between the movie and the book. In the book, for instance, Arnie Cunningham buys Christine from its original owner but, in the movie, the car’s owner is dead. Arnie buys it from the man’s brother.

However, none of the difference between John Carpenter’s movie and Stephen King’s Christine book are really worth mentioning in this review. Regardless of the few deviations from the original story, Christine is a great movie.

All of the cast are excellent and really make the roles their own. The car always steals the show, of course, but my favourite character would have to Arnie (Keith Gordon). Arnie is a real nerdy-looking kid at the beginning of the movie, with arms flailing everywhere and an added gift for clumsy. He is brow-beaten by his parents at home, and beaten by the bullies at school. Then he buys Christine and everything changes. As Arnie rebuilds the car he seems to be rebuilding himself too. Gone are the glasses. The flailing arms and ungainly walk disappear as well. He starts dressing smartly, becomes more self-confident and is very much new and improved.

Unfortunately, while things are improving for Arnie and his car, his family is falling apart. The former nerd’s relationship with his best friend, Dennis Guilder (John Stockwell), takes a back seat too. Then, when Arnie succeeds in wooing sexy new girl at school, Leigh Cabot (Alexandra Paul), the young lady feels she has to compete with Christine and the relationship is soon on the rocks.

One of the things that makes this movie so enjoyable is the story is incredibly good. However, so are the effects. Especially for a movie that was made back in the eighties. The Soundtrack is also excellent. Everyone who likes good horror movies should try and watch John Carpenter’s Christine at least once in their life. I’ve seen it many times. It never loses its appeal and I hope nobody ever decides to make a remake. There’s an old saying that states, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” John Carpenter got it right first time around. His movie version of Christine requires no fixing and the world already has too many second-rate movie remakes.


Christine: The Special, Collector’s Edition DVD

When I realized Christine was available on DVD I bought a copy straight away. At the time, I had the choice between the bog-standard DVD and the collector’s edition. I chose the collector’s edition. In the USA, the same DVD is marketed as the “Special Edition” copy.

To be honest, apart from the words “Collector’s Edition” on the box it isn’t that much different from the standard DVD. However, the disc contains a commentary provided by John Carpenter and Keith Gordon. It also has 20 deleted scenes and 3 featurettes.

The three featurettes are:

  • Christine: Ignition — The cast and crew talk about the movie (runtime: 11 minutes)
  • Christine: Fast and Furious — All about the making of the movie (runtime: 28 minutes)
  • Christine: Finish Line — Explains how the music was chosen for the soundtrack. Also a little more about the making of the movie and some interviews with cast and crew (runtime 7 minutes)


DVD Information:

Run time (feature): 1 hour 45 mins

Aspect Ratio:2.35:1 Anamorphic widescreen

Subtitles: English (hard of hearing), Arabic, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Turkish