The Car

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

The Car
The Car movie poster.jpg
Promotional poster for American release of The Car
Directed byElliot Silverstein
Produced byMarvin Birdt
Elliot Silverstein
Written byMichael Butler &
Dennis Shryack (story)
Michael Butler &
Dennis Shryack and
Lane Slate (screenplay)
StarringJames Brolin
Kathleen Lloyd
John Marley
Ronny Cox
R. G. Armstrong
John Rubenstein
Elizabeth Thompson
Music byLeonard Rosenman
CinematographyGerald Hirschfeld
Editing byMichael McCroskey
Distributed byUniversal Studios
Release datesMay 13, 1977 (USA)
Running time96 min.
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$5 million
Box office$35,978,453
 
Jump to: navigation, search
The Car
The Car movie poster.jpg
Promotional poster for American release of The Car
Directed byElliot Silverstein
Produced byMarvin Birdt
Elliot Silverstein
Written byMichael Butler &
Dennis Shryack (story)
Michael Butler &
Dennis Shryack and
Lane Slate (screenplay)
StarringJames Brolin
Kathleen Lloyd
John Marley
Ronny Cox
R. G. Armstrong
John Rubenstein
Elizabeth Thompson
Music byLeonard Rosenman
CinematographyGerald Hirschfeld
Editing byMichael McCroskey
Distributed byUniversal Studios
Release datesMay 13, 1977 (USA)
Running time96 min.
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$5 million
Box office$35,978,453

The Car is a 1977 thriller film directed by Elliot Silverstein and written by Michael Butler, Dennis Shryack and Lane Slate. The film stars James Brolin, Kathleen Lloyd, John Marley, and Ronny Cox, and tells the story of a mysterious car which goes on a murderous rampage, terrorizing the residents of a small town.

The movie was produced and distributed by Universal Studios, and was influenced by numerous "road movies" of the 1970s including Steven Spielberg's 1971 thriller Duel and Roger Corman's Death Race 2000.

Plot[edit]

The film is set in the fictional Utah community of Santa Ynez. Two bicyclists are cycling on the canyon, and a mysterious black car is following them down the road. At the bridge, the car rams them at the back, causing them to fly over the bridge, killing them on the spot.

The police are called to the first of a series of hit and run deaths, apparently caused by the same car that appears heavily customized and has no license plate, making identification difficult. Sheriff Everett Peck (John Marley) gets a lead on the car when it is witnessed by Amos Clemens (R. G. Armstrong) after it runs over a hitchhiker. After the car claims the sheriff as its fourth victim, it becomes the job of Captain Wade Parent (James Brolin) to stop the deaths. During the resulting investigation, an eyewitness to the accident states that there was no driver inside the car.

Despite a police cordon being placed around all roads in the area, the car enters town and attacks the school marching band as it rehearses at the local show ground. It chases the group of teachers and students, among them Wade's girlfriend Lauren (Kathleen Lloyd), into a cemetery. Curiously enough, the machine will not enter onto the consecrated ground as Lauren taunts the purported driver that any of the townsfolk have yet to see. Seemingly in anger, the car destroys a brick gate post and leaves. The police chase the automobile along highways throughout the desert before it turns on them, destroying several squad cars and killing five officers in the process. Wade confronts the vehicle and is surprised to see that none of his bullets put a dent on the car's windshield or tires. After trying to open the door (when it is revealed that the car has no door handles), Wade is injured, and the car escapes.

The hunt for the car becomes a personal vendetta for Wade when the automobile stalks and eliminates Lauren by driving straight through her house, right when he is speaking to her over the phone. Wade's deputy Luke (Ronny Cox) puts forward the theory that it acted in revenge for the insults hurled on it by Lauren and notes it cannot enter hallowed ground. Wade concocts a plan to stop the car by burying it beneath a controlled explosion in the canyons that lie outside of town. After discovering it waiting for him in his own garage, he is forced to carry out his plans post haste. He is pursued by the car into a mountainous canyon area where his fellow officers have set a trap for the machine, and a final confrontation settles the score with a demonic visage appearing in the smoke and fire of the explosion, shocking the police officers.

The final scenes show Wade refusing to believe what the group saw in the flames, despite Deputy Johnson's insistence about what he saw. The film concludes, in some cuts, with the car prowling city streets, clearly having survived.

Main cast[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

The film was panned by critics, citing poor dialogue and acting. The film received a 18% approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes. Chicago Tribune film critic Gene Siskel gave the film one star and his headline referred to this film as, "The Cinematic Turkey of 1977."[1] The film is listed in Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson's book The Official Razzie Movie Guide as one of the The 100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made.[2] A version of the car appears as one of many famous movie monsters in The Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror XXIV" opening credits created by noted horror director Guillermo del Toro.[3]

Production[edit]

The "evil" black car in the film was a customized 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III designed by famed Hollywood car customizer George Barris. There were four cars built for the film in six weeks. Three were used for stunt work – the fourth was for closeups, etc. The stunt cars were destroyed during production – the fourth is now in a private collection.

The late Church of Satan leader Anton LaVey was given a "Technical Advisor" credit on the film. His quote: "Oh great brothers of the night who rideth upon the hot winds of hell, who dwelleth in the Devil's lair; move and appear," is given in the opening credits and is taken from the "Invocation of Destruction" in The Satanic Bible.

The film's main theme, heard predominantly throughout, is a reworked, orchestral version of Berlioz-Symphonie Fantastique, also used in "The Screaming Skull" (1958).

Footage from this film is seen in the Knight Rider episode "Trust Doesn't Rust", shown at the end when "KARR" is destroyed by driving off a cliff, a glimpse of "The Car" is seen going over the cliff instead.[4]

In other languages[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Car Movie Reviews, Pictures – Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2009-08-21. 
  2. ^ Wilson, John (2005). The Official Razzie Movie Guide: Enjoying the Best of Hollywood's Worst. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 0-446-69334-0. 
  3. ^ http://movies.yahoo.com/blogs/movie-talk/aye-carumba-spotting-horror-references-guillermo-toro-simpsons-213318712. Retrieved 2013-09-09.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "Trust Doesn't Rust Nitpicks". Retrieved 2009-08-21. 

External links[edit]