Director: John Carpenter
Starring: Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul, Harry Dean Stanton, Kelly Preston
Running Time: 110 minutes
This review by Paul -all part of my 31 Days of Horror.
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I first fell in love with this film when I was about 13, a long time ago! It was one of the few videos that were for rental in the local garage – yesteryear’s Blockbuster! and it had swearing in it!
The story has the classic geek-turned-god aspect centered around one Arnie Cunningham (Keith Gordon), a 17yr old spec wearing geek who falls for the Christine of the title, a red and white 1958 Plymouth Fury (what a car!). What he doesn’t know is the car is possessed by an evil malevolent sprit, which is going to be his undoing.
When we first see Christine, she (opps, it’s got me as well!) is for sale outside a ramshackle building, and held together by the rust of ages. He needs her and the first spell is cast on poor Arnie. His folks understandably go mental so he hires a spot in the local garage, with the intention of doing her up. Not very exciting yet is it? oooooo, but you gotta stick with me here.
At this point we have already seen Arnie being bullied by the school hard knocks, until his hero-jock mate saves him and the day from the nasty Buddy Repperton. Understandably Arnie is a bit miffed and pours all his energies and love into Christine. I can’t describe the state of the car, but when you hear the words ‘show me’ fall from Arnie’s mouth you sit back and prepare to be amazed. The car fixes herself! better than ever before! Pristine condition! and as the old dude that told him says, ‘there’s nothing in the world that beats the smell of a brand new car, ‘cept maybe for pussy’ (you can see why a 13yr old loved this film, he said pussy!). the effects are pretty mindblowing for a 1983 film, before CGI was even thought about, the way the car bends back into shape and the glass all reforms still does it for me even today.
Arnie turns up at school the next day, minus the specs and riding in Pristine Christine, to the envy of all, even his soon-to-be-on-crutches best mate, and especially Buddy and the badlad crew. They find where Christine is housed and trash her, big style. (I may have some things out of order but the jist is there).
Now comes the Revenge!
Arnie/Christine hunt the dudes down one by one and disposes of them in ruthless fashion. The scene where he crushes the fat kid in the alley stuck with me for years! and the shot of a burning Christine driving down the road is pure cinema joy. Hear me roar!
I’m not usually a Stephen King fan, but it is the presence of John Carpenter that brings this film to another level (as usual). I read the book (and still chuckled at the pussy line) and now have the DVD. The first re-watch of this after so many years brought a big smile to my old chops, like going to visit an old friend, although a big red scary one that kicks ass!
And the final scene, well, the very final shot, where we see a bit of broken bent mental swaying in the beeze makes you turn and go oooooooo to anyone not hiding behind the sofa.
It might not be the bloodiest or scariest of movies, but it still holds it own 25 years on. a demonic car? Beats getting a cab…….
Previous 31 Days of Horror reviews: Pontypool, Diary of the Dead, Doctor Terror’s House of Horror, Wrong Turn 3, Zoltan Hound of Dracula, Home Movie, The Thing, Vamp, Audition, The Fury, Blood Feast, Paranormal Activity, Braindead, Halloween, Friday the 13th Part 2, Martin, Fright Night, Zombieland