Halloween is when everyone talks about their favorite horror movies. Which is all well and good because I love a good horror movie. But you know what I love almost as much? Bad horror movies. And this is one of them.
This movie came with our first, state-of-the-art VCR - (and by state-of-the-art I mean it weighed about 200 lbs and took up more space than a small country).
The Car. A creepy, frightening movie about, you guessed it, a car. This slick, black car - a modified 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III designed by George Barris of Batmobile fame - would just torment people by following them around and running them down. And, this being some small desert town where evil dwells beneath the surface like in every horror movie ever made, all the townfolks (that’s what they are called in places like this) are quite sure the car is driven by Satan himself. Yes, that’s right. The overlord of Hell has nothing better to do than to magically appear in some third rate cow town and joyride his way through some bodies. This movie is satanic, kids. Oh, we’re not talking Adam Sandler satanic. We’re talking the real deal here. Ok, not Exorcist satanic. More like hmm…that one episode of Scooby Doo where they find the gate to hell on Stephen Dorff’s lawn.
I guess I was about 18 the first time I watched it. Which means I was stoned. Because that’s the only reason I can imagine that I ever found this movie scary. The Car - with its frightening grill and its penchant for stalking its prey - was basically a landshark. All this movie needed was Chief Brody and Richard Dreyfuss and a bigger boat. Only the shark didn’t honk its horn every time it killed a kid. Yes, that’s right. The car let off a sound like a broken foghorn when it claimed a victim. Hey, at least it didn’t play La Cucuracha.
I never really got why this car was murdering random people in this town. Maybe it just didn’t like the desert? Maybe it was offended at the way the Indian guy was portrayed? Maybe it hated band geeks or James Brolin’s facial hair? Who knew. All I knew when I watched this through the haze of paranoia that comes with a few too many bong hits is that my father drove a Lincoln and therefore must be Satan’s minion and not the Mafia don I thought he was all along. And that I could write a better horror movie about a car than The Car.
So I did. It was called Death Is A Back Seat Driver and was supposed to be a star vehicle (hah, vehicle, get it?) for Matt Dillon. It probably would have been a super awesome hit if I didn’t spill a Slurpee all over the screenplay.
[FYI this movie is available on Netflix instant. DO IT.]