Director: John Carpenter
Sometime in high school I read the Stephen King novel ‘Christine’ that this movie was based upon, and I really dug it. This movie for the most part faithfully follows the novel, cutting out a few things, and combining a character or two for the sake of brevity. Christine is a 1958 red and white Plymouth Fury built during a time of American innocence and prosperity, but that somehow became indwelt with evil incarnate. Accidents and deaths follow this car from the moment it rolls off the assembly line, until a few decades go by and the car winds up as the trophy of awkward teenaged Arnie, who as he slowly becomes possessed by its powers, also becomes more popular in school than ever before. And of course the car starts secretly, hilariously, killing people. The only people who can stop this madness is Arnie’s concerned best friend Dennis, and his new girlfriend played by the beautiful Leigh Cabot. As far as King adaptations go this is nowhere near as good as ‘The Shining’ and nowhere near as bad as ‘Maximum Overdrive’. It falls in the middle of those two movies as an entertaining piece of campy 80s nostalgia for bad 50s b-movies. Personally this is way more in my wheelhouse than the modern “torture porn” or found footage horror that is the trend today. This movie appealed to me as a fan of King’s work (call them guilty pleasures if you must) and as a fan of old cars and Doo Wop 50s music which this movie uses for great creepy and comedic effect, such as the car playing “You keep a knockin’ but you can’t come in” as a pack of teenagers descend upon it to destroy it.