There’s plenty of gory car movies that people like to watch around this time of year like ‘Death Race 2000‘ or its sequel ‘Death Race 2050‘. But, if we’re talking about a perfect Halloween car movie ‘The Car‘ would have to be on the short list.
Set in the fictional Utah town of Santa Ynez, a black, driverless, unstoppable car is terrorizing the inhabitants. ‘The Car‘ has appeared out of the barren desert and just begins running people down. After the car kills off the town’s Sheriff, it becomes the job of Captain Wade Parent (James Brolin) to stop the murderous machine.
Folks, don’t expect much from this shlocky horror movie that takes itself way too seriously. It’s like they took the glossy satanic film style of ‘The Omen‘ and the monster movie formula of ‘Jaws‘ and put them in a blender and got…this.
The evil, black car in the film was a highly 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 as stunt mules, the fourth for closeups. The stunt mules were destroyed during production, while the fourth is now in a private collection.
The car’s bodywork was painted in steel, pearl and charcoal coloring. The windows were laminated in two different shades, smoked on the inside and amber on the outside, so one could see out of it but not into it. In order to give “the car” a “sinister” look as requested by director Elliot Silverstein, Barris shopped the top by 3″ and altered the fenders; higher and longer. According to Silverstein, the distinctive sound the horn of The Car makes spells out the letter X in Morse code.