Throughout October, we’ve posted some movies with scary titles in Fast Film Fridays. Since it’s so close to Halloween, we decided to share a review of John Carpenter’s ‘Christine‘ based on the book by Stephen King. Once again, we’re relying on our friends from B&S About Movies an their love of the horror genre, for the review.
May 26, 2018 by R.D Francis
This film was already in production as the book was being published. In its original prose form, it’s made clear that the original owner of the car, Roland D. LeBay, is the one possessing it. But in the film, from day one, there’s an evil force that powers this 1958 Plymouth Fury (a ’57 and two other Plymouth models, the Belvedere and the Savoy, were also used to create the car).
That malevolent spirit shows up on the assembly line, when Christine cuts a man’s hand off and then kills another worker who dares to ash his cigar on her upholstery.
Fast-forward 21 years and Arnie Cunningham has only one friend — Dennis. His life gets better when he buys Christine for $250, an action that no one understands. Arnie not only restores the car, he restores himself. Tossing his glasses, he begins to become more arrogant and dresses like a 1950’s greaser. That allows him to hook up with the new girl in town, Leigh.
Dennis worries about Arnie, so he begins to study the dark past of his car — like how it killed its previous owner and his family. It tries to do the same to Leigh, jealous of anyone who gets close to its owner.
After a fight with Arnie leads to him being expelled, Buddy Repperton and his gang completely destroy Christine. As Arnie watches, it comes back to life, repairing itself and hunts the gang down, one by one. There’s an incredibly directed scene here where a flaming Christine (obviously this scene influenced the close of The Strangers: Prey at Night) chases Buddy to his death.
The murders don’t stop there, as Christine even kills Darnell, the owner of the garage where Arnie fixed up the car. This leads state policeman Rudolph Junkins to investigate Arnie. Dennis and Leigh try to save Arnie by luring Christine to Darnell’s. They think it’s just the car coming to battle them, but Arnie is behind the wheel as it crashes, sending him flying through the windshield to his death.
They finally get the car into a crusher, but even as it’s deposited into a junkyard as a cube, it’s already reforming to the tune of “Bad to the Bone.” If you look close enough, the singer of that song, George Thorogood, is working in the junkyard.
This is one of our favourite films at Demaras Racing; the ‘practical effects’ have held up so well for 40 years. Thanks again to B&S About Movies for real reviews.