Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Car

The Car:
The Hot Rod Lincoln From Hell... literally.

We've talked before about "Drive In Classics", mostly those movies aimed at the more rural folk of the united states, and much like Vanishing Point, this film fits into what we call "carsploitation", meaning a film aimed to showcase either one distinct car, or a large group of them, movies like Vanishing Point, Smokey and The Bandit, and to a lesser extent Bullitt, aim to showcase just one single car, where as others like the original Gone In 60 Seconds, or the Cannonball Run films, or even to an extent the modern Fast And The Furious series of films, showcase a large variety of cars all customized and modified beyond one's wildest desire, because that really is the whole point of carspoilation in the first place, to give those car lovers some drive in theater ready eye candy that'll make them all wanna go make their own car just like it. And though there are many films, and even television shows from the time period that fit the term Carsploitation, no movie or television series of the grindhouse era best personifies this subgenre better then this film, attempting to making Jaws out of a 1977 Lincoln Mark III Custom, simply known then, now and forever as "The Car". A long, sleek, black on black with dark tinted windows large scale land shark with a grill that looked like it was ready to open wide and bite you in half, long before Christine, long before Maximum Overdrive, long before Killdozer! or The Hearse, there was The Car, and though to amny this film is seen as insanely bad, or dismissed as "Jaws with a car", I happen to find this gem to be among my favorites when talking Grindhouse, simply because, come on, take a look at that road beast, how can you not wanna see it run ruckshot across an entire Utah town while pissing off James Brolin? Its to good of an idea to let pass you by.

The film starts off in a fictional town in Utah called Santa Ynez, as these random bikers are just minding their own business, apparently The Car feels the need to kill them, as he forces them off the bridge they pass him on, into the creek below. We're left to assume its because The Car just doesn't like hippies and saw a chance to decrease the surplus population, because there is no other reason given for this action, though to be fair, movies of this nature don't really need reasons for the violence, we just wanna see bad stuff go down. As the bodies are found, this brings the local police into the fray, Sheriff Everett and his loyal second in command, Captain Wade Parent are on the case! By on the case i mean they have no idea why or how these bikers got to the bottom of the creek, as they look at every possible way of how it could have happened, The Car strikes again! This time mowing down an uppity Hitchhiker who travels with a french horn, this actually is a funny scene as The Car actually toys with him abit before mowing him down like the uppity prick that he is, and is ended to much hilarity with The Car also running over the hitchhiker's french horn which he never seemed to shut up about, which when added to the fact the next scene is a marching band walking down the street, one can't help but say "hey you know what that band needs? A French Horn..", regardless of that, The car enters town and begins running down the citizens, first attacking a marching band and terrorizing people at a carnival. It eventually chases a group of people into a graveyard, (among them Lauren, Wade's girlfriend), but curiously enough, the machine will not pass onto the consecrated ground and Lauren taunts it. The car then destroys a wall supporting a cross and leaves. The police officers chase the automobile down highways throughout the desert, but it destroys several squad cars before injuring Wade and then mysteriously disappears. The hunt for the car becomes a personal vendetta for Wade when the automobile stalks and then eliminates Lauren by driving straight through her house. Wade concocts a plan to stop the horsepower-laden menace, but after discovering it waiting for him in his own garage, he is forced to carry out his plans post haste. He lures the car into a mountainous canyon area where his fellow officers have set a trap for the machine. There, a final confrontation settles the score, and a demonic shape appears in the driver's seat in the smoke and fire of the explosion.

Now sure, this is by no means a cinematic masterwork, and to most it'll just be laughable, but you see, as I've said time and time again with Grindhouse films, alot of the time, the fact they're so bad they're funny is the whole reason to love them. The Car is a great example of that fact, there are so many things that are just out and out confusing or slopppy film making about it, like how there is no explanation given how The Car drives through Lauren's kitchen window which is a good 5 FEET OFF THE GROUND and there is clearly no ramp leading up to it, or how when she finally turns around to see The Car coming at her home, why she doesn't either simply duck down, or step just afew inches to the side, instead of screaming in frozen fear as the car's bumper and undercarriage plow over her as the car FLIES clean through her house. And ofcourse one is left wondering why all of these people feel this almost unending desire to out and out taunt The Car, why anyone would wish to piss off a pissed off Lincoln death machine, I have no idea, it doesn't really sound like a smart idea at all honestly. And ofcourse there are many production and editing and directing errors too, mostly during the scene outside of town where The Car decimates the local law enforcement and leaves only James Brolin standing, the most obvious is when The Car takes out two charging squad cars by going into a t-bone barrel roll which leaves the two cars a fireball of pain and death, in the entire scene, the seemingly invincible Lincoln of Doom not only loses its front and rear bumpers before it actually hits the two cars, but you can clearly see its windows and roof crumple as it impacts the two cop cars at once, and yet, as The Car drives out of the fireball on its wheels, its seemingly untouched and in perfect condition again. There are many little oddities like these in the film, but again, they are what makes it so great and fun to watch, its the kind of film you wanna get a group of friends together, get some Kentucky Fried Chicken and just laugh and poke fun at, after all bad movies are great too.

To add to the awesomely retro feeling, here is the trailer to this classic...



1 comment:

  1. Hello,
    Nice video i like it
    Often, after a film's premiere, the studio will auction off many of the props and costumes used in the film for the purpose of charity.