#74: (TIE) CHRISTINE, THE CAR, MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE, and KILLDOZER
"Ain't nothin' better than a new car smell...'cept maybe for pussy"
Automobiles are one of the leading causes of death in America, so it's understandable that they should have a spot in horror films. Though HERBIE THE LOVE BUG is arguable the most evil vehicle to ever appear in film, there's been several through the years that have made many folks afraid to cross the street at night.
CHRISTINE is probably the most popular of them all. The movie is just "so-so" but the original Stephen King book is a great read, with a cool use of song lyrics throughout, the 58 Plymouth Fury gets revenge on punks who dared to vandalize her, and possesses the driver, too!
One of the first films to feature an evil car was 1977's THE CAR. Starring James Brolin of AMITYVILLE HORROR fame, the film features a black Lincoln convertible that's possessed by the Devil. After randomly running down people in the desert for no apparent reason. After crashing off the side of a cliff, you can sort of see a devil head in the explosion.
Another entry in the evil vehicle genre was Stephen King's MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE. Though King deserves credit for coming up with a cool truck with a Green Goblin face on it, the rest of the film sucks shit like a...uhh...a shit vaccuum cleaner. And the main reason was that Dino DeLaurentis actually thought it'd be a good idea to let Stephen King direct a movie. The second mistake was to cast Emilio Estevez in the lead role, and th efinal mistake was letting Stephen King host the commercial for the movie. They were hilarious. King would walk out in front of the truck and say, "I'm Stephen King, and I'm going to scare the HELL out of you!" with his goofy ass voice. At least he got AC/DC to do the soundtrack.
And for some unknown reason, they actually REMADE this awful film in the direct to video TRUCKS starring Timothy Busfield.
Another great noteable film is the 1974 TV movie KILLDOZER (based on a 1944 short story by THEODORE STURGEON) about a bulldozer that is controlled by a strange alien force that kills off construction workers. Wonder why they never made a Transformer toy out of that one?
Christine was a 1958 Plymouth Fury, which had similar panels and trim to the 1957 model. Only a few 1958 models were ever built, and they have since become collector's items. There were 13 or 16 (depending on source) Furies smashed in the making of the movie, but it it unknown whether they were 1957 or 1958 models, or a combination. In any event, Plymouth enthusiasts were infuriated.
In the original Christine novel, the car had 4 doors, but this was changed to a 2-door model when it was realized that there never was a 4-door 1958 Plymouth Fury. Although all 1958 Plymouth Furies were banana yellow in color, the book mentions that this particular car was custom ordered in Ford red.
The set for the DIXIE BOY diner in the film MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE was so believable that several truckers tried to stop and eat there. It got so bad that they had to put up several signs telling everyone it was fake.