Review: The Car (1977)

Review by Monkey Fist
SCUM Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

“Oh great brothers of the night who rideth upon the hot winds of hell, who dwelleth in the Devil’s lair; move and appear,”

Seriously, with an opening line like that, how can you not want to sit through this film?? This movie really impressed me when I was a kid. Till today, I thought the pace and suspense elements of the movie intertwine pretty neatly together. Although the visual effects pale in comparison with today’s standards, this is still an enjoyable B-fare for the family (Note: there’s hardly any blood and gore in this flick!).

the car confrontation

The bodycount for the film starts at the onset of the film with the car running over a hitchhiker & knocking 2 cyclists off a mountainous road. The police were subsequently called to the first of a series of hit and run deaths, apparently caused by the same car that has no license plate, making identification difficult. Sheriff Everett Peck (John Marley) gets a lead on the car when it is witnessed by Amos Clemens (R.G Armstrong) after it runs over a hitchhiker. After the car claims the sheriff as its fourth victim, Captain Wade Parent (James Brolin) intervenes to stop the deaths. During the investigation, the eyewitness to the accident claims that there was no driver in the vehicle.

The car later enters the town and attacks the school marching band as it rehearses at the local show ground. It chases the group of teachers and students, among them Wade’s girlfriend Lauren (Kathleen Lloyd), into a cemetery. However, the automobile will not enter into the consecrated ground and Lauren verbally abuses the “driver” of the vehicle. The car leaves thereafter with the police chasing it throughout the desert before it turns on them, destroying the police cars and killing a number of officers in the process.

the car cemetry

The hunt for the car becomes a personal vendetta for Wade when the automobile stalks and kills Lauren by ramming straight through her house (in retrospect, this is a rather hilarious scene). Wade develops a plan to stop the car by burying it beneath an explosion in the canyons that lie outside town.

In summary, this is an above-average B-flick and I’d give it a 3 out of 5.

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About The Author

Monkey Fist’s fascination with film began in the late ‘70s when he was first introduced to B-classics such as 'The Car', 'Konga' and 'The Incredible Melting Man'. Life might have been very different if he had heeded his mom’s advice to read Enid Blyton novels instead. Seriously, he’s just glad he didn’t! Instead, a lot of time was spent checking out the latest flicks in local theaters or getting updates from the 'Movie News' mag. It wasn’t long before he delved into Japanese anime and Tokusatsu gems like Voltron, Gatchaman and Kamen Rider. Today, he continues exploring and collecting classics from the reel world!

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