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Rated PG
Copyright 1974 Salt-Pan Films.
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Arthur - Little wormy guy who is adopted by the citizens of Paris after a bad accident.
  • Mayor - Leading the city of vultures.
  • George - Arthur's brother, killed within the first few minutes.
  • Dr. Midland - Crazy doc who experiments on patients, uses a power drill at times.
  • Darryl - Young ruffian with quite a hat, likes playing with the patients at the clinic who come in four flavors to him. (Full veggie, 3/4 veggie, 1/2 veggie, and 1/4 veggie) He get's smashed in a car by Arthur.
  • Rev Mulray - Catholic Priest who is shot by the town idiot.
  • The Cars that Ate Paris - Driven by the town's crazy youth, the most interesting is a VW covered in spikes.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

This movie is terrible, I hate it. I hate Peter Weir who directed it and would like him to know that I wish to kick his ass.* For whatever reason you made this film it utterly destroys the merits you tried to reclaim with "Dead Poet's Society" - you are sick man and will spend eternity in Hell being raped by demonic 57 Chevys for this. Now that I'm finished ranting about the director we can get some tidbits on this movie. The Paris in question is in Australia which sent me warning signals immediately. So anyway, this damn town makes it's living by running travelers off the road and then stripping the cars of parts and luggage. George and Arthur are one set of victims, the latter surviving to be adopted by the mayor. The town's youth are the antagonists, being wild and chaotic creatures who finally go on a rampage in their cars after which Arthur leaves, end of story. In this plot there are numerous possibilities for genius and cool gore scenes but they never surface, ever. A doctor with a drill and we see jack, cars rolling down hills - it's like watching "The Worst of Cops" for goodness sake, and a VW covered in spikes which gets one person.

* Threats to kick Peter Weir's ass are made in the name of comic relief. (This is what too many lawyers get's you - me having to make statements like this, what ever happened to common sense?)

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Always make sure the lugnuts on your wheels are tight.
  • Australian people transport calves around in the trunks of their cars (that's right - a young cow).
  • Recent accident victims should not be given word association exercises involving pictures of messy accidents.
  • Mentally retarded people will try to eat hood ornaments.
  • Parking Superintendent is a powerful position in rural towns.
  • The occupants of a mental ward do not belong at a town ball.
  • Fighting cars with a chair is a losing proposition.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 2 mins - What is this a cigarette ad? A Coca-Cola ad? A cigarette ad? A Jiffy-Lube ad?
  • 7 mins - What happened? It was too dark to see.
  • 10 mins - A power drill with a Red Cross symbol on it?
  • 30 mins - THIS MOVIE SUCKS!
  • 32 mins - If you're so scared of cars why did you get in one with a broken door lock?
  • 53 mins - Did a tiger just growl?
  • 60 mins - Feeling weak, movie sucks, sick to stomach, having delusions of Peter Weir shaking hands with Adolf Hitler...
  • 64 mins - Hey, this is the same scene we saw as a picture like 45 minutes ago?
  • 75 mins - I would not sit on the hood of that car.
  • 87 mins - Why the hell is a French woman singing anyway?
  • End of movie - Cannot move my legs, Rosebud...

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note carsate1.wav Mayor: "As to our youth, they are idle, they are lazy, they need to work!"
Green Music Note carsate2.wav Dr. Midland: "You're a very, very sick man."
Green Music Note carsate3.wav Darryl: "Well you ever seen a bloke with a foot up his nose?"
Green Music Note carsate4.wav This strange chant the townspeople make, it involves almost every Australian word I can think of.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 



 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipcarsate1.mpg - 2.1m
It is time to watch the Killer VW of Doom make roadkill, just be thankful that the cars finally slew someone. Even if the remarkable example of German engineering didn't sprout a gaping maw to devour victims as the cover promised (in an obscure sort of way).

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 6
The Cars that Ate Paris
Reply #17. Posted on August 09, 2001, 06:25:24 PM by "Tuffy"
I first saw “The Cars” at the not-so-tender age of 19 and being the gear head that I am I “got it” immediately. In spite of your very cool website, you have this movie all wrong. This is NOT a motorized version of “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.” It is actually a dark comedy with some truly disturbing undertones that has a lot to say about both modern society’s dependence on and worship of cars, and about the desperation of rural small-town life. The “cigarette ad” opening is just one of many barbs thrown at modern day consumerism, and the idea of a whole town’s economy depending on cars is only as ridiculous as Detroit! The whole idea of a town of ghouls is really unsettling, and some of the film’s scenes are just creepy: the townspeople at the bar slavishly putting down their beers in preparation to strip another “victim” at the sound of the bell as the hapless traveler in the Jaguar approaches his end, and the “rally” outside the church where cars are being wrecked to the tune of the townspeople singing a church hymn. While most young men’s cars are the objects of their careful affection, the young men in Paris intentionally destroy theirs-and everything else-for the only kind of thrill to be had in their dead-end existence. And haven’t we all personally known control freaks like the mayor, who barely hang on with their iron fists and then lose everything when they push just a little too hard? For a car lover like myself who understands the dark side of my hobby, this is a great film! (and when was the last time you saw a ’58 Desoto with right-hand steering???)
The Cars that Ate Paris
Reply #18. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Scott
I hate this movie. I hated this movie when I watched it 3 hours ago, and I still hate it. I want to burn every copy of this movie and then p**s on the ashes. If this director guy wants to make a point about something, then he should have at least made it in something that doesn't make you want to go kill somebody afterwards.
The Cars that Ate Paris
Reply #19. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Tony Coasta
A junked town, crazy people, junked cars? Is this an early Mad Max movie? I loved the spiked beetle. (It could be Herbie the Love Bug's Rival!) Very short on plot, and I would not consider it as a black comedy!
The Cars that Ate Paris
Reply #20. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Luke
The comments of the people who think 'The Cars That Ate Paris' is a good film that can only be appreciated by intelligent Australians remind me of that story 'The Emperor's new clothes'.
This film is s**t on every level imaginable.
The Cars that Ate Paris
Reply #21. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Candy
Oh, c'mon people, an old piece of steel that we use everyday... EATING PEOPLE?  C'mon!  Cars that EAT people.  It just doesn't make sense.  Like I said in "Killer Tomatoes", THIS MOVIE IS ABSURD.
The Cars that Ate Paris
Reply #22. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Ian
Peter Weir's films have always explored general themes of alienation within society: and this -- his first full length film -- explored this as well. The film is not a horror film at all but it is the darkest shade of black comedy -- please note the advertisement at the beginning, the scene where Arthur becomes a Parking Inspector, or the scene where Arthur overcomes his fear of cars with the immortal line "I can drive!". It's definitely a film of it's time, like Easy Rider, If or Billy Jack.

The film -- as far as I've been able to find out -- was made on a shoestring, with a budget of about 1% of a standard Hollywood film: and many of the cast and crew were actually students at the time.

The Cars that Ate Paris
Reply #23. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Michal
Couldn't agree more with the points made by "Tuffy"
in his short review. Specifically, those undertones
and subtle jokes in every minute of this film are just amazing. Despite the fact the I consider myself a low budget film junkie this one is a must see for everyone!

As of February 2003, the overall cultural impact of this movie can be witnessed for instance by the recent article
in Time on the ban of inner city traffic in London,
the article is called "The cars that ate London".
Which is in my view a firm proof of the fact
that this movie has finally achieved level of stardom
and generall appreciation, which it truely deserves.

btw. 'veggie' somehow got in to my blood as well :@)
The Cars that Ate Paris
Reply #24. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Mal St Clair
OK - So its not a childrens movie. Tell me, without indulgences like this would Mad Max ever have been made ?
For better or worse I'd like to see more of this.
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