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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 #25. Posted on August 26, 2003, 10:32:31 AM by Brian Costelloe
My relatives are extras in this movie which is not something to boast about I guess. Sofala is only famous for one other movie which was filmed there and that was Sirens. So the only reason why I watch this is to see my auntie and uncles as teenagers. I just wish it was a cooler movie that they were in or at least one with saucie models like Elle! The wind charm made out of Jag parts was cool but it is the bad side of B-Grade with a lot of potential slipping through untouched.
The Cars that Ate Paris
Reply #26. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Jeremy
This is definitly my favourite movie of all time.  I think many people would have enjoyed the movie a lot more if they weren't lied to by the video case - it's a very intelligent movie - and hilarious!  No suprise that Peter Weir has gone on to be such a highly regarded film maker.
The Cars that Ate Paris
Reply #27. Posted on November 15, 2003, 09:09:56 PM by Morgan Hoyle-Combs
Remember how I said if you put Mad Max and The Terminator with The Car you would get a movie? Well about that spiked beetle...
The Cars that Ate Paris
Reply #28. Posted on November 24, 2003, 12:00:23 AM by Rod Williams
I like offbeat cheezy movies. This is one of the worst/best ones I have seen in a long time.
The Cars that Ate Paris
Reply #29. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Brian Costelloe
I made comments earlier (much much earlier) in regards to my relatives being in "The Cars Ate Paris" and having had some time to honestly think about the movie again in depth I have just one thing to add. The movie was poorly executed by todays standards. Screenplay was a big let down in comparison to the storyline. Perhaps if the movie was given a re-touch, storyline modernised and a bigger budget then Peter Weir's original could be a more digestable and widely accepted movie.
The Cars that Ate Paris
Reply #30. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by CG
I was in this movie when I was 17. It was a lot of fun to make and lots of interesting characters on set. I thought the movie was garbage when I saw it. I think it's worse now. Still I laugh when I look back. It was made in a little town called Sofala, NSW, just outside of Bathurst.
The Cars that Ate Paris
Reply #31. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Briony
It's a bloody great film and if you don't get it I can only look upon you with compassion.  Of course the production standards are "poorly executed" by today's standards.  It's a low budget B movie from Australia, it's not going to look like "Charlie's Angels" now is it.  

I love it because it's anarchic, sarcastic, clever, creepy and just flat out strange.  It is a truly original vision and it shows one of the great directors starting to find his voice at a very early stage in his career.  Yes, it's highly flawed and probably ridiculous at times with unlikeable characters.  It's also a bit of a cack (Australian for crazy funny) and doesn't take itself too seriously.  This was the young filmmaker mucking around and having a fine time.  I wish more people would make films like this instead of trying to make the next big Hollywood piece of cynical rubbish.

I do get why some people don't like it - it's perhaps an acquired taste or maybe you have to be in the right mood.
But the completely over the top negative reactions posted here are  bizarre.  

Honestly, if you think "The Cars That Ate Paris" is one of the worst films of all time you really haven't been around much.  Could it be that you didn't like the fact that it made you feel a bit uncomfortable/confused/stupid and this made you react angrily?  

You'd better just stick to John Carpenter or something.
The Cars that Ate Paris
Reply #32. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Dan
The only good things about this movie are some of the old holdens that we don't see much on the road anymore here in Australia, and that stunning blonde woman at the start.
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