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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 ... 6
The Cars that Ate Paris
Reply #9. Posted on April 07, 2005, 06:18:22 PM by The Eat
This movie is like a really funny joke, told by a man who stutters and has two bagels in his mouth. Sure there might have been poignant satire and humour, but it was still caked in poor directing and overall feeling of boredom.
The Cars that Ate Paris
Reply #10. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Thanael
Hey, I'm from Ireland and I get this film. Waken up! It's like the Truman show only darker and not so blatantly satirical. It's brilliant! I saw it twice, ages ago, so I'm not going to bother quoting bits of it cos I'd probably be wrong but I remember being amazed at some of the undertoned messages this film has to offer. The positive reviews above say it all - the negative ones are just from people who concentrate too much on the fact that this film probably cost around 500 dollars to make and cant overcome that.
     But look beyond the uncomfortable acting, the weak props and cheap effects and look at what Wier is really trying to say. In dead poets and truman you had to get over your scepticism of a comic actor playing a serious role and it's the same here - get over your scepticism!

The Cars that Ate Paris
Reply #11. Posted on June 06, 2000, 10:02:37 AM by Shawn J
This movie was recently unleashed to my Friday Night Suck bad movie group, and I must tell you, it was one of the worst movies we've watched.  Boring, stupid, and poorly acted, this movie caused me to raise a few of my votes on imdb.  I challenge anyone to come up with a copy of the script from this piece of crap.  I'm sure it would be only 12 pages long, with six of them filled with "(dramatic pause)"
The Cars that Ate Paris
Reply #12. Posted on September 12, 2000, 02:35:21 PM by Devin
Ditto on the title change - it was "The Cars That Eat People" when I rented it., what a huge let-down.  You've got a big ol' spiky VW bug on the cover, eating someone, and it never even shows up in the movie.  I think I remember one flash of the spiky car, and that's it.  The rest is a bunch of people standing around bemoaning car-issues.  As for "a loyal fan following"...erm, all I can do is warn you not to wait for a sequel to this "classic piece of film".  And somehow I doubt the DVD re-master is coming out anytime soon...
The Cars that Ate Paris
Reply #13. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Spudrick
I first saw this film when I was 13 - it was the first film shown on Channel 4 in Britain - and I just fell in love with it. The term "veggie" has stuck with me since. But that copper's uniform: pure YMCA video or what! As a rule I've always hated VW Beetles (we used to have one), but the hedgehog version in the film is definitely the exception to the rule; how, as well, one wouldn't be able to recognise fighting it with just a pole could only end in one result still fascinates me: maybe Neil was some sort of veggie at the time of the confrontation - and when the spikes went through him he became the ultimate vegetable kebab!
The Cars that Ate Paris
Reply #14. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Ulysess
I think a lot of you people, including the reviewer are missing the point.  The film is not a horror film, but a very sophistocated black comedy, even to the spoof commercial at the beginning.  The title is a joke along with the whole movie.  Weir has an interest in closed communities (Witness - Amish, Dead Poets - Public School and Truman being the ultimate) and the macabre.  Weir says he got the idea after being diverted off a perfectly good road in France by a maintenance crew (hence 'Paris') and wondering why we trust these people.  Every time I see this film I roar with laughter.
The Cars that Ate Paris
Reply #15. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by David Nicholson
"The Cars That Eat People" is actually somewhat different from the "The Cars That Ate Paris". It was re-edited in the US without Peter Weir's permission. I'll admit, I find both versions hard to sit through so I can't give a full analysis of the differences, but the main changes I noticed are at the beginning and end.

First of all, the opening "ad" was removed from the re-edited version.

In the original, Arthur Waldo and his brother are unemployed Australians looking for work. In the re-edited version, courtesy of a voiceover we are told that Arthur and his brother are American tourists from Brooklyn who decided to drive across Australia. (Amazing how Arthur suddenly obtains an Australian accent once he reaches Paris. Must've been caused by the accident!)

The original version simply ends with Arthur driving off into the night. The re-edited version has more voiceover with Arthur saying he's "getting on the first plane out of this crazy country". As the picture fades out we hear the sounds of a car crash and a lion (?) growling.
The Cars that Ate Paris
Reply #16. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Andrew Morton
This film is a legend in our family - for all the wrong reasons.  It was shown on the then new Channel 4 in the mid 1980's, and we all thought it was going to be like Mad Max!. Stunned by the dull plot, terrible acting, lack of action & dreadful camera work, I went to bed. Foolishly, my younger brother & mother stayed up, convinced it would get better. I was kept up by their howls of derision and the next morning it was roundly declared the worst film they'd ever seen!. Years later it came on again & decided to watch it again,  expecting to find it was in fact an entertaining black comedy rather than an action movie. I discovered they were right  - it is pure drivel from start to finish .  The creator of badmovies should be congratulated - firstly for creating a really  entertaining site, but also for wanting to kick the s**t out of Peter Wier!
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