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THE CAR - 2 Slimes
Rated PG
Copyright 1983 Palo Ato Productions Inc.
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Wade - James Brolin! A tough, yet tender, southern California lawman who never wears a helmet when riding his motorcycle.
  • Luke - Alcoholic deputy who managed to stay off the sauce for two years, until this darn car made him drink again.
  • Lauren - Wade's girlfriend, she grabs men by the scrotum as a negotiating tactic. (I'm being literal here.) Tries out for the human speedbump position.
  • Chas - American Indian deputy who manages to reinforce every stereotype in the book.
  • Amos - Nasty old man who beats his wife, ends up saving the town by blowing the car sky high.
  • Everett - He certainly lived a full life before stopping like a deer in those headlights.
  • Margie - Luke's girlfriend or wife, she appears to have torpedoes in her bra.
  • Wade's Daughters - Cute little buttons who wanted Lauren to be their new mommy.
  • The Car - If Satan was going to build a street rod...

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Why the Lord of Evil would choose a small town in southern California (Read into this: desert.) to terrorize with a custom musclecar is beyond me, maybe he just does dumb things at times. The fear campaign proceeds quite well and soon the sprawling town (Population: 40 or so.) is paralyzed, even their amazing police force can't help. Why they needed ten deputies is beyond me anyway, was this place colonized by Hell's Angels or something? Even a tank would have a hard time stopping this car though, at one point it is faced with two patrol cars. Amazingly it turns and begins flipping, rolling over and squashing them before driving off. (The wonders of special effects, or maybe just having two cars and a jumble on the editing room floor.) Everyone struck by the car becomes a fatality, despite the fact that it never runs over them, instead propelling them through the air like some strange tennis ball machine that shoots humans vice tennis balls. Only Wade's ingenious plan saves the day, after luring the car into a canyon they get it to drive off a cliff and then set off dynamite charges, burying the cursed thing under a tomb of rock. There are plenty of scenes with the wheeled antagonist featured, but the movie has some annoying dead sections.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Demonic automobiles see the world through a red filter.
  • It's okay to beat a woman in California, just so long as she is your wife.
  • Falling three hundred feet onto sharp rocks will not blemish a body.
  • It is easy for a car to sneak up on someone in the open desert.
  • Kids and horses can outrun a car.
  • Never call Satan a chickenship son of a bitch.
  • Cars have gas tanks on the roof.
  • Young women would not make good speedbumps.
  • Silver, holy water, the cross, and dynamite shall be your proof against evil.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 6 mins - Why does it have a truck horn?
  • 7 mins - The car just hit the back tire on that kid's bike, he'd have gone under the car and been ground to mush, not bumped over the bridge.
  • 28 mins - What is in the weapons locker? Shotguns and a fire extinguisher of course.
  • 42 mins - True horror: watching a middle school marching band practice.
  • 45 mins - How incredibly stupid of him... ...oh well, he's trampled.
  • 53 mins - If I didn't know better I'd say they filmed the cars doing twenty or so and then sped up the film.
  • 67 mins - Watch how Chas is driving, this must be a really winding road.
  • 70 mins - Why did the highway dead end in her backyard?
  • 93 mins - It's the Rolling Stones and they're on fire!

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note thecar1.wav Deputy: "She said there was no driver in the car."
Green Music Note thecar2.wav Lauren taunting the car.
Green Music Note thecar3.wav Wade: "Looked like he smashed through our cars like he was stomping bugs. I didn't even see a scratch on him."
Green Music Note thecar4.wav Luke: "That car flew into that house four feet off the ground! And how did he know where she lived?"

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipthecar1.mpg - 2.2m
Watch in horror as the screaming vehicle bears down on unsuspecting children! I think band practice is probably over for today.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 8
The Car
Reply #9. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by tmp
just 'cause I am bored- The Car is a 70's Mark III Continental, not a sedan.  "Barris TV & Movie Cars" has a spread on it.  I read the book when it came out and I would like to get another copy.  You said I can't borrow it- how 'bout if I ask pretty?
The Car
Reply #10. Posted on April 26, 2000, 01:53:28 PM by Goomba88
I loved this movie in 1977, I love it now. It's not a movie of story, it's a movie of moments. I mean, how much logic do you want from a less-than medium budget horror film where the devil incarnates himself as this Hellified Powercar of Destruction. I thought it hade some very good moments, not totally ridiculous personalazation of the characters, and, once again, that Hellified Car. I can still close my eyes at any time and have a crystal clear view of it's image. Really, there are only a dozen or so movies that I can say that about. And it contains one of my favorite lines from any movie, spoken by James Brolin (because we all may not have said it, but at some point we have all thought it), "What happened to last Thursday?....I had it made last Thursday."
The Car
Reply #11. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:03 PM by Chemosh
Unlike what the review says in more than one place, this takes place in Utah. Not southern california. The town that is being terrorized is Santa Ynez, Utah.

I remember seeing this movie countless times as a kid and enjoying the car parts and being bored out of my mind during the rest.

The last time this was on, I was stationed in Utah and I prayed that there were more cars like this to take care of all the bad drivers there.
The Car
Reply #12. Posted on June 20, 2000, 05:14:48 PM by Paul
If I remember correctly, "The Car" was set in Utah, not Southern California.
The Car
Reply #13. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Georgiann
Well, it's no "Duel", and you have to swallow your disbelief when The Car flies through a house window to kill someone, but you have to admire the guts of a movie that kills off its heroine and the car itself is really pretty cool.  
The Car
Reply #14. Posted on August 10, 2000, 12:54:46 PM by Chadzilla
This horror vehicle (ha ha ha) wins a 5 slime rating from me.  It is one of my most cherished guilty pleasures from the seventies (1977 was the releases date, not 1983 as stated at the top of the review).

In response to a question of the Message Board I stated that I have always wanted The Car for my very own.  I also told a small story that I will repeat here...a writer friend of mine went to an auction held by car customizer George Barris.  He was selling off most of the movie cars and bikes in his lot.  One item was his remaining Car from this movie (there were only two built).  The poor thing could no longer run and the rear axle was bent, making a wheel lift and fall as it turned.  The Car was pushed out and photographers gathered around to click photos.  Still true to its nasty roots The Car managed to roll over the toes of one photographer.  When that individual shrieked my friend stood and screamed "It's cursed!"  Sadly no one got the joke.

In response to Paul Westbrook's copycat CARR statement, The Car came first so it was the copied item, not the other way around.

Also I have read the long, long out of print novelization by screenwriters Dennis Shyrack and Michael Butler (Lane Slate evidently did credited rewrites) and it offers an interesting perspective on the story.  The supernatural aspects are expanded nicely (is The Car an evil Indian spirit attacking the White Man Invader, is it SATAN?) and the panic of Santa Ynez's residents are explored (something that was glossed over in the movie).  Also the ending is far, far more ominous and downbeat; and Wade gets a sanity shaking glimpse at the driver's eyes during his tense face off on the road (before getting whacked by the door).  Good luck in hunting it down.

No it is not for sale.  No you cannot "borrow" it.

I saw The Car during its debut run in theaters at, appropriately enough, the drive-in on a double bill with Jaws!  I forced my family to stay until the very end, someting they still have not forgiven me for.

Also certain apologists say that this movie is supposed to be a satire of Jaws and not a "serious" horror movie.  Somehow I don't think that is true.

Nuff said, bye.
The Car
Reply #15. Posted on October 01, 2000, 09:10:39 PM by J.W.
I have to say that I like this movie alot. When I saw it in the video store I had to get it. I can pick it apart to like why did Wade close the garage door and lock it then end up jumping out the window? And if Lauren could hear the damm car's engine why didnt she look out the window? And the one that really gets me is how many engines does this car have? You can hear an engine idle while the other one is reving up. Well its all in fun anyway. A movie I liked as a kid and as an adult. I really came to this site to try to find out where the car was now and if it has its own web site with pics. If anyone knows feel free to let me know so I can check it out!  
The Car
Reply #16. Posted on October 27, 2000, 05:32:58 PM by Chris
This flick p**sed me off.  How dare those idiots wreck a bunch of classic Plymouth Furies to make a turkey like this.  I think whoever authorized this one deserves a serious ass-kicking.  
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