Quantcast Trilogy Pics - 3 Movies You Should Watch Tonight: MAY 2004 - KILLER CARS



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May 2004 Trilogy Pics:
This month it's the automotive terror of "The Car", "Christine", and "Maximum Overdrive".
"The Car" was released in 1977 and stars James Brolin and Ronny Cox. It's a movie that often gets ripped to shreds by reviewers, maybe just a little unfairly. The film is a bit slow, though it seems this was done deliberately to create suspense. On that level, "The Car" is a miserable failure. However, the scenes that do feature the car, which is a damn creepy automobile, are actually really fun to watch. I don't want to give too much away, but you have to at least stick around for the scene where the car jumps 6 feet into someone's kitchen. Or maybe the scene where it chases the high school marching band. Hey! Just rent it and see. It may not be "The Fast and Furious" but, well, um, actually, thank god for that.
John Carpenter's adaptation of Stephen King's own killer car story "Christine" is also a much better film than it's given credit for. It stars Keith Gordon as Arnie Cunningham who is slowly becoming possessed by his 1957 Plymouth Fury he picks up from an old man. This bitch of car has a jealous streak though and she doesn't take kindly to Arnie's girlfriends and really, really doesn't like the school bullies picking on him. "Christine" is wonderfully directed by Carpenter, Keith Gordon gives a great performance as Arnie (and so does one of this month's Icons, Mr. Stu Charno!). Carpenter also gives this film one of his very effective signature scores. It's also got a few really bloody moments, but I won't give that away. One problem with "Christine" is that does seem to jump around a bit. I don't know if this has anything to do with the studio messing around with it, but it feels like there's definitely a few scenes on the cutting room floor somewhere, and that's not a problem I've seen in Carpenter's other films.
Finally, we have another film based on a Stephen King story, "Maximum Overdrive". Often Stephen King-inspired movies don't live up the story or book and that's usually falls on the shoulders of the poor director. "Maximum Overdrive" had no excuse: Stephen King wrote and directed it himself. It's the only thing he's directed. So, is it that bad? Well, yea, it is that bad. That doesn't mean it's not fun to watch! King has been famously quoted as saying all he wanted to make was a popcorn movie. If you can accept "Maximum Overdrive" as that, you're in for a fun time watching machines suddenly coming to life. The film implies that every gadget and gizmo has taken on a murderous life of its own (death by headphones, death by soda machine, death by drawbridge are all shown in the film), but the focus is on a group of people stuck at a truckstop. Soon, the trucks come home to roost and the fun really begins. While the film is very rarely "scary" it does have some great gory moments (man, when the steamroller goes through a Little League game...) and the truck with the giant Green Goblin head is certainly a unique and very memorable movie monster. -mikec.

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