“You better watch what you say about my car.”
Yes, Christine is a movie about an evil car. And yes, I realize that sounds darn silly. But it’s a surprisingly dark and angry film. The car itself – which I think of as a succubus in automobile form – isn’t scary, really. It’s what the car does to its owner that’s rather disturbing. At the start of the picture, Arnie (Keith Gordon) is a submissive dork with only one friend in the world. Then he falls in love with the beat-up car Christine, fixes her up, and gains self-confidence in the process. But, in what feels like a parallel to drug abuse, what first gave Arnie strength ends up changing him and destroying his personal relationships. Arnie changes from the likable nerdy lead to the villain as the film progresses.
This was the first time I’d seen the film since reading Stephen King’s novel. Like the book, I think the film is a little long. It’s a good movie full of interesting character work and some cool vehicular mayhem, but it’s just never been a favorite of mine.
King seems to have a thing for evil cars. Christine, From a Buick 8, Maximum Overdrive, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s more that I’ve forgotten. Christine is the best of ‘em. But I wouldn’t mind seeing a movie based on From a Buick 8. If I remember right, that care ate people. So, that’s something the cinema desperately needs to see.
I love John Carpenter and I love Stephen King. I really wish Carpenter had adapted additional King novels to film. This is a pretty good one, though. It strangely feels more like a King film than a Carpenter one, if that makes any sense. Very faithful to the source material, I feel it keeps stuff in that most Carpenter films would’ve thrown out (Arnie’s family issues, for example). This is not meant as a knock against either the director or the author, simply an observation. At least the film’s score is unmistakably John Carpenter.
Tomorrow: The Last Winter
Writer of horror, science fiction, and dark fantasy. Lover of books and film. Lifelong Godzilla fan. Reluctant blogger.
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