Friday, September 12, 2008

Hell On Wheels: The Car(1977)

The decade of the 1970's was one great sojourn to the movie theater after another, spending an entire afternoon watching movies, playing video games like Galaga and Pac Man in the theater video arcades. There have been some great horror movies produced during the 70's and one in particular I like to revisit, by watching on DVD: The Car, a film released in May, 1977 by Universal, directed by Eliott Silverstein, and starring James Brolin, Kathleen Lloyd, John Marley, Ronny Cox and R.G. Armstrong.

The film's story: a mysterious black limousine with heaviliy tinted windows appears out of nowhere in the tiny Arizona town of Santa Ynez. The car immediately begins a murderous rampage by running over people and making the lives of others it comes in contact with absolutely miserable. Santa Ynez sheriff Wade Parent(played by James Brolin) has one hell of a problem on his hands, literally, as he and his deputies attempt to stop the marauding, and driverless, car from killing more people. As the movie progresses it becomes apparent to Sheriff Parent and his deputies that the mysterious and deadly black car may be something akin to a demon. (no other spoilers)
A surprisingly entertaining film, despite what I consider a preposterous theme. The action drives this film along and James Brolin is effective as the affable and laid back sheriff whose stress level understandably ramps up as the deadly black car terrorizes the citizenry of his town and those he's sworn to protect. Veteran character actor R.G. Armstrong is also a welcome presence in this movie. Camera mounted shots taken from the black limo from hell as it speeds along the dusty back roads of Santa Ynez, deputies cars in pursuit, also lends to the sense of dread and tension in this film.

The theatrical trailer for The Car: