The Car Blu-ray Review
Directed by Elliot Silverstein
Written by Michael Butler, Dennis Shryack and Lane Slate
1977, Region 2/B, 92 minutes, Rated 12 (UK)
Blu-ray released on 15th July 2013
James Brolin as Wade Parent
Kathleen Lloyd as Lauren
John Marley as Everett
R.G Armstrong as Amos Clements
John Rubinstein as John Morris
Elizabeth Thompson as Margie
It's Jaws with a car, in the desert. As Jaws rip-offs go, most only bother swapping the shark with another animal – a piranha, for example, or a tornado made of sharks – so kudos to the creators of The Car for thinking outside of the box and going with something completely different. Sure, 'Jaws with a car, in the desert' already exists (Spielberg did it, and it's called Duel) but The Car is better than that. We're gonna need a bigger... speed bump, I guess.
Jeremy Clarksons everywhere will be rejoicing by the time the opening is finished with, in which the eponymous car violently runs a pair of cyclists off the road. It's only a caravan away from being complete road rage car porn. Like Christine crossed with Death Proof, it's a lot of fun. Played by James Brolin, Police Captain Wade Parent (what a name) is the Sheriff Brody of the piece, determined to put a stop to The Car's supernatural nonsense. I'd never seen it before now, but The Car may have just overtaken Death Proof as my favourite ever road rage carnage movie. And that's saying something – Kurt Russell's petulant blubbing Stuntman Mike takes some beating (as does Mike himself, at the end of Death Proof).
It's slow and disjointed in places, but the good-looking setting, nippy car action and strong lead actors keep it from meandering too much. With not a jot of CGI in sight, The Car runs rings (drives doughnuts?) around our modern Fast and Furious or Transporter films. It just goes to show that sometimes,vintage is best. If driving was this exciting in reality, I might have actually finished my driving lessons.
The Car is another excellent re-release from Arrow Video. They're rapidly turning into the Xzibit (or Tim Westwood, if you're a Brit) of cult cinema. Arrow, you can Pimp my Horror Film anytime.
Video and Audio:
Remastered to 1080p High Definition for the very first time, the film looks great. It sounds good too - enough to get any movie fan's engine running. Subtitles are available too. This tune-up has ensured that The Car will pass its MOT any day of the week. An automobile gag too far?
As usual, there's plenty of special features under the hood. Extras include an audio commentary, a special effects featurette, an interview with one of The Car's victims, trailers and an introduction by celebrity fan, director John Landis.
Want to comment on this review? You can leave one below or head over to the HorrorTalk Review Forum.