Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

HERE IN MY CAR, I FEEL SAFEST OF ALL, I CAN LOCK ALL MY DOORS, IT'S THE ONLY WAY TO LIVE... WAIT A MINUTE - WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?


Christine (1983)

I wasn't going to do a review today - something has a hold of me and I can't keep my eyes open for more than a few hours at a time, max. BUT... are you one of those that has this Jenga pile in your house? You know, the pile of stuff you meant to go through, in fact you don't even know what's in it anymore, but it's getting taller and taller and though you look at it every time you pass by you just think 'oh hell no not today' and so it continues to grow? No? Just me?




Well, after feeding my cats in the afternoon, back to bed was the only thing on my mind. It's usually the 'kids' nap time too. So roughly 15 minutes later as everybody's snuggled in... JENGA! Now this isn't the first time the thing has toppled over - I've stumbled into it more than once (the meds take away my sense of balance) and the cats, thinking it a super cool must-be-toys-on-top mountain have knocked it over a few times. But this time it was just good ole' gravity. Needless to say, after I got everything picked up, no sleeping was going to be done.

So I thought I'd start with an easy movie. Something simple, familiar, and something I can knock out in a half hour or so. Pffft. This became a big project as I found tons of goofs and you KNOW I can't just not tell you about them. If you love Stephen King, you've seen this movie at least several times. A sentient car murders whoever messes with its 'boyfriend' (cause of course the car is a girl), a 1958 cherry red hardtop Plymouth Fury.

Now if you know anything about cars, you're saying heyyyy... there weren't any cherry red hardtops until at least 1959. Yup. Even in the movie it shows a 1957 assembly line, and every other car is the off-white color (or eggshell or cream or beige - whatever) except for bright red Christine.


Okay, here's something totally random. One of the cars, the '58 Fury was rescued and now belongs (unless he's sold it which I doubt) to Chaney Ponton. His car won second place in the "Christine ('58 Plymouth)" class at the 2009 Chryslers at Carlisle show. Its' remote self-starter will also rev its engine and flash its headlights, mimicking the demonic Christine. Ponton is a member of the Christine Car Club, which he says has 200 members worldwide.

So why go on and on about the car? 'Cause everybody's seen this movie or read the book. Nerd kid falls in love with hunk of junk, buys it and stores it in a local garage 'cause his mom won't allow it in her driveway. Kid miraculously keeps finding Fury parts out back in the junkyard (only about a little over 5,000 of that particular car were made) but in the meantime... the car is slowly re-building herself.

The owner is one Arnie Cunningham, played by Keith Gordon who did this movie and was never seen again. Just kidding. He was in several movies, usually playing a nerdy character. He decided to direct and that's pretty much what he does today. His best friend is popular football player Dennis Guilder, played by John Stockwell who did this movie and was never seen again. Yeah, yeah I know - he was in a ton of stuff, including Top Gun. Nowadays he acts and directs.


So boy loves car, car is evil and can restore itself when it has a willing victim, car takes revenge on anybody who messes with boy, boy loses his friends (and girlfriend Leigh, played by Alexandra Paul) and becomes a real jerk, and Christine takes a licking and keeps on ticking while murdering everyone she gets mad at. Or makes romantic moves on 'her' boyfriend.


Since Arnie won't give up Christine, his former friends decide to do it for him. They take a bulldozer to her, which unfortunately kills Arnie in the process. They then take the car outside and put it in a compactor, ending her reign of terror. But at the end we see a piece of trim start to straighten out... I liked the book better - the movie needed a little more exposition so you know WHY the car was evil (instead of being evil right from the assembly line) and more about Arnie. Oh well. 

Now for the fun part - taking the movie and pointing fingers at all the DUH parts. There are TONS. Yes this was an 80's movie with budding special effects techniques, so yeah, some parts were pretty obviously faked. But that won't prevent me from pointing and laughing.

There are several scenes where objects move from frame to frame, the time Arnie talks to his girlfriend in the pouring rain and his hair is dry, yet his girlfriends' is soaked even as she gets out of the car. Cut away and his hair's soaked and plastered to his head. A license plate showing up and then disappearing, t-shirts that don't dry, a camera that clearly makes a shadow in a phone booth - all were good for a giggle or two.



Cigarettes move from one hand to another during one scene, there are different colored car grills, drive in speakers move, windshield wipers change position, and in one really fake scene you can easily tell that they are filming in a studio (one of those shake-the-car-to-show-it's-moving) 'cause they're going 80 with the windows down but Arnie's hair doesn't even move) - you know, stuff you've got to be really anal to notice. Like me.

The best ones though are for Christine. Twenty cars were used for the movie - but Furys from that time period are getting rare (not to mention expensive) so they used Belvederes and Savoys dressed to look like Christine. Only two cars survived the movie. Let's look at Christine. 

Okay I'll take it easy on you - if you just want to read about the movie, stop here 'cause from here down we see tons of whoopsies and I don't want to ruin the movie for anybody.

We've already established there were no 1958 red Furys, but in several scenes where Christine is trapping someone inside, we see scenes of regular door lock knobs going down. Trouble is, they didn't have those 'til the '59 models. 

And since they actually used 20 different cars, there are lots of inconsistencies and changes in different scenes, but those can be excused 'cause with 20 different cars of different models you're not going to have the exact same stuff from scene to scene - that really can't be laughed at (well, I laugh but that's just me).

Also when she's being 'torn apart' by the hoodlums at the garage, they are all over, breaking everything. The John Travolta-like idiot decides to go for the engine - he unlatches the hood and flips it up and off of the car because... there are no hinges keeping it on the car. Whoops.

I employed my hubby for the vehicle oopsies since we've both know cars but he's worked many more years with them than I have. We concentrated on a big scene: Christine killing two and blowing up a whole gas station. First we'll tell you, then show you:

There is Buddy and Rickie who skid Buddy's car onto the grounds of a gas station when they are chased by Christine. The Camaro is parked quite a ways away from the building, but the very next clip shows the two getting out of a car that is half in front of an open bay in the garage. Rickie sees Christine coming and hides behind the car. 

Christine then hits the Camaro which shows the hood collapsing into the engine compartment because one, the hinges are not attached and two, there is no engine. It backs up stuck to her, then she pushes it inside and breaks the hydraulic lift for both sides. She kills Rickie with the BACK of the Camaro yet the next shot shows it is still sideways against the back of the station.

Now my hubby and I discussed this - usually hydraulic lift controls are right beside the lift so how could the one smashed on the right affect the left side? I say can't, he says maybe if it was older and all the controls were together. I saw one control but he still says maybe so... we're a bit divided on that. We do agree that the attendant must have been REALLY stupid to climb under the car instead of just walking out of the freaking building.

But I HAVE seen a hydraulic lift break - it doesn't slowwwly go down, it SLAMS. So that was kind of a wash. But the angle the Camaro (whose headlights are somehow working) was parked in shows that it was impossible for Christine to push the whole vehicle into the garage unless the car had been moved into position. And Christine is good, but even she cannot shove a Camaro into a building rear first when the stupid thing was sideways to begin with.

Gasoline from a broken tank is pouring from the Camaro. We see a fire start INSIDE THE CAR (which we see has a steering wheel that must have been tacked in there somehow - you'll see why) which ignites the whole station even as Christine continues to drag it outside.

Two things wrong with this. One, it it obvious, just by looking in the windshield of the Camaro that there are no seats or anything else in there (and no longer any steering wheel). How can we be sure? As the Camaro is dragged out of the garage the hood FALLS OFF. In the next shot, the hood sits inside the engine compartment because THERE IS NO ENGINE. 

To fix that oops, in the next frame the hood, instead of being inside the engine compartment is now sitting on top again but at a catty corner angle. But because there is no engine, we see light shining through holes in the floor confirming that there's no seats or firewall or anything else that would hinder burning I guess. MASSIVE DUH.

As the Camaro continues its doomed travel, the lights shining on the ground through the inside of the car grow brighter. Why? The car door is opening, which can be seen through the empty engine compartment. And then for no discernible reason other than it made it look cooler, the whole freaking gas station ignites in a gigantic fireball. Maybe Michael Bay wanted to come and play - there's no other logical reason for it. 

The propane tank explodes like a nuclear blast. They do not, as such, explode. If there is a problem, gas leaks out of a relief valve, and the fire department (or whomever is handy) attempts to keep the tank cool until it can be stopped. Even if that is not possible, it would take a propane tank up to 20 minutes to get hot enough to explode under the conditions shown in this movie.

But at least the tow truck and telephone booths are safe, even when they repeat the explosion half a dozen times. And though Christine is totally in flames her tires not only do not explode but they don't melt either. And we won't mention her fake engine noises (which belong to a car with a much better engine). Tough little bitch. I almost feel like apologizing at this point but I did warn you.


Car parks far away from station.






The next frame shows the car in front of the station's open bay door.
Christine's first hit shows the hood sitting in an empty engine compartment.


The next screen they cover the boo-boo with an unhinged hood sitting on top.


The lights showing in the engine compartment is the ground since there is no firewall, seats, etc.



A camera mounted on the floor of the empty car shows two doomed characters...


In the next shot, both are gone.


Then Rickie is hit by the BACK of the car (?!?)


The car is again sideways against the back wall of the station and the INSIDE catches fire.
Everything explodes sparing the propane tank, tow truck and phone booths.



Propane tank explodes but liquid spreads towards the garage.





Crispy critter - apparently he could only go in a straight line instead of hiding...


The tire hub is clearly visible on the Christine 'cube'.



Whoops, they turned it around... oh well.








Computer's pissed at me and I can't get rid of these three photos - sorry.