Thursday, May 16, 2019

'70s Trash?: The Car (1977)

While not as famous, the 'Jaws, But' Subgenre sure is prevalent!  Without even breaking a sweat, I can think of 'Jaws, But a Whale,' 'Jaws But a Buffalo,' 'Jaws but a Bear' and 'Jaws, But a Squid.'  Those are all Animals, of course.  That brings me to today's Film- The Car.  This 1977 Film is 'Jaws, But A Car.'  It's pretty shameless.  Is it good though?  It's fine to be a rip-off if you do it well, right?  The Plot involves a mysterious, magic car that starts to kill people.  Why?  Who cares, am I right?  The Film features a number of good/notable Actors including James Brolin and Ronny Cox.  Can local Cops in the Southwest stop an evil Car?  Where do you take said Car for an oil change?  How do you replace the blood of Virgins that acts its coolant?  To find out the answer to one of those questions, read on...
Starting off subtle, huh?  Welcome to the '70s.

Here's your Cocaine and 8-Track Player.
The titular Car drives (or walks?) around and kills people.  It takes out some people on Bikes and a guy who tries to stop Domestic Violence.

It also sees people in this orange tint...for some reason.
James Brolin is the young, handsome Cop in town.  He's got two cute kids and a girlfriend.
It doesn't pay to be a Biker in this Town- clearly!
As the bodies pile up, the Police know that something is amiss.  When the Car seems to have no driver and can summon up sand storms, things get even weirder.
The high point for me- when the Car does a sharp turn, rolls itself at 2 Cop Cars like a barrel, blows them up and just starts driving again (with a cut to cover how the hell that last part happened).

It's so silly and so badass!
The Car kills Brolin's love interest- by jumping through her window and out the back wall- and now it is even more personal.  They make the connection between the occult and the Car here though.

I'm still not clear why it is evil, of course.
The Car comes for Brolin personally this time.  It all leads to a big chase and an elaborate plan involving dynamite.

Oh and Ronny Cox overcomes depression and Alcoholism somewhere in the middle of all of this.
They blow up the car by tricking it into driving off of a cliff into some dynamite.  It makes a scary fire face and the Film ends...until an unrelated 'Sequel' made in 2019.  The End.
A silly, but enjoyable experience.  The thing that is fascinating is just how seriously they take this premise.  Jaws worked by doing this- and it's creature was an actual thing!  In contrast, Orca went out of its way to be 'shocking' and morose.  It also featured an Orca that was so smart that it targeted a Power Plant to get the Town to send the Captain back out into the Water, so...other problems too.  The point being is that there has to be a balance.  This Film features an evil demon-possessed (maybe?) Car.  During said Film, we get Ronny Cox dealing with Depression and Survivor's Guilt.  We get a man trying to form a new family unit.  We get a woman trying to balance work and love.  We get people dealing with grief (inflicted by a demon-possessed Car) in natural, realistic ways.  Yes, the Car is bullet-proof.  Yes, it can magically do a barrel roll and keep driving.  Yes, it can 'jump' through the front of a House with near-pinpoint accuracy.  In spite of all that, this Film feels real(ish).  The Car is one of the better 'Jaws, But' Films out there and maybe it needs more love.  Kind of the same way whoever drew this needs some love in his life...
Next time, a Movie who's Poster I highlighted 2 years ago gets reviewed.  There be Lions!  Stay tuned...

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