“What evil drives … The Car?”
Fasten your seatbelts for a gas-guzzling road trip into pure automotive terror with the 1977 “Sedan Possessed by Satan” flick, The Car! Yes, it’s an “only-in-the-‘70s” high schlock mash-up combining the very best (or maybe the very worst) aspects of Jaws, The Exorcist and Smokey and the Bandit, and if you can’t handle it, then get off the road! A mysterious and murderous black car appears from out of nowhere (perhaps it came from hell … or at the very least, Detroit) to wreak vehicular havoc on a small Southwestern town, and it’s not stopping until every last resident has been turned into polyester road-kill. After a pair of teenage bicyclists and a hippie hitchhiker are viciously mowed down, local police realize they have a motoring maniac on their hands. But when the increasingly bold auto kills the sheriff right on the town’s main street, leaving the post to officer Wade Parent (played by the very hairy ‘70s stud James Brolin, who later tangled with an even more terrifying force when he became the husband of Barbara Streisand), it slowly becomes apparent that “there’s no one driving the car!!!!,” and the increasingly dwindling population of this already small town is forced to confront the fact that they may be up against the Horny Hound of Hell himself! Should they call a priest or just put a little sugar in the gas tank? Filled with hilarious “car attack” sequences (marvel as the evil car viciously attacks a chintzy rodeo, but is unable to chase its victims through a cemetery, because it has been built “on hallowed ground”), gratuitous explosions and numerous scenes of befuddled people re-stating the obvious fact that there is indeed “no one driving the car.” A great companion to Spielberg’s Duel, only with a lot of melted cheese in the crankcase.