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The Car (1977) BluRay Review

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The Car (1977)

Dir. Elliot Silverstein

UK BluRay released July 15th

Arrow Video

Starring – James Brolin, Kathleen Lloyd, John Marley, R G Armstrong, John Rubenstein.

Two young cyclists are have a care free ride near the small desert town of Santa Ynez in Utah. Their lovely time is spoiled by a car that comes speeding up behind them and knocks them off the road, killing them both. Then a young buck (John Rubenstein) is waiting to thumb a lift and guess what? Yep he tries to thumb down a lift with the mystery car and ends up squished on the side of the road.

After these incidents the town Sheriff Wade Parent (James Brolin) becomes involved in hunting down the car and it’s psychotic driver. However an eyewitness is adamant that the car had NO driver and the Sheriff becomes embroiled in a race against time to protect his townspeople and his own family against the vehicular menace.

The Car is a wonderful 1970’s horror film. It has probably been brought back into the public attention due to a Futurama episode where Bender becomes a “Werecar”.

The Car is very much of it’s time, it has a remote town that is very insular and everyone knows everyone else. So when a mysterious vehicle turns up and starts killing people this turns the entire town upside down.

The car is a black sedan type that has headlights which looks like eyes and after it has murdered the car speeds off blaring it’s horn in what seems like delight. It seems to just appears almost from nowhere and often there is a gust of wind before it arrives. All this gives the car a personality and a supernatural element that stays throughout the film.

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What I particularly liked about The Car was the way the story was never treated lightly despite it’s ludicrous premise. There are no (purposely) moments of humour and being just a 12 certificate there are real moments of suspense and dread if not death and gore.

It is a really strong cast with James Brolin as the strong upright Sheriff, Ronnie Cox as his emotional alcoholic Deputy and Kathleen Lloyd as Brolin’s strong, independent girlfriend Lauren. The cast is fairly large for a genre film and each member adds to the story and plot lines, there are just no weak links here.

The Car was seemingly lost in history , not only does everyone name Christine as THE killer car movie but also 1977 was a pretty good year for cinematic releases and I guess The Car just missed the boat as Sci-Fi took the world by storm.

As usual with an Arrow release the Blu-Ray copy is just sublime, it is clear crisp and the landscape scenes in the desert are warm and naturally beautiful. It just looks fantastic! And also again as usual the extras are excellent and this is another for the collection!!

If you want a good honest film that has an almost unbelievable story but that still makes you care about the characters and the outcome then The Car is for you. It is fun, dated but a damn good watch.

Verdict 7/10

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Special Features:

High Definition presentation (1080p), on Blu-ray for the first time in the world!

Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

Audio commentary with director Elliot Silverstein moderated by Calum Waddell

Making a Mechanical Monster: Special Effects Artist William Alridge Remembers The Car

Hitchhike the Hell: Actor John Rubinstein recalls becoming a victim of The Car

Original Trailer

Easter Egg

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Joe Wilson

Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Cullen Gallagher as well as a brand new interview with co-writer Michael Butler conducted by Calum Waddell, illustrated with original archive stills and artwork

About Andy Deen

A horror fan for as far back as I can remember . The first things that scared me were Doctor Who and the BBC ghost stories . As an early teen the video revolution came along and with it the Video Nasty campaign , and through all that I immersed myself in all things nasty. I love Slashers, Haunted House Stories and Devil Worshipping/Panic Films . I watch too much horror , listen to loud Heavy Metal and enjoy the odd tattoo \m/\m/
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