Synopsis: A nerdish boy buys a strange car with an evil mind of its own and his nature starts to change to reflect it. – IMDB
Tagline: Body by Plymouth. Soul by Satan.
Release Date: 1983-12-9 | MPAA Rating: R | Coolthulhus Earned: 5
I’m not a big fan of Stephen King’s writing. I’ve said that frequently. What I feel the need to clarify is: I’m not a fan of his writing style. His stories, themselves, are creepy as hell and twice as awesome. I just have trouble wading through the word bloat to be able to get to the story trapped underneath it. So, needless to say, I love most of the movie adaptions of his work. Pet Sematary being the one that immediately pops to mind, but there are definitely others, and Christine is now definitely on that list.
John Carpenter’s version of Stephen King’s tale is a timeless classic. It’s obviously an older movie, but even the production value itself holds up well. They chose actors that did a good job with the script that they had, and the fact that they sometimes went a bit over the top actually worked for them a bit. Because Christine itself is over the top. This is a novel of obsession. It’s a novel that amplifies the simplest things to far, far past what we consider acceptable outside the realm of horror.
I found it a bit funny to watch the movie, because I’d just recently been wondering if there was any movie where the thing that was evil wasn’t ugly or insane. Just evil. Could there be a beautiful evil? Well, this movie answers it. Christine is a beautiful car. From the sleek lines to the cherry red color that drips the imagery of freshly spilled blood into your mind, it’s a car that, by appearance alone, begs obsession.
It’s a thing of beauty to watch Arnie (Keith Gordon) descend into madness as he gives in to the lure of a car who only asks that her owner love her. Robert Prosky’s character was perfectly done. Old men are so full of drama. He was the crotchety old mechanic/garage owner. Even Roberts Blossom did a great job as George LeBay for the brief amount of time he was on-screen. One of those “Hey, it’s that guy!” actors, Blossom had a very distinct face (he passed in 2011), and an obvious talent for playing the crazy old man.
Christine is an interesting character by herself. Sometimes our scariest stories come from the animation of things normally deemed inanimate. Is Christine actually evil? That’s got to be an age-old question. Evil implies sentience. If Christine is sentient, it’s at a very basic, child-like level. Children are inherently selfish, and want their parents all to themselves. They want love, attention, and acknowledgement, and can lash out with rage at anyone who tries come between them and their goal. But we do not call children evil.
I don’t think the director ever makes a misstep with this movie. I would say with good source material, that’s hard to do, but all one has to do is look at most book to movie adaptations and how horribly they fail or are unfaithful to the source material in search of a ‘better movie’. Overall, Christine is a fantastic movie to watch. One that dares you to try to get distracted, and laughs as you fail horribly. Great story by King, great directing by John Carpenter. Well deserving of Scifi and Scary’s highest rating. Click here to find Christine on Amazon.