Christine title

Tag line : She'll Possess You, Then Destroy You. She's Death on Wheels, She's... Christine.

ChristineBased on the novel by Steven King, this cult early 80's shocker from noted genre director John Carpenter (he of Halloween fame) takes place in the late 1970's. In this, young High school student Arnie Cunningham (Keith Gordon), buys an old Plymouth Fury, only to find the car has a mind of its own.

Regarded as something of a loser and a nerd by his fellow students, soonafter buying the car his friends begin to see a noticeable change in young Arnold. His image changes, he becomes more assertive, his grades at school start to slip and becomes exceptionally foul mouthed towards his parents. And the more time he spends fixing up the old car, which he names Christine, the more different he seems to become.

When a bunch of high school bullies break into his garage and wreck up the car one night, his friends are surprised to find the car fully repaired shortly afterwards. But become even more concerned when the gang members responsible for the damage start to die in mysterious road accidents soon afterwards.

The police have their suspicions, but Arnie appears to have an alibi for the night of each death, so if he isn't responsible, then who was driving the red Plymouth Fury seen at each crime? His best friend Dennis (John Stockwell) becomes increasingly concerned and starts looking into the cars previous owners, only to discover that "Christine" has a very bad history, drenched in blood, which may explain why Arnie hasn't been himself lately...

Suspenseful and chilling, with an air of mystery around it, this has all the makings of a good horror film, in fact I remember seeing this one on the TV when I was younger and loving every minute of it, which indeed I still do today. This film is also marked both the height of Stephen King's film adaptations and the end of John Carpenters most prolific period. So if you're a fan of either King or Carpenter you should definitely enjoy it.

Overall marks : 7/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag lines "Some Cars Are Born Bad", "She's the Devil Incarnate. She's Christine. Body by Plymouth. Soul by Satan", "Christine. The Devil's Car", "Hell hath no Fury...like Christine", "How do you kill something that can't possibly be alive?".

  • 25 different Plymouth Furys were used during the making of this film. Whilst the movie had the positive effect of popularising this model, classic car enthusiasts were outraged as somewhere in the region 13-16 of them were destroyed in the making of it.

  • The opening scene in the manufacturing plant showing the cars on the production line did not appear in the original novel, it was added by the film makers.

  • The car Detective Junkins (Harry Dean Stanton) is seen driving was also a Plymouth Fury, but a 1979 model, which was actually a popular car used by the police at that time.

  • Scott Baio and Brooke Sheilds were considered for the respective roles of Arnie and Leigh, but they decided the film would work better with unknowns.

  • The book that Dennis picks up before asking Leigh out in the library was in fact the Stephen King novel of "Christine"

  • Christine was described in the novel as being a 4-door model. However, Plymouth didn't make 4-door models until 1959, which is why a 2-door model is used in the film. Also, 1958 Fury's were in fact all Beige. The book mentions that Christine was a custom order, but as the Fury was just a Belvidere model with a different trim, Christine might as well be any customised Belvidere car from the late 50's. The reason for these errors were apparently due Stephen King choosing this model of car solely because he liked the name "Fury"

  • As the film progresses, Arnie starts dressing more and more in 1950's style clothing, the year of the cars manufacture, which is supposed to indicate him becoming more possessed by it.

  • The scene showing the car rebuilding itself was achieved by rigging one of the models up with hydraulic motors that would pull the bodywork inwards. The film was then played backwards to look like the panels were popping back out.

  • In the original novel, Christine was supposed to be possessed by the spirit of her previous owner, which goes on to possess Arnie, but this plot point was dropped.

  • Blues musician John Thoroughgood, who performed the song "Bad to the Bone" which is used in the film, had a cameo appearance with script writer Bill Phillips as a couple of scrap yard workers at the end of the film, however their appearances were cut as they couldn't act. Stills from this scene appear in the making-of documentary on the collectors edition DVD.

  • After filming, only 3 cars survived in serviceable condition, which were sold off to private collectors. The rest were sent for scrap. Fortunately, car enthusiast Martin Sanchez managed to salvage a fourth car, the one seen chasing Moochie down the alley and crushing him in the loading dock. Though the front was badly damaged, he managed to put the car back together using parts from the other scrapped cars from the film.

Extra Info.

Cast & Crew.

 

 

Video Clips.
MP4 format.

Theatrical trailer (3.65MB).

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Other recommended John Carpenter films.

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