Monday, 18 March 2013

Christine (1983)

“No shitter ever came between me and Christine.”

The first thing I have to say is that this is a mind-blowingly sweary movie. Of all the hundred plus films I’ve reviewed, this one drops the most ‘c’ bombs by far. That sets a benchmark. Oddly enough, this feels appropriate for the first John Carpenter film to appear in this blog. Any other films helmed by him which fail to reach acceptable levels of swearyness will not impress me. That’s just the way it is.

This is a delightfully mischievous film about an evil car, origin unknown (the unknown is much scarier), which ensnares the initially geeky Arnie Cunningham like a femme fatale on wheels and turns him into a right bastard. Lots of people die on the way and there is lots of fun with the concept. Sometimes the best way to have fun with a silly concept is to play it straight.

The special effects (let’s remember this is 1983) are simply unbelievable. The camera lingers on the many scenes of Christine spontaneously repairing herself in an almost sexual manner, but why not? The largely unknown cast, HarryDean Stanton aside, carry the film well while not distracting to much from the film’s true star.

This film was perhaps rather more effective for me than it would have been for most people, delightfully silly film that it is. As a young child, I suffered recurring nightmares of a red motor-cycle with no rider that was always chasing me for some reason! Best not to analyse the plots of childhood nightmares too much, methinks.
I think the scenes of Christine relentlessly pursuing people to their deaths are chilling, though. The massive set piece at the petrol (gas, for any passing Americans) station is incredible.

The deaths are the most delightfully entertaining bits of the film, with the tragedy deliberately downplayed. After all, we wouldn’t want things to get too heavy. The film ends with Christine just refusing to bloody die. Let’s face it; we’re all on her side.

I loved this film. It is at the same time wonderfully silly and extremely well directed. I must watch more films by the esteemed Mr Carpenter, perhaps even ones you may have heard of. If you haven’t seen this film, seek it out.

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