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The Cars That Ate Paris Review

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A traveller stumbles across a strange town in the Australian outback which has been made from the remnants of car wrecks the inhabitants helped cause. Left stranded he begins to fit in with this way of life, but the inhabitants are growing restless.

★★★★

The quirky debut feature from Weir, demonstrating the weirdness that has gradually been erased from his personality by Hollywood.

The outback town of Paris, Australia, is built on salvage from car wrecks that the citizenry cause, and a newcomer finds himself sucked into a strange society where mad drivers prowl the dark on jousting missions and lobotomised crash survivors shuffle around the floor at a town dance. It resists rational explanation and has a lot of first-filmish lapses, but the mix of black humour and J.G. Ballardian kink is very distinctive.

A very low-budget film, which shows early signs of Weir's talent, although this also proves to be a very different style of film for him, going on to direct epic films such as Gallipoli and Dead Poets Society. The action is never far away with a suitable amount of menace amongst the small-town hillbillies.

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