Login

Christine Review

Image for Christine

School misfit Arnie Cunningham falls under the influence of a sleek, red, murderous '50s Plymouth Fury, a supernaturally-empowered car which regenerates itself when trashed and enjoys tormenting its victims with blasts of rock 'n' roll.

★★★★★

Adapted from the Stephen King ‘killer car’ novel, this John Carpenter film is more like an assembly line vehicle than a customised job, but is nevertheless a slick, entertaining piece of work.

Keith Gordon, whose transformation from tongue‑tied, bespectacled zit factory to smooth girl‑getter is weirdly reminiscent of Jerry Lewis in The Nutty Professor, brings a much‑needed touch of humanity to the formulaic horror-in-high-school plotline (which King reprised from Carrie), in which a succession of slobbish, nasty, dislikable characters who pick on poor Arnie or dare to inconvenience his car are gorily done away with by the supercool, super-malicious Christine.

Robert Prosky, Alexandra Paul (with a fluffy ‘80s do), John Stockwell and Harry Dean Stanton (as the inevitable puzzled cop) head a good supporting cast, but the car, of course, steals the picture, rolling off the production line to the tune of Bad To The Bone and periodically recovering from write-off accidents via impressive special effects. Made back when every single King best-seller was turned into a violent, profane mid-budget movie directed by a horror hotshot rather than a blanded-out TV miniseries, this is one of those films which seemed ordinary in the cinema, but plays much better on TV, DVD or video.

It is at least a well-made, well-played, satisfyingly gruesome thoroughly ordinary picture – and is certainly far better than latterday Carpenter films like Vampires or Ghosts of Mars. You also get a compilation album's worth of great blasts from the past to go along with the death and destruction, including witty gags like the car thief blasted away with You Keep A-Knocking But You Can’t Come In.

Very of-its-time horror that is pretty ordinary but does the job.