While we’re all about serious topics here at History Garage like New York’s first air conditioned subways, iconic car brand stories, and the history of just about every part on your car, it’s time for something lighter.
None of these cars are real, not in the way these movies represent them, and for that, we should all be grateful. These vehicles remain figments of someone’s twisted imagination.
What follows are the cars from movie history that haunt our dreams. If they were real, they would try to kill us, which would really spoil the whole joy of owning a car.
The headlines for these movies are links to free versions on YouTube… if you want to feel scared or at least pretend scared. [Insert: evil grin]
Duel – 1971
Don’t feel bad if you don’t remember this one. “Duel” was a made for TV movie, starring the famous Dennis Weaver as David Mann. Scary story fans will, however, recognize the name of the director: Steven Spielberg.
In the story, Mann is a businessman from California en route to a fancy appointment when he happens upon a slow tanker truck. When Mann passes the truck, the driver goes berserk, slighted by the shiny businessman.
Along the way, Mann fights snakes, tarantulas (which used to attack all the time in the 70s), even a bus full of kids, all to escape the evil semi-truck chasing him like a dog.
It has to be the most torquey, maneuverable tanker truck in all of history. It’s not clear how much of the aggression is from the driver or the truck itself, but good enough for this movie fan.
The Car – 1977
There’s no driver. It’s just the usual; a mysterious black car, possessed by demons, on a rampage.
The car in “The Car” wants to kill anyone it can. When local law enforcement tries to get involved, the car pushes the cops off a cliff.
Nobody can stop the car. They run until they can’t anymore. Then the car dispenses with them.
The movie stars James Brolin, who is no relation to Josh Brolin. He’s the spouse of Barbara Streisand, but that’s about all you recognize of this character actor.
Today, “The Car” is a cult status movie, crammed with cheesy effects and tons of screaming.
Christine – 1983
The movie, directed by John Carpenter, is a story about Arnie Cunningham, a teenager who buys his first car, a 1958 Plymouth Fury. She sure is a spicy car.
The old man who sells the Fury to Arnie introduces the car as if it were a person. “Her name’s Christine,” he says.
There’s a problem with Christine, though. She tends to get jealous of Arnie, so she kills everyone around him.
Sometimes she runs the over. Sometimes she crashes into their car. Sometimes she cooks them to death by cranking up the interior lights really high. Like I said, she’s spicy.
The other problem with Christine is one can’t destroy her, even by crushing her into a cube of scrap metal. She always restores like a magic, re-inflating balloon to her perfect 1958 glory.
Maximum Overdrive – 1986
Who can resist a movie directed by Steven King? This was his first, made better by the fact that it starred Emilio Estevez, of the Sheen family.
For the record, King is a terrible director, but this is high cheese cult classic material.
This time it’s not just the cars, but all the machines. In the movie, the Earth passes through the tail of a comet.
This brings to life a bunch of truck stop big rigs, which proceed to kill as many people as possible. One truck in particular even has a face.
The only who can save them from the voracious semis is (you guessed it) Estevez.
Wheels of Terror – 1990
The most recent of the bunch was a made for TV movie directed by nobody, starring nobody; nobody who became somebody other than nobody.
Christopher Cain, the director might disagree. You know his work. He directed “Young Guns.”
Anyway, in the story, a customized 1974 Dodge Charger kidnaps a young girl right in front of her mother.
Cain leads the audience to believe that there is someone behind the wheel, but by the end, we discover otherwise. It’s a crazy car with demonic powers!
There you go, five nights of horror lined up from one blog. Get the popcorn going now and plan to make some coffee too. You’re gonna need it because the horror will keep you up all night.
Perhaps it’s time to consider a metro pass instead of that evil car parked in your garage.