What say we take a little "ride" back to that wonder year of 1977, and sit in the passenger's side of the Devil's auto?
I'm referring, of course, to that often overlooked (but hailed by a small but devout following) film from 1977, "The Car".
Just before his battle with the Unseen from the Other Side in his home in "The Amityville Horror", James Brolin FIRST faced the beast behind the wheel of a tricked-out Lincoln chop top, complete with limo tint and air horn. May sound pretty hokey, but you gotta take it for a spin, folks...there's more to this baby than a shiny paint job and glasspacks.
THE CAR and DOGS, running their courses through late-night double features throughout some of my younger days, are largely responsible for my love of horror films. It's in several ways what you expect from a low-budget, 70's horror film, but this one in particular had a little extra panache, some undefinable trait that makes you (or, upon viewing as an adult, made ME) recall it when you're driving alone on some deserted stretch of highway.
I believe this movie is very underrated, and that belief is strengthened by the following that it has. The acting is solid, with a good cast of known (or at least up and coming at the time) performers, the cinematography is excellent (however, to experience this to its full effect, I beg you: SEE IT IN WIDESCREEN), the music lends just the right amount of atmosphere without overpowering (and it will remind you greatly of the music from Kubrik's "The Shining", but it's oddly fitting here), and the overall feel of the film is just...well, it's spooky.
You can't beat the combination of an unexplained predator terrorizing a small, isolated town where the local law must circle the wagons and deal with it...especially when the predator is supernatural in origin, and the script cleverly weaves religious undertones into it's mystique, as well as a goodly amount of characterization for those challenged to combat the evil...all excellently acted and played out for us in a different but very relatable version of good vs. evil.
Whereas it may not be on anyone's top 50 greatest horror film list, I would highly recommend THE CAR to anyone who wants to have fun watching a movie, enjoy a good story, and have that little creepy feeling at the back of their neck.
I mean really children...how many of us have wondered about the sanity (or lack thereof) of other drivers on the road...hidden behind the anonymity of their tinted windshield and hungry, growling engine?