Killer Cars — The Recapitulationing

I would feel remiss if I didn’t post a single word about “killer cars” month, so here’s a brief recap. (Also: note that there probably won’t be any reviews posted in the month of April, since I’ll be participating in Script Frenzy, a writing challenge in which I’ll be cranking out a hundred-page screenplay in a month. Naturally, it’s going to be a horror movie…

The Car — Marty actually wrote about this fine film last summer, when it was a Final Girl Film Club pick. Read the review he wrote then, here.

Maximum Overdrive and Killdozer — Why am I writing about both of these movies together? Because both of them feature the same hackneyed horror-movie plot device: unexplained outer space phenomena. In Maximum Overdrive, the earth is caught in the tail of a gigantic comet. This is all the explanation that’s needed to set the plot in motion, namely machines (most importantly for our characters, trucks) coming to life and killing humans. There doesn’t seem to be any real logic behind which things come to life and which do not, as machines running off of electricity, gas, and batteries all seem to have the same hell-bent murderous intent. Inexplicably, even a machine gun turns against our heroes. And as soon as the earth exits the comet, everything goes back to normal, of course. Killdozer is slightly different, featuring a bulldozer that strikes a meteor buried into a hillside. The meteor glows with a blue light, which we then see entering the bulldozer. That’s all we get — not even any speculation as to what the blue light really was, where the meteor came from, etc. No, all we know is that now the bulldozer is (slowly) chasing workers down and running them over. (I can’t even remember how this made-for-TV movie ends, since I think I left the room because it was so difficult to watch.)

Seriously: “there’s a comet” is not a sufficient backstory for your horror movie. Except for Night of the Comet, which is awesome. Oh, and I guess Night of the Living Dead featured a mysterious returned satellite…hmm.

Christine and Blood Car were both amazing. The main characters’ slow descent into madness in both of these movies is really well-done: in Christine, as the once-dorky nice guy becomes a slick jackass obsessed with his magical car-girlfriend, and in Blood Car, as the vegan kindergarten teacher becomes a rampaging murderer, slaughtering puppies and homeless people in order to fuel his “blood car” and get laid by the car-loving “bad girl” who sells meat. I guess both these movies sort of have an underlying message of “women make men do evil things,” which is a subtext that really makes them seem less amazing, in my eyes.

Anyway, all in all an excellent month. I’d give Maximum Overdrive and Killdozer a miss, but the other three are definitely worth checking out.