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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Supernatural > The Car (1977/Universal DVD)

The Car (1977/Universal DVD)


Picture: B-†††† Sound: D†††† Extras: D†††† Film: B-



Generally speaking, when you start a movie, you know just about what you're going to get ahead of time, and usually when you're wrong, it's a disappointment. But every once in a long while you find something that is better than you expected it to be. This was the case with The Car. A horror flick from the seventies in which an ominous black car, which is really the embodiment of pure evil, mows people down for no apparent reason sounds like a schlocky piece of crap; a fun schlocky piece of crap maybe, but still crap. But apparently even a movie called The Car can turn out well. Really what this film is, is Jaws in the desert. An unstoppable force of nature, or in this case evil, picks off the citizens of a small isolated community one by one and is hunted doggedly by the head of the local police.


Another thing this disc has going for it is that, rather inexplicably, this is one of the best cases of digital remastering I have yet seen. In terms of picture quality, this disc is better than the Collectorís Edition DVD of Jaws that is sitting on my shelf. The picture is sharp, the colors are vibrant; this disc probably looks better than the film print did on the big screen in 1977, and itís shown in the extra-wide anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen format. Unfortunately, the sound quality is not nearly so good. It is audibly soft, especially on the dialogue, despite the fact that it is in Dolby Digital 2.0, though the Dolby 5.1 mix on the out of print Anchor Bay version was nice. And then thereís the extras, or rather there isnít. The only extra feature on the disc is the original theatrical trailer. A shame, since Universal went to all the trouble to remaster the film, and its cult status means that people would certainly watch the extras if they were there.


This movie is what you might call a diamond in the rough. It fits squarely within the framework of B horror, but somehow rises above its peers. I would even put The Car just one step below Jaws in terms of overall cinematic value. The writing isnít as good, the directing isnít as good, and the climactic ending backslides into the category of ridiculous and over-the-top, but for the B horror fan this is still a breath of fresh air. And for anyone else, I think youíll come out of it surprised.



-†† Matthew Carrick


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