Halloween is all about haunted houses. But houses can’t chase you down the highway, through canyons, up dark alleys or right into your own living room. Nope – even the spookiest of haunted houses got nothin’ on haunted cars. In celebration of Halloween, E3 Spark Plugs lists three great creepy car movies.
- The Car, 1977: A black Lincoln Continental with no license plate, no door handles and no driver terrorizes a small Southwest town, starting with a series of apparent hit-and-run murders. In one pivotal scene, the car chases a crowd of students and teachers into a cemetery, but won’t enter it. James Brolin stars as a police chief bent on destroying the car after it launches into the window his girlfriend’s living room, apparently out of revenge for taunting the car at the cemetery’s gate. The final scenes feature a fiery canyon blast from which a smoky, demonic figure rises from the wreckage just before we see the intact car cruising down a city street. The car actually was a customized 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III designed by the famous George Barris, designer of the Munster Koach from The Munsters and the original Batmobile from the 1966 Batman TV series.
- Mr. Wrong, 1986: This obscure 1985 New Zealand film (released in the U.S. in 1986) centers on Meg, a young woman who moves out of her parents’ home and buys a gorgeous old Jaguar. At first, she’s feeling independent and confident in her beautiful vintage ride, but soon senses that the car has a presence all its own. It gets weird when strangers start showing up, including a mysterious woman who climbs into the back seat, then disappears and a sinister-looking hitchhiker. Eventually, Meg learns that her backseat visitor is the ghost of the car’s previous owner, a young woman who was brutally murdered inside the car. And though she’s initially afraid of the car, it turns out being her biggest ally in fending off the creepy hitchhiker.
- Christine, 1983: No haunted car flick list would be complete without mentioning Christine, the 1983 John Carpenter-directed film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel. The opening sequence shows a red and white 1958 Plymouth Fury rolling through the auto plant assembly line and wreaking havoc on plant workers right from the start. Twenty years later, Arnold Cunningham is a nerdy teenager whose personality begins to change when he finds and restores the ’58 Fury he names Christine. Arnold’s best friend and girlfriend learn of the demise of Christine’s obsessed former owner and set to destroy the car in a bid to save Arnold. They think they’ve won when they bulldoze Christine into a crushed metal cube and toss her into a junkyard. But the final shot zooms in on what’s left of Christine as a piece of her grill slowly begins to bend. There’s been talk of a Christine sequel, including a dubious YouTube video claiming an April 2012 release, but we’re finding no official word.
E3 Spark Plugs wants to know: If your ghost could haunt the vehicle of your choice, what would it be? Post your comment on our blog or on the E3 Spark Plugs Facebook fan page. And have a happy and safe Halloween.