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Movie Details

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Directed By
John Carpenter

Written By:
Bill Phillips

Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul, Robert Prosky, Harry Dean Stanton, Kelly Preston, Christine Belford, Roberts Blossom, William Ostrander, David Spielberg

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Christine (1983)
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Movie Review by Jarrod
September 1st, 2007

Men love cars. Sometimes they even give them female names, and spend more time with them than they do with their wives or girlfriends, and may even invest more money in the car. What happens if the car loves you back? I was always intrigued by 'Christine', one of my favorite Stephen King stories, primarily because it takes the theme of autoeroticism to its creepiest level, in a horror yarn about a possessed, cherry-red, vintage beauty that forms a bond with its owners, taking over their minds, killing anyone who may pose as a competitor for attention or affection.

'Christine' is bad news right from the moment she comes off the assembly line. She plays oldies music on her radio, which blares unexpectedly, and has the ability to repair herself, even when burnt to a crisp. Arnie (Keith Gordon), a nerdy high schooler, spots her and buys her, even though she is practically junk, against the advice of his jock buddy Dennis (John Stockwell). Arnie ends up fixing her up, demonstrating a talent for mechanics, but Christine does most of the work by herself, impressing Arnie, who transforms into a cool and popular guy, with a leather jacket, losing his glasses, and slicking back his hair. He lands a hot girlfriend named Leigh (Alexandra Paul), whom Christine tries to eliminate, scornful and vindictive b*tch that she is. Christine also punishes a group of bullies who pick on Arnie and vandalize her. Arnie stores her in a garage owned by the gruff Will Darnell (Robert Prosky), and he takes Dennis for a spin, and Dennis suspects something is afoul, and so does Leigh. So they attempt to save Arnie from Christine, which is easier said than done. This is probably one of the most entertaining Stephen King adaptations, though it ignores a lot of its source material, as it has to, I guess, given the length of the novel (well over 500 pages).

Great music, too, most of it from the 60s and 70s, not to mention a few little themes thrown in to heighten suspense, simplistic piano melodies from Carpenter and Alan Howarth, and well-developed relationships among the three main characters, with a surprising amount of depth and sincerity, and solid performances from Gordon, Paul, and Stockwell, and of course, Christine. The 1980s saw practically a new King-based movie every year, more than one per year in some cases, and 'Christine' stands out, though it never reaches the quality of The Dead Zone, adapted by David Cronenberg and starring Christopher Walken. Worth a look.

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Apr 20, 2015 10:08 AM
CHRISTINE is one of my favorite movies.

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