BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

The Car (1977) - Blu-ray Review

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The Car (1977) - Blu-ray Review

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4 beersJames Brolin. A demonic car. Some Native American warnings. And the arid American desert. What else do you need to have one helluva damn good time? Nothing. And that's exactly the territory of The Car, a horror film that owes its inception to the success of Jaws. Directed by Elliot Silverstein, The Car is actually a very smart and very thrilling knockoff which is part of the reason why Scream Factory have seen fit to reissue it on blu-ray. It's a gem – a dusty one, mind you – that more people should see and appreciate.

Like a lot of horror flicks, The Car beings with the originating victims. This time, though, they are cyclists roaming the great open expanse of the southwest desert. Their shocking and brutally-filmed deaths are at the hands of a coal-black car with a thick amber-like set of windows that clouds its driver from view. The car terrorizes the desert, blatantly beeping its horn with a violent and persistent rhythm that cannot be ignored. If you hear it, you know you're next and, one by one, the body count rises as the local police department find themselves outsmarted by its demonic rumblings and thundering engine.

Featuring a relative who's who in genre supporting stars, John Marley (Deathdream), Ronny Cox (RoboCop), R.G. Armstrong (Race with the Devil), Roy Jenson (Soylent Green), and Kyle Richards (Halloween) join Brolin (The Amityville Horror) and Kathleen Lloyd (It Lives Again) in a battle across the desert as they try to silence the devil's chariot. The film was written by Dennis Shryack and Michael Butler but it is the film's director that manages to save this one from being just another wannabe.

Silverstein is to be praised for pulling off practical effects involving a car, its roadkill, some awesome flips, and a mowing that takes out a house as the car barrels through it to get to its next helpless victim. There truly is nowhere safe to hide and Silverstein, using close-ups and epic establishing shots of dust clouds in the distance, goes out of his way to seal the deal on this high-octane thriller. The Car never once pauses in its pursuit of horror and modern day audiences discovering Scream Factory's release on blu-ray for the very first time will be rewarded.

Outside of the wicked stunts and smart direction, The Car pulls in to the winner's circle (for a B-movie) because of the overall chemistry shared by a rather engaging cast of characters. In a small desert town, they literally have nowhere to go and their desperation, while they try to understand what is happening around them, is palpable. They are all – even their relationships with each other – believable and sustained. Brolin rolls in and out of bed with Lloyd and their moments together are both sweet and tragic as their love affair is cut short by the devil's death car.

But waiting for the car to run out of gas is not an option for this remote town. The Car has to be seen to be believed and no one wants to hitch a ride.

Let the steel wheels of The Car take you for a spin. It's a trip to hell and back that you won't soon forget.

The Car (1977) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: PG.
Runtime:
96 mins
Director
: Elliot Silverstein
Writer:
Dennis Shryack, Michael Butler
Cast:
James Brolin, Kathleen Lloyd, John Marley
Genre
: Action | Horror
Tagline:
There's nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, no way to stop... The Car
Memorable Movie Quote: "Are you gonna stand there philosophizing, or are you gonna buy me a drink? You're not smart enough to do both."
Distributor:
Universal Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
May 13, 1977
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
December 15, 2015
Synopsis: A sleek, possessed black car terrorizes everyone it comes in contact with in a small town in Utah.

The Car (1977) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - December 15, 2015
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles
: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: A

Having suffered years of the muddy VHS release and equally shoddy late-night cable TV screenings, we are pleased to report that Scream Factory finally gave a shit about this film and ordered up a new HD master, and the results are pretty spiffy. Gone are the murky mysteries of the third act and now viewers can see what the hell is going on in the smoke of one hell of an explosion. Black levels are consistent and colors are strong. Presented in a 2:35:1 aspect ratio, this new transfer while not perfect, goes a long way to correct the hideous releases of the past. The original DTS-HD Master Audio track is the only audio option and luckily it's a good one. Nothing too crazy to involve the surrounds, but just some well-balanced center channel fun.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

These release offers a trilogy of three new interviews with the film's director Elliot Silverstein and actors Melody Thomas Scott and Geraldine Keams. Each offer candid insight to their time involved with the production, working on the film and how it feels knowing you're working on something less than award-worthy. Lastly, a brief look at TV and radio spots offer a glimpse of the original marketing for the film.

  • Interview with Elliot Silverstein
  • Interview with Melody Thomas Scott
  • Interview with Geraldine Keams
  • TV Spot
  • Radio Spots
  • Theatrical Trailer

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