What’s It About: A killer ’57 Plymouth Fury with severe jealousy issues really interferes with a nerdy high school boy’s life.
Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:
- Seems kinda odd that it’s called John Carpenter’s Christine when Stephen King wrote the novel.
- “Bad to the Bone” is such a great song but Christine is a car. She has no bones.
- And why “Bad to the Bone?” It’s a little too anachronistic since this is 1957? It should’ve been “The Girl Can’t Help It!”
- So why did Christine harm these auto workers anyway? She’s not owned by anyone and can’t be jealous yet. She’s just a spiteful bitch.
- Rockbridge, California?! Isn’t there a law that states all King stories are set in Maine? It could’ve been Castle Rockbridge at least.
- How is he going to keep his bagged lunch cold in high school?
- I’d be proud if my son got 24 points for FELLATIO in Scrabble.
- “You need a girl to get laid.”Welllllll. Not necessarily Arnie.
- Arnie’s best friend Dennis really cares a tad too much about how much sperm Arnie is storing in his gonads.
- Some jock asked Arnie’s best friend Dennis if he’s playing football this year? It’s mid-September already. If he’s not on the squad by now, he ain’t playing.
- Kelly Preston! YEEEEESSSSSS!!!!
- Arnie actually has an honest to Crom pocket protector with about 6 pens inside. That’s a 9 on the Lewis Skolnick nerd-o-meter scale.
- “She looks smart but she has the body of a slut.” It’s been a long time since the screenwriter been to a high school has he?
- The yearbook staff won a prize? Who’s giving prizes to high school yearbooks?!
- I sure hope we see Dennis’ friend Beemis again. I could use a good Beemis and Butthead joke.
- Bullies in the 70s still carried switchblades? Kooky.
- The main bully bothering Arnie asked why his lunch bag doesn’t have the name CUNTINGHAM written on it. I think this was the first movie I’ve seen that used that magical word.
- I’m sure glad Arnie’s mom told us earlier that he had yogurt in his lunchbag because I would’ve really been grossed out and confused why white creamy liquid oozed out of his bag when the bully stabbed it with his switchblade.
- Yeah I don’t know but attacking someone by grabbing their balls is not the most appropriate maneuver in my book.
- Is this bully’s name really Buddy? That’s ironic.
- Hey wait a minute, the other members of Buddy’s Bully Brigade is the fella who played Reptile in Just One of the Guys and the other guy is the hapless bastard who kept getting electric shocks by Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters! The fat one is named Moochie.
- How in the holy hell is Buddy not get expelled after threatening a teacher and possession of a deadly weapon? He does have fantastic sideburns though.
- Wait. That was the first day of school?! Kinda late in September no? It said it was the 12th.
- If Christine can regenerate herself as I know she can later in the film, why is she all beat up and broken down now?
- Hey it’s the old man from Home Alone! And he just said “pussy!”
- Arnie has his checkbook? What high school student carries a checkbook with him everyday?
- Arnie’s mom is a real jerkface. I can understand her being upset with her own son buying a car willy nilly but she totally gives Dennis a guilt trip like he’s Arnie’s keeper.
- Arnie’s ungrateful.
- Robert Prosky plays Darnell, owner of a Do-It-Yourself auto-body shop. And he’s a real sweetheart.
- Dennis is trying to ask out Alexandra Paul, who plays Leigh, in the library and the librarian tells him to return to his seat and get back to work. But they’re in the library? I’m assuming this is study hall so working is more or less voluntary right? Librarian is a bitch.
- So are they going to explain why Arnie doesn’t need glasses anymore? Did he get contacts or did Christine magically give him 20/20 vision?
- After Dennis tries to open up Christine’s door, the radio starts blaring Little Richard’s “Keep A-Knockin’.” So again, why couldn’t they use “The Girl Can’t Help It” in the beginning?
- So after a bad football injury, Dennis is in the hospital. One of the get-well cards above his head says in bold letters “OUCH.” That’s the most insensitive card I’ve ever seen.
- Arnie brings Dennis a book entitled: 5,000 Dirty Limericks. Unless Dennis is a huge Limerick aficionado, I don’t think he’s going to read much of the book.
- Arnie tells Dennis that the team hasn’t won since he got hurt. “I guess that makes you some kind of hero, right?” Arnie has no concept of heroes.
- And how many games have they lost since his accident? High school football only plays a game a week so how long has he been in the hospital?!
- I never really ever liked Keith Gordon. He’s such a smug bastard.
- Arnie says that his parents won’t let Arnie park Christine at home because it “makes the yard look crowded.” Are they parking their vehicles on the actual yard? And more to the point, he can always park it on the street.
- Seeing a drive-in movie during a bad down-pour has to be one of the worst things ever.
- Leigh tells Arnie that “she can’t” when they’re getting hot and heavy in the car and then leaves the car in the pouring rain. Why did she have to leave? It’s not like he was being too forceful—she also was grabbing his crotch.
- Arnie can’t get to second base because Leigh is already jealous of Christine. How outwardly obsessed is Arnie with Christine? According to the subtitles, it’s around mid-November and he only finished Christine a few weeks back at most. Did she catch Arnie sticking his boner in the gas tank or something?
- And if she is so jealous of Christine, then why go on a date with Arnie to a drive-in and start to make out with him? Again, it’s not like Arnie was stroking Christine’s gear stick while he was making out with Leigh. Her protests came out of nowhere.
- Leigh just hit Christine’s seat. Real mature Leigh. Alexandra Paul is cute and all but even I wouldn’t take that kind of petty callous behavior. I would maybe tolerate it from Kelly Preston.
- Supernatural automobile aside, how can Christine control choking someone while they’re eating a cheeseburger? If the seatbelt tightened around Leigh’s neck I would totally see that as being more plausible.
- The guy giving Leigh the Heimlich maneuver is not trying to rape your girlfriend Arnie.
- And how did that guy open Christine’s car door when Arnie couldn’t?
- Why is it in almost every movie people don’t talk or state the obvious until after they get out of the car when they reach their destination? Leigh almost died choking on a burger yet Arnie doesn’t ask her if she’s OK until after he drives her home and she’s practically in her house. So many movies do the silent drive and then the dramatic chat after someone exits the car. So weird.
- Yeah why did the lights in the car get super bright when Leigh was choking?
- Man, I forgot how awful and awkward dating was in high school. Or so I assumed it was.
- Shut up.
- Is it just me or is most late 50s/early 60s rock n’ roll music really tread that fine line between creepy and silly?
- So Arnie parks Christine in a garage every day and then what, walks home? Is this garage that close to his house? Majorly inconvenient, no?
- And wouldn’t Christine hate the fact that Arnie keeps her in a garage instead of his own driveway? You’d think his folks would be her first victims.
- So Buddy and his buddies sneak into the garage to beat up Christine. A few scenes ago she attacks Leigh with a cheeseburger and earlier in the film she killed the auto worker. So my question is, why isn’t she defending herself from harm here? I know later in the film she enacts revenge on these douche-bags so why isn’t she doing jack shit now? She’s not even blasting the radio to scare them off like she did with Dennis! Ponderous.
- Wait. He picked up Leigh walking to her house, then walks with Leigh to the garage to get something from Christine? Why didn’t he get Christine first and then drive to pick her up? Leigh’s that jealous and is still dating Arnie. Stupid.
- Ummm. Arnie. Don’t tell a girl that you’ve only been seeing a few weeks that you think you should apply to the same colleges. And you would think someone who’s more obsessed with his vehicle would give a hot shit about college or girls. Or hygiene.
- I keep thinking that Arnie’s mom is Dianne Wiest but she’s not.
- Arnie is incredibly ungrateful.
- Arnie called his father a motherfucker. Well that is accurate, ya know?
- Why is Arnie always alone in this garage? No one else has any work to do?
- Now’s a good time to mention how awesome Carpenter’s score is. But that’s a given.
- Those assholes who demolished Christine left both headlights unbroken? Strange.
- Super awesome effects of Christine regenerating herself. I always liked that.
- I get that Arnie really loves his car to the point of obsession but even he’s not baffled and astonished that his car can regenerate herself?
- I wish someone could explain why the bully Moochie hitch-hiked on a big rig this highway underpass? Where was he coming from and why is he stopping here? Why didn’t his buddy Buddy give him a lift?
- “Hey Cunningham…You ain’t mad are ya?” Says the asshole who probably shit on Christine’s dashboard.
- While Moochie thinks he’s in a safe space since he’s in an alcove that is narrower than Christine’s frame, she wants him dead so badly she damages herself to squeeze in. Quite the scene.
- Cameo by football legend John Madden.
- Arnie is pouring, what looks like beer, into a stein for Dennis while he’s still in the hospital. And why is there 2 candles lit? Weird right?
- I didn’t even think Dennis mattered in this movie anymore. Truth be told, I totally forgot about him.
- Rest in Peace Harry Dean Stanton.
- Stanton plays a detective, who is questioning Arnie on the death of Moochie. He compliments Arnie on fixing up Christine after he heard it was totaled. Arnie asks him how he knew it was totaled and Stanton says that he heard it from everyone—the local police, his parents, Leigh. So why did Stanton question his folks and girlfriend before Arnie himself? Seems odd right?
- Arnie says he was running late for work. When did he get a job? Unless they mean him doing some busy-work at Darnell’s shop but that was more or less a deal to get used parts from the junkyard. I wouldn’t necessarily call that a job. And he wouldn’t still “work” there if Christine is all fixed up.
- Arnie still has a lot to learn when it comes to talking to girls. Good going Mr. Smooth.
- It’s kinda a shame that they had to black tint Christine’s windows to hide the stunt driver. I mean, it makes her look a little more bad-ass but there’s no possible explanation for her windows being tinted besides obviously hide the driver.
- Christine just caused a whole gas station to explode. Just to get revenge on 3 high school bullies. Me thinks the lady doth protests too much?
- Man, the shot of Christine smothered in flames chasing down Buddy on the darkened highway to Carpenter’s score is just so beautiful.
- Did they only get Robert Prosky for one day’s filming? He’s always wearing the exact same outfit.
- Why is Darnell getting in and sitting in the driver’s seat of the extremely hot and crispy car?
- Death by crushing in the front seat of a car. Worst. Movie death. Ever.
- Did Arnie just say “Let’s motivate?” Why? I don’t understand the context to him saying that.
- Why are they on the highway? Dennis said to Leigh that he was going to Arnie’s house for New Year’s. Does Dennis live in another state now?
- Southern Cross Beer?!
- Quick question: This film takes place in late 1978. I’m still trying to figure out why. Christine is a ’57 Plymouth Fury. The book was written the same year as this movie was made, 1983. (Yeah, King sold the rights to the book as he was still writing it—that man could print money at this point) But still, why 1978 and not 1983? What’s the significance?
- They keep using the word: Shitters. It’s a good word but it’s literally been used 6 times in this scene alone. Plus one of Buddy’s goons shit on the dashboard earlier. This movie sure is fecal obsessed.
- I’m assuming that Dennis has some sort of scheme or plan up his sleeve for Arnie and Christine. Otherwise scratching “Darnell’s Tonight” on Christine’s hood with a screwdriver would be one overkill way of writing a message to a friend.
- Where did a high school kid learn how to hot wire a Caterpillar bulldozer?!
- Why is Leigh here by the way?
- I totally forgot all about Kelly Preston. This film totally wasted her talents. And by talents I mean her boobies.
- If Christine loved and cared for Arnie so much, you’d think she’d make him wear a seatbelt when they’re on a killing spree together.
- I know it’s only a movie but in the movies, windshields are never tempered like in actual real life.
- I wonder who would win in a fight? Christine or the Bigfoot monster truck?
- So the detective is settled at this whole killer car scenario? He actually believes this story that Christine was sentient and a killer car? That’s ridiculous and lazy writing right there.
Scare Level: I don’t even think a motorphobiac would be scared of this flick.
Gore Level: There’s way more grease, oil and gasoline spilled in this movie than blood and guts.
Nudity Level: Christine is completely nude the whole time!
Best Line: So many decent lines actually.
“My asshole brother bought her back in September ’57. That’s when you got your new model year, in September. Brand-new, she was. She had the smell of a brand-new car. That’s just about the finest smell in the world, ‘cept maybe for pussy.”
“I knew a guy had a car like that once. Fuckin’ bastard killed himself in it. Son of a bitch was so mean, you could’ve poured boiling water down his throat and he would’ve pissed ice cubes!”
“Let me tell you a little something about love, Dennis. It has a voracious appetite. It eats everything. Friendship. Family. It kills me how much it eats. But I’ll tell you something else. You feed it right, and it can be a beautiful thing, and that’s what we have. You know, when someone believes in you, man, you can do anything, any fucking thing in the entire universe. And when you believe right back in that someone, then watch out world, because nobody can stop you then, nobody! Ever!”
Best Scene: The special effects of Christine regenerating herself are top-notch for the time. I always loved that.
Worst Scene: Robert Prosky getting crushed by the front seat of Christine was a very mediocre and lame kill scene.
Stephen King References: Killer vehicle, 50s greaser personas
Overall: I haven’t seen this gem in a long long time. I didn’t care much for it when I was younger despite it being John Carpenter. I don’t know if it was because of the killer car concept or maybe it was just Keith Gordon’s performance as Arnie. Well anyway, time was good for Christine because seeing it now as an adult I had a lot of fun watching this. Sure, I nitpicked the hell out of it but it was still 10x better than most horror flicks made today. Carpenter is THE MAN and even his mediocre 80s flicks are worth watching. I learned that last year with Prince of Darkness, another 80s flick of his that I didn’t like growing up but appreciated a little more now. Like I said with The Dead Zone about King’s lackluster stories being adapted by great visionary directors—Carpenter really got the tone and the feel of King’s killer car done perfectly. Highly recommended.
Score: 8.5 Shitters (out of 10)
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