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Parents' Guide to

The Car

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Cheesy '70s horror with domestic abuse, stereotypes.

Movie PG 1977 96 minutes
The Car Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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Kids say (1 ):

While not a good movie in the conventional sense, this has a cheese factor that cannot be denied. It's a ludicrous premise -- a malevolent car with no driver or backstory to speak of settling on a small town in Utah to go on its killing spree (as opposed to more populated areas). There are a few b-stories that attempt to pad the flimsiness of the story while the audience waits for the next demonic vehicular homicide. The killer black sedan's gymnastic abilities are laugh-out-loud hilarious. Quirky hitchhikers, short shorts, feathered hair, and James Brolin sporting a Burt Reynolds 'stache -- there's no doubt that The Car is a slice of kitschy 1970s cinema.

However, like other movies very much of past decades, some of that datedness ventures into bad behavior that wouldn't be brushed aside today. For example, one of the characters who is drafted to help stop the car is shown verbally and physically abusing his wife, culminating in a scene in which the woman files a report in the police station with a bruised face, but declines to press charges, and is then shown getting yelled at outside the station. This man also hurls a couple slurs at the Native American police officer. And yet, when given the chance to be a hero, the police allow this man to step up and do his part to save the town from the car's merciless attacks. These aspects to the movie mar its so-bad-it's-good vibe.

Movie Details

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