February 18, 2016

The Car

This movie has been on our "to watch" list forever but the theme for next month's screening bumped it to the top of our list this week. We really should have watched this one earlier!

The plot unfolds something like this: A murderous car descends on a bustling small town in Utah. Local law enforcement are on the case, but anyone who stands in the car's way won't stand there long. Will they be able to stop it while there are towns people left to save?

Hey isn't that: James Brolin, R.G. Armstrong, Ronny Cox, and Kim Richards?
Things to watch for: A car that can hear insults and holds a grudge, but won't cross into a grave yard. Women taunting a car after it stops chasing them and the school children they're protecting. Tons of impressive Ozploitation-style stunt driving.

Well that was likely not planned: During a scene that involves a marching band's worth of children peppered with 6 or so horses, man gets trampled by a horse on camera. He must have ended up fine if it made the final cut, but it's pretty hairy.

Happy things we didn't expect: There are three Native American characters in this film, two are police officers and the other is a witness to a crime. And after they were introduced, we waited for the expected horrible tropes to unfold, but they never did. All the Native Americans were portrayed by actual Native American actors, not one of them ended up a wise sage or magical in any way, each of them was treated with respect by their peers, but they did have to deal with racism from the one overtly racist (and misogynist) towns person. (Additionally happy: none of the Native American or female characters were dismissed out of hand when their characters added something to the general conversation.) We held our breath the whole movie but amazingly, misogyny and racism never made an unintentional appearance. (It's not a perfect film on this front, but especially for the time period it's pretty impressively forward.)

What we learned: It was possible to make movies in the 1970s that weren't totally horrible to women or minorities! Whodathunk?

Bonus thing we learned: James Brolin may never have actually had a son, he likely just made a clone.

(If you want to check out The Car, we highly recommend the Scream Factory Blurry release, the transfer is great and there's an ample amount of bonus features.)

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