The Car

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The Car

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Previously impossible to find on video, 1975's Trilogy Of Terror has developed a reputation as one of the few scary movies ever to be made for television. Composed of three adaptations of Richard Matheson stories, each starring Karen Black as a woman with problems, Trilogy Of Terror at first doesn't seem to have aged particularly well, the first two installments relying on hoary twist endings that would probably shame the producers of Tales From The Darkside. It's the final installment, however, that makes Trilogy memorable. Scripted by Matheson himself, it finds Black playing a meek woman whose life changes dramatically when she purchases a spear-wielding African fetish doll, which proceeds to spring to life and chase her around her apartment. It's a breathlessly scary/funny 22 minutes that alone explain why Trilogy has found a place in the dark recesses of the collective pop-culture subconscious. Less memorable all around, although kind of fun anyway, is The Car, a 1977 attempt at a thriller resurfacing on video in widescreen format. An already wooden James Brolin stars as the sheriff of a small southwest town that's inexplicably attacked by a classic sedan. If there's any way to effectively portray a crowd of people fleeing in terror from an automobile, director Elliot Silverstein (A Man Called Horse, Cat Ballou) doesn't find it here, even if he does manage to scatter a couple of memorable moments throughout the film. There's nothing wrong with trying to make mundane objects scary—that's part of what makes The Birds and many other horror movies work—but despite the presence of Church Of Satan head Anton LaVey as a creative consultant, Silverstein makes his title object seem about as frightening as, well, Church Of Satan head Anton LaVey. It is, in short, sub-par as demon-possessed-car movies go, even if watching Brolin attempt to act horrified at the sight of a classic automobile makes it almost worthwhile.

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