CHRISTINE—ah, high school. Remember those weasels who hung together and flipped crap at everyone, especially the relatively defenseless? The kind of slime you hoped would end up doing twenty in Folsom?
In John Carpenter’s 1983 adaptation of Stephen King’s bestseller, some of the old wish for retribution gets an airing. Keith Gordon plays a decent, put-upon nerd, tormented by punks, parents and lack of cool–hassles erased when he ends up behind the wheel of a hell-red ’58 Plymouth Fury, the title gal.
A devil from Detroit? Familiar what’s-happening and who’s-next stuff, but done with a sense of humor and brakes on the gore. Carpenter steers his vehicle with a sharp feel for what an audience will respond to in terms of terms of character identification. Gordon is excellent as the doofus of the first half, and the progressively sarcastic ‘Buddy Love’ type of the second.
John Stockwell makes a pleasant impression as a mellow jock pal, Alexandra Paul looks the picture of the goddess in 3rd period and William Ostrander is a convincing threat as leader of the ‘shitters’. Harry Dean Stanton looks and acts bored in his supporting gig.
The car-star rates Boss and the soundtrack is superior, a collection of late-50s hot rockers blended in with some equally tough latter-day anthems like George Thorogood’s “Bad To The Bone”.
111 minutes, with Robert Prosky, Roberts Blossom and Kelly Preston. Costing $9,700,000, returning $21,000,000.