“Christine” is a movie about a killer car, and is better than I expected.
This is the fifteenth movie I’ve seen for this project and I was starting to get really burnt out. The last Stephen King movie I watched was pretty tedious, so “Christine” was a great change of pace. Christine is a car that gets shit done. A few minutes into the movie and she attacks one dude and kills another (which, come on. He dropped big chunks of cigar ash all over her brand new seats. Rude!)
It’s a fast paced confection of a movie that doesn’t involve a lot of thinking. Cowardly, socially awkward, jackass nerd Arnie sees a rusted out ruin of a car and falls in love with it. Despite his best friend’s (his only friend) counseling him otherwise, he drops a big chunk of change to buy the car. It’s drivable, just barely, and he gets it home where his parents forbid him having it on their property. So he huffily drives over to a U-Pick/Auto Wrecking Yard/DIY Garage to rent a space for it. The gruff, cranky owner hassles him a bit, then lets him park the car there. Since this was the 1970s, nerd Arnie took shop class and knows how to fix a car. His demeanor, attitude, and style of dress all change and nerdy Arnie stops wearing his glasses and blooms into the total hottie that was within him all along. Except he’s also a jerk, which… he was a jerk when he was a put-upon nerd as well, now he just dresses better and has a totally sweet ride.
The totally gross bullies who hassled him when he was a carless nerd continue hassling him and trash his beloved car. However, since it’s a magic Satan car, it’s able to heal all the body damage done to it and then Arnie and Christine set about killinating. Arnie turns more and more into a selfish jackass, and eventually his best friend and his (ex?) girlfriend team up to destroy Christine. They succeed doing so… OR DO THEY DUN DUN DUNNNNNN?
While nobody gets raped in this movie, the contempt for women is palpable. Arnie’s mother is a shrill emasculating bitch who has the sheer unmitigated GALL to get angry when her minor son uses sexual slang while playing family board games, or when he parks a pile of shit car in their front yard. She expects him to work hard at school, keep his room clean, and make college plans. God, can you BELIEVE her? The female high school students exist only to look hot and have sex with the male high school students. That is the only value they have. And, of course, once a woman has had sex she’s a gross slut and has less value. When exchange student Leigh arrives at the school, a male student describes her as looking “smart, but she’s go the body of a SLUT.” When we see her, she’s wearing a lose sweater, books held in front of her, and baggy pleated knee-length shorts. YOWZA she’s REALLY asking for it, right? Christine, the jealously murderous female-identified car, is a symptom of the rank misogyny infecting this film. And yet, for all the overt sexism, Leigh exists as a character who takes action and gets stuff done. She’s instrumental in destroying Christine.
Watching horror movies has been a really mixed bag. The super obvious and in your face bro-style misogyny of “Christine” was off putting, but it’s a solid and fast paced movie with some great scenes (including a car that is on fire, a flaming hell car, chasing a dude down a night street). I’m glad I watched it.
I give “Christine” 3 out of 5 stars.
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