It’s that time again when we polish up our pumpkins, tighten up our neck bolts and get our ghostly groove on. It’s Halloween!
Alongside dressing up for an elaborate party, watching your favourite scary movie is a must do tradition for those celebrating All Hallows’ Eve.
It’s the one time in the year that we can all peek through our fingers at the TV or cinema screen before experiencing a mini heart attack and then tentatively go to bed with a head full of haunted thoughts ready to manifest themselves into our dreams. (One, Two Freddy’s coming for you).
While the very best horror creations stay with us long after the credits roll, there have also been a few horror cars that have made their mark too, either because of their sheer awesomeness or the memorable scenes they have helped to make.
6. Rubber – A Tyre
I’m going start with a curve ball. Although this one isn’t about a car as such, it still qualifies. It’s an age old tried and tested tale of a tyre called Robert that suddenly comes to life, realises it has psychokinetic abilities and goes on a murderous rampage across a Californian desert, making rabbits and human heads explode in equal measure. There’s also real pathos when we discover just why Robert decided to execute such devastation (he witnessed the brutal burning of a pile of tyres at a breakers yard). See, it’s not all stupid. Well, ok, yes it is. But as the ‘breaking-the-fourth- wall’ narrator reminds us that this film is a celebration of “no reason” and that sometimes our emotions and greatest fears are best manifested by the “unknown”, without the need for context, sequel or dreaded prequel. Not that I would expect either.
5. Christine – Plymouth Belvedere
I’ll start with murderous Christine. Although most people will have heard of this one, I bet most of you haven’t sat down and watched it. Well I did just that the other night and realised why it doesn’t come up much in conversation. The premise is ridiculous. A killer 1957 Plymouth Belvedere reaps havoc in a small town in Pennsylvania all because she’s jealous of her owner’s girlfriend. So much so that it attempts to somehow choke the owner’s girlfriend with a sandwich. After systematically seeing off the local school bullies, the self-healing car then convinces its owner, which it has now transformed from the classroom nerd into a strange anaemic Elvis, to run down his now ex-girlfriend and best friend. Yeah, it’s mental and is only really beaten by ‘Rubber’, which is about a possessed car tyre that kills people with psychic powers. You can’t make me watch that one.
4. Ghostbusters – Ecto – 1 (1959 Cadillac)
This car is undeniably iconic and pretty much the fifth Ghostbuster in both the movies and cartoons. Ok, you wouldn’t want to be seen dead (or undead) in one as they look like a cross between an ambulance, a hearse and a fridge but you can’t deny it’s pretty useful when it come to the old ghost busting, featuring a special pull out rack in the rear for proton packs and traps. It’s also pretty nippy, with a turning circle to rival any London black cab. It’s a nightmare getting marshmallow and ectoplasm off the back seats mind.
3. A Nightmare on Elm Street – Plymouth Belvedere
Nancy has it hard in the first Freddy flick. Having survived Freddy’s knifey clutches, both in and outside of the dream world, watched her classmate dragged around school in a body bag and French kissed Freddy at the end of a telephone (I’m your boyfriend now Nancy!) she’s finally ready to get on with her life by the end of the movie. Arrrrrrr, the joys of youth, unlimited possibilities on the open road. Unfortunately this is cut short in the final scene when Freddy takes over the car and Nancy’s mum is pulled through a window that looks too small for a cat, while spooky children skip about in the garden. I think it was a dream.
2. Carrie – 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle
You have to feel for Carrie. Her mother is an evangelical crackpot who locks her in a cupboard; she’s bullied at school and is dealing with an onslaught of hormones and body issues. Oh and she’s developing telekinetic powers that lead to her destroying her high school after a school prank to cover her in pig’s blood sends her bubbling rage to a demonic crescendo. John Travolta and his Mean Girls girlfriend then try to run her down in the Chevy but are flipped 10 times by Carrie with not much more than a dirty look.
1. The Evil Dead – 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88
Ok, so The Evil Dead isn’t really about cars, it’s about brain eating zombies, chainsaws and books made out of human flesh that you really shouldn’t read out loud. Then again there is one car that features in all three films, the 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88. While the car still hits you in the face like a Boom Stick in the first two films, it’s in the third one, The Army of Darkness, that it’s given a lead role and is pimped up to include a giant windmill spinny thing and spiky bone crunching battering ram thingies, which are used to devastating effect against the oncoming Medieval zombie hordes. Oh yeah baby.