Cornfield Meet

Things collide here.

The Car

When I was little, I remember hearing the older kids on the school bus talk one day about a movie they’d seen on TV the night before: The Car.

Specifically, they were talking about the ending – which I’m going to reveal here, so consider this the pressing of the Big Red Spoiler Alert Button.

You’ve

.

.

Been

.

.

Warned.

So, one of the kids was recalling the destruction of the murderous, driverless sedan of the title, describing it succinctly as “that big explosion where you could see the Devil’s face in the smoke.”

That’s all he said, but to my young ears, it was enough, and it sounded so creepy and cool.

For years, I had a picture in my head of what it must have looked like.

When I got older, the images that the Weekly World News used to publish of Satan’s visage appearing in clouds of disaster –

Weekly World News face of Satan

Image: Weekly World News

– matched almost exactly the mental pictures I had painted of The Car’s fiery demise.

Recently, The Car became available on Netflix instant-watch, and I was excited to have the chance to finally take a look at the scene which had so amazed the older kids at the bus stop. (I was not excited enough, mind you, to commit a full 96 minutes of my life to watching the entire movie, so yes, I skipped to the end.)

And what I saw bore practically no resemblance to what I’d pictured.

First, what seems to be sharp-clawed hand/paw/foot thing emerges from the flames:

The Car - 1977 - claw

… and then a face that looks more like a Chinese dragon costume than the devil himself:

The Car - 1977 - face

I have to admit: It was actually a subtler effect than I expected, though that subtlety is offset by the fact that the explosion seems to sustain itself for a full five minutes. Watching James Brolin and the gang cower on ground as the flames consume the sky is a little reminiscent of the Austin Powers steamroller scene.

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November 26, 2011 - Posted by | 1970s, Film, science fiction | , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Weekly World News FTW!

    Comment by AB | November 26, 2011 | Reply

  2. Ha ha… just came across your blog entry here. I had a very similar experience to yours, where I saw this on television years ago and when I finally got to the end, everyone was staring up at the flames shouting “It’s Satan!” and I was like “What? Where?” Later re-watched the ending on Youtube, and replaying it about three or four times, I still coldn’t really see it. So I’m amused to learn that I’m not the only one who had that reaction.

    Comment by In My Not So Humble Opinion: the Writings and Ramblings of Ben Herman | August 24, 2012 | Reply


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