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Christine (1983)

Cast: Conrad Palmisano, Conrad Palmisano, Tom Elliott, more...
Director: John Carpenter, John Carpenter
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Rating:
Studio: Columbia TriStar
Genre: Horror
Running Time: 111 min.
Languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese
Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Thai
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This title is currently out of print.

Synopsis
Director John Carpenter returns to the suburban landscape he explored so chillingly in Halloween (1978) with this lean, stripped-down adaptation of the Stephen King best-seller about a haunted car with a devilishly bad attitude and the teen underdog who falls head-over-heels for her chrome-accented charms. Shortly after geeky, horn-rim-sporting Arnie Cunningham (Keith Gordon) narrowly escapes a beating at the hands of shop-class bully Buddy Repperton (William Ostrander) on the first day of his senior year, he soon falls prey to a far more duplicitous villain in the form of a rusted-out 1958 Plymouth Fury nicknamed "Christine" by its crusty owner George LeBay (Roberts Blossom) -- who sells wide-eyed Arnie the old hulk despite the protests of best friend Dennis (John Stockwell) and the admonition of his domineering parents. As Arnie sets to the task of restoring Christine, his hobby grows into an obsession -- and the real power that hums beneath her hood begins to emerge, seemingly granting newfound coolness and sex appeal to the once-nerdy outcast, while simultaneously drawing away his very soul. A vengeful spirit, Christine lashes out violently at those who dare to stand between her and Arnie -- starting with Repperton and his gang, who completely trash the car, but are soon hunted down one by one and pulverized beneath the whitewalls of the miraculously-restored Fury. When Arnie's pretty, popular girlfriend Leigh (Alexandra Paul) begins to suspect she may soon be on the receiving end of automotive vengeance, she calls on Dennis for help... but a frightening midnight ride in Christine convinces Dennis that Arnie's only hope lies in destroying the demonic vehicle. Carpenter's follow-up to the underrated, ultra-gory horror classic The Thing (1982) is clearly aimed at a wider audience, but manages to deliver potent scares with the tight editing, gorgeous widescreen compositions and moody electronic score (blended effectively here with snappy 50's tunes on Christine's radio that often comment directly on the action) that have become Carpenter's trademark. Fans of the novel may be disappointed (as with many 80's King adaptations) by the excision of virtually every subplot, particularly with the link between the late Roland LeBay (his sullen brother George was actually a benign character in the novel) and his beloved Plymouth, which became possessed of his virulent spirit. Nevertheless, Christine can be appreciated as a horror film distinct from its source material, with a chillingly effective power of its own. ~ Cavett Binion, All Movie Guide



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