I...don't have much to say this week other than THANK YOU! For the obscene amount of comments I got, specially from Carrie Green, Demented Dreamer, and Drymonema. The former whose novels you need to buy and the two latter who have exceptional reviews; Drynmonema is also doing a collection of lists. As my limited five list B-movies likely isn't enough try his top ten for the more obscure B horror films. And if my review of The House of the Devil didn't intrigue you Demented Dreamer should with his in-depth review. I'm also tired from work today and three shots in so my grammar isn't perfection (like how I have an excuse every week), please forgive the inane writing style and continuous use of the word 'tension'.
This week's list is a bit uncommon as it's not all the way horror as it is more of thrillers. But thrillers have a tendency to provoke an anxiety for characters whereas horror doesn't always. There's two things that are guaranteed when watching these types of genre film; the cover art of the rear view mirror and a lot of tension. If you don't know what I'm talking about then don't worry I doubt your alone. There's not a lot of films such as these and even less of what I've seen. Without any more delay this week's list is My Top Five Favorite Car Thrillers:
#5 Christine (1983)
Christine is not the best of Carpenter, nor is it the best of King, but it's not bad. The horror is odd as it relates to a car being possessed and having an emotional fixation on it's owner, Archie. But while it's not the most relatable it is unique in concept. My favorite scene is where Christine repairs herself in front of Archie, his look is darkened as he intently watches her and the atmosphere gives way to an uncanny moment.
#4 Duel (1971)
A man driving home makes the commonly rude act of cutting off a trucker, a mistake he wont make again as the truck now wont stop chasing him until he's dead. I am one of the few that don't hold Duel high in regards, that's not to say I didn't like it but I don't praise it like some do. It's not the film's fault per say but rather Dennis Weaver's character, I'm not sure how to put this without being rude but...he's an asshole. He cuts the trucker off in the first place! I have little sympathy for him. Despite that though Duel does have several thrilling moments as the truck stalks Weaver and does its very best to kill him. Increasing tension provided by Steven Speilberg's directing makes Duel a good car thriller.
Joy Ride is the most horror of the five film on this list, two brothers who teasingly fuck with a trucker over a radio are paid the price when the trucker comes after them. Joy Ride isn't a film beyond flaws, not even close, there's a lot of cliche teen horror decisions and the ending fell a part a little bit for me, but good acting by Leelee Sobieski, Paul Walker, and Steve Zahn prove as strong points for the film. As well as a significant amount of tension squeezed out of the plot.
#2 The Hitcher (1986)
Yes The Hitcher ranks higher than Duel, hate me all you want but I love the HBO film staring ET's friend, C. Thomas Howel, and Rutger Hauer as the serial hitch hiker (what more can you ask for in a villain?). The lesson in never picking up a hitch hiker proves true when immediately Howel picks up Hauer and he waste no time in being sketchy. The film made Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments (as does Duel and Christine) and the moment that still continues to shock is when Hauer has Jennifer Jason Leigh tied between two trucks, her limbs resting on his foot on the gas peddle.
#1 Death Proof (2010)
I've gushed about Robert England (far too much, I'll admit), and Craven and King, but have I really gotten around to how much I love Quinten Tarantino? No I haven't since he writes more action movies than he does horror. The lovely exception is this thrilling film where Tarantino plays homage to the old car films but provides us with a holy shit moment like no other. The film has eight set of women, all being stalked by Kurt Russel (why doesn't he play more bad guys?), an ex stuntman who has an erotic fixation on killing women with his stunt car. The first set of girls are the more relateble of the eight but the second set is what escalates the film's suspense. Zoe Bell, Tarantino's go to stunt girl, plays herself and willing straps herself to the hood of the car while driving hundred plus miles down a stretch of road to create an edge of your seat nerve splitting moment.
Honorable Mentions: Rubber (2010) director Quentin Dupieux social commentary on a rubber tire's telepathic powers, which he productively uses to kill living things, all while chasing the love of his life. I'd like to note two things, the first in relation to the film Rubber. Netflix recommended this to me based on my interest in Wristcutters: A Love Story, I Love You Phillip Morris, and Trick 'r Treat. If that doesn't convey this film than I don't know what does. Also I apologize for another short honorable mentions, but this type of film is rather slim. Of course there's great films like Gone in 60 Seconds and Vanishing Point but those feel more action than they do as thrillers.
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