March 10, 2013

Filthy Review - 'Christine'

Christine (1983)

Review by Jude Felton

There’s a kind of self-defeating point to writing this review. Not because of the quality of the film, or this Blu-ray release, but because by the time you read it you won’t be able to buy it. That is unless you wish to spend big bucks on a copy from Ebay. The reason for this being that Christine, along with The Fury, is the latest in Twilight Time’s limited edition (3000 copies) horror film releases, and all copies were snapped up in record time; some with the sole purpose of selling for a huge profit.

Christine is a strange film, one that if it had been directed by anyone other than John Carpenter would probably have a little more love than it does. You have to bear in mind that Carpenter has hit genre fans with the likes of Halloween, The Thing, Escape from New York and Prince of Darkness, among others, which left Christine a little by the wayside. It’s a film that should be seen though, and I have a feeling that it will get a lot more love over the coming weeks and months.

(Hey Arnie, you really went on to direct episodes of Dexter? Better than Turistas, Dennis)
The story, adapted from the Stephen King novel, follows young Arnie. He’s a wimpy looking geek that suffers at the hands of the local bullies AND by his overbearing mother. He does have one good friend, the frightfully loyal Dennis, but even that will be put to the test.

On the way home one day Arnie spies a real wreck of a car; one that he has to have. The owner George LeBay (creepy street-cleaning killer from Home Alone) agrees to sell it, on behalf of his deceased brother, for a hell of a good price, with Arnie determined to bring the Plymouth Fury back to its former glory.

Now, we know this from the opening scene, that Christine has a mind of her own, and is very, very possessive; all of which results in Arnie getting sweet revenge against those that have harmed him, but also taking him down a very dark path.

(George LeBay telling Arnie and Dennis about his plans to scare the shit out of  MacCauley Culkin)
Christine really is a terrifically fun movie, and follows in the line of great King novels, such as Firestarter and Carrie; innocent kids with strange powers, although in this case it is the car with the powers. Nonetheless, it takes the tried and tested formula of the geek rising up and then crashing back down to earth. It works though, and works well, even though there are lapses in time and logic throughout the film.

Another plus is the terrific practical effects and the double whammy of John Carpenter and Alan Howarth’s wonderful score, coupled with an absolutely cracking soundtrack.

(Alexandra Paul realizing she will go on to appear in Baywatch)
Now, onto the Blu-ray itself and it is quite gorgeous. The colors pop, especially Christine herself, and everything is nice and clean, without removing that 80s feel to the film. If you really want to see the difference you just need to check out the quality of the many deleted scenes contained on the disc, and the improvement becomes quite apparent. The improved sound quality shines too, especially when the likes of Little Richard start blaring from Christine’s stereo. All in all it is quite a wonderful looking, and sounding, Blu-ray.

Along with the aforementioned deleted scenes, some of which you can see why they were left out, whereas some could have benefitted the film had they been included, there is also a neat little booklet, an audio commentary, from John Carpenter and Keith Gordon (Arnie), an isolated score track and some featurettes. All in all, a great release; one that I wish I could tell you to go out and buy.

Christine is released on Blu-ray by Screen Archives Entertainment. You can check out their site here.

[The stills featured in this review do not represent the quality of the Blu-ray release]

No comments: