Michael Scott

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The Car: Road to Revenge


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Movie: :2stars:
Video: :3.5stars:
Audio: :3.5stars:
Extras:
Final Score: :2.5stars:



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Movie

It’s not an uncommon practice for the DTV market to make sequels to films that have long since been in the rear view mirror of most buyers. Although I must say, it’s a bit less unique when the film in question is over 42 years old! 1977’s The Car is a cult horror/sci-fi film that is a fun bit of escapism entertainment about a “maybe” possessed car that terrorizes a small desert town. It has elements of Christine and a few other car movies thrown into the mix, but it’s seriously goofy fun, and had some really great effects for the times. Fast forward 42 years and we have a sequel/reboot in name only, directed by the guy who did Death Race 2050 (one of the worst movies of 2017) and the writer of Werewolf: The Beast Among Us. So yeah, lets just say that expecting very much from the film may leave you rather disappointed.

The Car was a low budget horror movie about a possessed car who wasn’t exactly the nicest of cars. Ok, lets cut to the chase, it was an evil car that enjoyed hunting down and murdering people, end of story. The Car: Road to Revenge is a bit of a different bird. I know I shouldn’t give spoilers away, but this is not exactly a highly intelligent film that leaves you wanting secrets held back. In fact, it’s one of the most hilariously blunt and simple films I’ve ever seen. This time the car is possessed by the spirit of a murdered district attorney (Jamie Bamber of Battlestar Galactica fame) who gets thrown out of a window onto his car by a cyber punk group of criminals known as “The Night”. However, his spirit finds it’s way INTO the car (yeah I was already chuckling at this point) and the two are reborn as a single unit.

Full of fuel, high on fumes, and completely over the top with NOS, the newly awakened car goes on a killing rampage. But unlike the original movie, it doesn’t kill for pleasure or ill gain. Instead it acts as a one man (or should I say car) vigilante who is on a mission to hunt down and kill all those who wronged him in his past life. This includes helping the police capture “The Night” as well as deal out some much desired revenge for his death.
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Ok yeah, lets just say that his is a weird take on the original 1977 film, and seems to be neither strictly a reboot, nor a sequel at the same time. It takes elements of the original film (the car being possessed) and then just runs off into the script with unabashed gusto, chewing up more scenery than Peter Stormaire and borrowing heavily from a dozen other films. I saw glimpses of Johnny Memnonic, Christine, and countless others in this cyberpunk/sci-fi/horror film. Much like Death Race 2050, director G.J. Echternkamp feels like he’s making a 1970s Roger Corman style film, just because he had access to a whole slew of props and set pieces from the time period and didn’t want to waste them. The film is sooooooooooooooooo bad and full of cringe worthy dialog that I really should rate it a 0.5/5 or a 1/5, but the unintentional hilarity of it all has me giving it a 2/5 just for the humor of watching this train wreck unfold.

Set pieces are cheap and flimsy, so much so that I actually was belly laughing at the “souped up” car (which is just a basic Chrysler 300 with a cheapo body job taped to it). You can actually see the Lamborghini style doors flopping like they’re made of cardboard when they open, and the actual CGI of certain scenes is so bad that you can see the outline of the props around the CGI. As a movie this is a just a train wreck of epic proportions, but combine the cyber punk elements with the stupidly serious take on the script, and I was simply dying of laughter before the first 30 minutes were up.




Rating:

Not Rated by the MPAA




Video: :3.5stars:
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Universal’s 1.78:1 Mpeg2 encoded DVD is about what one would expect for this type of movie. It’s a cheaply done “made for the SyFy Channel” budgeted movie, with crummy sets, a desaturated look to be “futuristic” and lots and lots of darkness. All while shot on digital cameras. This gives the film a noisy look that is full of black crush and lack of shadow detail. Dark clothing and cards just blend into the shadows, and overall clarity is just middling. Most of this isn’t really due to Universal’s encode of the DVD, but rather the stylized look and cheap budget of the filming process. It’s certainly a watchable image, but the film’s visual appeal is about as ugly as the movie itself.






Audio: :3.5stars:
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The 5.1 Dolby Digital track is about on par with the video encode. A very front heavy mix, the 5.1 track really sounds like a 2.0 mix with some mild ambient surround usage thrown into the mix. The LFE channel is pretty much nonexistant, as I even double checked the activity lights on my sub’s amps to see if they were malfunctioning. Even during crashes and explosions there’s almost ZERO activity sent to the low end. The surround usage is limited to mild ambient effects and the score by Frederick Wiedsmann. Dialog is luckily very clean and precise, and all the activity up in the mains and center channel comes through clearly.








Extras:
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Final Score: :2.5stars:


The Car: Road to Revenge is simply an awful film that’s only redeeming feature is that it is the type of movie that you would watch with a bunch of friends to MST3K to death. The acting is just painful, the dialog stilted, and the special effects are straight off the set of a budget 1970s Roger Corman film. I honestly had a little bit of fun with the movie, but it really needs about 3-4 shots of your favorite hard liquor to actually have any sort of fun with, otherwise you just end up clawing your face off trying to get through it. The audio and video for the Universal encoded DVD are acceptable, but there are ZERO special features (not that anyone truly wanted to get into the nitty gritty details of how this abomination was mad, but hey). Hilariously AWFUL watch.



Technical Specifications:

Starring: Micah Balfour, Jamie Bamber, Nina Bergman, Grant Bowler, Nathan Cooper, Ronny Cox, Burt Grinstead
Directed by: G.J. Echternkamp
Written by: Michael Tabb
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 MPEG2
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:English SDH, Spanish
Studio: Universal
Rated: NR
Runtime: 89 Minutes
DVD Release Date: January 8th 2019






Recommendation: Hilariously Awful

 

Asere

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Wow a sequel. I remember watching the original one many years ago. Infact I even have the vhs with the plastic hard cover.
 

Michael Scott

Moderator / Reviewer
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lol, I remember that old case
 

tripplej

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Thanks for the review. Hard to beat Christine
 

Jack

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Thanks for the review, I think I will pass on this.
 
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