Sunday, July 17, 2011
Trailer of the Moment: I Survived Carmaggedon Weekend Edition
The digital sign on the 134 informed me this afternoon that the 405 is officially reopened, and Los Angeles has survived it's closure, whose inconvenience was considered so severe and heinous it was named after a Michael Bay film, relatively unscathed. But before you hop in your car to celebrate the returning integration of LA locales, let's take a look at the trailers for two films which may give you pause, because they suggest some truly dangerous vehicular possibilities.
Duel (1971, Steven Spielberg)
The first feature length film directed by Steven Spielberg, scripted by the great genre author Richard Matheson (I am Legend) originally aired on television as a Movie of the Week, where it was so popular that it received a theatrical release in Europe and eventually in America. I notice a copyright date of 1972 on the trailer, so I am guessing this is from it's European release.
I know some might find this shocking, but after Jaws this is my favorite Spielberg film (emphasis on favorite over best). There's a basic primal aspect to the story and filmmaking that I really respond to, putting an everyman in a senseless terror ride. The primitiveness extends to the narration free trailer whose sixty seconds are action packed. Have fun counting the number of times the title of the film appears in this minute long trailer (I counted nine)!
The Car (1977, Elliot Silverstein)
The result of combining the ingredients of both Spielberg suspense films Duel and Jaws (the introduction to the lead, James Brolin, even features him being woken up a la Roy Scheider's Brody...but he has two daughters instead of two sons, so completely different) with a sprinkling of the devil based horror sub-genre that rose in the wake of The Exorcist (the film even opens with a quote from Church of Satan founder Anton LeVey), 1977's The Car is one of those enjoyable ridiculous films that were common in the 70's or 80's when studios quickly attempted to jump on a popular trend.
Similarly to the Duel trailer, The Car trailer heavily showcases the action sequences, but this time with a narrator informing us of the possessive power within, who ponders "what evil force drives...The Car!" (too bad they didn't get Percy Rodrigues) and the bellowing audio symbol of it's destructive urges...the ever threatening horn honk!
If you survived this weekend and find your appetite for vehicular mayhem whetted after these two films, I also recommend Race with the Devil (1975, Jack Starrett) where satanic cults chase after Warren Oates and Peter Fonda who are trying to enjoy a vacation in their Winnebago and Christine (1983, John Carpenter), the Stephen King adaptation where a boys first car has deadly impulses.
And in the meantime, watch the roads!