StinkyLulu's Sampler of The Car's Delectable Delights

StinkyLulu offers the following as my contribution to the monthly FILM CLUB instigated by Final Girl. This month brings our attention to a curious classic of the "When ____s Attack" genre that became so ubiquitous in the 1970s. And even though the film didn't inspire my imagination so much (see my unedited ramblings on the film here; click image at above right to be routed to the trailer), The Car (1977) did provide several moments of surprising, delectable delight.

1 - Smell the Brolin.
Ahhh, the rich pungency of 70s studness.

2 - What's That Smell?
Perhaps my favorite moment in the entire film happens in the first minutes when one of The Car's first fatalities pauses his bike race with his girl friend. They roll to a stop, giggling and chattering. And then -- for reasons that remain unclear to me -- the boy sniffs his hand and makes a massive stinkface. (It's a fleeting moment of veritas, akin perhaps to the legendary Brando-glove business, just nasty tacky.) Between the "sniff" and my impulse to confirm that that screaming girly is indeed my beloved Nikki, I can confirm that, having carefully screened this tiny sequence scores of times, its inexplicable delights endure.

3 - Taste the Brolin.
A long drink of man. Naturally smooth, naturally strong.

4 - Observe the Principal.
Of course, my favorite character was the school principal lady. A girdled nightmare of hairspray, polyester, cat-eyes, and moral righteousness in one scene; a grimacing wild-haired gorgon in the next. My kind of character.

5 - Feel the Brolin.
Any film that spends several minutes staging a scene in which one character teases, taunts and torments James Brolin's manly bits is a film that I will forever appreciate.

6 - Observe the Principle.
As a child of the 1970s southwest, I must say this film does observe a principle I grew up witnessing on a fairly regular basis: hitchhiking hippies carrying weird musical instruments and throwing attitude to the locals are indeed at severe risk of being run over. Not judging, just saying.

7 - The luckiest girl in the world circa 1977.
By 1977, I think I envied Kim Richards even more than I did Melissa Gilbert. (And that's saying a lot.) Kim Richards was soooooooo lucky. She got to be Tia (opposite my 2nd grade dreamdate Ike Eisenmann) in Escape from Witch Mountain and she gets to have James Brolin for a dad? No fair, no fair, no fair. (That scene in the "hopped up on Holly Hobby" bedroom when Brolin pops in wearing his velour mini-robe? That single image realizes I don't know how many of my elementary school fantasies... All at once.) Though considering the above picture, and recalling all the times I rode on the back of a motorbike, terrified by the ride but thrilled that I was clutching some 70s man's abdomen, I think I would have wanted to be the one in the red helmet.

8 - Paint-by-number love.
If doing a paint-by-number painting of your boyfriend, and then getting run over in the middle of your living room, and then having that paint-by-number emerge undamaged and carefully lit from amidst the wreckage -- if that ain't proof of true love, I dunno what is.

9 - It really is all about the 'stache, isn't it.
Indeed. It. Is.

And don't miss
what the other Final Girl Film Clubbers
have to say about this achievement
in 70s 'stacheness...


kindertrauma said...

If that painting of Brolin is truly undamaged by THE CAR I must track it down and own it!

Jason Adams said...

I fell hopelessly behind today and won't be able to do this month's FGFC pick (again), but after reading your take Stinky I see I have absolutely no need to worry because you hit every single point that stuck out to me too - mostly I mean the Brolin studliness and that damned painting which is all I could stare at during that entire scene. Hypnotic, I tells ya...


ok now i am really pissed that my DVD was malfunctioning because I thought i was missing something involving Brolin's dangly bits and now I know that I was.

Slayton said...

You should see "Criminally Insane", which functions on the idea of "When Fat People Attack".

Corey said...

love the pic for #5... and couldn't agree more with #9.


i've said it before and i shall say it again... why are 'staches hot in movies and not in real life?


tis a mystery

Unknown said...

'staches are hot in movies because movies are movies and the real life, well, is a more complex thing where idealistic desires don't happen very often. The movies are just like dreams: not all come true:))
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