For this week’s “Things That Bring Back Memories” post, I am going to pick something in the topic of “MOVIES” and go with Christine. This movie was released in 1983, and was one that still makes me cringe. It was one that you even see one like it nowadays, and wonder if you should only watch it during the day. :/
The movie is still a favorite during the Halloween season for many. Great for watching with old friends, and seeing if it still freaks them out! If, for some reason, you are of an age that makes it difficult to remember Christine, here’s a preview of the movie that we all saw before it came out:
Did you ever watch the Christine movie when you were younger? or have you seen it on TV or Netflix later in life? Let me know what you thought of it, and if you have any memories of it in your life!
More Info on the Christine Movie:
Christine is a 1983 American horror film directed by John Carpenter and starring Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul, and Harry Dean Stanton. The film also features supporting performances from Roberts Blossom and Kelly Preston. It was written by Bill Phillips and based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King, published in 1983. The story, set in 1978, follows a sentient and violent vintage Plymouth Fury named “Christine”, and its effects on the car’s teenage owner. The film grossed $21 million at the US box office.
Arnold “Arnie” Cunningham (Keith Gordon) is an awkward, unpopular teen with only one friend, Dennis Guilder (John Stockwell). Arnie’s life begins to change when he buys a used red-and-white 1958 Plymouth Fury, nicknamed “Christine”, in need of extensive repairs. Arnie begins to restore Christine, but as he spends more of his time working on the car, he discards his glasses, dresses differently, and develops an arrogant personality. Dennis and Arnie’s new friend, Leigh Cabot (Alexandra Paul), discover the car’s previous owner was obsessed with Christine and had died in it due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
A group of bullies at school—angry with Arnie after a shop class confrontation results in Buddy Repperton (William Ostrander) getting expelled—vandalize Christine. Arnie is devastated and determined to repair Christine. As he examines the ruined car, he hears the creaking of metal and notices the engine is now fully restored. Arnie tells the car “show me”; Christine restores itself to showroom quality, then seeks out the vandals; Moochie Welch (Malcolm Danare) is targeted first and crushed to death in an alley. Buddy, Richie Trelawney (Steven Tash) and Don Vandenberg (Stuart Charno) are then killed: Richie and Don are caught in a gas station explosion (which sets Christine on fire), and Buddy is run over and burned by the flaming car. Darnell is eventually killed in the garage when he sits in the car and is crushed by the seat adjuster.
On New Year’s Eve, Dennis and Leigh reason that the only way to stop Christine and save Arnie is to destroy the car. Dennis scratches “Darnell’s Tonight”—referencing the name of a local junkyard—into Christine’s hood, then makes his way there with Leigh. Dennis waits in a tracked loader while Leigh heads to the office so that she can shut the door after Christine arrives, trapping the car. Christine, who has been lying in wait the entire time, shines the headlights from under a pile of garbage and the car charges after Leigh. Christine crashes into Darnell’s office in an attempt to kill Leigh, and Arnie (revealed to have been driving the car himself) is thrown through Christine’s windshield. He is impaled on a shard of glass and survives just long enough to admire Christine one last time. Christine continues to attack Dennis and Leigh, repeatedly sustaining damage and regenerating. Dennis pulls Leigh into the cab of the loader; the two then crush Christine with the loader.
Dennis and Leigh survive and leave behind the remains of the car. The closing shot of the film is of Christine, now having been crushed into a cube by a car crusher, as a piece of the grille slowly begins to straighten.
Some of the Christine Characters:
Keith Gordon (Arnold “Arnie” Cunningham) was born February 3, 1961. He is an American actor and film director. Gordon was born in New York City. Gordon was inspired to become an actor at the age of twelve, after seeing James Earl Jones in a Broadway production of Of Mice and Men. As an actor, Gordon’s first feature film was in the 1978 sequel film Jaws 2, as the class clown Doug, then his 1979 turn as the young protagonist Joe Gideon in All That Jazz. His film credits include the 1980 erotic thriller Dressed to Kill, the 1983 horror film Christine, the 1985 cult film The Legend of Billie Jean as Lloyd Muldaur, the son of a District Attorney who aspires to be Attorney General, the 1986 Mark Romanek classic Static (for which he wrote the screenplay), and the 1986 comedy movie Back to School, as Jason Melon. In most of these films, he played a nerd. He was named number 1 in Cinematicals’ Top 7 Most Convincing Nerds. His most recent onscreen film appearance was in 2001, in the movie Delivering Milo. Gordon left acting for directing, making his debut in 1988 with the movie The Chocolate War, about a student who rebels against the rigid hierarchies in his Catholic school. His other films include the 1992 anti-war film A Midnight Clear, about a group of American soldiers in the Ardennes just before and during the Battle of the Bulge, as well as Mother Night (adapted from the novel by Kurt Vonnegut), Waking the Dead, and the film The Singing Detective. He also directed some of the mini-series Wild Palms and appeared in the 2006 Iraq War documentary Whose War?. His directing credits for television include Homicide: Life on the Street, Gideon’s Crossing, Dexter, The Bridge, House and the second season of Fargo.
John Stockwell (Dennis Guilder) was born March 25, 1961. He is an American actor, director, producer, writer and former model. His first feature film as an actor came with a small role in 1981’s So Fine. His well known roles came in the 1983 comedy film Losin’ It as Spider; later that year, he starred in the John Carpenter horror film Christine as Dennis Guilder and the 1985 comedy film, My Science Project as Michael Harlan. Also in 1985 he appeared in the critically panned City Limits; though unsuccessful at the box office, the film was later riffed in an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. In 1986 he appeared in Top Gun as Cougar. He made guest appearances on TV shows including The Young Riders and Friday the 13th: The Series. He began his career as international model, spending much of his time in Italy. During his time as a model, John became a friend of Andy Warhol and Stockwell was mentioned frequently in the artist’s memoirs, The Warhol Diaries. Stockwell directed several films, including Cheaters (2000), Crazy/Beautiful (2001), Blue Crush (2002), Into the Blue (2005), Turistas (2006), and Heart (2009). He also directed the Gina Carano star-vehicle, In the Blood and will direct the upcoming film Kickboxer: Vengeance. Stockwell is married to Helene Henderson, a successful caterer, and they have three children.
Alexandra Paul (Leigh Cabot) was born on July 29, 1963 in New York City, NY. Alexandra Paul was modeling when she decided to forego college at Stanford University and pursue acting. The star of over 70 feature films and television programs, she can also be seen in the award-winning documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? (2006). Internationally recognized for her 5-year starring role as “Lt. Stephanie Holden” in the hit series Baywatch (1989), Alexandra began her acting career in 1982, at age 18, starring in the highly-rated telefilm Paper Dolls (1982). She then began starring in studio flicks like Stephen King’s Christine (1983); American Flyers (1985) opposite Kevin Costner; 8 Million Ways to Die (1986) opposite Jeff Bridges and Andy Garcia; Dragnet (1987) opposite Tom Hanks and Dan Aykroyd, and Spy Hard (1996) with Leslie Nielsen. Throughout the 1990s, Alexandra had regular roles in several television series: Baywatch (1989), Fire Co 132, Daytona Beach (pilot), and the last 8 episodes on Melrose Place (1992). She also filmed two movies in war-torn Croatia with Pierce Brosnan and did many independent films.
Harry Dean Stanton (Detective Rudolph “Rudy” Junkins) was born on July 14, 1926 in West Irvine, Kentucky. A prolific character actor, Harry Dean Stanton’s drooping, weather-beaten appearance and superb acting talent have been his ticket to appearing in over 100 films, and 50 TV episodes. Stanton served as a cook in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and was on board an LST during the Battle of Okinawa. He then returned to the University of Kentucky to appear in a production of “Pygmalion”, before heading out to California and honing his craft at the prestigious Pasadena Playhouse. His first role on screen was in the tepid movie Tomahawk Trail (1957), but he was quickly noticed and appeared regularly in minor roles as cowboys and soldiers through the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Stanton was heavily in demand, and his unique look got him cast as everything from a suburban father in the mainstream Pretty in Pink (1986) to a soft-hearted, but ill-fated, private investigator in Wild at Heart (1990) and a crazy yet cunning scientist in Escape from New York (1981). Apart from his film performances, Stanton is also an accomplished musician, and “The Harry Dean Stanton Band” and their unique spin on mariachi music have been playing together for well over a decade. As he moved into the time in his life when most other people would be calling it a day, Harry Dean Stanton has remained consistently active on screen, most recently appearing in films including Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), The Green Mile (1999) and The Man Who Cried (2000). A true gem amongst character actors, and with an on screen presence capable of adding that something extra to any production.
Christine Movie Facts – Did You Know?
- Of the twenty cars used in the film, only two still exist. One is a stunt vehicle with a manual transmission and now resides in the hands of a private California collector. The other vehicle was rescued from a junkyard and restored by collector Bill Gibson of Pensacola, Florida.
- Stephen King’s popularity was such at the time that the film went into production before the book was even published.
- To simulate the car regenerating itself, hydraulic pumps were installed on the inside of some of the film’s numerous Plymouth Fury “stunt doubles”, a mock-up in plastic that looked more like metal on camera than actual metal as it bent and deformed. These pumps were attached to cables, which were in turn attached to the cars’ bodywork and when they compressed, they would “suck” the paneling inwards. Footage of the inward crumpling body was then reversed, giving the appearance of the car spontaneously retaking form.
- Kevin Bacon was offered the lead role but ended up choosing Footloose (1984) instead.
- Stephen King suffered a near fatal car collision in 1999. In an example of life imitating art, King hoped to bash the van with a baseball bat or a pickax once he healed. Unfortunately, his lawyer had bought the van and sent it to be demolished before he got the chance to do this.
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