An eerie, twisted love story of a teenager and his obsessively jealous 1958 Plymouth Fury ?- as only Stephen King can tell it! Christine is a red and white 1958 Plymouth Fury who seduces 17-year-old Arnie Cunningham (Keith... more » Gordon). She demands his complete and unquestioned devotion and when outsiders seek to interfere, they become the victims of Christine's horrifying wrath. This special edition is packed with added features. Starring Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Harry Dean Stanton, Christine Belford. A Stephen King classic.« less
Classic Stephen King and John Carpenter terror! A must for horror fans!
Chad B. (abrnt1) from CABERY, IL Reviewed on 3/18/2011...
John Carpenter took out the supernatural elements and the film suffers due to it. In the Stephen King novel the ghost of the car's previous owner plays a major part in what is happening. In Carpenter's version the car is evil from the time it came off the assembly line. Keith Gordon delivers a fantastic performance and is the main reason to watch this movie. The film is entertaining, but it has major problems throughout it.
2 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Pamela A. from WHEELING, WV Reviewed on 6/29/2010...
This is one of my all time favorite Steven King movies! If you have never seen this movie, you owe it to yourself to watch.
2 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
A possessed car becomes a vehicle of revenge for teen
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 09/05/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Christine" is about possession. In adapting Steven King's novel to the screen, director John Carpenter and writer Bill Phillips streamline King's narrative to focus on the true star of the book and film--the car itself. "Christine" tells the story about a nerdy high school senior (Keith Gordon in a very strong performance)who can't do anything right but his best friend college jock Dennis(John Stockwell)seems to do everything right. So when Arnie finds the perfect car that he can rebuild and put his love into, the car nicknamed "Christine" by its former deceased owner more than returns that love--she gives Arnie a thug makeover and turns him into a monster as bad as the the kids that used to beat Arnie up. Needless to say, Christine has some special abilities of her own and she becomes--so to speak--the vehicle for Archie's revenge and vice versa.
Dennis tries to intervene but once Arnie becomes possessed by Christine, he and Arnie's new girlfriend Leigh (the lovely Alexandra Paul in her first film role)are unable to reach him. A local police detective (Harry Dean Stanton)becomes suspcious but isn't able to prove that Arnie had anything to do with a mounting body count consisting of high school students from Arnie's school.
The beautiful transfer here manages to skip many of the flaws that have become a Columbia Tristar trademark; the edge enhancement is minimal and the sharp, detailed picture has vivid rich color recalling the original look of the theatrical cut of the film. The high definition transfer is as sharp as a rebuild car after a top notch paint job.
Duplicating the wonderful format that director John Carpenter has used on "The Thing", "Big Trouble in Little China" and "Escape from New York", the audio commentary features both the director and star Keith Gordon (now a director himself) discussing the nuts and bolts of making the film. Gordon provides a unique perspective as both the film's star and also an acclaimed director of small, independent films.
While I also like King's books, I'd like to point out that to make a feature film of a novel would take (as writer Bill Phillips astutely points out in the special features section)20 hours or more so novels have to be streamlined in the hopes of capturing the feel of the film. It's hoped that the visul style brought to the film will make up for the narrative threads that are lost and Carpenter's film does just that. While LeFey the previous owner of Christine played a major role in the book, it seemed as if he was the one driving the action. Carpenter and Phillips decided that Christine was just born bad and that evil spilled out to possess their owners as well. I found Carpenter and Phillips choices in turning the novel into a film to be very good ones.
Laurent Bouzereau's three excellent featurettes focus on the conception of the film all the way through the production and release. Oddly enough, though, Columbia has them listed out of order under the special features section starting with "Christine Fast & Furious", "Christine Finish Line" and "Christine Ignition" presented in that order. You should really watch the last one first, the first one second and the second one last. Of course, you can click on them in any order (they play individually)but it does seem a curious choice to present them this way. We also get 20 deleted/alternate scenes that provide an interesting addition to the original film. While Carpenter wisely chose to cut some of them, a small portion of the deleted scenes would have made a great addition to a "Director's Cut" of this film. Since Carpenter is technically "retired" (as he jokingly points out in his commentary), he certainly could spent the time to reintegrate key scenes. Unfortunately, it's doubtful that this special edition had the budget for such an undertaking. Regardless, I'm happy that Columbia Tristar elected to put out this special edition in the first place.
We also get the usual Columbia Tristar previews as well. This special edition provides a classic Carpenter film a second change on DVD. While the film was critically well received (Time called it "Carpenter's best film since 'Halloween')for the most part (many criticized the foul language. Writer Bill Phillips discusses how Columbia's executives asked him to add more foul language so the film could earn a hard "R" rating. He laughes as he recalls that "Scarface" would soon replace "Christine" with the most foul lanugage in a two hour movie), it only did fair box office business. It's nice to see this classic bit of Carpenter-King-Phillips entertainment finally the way it should be presented."
What's Under This Hood Is Purely And Simply EVIL
Erik North | San Gabriel, CA USA | 02/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Stephen King's novels have formed the basis for a great many horror films over the last quarter century. Some have been superlative (CARRIE, THE SHINING), others just terrible (PET SEMATARY, MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE). CHRISTINE can be counted among the superlative ones. Under the expert hands of HALLOWEEN director John Carpenter, this film provides the requisite chills and atmosphere minus a lot of unnecessary blood and gore.Keith Gordon stars as a geeky high school student named Arnie Cunningham who is always getting picked upon by the local school bullies (sound familiar?). But when he eyes a rusted old 1957 Plymouth Fury, his life really turns around. Over the objections of his best friend (John Stockwell), he fixes it up at a local garage (run by a salty-tongued Robert Prosky) to a point where the car is as good as new. Gordon even starts up a relationship with the high school dream queen (Alexandra Paul). There's just one problem, though. Christine won't let it go that far.For this '57 Fury is definitely possessed, and pretty soon it takes possession of Gordon. When the school bullies retaliate against Gordon by trashing Christine, the car repairs itself and goes after the perpetrators one by one. But the car also reacts in a jealous and homicidal way against Paul, who nearly chokes on a hamburger at a drive-in with Gordon. And when Paul and Stockwell come to realize that Gordon is indeed totally over the edge, they plot to destroy the car, using a bulldozer inside Prosky's garage. Unfortunately, Gordon dies in the final melee. And although Christine itself seems to be crushed to a metal cube, in the tag end scene, a metal piece can be seen repairing itself...Although the setting of the film is changed from King's novel (there, it was western Pennsylvania; in the film, it's southern California), CHRISTINE for the most part stays true to the basic essentials of the book in its depiction of high school bullies and teenage life during 1978-79, which is the era depicted. There is a certain appropriateness to having Christine's radio play nothing but early rock and roll records, like Little Richard's "Keep A Knockin'", and Thurston Harris' "Little Bitty Pretty One", while most of the other songs are of the late 70s ("Runaway" by Bonnie Raitt, "Bad To The Bone" by George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers).Carpenter makes sure that the emphasis on the movie is on the situations in Gordon's life that lead him to Christine, and how letting his life get totally dominated by that car eventually scares the living daylights out of Stockwell and Paul. Furthermore, he does this in the same suspenseful fashion that made HALLOWEEN work to such a tee. His and Alan Howarth's synthesizer-dominated music score lends further atmosphere to the proceedings. Some may complain about the slight excess of profanity in the screenplay, but it is typical of King's work and appropriate in the way it depicts teenage behavior.CHRISTINE does, as many point out, bear a resemblance to the much underrated (or much maligned) 1977 thriller THE CAR. But it is unique in its own way. And for those seeking something more than mad slashers and buckets of blood, CHRISTINE is well worth watching."
The Tweeder | Indianapolis, Indiana | 06/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Director: John Carpenter
Cast: Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul, Robert Prosky, Harry Dean Stanton.
Running Time: 110 minutes.
Rated R for violence and language; not nearly as graphic as it could be--a Carpenter trait.Based on Stephen King's highly popular bestselling novel, "Christine" is perhaps director John Carpenter's second best film (behind "Halloween", obviously) and a sure-fire treat for all those who enjoy King adaptations, Carpenter created films, or just good ol' fashioned suspense. The film centers around a demonically possessed 1958 Plymouth Fury with a strange history--the workers who completed the construction of the car were mysteriously killed and the initial owner of the vehicle took his own life after his wife suddenly died.Keith Gordon stars as Archie Cunningham, a classic geek in high school who wears nerdy frames and eats packed yogurt for lunch. He is the butt of many jokes, but jock star Ryan Stockwell is still his best buddy. After school one day, Archie comes across Christine, the devilish car. He fixes her up and proceeds to become obsessed by her. A new-found confidence prompts Arnie to ask the cutest girl in the school (Alexandra Paul) out for a date and they quickly fall in love--but Christine does not approve. The car demands Arnie's complete and unquestioned devotion and when outsiders seek to interfere, they become the victim's of Christine's horrifying wrath.A superb performance from Gordon in the lead role, transforming himself from a laughing stock class dork to an arrogant, obscene maniac who gets so comsumed with Christine that will be anything to preserve the safety of the car. Excellent script from Bill Phillips, unraveling the King masterpiece with a quick deliberance that keeps the audience on the edge of their toes and waiting for Christine's next move. Outstanding direction and musical score creation by Carpenter, using specific lighting arrangements and camera angles to add to the suspense, all the while producing a terrifying musical accompanyment. Even though it is not overly terryfying with sudden jolts of scares, "Christine" is horror/suspense at its very best and a hidden gem of the thriller genre. One of the best, most unheralded horror films of the early part of the decade."
One of the greatest horror movies made period!
Chris J. Visconti | IL, USA | 06/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is just awsome. I loved it as a kid and still do. I f you like horror movies and classic cars, this ones for you!"
Still Worth The 5 Stars.
Kristen | SoCal, USA | 03/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I actually read the book first which made me expect more out of the movie, oh well. The movie, however, is still worth the 5 stars I've given it because John Carpenter directed the movie and it turned out excellent, the special effects are awesome, AND that the story itself is by Stephen King. Now anybody who has read the book knows what the movie is basically about, but for those who haven't ventured this way, let me elaborate. The key characters are Christine herself (keep in mind she's a car), Arnie Cunningham, who falls in love with Christine, and Dennis Guilder, who is a friend of Arnie but an enemy of Christine. Arnie falls in love with Christine and buys her from George LeBay (Roland LeBay in the book, George is the brother), who is an eccentric old man. Arnie fixes her up to almost brand new, but all the other characters (Dennis, Arnie's parents, Leah Cabot) have this disturbing sense that Christine is more than what she appears to be. Turns out they're right when Christine slowly changes Arnie's personality from nerd to suave psycho. There's more to tell, but I don't want to give the movie away! The special effects where Christine rebuilds herself after each bashing is astounding! I'm still trying to figure out HOW did they do that. After seeing this you might think about the car you have. There is a lot of explicit language so this wouldn't be for those who are under age. An excellent car movie, but don't read the book first!"