'Christine' turns 30!

By Robert Kirchgassner ,
John Carpenter's version of Stephen King's thriller
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This past Friday, I could be found standing in the long line for the HorrorHound convention at the Sharonville Convention Center in Cincinnati.

Once inside, I saw a nice display of Christine, John Carpenter’s film adaptation of Stephen King’s book (both came out in 1983) that commemorated its 30th anniversary.

The title character is a 1958 red and white Plymouth Fury, which becomes the property of nerdy teenager, Arnie (Keith Gordon). It isn’t long before this car reveals itself to be more than it seems. As the movie progresses, Christine becomes a darker version of Disney’s The Love Bug. However,the reasons for the car’s demonic persona are more vague in the film than in the book.

While Christine, whose radio plays only 1950s rock and roll, deals with punks who trash her, Arnie’s personality becomes more and more arrogant as he continues to drive her. It reaches a point where Christine nearly kills the girl (Alexandra Paul) Arnie is dating.

Carpenter was at the top of his game when Christine was released, and he had a great cast to work with. It’s a shame that, with the exception of his follow-up film Starman (1984), none of his more recent work has lived up to his earlier films.



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