31 Days of Horror Cinema

Christine: 31 Days of Horror

#21. Christine (1983)

christine poster

Nature of Shame:
Unseen Carpenter

Hoop-tober Challenge Checklist:
Decade: 1980’s

Midnight just chimed. Halloween has arrived. It’s high time I start phoning in some more of these #Hooptober reviews. Every year, the final handful of movies get half-assed treatments; I see no reason to dispense with tradition.

Let’s get the pleasantries out of the way. No. I hadn’t seen Christine. Now I have. I’d throw it in the proper Cinema Shame category, but I’d never really had the drive to see it.

Get it? Drive? Good. I knew you were bright readers.

christine 1983

The Story

Awkward and unpopular teenager Arnie Cunningham happens upon a car rotting away in the backyard of some old coot. He proclaims it to be the car of his dreams. After a bit of haggling, Archie walks away with a unique fixer-upper opportunity. Arnie gets a cool new car, the hot girl and a side of vehicular homicide.

John Carpenter spins Christine into a fun, no-nonsense kind of thriller. Nothing especially deep or innovative within the rampaging car genre. What he does, however, is imbue that “57 Fury” with an on-screen personality that eclipses the other characters in the film.

Carpenter has always dealt lovingly with his films’ music — and here he uses 1950’s rock and roll to embellish this pile of metal and bolts into something with a bit of soul.

christine 1983

Christine dwells on notions of friendship, taking a look at enablers and those that watch on, powerless to rescue someone from their self-destructive behavior. Arnie’s former best friend Dennis finds himself bed-ridden throughout Arnie’s transformation. Meanwhile, it’s Christine that fuels his fire and grows jealous of his woman. When Dennis finally emerges from the hospital, Arnie’s a shell of himself. In order to save his friend, Dennis must destroy the car.

One could look at the film from the perspective of depression — Arnie’s growing isolation and blindness to the legitimate source of his pain. Anyone who suggests Christine as the source of the trouble, gets pushed out; they do not support his false perception.

christine 1983

Final Christine Thoughts:

Christine looks great. John Carpenter films usually do. The Master of Horror fetishizes that hard body so that the viewer may also taste the gear-head affection. It’s essential that the audience see the car as an animate being with wants and jealousies of its own.

I’ve never read Stephen King’s book, but what makes Christine effective cinema looks, smells and talks like Carpenter.


30Hz Movie Rating:


christine blu-ray

Once a Twilight Time rarity on Blu-ray, Christine is now widely available for all to own at a bargain-basement back catalog price.




2017 @CinemaShame / Hooptober Shame Statement
31+ Days of Horror. 33 Horror Movies. 33 Reviews.

#1. Caltiki The Immortal Monster (1959) / #2. The Devil Doll (1936) / #3. The Velvet Vampire (1971) / #4. Mill of the Stone Women (1960) / #5. The Initiation (1984) / #6. Poltergeist (1982) / #7. Night of the Lepus (1972) / #8. The Black Cat (1934) / #9. The Raven (1935) / #10. Friday the 13th (1980) / #11. Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) / #12. Body Snatcher (1945) / #13. Dismembered (1962) / #14. From Hell It Came (1957) / #15. Symptoms (1974) / #16. Eating Raoul (1982) / #17. Spellcaster (1988) / #18. The Old Dark House (1932) / #19. House (1985) / #20. House II: The Second Story / #21. Christine (1983) / #22. Suspiria (1977) / #23. The Invisible Man (1933) / #24. Spider aka Zirneklis (1991) / #25. The Wife Killer (1976) / #26. Cannibal! The Musical (1993) / #27. The Wicker Man (1973) / #28. Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986) / #29. Night Creatures (1962) / #30. Nosferatu (1922) / #31. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare / #32. Day of the Dead (1985)

By jdp

Pittsburgh-based freelance writer, movie watcher and vinyl crate digger. I've interviewed Tom Hanks and James Bond and it was all downhill from there.

Christine: 31 Days of Horror

by jdp time to read: 2 min