With Halloween upon us, DriverSide.com dug through America's most frightening horror movies for the eight best vehicles for scares from zombies, ghosts and Kurt Russell. —Ed.
It's that time again, when dressing up as your favorite vampire from Twilight doesn't make you a social pariah (well, in some circles) and when seeing a strand of cobweb or a glob of blood in your hair is practically expected. But before you go Netflixing your favorite thrillers to get yourself in the mood for Halloween, consider ones that celebrate not just gore and scares, but cars and their darker deeds. Here are eight movies that allow cars to play a major role in giving you the creeps, and a few that just feature some awesome cars.
8. Cujo (1983)
As if the Ford Pinto didn't have enough problems on its own, what with its tendency to burst into flames in a rear-end collision and all, the movie, Cujo, brought the car's scary reality to the fictional big screen. A mother and her son spend a terrifying few days stuck in a Pinto while Cujo – your average rabies-infected St. Bernard – waits to tear them to pieces. Thanks, Stephen King, for giving the Pinto yet another black mark.
7. Ghostbusters (1984)
It takes a very special vehicle to grab attention from Bill Murray and Dan Akroyd, which is why the Ecto One, a 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor, was the perfect ambulance-turned-hero to ferry our protagonists to Zuul and Stay Puff fights. Less scary, more hilarious, Ghostbusters still has plenty of poltergeist and ghoul sightings for those who want those horror movie goose bumps.
6. The Car (1977)
The Car isn't known for Oscar-worthy dialogue or plot, but it does feature a sentient car that decides a killing spree will be a good way to pass the time. The custom – and beyond creepy – 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III terrorizes the citizens of a small town in Utah, chasing after them and sounding its horrible horn when zeroing in on its next victim. Futurama's "The Honking" episode parodied this – and kind of did it better too – so that's worth a watch as well.
5. Zombieland (2009)
Zombies may have taken over America, but that doesn't particularly bother Woody Harrelson, who passes time vying for ‘zombie kill of the day.' His prized Cadillac Escalade with Dale's number 3 painted on the side and a zombie plow on the front gets jacked by two girls on a quest to visit Pacific Playland. He's heartbroken, that is, until he lays eyes on a bright yellow 2003 Hummer H2 with a cache of weapons in the back and a pair of severed hands still gripping the steering wheel. Number 3 lives on!
4. The Wraith (1986)
IMDB rates this movie a 5.2 out of 10, so don't just take our word for it that The Wraith is full of cheesy montages and even cheesier ‘80s music. Lucky for us, its only redeeming quality is our mysterious racer's Dodge M4S Turbo Interceptor. Just look at the thing! Our secretive hero challenges the big bad gang members to race to the death in a glorious act of revenge. It doesn't take a genius to guess who dies and who gets the girl.
3. Jeepers Creepers (2001)
When confronted with a demon that, you know, eats people and takes their body parts, you're not going to be too worried about what he drives. Unless he's behind the wheel of a rusted out Chevrolet COE, and then the situation quickly rises to horror-con one. Justin Long and his character's sister nearly jump out of their 1960 Impala's bench seats when this thing comes blaring its horn behind them. Personally, we'll never be able to hear that sound again without flinching.
2. Grindhouse's Death Proof (2007)
So many amazing cars, so many horrific deaths. Stuntman Mike, Death Proof's antagonist, is a bit of a psychopath, to put it lightly. He spends his evenings killing women with his skull-adorned, ‘death proof' 1970 Chevy Nova in gruesome ways and sadly destroys his ride in the process. In a horror movie twist, he picks up a new toy, a 1969 Dodge Charger, to find himself some more victims, but instead he finds the wrong sort of fun with a couple girls who turn the tables on him.
1. Christine (1983)
In perhaps one of the most well known car possession movies ever, Stephen King's Christine brings a 1958 Plymouth Fury to life in a creepy, hide-under-the-covers kind of way. Geeky Arnie's new car, Christine, isn't what she seems, and as he restores her, he gets all creepy and emo, qualities brought on by her unsavory tendencies – which, incidentally, involve murdering assembly plant workers, bullies and former owners. Despite a fight to the death, Christine wins in the end, because self-restoration is a pretty handy ability for a demon car to have.