What kind of man parks a piece of evidence — the car whose owner died when he was dropped 20 stories onto its roof — in the police impound lot, sees that car turn its lights and ignition on, engine revving, and stands right IN FRONT of said car peering through the headlights in the gloom as that engine revs?
A DEAD man.
The 1977 horror tale “The Car,” about a possessed auto, which Stephen King ripped off for “Christine” (1983), is back for “The Car: Road to Revenge.”
Different killer car, a modified Chrysler 300 with gullwing doors badged as “Lazarus” for this futurescape. Gearhead horror fans may spy a metallic connection to the original film, but anyway…
In a hellish cyberpunk future hell — Bulgaria. Bulgaria is hell — an arrogant, crusading DA (Jamie Bamber) gets his hands on some evidence on a microchip, and is murdered by “Road Warrior” extras — tossed out of a Bulgarian high rise.
His ex (Kathleen Munroe) becomes the object of the gang’s murderous search, who call her “Little Miss Needs-to-Die.”
The stubbly, tough-guy cop on the case (Grant Bowler) wonders if she had something to do with the DA’s death. Or maybe the murders that the damned car starts carrying out.
“Look man, am I a WITNESS, or a suspect?”
“Depends on who’s driving that car!”
There’s a lot of bloodshed in this lawless land — again, Bulgaria today, the rest of the world tomorrow. A lot of chasing, tires squawling, engines racing, good guys and bad guys trash-talking in cage match bars and strip-club cage bars.
Some lip service is paid to “self-driving cars” and a CPU that could decide to maybe avenge its owner (Is that in the warranty?), but only lip service. As always, this car is haunted.
The violence is sudden and gruesome — blow torch torture, power drill torture. The bad guys are awfully quick to dispatch people they allegedly need to “question” to get that plot device “chip.” No wonder they’re not getting anywhere.
It’s as dreadful as it sounds, although I’ve seen worse. The car chases are second rate and the car itself — black or not — isn’t remotely as sinister as the Lincoln of “The Car” or the Plymouth Belvedere of “Christine.” That’s a function of how it is filmed and edited.
John Carpenter filmed “Christine.” John Carpenter was the master at making something menacing.
This? See it if you’re contemplating a cyberpunk tour of Bulgaria.
MPAA Rating: TV-MA, graphic violence
Cast: Grant Bowler, Kathleen Munroe, Nina Bergman, Micah Balfour, Jamie Bamber, Martin Hancock and
Credits: Directed by G.J. Echternkamp, script by Michael Tabb. A Universal/Netflix release.
Running time: 1:29