The Car: Road to Revenge (2019)

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This modern update to the 1977 cult classic horror film doesn’t have Satan being the car, but more of an twisted take on another car horror classic.

In a future where law seems to have all but disappeared, the Night Organization led by Talen has ruthlessly taken over with an iron fist. However, for District Attorney James Caddock, he intends to bring law back and successfully does so by implementing a new death penalty. Caddock also has eyes for fellow D.A. Daria Holmes. When Talen learns that a chip with pertinent information may have gotten into Caddock’s hands, he sends his top assassins to kill Caddock. Appearing in his office one night, they succeed into killing him and throwing him out of the window on top of his black sedan.

Detective Rainer is in charge of the cast involving Caddock and he has a bone to pick with the Night Organization, having busted one of their members a day before Caddock’s death. Meanwhile, that night at the impound, Caddock’s car mysteriously starts up and goes after each member of Talen’s gang responsible for his death. Daria, learning of the carnage, is convinced that James’ spirit has taken over the car but when she and Rainer start a relationship, the car shows signs of jealousy. Menawhile, Talen has made a bounty that is too good for the Night Organization. He wants Daria and the car! Who will emerge victorious in this lawless city?

The 1977 cult classic The Car was a simple film that was set in a small town where a mysterious black sedan wreaks havoc and is revealed to be driven by the soul of Satan himself. It was simple, sweet, and had quite a laughable ending, perhaps because of the reaction from cast members. Just over 40 years later, Universal 1440, who have made unnecessary (and for the most part, watchable with some exceptions) sequels to their hit films, they decided to bring back The Car.

G.J. Echternkamp, who co-wrote the script with Michael Tabb and Matt Yamashita, directed this updated installment decides not to take the simple route, but add a touch of another car classic, and yes, that film is none other Christine. Setting the film in a violent lawless city (actually shot on location in Bulgaria), the “road to revenge” subtitle involves the character of James Caddock, played by Jamie Bamber, who wants to uphold justice but somewhat is a bit shady with his obsession over Daria, played by Kathleen Munroe. Then there’s hard-nosed lawman Rainer, played by Grant Bowler, who has that moral fiber but hides it behind his tough exterior. This leads to an unexpected love triangle that has that Christine-motif where the car was jealous of owner Arnie’s relationship with Leigh. In this case, it’s Caddock’s infused spirit getting so jealous of Daria and Rainer that in one scene, he attempts to run down Rainer and fails.

That’s all the part of Christine was get to see for the most part as the film does have exactly what’s expected of The Car. Only where The Car was PG-rated with minimal bloodletting, Echternkamp doesn’t hold back with this one as there is plenty of bloody goodness in this one. Heads get crushed and bodies get run over. One scene, however, has a very ridiculous chase scene in which after Talen sends his team after the car and Daria, who is in another car and is forced into a situation where she must lure the car to him. When the Caddock-spirit car is seen against some of Talen’s men, two who are on the back of souped-up pick-up trucks, the car inexplicably does a sideways flip, killing the two men before landing back on its wheels. This is one of the biggest WTF moments of the film.

The Car: Road to Revenge is going to be fun for gore hounds, and it does have an interesting plot. However, some of the antics and performances (the villains mainly) make this a more middle-of-the-road update and the Christine twist is understandable but a bit unnecessary at the same time.

WFG RATING: C

A Universal 1440 Production. Director: G.J. Echternkamp. Producers: Jeffery Beach and Phillip Roth. Writers: Michael Tabb, G.J. Echternkamp, and Matt Yamashita. Cinematography: Martin Chichov. Editing: G.J. Echternkamp and John Gilbert.

Cast: Grant Bowler, Kathleen Munroe, Jamie Bamber, Martin Hancock, Micah Balfour, Burt Grinstead, Nina Bergman, Ronny Cox, Keith-Lee Castle, Ilan Iliev, Katrina Nare, James Bradshaw.

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