For the love of all things Halloween, let’s get this out of the way immediately: We agree with you, Christine is the scariest movie car of all time. Even the previews give us the creeps, for crying out loud. With that said, we were hoping that you might dig a little deeper when we asked, “What is the scariest movie car ever?”
But like a dog with a bone, or perhaps an entire skeleton, many of you refused to let go of Stephen King’s evil 1958 Plymouth Fury:
“Come on…CHRISTINE!” Tyrus Wong wrote on Facebook.
“Christine, by far!” Joseph McGurk added.
“Christine. Hands down,” Adam Martin echoed. “She was even more terrifying in the book.”
Troy Nihlator wholeheartedly agreed, testifying, “Christine is the reason why I’ve never trashed a vehicle.”
Michael Cunningham went a step further, posting a photo of the iconic Mopar, along with this two-word, drop-the-mic response: “Nuff said.”
Answering the question on Hagerty’s forums, Ferrero.2007 either failed to read our plea to choose a non-Christine car or he simply wanted to protect the lady’s honor: “What…Nobody likes Christine? She couldn’t be all bad—she was a beautiful ’58 Fury (and) was the scary movie, not just a prop in a plot.” Nice try, friend, but that girl is a death trap. Period.
Another Plymouth—the 1971 Barracuda in 1979’s Phantasm—also got some love. And we say love because the good guys drove the muscle machine while trying to stop an evil undertaker from turning dead, normal-sized people into dwarf zombies and taking over the world. Actually, that sounds more like a job for a Mini.
Many of you nominated the black 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III from 1977’s The Car. Kevin C posted an image of a gun-toting deputy sheriff (James Brolin) standing his ground against George Barris’s custom—more like kustom—creation. “The Car scared me as a kid,” Kevin wrote. “Looking back I think it was less about the movie and more that auto manufacturers had just given up in the ’70s. Shoot it already!”
Another Lincoln, the black 1966 Continental (dubbed the “Deathmobile”) from 1978’s Animal House, was also nominated, although its appearance in the movie resulted in more laughter than fear. Also looking for a little levity, perhaps, Hagerty digital asset coordinator Nick Gravlin chose the 1959 Cadillac ambulance known as ECTO-1 in the original Ghostbusters movie (1984). Hey, we get it. There were ghosts in that movie…and slime…and those freaky-looking gargoyle dogs.
Speaking of Charlie Sheen parties, we all know that the Hollywood bad boy likes “winning.” So does his character in The Wraith, a 1986 movie in which Sheen plays a ghost who drives a black Dodge M4S Turbo Interceptor while seeking revenge on the car thieves who killed him. Yes, a dead guy in black clothes, black helmet, and a dark mood, driving an equally intimidating Dodge, is pretty scary stuff. But tell that to Matt Wilgers, who went a little squirrel on us. “I was always jealous of Packard Walsh’s garage,” Matt wrote, referring to the thief’s impressive fleet of stolen rides.
Packard Walsh may have had a lot of vehicles to choose from, but Kurt Russell gets the most out his 1970 Chevrolet Nova in the 2007 flick Death Proof. As crazed “Stuntman Mike,” Russell turns the Nova into a death trap for unsuspecting women, while walking away from crashes virtually unharmed. Of course, there is that giant scar on his face.
You also nominated the 1957 Cadillac limousine from Black Cadillac (2003), the 1955 Chevy from the TV movie Sometimes They Come Back (1991), the 1970 Oldsmobile 442 from The Hitcher (2007), and the 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 from TheEvil Dead, which was director Sam Raimi’s car in high school and became a trademark of his films. Jeepers Creepers (2001) scored two nominations: the 1960 Chevy Impala driven by the “victims” and the 1941 Chevrolet cab-over truck driven by the “creeper.”
Speaking of trucks, Randy Lucas nominated the relentless tanker from the 1971 movie Duel, describing the 1955 Peterbilt 281 as “super bad,” which is deadly accurate. In Steven Spielberg’s first full-length film, the truck—driven by a driver we never see—terrorizes poor Dennis Weaver and his orange Plymouth Valiant in an extended cat-and-mouse game along a remote desert highway. We never find out what the truck driver is so mad about, but in the end we’re just glad that he’s no longer breathing. (Fun fact: Stuntman Carey Loftin was the nameless, faceless driver of the tanker. According to IMDB, Loftin asked Spielberg why his character was tormenting Weaver, and the young director told him, “You’re a dirty, rotten, no-good son of a bitch.” To which Loftin replied, “Kid, you hired the right man.”)
Since we started this frightening journey with one of Stephen King’s try-not-to-soil-yourself scary vehicles, we might as well finish with one. A much bigger one, in fact. If you’ve seen King’s 1986 horror flick Maximum Overdrive (especially if you saw it as a teenager), then you’ve probably had nightmares of being chased by the “Happy Toyz” semi-truck and its giant green goblin head. If the only way you’re able to close your eyes now is the assurance that the devilish machine met its maker in a fiery crash at the end of the movie, then we have some bad news for you. A guy in Ohio put Humpty Dumpty back together again, and the restored goblin head now makes appearances at events around the country.
Who knows, it may even show up in your town. Tonight. While you sleep. You’re welcome.