Stranger wheels

13 horror cars to steer clear of this Halloween


Manila motorists are quite used to horror stories. They experience one every single day, crawling through life-sapping, IQ-diminishing traffic. But things could be worse.

How much worse, you say? Not because of the proposed two-day number coding, or increase in excise tax for cars and fuel, even though the latter is almost sure to be a reality next year.

This Halloween, the road might be suddenly and eerily clear, and you might just see one of these devil drives in your rearview mirror.

Plymouth Fury

Boy meets car, boy fixes car, boy meets girl, car starts murdering people. Just another love story from the mind of Stephen King, who has seen a renewed interest in his work this year.

The 1983 horror movie Christine is directed by no less than John Carpenter, shooting the film mere days after the publication of the source novel.

The movie’s producer said that the novel is a celebration of America’s obsession with the motorcar.

Chevrolet Nova and
Dodge Charger

Quentin Tarantino’s entry in the double-bill Grindhouse movies sees crazed stuntman Kurt Russell take unsuspecting passengers on a ride in his “death proof” stunt cars. Of course, the death-proof part applies only to him.

The movie’s climax is a glorious, 20-minute car chase sequence done with real stunt work instead of computer-generated imagery.

Pontiac Firebird Trans Am

2017’s monster hit It, another Stephen King adaptation, contains a wonderful selection of 1970s cars that enhance some characters’ personalities.

Car enthusiasts won’t be able to resist smirking at the AMC Pacer in one scene.

High school bullies ride a 1981 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, making them feel cool and superior, especially as their archenemy kids are merely riding bicycles.

Chevrolet Blazer

Netflix’s hit series Stranger Things is strongly inspired by Stephen King—and the cars, too, follow a similar pattern.

The cars are part of the characters’ personalities and backgrounds, from Winona Ryder’s Ford Pinto to David Harbour’s Chevrolet Blazer pickup.

Here, the cool dude/bully drives a BMW 733 sedan—probably taken unbeknownst from his father.

Cadillac ambulance
and funeral coach

Since everyone is destined to take their final ride in a Cadillac, there’s no car more appropriate for the paranormal police, the Ghostbusters.

Bill Murray and company had for their ride an ambulance converted in the blaring Ecto-1 ghostmobile.

For the 2016 update, Melissa McCarthy and crew choose a 1983 Cadillac funeral coach, on loan from Leslie Jones’ undertaker uncle.

Peterbilt 18-wheeler

Before terrorizing beachgoers with a mechanical shark in Jaws, Steven Spielberg helmed this 1971 TV movie about horror on the highway.

A businessman driving on a desert highway overtakes a slow, old tanker truck. The truck driver takes offense and pursues the man, in a deadly onroad duel.

Spielberg says he took inspiration from Godzilla, replacing the monster with the 18-wheeler tanker truck.

Spielberg chose the Peterbilt because the cab resembled a face. Famed science-fiction author Richard Matheson (I am Legend, The Twilight Zone) penned the original story that was the basis of the movie.

Dodge M4S concept car

A gang of drag racers terrorizes a small town, challenging drivers to deadly automotive duels.

A mysterious, ghostly black car shows up to take on the drag racers and kills them one by one.

The black car is a real concept vehicle, the Dodge M4S. Dodge and PPG Industries collaborated on the vehicle.

The futuristic car was a pace car for the Cart Indy Car World Series.

Built at a cost of $1.5 million, it was powered by a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine. The M4S had a ghost-worthy top speed of 310 kph.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van

Would you alone get into a van driven by Scarlett Johansson? Good for you if she’s in a Natasha Romanoff mode, but there’s something troubling about her character in this movie.

Alligator car
(rebodied Volkswagen)

A televised demolition derby entertains the masses while Mr. President rules. Unlike in Formula 1, the second placer doesn’t just drink champagne from a driving shoe—he pays with his life.

The cult classic features David Carradine, in a wrestler mask, driving an Alligator car made from a VW chassis. Carradine and Sylvester Stallone did much of their own driving for the film.

The custom-built cars used for filming were not road-legal, so the film’s stunt drivers refused to drive them for fear of getting arrested by police. Famed producer Roger Corman took the wheel himself to get the needed shots.

Packard Twin Six

The Addams family may look ghoulish, but they are also extremely wealthy. Frankenstein’s monster-like butler, Lurch, chauffers them around in a classic 1932 Packard Twin Six.

Lincoln Continental Mark III

Another mysterious black car appears in The Car, killing bikers and pedestrians in a Utah town.

The vehicle was built by famed designer George Barris, who designed Adam West’s Batmobile. The steel cars were built at a cost of $84,000.

Top: Plymouth Fury; above, clockwise: Lincoln Continental Mark III, Cadillac ambulance, Packard Twin six, Chevrolet Nova, Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, Peterbilt truck, rebodied Volkswagen, Cadillac funeral coach, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, and Dodge M4S

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