ACW1983: Christine


Nasty boys.

You can tell that he’s evil by his leather vest.

John Carpenter. Christine. 1983.

The only thing I remember about this film is 1) I thought it was a bit meh, and 2) I had several friends that thought this was the greatest film ever. Or something.

I’m excited to determine who was right.

The first thing I notice is how grainy the film is. Carpenter likes to make his films look luxe, so that’s odd. Was it shot on the same experimental film stock as Aliens? Did something go wrong during the bluray transfer?

And… My friends were right! This film is a hoot! I love the sensitive jock/jerky nerd protagonist pair. It’s a strange kind of power fantasy, though: The jerky nerd (who I think we’re supposed to sympathise with, but who I loathed from the first frame) goes through a journey where he becomes kick-ass (and evil)… Are nerds supposed to go “yeah! so cool! he was a nerd but now he’s kick-ass! whoo!”? We’re cheering when Christine is killing those nasty boys, aren’t we?

So it’s a nerd service film, and kinda disgusting that way.

But it’s still fun, although that rant near the end is snoresville. Probably Carpenter’s most accomplished film so far, helped a lot by finally getting a cinematographer that’s not useless. He’s still totally hung up on the shallow depth of field thing, though. Probably fails the Bechdel test.

This post is part of the A Carpenter Winter series.

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