Watching The Wraith (1986) a couple of days ago got me all worked up to do a MONSTER BLOG POST on memorable movie vehicles. Sometimes the car chosen for a film can make a film that much more memorable, sometimes the car IS the freaking movie. Case in point: The Wraith, not the greatest film ever made, but damn, that car sure was cool looking! It’s interesting, but a lot of the films that will be mentioned on this blog post have lots in common with The Wraith! Some are ghost cars, some are possessed cars, some of these car travel through time and some of these cars are secret government prototypes! My point is, there have been many memorable cars on films and this blog post is here to celebrate them. And if you like cars that much, check out my article on Memorable Movie Cars that have appeared on Post Apocalypitc films. Hope you enjoy it!
Film: Condorman (1981)
Car model: Nova Sterling Kit Car
What makes this one special: Well, this is Condorman’s, ride and since Condorman is a superhero (or trying to be anyway) his car has some “super” qualities as well. First of all, the car transforms from a dingy little truck that’s falling apart, into the fast super car you see pictured above. Also the car is amphibious and can turn into a boat at the touch of a button!
Films: Batman: The Movie (1966), Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992), Batman Forever (1995), Batman and Robin (1997), Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008)
What makes these special: Well, the Batmobile goes through some modifications which each film. But it has been known to do a number of amazing things like for example turning into a motorcycle (The Dark Knight), jumping from building to building while in hot pursuit (Batman Begins), shedding parts of its body to fit through a tight spot (Batman Returns), using grappling hooks to make a tight turn (Batman) and hey, lets not forget that nifty turbine which gives the Batmobile that extra boost it needs when chasing bad guys.
Film: Green Hornet (2011)
Car Model: 1966 Chrysler Imperial
What makes this one special: 'The Black Beauty' has a couple of fancy features, but above all this slick ride simply looks cool as hell. It has two machine guns and an assortment of missiles that The Green Hornet and Kato put to good use in their fight against crime. One memorable scene has The Green Hornet run through a red light. He says to Kato: “Oh no! We ran a red light! The camera caught us!!” Kato’s answer? He blows up the camera attached to the traffic light with a missile!
Film: A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Car Model: M 505 Adams Brothers Probe 16
What makes this one special: Not much, besides looking slick and futuristic. The Droogs hang around this car and drive around town committing all sorts of atrocities like raping women, hitting old men on the street and invading the home of an art collector to destroy her valuable works of art.
Film: The Last Starfighter (1984)
Car Model: ‘Star Car’
What makes this one special: Well, in The Last Starfighter we are presented with the idea that a video game machine known as ‘The Last Starfighter’ is actually an alien machine brought to earth to test humans, to see if they have what it takes to form part of an intergalactic army fighting evil forces in another part of the universe. When Alex Rogan breaks the world record on the game, The Star Car comes and picks him up, to whisk him away to Alpha Centauri where Alex will join the rebel army against a despotic ruler. The car drives at more than 300 miles per hour and can fly through the skies, and if that isn’t cool enough it can also engage in interstellar flight.
Film: Minority Report (2002)
Car Model: 2054 Lexus CS Concept Car
What makes this one special: It looks awesome! Often times, when filmmakers decide to make a science fiction film they will have to get cars made specifically for the making of a film, because it is set in the future and cars are supposed to look futuristic. In this case, Steven Spielberg got Lexus to make him a concept car for Minority Report. Pretty slick design I must say! An awesome sequence has Tom Cruise escaping the bad guys by hiding inside of a car factory! Cruise jumps into the assembly line as a car is being built by robots…sits on the drivers seat as the robots build the car…and in a few minutes escapes by driving that very same car the robots just built around him! Awesome sequence!
Film: Deathrace (2008)
Car Model: 2006 Ford Mustang GT
What makes this one special: In this remake of Deathrace 2000 (1975) Jason Statham’s character, a prisoner in the worlds deadliest prison, must race in a televised event (ala The Running Man) where prisoners race for their chance at freedom. This is a race to death in wich each car has a secret deadly weapon. Statham’s ride has 2 mounted mini guns that shoot 3,000 bullets per minute! It also includes flamethrowers and even napalm, what’s not to like?
Film: Deathrace 2000 (1975)
Car Model: Many cars were used for this production, among them re-bodied Volkswagon’s including a VW Karmann Ghia, a 1965 Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette and a Fiat 850 Spider.
What makes this one special: Believe it or not, this film is even crazier with its premise then the remake, which takes place in a prison. On this film, the original Deathrace which was produced by Roger Corman, the race doesn’t take place in a prison, but in the real world! Racers have to run down pedestrians for extra points! One infamous scene has the racers pass through an elderly home and you get extra points to run down elderly people. Each car is representative of its owner, so we got gangster cars, lizard cars, cowboy cars and so on.
Film: The Fifth Element (1997)
Car Model: Flying Taxi
What makes this one special: It can take you anywhere you want swiftly, because this isn’t any old cab, this cab actually flies! Just like every other car in the world of The Fifth Element. Best thing this taxi cab has going for it is that it has Corben Dallas at the wheel, a fearless driver! One scene has Corben being followed by cops, and he expertly maneuvers his taxi cab through the skies in the middle of heavy traffic! And in another scene the cops shoot at Corben’s cab with machine guns, but he turns it around and deflects the bullets with the bottom side of the cab which is impervious to bullets!
Film: Blade Runner (1984)
Car Model: ‘Spinner’
What makes this one special: Well, for starters it can fly. I’d always wanted to have one of these flying cars, alas; flying cars have never made it into our reality, they remain in the fantasy world of films. I thought that by the year 2015 maybe we’d be seeing something, but I’ve come to the conclusion that flying cars would be too much of a danger for society. Can you imagine a drunk driver flying one of these flying cars? Can you imagine what a car crash would be like if cars could fly? But in the world of Blade Runner, flying cars look cool as hell and they form a huge part in helping Deckard undergo his investigation in trying to apprehend a group of killer androids.
Film: THX 1138 (1971)
Car Model: Modified Lola T70 Race Car
What makes this one special: On this film cars represent a symbol of freedom. When THX 1138 has had enough of imprisonment for doing nothing wrong, he escapes and steals this slick looking car from a parking lot and runs off in it, trying to distance himself as much as he can from society and the ever oppressive police force.
Film: Transformers (2007)
Car Model: 2009 Chevrolet Camaro Replica
What makes this one special: It’s a freaking robot that’s what makes it special! This isn’t just a car, it can transform into a robot called ‘Bumble Bee’, named that way because of its black and yellow paint job. Interesting thing about Bumble Bee is that he doesn’t really speak much, instead he communicates through songs he picks up from the airwaves. Also, Bumble Bee isn’t really a Camaro, he just chooses to look like one, just like all the Transformers choose to look like some form of terrestrial form of transportation. It’s just a way of them camouflaging their true alien appearance.
Title: The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Car Model: 1975 Lotus Esprit
What makes this one special: As any of you guys and gals out there know, James Bond always has a cool car, and his cars are always equipped with special abilities and gadgets to aid him in his adventures. Bond cars have done everything from turning into boats, to shooting missles and machine guns, to even turning invisible! On The Spy Who Loved Me Bond’s car transforms into a submarine! Now, keep in mind, this wasn’t done with computer effects like they would do now! Nope, for this film they actually built a sub marine car and submerged it!
Film: Black Moon Rising (1986)
Car Model: 1980 Wingho Concordia II
What makes this one special: Well, on this one Tommy Lee Jones plays a thief hired by the FBI to steal a tape with incriminating evidence that could prove the criminal activities of a suspicious company. Unfortunately, Tommy Lee Jones gets caught stealing the tapes and so he has to hide them somewhere; but where? How about the inside of the ‘Black Moon’, a top secret prototype car built by NASA? Sure! That’s a good a place as any! How cool is this prototype car? It can single handedly jump from one sky scraper to another, that’s how cool it is! This film was released in 1986, the same year in which The Wraith was released in; I guess 1986 was a big year for films with futuristic cars in them. This film also shares something in common with The Wraith: it also stars Nick Cassavetes, who played the main villain in The Wraith. This film was a low budget affair, it was produced by Roger Corman’s New World Pictures, but it is imaginative, fast paced and fun. The car may look silly by today’s standards, but it proves itself in various action/chase sequences, mainly a nifty chase sequence that takes place on the streets of L.A.
Film: Waynes World (1992) and Waynes World 2 (1993)
Car Model: 1977 AMC Pacer
What makes this one special: ‘The Mirth Mobile’ as Wayne and Garth call their mode of transportation is cool because its retro. And it has those cool fire designs on its hood. Plus it has an excellent sound system n which you can crank up excellent tunes to bang your head to like Queen’s ‘Bohemian Raphsody’! Party on!
Film: Ghostbusters (1984) and Ghostbusters 2 (1989)
Car Model: 1959 Cadillac Miller Meteor Ambulance
What makes this one special: Actually, the Ghostubusters ‘Ecto-1’ looks kind of dorky. Lets face it, the Ecto-1 is nothing more then a glorified and refurbished ambulance from the 50’s! But whatever, this ambulance carries the Ghostbusters and their proton packs in their ghost busting adventures. I’m looking forward to a chase sequence in a future Ghostbusters film (hey, one can dream!) that involves the Ecto-1! That would rock, because as it is, the Ecto-1 hasn’t gotten much action in the films.
Films: Back to the Future Trilogy (1985, 1989. 1990)
Car Model: De Lorean DMC 12
What makes this one special: Oh nothing, except for the fact that the De Lorean time machine can travel through time once it hits 88 miles per hour! You see, Doc Brown has created a time machine…out of a De Lorean! That’s right, you simply type in the date and coordinates into the cars computer, put some plutonium into the flux capacitor, start driving, and once you hit 88 miles per hour: Bam! You’re off to whatever time and place you have chosen to travel to! In the second film, Doc Brown modifies the car so that the time machine can function with garbage instead of with the hard to come by plutonium. Also, thanks to Doc Browns time traveling adventures into the future, the car can now fly!
Film: Grease (1978)
Car Model: 1948 Ford Deluxe
What makes this one special: Well, ‘Greased Lightning’ as the guys in the ‘T-Birds’ like to call their sweet ass ride is a car that they bought and fixed up themselves so they could use it to pick up chicks and participate in underground races. Also, there's a whole sequence dedicated to the car itself when the 'T-Birds' perform one of the coolest songs in the whole movie, Im talking about "Greased Lightnin!"
Film: Duel (1971)
Car Model: 1960 Peterbilt 281 Tanker
What makes this one special: This film is special because it was Steven Spielbergs first full length feature film. And its essentially a horror film about a crazy truck driver terrorizing some dude on the open road. What makes the film tense and suspenseful is that we never know who the hell is driving this truck, so it adds an air of uncertainty to the proceedings. Spielberg chose the Peterbuilt 281 Tanker because to him, its front appeared to be an evil face, gotta say I kind of agree with him!
Films: Evil Dead Franchise (1981, 1987, 1992)
Car Model: Oldsmobile Delta 88
What makes this one special: Nothing much, this car is pretty much the same as any old car. But it belongs to Ash, a guy who unwittingly becomes the mother of all demon slayers! Cool thing about this car is that it appears in all three Evil Dead movies, and more than that, it appears on every single film that director Sam Raimi has ever directed, even the more serious ones.
Film: The Car (1977)
Car Model: Modified Lincoln Continental Mark III
What makes this one special: Well, for starters, it’s a truly evil car! It is driven by nobody! What the film suggests is that the car is being driven either by Satan himself, or by a demon, so take your pick! But essentially, this car goes around town killing people randomly! Or is it making them pay for their sins? Who knows, but this car doesn’t just attack people in the road, if it has to, it will break into your own home to kill ya! The car is an often times underrated killer car flick, it is often times referred to as “Jaws on Wheels”, but without the Spielberg schmaltz. I’d say its closer to Spielberg’s Duel (1971),which I mentioned earlier on the list.
Film: Christine (1983)
Car Model: 1958 Plymouth Fury
What makes this one special: The taglines for this movie go something like this: “Hell hath no fury, like a 1958 Plymouth” “Body by Plymouth, Soul by Satan” which should give you an idea of what this movie is like. In this film, nerdy guy Arnie Cunningham buys this 1958 Plymouth because he falls in love with it when he first sees it. What he doesn’t know is that this car is haunted! In many ways, the car in Christine is similar to the car seen in The Wraith (1986), you see, both Christine and The Wraith can be beaten up and destroyed, but they can both regenerate themselves and be as good as new in no time! Problem is that Christine behaves like a psycho girlfriend from hell and begins not only killing off every bully that ever messed with Arnie, but she also goes after Arnie’s girlfriend in a feet of jealous rage!
Film: Maximum Overdrive (1986)
Car Model: Kenworth Truck
What makes this one special: Stephen King himself has said that he was “coked out of his mind” while he directed most of this film. The result? An extremely dumb/cheesy yet entertaining picture: Maximum Overdrive. On this film, cars and machines come alive when a comet passes close to our planet. Suddenly, machines become conscious and decide to torture their creators. The leader of the machines is the truck you see pictured above, which by the way has the face of one of Spider Man’s greatest villains: The Green Goblin.
Film: Death Proof (2007)
Car Model: 1970 Chevy Nova
What makes this one special: This isn’t just any old Chevy Nova, this Chevy Nova is a stunt car used in the making of films. You see, this movie is all about an old stunt driver who has lost a lot of work because nobody does real stunts in action movies anymore, now all the stunts are CGI. If you don’t believe me, just ask the guys that make the Fast and the Furious Movies! But anyways, this frustrated stunt driver goes around searching for ladies to kill with his stunt car! One amazing scene has him crash headlong into a car filled with ladies, which all go on to die spectacularly grizzly deaths.
Film: The Wraith (1986)
Car Model: 1984 Dodge M4S Prototype
What makes this one special: It’s a ghost car, that comes from the after like and takes shape when 5 different balls of energy get together in the middle of the dessert. The car comes with an equally phantasmagoric driver who is hell bent on exacting his revenge upon a group of thugs that killed him. The car can explode into a gazillion pieces, seconds later it simply reforms as if nothing had happened to it.
Film: Phantasm (1979)
Car Model: 1971 Plymouth Barracuda
What makes this one special: Again, it simply looks damn cool! Don Coscarelli, the director behind the Phantasm films always wanted to have one of these cars when he was in highschool, so when the time came to make his first feature film, he decided to turn it into an essential part of the film. In the original film, the car is what bonds both brothers, they work on it together, big brother lets little brother drive the car around town. Funny thing is that these Barracudas always turn up in one way or another in all the Phantasm films. The Barracudas have become as much a part of these films as the flying spheres have.
Film: Aliens (1986)
Car Model: APC
What makes this one special: This one is a car and a tank all rolled up into one! Its great for invading alien territory, for squashing aliens with its gigantic wheels and it sits an army of men and women comfortably. It has a cannon, and a whole assortment of weapons and gadgets inside which can help you monitor your soldiers as they make their way into the Alien hive!
Other cool movie cars worth mentioning:
Car Model: 1950 Mercury Monterey
Vanishing Point (1971)
Car Model: 1970 Dodge Charger 440 R/T
Dukes of Hazard (2004)
Car: The General Lee
The Love Bug
Car Model: 1963 Volkswagen Beetle
Cannon Ball Run (1981)
Car Model: Lamborghini Countach LP 400 S
Speed Racer (2008)
Car: Mach 5
Damnation Alley (1977)
Car Model: ‘The Landmaster’
Mad Max (1979)
Car Model: 1973 Heavily Modified Ford Falcon XB GT