THE CAR is a justifiably well-regarded piece of 70s horror. A demonic black car terrorizes a small town leaving a trail of bodies in its wake. Think JAWS on wheels. Now, 42 years later Universal, though its 1440 Entertainment arm, (the same division that gave us TREMORS: A COLD DAY IN HELL and TALES FROM THE HOOD 2), have delivered a sequel of sorts with THE CAR: ROAD TO REVENGE.
I say of sorts because there’s no real connection between the two films beyond the idea of a driverless car. THE CAR: ROAD TO REVENGE is a revenge saga on four wheels. A prosecutor (Jamie Bamber, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, INFERNO: SKYSCRAPER ESCAPE) is thrown to his death from a rooftop, coincidentally landing on his car. A badass cop (Grant Bowler, PAINKILLERS) is assigned to solve the case and finds himself protecting the deceased’s girlfriend from the murderous gang that killed him. But he’s not alone in his fight, the dead man’s car seems to have developed a mind of its own and has taken to the streets for revenge.
Universal apparently had so little faith in this that they couldn’t be bothered doing up a proper IMDB entry for it. The only credit listed is director G.J. Echternkamp. (DEATHRACE 2050). None of the writers, cast, or anyone else is listed. Not a good sign and one I should have heeded and bailed out then. But sometimes you gotta take a bullet for your readers.
Setting the film in a cyberpunk near-future adds a bit of novelty to the proceedings but nothing of any real value. It’s all just window dressing, or more accurately, lipstick on a pig. The film actually resembles an ugly crossing of COBRA and CHRISTINE more than anything futuristic. The villains look like rejects from THE CROW and spout lines that are laughable rather than intimidating. Ronnie Cox who appeared in the original makes a brief cameo, but even that can’t do much to help.
Being unrated THE CAR: ROAD TO REVENGE does have a fair amount of gore, although way too much of it is bad CGI. The camera assists in the fight scenes and some of the chase scenes are fairly obvious too.
THE CAR: ROAD TO REVENGE is pretty much a total disaster, made worse by claiming a connection to the original. I can’t help but think this was written as something totally unconnected and re-titled for marketing purposes. While it’s only January I’m willing to say this may be the worst thing I see all year.
THE CAR: ROAD TO REVENGE is available on VOD and DVD. Why you would want to see it is another matter.