Old 10-26-2017, 05:53 PM
Abishai100 Abishai100 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 58
Christine (Stephen King): Car Dianetics?

John Carpenter introduced American audiences to the notion of haunted and devastating automobiles when he adapted Stephen King's work (of the same title) into the 1983 film Christine.

The film (like King's novel) presents the mechanic's nightmare (or even car-aficionado's nightmare) of an emotionally-awkward American high school student named Arnie who purchases an eerie 'self-preserving' car named 'Christine' which proceeds to seduce him into becoming a maniac/murderer bent on a rage that can make him something of an 'immortal demonic knight' --- or a 'servant' to the car itself.

Obviously this story invokes ideas about obsession and the compulsive desire to purchase/own things, a feeling which can overwhelm you and lead you to believe that the spirit is not as 'potent' as the flesh or the 'inventive mind.'

Imagine you're buffing your car and maybe you're a modern-day vintage-car collector so it's an authentic 1960s Chevrolet or something and as you're buffing your car you slice your hand on the razor-sharp fender or side-view mirror metal-edge. You look at your bleeding hand but smile and say something eccentric such as, "What's a little blood when you're caring for your beautiful car?"

This is the sort of 'criminal insanity' explored in Carpenter's film (and King's novel).

What stirs me about the notion that there is an objectified 'automobile' which 'captures' all of the demonic 'instincts' latent in the human mind (regarding violence, rage, self-destruction, and even ugliness) is that we can conceive of 'everyday objects' that feel 'condemning.'

This sort of 'sentiment' is equally-explored in the films Hellraiser and Needful Things, but Christine delivers home the message that the modern world of roads, highways, and a multitude of cars does not blur the haunting notion that there are 'items' out there that can literally drive us to...pain, pyromania, darkness, heartbreak, and even malice!

IMO, that's what makes Christine (the novel and the film) a 'modern classic.'

{interpreted dialogue}

ARNIE: I need this car...
DENNIS: This car's gonna swallow you!
ARNIE: What's wrong with youthful spirit?
DENNIS: You think this car will make you cool.
ARNIE: This car is my psychiatrist.
DENNIS: No, Arnie, it's your 'slave-master.'
ARNIE: Everyone has an obsession, Dennis.
DENNIS: Well, Christine might make you a maniac!
ARNIE: I'll take great care of her.
DENNIS: If you get into an accident, I bet you'll die...
ARNIE: At least I'll have loved Christine.
DENNIS: You can't 'love' a car, Arnie!
ARNIE: I think Christine will make me young...forever.


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Old 10-27-2017, 04:10 AM
fudgetusk's Avatar
fudgetusk fudgetusk is offline
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I had no idea Car-penter directed this movie.

You can't be a serial killer without a car.

Christine is kind of his girlfriend doncha think? Urging him to kill for her. He brings her back from the dead in effect by renovating her. In this respect the car is like Frank from Hellraiser. I could mention that the name Christine contains the name Christ, who also came back from the dead. Probably subconscious on the part of King.

a haunted object is kind of alive, like the boxes in Hellraiser, as you mentioned.

don't our souls haunt our bodies?

Not sure about this ownership angle. I guess objects you own become friends. If you lose a dvd and buy another to replace it...it isn't quite the same.

>>we can conceive of 'everyday objects' that feel 'condemning.'

Not sure about this. Cars do damage the environment and you only have to google the words 'road rage' to see how cars effect people.
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