Halloween is just around the corner and that means scary outfits, candy and of course, horror movies! That’s right, it’s time to draw the curtains, pop that corn and settle down for some serious scream time. Many favourite horror cult classics are known for introducing audiences to some of the most iconic creepy cars. These vehicles have become legendary in themselves – often more famous than the human villain. Here’s our list of 8 iconic cars in horror films. In no particular order…
1941 Chevrolet Cab Over Engine – Jeepers Creepers
Executive produced by Francis Ford Coppola, the 2001 film Jeepers Creepers is a great example of how a car can scare the bajeebers out of an audience. A brother and sister driving home during spring break witness a suspicious character dumping what looks like a body down a tunnel. They are then relentlessly harassed by The Creeper, a flesh-eating monster, chasing them down in a 1960 Chevrolet COE. The ominous sound of the lorry’s horn on its own is enough to get pulses racing.
Three modified Chevy vehicles were used to capture the menacing presence of this terrifying truck.
1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 – The Evil Dead Trilogy
The Evil Dead films are regarded as one of the most successful cult film trilogies in Hollywood history. Created and directed by Sam Raimi, these movies follow lead character Ash as he battles against the undead. The Classic 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 is featured in all three films. Eventually being modified by Ash into a Deadlite-demolishing machine for the third movie instalment, Army of Darkness.
Sam Raimi so loved his Oldsmobile Delta 88 that it went onto being featured in all of his films, including the western, The Quick and the Dead, in which a covered wagon was built over its chassis.
1978 Ford Pinto – Cujo
The 1983 film Cujo is based on the book by celebrated horror author Steven King. A Saint Bernard named Cujo descends into rabies-fuelled madness, hunting down community members as well as his owners. At one point, two of the characters, Donna and Tad Trenton, are stuck in the Ford Pinto with a dead battery. The two characters attempt to escape the claustrophobic and stiflingly hot environment, whilst being relentlessly hounded by their oversized pooch.
The Ford Pinto, more famous for exploding gas tanks than on-road performance, was discontinued in 1980.
1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III – The Car
The 70s gave us great cinema, amongst these was the 1977 film, The Car, starring James Brolin alongside an unmanned, mysterious car, hellbent on terrorising a small desert town in Utah. The black 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III soon racks up a body count as local police try everything to stop its reign of terror. Preceded by a strong wind and with the ability to levitate, this deadly vehicle proves to be a handful for its pursuers. And more and more people fall victim to the mechanical murderer.
Four custom Lincolns were constructed for the film, three of which were ultimately destroyed during stunts. The fourth car is still on display today.
1969 Dodge Charger and 1970 Chevy Nova – Death Proof
Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, the 2007 slasher flick Death Proof features two iconic vehicles and some of the most intense car stunts ever captured. In the film, former Hollywood heavyweight, “Stuntman Mike”, creates elaborately staged accidents using his customised “Death Proof” cars. Months after successfully murdering a group of women, he meets his match; three tough ladies, determined to teach him a lethal lesson.
Although both the Dodge Charger and the matte black Chevy Nova look great on screen, the latter remains the most recognisable from the film. It even made it onto Car Throttle’s List of Top 5 Chevy Movie Cars of all time.
Ecto-1 – Ghostbusters
Who doesn’t love the Ghostbusters?! Not quite a horror in the traditional sense, but this 1984 supernatural comedy is a true classic with the most-recognisable car. Starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Sigourney Weaver, the film made almost $300 million at the box office. It also introduced audiences to a new level of combining live action and animation. Four paranormal scientists are called upon by New York to rid the city of evil ghosts. Perhaps the most-renowned symbol of the film was the customised Ecto-1. The trusty ghost-chasing vehicle used by the team throughout their adventures still gets audiences hyped up to this day.
A 1959 Cadillac chassis was used by Miller-Meteor to construct the Ecto-1. This resulted in a unique ambulance/hearse combination beloved by fans all over the world.
1972 Ford Club Wagon – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of the most popular horror films ever created. In this 1974 film, five friends on a road trip in their 1972 Ford Club Wagon pick up a deranged hitchhiker on route. They eventually have to kick him out of the vehicle. Soon after, they fall victim to a murderous family of cannibals with a penchant for human skin. Although Leatherface is the film’s true icon, the vehicle itself has become a cult favourite amongst horror fans.
Fans have also spotted a blooper; the blood smeared on the van as a marker by the hitchhiker disappears in a long shot a few seconds later.
1958 Plymouth Fury – Christine
The 1983 film Christine is the second entry on this list based on a book by the legendary Steven King. Christine is also the name of the title character, namely a 1958 Plymouth Fury with an appetite for murder. Arnie Cunningham, a bullied nerd, falls in love with the demon-possessed Christine, and begins to restore the 21-year-old car. Soon, the indestructible car’s jealous and possessive personality rears its ugly head and begins to influence Arnie’s behaviour. Christine begins killing anyone who is a threat to them.
The red Plymouth was a special order for the film, as originally it only came in Buckskin Beige.