The Car: Road to Revenge – USA, 2018

The Car: Road to Revenge is 2018 American science fiction horror feature film written and directed by G.J. Echternkamp  (Death Race 2050). The movie stars Grant Bowler, Kathleen Munroe, Martin Hancock, Micah Balfour, Burt Grinstead, Nina Bergman, Jamie Bamber, and Ronny Cox.

The film is apparently a “stylized” sequel to The Car (1977).

Plot:

In a dilapidated cyberpunk city plagued by crime and corruption, an unscrupulous District Attorney is savagely murdered and tossed out of a building onto his brand new car.

Mysteriously, the District Attorney and his car come back to life as a single being with a thirst for vengeance. The eerie driverless car embarks on a vicious rampage exacting revenge on the criminals who murdered him…

Review:

The Car is a justifiably well-regarded piece of 70s horror. A demonic black car terrorises 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 and a revenge saga on four wheels. A prosecutor (Jamie Bamber) is thrown to his death from a rooftop, coincidentally landing on his car. A badass cop (Grant Bowler) 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. (Death Race 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 movie 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.

Jim Morazzini, guest reviewer via Voices from the Balcony

 

Other reviews:

The Car: Road To Revenge is dark, brooding and ominous, but just has no heart […] The costuming of the villainous characters are right out of an 80s punk rock scene, but here it kind of looks ridiculous, like the entire film was shot in a dark small studio, reworked for each scene.” Dan’s Movie Report

Release:

The Car: Road to Revenge was released on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital on January 8, 2019, by Universal 1440 Entertainment.

Related:

The Car – USA, 1977

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