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Arnie Cunningham appears to be a prototypical high-school loser (albeit a rather raunchy and cool one). While discussing with his best buddy and football team hero Dennis the strategy for achieving a slight chance of getting Arnie laid over the Summer, they come across a shipwreck (so to say) of a car: a 1958 Plymouth Fury white top, nicknamed by its (sorry “her”) former owners as “Christine”. After enormous efforts and some miraculous self-healing, Christine becomes a breathtaking beauty again – and the shine rubs off, as Arnie gets cooler, more handsome, and actually can lay his hands on the new school beauty Leigh. But all this is creepy, and when Dennis investigates the story behind Christine’s past, and when all the school bullies who had their hands in the smashing and crashing of Christine end up dying in unpleasant fashions, Dennis and Leigh decide it is time to stand up against the evil machine who is more of a jealous bitch than anything else.

Facts:
* this film is responsible for my Stephen King addiction. In 1983, I was reading a German movie magazine called “Cinema”, and it had a cover story about this movie. It also had an ad for the tie-in novel by a US author of the name Stephen King. I bought the book, and have read every single one that has come out ever since. Old habits die hard, I am sure this one will outlive me.
* “Watch out for me. I am Pure Evil. I am Christina” was a bumper sticker I purchased at the Stephen King Fanzine mail order service back when you had to do international money transfer services that took 6 weeks to arrive and then wait another 8 weeks for the package. Brilliant times! Had I only kept those that I did not use on my first car, the BMW 323d, in pale green, with this flat nose and evil glancing beams…
* “Bad to The Bone”, the opening and closing riffs of the movie, will always be associated for me with production line of vintage cars. I have heard the song about 300 times since 1983, and I always see cars in my mind.
* On one of my jobs at the box office of some cinemas, I painted a sign “In God we Trust. Everyone Else Pay Cash.” Guess what inspired me to do that?
* When watching one of my new favourite tv shows “Dexter” I kept stumbling across Keith Gordon / Arnie Cunningham, and checking out the IMDB it was confirmed – he kind of stopped acting and is doing a lot of directing these days. Great stuff.
* Harry Dean Stanton to me is a two-film actor. Christine and Paris, Texas. Full stop. Through this oeuvre, he earned immortality.
* I was disappointed to learn that the actor playing Buddy Repperton did not do much acting afterwards. He is brilliant when he stole Arnie’s lunch bag and kept displaying his masculinity under his super-tight blue jeans…

The John Carpenter nostalgia show continues, but I am afraid it cannot get better than this. Carpenter at his prime, and exactly at at time when horror-rock’n’roll B movies appealed to me the most. Bad to the bone!

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