-> ''What evil drives... '''The Car'''''?

The 1977 film ''The Car'' is exactly what would you get [[JustForFun/XMeetsY if you crossed]] ''Film/{{Jaws}}'' with ''Film/{{Duel}}'', minus the Creator/{{S|tevenSpielberg}}pielberg.

Out of nowhere, a car appears in the [[NothingExcitingEverHappensHere fictional Utah town of Santa Ynez]]. But not just any car: It is a [[CoolCar heavily modified black 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III]], which proceeds to mercilessly [[VehicularAssault run down]] local citizens. The local police force is baffled by this, especially given sketchy claims from eyewitnesses that the car had no plates, and much more oddly, no driver...

Enter [[TheHero Deputy Wade Parent,]] who must find out who's driving the damn thing, how to stop it, and hopefully protect his kids, girlfriend, and, well ''everybody else'' from this motorized menace.

Generally considered to be pretty bad. SoBadItsGood, actually. Gene Siskel gave it just one star and called it "The Cinematic Turkey of 1977."

!!There's nowhere to run, so you might as well read these examples:

* TheAlcoholic: Luke Johnson ''was'' one, and he briefly falls off the wagon [[DespairEventHorizon when both Pete and Everett get murdered on the same day]]. He gets it back under control after [[WhatTheHellHero he foolishly forgets to warn the local school not to hold their parade practice, leading to the deaths of five fellow deputies.]]
* AntagonistTitle: And VehicleTitle, besides.
* AttackOfTheKillerWhatever: The Car that ate Santa Ynez
* AutomatedAutomobiles: It is not exactly stated, but it seems the Car is [[DemonicPossession possessed]].
* BadassDriver: The Car demonstrates some tricky maneuvers. Wade also qualifies, given that he's the only guy in the movie who outmaneuvers the Car.
* CarFu: The Car is so adept at this that attempts to out-CarFu it fail utterly. Wade is GenreSavvy about this, and rather than try to take it out on a mere motorcycle, simply uses that to lure the Car into a trap.
* CarMeetsHouse: The Car kills [[spoiler:Lauren]] by driving through her house as she is talking to Wade on the phone.
* ChaseScene: A number of them. [[YouCantThwartStageOne Most of them don't end well.]]
* CoolCar: Aside from its appearance, the Car can shake ''cliffs'' by ramming them.
* CoolOldGuy: Everett Peck, the sheriff of Thomas County and an old friend of Wade's father. [[spoiler:Wade has some big shoes to fill when Ev ends up as the Car's fourth victim.]]
* CueTheSun: The sun rises just after the Car is destroyed.
* DomesticAbuser: Amos, who regularly beats his wife Bertha.
* DoNotTauntCthulhu: At least twice, it is shown that taunting the Car is ''not'' advisable.
* {{Epigraph}}: The film opens with a quote from Church of Satan founder Anton [=LaVey=]:
-->"Oh great brothers of the night, who rideth out upon the hot winds of hell, who dwelleth in the Devil's lair; Move and appear!"
** A relevant passage in more ways than one: Not only is the Car [[DemonicPossession possibly demonic]], but its appearances are often preceded by an ill wind, [[SpottingTheThread as noted by Lauren]] a bit too late.
* TheEndOrIsIt: The end credits show the Car driving around Los Angeles, suggesting that it wasn't destroyed after all. Or that there's more than one car.
* EveryCarIsAPinto: Ray's police car explodes when the Car pushes him over the cliff, as do the other cop cars when the Car rolls over them. Funnily enough this even applies to the Car itself: [[spoiler: When it is defeated by falling into an explosive-rigged canyon, it sends up a huge, unearthly firestorm.]] Possibly [[JustifiedTrope justified]] when one remembers that [[spoiler:the Car is literally demonic.]]
* EvilLaugh: The Car simulates one with its horn, pressing it rhythmically whenever it drives away from its latest scene of the crime.
* ExactEavesdropping: During his introductory scene, Wade's kids eavesdrop on him fooling around with Lauren.
* FlippingTheBird: Johnny the hitchhiker flips the Car off when it almost hits him. [[DoNotTauntCthulhu This probably wasn't a good idea.]]
* GlassShatteringSound: When the Car is in Wade's garage, it starts to make so much noise that garage's windows shatter.
* GoodHurtsEvil: They don't realize it at the time, [[SeekingSanctuary but running into the cemetery is specifically what saved Lauren and the kids]]--the Car cannot enter the cemetery, as it is hallowed ground.
%%* HollywoodNight
%%* HomicideMachines
* IShallTauntYou: When The Car traps the kids in the cemetery, Lauren starts taunting it to cause distraction. [[spoiler: [[DoNotTauntCthulhu This turns out to have been a bad idea,]] [[CarFu as the Car seeks her out in revenge.]]]]
* ImmuneToBullets: Shots fired at the Car either do nothing or mysteriously change their courses to miss it. This is dismissed as bulletproof glass and foam-filled tires, but the reality is quite a bit worse.
* InfantImmortality: Played straight, but only just barely. The Car only didn't get at the kids because [[SeekingSanctuary they ran into the cemetery.]] It does injure one kid's arm but he survives.
* {{Jerkass}}: Amos, the local wife-beating drunken lout who [[ChekhovsGun handles dynamite]].
* KarmaHoudini: Amos. Might be {{justified|Trope}} in that [[spoiler:the Car is literally diabolic]] and as such would want to spare a wicked man so he can do more evil. [[HoistByHisOwnPetard This bites it on the tailpipe in the end, though.]]
* LoudOfWar: The Car's horn is extremely loud, and is variously used to intimidate victims and as a sort of BondOneLiner, coupled with the equally loud engine. At one point, [[GlassShatteringSound it gets so loud that it shatters some windows.]]
* MagicalNativeAmerican: [[AvertedTrope Thankfully averted]] with Deputy Chas and Donna, both of whom are depicted as perfectly ordinary people who happen to be Navajo rather than as dispensers of ancient wisdom. Does come slightly into play with an elderly Navajo lady who sees Everett get killed and tries to get Chas to tell the other deputies that [[DemonicPossession "There was no driver in the Car."]]
* {{Metaphorgotten}}: "You know what your father once said to me?" {{Beat}} "...I was gonna make it up anyhow."
* {{Novelization}}: A surprisingly good one by screenwriters Dennis Shryack and Michael Butler (the cover of which is seen above), which features more backstory about the town and the characters, and also has a different, darker ending [[spoiler:where there are actually more possessed, evil cars.]]
* ObviouslyEvil: The Car is big and matte black, with huge fenders, a low-cut roof, and windows tinted so dark it's impossible to see the interior. It also has no license plates or handles on its doors. Virtually the only thing disturbing the overall image is its shiny grill and over-sized chrome bumper, almost giving the thing an EvilGrin.
* OffscreenTeleportation: The Car appears in Wade's locked garage this way. This is also likely how it moved about the town unchecked in spite of police patrols and roadblocks.
* ParentalSubstitute: Luke was one to Pete after his father died, which is why Pete's death hits him so hard that he starts drinking again.
* PlummetPerspective: Used to surprisingly good effect when Ray is attempting to exit his squad car as it's teetering over the edge of a cliff.
* RailingKill: The Car bumps Pete over a bridge railing to his death.
* RealMenWearPink: Wade, in his first scenes.
* ScareTheDog: Before the Car crashes the parade rehearsal, the horses that are part of it are shown to be scared.
* TheSheriff: Everett, then Wade. Wade's father was also a sheriff once.
* ShirtlessScene: Wade's first scene is one, as he's getting up from bed that he has been sharing with his girlfriend Lauren.
* ShownTheirWork: Unlike most movies that inexplicably depict sheriff's departments as being town cops, the sheriff and deputies are [[ShownTheirWork accurately depicted]] as being a county department (Thomas County, according to their patches). It simply appears Santa Ynez is the county seat.
* SuperWindowJump: How Wade eludes the Car in his garage.
* StockFootage: Footage from this movie would later be used in an episode of ''Series/KnightRider'', where a different sort of evil automobile is sent plummeting over a cliff.
* StuffBlowingUp: When it's clear that CarFu and [[ImmuneToBullets bullets won't work]], explosives are used to finally defeat the Car... and even that might not have been enough.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: The Car ''really'' hated that hitchhiker...
* ToTheTuneOf: The main theme by Leonard Rosenman is based on the Latin hymn "Dies Irae".
* ToyotaTripwire: When Wade attempts to go inside the Car, it knocks him out with its door.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: We never do find out what happened to Tattleman, the deputy on guard duty at the parade rehearsal. He's seen wounded but alive when Margie runs to get his car, and he isn't counted among the dead officers that night, so we know he survived, but some update on his condition would've been nice.