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Headscratchers / Christine

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  • Something a lot simpler then the supernatural car. Why Moochie didn't simply leap over Christine's hood when she jammed herself into the narrow loading dock, instead of just stand there and get slowly cut in half?
    • For that matter, why does the second guy try to outrun the car on foot down a straight, paved highway instead of maybe trying some offroad slopes?
      • With Buddy, he was running down a road with open fields on both sides. If fire couldn't stop her, what makes you think she can't go off-roading either?
      • With the former, even if he could leap over Christine's hood, it's possible that she would have moved and thus cause him to fall off, making it easier for her to crush him.
      • In both cases, panic was also a factor. Remember, these are both teens, dealing with something they know is impossible (both are aware that Christine does not have a human driver when attacking) and Buddy was drunk at the time (book version).
      • In the film, at least, Moochie still thinks at the last moment that it's Arnie driving. In the book, he's essentially thrown into several hard surfaces at great speed and very quickly - Christine takes the time to split him in half, or as the book describes his state "ripped open like a laundry bag", post-mortem.
      • On the film, another thing to consider: we have the time to actually think about this over and over again. None of us had to worry about being hit and chased by a car while on foot. Up until that moment, the worst thing Moochie ever faced in his life was getting arrested and thrown in jail. Or detention. He was a dumb kid who was in his first—and last—life-threatening situation and had little time to think. His first instinct was to run. In fact, he didn't think at all; he panicked. The area he immediately ran to just after Christine spun around and briefly broke line-of-sight had hiding places and obstructions. He didn't use them. There was a building right next to him with bushes and trees that he could hide in as well as high concrete walls that Christine could not drive up on. He didn't even bother staying on the sidewalk, he just walked out into the middle of the street. Which is obviously the the wrong place to be. Then he runs toward a fenced-in open area that she could easy get into. By the time Christine has him cornered, he's exhausted, scared and mad. Then, he sees her compressing herself to get at him; something that no person would expect any car owner to do to their pride and joy. He clearly isn't expecting that and he's shocked. By the time he realizes he's about to get crushed, it's too late and... fade to black with his screaming.
      • It's the same deal with Buddy Repperton, Richie and Don. They weren't expecting Christine at all. When she showed up, they thought it was Arnie dicking around with them. Buddy wasn't expecting his Camaro to get crushed and they certainly didn't think it was going to escalate to murder, fire and an explosion, let alone being chased down by a flaming car. Like Moochie, they were all caught completely off-guard.

  • How did it benefit Christine to let LeBay wheel her into the garage and let her rot, forgotten, for years? It seems odd that she'd permit him to do so and I can't think of a single advantage to her. Likewise, given her rage when thwarted or given even minimal insult, why would she let someone throw a rock at her windscreen without meting out punishment?
    • The previous owner had just died weeks before Arnie found her, and given how attached she is to her owners she may have been grieving until somebody else turned up to replace him. She doesn't seem to have much reason to live if she doesn't bond with someone.
      • Please note that this only applies to the film version. The book version has Roland himself selling Christine to Arnie, after the latter spotted the car sitting in the front yard. The movie version merges the LeBay brothers and has Roland dying before the movie starts. My best guess on Christine's condition when Arnie finds her is that her elderly, ill owner doesn't have the energy for her to draw on to maintain herself.
    • In the book, it's implied that Roland LeBay put Christine in the garage when he lost his ability to drive. And then took her out again and put the FOR SALE sign on, conveniently at the right time (just before Arnie came along), when his intuition or instinct told him to. Remember that the car is infused with LeBay's personal malevolence (an aspect of the book that's not in the movie; in the movie she's "bad to the bone" before LeBay ever gets hold of her)—without LeBay, Christine would just be another '58 Fury. LeBay controls Christine, even after his death—she does not control herself. And LeBay didn't know who threw the rock at her windshield, so he couldn't take revenge on whoever did it. One final thing on this: there's nothing in the book to suggest that Christine is driving around and killing people until after LeBay is dead. The book flatly states that LeBay's evil spirit has possessed Arnie, and (according to Arnie's own words), "when she goes, he's with her." None of the killing is really being done by the car itself—LeBay's ghost is doing it.
      • The whole "was Christine really alive in the novel?" point has been debated a lot on various sites and forums, with some believing that Christine wasn't "conscious" at all in the book, and that everything she did Roland LeBay was actually responsible for. From this viewpoint, LeBay simply used the car as a sort of "doorway" back from death to possess Arnie. However, there are many indications in the novel that Christine had a personality and will of her own. Please see below:
      • "Christine — or the terrible female force that animated her — would know Leigh wouldn't last long and she, Christine, would be around when Leigh was gone."
      • In the below excerpt, she is clearly acting under her own agency. No sign or mention of LeBay at all:
      • "By nine-thirty, when Christine's headlights suddenly came on in Will Darnell's deserted garage, cutting a bright arc through the interior blackness, Libertyville had totally shut down, except for the occasional cruising ploughs. In the silent garage, Christine's engine gunned and fell off. Gunned and fell off. In the empty front seat, the gearshift lever dropped down into DRIVE. Christine began to move."
      • There are other examples, but it seems in the novel that LeBay and Christine both had what you might describe as "extraordinary" qualities that were perhaps greater together than the sum of their parts... and perhaps Arnie had something of this too, at least enough for LeBay's spirit to exploit.
      • Most of these examples take place pretty early in the book, and can be chalked up to assumptions and inaccurate perceptions. As Dennis learns more, and the book continues, it becomes quite clear that LeBay is behind the wheel when Christine is driving "on her own". In fact, with the exception of one event, everything would fit real nicely with the idea that Christine was just an ordinary car, with which LeBay was obsessed until his death - where his spirit took control of both the car and Arnie. Possibly Arnie, and his own obsession with the car, acted as a conduit for LeBay's spirit. The one thing that doesn't quite fit, is the story involving LeBay's American Legion incident - where Christine somehow was able to drive away with her rear tires up in the air - when LeBay was still alive. Even the deaths of LeBay's wife and daughter were heavily implied to be murder, and the result of LeBay's apathy respectively.
      • I got the impression that the wife's death was either murder or suicide, but I'm sure that the daughter was all but explicitly implied to be LeBay 'sacrificing' her to Christine to imbue her with power.
      • For the book, it could be possible that Christine was both a haunted house on wheel and a vehicle with a conscious. It could even be possible that Christine was alive and that she was keeping LeBay alive herself, basically absorbing his soul into her after he passed.
      • The direct above was how this Troper read it. Especially since there was a moment, right before LeBay sold the car to Arnie, where Dennis has a "vision" where Christine is new and "talks" to him in his mind, while giving him an idea to go cruising in her.
      • It's pretty clearly implied that it's always been LeBay's will possessing Christine and not Christine acting on her own. Early in the novel LeBay isn't seen driving her, but Dennis sees him driving her in his dreams. His will is in there, but it's not physically visible yet. As the story goes on and LeBay's will and control over the car and Arnie get stronger, his presence becomes visible more and more often.
      • So why does Buddy Repperton smashing in Christine's headlight cause LeBay's eye to get done in? I don't think I've seen any satisfying explanation for that.
      • LeBay's gradual possession of her doesn't explain the aforementioned American Legion incident, or the explicit mention of a female force animating Christine. It also nullifies entirely the significance of Leigh being another woman, and a competitor for Christine's affections (unless one reads into it that she's distracting Arnie from Christine, and thus weakening LeBay). The only truly satisfying conclusion to be derived from the whole debate of Christine's sentience is that she already possessed, or was possessed by, a dark force within her that either lured LeBay to her, or just encountered him by chance. LeBay's sacrifice of his own daughter to Christine powered her up, so to speak, and allowed the two of them to gradually become two entities in one mechanical body. In a nutshell, yes, LeBay's possessing her, but she was never an ordinary Plymouth Fury to begin with.
      • While it doesn't make things simpler, no one mentioned Mrs. LeBay's theory that he was a changeling. With a dose of The Fair Folk it could flow together he had some magical abilities he didn't necessarily know about. Christine's animation could be a result of his anger and those abilities, making Christine subservient to LeBay but not without her own feelings since coming to be sentient.

  • Why (other than to make her stand out from all the other Plymouth Furys) is Christine the only car in the film's opening assembly-line scene to have been painted...? You'd think the car that was in front of her would've had its white primer colored over already, it being farther along in the assembly process.
    • Pretty sure they are painted. The '58 Fury's factory color, "buckskin beige," was basically a little darker shade of off-white.
      • They are all painted. In fact, Christine was a custom ordered color that wasn't available for the Plymouths of that year (in the book, the color mentioned is Autumn Red. The closest red colors that were available for the cars of that year were Toreador Red and Royal Red. For the film's production, they used Toreador Red for the body and Iceberg White for the roof).

  • Knowing Christine has a Healing Factor and will be back someday even after being crushed by a bulldozer, why didn't Dennis ensure she'd get scrapped in a furnace? It will not be playing "Rock And Roll Is Here To Stay" after sharing the same end as the T-1000.
    • In the book, at least, Dennis was on crutches at the time because he was recovering from leg injuries sustained in a bad football accident - the act of driving Petunia with a manual transmission, rather than an automatic one, made him pass out and put him back in the hospital for about a month and a half. One could forgive him for forgetting in that scenario, not to mention that he probably wouldn't have had a lot of influence in what was done with the remains in either book or film.