Muscle DVD: John Carpenter’s Christine

DVD CoverWhen you think about it, many horror movies qualify as muscle fliks, if not for their testosterone-driven monsters, than for their buff heroes and scantily-clad, kick-ass heroines.

John Carpenter’s Christine is no exception.

Adapted from the Stephen King novel about a haunted car who possesses a teenager, Christine is the monster, and what a monster she is.

A 1958 Plymouth Fury—the fastest Plymouth every made—Christine is built, from her sharply flared tail fins to her bulging body-work to the 350 V8 under her hood.


'58 Plymouth Fury


Is she male or female? Either way, you don’t wanna get on her bad side.

Demonically possessed, she seduces a 17 year old nerd, and from then on, will endure anything to make him hers, from getting gang-raped by a trio of muscle-shirted toughs to being sodomised by a bull-dozer. Can she take it?

Oh yeah.

Does she get her own back?

Hell, yeah.

The New York Times called it the most foul-mouthed film ever made. No less than thirteen vintage Plymouth Furies and Belvederes were smashed in its production, each labeled Muscle 1, Muscle 2 and so on. Four survived and are now in private hands. Co-star Alexandra Paul was as hot then as she was during her long tenure at Baywatch. Machine sex is rife.

Alexandra Paul

George Thorogood’s theme song, Bad to the Bone, says it all.

DVD features include a relaxed commentary by Carpenter and star Keith Gordon, and three fascinating featurettes including interviews with the crew and major players. John Carpenter had a knack for picking faces and talent and many a star – such as Kirk Russell (The Thing, Escape from LA) have him to thank for launching their career. Lead Keith Gordon (Dressed to Kill) who plays nerd Arnie looks fab and is now a director in his own right (The Chocolate Wars). Co-star John Stockwell (Top Gun), is a keen windsurfer and has helmed several critically acclaimed films such as Blue Crush and Into the Blue. As for Alexandra Paul, she’s still a babe, as you’d expect from a competitive triathlete and wife of Iron Man coach Ian Murray.

No remote controls were used on Christine. Stunt drivers hid behind her darkened windscreen for every chase, explosion and machine murder. A commentary highlight is legendary stuntsman Terry J Leonard telling what it was like to be behind the wheel when Christine self-combusts and goes after the tough who crosses her.

Hell hath no fury, baby…

Christine Burns



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