HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lookout, The
Black Belt
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Their Finest
Stella Cadente
Water Drops on Burning Rocks
Replace
Belladonna of Sadness
Aquarius
Erik the Conqueror
Baghead
Guns at Batasi
Gang Story, A
Magnificent Ambersons, The
Climber, The
It's a Big Country
Raw
Last Man Standing
Transfiguration, The
Alien Nation
Kajaki
Certain Fury
Life
Hundra
Wonder Woman
Francesca
Jimi Plays Berkeley
Berlin Syndrome
Cure for Wellness, A
Warriors Gate, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Two Sides of Sellers: The Party vs The Optimists
Norse Code: The Vikings vs The Long Ships
Over the Moon - Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray Part 2
Alpha Males and Females - Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray Part 1
Animated Anxieties: From the Era of the Creepiest Cartoons
Manor On Movies--Clegg (1970)
Plans for Nigel: The Crunch... and Other Stories on DVD
Let's Get Harry: Repo Man and Paris, Texas
Shut Up, Crime! The Punisher at the Movies
Thunderbollocks: The Golden Age of Bond Rip-Offs
   
 
  Cars that Ate Paris, The Salvage SquadBuy this film here.
Year: 1974
Director: Peter Weir
Stars: John Meillon, Terry Camilleri, Kevin Miles, Rick Scully, Max Gillies, Danny Adcock, Bruce Spence, Melissa Jaffer
Genre: Horror, Weirdo
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Arthur (Terry Camilleri) and his brother George are driving through the Australian countryside one night when suddenly lights blaze before their car and they are forced off the road. George dies in the crash, but Arthur survives, and awakens in the hospital of the small town of Paris, a town which, as he discovers, scavenge what they can from staged road accidents - including people...

Peter Weir's first feature-length film as director was one he wrote with the help of Keith Gow and Piers Davis, and, like the inhabitants of the town it depicts, it took elements from many sources as spare parts to build its bigger picture: horror, science fiction, comedy and westerns among them. The introduction shows, at first sight, a television commercial as a young, attractive couple drive through the countryside, stopping off to buy a painting at an antiques shop and enjoying brand name cigarettes and cola. Then it turns nightmarish as their car crashes and they die in the wreckage.

The Australian Parisians are on the lowest rung of society's ladder, pillaging what they can to keep their town together. But it's not really running like clockwork, as the resident doctor (Kevin Miles) performs experiments on the accident victims, turning them into semi-vegetables, and the local youths customise the wrecked cars to create demolition derby vehicles that prowl the streets at night. Nice touches to illustrate the second-hand nature of life there include the use of car radios instead of stereos and the doctor utilising a power drill for a bit of D.I.Y. surgery.

The Mayor, superbly played by John Meillon, is outwardly a stuffy, respectable man, but his efforts to bring his community together are pathetic when they're not downright murderous. He takes in Arthur and ensures he stays in Paris by making him mentally unable to drive a car through amateur psychology, gives him a useless job and asks him to join his family when it looks like Arthur will leave. We learn that his daughters aren't even his, just orphans from a car crash.

There may be moments of black humour, such as the scenes of the inappropriately cheerful hospital janitor ("Have you ever seen a bloke with a foot up his nose?"), but the overall tone is sickly and grim. The finale, which sees the town self-destruct when the youths drive their cars through the houses and people, is bloody, featuring an unforgettable Volkswagen Beetle covered in spikes as one of the killer vehicles. What starts as a satire on consumerism ends up with an uncertain message, and Arthur's rediscovery of his courage doesn't leave you reassured, but Weir's film, which resembles a seventies, Australian version of The League of Gentlemen TV series, is undeniably memorable. Music by Bruce Smeaton.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5545 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Peter Weir  (1944 - )

Australian writer and director with a touch of the mystical about his work, usually fish out of water dramas. After various short films, he made The Cars That Ate Paris, a darkly funny horror which nearly ended his career when it failed financially. But he bounced back with Picnic at Hanging Rock, an international hit which led to apocalyptic fantasy The Last Wave, war tragedy Gallipoli and political thriller The Year of Living Dangerously, whereupon he moved to Hollywood to direct Amish thriller Witness, survival tale The Mosquito Coast, Dead Poets Society (possibly his worst film), comedy Green Card, spiritual air crash drama Fearless, science fiction satire The Truman Show, historical adventure Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World and WW2 era trek movie The Way Back.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Ian Phillips
Jensen Breck
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Shrimpton
  Vikki Sanderson
   

 

Last Updated: