7 Reasons Christine Is The Best Stephen King Movie


 I recently watched a “trailer” on YouTube for a sequel to Stephen King’s classic car movie “Christine”. I suspect this was taken from real movie footage and cobbled together with some basic desktop movie editing software. The movie is slightly fuzzy due to the film stock, but the title cards are pretty crisp. The dead giveaway was the title cards telling us that “Christine’s back.” and she’s “Angerier than ever”. Angerier? Dude, check your spelling before you float a fake trailer out on the internet. Authenticity is pretty key for this type of thing.

Anyway, crappy videos aside, I got to thinking about the original movie and what has made me watch it a zillion times. I sat down and came up with my list of 7 reasons why “Christine” is the best movie adapted from a Stephen King novel.

1. John Carpenter.

I love this guy’s work.  Halloween spawned countless imitators, including its own franchise, which changed the landscape of the contemporary horror movie. I guess he knows what he’s doing.

2. The Soundtrack.

Very cool indeed. I especially like how the first song we hear is the “Not Fade Away” by Buddy Holly then it morphs into the “current” Tanya Tucker version playing on the stereo in Dennis’ car. Each one of the songs has its own voice and tells a story for whatever scene they’re in. If you like rock and roll, you’ll like the soundtrack. Well, we could probably leave out the ABBA number.

3. Keith Gordon.

His acting in this movie is pretty fantastic. With Christine’s help, Arnie Cunningham transforms from a spectacled dork (with the required tape on the bridge of the glasses, courtesy of Buddy Reperton), who is controlled by his mother, to an ultra-cool dude. He starts wearing cool clothes, has a flashy ride and the hottest girlfriend in the school. He also loses the glasses and stops taking shit from his mom and physically threatens his dad. BADASS! Lastly, how can you not admire the guy who directed the best TV show ever made – Dexter?

4. Harry Dean Stanton.

I think that from the late 70s to the late 80s, HDS appeared in every single movie made. Fact. Seriously, how can you not respect a guy who’s been in: Cool Hand Luke, Kelly’s Heroes, Two Lane Blacktop, The Godfather part II, Alien, Escape From New York, Paris, Texas, Red Dawn, etc. etc. He is simply a great actor.

5. The cars.

Even if you hate the actors and the soundtrack, the cars are prominent characters in the movie. They just don’t have speaking roles. If you’re a fan of American Iron, then the car cast will be sure to please. First, naturally, is Christine. There is some question about what she really is. The movie claims she’s a 1958 Plymouth Fury. Enthusiasts claim she is a 1958 Plymouth Belvedere, which is a similar model. Basically it comes down to trim levels as they’re pretty close. Either way, Christine’s personality and style have secured her fame into perpetuity.

There are numerous car clubs that exist today that are dedicated to the old red Plymouth. Arnie’s best friend Dennis owns a pristine 1969 Dodge Charger. It’s almost the same as the General Lee from the “Dukes of Hazzard”, just a different colour. Detective Junkins drives an updated version of Christine; a 1977 Plymouth Fury. Not to be overpowered by the boys from Mopar, GM gets a few beauties in there as well. Buddy Reperton drives a killer 1967 or1968 Camaro. Will Darnell drive an older 1974 Cadillac Coupe De Ville. Which leads us to the next point . . . .

6. The Villains, part 1.

Will Darnell is a complete bastard. Even when he’s being nice, he’s a bastard. Every line he has is beautifully crafted; not a kind word comes out of his mouth. Everything is negative, crude or a put-down. He’s cynical, arrogant, dishonest, abrasive and he’s a bully. You love to hate his character.

7. The Villains part 2.

Buddy Reperton. This is the guy we all hated in high school. He’s a below average student who spends his time in auto shop; the quintessential hangout for a future high school dropout. Buddy with his friends terrorize the meek and timid Arnie, including stabbing his lunch bag with the pinnacle of thuggish weapons – the switchblade knife. Buddy’s only saving grace is that he drives a classic muscle car. He may be a hooligan, but he has good taste in cars.

That’s my list, feel free to comment!


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      1. TC September 22, 2013 at 2:33 am

        Are u fucking nuts! Best movie based on a Stephen King novel! WRONG! Not only is it a mediocre adaption its also one of Carpenters weakest films. I can tell the author of this hasnt read the book or he wouldnt think this.Carpenter left out alot of really cool stuff in his adaption. Does he think its a better King film than GREEN MILE,CARRIE,THE MIST,SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION,STAND BY ME and THE SHINING just to name a few?

      2. Tiago September 22, 2013 at 3:27 am

        That’s a bold statement there, I give you that. It is also a very fun and charming movie. But Christine is not even on my top 10. Pet Sematary is my favorite.

      3. Brandon September 22, 2013 at 3:28 pm

        Wow I’m glad you enjoyed the flick, but there is no way in hell Christine is the best movie based on a Stephen King novel.. Did you forget about The Shawshank Redemption, Stand By Me, The Green Mile, The Shining, Misery, The Mist, Carrie, The Dead Zone and Pet Sematary? All of these films are better than Christine..

        • Herner Klenthur September 22, 2013 at 4:46 pm

          I tend to agree but everyone has their favorites :) My favorite is The Stand and or The Mist.

      4. coulter September 22, 2013 at 6:07 pm

        Also Carpenter is known for not being “into” this film while filming. In his Prince of Darkness book he basically states that his heart was not into it and he and spent the entire shooting process just kind of phoning it in. That doesn’t mean it is a bad movie, it just might mean while even though YOU like it, it is not the best. It could very well be up there though I have tough time arguing here. Just thought this was a piece of info that should be added to the discussion.

        Oh…and have you ever seen Carrie? De Palma’s Carrie is pretty much better in every way.

        Stand By Me?

        You should have made this a strictly horror assessment because Stand By Me is much better than Christine.

        • Herner Klenthur September 22, 2013 at 7:22 pm

          Honestly I think it should go without saying he ONLY is talking about Stephen Kings horror movies. Perhaps he will clarify

      5. TC September 22, 2013 at 11:57 pm

        Yeah that’s his opinion but it boggles me as to why anyone would think CHRISTINE was the best King movie?
        Carpenter is one of my fav horror directors (The holy trinity is Romero,Cronenberg and Carpenter) and Christine is on the bottom of the list of my fav movies hes directed,just a little above MEMOIRS OF AN INVISIBLE MAN and CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED)
        But oh well!

      6. Rafizan September 23, 2013 at 4:59 am

        Haha at Carrion! You description says enough about the trailer being a fake one. I’ve not seen a lot of movies but I sure love CHRISTINE. Love the scene that the car “repairs” itself. It sure baffles me how the hell John Carpenter pulled that one.

      7. carrion September 23, 2013 at 9:44 pm

        Just to address a few comments: its a horror movie assessment/opinion piece. Stand By Me and Green Mile don’t count in my book as horror movies. Also, I happened to have watched Christine at a very impressionable age. Good or bad, it stuck with me. Feel free to post your opinions about your own fav flick!

        p.s. I did read the book and it was excellent. Invariably the book is always better. – carrion.

        • TC September 23, 2013 at 9:51 pm

          No one EVER said it was about HORROR MOVIES. This has always been about King’s movie adaptions. Try to pay attention more.
          Also anyone that read the book and was happy with the film version of Christine is lying.

      8. ChiefBigNutzJay October 23, 2013 at 4:29 am

        Hey all childhood flick for me so that’s why its still something I watch and thinks cool its got a great 80s vibe to it anyways that’s my two cents oh yeah Rafizan I think Carpenter reversed footage of the car being destroyed to make that effect.

      9. Dan October 8, 2015 at 6:42 pm

        It’s not the best movie, but it’s pretty darn good. I’m a huge fan of the novel, though. It’s definitely Stephen King’s best love story.