Horrorfest 2016 Presents: The Cars That Ate Paris (1974, Peter Weir)

This is a rather strange and yet intriguing movie. It is sci-fi, horror, and satire all rolled up into one cult low budget film package. Peter Weir before he hit it big in Hollywood created some interesting and unique movies that were centred in Australia or around Australians. The Cars That Ate Paris is one such film, and its title and subject is rather obvious. Well at least at face value.

Arthur is a young man who survives a car crash that kills his brother and leaves him stranded in the small town of Paris, Australia. He quickly discovers that no one leaves Paris, and also finds himself caught between the rebellious youth and the ruling elders of the town. This film despite weak acting and some questionable moments still is a bleak apocalyptic window into a society gone mad, ruined by their obsession with the auto.

The last act reminded me of Mad Max, which I’m sure was inspired by this movie. Weir has always been a director with something to say, and with Cars he delivers a good film that always kept me wathing. If one sits through the slower parts one is rewarded with a movie that has a crazy final act and even a funny scene out of a western. I would love to read the essay on this film written for its Criterion release.

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