The Cars That Ate Paris


Code Monkey
Staff member
So I'm flipping through the TV listings guide and I come across a 1974 movie named The Cars That Ate Paris and is labeled as a "sci-fi/horror" movie out of Australia. With a name like that I just had to watch it.

The movie centers around the town of Paris, Australia. It is a small town with only a few hundred residents and is isolated in that outsiders are not welcome.

The movie opens with a scene of a young man picking up a woman in a small convertible for a day of shopping. We see them driving around to antique stores and, along the way, drinking Coca-Cola and smoking Alpine cigarettes. As the happy young couple is driving along something suddenly distracts them which results in the small convertible to go careening off the side of the road, tumbling several times on the way down. It is safe to assume that the couple, along with the woman's unfortunate dog, have all met an untimely demise.

Next up we see Ralph & George, two brothers traveling across Australia by car. They are hauling a sleeper camper that they use as they go. On occasion they seem some strange sites, such as three guys trying to shove a calf into the trunk of car by the side of the road. While driving along at night around a bend in the road, bright lights suddenly appear right in front of them along with the alarming sound of lions roaring! They too end up going over the side of the road.

Ralph wakes up in the Paris hospital and learns that his brother is dead. As the movie progresses the viewers are taken through the story as to what is causing the accidents and why. But half-way through the twist becomes that the town of Paris is being threatened not by outsiders but by some of it's own citizens. At this point the main character really is not Ralph, he is really just filler, rather it is the Mayor of Paris who the viewer is to empathize with.

Throw in some Mad Max-esque cars, including a VW Beetle sporting fatal spikes, a bizarre story line that meanders all over the place, some bad acting, visual effects that look like some college kids threw them together with change they found in the couch, and you end up with a pure B movie!

It is just a shame that the movie doesn't go deeper into any particular subject matter to make it an enjoyable B movie. It could've worked as a black comedy or an all-out horror movie or even as a drama. Instead it has a little bit of everything thrown in resulting in a movie that is actually boring to watch. I'm a B movie fan but if they are not enjoyable to watch then it is just a bad movie.

So... if you're ever flipping through channels (I caught it on IFC) & see this movie listed and you are bored to the point that you're actually counting the blades of grass in your lawn, then give it a chance. Just don't go out of your way, let alone spending money on it for the DVD, as it is a movie to watch at least once but that is all.

Similar threads