Wondering what a “vehicle villain” is? Well, often we see vehicles in movies that are driven by the villain and act as a tool in the villain’s arsenal – but other times, the car or truck itself is the villain. Check out five of our favorite automotive villains below.
1.Christine (1983) – 1958 Plymouth Fury
Perhaps the most famous vehicle villain of all time comes from the horror master, Stephen King. An awkward teenaged boy named Arnie Cunningham buys Christine, a 1958 Plymouth Fury, with the intention of restoring her. But soon the car begins to affect his personality negatively as he spends more and more time working on it. After bullies vandalize the car, Arnie is amazed when Christine fixes herself and then hunts down the kids who tried to destroy her. The car continues to rampage, regenerating every time it sustains damage. Eventually, Arnie’s friends stop Christine with a bulldozer, but this story doesn’t end well for Arnie.
2. The Car (1977) – 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III
In a small town in Utah, pedestrians and cyclists are being killed in mysterious hit-and-run incidents involving a highly customized black 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III with no license plates. After the car runs over the town’s sheriff, Chief Deputy Wade Parent is put on the case. When the car attacks the high school marching band and chases the band members into a cemetery, the police pursue the mysterious car and are lead on a wild goose chase through the desert. After the car kills Wade’s girlfriend, he finally plans an elaborate trap to end its reign of terror.
3. Jeepers Creepers (2001) – 1941 Chevy Cab Over Engine (COE)
While the Chevy COE truck of “Jeepers Creepers” could be considered just a tool of the villain, it’s a major part of the first encounter we have with the Creeper in the 2001 movie. Trish and her brother Darry are driving home for spring break when a rusty truck starts honking and swerving behind them, terrifying the two college students. The truck eventually passes them, showing off the license plate “BEATNGU.” Later, they see the truck again, when they see a man throwing what looks like a body into a drain. The man then pursues them, ramming them over and over again while blaring the horn, trying to make them crash. The two kids drive off the road into a cornfield, but the mysterious man and his truck stay at large.
4. Duel (1971) – 1955 Peterbilt 281 Tanker Truck
One of Steven Spielberg’s first films, “Duel” may be one of the most intense thrillers ever to feature an automotive antagonist. David Mann is on a business trip, driving through the desert, when he comes across a tanker truck driving slowly. He passes the truck, only to have the truck roar past him again. After passing it a second time and putting some distance between them, he stops for gas, only to have the truck pull into the gas station behind him. The truck continues to antagonize him on the road, tailgating at high speeds. Eventually, Mann takes matters into his own hands, to a spectacular end.
5. The Hearse (1980) – 1951 Packard Hearse by Henney
In The Hearse, newly divorced Jane Hardy moves into the home of her deceased aunt in a small town, hoping to put her past behind her. As she drives into town she is pursued by a black hearse. Undeterred, she moves in, only to find that the house seems to be haunted as well, a fact confirmed by the unfriendly townsfolk. She continues to have run-ins with the hearse and associated spirits, discovering their connection to her aunt. Finally, she takes on the hearse in a dramatic finale.