The Cars That Ate Paris Reviews
It's difficult to say how long such practices have been going on, but because Paris is the metropolitan equivalent of Veronica Lake's petite profile, it's easy to come to the conclusion that its criminal offenses have gone unnoticed for so long that it's feasible most don't much realize that the wrongdoings running around so rabidly are actually wrongdoings.
But revolution arrives shortly after Arthur and George Waldo (Terry Camilleri and Rick Scully) come riding into town. Inevitably, George is killed, but Arthur survives, the city unexpectedly allowing him to skirt the usual routine of hospital housed horrors to take care of the mayor, Len Kelly (John Meillon).
Festering under Paris's seemingly idealistic surface, though, is a feud between the vicious older generation and the young punks they raised, who've become determined to overthrow the madness of Kelly and company's mad practices. The naive Arthur's sudden entrance into the cruel city turns out to be enough to incur anarchy.
And yet while "The Cars That Ate Paris" is frosted in a delectably bonkers storyline that seems fit for any classic American exploitation movie, it's never quite as fun as it should be. It's the first film writer/director Peter Weir, who would later find critical and commercial success with acclaimed films like 1989's "Dead Poets Society" and 1998's "The Truman Show," ever made, and that lack of experience shows. As it goes for several revered directors, a debut, while not always perfect, is able to provide insight toward the illustrious career to follow, whether such notions come through inspired stylistics or a particularly good storyline. In Weir's case, "The Cars That Ate Paris" boasts remarkable restraint and the ability to flavor seemingly minimal and dry comedic concoctions.
But Weir's mastering of those characteristics is precisely the film's problem: he treats the movie like it's a grindhouse's version of 1973's "Badlands" when we should be given a wild horror comedy romp. All is too languid, too understated, to ever really work. Material like this calls for sweaty mania, and Weir doesn't have the sensibility necessary to realize that he should be making inspired chintz, not high art within the grindhouse zeitgeist. For now we'll have to consider it a precursor to his beloved "Picnic at Hanging Rock," which would be released two years later and make him a hotshot within his profession.
(1974) The Cars That Ate Paris
Not a very good early film from accomplished director Peter Weir which I've heard is like something coming from low budget movie king Roger Cormon. "Paris" as the movie is referring to doesn't have anything to do with 'Paris, France' except by name only. It only refers that name toward another town also called Paris residing in Australia. And it has something to do with a string of car accidents that happen there whenever a motorist rides through or ride near Paris- serious enough to create suspicion. Arthur Waldo (Terry Camilleri) is the star, and while driving through the countryside, end up in a fatal car accident, killing his brother who was sitting beside him at the passenger side. By the time Arthur resides around the Paris town, he's then greeted and then eventually ordered to reside with the mayor himself, who's looing after two children who're not his. At this point, viewers are obvious about it's circumstances about how, showing the 'why'. What's confusing about this whole movie is the fact that if there was ever a town that has a high automobile crash rate, would attract the attention of the country's gov't. And I also find it hard to believe that their were no other relatives living on other parts of the region making suspicious reports of possible murder.
And although, the film does carry on a good idea, it hasn't really put too much thought into it, ignoring the big picture. The only thing I did thought was amusing are the look of some of it's vehicles themselves which look like models for a George Miller's "Mad Max" movie. And looking at the cars themselves cannot save the movie either.
2 out of 4 stars