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The Cars That Eat People (1974)
"The Cars That Ate Paris" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Horror | Mystery  -  June 1976 (USA)
5.6
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 2,236 users  
Reviews: 52 user | 43 critic

The small town of Paris, Australia deliberately causes car accidents, then sells/salvages all valuables from the wrecks as a means of economy.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (story), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
The Mayor
...
Arthur Waldo
Kevin Miles ...
Dr. Midland
Rick Scully ...
George Waldo
Max Gillies ...
Metcalfe
Danny Adcock ...
Policeman
...
Charlie
Kevin Golsby ...
Insurance man
...
Darryl
Peter Armstrong ...
Gorman
Joe Burrow ...
Ganger
Deryck Barnes ...
Al Smedley
Edward Howell ...
Tringham
Max Phipps ...
Mulray
...
Beth
Edit

Storyline

A small town in rural Australia (Paris) makes its living by causing car accidents and salvaging any valuables from the wrecks. Into this town come brothers Arthur and George. George is killed when the Parisians cause their car to crash, but Arthur survives and is brought into the community as an orderly at the hospital. But Paris is not problem free. Not only do the Parisians have to be careful of outsiders (such as insurance investigators), but they also have to cope with the young people of the town who are dissatisfied with the status quo. Written by Mark Thompson <mrt@oasis.icl.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They're the cars that ate Paris. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

June 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Cars That Eat People  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1975, Roger Corman's New World Pictures released a movie called Death Race 2000 (1975). That movie, like this film, featured cars with spikes and teeth and were used to attack people. Apparently, Corman went to director Paul Bartel with this concept of the cars. Corman's New World Pictures had been in negotiations to distribute this film for a considerably long time the previous year. Bartel has stated that he had not seen this film when he directed Death Race 2000 (1975). See more »

Goofs

A watchman enters a warehouse with a watchdog and he finds Charlie hiding behind a hooded car. The watchdog barks as they enter, but there's nothing to be heard. See more »

Quotes

Arthur Waldo: I can drive!
See more »

Connections

Spoofs The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Gives new meaning to the word "beetlejuice"
4 November 2001 | by (Longmont, Colorado) – See all my reviews

This little film appears to have stirred up radical dissent amongst many reviewers. Comments ranging from "stupid," "dull," "dark," "gothic," even "evil!" (I liked that one particularly!) Some other moron figured it was the worst film he'd ever seen. (Obviously he didn't sit through I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE!)

Now time-out here...let's just back it up a bit! Peter Weir is not what you would term a prolific director. He has made just 15 features in exactly 30 years - he doesn't rush things! This was his second turn in the chair. He had at his disposal a budget not much more than that for a 60 second TV Commercial and he was under pressure to finish the flick in time for its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival that year. He did OK and in a master stroke of marketing, managed to get the "star" of the movie - the spiked beetle, on to the Cannes streets where it caused a media sensation. The film was very well received by an appreciative audience.

So, the story is far-fetched? Some of the residents of tiny bush-town Paris deliberately cause auto-wrecks to boost the town's economy. Sure its a way left-field storyline and the acting was never going to win an Oscar nomination. It has though, that indefinable "something" and is early Peter Weir - a study of people in crisis or near crisis? It deserves to be seen for what it is, and the manner in which it shaped Peter Weir's future. THE CARS THAT ATE PARIS was in effect a springboard that gave Weir the opportunity to make PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK the following year. If "Paris" had been a total flop he may never have been asked to direct it!

Watch it again and look for innovation, clever camera angles, smart direction...they're all there! This is relegated now to almost cult film-status in Australia, it is somewhat of a time-capsule!

The only question I have, is who changed the name of this film to THE CARS THAT ATE PEOPLE for US release? especially as they have their OWN "Paris"...in Texas!


20 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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