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

Director:

Peter Weir

Writers:

Peter Weir (screenplay), Peter Weir (story) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Meillon ... The Mayor
Terry Camilleri ... Arthur Waldo
Kevin Miles Kevin Miles ... Dr. Midland
Rick Scully Rick Scully ... George Waldo
Max Gillies ... Metcalfe
Danny Adcock Danny Adcock ... Policeman
Bruce Spence ... Charlie
Kevin Golsby Kevin Golsby ... Insurance Man
Chris Haywood ... Darryl
Peter Armstrong Peter Armstrong ... Gorman
Joe Burrow Joe Burrow ... Ganger
Deryck Barnes Deryck Barnes ... Al Smedley
Edward Howell Edward Howell ... Tringham
Max Phipps ... Mulray
Melissa Jaffer ... Beth
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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:

The traffic in the township of Paris was murder. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was originally intended to be a comedy starring Grahame Bond. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie (when the people leave the village) you can see a green Austin A30 Van. The same car is crashed earlier by a car trying to jump over the Austin using a ramp. The whole front is crushed so there is no way it can be repaired. See more »

Quotes

The Mayor: The early pioneers suffered adversity and they overcame it. It was a tough life! Only the strong survived - and the weak perished.
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Alternate Versions

US version, titled _The Cars that Ate People (1974)_ was shortened to 74 minutes by the distributor, and star Terry Camilleri's voice is dubbed. The film was finally reissued in the USA at complete length in 1984. See more »

Connections

Featured in Ozploitation Trailer Explosion (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock of Ages
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Augustus Montague Toplady and music by Thomas Hastings
Played at the church
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User Reviews

Gives new meaning to the word "beetlejuice"
4 November 2001 | by uds3See 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!


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Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 June 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Cars That Eat People See more »

Filming Locations:

Australia See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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