CinemaDave (cinemadave) wrote,

Screamfest Countdown: Halloween Christine Clone and her caretaker

Our North Broward Neighborhood has become the domain for contemporary horror icons, rivaling Elm Street, Vasaria and Translyvania. Besides Scream Queen Linnea Quigley making South Florida her home, Christine C. (the C stands for Clone) also resides in Pompano.Unlike Quigley's vegetarian diet, Christine's diet consists of high test gasoline.

Christine is a 1958 Plymouth Fury. Created on a Detroit assembly line in 1957, Christine's past is shouded in mystery. What is known is that Christine has changed engines three different time. She utilizes an Imperial 413 Engine with push button transmission. Christine was rescued from an old man's back yard over a dozen years ago by electronic technician Rich Z.

A car enthusiast since attending a Andrew Jackson High School in Queens County, Long Island during the 1970's, Rich discovered Christine in Hialeah. While he was not actively seeking to own an old car, Rich admits to being a fan of the movie "Christine" which was written by horror writer Stephen King.
In 1983, Stephen King published "Christine" and by December 11, 1983, the movie of the same name was released.

After destroying twenty Plymouth Furies during the production of the movie, this John Caprenter directed feature opened to favorable reviews and good box office for the Christmas season. The narrative features a classic Stephen King love triangle between a boy, a girl and a machine. Arnie Richie Cunningham (Keith Gordon) is a typical high school loser. Arnie's self esteem improves when he buys the shell of a Plymouth Fury (Christine) from a sinister looking salvage yard manager, LeBay (Roberts Blossom). LeBay knows that this Plymouth is darkly possessed by evil. Arnie restores the car and names it "Christine." As his acne clears up and his posture improves, Arnie starts to date the prettiest girl in class, Leigh (Alexandra Paul). Feeling gilted, Christine plots to run over anybody that stands in the way of her and Arnie.

The subtext of Stephen King's novel focused on the crass American commercialism. While Arnie's misadventures occur in 1978, it was the time when the 1950's nostaglia of the "Happy Days" television show and "American Grafitti." Christine helps make Arnie what he is not. A victim of his material success, Arnie is destroyed but Christine lives to haunt another day.

Stephen King went on to write another haunted car thriller
"From a Buick 8," but the new creation lacked the character of this 1957 Plymouth Fury. Legend has it that the authentic leading lady is currently residing in Sarasota. Regardless of the celebrity status, the rebirth of

Christine the Clone is a labor of love. Rich has provided a mini internal museum in the backseat of Christine. This mini museum features pictures of Christine Clone's rebirth, Plymouth Fury memorablia and lobby cards from the movie. Christine Clone and her caretaker can usually be seen most Sunday Nights in the Crabby Jack parking lot. Crabby Jack's is an appropriate location given that a Drive-In used to be there. Beware ladies, if you spend too much time with Rich, Christine will be watching...........Happy Halloween!

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