Halloween is perhaps our favorite holiday.
And that means, more candy, more It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and more really scary TV shows and movies.
It also means Devil’s Night—a night mostly associated with mayhem and Detroit, Michigan. And since Detroit is the automotive motherland, a list of our favorite scary cars and trucks from TV and cinema seems the only logical course of action.
See what we did there? Of course you do. Smarties.
We’re a bunch of tough guys (and gals) who don’t scare easily. So “scary” is probably too strong a word. What we did was sift through our favorite horror- or monster-themed movies and TV shows, and pick out the most-memorable vehicles.
The result? This pile of awesome: Our Top 10 Favorite Scary Vehicles—ever.
10. Ford Falcon XB Pursuit (Mad Max, 1979)
While it’s not a “scary” movie per se, Mad Max is certainly a sci-fi thriller with plenty of suspenseful, scary moments. Also, a severed hand. And while William Wallace may have been the star of the film, the cars (and motorcycles) took center stage. The hero car is none other than the Australian-market Falcon XB Police Pursuit special—with a pushbutton supercharger!
9) 1956 Peterbilt 281 Tanker Truck (Duel, 1971)
There were four trucks used in this made-for-TV film. The 1956 variety was on screen the most, so we rolled with it. Written by sci-fi horror literary genius Richard Matheson, Duel is a great little story about a man driving on a mostly deserted highway who ends up being tormented by a semi-truck driver. As made-for-TV movies go, Duel is one of the best ever.
8. 1978 Ford Pinto (Cujo, 1983)
Though it’s not a scary car by design, outside of the titular character, it was a humble Ford Pinto that served as primary plot device for this oft-overlooked horror classic. Despite resisting the sporadic and viscous onslaught of a rabid St. Bernard, the stress, heat, and claustrophobia building inside the Ford econobox added a major element to the movie’s suspense. We doubt a Vega would’ve held up as well.
7. 1970 Chevy Nova (Death Proof, 2007)
Piece of advice: If you are a very attractive woman trying to hook up with Stuntman Mike in some roadside dive bar, don’t go for a ride in his Nova. Just don’t. The Death Proof Nova is a sweet ride. But it’s perhaps the scariest of the bunch, striking just the right balance of fantastic muscle car and frightening murder weapon.
6. The Munster Koach (The Munsters, 1964-66)
The Munster Koach was built using three Model T bodies. It was 18 feet long. It was powered by a 289 Ford Cobra engine from a 1966 Mustang GT. It had a top speed of 150 miles per hour, which is pretty respectable for a limo-length vehicle hauling around five members of the Munster family. It was built by legendary custom auto builder George Barris, who designed the original Batmobile and General Lee.
5. 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III (The Car, 1977)
Another Barris creation, this ’71 Lincoln was the star of yet another movie thriller based on a self-aware vehicle intent on killing people. The Car is a crappy movie with a bit of a cult following. If you accept up front that it’s a crappy movie, then it’s possible to enjoy watching it. Like Step Brothers.
4. 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 (The Evil Dead, 1981)
This is the film that made Bruce Campbell, Bruce Campbell—the undisputed king of the B movie. The 1973 Olds was film director Sam Raimi’s first car and typically makes an appearance in all Raimi-made films—not unlike Campbell. Check out the Army of Darkness version. The Evil Dead is one big, fat pile of theatrical mayhem. As we celebrate another Halloween, we don’t think that’s a bad thing.
3. White-Western Star 4800 Semi Truck (Maximum Overdrive, 1986)
This is another film that didn’t exactly receive accolades for its quality and credibility. But just pretend you were 7 years old when it came out, and your one defining memory is that big Green Goblin mask on a mission to eat your face just before running you over. Some of us were less tough when we were 7. Don’t judge.
2. Dragula (The Munsters, 1965)
Look, we know we already talked about the Munsters Coach, but truth is, we’re more fond of Dragula. Beyond having the best car name in movie/tv history, the George Barris-designed drag racer used a REAL coffin for its body—adding some seriously spooky street cred to the Dragula.
1. 1958 Plymouth Fury (Christine, 1983)
You guys already dubbed Christine one of your favorite movie cars but there was no way we were leaving her off this list. She’s sexy. She can fix herself. And she will straight-up ruin your day if you cross her—or just because she feels like it.
What are your favorite vehicles from horror- or monster-themed cinema and television?