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The Cars That Ate Paris (1976) – DVD Review

Cars That Ate Paris DVD


Written and Directed by Peter Weir, based on a story by Weir, Keith Gow and Piers Davies
Starring John Meillion, Terry Camilleri, Kevin Miles, Rick Scully, Max Gillies


  • Interviews with director Weir
  • Bonus Feature Film: The Plumber

Released by: Home Vision Entertainment
Rating: NR (some violence)
Region: 1
Anamorphic: Yes.

My Advice: Rent it just to prove to yourself it was actually made…

[ad#longpost]George (Scully) and Arthur (Camilleri) are on a nice little drive through the country when their car runs off the road into a ravine. George is killed, but Arthur survives, albeit a little less than he was. To make matters worse, he’s stumbled into Paris, Australia; a town that has been thriving on forcing wrecks and selling the parts they can squander from the reckage. Other than being a bit on the strange side, the town also has a darker side. It seems that it was on the verge of a civil war and Arthur arrives just in time to see it boil over.

What a weird movie. There were really only two things I could take away from this movie. One is that there was some pretty whacked out shit that was made during the 70s. Two is that this was one of Bruce Spence’s first films. Don’t get me wrong, I think Weir is a genius. He has directed some great movies–Gallipoli and The Truman Show leap to mind (hell, I’m even one of the few that actually liked Master and Commander). However, even the best filmmakers had to get their start somewhere. Even Spielberg directed 1941, right? This movie is just a bit too weird to get into. Camilleri’s character is too much of a wimp to be a sympathetic person in the movie. Perhaps it was just the Australian accents, but I kept wanting him to pull out a couple of sawed-off shotguns and start cutting the entire town in half.

The DVD is quaint, but is really all that’s needed for this movie. There are a series of interviews with Weir about this film and The Plumber. He talks about the learning curve that he had to overcome with making this movie. He admits that he never had a chance to go to film school (there wasn’t one in Australia at the time) and having to basically build the Australian film industry almost single-handedly. It’s a great set of interviews.

The other feature on the disc is a feature-length episode shot for Australian television called The Plumber. I’m going to shoot for the mini-review of this feature-within-a-feature. The Plumber’s name is Max (played by Ivor Kants) and he terrorizes a family. They didn’t call the plumber, but they let him in anyway and chaos ensues. It’s a creepy damn show that makes you never want to let anyone into your house to do any work ever again…at least not without being very well armed. You being very well armed, I mean. It’s nice to have this on the disc.

If you don’t believe that someone would actually make a movie called The Cars That Ate Paris and have it not be a parody sequel to the recent Pixar release, I suggest you add it to your Netflix list just to have it proven to you.

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