Newest Reviews:

New Movies -  

The Tunnel


The Tall Man

Mama Africa





Brownian Movement

Last Ride

[Rec]³: Genesis

Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai

Indie Game: The Movie

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

Old Movies -

Touki Bouki: The Journey of the Hyena

Drums Along the Mohawk

The Chase

The Heiress

Show People

The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry



Miracle Mile

The Great Flamarion

Dark Habits

Archives -

Recap: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 , 2005, 2006, 2007 , 2008 , 2009 , 2010 , 2011 , 2012

All reviews alphabetically

All reviews by star rating

All reviews by release year


Screening Log



E-mail me




Black Cadillac (John Murlowski, 2002)


    In the tradition of such stripped down stalker-car thrillers as Joy Ride, Jeepers Creepers, and Duel, the mother of them all, comes Black Cadillac, a better than average entry in the genre that avoids getting caught up in too many unnecessary subplots and manages to deliver a fair amount of uninterrupted thrills as a result. Taking place in a somewhat amusing version of Wisconsin-cum-hell, the movie finds three Midwestern teens attempting to outwit the unseen driver of the titular automobile as they try to find their way home, across the Minnesota state line. The movie starts off on the wrong foot with an over-the-top brawl at a rural roadhouse that the kids have snuck into using fake ID. Though a title card notes that the film is “Based on a true story”, the fist fighting on display in the opening moments feels pretty distant from any reality that I’ve experienced. I don’t know the details of the events that formed the basis of this story, but considering what happens once the boys start home, I’m sure the movie’s link to reality is about as tenuous as it was in the Coen Brothers’ Fargo, which featured a similar disclaimer at its start.


    Once Black Cadillac gets on the road, it speeds up considerably. The young actors have decent chemistry together and that makes them more tolerable once they start cracking under stress. As the mysterious Cadillac that trails the teens grows increasingly aggressive toward them, the movie actually gets kind of spooky. Before long, the group picks up Randy Quaid, who plays a hitchhiking police officer, which does little to dissuade their pursuant. They start stretching their Saab to its mechanical limits as they drive across frozen lakes and backwoods roads “deeper into nowhere” in an attempt to lose their pursuant. If the final showdown proves to premise to be ultimately preposterous, there’s no denying that the ride taken in getting there has been fun, with the exception of a few lame emotional confrontations and an macho attitude that’s utterly unconvinced with the emotional issues of the lone female character. Though Black Cadillac has about it the whiff of a direct-to-video production, that doesn’t make it bad. A relatively inoffensive and slight film, it manages to provide a moment or two of fun and fright along the way.


* * 1/2 


Jeremy Heilman