Happy Halloween! Heading out to the Halloween party all decked up as Frankenstein and Vampira? But hang on, you’re not going in the Skoda are you? You need something a bit fiercer, perhaps something like one of the following in our round-up of the Dirty Dozen most Evil Halloween Cars!
1. The Car
From the 1977 movie ‘The Car’ this is the vehicle that probably gave me the most nightmares. Here is my most favourite thing in the world – a cool-looking car – gone all berserk, crazed and demonic. And this thing was pure evil.
It was designed by who else, but George Barris (famed creator of Hollywood film and TV cars) and built on a 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III coupe. Apparently four were built and all were later burned with fire, at least we hope they were. But we can’t be sure.
Okay, so it may not be a classic masterpiece of a film, but that unstoppable beastly black machine certainly left its mark.
2. 1955 Peterbilt 281 Tanker
From Steven Spielberg’s second ever movie, Duel, a 1955 Peterbilt 281 Tanker truck relentlessly pursues a hapless sales rep on a business trip in a very mundane red Plymouth Valiant. No driver of the murderous truck is ever shown and a line of numberplates on the front seems to represent trophies of previous kills.
Like 'The Car' above, the truck essentially is a character all by itself. What’s so frightening about both of these is that there appears to be no motive, and certainly no logic to their pursuit of death and destruction, and as such no reasoning with them.
Unlike 'The Car', this Spielberg film is a like Hitchcockian road movie – it’s brilliantly paced and directed and will leave you putting off your next long road trip for well after Halloween.
From the 1983 film based on a Stephen King novel, Christine is 1958 Plymouth Fury, that is seemingly obsessed with a self-serving delight in injuring and killing humans. At one point it goes on a murderous rampage.
It even seems to be able to influence humans and make them do its bidding. A vengeful and devilish car, yet irresistibly gorgeous and desirable. A classic car and a great movie.
And another vehicle that appears entirely autonomous and evil with it, KARR from Knight Rider is effectively KITT’s ‘evil twin’. KARR preceded KITT as an earlier prototype, but something goes wrong with its programming and it believes itself to be a superior being of some kind.
If, like me, you were a Knight Rider fan, this was a great battle of the Trans Ams with KARR appearing in two episodes and we were all on the edge of our seats waiting to see what would happen when an ‘unstoppable force’ collided with ‘an immovable object’.
What’s more scary is that, somewhat ahead of its times and perhaps out of context, KARR was a prescient allegory of the advent of artificial intelligence in cars that drive themselves – soon to be upon us.
5. The Munsters Koach
Okay, finally moving away from conscious self-aware or possessed autonomous cars we move to the absurd but utterly delightful Koach – another extraordinary George Barris creation. There’s even a back story to this bonkers creation.
Lily wants to get a car for her husband Herman Munster, but can’t decide between a Hot Rod Model T Ford or a vintage hearse, so she hands both to a body shop and they combine them to make this 'Franken-car', appropriately enough!
Of course in the series there is another Barris car, built for Grandpa after Herman loses the Koach in a drag race. Grandpa’s car – the Drag-u-la is basically a casket with an engine and is quick enough to win back the family cruiser.
In fact both cars had a Ford Cobra 289ci V8 engines, and what’s really cool is that the Koach actually was a combination of three Model Ts and a hearse all on a hand-built frame.
6. 1942 Hydra-Schmidt Coupe
This was Red Skull’s car in ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ movie from 2011. It was designed by Daniel Simon – Google him, it will be worth it, as he conjures up amazingly imaginative automotive art, as well as designing other movie stuff including Tom Cruise’s Bubbleship in Oblivion.
The 1942 Hydra-Schmidt Coupe is one of his more magnificent pieces – majestic and menacing, elegant and exuberant, detestable and desirable. It’s quite simply an epic car. It was inspired by the cars such as Mercedes-Benz 540K and Merc G4 six-wheeler as well as a Vintage Duesenberg and Bentley, plus it was supposedly powered by a huge V16 aeroplane engine.
Due to the humongous size of the thing, it was actually built on a truck chassis with a lorry drivetrain mated to a Ford V8 engine.
7. The Gigahorse from Mad Max Fury Road
Remember Immortan Joe from Mad Max Fury Road - well he rode in Gigahorse, the flagship of his War Boys armada. It was described as a 'memory of past glory and pledge of future victory. Armed with whaler’s harpoon and the devil’s own flamethrower, the Gigahose is likely the first thing you hear and the last thing you see on the Fury Road.'
And those are pretty solid credentials to make it to this list. Plus this was actually a pair of 1959 Cadillac Coupe De Villes in flagrante delicto, split, widened and mounted one to the other, pitched at a rakish angle by huge double rear wheels and powered by twin V8’s.
8. 1968-69 Dodge Charger
One of these in black is just about the most bad-ass villainess thing out there. Don’t forget it’s the baddies’ car in that legendary Bullit car chase where it tries to hunt down Steve McQueen in the Mustang.
You’ll also see Kurt Russell behind the wheel as he plays a psychopathic stuntman in Death Proof. This is his second car after he uses his first ‘Death Proof’ car – a 1971 Chevy Nova – to kill and writes it off. But to me the Charger is so much more appropriately menacing.
Even Nicolas Cage’s back-from-hell character in Drive Angry ends up in one (even though it belongs to Amber Heard in the movie) and it just kind of suits.
9. 2017 Dodge Challenger Demon
From one Dodge straight to another, it's modern cousin. Well Dodge do make some awesome cars - and equally the Hellcat Challenger and Charger Widebody (read my review here) would both qualify to be on this list. But how can a car actually named 'Demon' not be on the Halloween Greatest Car Hits Parade?
And besides looks it, pure menace and muscle, both old and modern, both desirable and terrifying. And with a best 0-60mph time of just two seconds and up to 840bhp on tap if you put the right blood... sorry fuel in this thing is an outright weapon that threatens to kill its driver and the whole planet with one twitch of the right foot. And remember, it's legal to buy.
10. Mercedes-Benz 600 Grosser
Imposing, magnificent and not to be trifled with – one of the most magnificent modern era cars on the road, and understandably at one time the only choice of heads-of-state, and particularly despots and dictators.
If you drive one of these are not only bad, but supremely powerful. It basically tells everyone – I run the world, dare to take me on and you will not only lose, but be completely disappeared.
11. Jaguar XKR From Die Another Day
The villain’s main henchman in 007 movie, Die Another Day, is actually one of the very few Bond villains, to get his own gadget-laden cool car, aiding him to go up against Pierce Brosnan’s Aston Martin Vanquish in an epic car chase battle on ice.
It’s almost as if it had been nicked from Q-Branch itself as it has an array of kit including Gatling gun, thermal imaging, mortar bombs, rockets behind the front grille, missiles in the door and ramming spikes.
In fact eight custom built XKRs were used in the film half of which were fitted with the shortened four-wheel drive chassis from a Ford Explorer, the engine was a Mustang V8.
12. Jaguar Mk 2
It’s the second Jag on this list because all the baddies in the 60s and early 70s drove Mk 2 Jaguars. The Old Bill couldn’t catch them in their pathetic panda cars, and eventually they had to get the Jags too. Immensely popular with British gangsters because it was quick thing, even four up with a couple of bodies in the boot.
Power steering, four-wheel disc brakes, automatic transmission and even a limited slip differential meant this handled well too. Plus look at it. It looks like a clenched iron fist ready to rearrange your facial features, doesn’t it? Badness level: master.