Combustible Celluloid
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With: John Meillon, Terry Camilleri, Kevin Miles, Rick Scully, Max Gillies, Danny Adcock, Bruce Spence, Kevin Golsby, Chris Haywood, Peter Armstrong, Joe Burrow, Deryck Barnes, Edward Howell, Max Phipps, Melissa Jaffer
Written by: Peter Weir, based on a story by Piers Davies, Keith Gow, Peter Weir
Directed by: Peter Weir
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 91
Date: 10/10/1974

The Cars That Ate Paris (1974)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Junk in Their Trunks

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Australian director Peter Weir's feature debut establishes many of the themes that he would revisit later in his career; it especially resembles The Truman Show in many ways. A small town called Paris subsists on the wreckage of any car that gets too close to town. One survivor (Terry Camilleri) is deemed harmless enough to live there, but he begins to grow uncomfortable in his creepy new surroundings. Though it may seem like a cheesy "B" feature, it's actually a thoughtful, fully-realized film, intricately designed and beautifully shot in widescreen.

The DVD from Home Vision also includes a second feature, Weir's 1979 made-for-TV film The Plumber, a kind of Cape Fear take on the working class of Australia. Both transfers were approved by Weir and the director provides interviews on both films. The disc jacket comes with two excellent essays about each film.

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