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This Day in Horror: CHRISTINE Premiered in 1983

Premiering in theaters on this date in 1983: Christine

Based on the novel by Stephen King, Christine began production in April 1983, just a few days after Christine was published. Producer Richard Kobritz had previously produced Salem’s Lot, during which he formed a good relationship with King. King showed Kobritz two, as-yet-unpublished manuscripts, Cujo and Christine. Kobritz bought the rights to Christine.

Kobritz’s first choice for director was John Carpenter. Initially, Carpenter wasn’t available, but after other projects fell through, Carpenter took the job, which he considered “something he needed to do for my career.” Carpenter didn’t find the story of a car with a “mind of its own” very frightening, so he considered it a “job” as opposed to a “personal project.”

The car – publicized as a 1958 Plymouth Fury – was also portrayed by Belvederes and Savoys, dressed to look like the Fury. Production purchased twenty-four cars in total, and seventeen were built from the pieces and were used on-screen. Only two cars remain.