Evil Cars Were Once All The Rage
Before Steven Spielberg convinced America that nothing was more terrifying than a rampaging shark, he wanted to prove that there was nothing more terrifying than a rampaging, uh ... truck. Yes, there was a time when horror movies featured a parade of cars possessed by the devil, aliens, or simply the ghost of bad screenwriting. Spielberg's first feature film, 1971's Duel, was technically about a truck with an actual human driver, but we never see that driver.
Universal PicturesAnd if the truck doesn't kill you, the tetanus certainly will.
The truck is hellbent on running a middle-aged salesman off the road for reasons, but that's not important now. It's only important that the film kicked off an entire subgenre which lasted over a decade before audiences finally woke up and realized that being scared of vehicles was a bit silly. Highlights include 1974's Killdozer and 1977's The Car, which both feature vehicles possessed by ... badness? It's never made clear.
Universal Pictures"BEGONE, DEMON! THE POWER OF ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE COMPELS YOU"
A few brave movies did attempt to explain how and why a vehicle could turn evil. 1983's Christine centered around a 1958 Plymouth Fury that goes on a rampage because it has serious co-dependency issues with its owner, and the title vehicle of 1980's The Hearse went bad because it once transported the corpse of a Satanist.
Crown International Pictures It only takes one.
The final nail in the tire was Stephen King's directorial debut and farewell, 1986's Maximum Overdrive. In it, all of the world's vehicles and machines turn evil because of a passing comet, but also maybe aliens? Whatever, King was swimming in cocaine for most of that decade anyway.
The '80s Were All About Body-Swapping
Every kid dreams of the day when they're finally old enough to buy a tiger that only eats algebra teachers. And every adult dreams of those halcyon days when they were young enough to run naked through the rain without having to attend sexual harassment meetings afterward. When Freaky Friday came out in 1977, Hollywood unwittingly tapped into one of humanity's most primal urges -- to fully switch bodies with someone from a different generation and inherit their supposedly easy life.
Walt Disney PicturesAnd now you have several generations to choose from for your generational swap.