Why Cars Don’t Start in Horror Films, and How You Can Help Them

Death is coming, packaged in the form of a zombie, a vampire, a giant slug, or even a very slow moving blob. You run, you aren’t fit, so your insides feel like a pepperoni crushed in the hairy palm of an angry PE teacher suffering from repressed emotional rage after an incident during the Gulf war, where he drew cartoons of naked women riding whales in hats.

You get to your vehicle; could be a car, a tractor, a motorbike or even a scooter. And it won’t start. You turn the key, over and over again. Usually the car starts perfectly. In fact, you only got it serviced last week. You know the tank is full because you only filled it up an hour ago. You look at the key, it’s the same shape. You thought for some reason it might have turned into a potato, but it hasn’t. You turn it again, nothing. NOTHING.

Death is now in the wing mirror, you can feel its unwanted icy breath tickling the back of your neck like the ghost of a thousand mosquitoes grouped together to form one massive ghost mosquito that’s going to suck the fucking life out of you. Your blood, your brains, your skin and your veins; all sucked up through the nose barnacle of the creepy Culiseta longiareolata.

But, wait. Go back. Let us focus for a moment on the vehicle. What if vehicles feel the stress you are under? What if on the outside (despite rusting and in need of love) the car appears mostly fine, but is crying with fear on the inside – like the editor of the Daily Mail, Paul Dacre?

These are some still shots I have taken from World War Z, but there are many examples of cars caving under pressure just when they are needed.


This mobile home worked fine earlier in the film, it got through New York without a problem. But, look at it now. The wife of Brad Pitt is turning that key and getting less response than the time I ate a Madonna CD and tried to convince some adults that I was a mobile disco and available for kids parties.


So you have to ask yourself, if the mobile home was working fine earlier. What changed? There are countless examples of frozen vehicle syndrome (FVS) in hundreds of thousands of millions of movies. Well, I can tell you what changed. The daughter decided to have a massive panic attack. The mum is scared, Brad Pitt is trying to help, but he’s pretty much reached the point where all anyone wants to know is how his hair his still so thick at the age of 49 with 6 kids. In a nutshell, what has changed? Why won’t the car start now? I’ll tell you – because it’s bloody scared too. The vehicle is having a panic attack and nobody cares. Nobody is thinking of getting out of the vehicle to put a large paper bag over the bonnet of the mobile home, so it can chug into the bag until it can start properly again, are they?


And rightly so. I’d be afraid if these things were chasing me. Take a look at the film, you’ll notice in the mobile home there are no furry dice in the windscreen, no signs of waxing or polishing lately.

Mobile vans are people too, you know.

So, remember to wash your vehicles and occasionally make them a coffee. Rest against their doors, and just listen to their engines run from time to time. Don’t try and fix their problems, because that will just piss them off and insult their intelligence, just listen…Because when that monster is in your wing mirror, and you turn that key, you don’t want to be left pissing in your own pants, dismembered head in your lap, when you could have been burning rubber and laughing all the way to the horizon.

2 thoughts on “Why Cars Don’t Start in Horror Films, and How You Can Help Them

  1. all I could think of while reading this post was the Stephen King story I am reading right now. OF COURSE the vehicle doesn’t work! Inside the house the heroine is trying to escape from, the phone doesn’t work either, which was working fine the day before.

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