Now, I know there will be those who scoff at this film as soon as they hear the premise: a car that thrives on blood is trapped in an impound garage and stalks the employees one at a time until they join forces and fight back!
OK, I know, the premise is goofy. And believe me, there are a few scenes where folks are hiding behind parked cars and stone columns in the garage that are a bit humorous, but if you’ve seen films like CHRISTINE, MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE, the underrated THE CAR, and of course DUEL, you know that there is an awful lot of fun to be had with this premise. In this day and age where folks are busting their asses trying to invent a car that runs on just about anything other than oil, it’s not too far fetched that a vampire car would be made, now is it?
Yeah, I know it is, but still, SUPER HYBRID is a hell of a good time. The premise is so simple, but Eric Valette adds a lot of claustrophobic scares by setting this one in an abandoned parking garage. Anyone walking around at night in one of those multi-level underground garages knows it can be a creepy place. Valette does a great job of making the best of the tight spaces and twists and turns. He also does a great job with an obviously limited budget, never shooting for the stars and keeping the horror right in the garage for most of the film. Valette also probably saved some dough by giving the car the ability to morph into any kind of car, so this creature is some kind of automobile version of The Thing with folks not knowing if the car next to them is real or a monster out for their blood.
Contrived? Yes. Goofy? Yup. Fun? You betcha. I wasn’t expecting much from SUPER HYBRID and was thoroughly surprised at the restraint the director had to keep the effects believable and looking good. Oded Fehr turns in a fun performance as a dick mechanic, and the rest of the cast (though unknowns) do a pretty decent job as well. I also loved the fact that little to no explanation is given as to what the car exactly is or where it came from. Is it a product of a vengeance-mad Al Gore still sore about losing the election? Is it a four-wheeled death machine from the stars? Who knows? Scoff all you want, but this is a fun little fright fest that has seen all of those killer car films of the past and builds off of it.