The Cars That Ate Paris

Director: Peter Weir
Year Released: 1974
Rating: 2.0

Residents of a small, fictional town in Australia ("Paris") band together to run unsuspecting passersby off the road, salvaging materials from the vehicles (and even organs from the passengers) and selling them off to support themselves. Veers between being a full-on exploitation picture and an allegory and is only fair at both: until the violent conclusion, it's too staid to be startling and as an allegory it's too vague and broad (is it a critique of socialism? small-town corruption? you mean no officials from Australia ever thought to investigate why so many people go missing in the town?). If anything, this is a curious start to Weir's eclectic (and spotty) career, who went on to make a notoriously cryptic movie about schoolgirls that go missing during a picnic, two war films (Gallipoli and the big-budget Master and Commander), a pathetic movie about the Amish, a very good tale about an all-male boarding school (and their 'radical' teacher) as well as one of Jim Carrey's best movies with The Truman Show.