EDITOR’S NOTE: We got to see this movie at Fantastic Fest and posted about it on September 28, 2021. Now it’s being released in theaters and on VOD/Digital by Dark Star Pictures.
Imagine Christine with political messages. Yes, in King Car, Uno — a taxi company owner’s son — is able to speak to cars — because he was born in the back of a taxi — and has become close friends with the vehicle that saved him from a traffic accident as a young child at the cost of his mother’s life.
Uno gives up on cars from that point on, going to college to study ecology until a new law that bans cars over 15 years old from the roads destroys his father’s business. He’s never been close with his dad, but his strange Uncle Ze — the reason behind an argument that led to his mother driving into that fatal accident — harnesses Uno’s ability to speak to the rusted out autos.
Now, Uno is listening to the old cars, hearin their complaints of no longer being allowed on the roads. And he’s found the car that was his friend from childhood and transformed it into something called King Car.
But King Car may have ideas of its own. And this might be the end of humanity.
The technology that Uno and Ze have invented allow lower income drivers to remain on the road. Yet why has Uno turned his back on ecology and embraced the machine?
There’s a lot jammed into the trunk of this film, as if it were packing for a weekend trip and decided that it needed every single suitcase it only stuffed beyond overflowing. There are mechanics who have become possessed and move in synchronized dances. A car spouting rallying cries and fiery speeches within an assembly line. A man who has slowly become more and more part of the machine, running up a hill like an ape seeking a bone. A woman who yearns to make love to King Car. And plenty of socio-philosophical messaging.
Renata Pinheiro — who co-wrote King Car with Sergio Oliveira and Leo Pyrata — has some great ideas in this film that don’t always pay off. You do have to appreciate the audacity, however. There’s promise here, however, despite the need for more focus.