APRIL MOVIE THON 2: Penny Dreadful (2006)

April 18: Vroom — A movie mostly about cars.

This is as much a car movie as it is one about people making the dumbest decisions. Like therapist Orianna (Mimi Rogers), who decides to try a technique in which she tries to put Penny (Rachel Miner) right into the trauma she has avoided since her parents died in a car accident. Immersion therapy? I don’t know. I went to art school. But then, while on a road trip with penny, Orianna hits a hitchhiker and instead of calling the police, she decides to give that injured man a ride.

What follows is the hitchhiker stabbing one of their tires and nearly killing them. Well, he goes all the way and murdered Orianna,then wedges the car between two trees and tortures Penny by making her do her breathing exercises and, you know, cutting off one of her toes when he isn’t murdering everyone around her.

Mickey Jones, who teamed with Michael Ironside in the series version of V, and Michael Berryman are in the cast. Directed by Richard Brandes, who wrote the script with Diane Doniol-Valcroze and Arthur Flam  (who were also the writers of the vehicular homicide movie Hit and Run and the movie Kill By Inches, which is about a murderous tailor who can’t measure anything properly and thus becomes a killing machine), this movie literally has Mimi Rogers dead in the car for most of its running time. What a role.

Also: the same license plate on the car in this was the plate for Nash Bridge‘s 1970 Plymouth Barracuda, a car that Bridges claimed they only made 14 of. Well, it’s actually a 1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda, a Plymouth Barracuda with a Hemi V8 and a special design that really was only for one year. According to Hot Cars, this model had not only the distinctive fender gills of this car and the shaker hood from the 1970 edition, but also four headlights and improved taillights. But Nash may have been off on how many there are, as estimates go from single digits to eleven made. Eleven! These things sell for around $3.3 million. So that means the cars for the show were custom-made fakes. There were four cars: a 5.5-liter Barracuda with a shaker hood, two 5.2-liter Barracudas and a 7.2-liter version that were all made by Frank Benetti and his Same Day Paint and Body Shop in Newhall, Los Angeles.

I told you all that about that car because honestly, it’s way more interesting than Penny Dreadful.

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