Every bit the era it was released in, Black Cadillac is a 2003 horror/thriller directed by John Murlowski, who wrote it alongside Will Aldis. The film stars Shane Johnson, Josh Hammond, Jason Dohring, and Randy Quaid.
Scott, his younger brother Robbie and CJ have made a pitstop at a roadhouse in Wisconsin on route home to their state of Minnesota. The two brothers are getting lucky with some ladies but their fun is interrupted by CJ getting into a fight. Scott and Robbie help CJ out and the trio head off afterwards, continuing their long journey into the snowy dark night.
Not long after being on the road, the trio find themselves being pursued by a 1957 black Cadillac. They think it’s related to the fight at the bar and do what they can to lose it, which succeeds. Later, free from the purist they are flagged down by Deputy Sheriff Charlie who has broken down. They give him a lift to the next town but the Cadillac is in hot purist again.
Egged on by Charlie, Scott gets into a drag race with the Cadillac and things turn serious as the black car attempts to knock them off the road. Scott manages to get the upper hand and the group escape again. Stopping further down the way at a café, they discover a message saying “your sin will find you” scrawled on their windshield when they go back to their car.
Unsure of what sins the message is talking about, Scott figures it related to Charlie so they kick him out of the car. Only to discover the Black Cadillac is still chasing them down with the intent to kill them. Will they survive and just who is behind the wheel?
Many will think they’ve got Black Cadillac figured out. I mean, it’s got to be Satanic, right? Satan is behind the wheel and looking to take the boys to hell. Or they’re already dead and this is a form of purgatory, right? Wrong. While the ‘twist’ isn’t quite as evil or sinister as either of those, it’s still satisfying and well-explained.
Part of that satisfaction comes from a cast that have had time to develop with some interesting layers. CJ in particular is quite endearing with his ever-changing story about how he got the scars on his face. Good characters and a good cast. What more could you ask for?
Large portions of the movie take place on the road, both in moments of calm and in moments of sheer panic. The dread that is felt as the roar of the Cadillac approaches works nicely against the more frenetic and hyper chase and crash sequences. From initial bullishness towards their pursuer to outright fear for their lives, the intensity is built up nicely.
It looks like it was made and released in the early years of the new millennium but that dated look just gives it a bit of charm. Considering the dross that was coming out around this time, Black Cadillac stands up as solid horror/thriller movie.
The Final Score - 6/10