You don’t want to get in the way of Phantom Racer, a race car possessed by the soul of its former driver — a man who lost his life in a car crash. Blaming rival J.J. Sawyer (Greg Evigan) for his death, the ghost driver is hell-bent on getting revenge. Luciana Carro plays Dep. Monroe, whose job is to stop the motorized menace from beyond the grave without going under the killer car’s wheels herself.
A new feature directed by Terry Ingram who has quite a few directing credits to his name has arrived under the title of “Phantom Racer”. Upon first viewing of the cover art, I suppose I was expecting sort of a Ghost Rider type of scenario to emerge from it. Though when we get down to it its alot closer to a modern day “Christine”. Now the idea of a haunted car is not necessarily a new idea by a long shot, though when combined with a good story and pretty top notch special FX it can be quite entertaining. “Phantom Racer” fits that bill quite well with a surprise cast of a few old but familiar faces.
First off we have Greg Evigan playing the main character role of J.J. Sawyer who you all will place the face with real quickly as the star of 1980s BJ and the Bear. That’s not to say he hasn’t kept busy looking at his previous credits, but for me ….. this is the first I’ve seen of him in a long time. Ad to that mix former Baywatch beauty (and still beauty) Nicole Eggert who plays his long time ago love interest Tammy.
The story starts off in younger days when bitter race car rivals J.J Sawyer and Cutter (Adam Battrick ) square off in a race to try and take the lead on current sponsorships. Cutter, the darker one of the bunch is in jeopardy of losing it all and has put alot of pressure on making sure he wins. We get the sense that they are friends by association by also competitors who dislike each other. Tammy, now much younger stands close to Cutter and views from the stands. When the race ends in a brutal car crash, Cutter is the one who doesn’t make it out alive. This day also seems to be the ghost in the closet for the back story of the film.
17 years later, JJ returns to town now as a truck driver who has long since raced cars for anyone. He is still in the business but as a transporter only. When the sheriff directs him to a local mechanic and old friend Cliff, he is forced to wait it out while his truck is in repair. Cliff for some reason has fully restored Cutter’s old racing car much to JJ’s surprise. Well, times have changed, stories are exchanged and old circumstances are revealed for what they are during the course of the film. The clincher comes in the form of the race car which becomes haunted by the spirit or phantom of Cutter.
As I mentioned these kind of films can either succeeded or get lost in boring details. For me I really enjoyed the way the story evolves and the acting talent to support it. The car itself is a fully pissed off killing machine which implements some great kill gags really well. I found the gags to be compared to say the level of the Final Destination films for some reason. I’m not sure why, but I kept thinking of those films.
For gore hounds there’s plenty of body munching, rolling, stabbing and dismembering scenes to force out an occasional ….hell yeah! at the screen. Greg Evigan plays his role with perfect affinity, maybe because it reminded me alot of his role as BJ in BJ and the Bear. None the less this is a great thriller / horror film that definitely sets out to deliver on the content it takes on. Yep, you might be saying a few times, that car reminds me of “Christine” but “Christine” was also a great film. Brenna O’Brien who plays the daughter of Tammy gives a great performance as the troubled Jesse who we find has only really begun the troubles she is in store for. Phantom Racer is a fun horrific ride that doesn’t disappoint. In short, I enjoyed it and think you might too.