The car that Ig drives in the movie Horns is an AMC Gremlin, a most unfortunate car to be forced to drive no matter how dark or poor you are supposed to be. The movie is a dark thriller starring Daniel Radcliffe as the tormented protagonist Ig Perrish. It was a low budget film that perfectly fits into the dark genres that Radcliffe has developed an affinity for since the end of the Harry Potter franchise.
Basic Plot of Horns
After the violent rape and murder of his girlfriend Merrin, Ig finds himself the main suspect in the minds of all of the locals. After a night of heavy drinking, he awakens to find himself sporting a budding set of horns that seem to have the mystical ability to force people to confess their sins and darkest fantasies to him. It doesn’t take him long to begin using the horns to find Merrin’s killer. After much investigation and soul searching, he finds that his best friend Lee is the killer. After multiple encounters, Ig is able to mortally wound Lee, but is gruesomely wounded as well. He is able to heal himself with fire, so he sets himself ablaze only to find a wedding in process and Merrin wreathed in a dress of flame waiting for him at the alter. Yeah, there are some odd twists in this one!
While the movie is a dark thriller, the AMC Gremlin that Ig drives was an atrocity to the North American auto market. Other than the AMC Pacer, it has to be one of the ugliest cars ever produced. Let’s have a look at this calamity on wheels.
The American Motor Corporation introduced the Gremlin in 1970 as a subcompact, two-door hatchback to compete with the Volkswagen Beetle, Ford Pinto, and Chevy Vega. The base Gremlin was just 161 inches long, had only two seats, and the rear widows would not open. It did have an affordable sticker of just $1,879. The Gremlin was powered by a 199 cu in six-cylinder that offered 128 hp. The early reviews of the Gremlin raved about it: ”the best gas mileage of any production car made in America” and ”the Gremlin has been the most talked-about car since its introduction.” were typical of the quotes in car magazines at the time.
The Gremlin eventually sold just short of 700,000 units, many running well past the 125,000 mile mark. The vast majority of owners reported having very few mechanical issues with their Gremlins and stated that they would buy the car again for its fuel economy and reliability. In 1978, AMC replaced the Gremlin with the AMC Spirit, which coincidentally looked very much like the Gremlin.
Why did we say the Gremlin was an atrocity to the North American auto market earlier? After all, it was well reviewed for its entire eight year run, right? Well, look at the image of the car. It is horribly ugly, the interior was cheap, and the steering was a challenge. It also fell victim to AMC’s perennial lack of cash and narrow-minded refusal to hire outside designers, so was never redesigned to keep pace with the market. Much like the Ford Escort, Yugo, and Renault Le Car, people bought Gremlins for their economy, but most were embarrassed to say they drove one…or should have been.
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