In 1983 Stephen King released his possessed American automobile horror novel Christine but years before that the Black Volga was terrorizing the streets of Poland and some think it’s not a construct of horror fiction. But to understand why, we need to do a small history lesson. Don’t worry it’s a painless micro-learning moment.
In the 1930s central Europe was, let’s just say, in crisis. Poland was hit pretty hard by the Nazis and the Soviet Union, each taking up two different territories. The Nazis wanted all Poles killed while the Soviets wanted them deported (and subsequently killed). It was a very tumultuous time.
Once the war was over (the Polish resistance helping defeat the Germans), a new age was born; the Communist era. Forgoing a long explanation of political hijinx, there were organizations called the “secret police” that helped keep autocrats, or politicians with supreme power in office. One of these forces was called the NKVD. Their job? Political repression.
Between 1952 and 1989 Poland was ruled by a communist government. What does this have to do with a demonic car you ask? Well, the Soviet-led NKVD would oversee the manufacturing of the Black Volga (black paint was cheap to use) and utilize them in their patrols, terrifying citizens.
But some believe the Devil himself got a hold of one of these cars in the ’60s and ’70s and cruised the ghettos for children and unsuspecting adults. The urban legend says that the Devil himself would pull up alongside someone and ask for the time or something conversational, then kill them where they stood.
The Black Volga would also have a license plate with the number “666,” some also say it had curtains in the windows too. The only way to escape the demonic driver was to say “It is God’s Time,” and the vehicle would simply vanish. Some stories claim that the driver wouldn’t kill you on the spot, but tell you that you would die at the same time the next day.
Another, perhaps more realistic yet conspiratory version of the tale says the cars would do as above, but it wasn’t the devil in the driver’s seat, but KGB agents who would abduct children and steal their blood and organs for the Western black market.
A 1973 movie was made of this version of the story called, appropriately, Black Volga. Upon the movie’s release in Poland, it was quickly banned.
During filming, the director, Patryk Symanski, wanted to use a real black Volga, but he couldn’t because frightened townsfolk, upon seeing the car, refused to leave which made shooting on location an impossibility. In the end, Symanski never made another film, blaming Black Volga for being cursed. Did they cover that fact in the Shudder doc?
Another, more superhero-type movie that has nothing to with the legend, but features the Volga is called “Black Lightening” from 2009. Think Chitty Chitty Bang Bang meets Transformers meets Green Lantern.
This legend has withstood the test of time and it is known as far away as Mongolia. In yet another version of the tale, cultists would use the car to scour the streets for children to use in blood sacrifices.
As with most urban legends and creepy tales, The Black Volga is probably something made up as a metaphor for the bleak times in Eastern European history. But the fact that so many people are still frightened of its presence makes you wonder which version of this urban legend scared them the most.
Netflix Doc ‘Devil on Trial’ Explores The Paranormal Claims of ‘Conjuring 3’ [Trailer]
What is it about Lorraine Warren and her constant row with the devil? We may find out in the new Netflix documentary called The Devil on Trial which will premiere on October 17, or at least we will see why she chose to take on this case.
Back in 2021, everyone was holed up in their homes, and anyone with an HBO Max subscription could stream “Conjuring 3” day and date. It got mixed reviews, maybe because this wasn’t an ordinary haunted house tale that the Conjuring universe is known for. It was more of a crime procedural than a paranormal investigative one.
As with all of the Warren-based Conjuring movies, The Devil Made Me Do It was based on “a true story,” and Netflix is taking that claim to task with The Devil on Trial. The Netflix e-zine Tudum explains the backstory:
“Often referred to as the ‘Devil Made Me Do It’ case, the trial of 19-year-old Arne Cheyenne Johnson quickly became the subject of lore and fascination after it made national news in 1981. Johnson claimed that he murdered his 40-year-old landlord, Alan Bono, while under the influence of demonic forces. The brutal killing in Connecticut drew the attention of self-professed demonologists and paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, known for their probe into the infamous haunting in Amityville, Long Island, several years prior. The Devil on Trial recounts the troubling events leading up to Bono’s murder, the trial, and the aftermath, using firsthand accounts of the people closest to the case, including Johnson.”
Then there’s the logline: The Devil on Trial explores the first — and only — time “demonic possession” has officially been used as a defense in a US murder trial. Including firsthand accounts of alleged devil possession and shocking murder, this extraordinary story forces reflection on our fear of the unknown.
If anything, this companion to the original film might shed some light on just how accurate these “true story” Conjuring films are and how much is just a writer’s imagination.
Full Trailer For Eli Roth’s ’80s Slasher Homage ‘Thanksgiving’ is Here!
Eli Roth is making his return to the cinema with another seasonal horror tale, this time it takes place during a time when we all should be thankful. And we are. Obviously, it’s called Thanksgiving and the full trailer just dropped today and it looks like a good ole’ ’80s slashery time!
Taking elements from Friday the 13th, My Bloody Valentine, and Silent Night, Roth has created a retro but modern callback to the horror movies of the ’80s. The film is not yet rated, but based on the trailer, I would predict it’s a hard R (Yay!).
Roth’s original idea was a satire trailer that played in front of Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s Grindhouse (2007) which mocked the genre and its penchant for taking holidays and turning them into slasher movies.
This film releases in theaters only on November 17.
After a Black Friday riot ends in tragedy, a mysterious Thanksgiving-inspired killer terrorizes Plymouth, Massachusetts – the birthplace of the holiday. Picking off residents one by one, what begins as random revenge killings are soon revealed to be part of a larger, sinister holiday plan. Will the town uncover the killer and survive the holidays…or become guests at his twisted holiday dinner table?
Jalen Thomas Brooks
and Gina Gershon
[First Photos] ‘The Strangers’ Reboot is Already Made; It Consists of Three Movies
Director Renny Harlin (Deep Blue Sea, Exorcist: The Beginning, Cliffhanger) has been a busy man. He is rebooting The Strangers franchise with a trilogy that he has already completed according to Entertainment Weekly.
Harlin says he shot all of the films in Slovakia at the same time, and production was, “the challenge of a lifetime, but I also really embraced it. On a Monday morning, I could be shooting the second chapter, and Monday afternoon I could be shooting the first chapter, and Tuesday morning I could be shooting the third chapter. it was incredibly demanding for the actors, for the continuity in terms of the make-up and wardrobe, and for my director of photography, because we wanted to create a visual language that develops so that the movies get bigger, more epic, as we go [on]. It just kept all of our juices pumping all the time.”
He remembers the Bryan Bertino-directed 2008 original Strangers which he says impressed him so much that he never forgot it.
“I remember the experience of seeing it,” says Harlin, “I didn’t really know anything about it when I saw it and I just loved it. I thought it was fantastic and it’s stuck in my mind as one of my favorite horror films.”
He adds: “When this opportunity came to me, the idea of not doing a remake or a reboot but doing a trilogy based on the original film, I thought it was an incredible opportunity.”
As for what Harlin’s version is about he says the first movie The Strangers: Chapter 1 pretty much follows the set-up of the original: a couple is terrorized by sociopathic home invaders, and Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 will “explore what happens to the victims of this kind of violence and who the perpetrators are of this kind of violence. Where are they coming from and why?”
The targets in Chapter 1 are played by Madelaine Petsch and Froy Gutierrez (Teen Wolf, Cruel Summer).
The Strangers Trilogy is set for release in theaters next year. Harlin and producer Courtney Solomon will be participating in a panel about the three films at New York Comic Con on Oct. 12.