Super Hybrid - the movie monster that's part killer car, part giant octopus thingy

Commander's log: Stardate 04102012.2,

"Space... the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Mothership. Its continuing mission, to explore strange old movies; to seek out new plot ideas and new definitions of 'dialogue'. To boldly go where..."

"Have you seen my car?"

"...What? No, Gort, I haven't seen your car. Do you mind, I'm in the middle of a log entry?"

"Whatever. My car is missing and I'm supposed to pick up Helen Cox of New Empress Magazine for our date."

"Have you tried the shuttle bay?"

"Yes, I've tried the shuttle bay! The car's gone, I haven't seen it since last night."

"Last night?"


"When we watched that killer-car movie, Super Hybrid, through the ship's computer systems, which your artificially intelligent car was connected to for a software update?"

"...Oh dear..."

[Indistinct sounds of car engines revving and people screaming]

There are only so many ways that a movie about a killer car can surprise you. Super Hybrid, also known simply as Hybrid, manages to do so by avoiding the obvious Transformers-style computer-controlled automobile and having its vehement vehicle turn out to be an octopus... yes, an octopus.

The film posits that a species of land-dwelling, giant octopi has somehow evolved the ability to shape shift into a car, based loosely on the real-life thaumoctopus mimicus, which can alter the texture of its skin like an underwater super chameleon. Of course, looking a bit like a rock is quite a way from turning itself into a fully-working automobile and driving around like the smuggest hermit crab in the world...

What makes this movie worth your time is some brilliant work from French director Eric Valette. The film opens with the monstrous motorcar following a couple of kids out of a club and morphing into an unlocked sports car to lure them inside, before sealing the doors, turning the windows opaque and eating them alive. Despite the ridiculousness, Valette manages to make this largely silent scene genuinely creepy and thoroughly entertaining.

As the car heads on its way, it manages to get blindsided by another vehicle and towed to an impound yard. Recovering there, it proceeds to seal the staff in and begins picking them off one at a time in true slasher fashion. This gives veteran horror writer Benjamin Carr the opportunity to have the staff spout some truly appalling dialogue.

The only 'name' in the cast is Oded Fehr from The Mummy and Resident Evil. Elsewhere, the acting ranges from dull to rotten. You always know the cast budget was low when the best your sexy female lead's introductory getting-dressed sequence can manage is to put her in a pair of enormous MandS-style pants.

Still, it's nice to see every character having a major personality flaw and not finding redemption by the end of the movie. Fehr's determination to capture the car for financial gain is the primary reason for the death of most of his coworkers, yet he remains entirely unrepentant.

The effects are also reasonably impressive, particularly the Predator-style killer-car vision. The budget can't quite stretch to keep up the quality for the final showdown, but a nice coda manages to avoid leaving you with a bad taste in your mouth. Skirting the boundaries between good and so-bad-it's-good, this is still worth a watch, so long as you're in the right gear.