As we speak, we carry you a break from Christmas carols and fashionably ugly sweaters for a decidedly non-holiday-related little bit of absurdity: A brief film about aliens abducting the new-for-1987 Chevrolet Corsica and the hapless household inside. Go on, run by way of this two-and-a-half minutes of complete weirdness, and if by the tip you do not hate us for making you sit by way of it, we’ll clarify, or not less than expound.
This oddball movie was, apparently, an introduction for Chevrolet sellers to their new front-wheel-drive household sedan, the Corsica. If you cannot bear to look at, it exhibits a household driving down a darkish street when their Corsica quits—one thing that would not strike the proprietor of any GM product from the mid-1980s as terribly uncommon. However no, this wasn’t a failure as a result of “decontented” engineering or a pissed-off line employee who discarded his foil chewing gum wrapper by hiding it underneath the distributor cap. No, this new Corsica is being kidnapped by aliens!
Why aliens? Early-’80s America was a bit UFO-obsessed, due to a string of films beginning with 1977’s Shut Encounters of the Third Sort and peaking with Spielberg’s ’82 blockbuster E.T. the Further Terrestrial. Far be it from the automotive trade to be up-to-date on popular culture, nonetheless; by the point this promo movie was made in 1987, the alien film style’s water skis had already jumped the shark and was simply inches from touch-down on the opposite aspect. The style had gone foolish (Spaceballs), cutesy (Batteries Not Included), and downright scary (Alien and Predator).
Judging from the look of those space-beings, the Corsica has been kidnapped by that third form (see what we did there?), and it is laborious to not cringe for little Susie and Jimmy, particularly as their dad and mom are too busy freaking the eff out to supply any helpful consolation. (Would Chevrolet had made the movie had they recognized Ford was only a yr away from releasing a automobile referred to as the Probe?)
However then—oh, thank goodness!—it seems the aliens are simply Chevy followers. After the (obvious) chief’s partner, a pink alien bedecked in Chevrolet-themed jewellery, declares her approval of the Corsica, the aliens clone it and add it to a reasonably formidable assortment of bubble-bound Chevys earlier than returning the automobile and its clearly relieved occupants to terra firma. The movie features a reasonably nifty cameo look by Dinah Shore, who spent the higher a part of the 1950s exhorting Individuals to see the usA. of their Chevrolet:
And what of the Chevrolet Corsica? This compact-ish sedan was a reasonably unusual mash-up of the J-Physique (Chevrolet Cavalier, Buick Skyhawk, Pontiac J2000/Sunbird, Oldsmobile Firenza and, after all, the brand-killing Cadillac Cimarron) and the N-Physique (Pontiac Grand Am, Buick Somerset/Skylark, Oldsmobile Calais). The Corsica was uncommon in that it was unique to the Chevrolet model (besides in Canada, the place it was cloned because the Pontiac Tempest) at a time when GM was obsessive about model engineering.
We reviewed one in our July 1987 challenge, generously acknowledging its enchantment to the tragically un-hip: “Goal clients—younger, model and worth aware, and, in lots of circumstances, first-time purchasers—are typically far much less impressed with fashionable high-tech touches than with pure and easy fundamental worth. The Corsica actually has a lot going for it in that division.” We had been rather more within the two-door variant, the Beretta, which went on to spawn some reasonably interesting hot-rod fashions.
We would have missed the purpose slightly, as a result of the Corsica was designed primarily as a fleet automobile; The typical American might hire one earlier than they might purchase one. (Had the aliens recognized this, they might have spared that household numerous trauma.) Be aware the easy grille meeting and lack of physique adornment—the Corsica seems to have been designed not for model, however for simple collision restore. The plucky little Chevrolet remained the darling of the rental automobile trade till looming security requirements killed it off in 1996.
One post-script to this reasonably weird flick: The PlayStation 1 model of Colin McRae Rally had an Easter Egg through which driving off observe would see your automobile kidnapped by aliens and turned to jelly. One of many locales the place you can do that was… Corsica!