I remember watching something on TV that scared me pretty badly when I was a kid. This must have been around the year 1984, plus minus one year, on television in Germany. I believe it was an episode of a series, it wasn't movie length.

As I remember the plot, it was about a man who buys a car from a salesman. The car is a luxury car, or possibly a sports car; something impressive looking. When he drives off the lot, it quickly becomes apparent that the car has a will of its own. I don't remember if the man knew beforehand that it was a kind of self-driving robot car or if this came as a surprise to him.

The story takes a macabre turn when the car proceeds to kill the man in a manner that was shocking to kid me. I think it suffocates him, or possibly drowns him inside the car somehow. I remember seeing the man struggle futilely to open the doors or windows. When he is dead, the car dumps the body and drives back to the salesman's lot, ready to be sold to the next victim.

This was a stand-alone story with a decidedly mean attitude, like a horror short story.

One thing I remember about the format of the program was the image of a roulette wheel on the screen during the opening titles, and possibly again after the story. When I researched this, I found out that this exact imagery was used on Tales of the Unexpected, the Roald Dahl anthology TV series (called Die unglaublichen Geschichten von Roald Dahl on German television). However, after reading a list of plot summaries of all its episodes, none of them seem to include a self driving car, man killed by car, or similar. It may be that I conflated two memories here, although I really don't think so.

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    The Twilight Zone episode "A Thing About Machines" matches in some aspects but misses in others: for example, it's his car at the start and he drowns on his own not inside the car.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Jan 27, 2021 at 9:31
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    This also sounds like the film Christine but it doesn't quite end the same and as a much longer story than this.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Jan 27, 2021 at 9:49
  • There are many anthology series that might have that type of story. I was thinking the Friday 13th series, but that started in '87.
    – Hopalong
    Jan 27, 2021 at 15:25

1 Answer 1


Could it have been Night Visions? You would only be about 15 years out!


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    Welcome to SciFi.SE! Could you explain how this matches the description provided in the question, especially since that (as you note) it doesn't fit the time period?
    – F1Krazy
    Jan 28, 2021 at 23:53
  • This seems like quite a good match, welcome to the site and a nice find for a first answer. As mentioned above though could you explain, at least briefly, how this matches the description given in the question? Alternatively, adding in some quotes from the link will help in case it does as well. You can edit your answer to do this!
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Jan 28, 2021 at 23:57
  • I'm certain that I saw this no later than 1985, and there definitely was a supernatural or science fiction element added to the car.
    – waldrumpus
    Jan 29, 2021 at 7:42

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