Film Studies Student Completes His Animated Horror Trilogy


Murderous cars set their destination to Mercy College as a junior year film student completed his years-long passion project The Undented Killer Cars Trilogy, which is a series of horror animated feature-length films depicting cars gaining consciousness and wreaking havoc on the world around them. 

Justin Abraham, who is currently studying television and film, has been working tirelessly since September 2021 to finish The Undented Killer Cars 3 and finally reward his over 100,000 YouTube subscribers with the ending to his trilogy that was inspired by both Stephen King’s Christine (1983) and Maximum Overdrive (1986). 

Abraham explained that he looks up to King as a writer because “the way that he does his stories and books is really unique. The whole sentient car idea was cool to me. The horror, the mystery, the thriller in his writing is so good and I wanted to tell stories with the idea that inspired me. It pushed me to make my own version of Christine.”

But being a young filmmaker, Abraham was in high school during the release of the first Undented Killer Cars, he doesn’t have the luxury of a high film budget. So, instead of using a live-action format, he’s found animation the perfect forum for his creativity.

More specifically, using the 2015 video game Grand Theft Auto V as a method of bringing his vision to life. 

Grand Theft Auto’s Rockstar Editor allows gamers to use the camera, characters, and sound effects to make and record videos. 

“Not a lot of people are capitalizing on it,” Abraham said. 

This opened the door for creative minds like Abraham to take advantage of this program and start his filmmaking career. It’s a unique form of filmmaking that no other current video game gives. 

Abraham explained that “unfortunately I don’t have those resources, the people, the locations, and the cars to shoot. Grand Theft Auto is my go-to. If I can’t do anything in live action I’ll write it out for the game.”

“It was a learning curve,” he explained. “I never did it before. Early on it was rough because I didn’t know what I was doing.”

The trilogy is loosely based on a previous short film he did, which adapted King’s Christine, it was also the first film Abraham used Rockstar Editor to produce his movie. 

“it was a silent film which I had the original idea for in high school. After I finished that movie, I wanted to do a more realistic approach but on a larger scale.” 

But before he settled on making Christine a silent film, he originally wanted to use voiceover for his characters. 

2015 was a “real amateur filmmaking moment for me because I didn’t know what I was doing and understand how the process works when it comes to film.” 

He recalled his first voice acting session being done “all in the bathroom of my high school. I got friends during our lunch period to come into the bathroom, which would be less noisy, and we did the audio for the movie. You could hear the reverb because that’s us in the bathroom talking.”

“After that,” he said, “I realized the audio was trash, so I decided I had to do it as a silent film. At the time I thought it worked, but the storyline was hard to follow. I had to deal with it.”

Years after the movie’s release, Abraham now regrets his choice to make it a silent movie since he had to fill the empty noise with sound effects and music, music that quickly is copyrighted and taken down. 

Abraham has graduated from using his high school bathroom as a studio to using his house as a sound booth. His voice-acting process now is to record at his house or for his friends to record their lines remotely. 

But this process backfired when one of his voice actors had a medical situation that forced Abraham to return to the screenwriting process and write his friend’s character out of the movie. 

When Justin Abraham finishes The Undented Killer Cars 3, he would like to premiere a 20-min sequence of the movie on Mercy’s campus in front of students to gauge audience opinions before officially releasing the movie onto YouTube. 

In the future, Abraham plans to set aside feature-length filmmaking and focus more on producing short films.

“It’ll help my workflow because I can get things done faster. The Undented Killer Cars 3 has been in production since September 2021. The longest production I’ve worked on on any film.”

After The Undented Killer Cars trilogy ends, Abraham plans on setting aside the sentient car genre that he’s been working on since high school and moving onto “different types of storytelling like street racing, more horror, or crime.”

“I’ve always emphasized the fact that [Rockstar Editor] has helped me because I can’t do some stuff in live action because of the limitations, but with video games you can use that. Instead of just playing the game as it is, you can turn it into something else creatively. And that’s what I’ve done.”