Drive-Ins basically functioned as cheap motels in their peak in the mid 60s. So the prospect of gettin’ some was a draw but if you weren’t, think about it…it was a weird business proposition: a big swath of land required for what is an undeniably crappy experience — headlights shone on the screen, long distance to the concession stand, a windshield between yourself and the screen, time spent parking and maneuvering out of the complex, etc etc.
When audiences atrophied theater owners began to show exploitation films — like this one — which also happens to be about drive-in culture. Neat eh?
The Drive-In Massacre movie poster is duplicated in the first ten minutes as a sword-wielding freak starts dispatching movie-goers. Gotta admit, that was pretty cool. However it’s followed by the classic film cliché: the zooming in on a newspaper headline (see image below).
Some bored Barney Miller-types are called into action bemoaning “every nut in town’s gonna be callin’ in claimin’ credit!”
The drive-in manager, “the perfect asshole,” Austin Johnson is questioned and says of his clientele, “they’re all one big zit and long hair.” He oversees staff that includes a circus geek who ruined his teeth biting off chicken-heads, an obvious redneck red herring.
The world’s least helpful psychiatrist is conscripted, setting back forensic sciences decades: “don’t expect any miracles…the toughest thing about this kind of case, is that there is no overall pattern for a psychotic killer!” and “a psychotic killer is usually a man.”
There’s an attempt at cinema verité (“the killer could strike again!” in the closing credits), which was better handled in Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
** (out of 5)