Drive-In Massacre

Drive_in_MassacreDrive-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.

Drive-in-MassacreThe 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)


Published by Really Awful Movies

Horror movie authors and journalists who also review exploitation, action, grindhouse, kung fu, sci fi and other genre films. We are hosts of the Really Awful Movies Podcast, a celebration of low budget cinema - smart genre film chat, predominantly horror movies.

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