Directed by Stu Segall [Other horror films: N/A]
I promise I’m not crazy, but this movie is decent. Well, actually, I can’t promise that my sanity is entirely intact, but I can promise that I have seen this movie four times now, and each and every time has been a blast.
In many ways, no doubt, Drive In Massacre is pretty bad. Part of it has to do with the commonly-available print, which has quite a muddled audio quality along with iffy lighting at times. Even without those issues, the story itself is pretty weak, the conclusion somewhat ridiculous, and though it only runs for around 75 minutes, it can feel boring.
All of that said, though, like I said, I’ve seen it four times now, and I really do find a good amount of this movie a hoot. Though not a horror-comedy in a traditional sense, the scene in which the two main detectives are undercover as a couple at a drive-in (one of the detectives being dressed as a woman) had plenty of lines in it alone that were laugh-worthy (“Kiss me, you fool” / “I hope so, we don’t need anymore of that” / “My God, married only two hours and you don’t want anything to do with me”), so it’s not as though the film is void of charm.
Honestly, both of the central detectives, played by John F. Goff (The Fog and Alligator) and Bruce Kimball (An Eye for an Eye and Snakes), were pretty interchangeable, and while they had some funny dialogue now and again, neither one stood out. Robert E. Pearson’s performance as the somewhat sleazy drive-in manager (as one character describes him, “He’s what you would call your perfect asshole”) was a lot of fun, and I definitely find his character a memorable one.
Douglas Gudbye’s performance as a mentally-challenged character was one of the strongest in the film, and I really felt for him at times. Lastly, though he was utterly added in only for padding, George ‘Buck’ Flower (Maniac Cop, Wishmaster, Pumpkinhead, Cheerleader Camp, and many others) was fun to see.
For a proto-slasher, there wasn’t much in the way of slashing. The best kill is easily the opening decapitation, but there was also a woman stabbed through her neck and the aftermath of a few other killings. Nothing amazing, but at least the opening kill could theoretically hook someone in.
I certainly understand why many people don’t care for this movie, and some find it laughably bad (at the moment of this writing, Drive In Massacre sports a 3.5/10 on IMDb with 1674 votes), but it’s a movie I personally dig. It’s far from a movie without flaws, but coming from a guy who willingly watched this four times, it’s #golden.
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