Saturday, July 14, 2007

DRIVE IN MASSACRE (1976)



It seems that there's a drive in in California that used to be the site of a carnival owned by a guy named Van Heusen. He tore the place down and built a drive in in its place. Van Heusen eventually left to retire in Hawaii. To run the joint while he enjoyed his retirement, Van Heusen had one of his former barkers, Austin Johnson, run the drive in. Johnson hated the job.

Then the killings started. The opening scene of a couple making out is interrupted when the guy decides he needs to watch the beginning of the picture. As he he reaches out to grab the speaker, a sword slashes down and takes off his head. His girlfriend starts to scream and she is cut short by a sword through the neck.

Well, now the cops are worried. They can't have someone using a sword to whack the patrons of the theater. But who could be the killer? The manager, Johnson doesn't care about his customers. He thinks they are the scum of the earth, but he loves to take their money. Could it be Germie, the odd little fella whop picks up the place and used to be a sword swallower in the carnival? Maybe it's the pervert who parks next to people while they are making out and smacks his meat around outside of their cars? The red herrings are pretty thick in this flick, but they start dropping as quick as the slaughtered theater patrons.

Both of the cops on the case seem to be members of the Joe Don Baker School of acting and we have a hard time believing that either of them could catch a cold.

There are a few plot points that seem a little fuzzy. The major one is rthat the killer whacks the second couple and leaves the sword behind. This doesn't seem to stop him from killing again. Exactly how many swords does this looney have? And, while we're on the subject; Who thought of swords. These are big, heavy civil war cutlasses. Not an easy weapon to use in the first place and it seems out of place in the film. I think it might have been more interesting if the killer had used various things around the drive in the kill people. You know, strangle them with the speaker cord, drag a body to the swing set in the front, cool stuff. Hell, the snack bar alone has ten or eleven forms of lethal just lying around. But instead we get a sword.

The effects are passable for the time period. A movie that concerns itself with a California drive in in the 70's comes across as a little chaste with only one magnificent set of breasts and not for very long I might add.

This is the first of the 50 flicks in the box set I mentioned earlier in the blog. As a start it was okay. Cheesy, but not quite cheesy enough. I will give the producers props for the ending. Pure exploitation and a good way to play a flick that was geared for the drive in.

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