Bite Size: Drive-In Massacre (1976)

Drive-In Massacre is one of those regional obscurities that boutique Blu Ray labels occasionally dredge up with mild fanfare as a lost bit of classic sleaze. Drive-In Massacre also happens to be one of those times when whoever is tasked with writing the promotional copy for the release is unabashedly full of shit.

While the title and the bang for the buck opening kills would suggest at least a bit of bloody proto slasher fun, the 76 minute runtime feels painfully overlong. Drive-In Massacre parcels out a bunch of potentially delightful trashy elements, only to end up petering out into an unsatisfying attempt at an old bit of William Castle gimmickry.

There’s the standard issue police procedural folderal in between the sparse spate of sword slashings. Our red herrings take the form of an angry theater manager whose volume setting is just as loud as his assortment of eyestrain inducing sport coats, a peeping trucker, and a carny sword swallower turned custodian a few sharps short of a knife block.

Given that we never actually see the film that’s onscreen, and our police officers’ best investigative tool is a brief foray into drag, the rest of the film is just people sitting around. The cops bicker in their cramped offices, the soon to be victims perennially parked in the dusty drive-in lot.

The vague implication of a Western is dropped into the sound mix at complete odds with the score of atonal pencil can shaking and baby’s first Casio keysmash electro warbles. Considering that pretty much every plot element introduced is a non sequitur, the burial of the actual dialogue in the sound mix doesn’t make much difference.

There is something seedily refreshing in seeing a cinematic representation of a drive in so utterly devoid of charm or romanticism. As far as this movie is concerned, it’s basically just a backdrop for the same semi anonymous hormonal rummaging that characterized your standard sticky seat indoor theater. Given the utter botch of just about everything else you can think of, that slight historical angle is not nearly a good enough reason to actually sit through this movie.

For those looking for a technically inept, yet scuzzily accurate, time capsule that is actually fun, I’d recommend 1973’s Massage Parlor Murders! (which I’ve previously written about for the fabulous Drive-In Asylum) as a much better investment of the hour or so of your lifetime.

Monster Munch: Slasher Siblings, Cosmic Horror In China, And More!


It’s that time again….Monster Munch is all of the bits and pieces of horror news and reviews I’ve written for other sites around the web. Have a recommendation? Find my taste questionable? So do I! Find me on Twitter or in the comments, and tell me all about it below the fold.



Retro VHS Rewind: Alice, Sweet Alice: A look back at this 1976 cult classic tale of slashers and sibling rivalry, that has one of the creepiest masks in all of horror, and an appearance from a very young Brooke Shields.


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What happens when you take cosmic horror out of the hands of a chronically ill racist, and put it in the hands of genre writers from the burgeoning Chinese underground? As it turns out, a surprisingly fast paced collection of lovingly created pastiche.

The Wretched Lifts Itself Up With Retro Style And A Modern Monster [Review] Forest witches and teenage angst mix to make a freaky fable of a film that plays like a grown up version of a tale from Are You Afraid Of The Dark?. Come check out my review of this new release from IFC Midnight, then go stream it and see for yourself.