So, what’s Drive-In Massacre about? Well, there’s this drive-in and there’s someone wandering around with a sword which he uses to kill various filmgoers. Now, you might think that the fact that people keep getting hacked to pieces at the drive-in would lead to the establishment either getting closed down or perhaps, at the very least, it would lead to an increased police presence. Well, you would be wrong. Even more people start hanging out at the drive-in and the police presence amounts to two overweight detectives who go undercover to catch the killer. (By undercover, I mean that one of the detectives shows up in drag.)
Since this is a pre-1980, giallo-influenced slasher film, the film is structured as a whodunit. Instead of giving us the wisecracking killer that we usually associate with slasher films, this one presents us with a handful of weirdos and dares us to try to guess whose guilty. Is it the bald guy who manages the drive-in and who is referred to as being “a perfect asshole?” Or is it Orville The Pervert who spends all of his time trying to peep on young lovers and who happens to have some bloody clothes in the back of his car? Then again, it could be Germy, the creepy janitor who is a natural suspect because 1) he’s a former sword swallower and 2) his name is Germy. Then again, it could also be the sweaty guy who pops up out of nowhere during the film’s final 20 minutes and spends all of his time saying things like, “I’m going to cut the bad out of you.”
Of course, there’s always the possibility that the film will end with an out-of-nowhere “surprise” twist that will either piss you off or make you squeal with delight depending on how seriously you take these things. Me, I squealed with delight.
I loved this movie and I make no apologies for it. The plot makes absolutely no sense, the acting is really odd, and the whole film has this wonderful feel to it that leads you to suspect that someone just turned on a camera and yelled, “DO SOMETHING!” The first kill scene is actually rather effective and there’s a few scenes of intentional humor that actually work almost well. As well, the film did manage to capture the feel of a sleazy drive-in (perhaps because it was filmed at a sleazy drive-in). I mean, I’ve never been to a drive-in and I probably never will since I don’t think they exist anymore but, after seeing this film, I feel like I’ve had the drive-in experience.
However, my love of this film truly came down to two things:
1) I loved Germy! Seriously, I’ve seen a lot of movies featuring mentally disturbed janitors and Germy belongs in the Mentally Disturbed Janitor Hall Of Fame. Plus, his name was Germy. That just makes me laugh so much.
2) The movie itself only lasts an hour and 13 minutes. Now, on the one hand, that means that there’s not a lot of time for anything along the lines of coherence. However, on the other hand, it also means that the movie never gets a chance to drag and right when you’re starting to get annoyed with it, it’s over!
As a sidenote, Arleigh might be interested to know that this film was apparently co-written by George “Buck” Flower.