CHILLING CLASSICS MONTH: Drive-In Massacre (1976)

I love the drive-in more than anywhere else in the world. A night at the drive-in is one of promise, wonder, drinking in public, movies that I love and Chilly Dilly pickles. This movie tries to make the drive-in a scary place. But is it an entertaining one?

Starting off with a double murder at a California drive-in, police detective Mike Leary and Jon Koch are on the trail of a killer who keeps attacking the same theater. There are plenty of suspects, like the manager, Austin Johnson, an unnamed voyeur and the creepy janitor, Germy.

The killer kills again and again, using a sword. There is also red herring after red herring, with none of the leads adding up. It turns out that Austin and Germy were once sword swallowers and the swords may have come from their collections, but they’re both killed by the end and the killer is never caught. 

The film closes with an on-screen warning about drive-ins all over the country being attacked by the killer, then a fake public address that makes it seem like the maniac is loose in the very drive-in where you are watching the film. Oh no!

The poster for this movie said, “Drive-In Massacre has been deemed by an independent film board to be too terrifying for viewing by the average theatre patron. For this reason, it is suggested that those of you with severe emotional disorders or chronic coronary dysfunction NOT see this movie. The risk is entirely yours.” You’ll be fine. Trust me.

This movie defines the term meandering. It seems to go on and on. And on. But hey, if you have to experience it for yourself, it’s on Amazon Prime. And, of course, you can always order the Chilling Classics box set!

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