Seeing as how we’re all going to be trapped in our houses forever, I’ve decided to start a new feature here. Each Friday, I’m going to share four movies that I’d play for an all-night drive-in feature if I had my own drive-in.
Want to share your four films and the reasons why? It’s easy! Just write to firstname.lastname@example.org or add a comment below. We’ll get in touch and share your festival with the world.
Make sure to drive with your parking lights on and clean up after yourself. And don’t forget to try our snack bar, which will remain open until the last feature starts
MOVIE 1: Endgame (Joe D’Amato, 1983): There are post-apocalyptic movies. And then there’s Endgame, a movie that has just about every Italian genre star who meant anything in 1983 all playing a deadly game show that is The Running Man before The Running Man.
Al Cliver — from Zombi and The Beyond — plays the hero, but the real stars of the show are the supporting players, like B&S About Movies patron saint George Eastman as best friend and better enemy Kurt Karnak, the psychic Lilith (if I have to tell you who Laura Gemser is, get outta my drive-in), Gabriele Tinti, Al Yamanouchi, Gordon Mitchell (Dr. Frankenstein from Frankenstein ’80), Bobby Rhodes and a Michele Soavi cameo (he was the second unit director).
The always name-changing D’Amato (born Aristide Massaccesi) used the name Steven Benson on this one. You’ll recognize it’s one of his movies that minute Gemser is forced to make love to a mutant fish-man who screams, “Look at me while I rape you!”
Blind ninja monks led by psychic children. Mutants driving around on golf carts. Dialogue like, “You’re too famous to disappear in a city that grows smaller every day.” A Spaghetti Western ending. I want to watch this ten times in a row all over again right now.
You can see this on Amazon Prime, because it’s not available anywhere else.
MOVIE 2: Dial Help (Ruggero Deodato, 1988): It seems like my drive-in is all about movies that are impossible to find on home video. Oh well — that’s what being outside (or in your car) for a movie is all about.
This baffling end of the Italian horror boom movie has it all, if all means a nonsensical at best story, killer telephones, gorgeous camerawork, a piercing Claudio Simonetti soundtrack and a scene where Charlotte Lewis puts on her finest lingerie and jumps into a bathtub because the phones command her to do so. Man, I love telephones.
Have you ever seen a movie where a payphone decimates a would-be rapist with thousands of quarters? No. You have not. And guess what — this isn’t available on DVD over here.
MOVIE 3: Enter the Devil (Mario Gariazzo, 1974): By this point in the evening, all of the kids have gone home or are asleep. So that means it’s time to let the real crazy stuff out of the film canisters.
This film — based on a real story, but come on, we all know that’s bullshit — is about Daniela, an art student who is studying a cursed church when one of the thieves crucified next to Jesus gets down off his plaster cross and makes sweet, sweet love to her on the altar. And that’s but the beginning of this completely reprehensible 70’s occult gem.
Ivan Rassimov plays Satan. What more can be said? You’ll watch this while downing some moonshine and pizza with hot sauce all over it and love every minute.
Also known as The Eerie Midnite Horror Show, this is available on DVD, including several Mill Creek anthology sets. Be a maniac like me and spend way too much money on the out of print Code Red release!
MOVIE 4: American Tiger (Sergio Martino, 1990): My love for this film knows no boundaries. I am more than an advocate for it. I am an acolyte. And I know no better time to play it than at 4:30 AM, when everyone is either asleep or in another state of bliss. This is the perfect time to savor this late-period Sergio Martino film.
Donald Pleasence plays a televangelist who is locked in an eternal war with a Chinese woman who may also be a cat. Of course, she’s a Persian. His son is into being cucked and secretly videotapes former Olympic gymnast Mitch Gaylord to have a tryst with his redhead wife, which involves wearing his jeans in the shower before some men show up and blow his boat up real good. Also, Pleasence isn’t even human, but instead, a poor Southern accent spewing warthog. Bring edibles.
The drive-in is closed. Please be careful pulling out and watch for your fellow drive-in lovers. Make sure you take the speaker off your car before you pull away. See you in not too many moons!