Back in the day, drive in theaters were a big deal. Hell, most of the movies we review here could and probably did play at drive ins around the country. I’m sure a lot of tomfoolery happened in those days at the drive in, but I don’t know about how many murders happened. I could see someone committing suicide perhaps, especially if they showed any Godfrey Ho movies, but murders? Let alone, a Drive in Massacre!?
Things start out in a small California town when a young couple go to the drive in to see a show. While trying to watch the latest feature, they decide to get busy for old times sake, since they’re about to move into a new apartment and they’re going to have a baby! Well, that baby isn’t going to see that new apartment because the guy gets decapitated, and the woman gets a sword through the neck. Next thing you know, that California town has itself a full blown massacre on it’s hands, and they’ve got two of the most inept detectives (Bruce Kimball and Steve Vincent) on the force to check it out!
The detectives bumble around for an hour of the film, chasing suspects down suburban streets, and dressing up in women’s clothes to try and catch the killer. They get a little help from one of the theater’s workers, who happens to be the old sword swallower at a carnival that the theater was built on. Unfortunately, the cops can’t get enough help before 4 more victims are beheaded or impaled with a sword.
The only real relief from this mostly humorless movie is the theater manager who is abrasive and is described in the movie as “a real asshole”. He puts on the best performance, and that’s not saying too much considering everything else. The gore effects are decent for a movie this low budget, and the music is this whacked out combination of heart beats and synth stabs that try to supplement the on screen tension that always falls flat. I don’t think there was one real fright throughout, because they were all telegraphed at least a minute before they happened.
If you’re looking to spend an hour and fifteen minutes watching a sub par horror/slasher movie that fails on both fronts, then Drive in Massacre will be right up your alley. Hell, if you’re interested in watching two middle aged dumpy cops blunder their way through a “serial killer” investigation, this might be worth your time. It’s one of those films where nothing really matters until the last 5 minutes, because they fail at basic story telling. Even the ending is a contrived twist that invalidates everything that’s gone on in the film so far. In spite of all of that, it’s all slightly entertaining, even if nothing ever really happens.
And check out this misleading trailer: