Director – Stu Segall (Summer School, Hot Blooded)
Starring – John F. Goff (Manson’s Lost Girls, Maniac Cop), Douglas Gudbye (C.B. Hustlers, Ilsa: Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks), and Bruce Kimball (Snakes, The Tormentors)
Release Date – 1976
Rating – 3/5
Blu Release – 3.5/5
I’ve always had strange taste in movies. While most of my friends were pissing their pants over movies like Air Bud: Golden Receiver and pretty much every Disney release I was wearing Adventures in Dinosaur City, Prehysteria, and The Midnight Hourout. When I got older and my taste for horror grew I found myself still watching those same films but adding movies like Demon Wind, Children of the Night, and so many more. Most of my friends that liked horror didn’t care for these at all so I would typically be watching these on my on.
Sometime after I graduated high school I bought a horror movie box set with 50 flicks in it. A few of my friends and myself started watching some of them and we started with Drive In Massacre. The quality was bad due to the transfer but I really enjoyed the film. Sadly, my friends did not. Recently, Severin films re-mastered the film and released it on blu. I was looking forward to seeing a quality version of the film so I reached out to them and they were kind enough to send a copy my way. Thanks guys.
**Spoiler Alert**The film takes place in a local drive in where couples go to catch a cheap movie and some cheap thrills but this time something sinister is unfolding. Couples that attend the drive in are being murdered by a maniac wielding a sword. The police suspect that it is the supervisor or the groundskeeper at the drive in due to their background in carnival sword acts but things take a bloody turn during their investigation.**Spoiler Alert**
I will be the first to admit that Drive in Massacre is not a perfect film. In fact, there is a lot going wrong with it but it does entertain which is all I can ask for. In terms of pre-80s slashers it is one of my favorite ones alongside the essential Halloween.
The acting in this one is pretty rough. The cast has a lot of on screen experience and talent but they just don’t feel dedicated to their roles. The cast really needed some motivation or a little better written characters.
The story for this one is simple and effective though it does have a lot of room for improvement. The plot flows like a traditional slasher where people are being butchered by an unknown killer. I do enjoy the masked slashers to the non-masked slashers but this one is still fun. I do hate how the film has no resolve. Leaving the killer unknown is a horrible angle for a slasher. What makes slashers so fun are the killer reveals and the kills themselves. The film does take a cheap route which makes it feel as if it is unfinished.
Finally, the film has several on screen kills that use clichéd effects and tricks that are still fun. They are cheap and nothing we haven’t seen before but it does make for a fun drive in experience while sitting in your living room. Overall, Drive In Massacre is a cheap slasher that is hit or miss among horror fans. Personally, I dig it but I know that it is far from perfect. Trashy movie fans should really check this one out.
Drive In Days: Interview
Norm Sheridan Recalls Drive-In Massacre
Making the Massacre Interview