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Film / Drive-In Massacre

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Tenth, actually.

"You'll pay to get in, and pray to get out."

Drive-In Massacre is a Slasher Movie released in 1977.

In a small rural California town, a dingy local drive-in suddenly makes the front page when a teenage couple is brutally butchered there one summer night, the killer's weapon of choice appearing to be a sword, of all things. Put in charge of finding the maniac responsible for this atrocious crime are Detectives Mike Leary and John Koch, who quickly narrow the suspect pool down to three persons of interest:

  • Austin Johnson, the assholish and constantly complaining loudmouth manager of the drive-in, left in charge of almost everything while the owner is away on vacation in Hawaiʻi.
  • Charlie "Germy" Garmey, the dim but kindhearted janitor and guard who, like Austin, used to be employed as a sword swallower and knife-thrower by the carnival that existed before the drive-in.
  • Orville Ingleson, a local truck driver and pervert who spends his nights cruising around the drive-in, peeping on girls and, if possible, couples about to get it on.

As the detectives look into each of these oddballs, another double murder with the same MO (a lone couple mutilated with a sword) is committed at the drive-in the very next night, causing the police force to realize they are not just looking for a random murderer, but a vicious serial killer, one whose already short cooling-off period seems to be getting smaller and smaller. With no real clues or leads, and with the prime suspects all in possession of reasonable alibis, the case turns into a desperate struggle to stop the escalating killer before they commit an all-out bloodbath.

Having seemingly fallen into the public domain, the film (which has not been terribly well received, having only a few defenders) is available in a number of those crappy bargain bin horror collections, and can also be viewed for free on websites such as Youtube.

An In Name Only, comedy horror remake was announced in 2011; it has yet to be released as of 2018.

Attention viewers, this is the manager speaking over the PA system, informing you that the film is about to start, and stars the following:

  • The Bad Guy Wins: The killer (who is never identified, or even glimpsed) gets away, and commits a swath of murders across the US, a different drive-in in each state.
  • Creator Cameo: Co-writer George Flower plays the Red Herring escaped mental patient who shows up during the last third of the film.
  • Death by Materialism: Austin refuses to close the drive-in due to the surprisingly high amount of revenue coming in.
  • Fatal Family Photo: Alan's girlfriend says she wants a baby, and Lori tells David (who mentions that he has a wife and two kids) that she's pregnant.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Before the credits roll, a fake PA announcement informs viewers that the killer is outside and that they should not panic, because the police are on the way. Obviously, this becomes less effective when the film is watched at home.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: The killer, except on this obscure VHS cover.
  • If It Bleeds, It Leads: "With headlines like those it's gonna be panic city in here any time now... yeah, I dunno why they don't have headlines that big when we win one."
  • Man Bites Man: The mental patient's daughter escapes his grasp by biting him.
  • Pater Familicide: The mental patient killed his wife, his sister, and intended to kill his daughter.
  • Peek-a-Boo Corpse: Germy's hacked-up body is found in a storage room.
  • Shadow Discretion Shot: Austin's death occurs in the film booth, and the silhouette of it gets projected onto the drive-in screen.
  • Title In: "On August 10 in a California Drive-In it all began..."
  • Too Dumb to Live: Despite the high probability of being dismembered, people keep going to the drive-in; Austin even says that business hasn't been this good since the place first opened.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Lori was pregnant, and the mental patient planned on killing his daughter.