Wicked Wednesday: Drive-In Massacre (1977)


Drive-In Massacre is a very dark film, and unfortunately I’m just referring to the lighting. Most of the scenes in the drive-in are so indistinguishable it’s mostly like watching a black square with a bit of flashing light. I was hoping for some grindhouse influence, but to no avail.

This movie is mostly a long sequence of boring interrogations, interspersed with scenes of couples getting killed by a sword. Yes, a sword. Many of the workers at the theatre are former carnival workers, including the bald-headed dick of a manager and the “half-wit who sweeps up,” Germy.

One night, a young couple are at the local drive-in. While fooling around, the girl doesn’t notice that her boyfriend has literally lost his head. When she starts to panic, she gets a sword through the throat. Only I glanced away for a moment (sychronised swimming was on while I was watching this) and I thought the girl was choking herself out of shock, which would have been a whole lot more weird, but a least a bit refreshing, right?

In charge with the murder investigation are two dumb policemen. Surprised? They go to the drive-in to interview the manager and Germy. This is about a ten-minute conversation that is sure to put anyone to sleep. Nothing brings drama like listening to an angry man talking about his nightly routine at work. Joy! Germy later admits that he was a geek in the carnival and swallowed swords (I think) before the carnival was shut down and turned into the drive-in.

A second couple are killed by sword again, and this time its after they are creeped on by local creeper… Creep (like I said, sychronised swimming, I can’t be bothered with names). Though I can’t understand why the couple are at the drive-in. The woman keeps insisting they go because two people were murdered there the previous night. Well, duh. Perhaps you should have gone out for dinner instead? Even more confusingly, the manager later states that the theatre has been busier than ever? Nothing like bringing the loved one to a murder scene for a bit of films and romance.

Anyway, Germy tells the police that he saw the creeper hanging around the car where the murders took place. The two idiots go to the creeper’s house to investigate him. He’s clearly innocent, but he still runs away anyway when the police find something in his car. He’s arrested and then immediately released. Which makes me really glad I had to sit through all of that for no reason or plot development at all.

The police decide to attempt a different tactic, actually patrolling the drive-in during a stake out. Only they get distracted by Germy. When the boyfriend screams that his girlfriend is headless (only he doesn’t say this, I only dream up more interesting dialogue here), the cops run to the car of the creeper (who is somehow still allowed into the drive-in despite being a murder suspect) and find that he has been murdered as well.

I think, anyway. I really couldn’t see. Bit dark.

Then the film goes a bit down hill… which I found out was possible.

Gormy heads to a carnival. Not sure if its a flashback or just a different carnival somewhere else, but he just wanders it aimlessly while different quotes from the film play over. And… end scene.

The police get a call that there is a man with a machete, so they head out to catch their killer. Only they appear to be getting a sword and a machete mixed up. Because police are dumb! Get it?? They “rescue” the little girl from the man who has grabbed her, but after they shoot the suspect dead, the girl scolds them for killing her mentally ill father. Only with this scene, it just opens with a man dragging a girl around a dark warehouse. I swear I had accidentally changed movies.

The “shocking” conclusion is the only bit that slightly pays off here. Gormy goes in to talk to his boss, who had just fired him. The police and some random girl watch as someone gets killed in front of the projector. As they rush in they find the manager’s dead body… AND GORMY’S! The killer is still on the loose – killing all over in drive-ins in America!

So I spoiled the ending, yes. But I did you a favour, really. You weren’t going to watch this. At least you shouldn’t, anyway. I can put up with bad movies, but this really had nothing going for it. It’s shockingly (or not so shockingly) dull. There isn’t much fun here for anyone.

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