Drive In

Year: 2000
Director:  Chuck DeBus
Cast:  Brenton Early, Deshja Driggs, Rick Perkins, Eric Jungmann, Alex Grant, Taneka Johnson

Billy, a massive, hulking of a young man with the intellectual capacity of a preschooler, has had the unique opportunity to grow up in a house next to a drive in theater that specializes in showing gore-soaked slasher films.   Confined to his room for most of his existence, he passes his time at night watching these violent movies play out on the big screen directly in view of his bedroom window.  One night, when pushed too far by his uncaring babysitter, Billy snaps.   After killing the babysitter, Billy escapes his house and heads to the only place he knows; the Drive In theater, which is replete with obnoxious high school kids who became the prime focus of his murderous rampage.

Admittedly,  Drive In actually has a pretty decent premise hidden somewhere underneath the pretty blatant exploitation of mental disabilities and the heavy handed suggestion that violent films will cause people to go on a killing spree.  Drive In theaters are inherently creepy places, particularly now that they have become such a rare and nostalgic part of the American landscape.  Really, who knows who is the car next parked next to you?  Or who may be lurking in the dark foliage just beyond the dilapidated snack bar?  A modern slasher film that utilizes these elements to their full effect could be great.  Sadly, Drive In comes nowhere close to being an effective film and, truth be told, is a chore to sit through.  Forget the technical issues that the film suffers from, particularly inadequate and misused lighting; the screenplay is tediously thrown together, steeped with genre cliches and underdeveloped characters, and wooden actors portraying these meaningless characters.  Death by dental floss and melted butter are among the several absurdities the viewer is subjected to, that is when the one can actually see what is going on.  It is quite convenient that, during many of the death scenes, the lighting goes almost so dark that it is impossible to make out what is going on, crushing any hope that gore hounds may have for this delivering in that department.  Moreover, it certainly says something when the cheesy Troma clips being shown on the screen at the drive in are ions better than the actually film itself.  These clips are certainly Drive In's highlight.  The filmmaker better thank Troma for allowing clips of their films to be shown here, otherwise this film would be a complete waste.  By the time the climax of the film plays out with a awkward attempt to tug at viewer heartstrings, our eyes have rolled at stupidity and ineptness so many times that we really just want it all to end and our questioning why we just didn't shut it off an hour ago.

Overall, Drive In has a premise that could have made a kick ass, old school slasher film.  Instead, the whole thing comes off as an uninspired attempt to give some publicity to some of Troma's sleeziest films.  This truly is the worst kind of slasher film: one that had tons of potential, but is executed in the blandest manner possible.

Fright Meter Grade:

No comments:

Post a Comment