Best to Stay Home – Drive-In Massacre (1976)

Going to a drive-in to see a movie outdoors is an experience one never forgets, especially if it is their first time. The enormous screen, the foot-long hot dogs and the good times had with friends and family makes it all one fantastic memory. A drive-in also makes for the perfect hunting ground for a serial killer what with everyone’s attention focused elsewhere and the sounds of death being masked by the racket of what is happening upon the big screen.

The premise is a great one, but when it was all said and done, Drive-In Massacre was a bit of a disappointment. For the most part it managed to tell a decent story, but it was bogged down by a lot of dialogue that would fall flat and essentially hamper any momentum the film tried to get. That being said, there was a little bit of humour that while it would not strike the audience as laughable, it at least lightened the mood a little and helped to smooth over a few of those rough moments. The kill scenes were good and the deaths, while not wholly original, were at least quite bloody and would end up cementing this movie as a slasher through and through.

Altogether the acting could have been a bit stronger, but it was serviceable and nobody was all that bad, most of what was lacking coming from the script. Director Stu Segall would infuse some suspense into it all when not focusing upon the investigation, but at the end of the day, and even though it only ran for seventy-four minutes, the film felt much longer than it was.

The worst part of it all, which might have worked had one been sitting in an actual drive-in while watching this, was the ending which was not really an ending at all. It was a neat idea and while they could never have fathomed the idea of home video or how big it would get so long ago, it simply does not work in this day and age.

Drive-In Massacre is not a great picture, but it is worth at least one look before condemning it to obscurity.

2.5 out of 5

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