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I find many of the old horror movie titles as part of packaged releases from Brentwood and other companies, twelve titles for $5.99, fifty titles for $20.00, etc. Therefore, many of these films have not been remastered and have lousy sound or picture quality. This is very true for the version I saw of "Drive-in Movie Massacre". I couldn't understand most of what was being said in the opening sequence, and I had to increase the brightness of my television to figure out exactly whom was being shown at the end, and I think I know who it was -- due to the context -- but it wasn't clear.
However, despite its sound and picture problems, this film couldn't have been any better in crisp shape 30 years ago. I was only 4 and 5 in 1976 and recall only one time being sneaked into a drive-in; my understanding of drive-ins, however, is that when things on the screen got boring, people honked their horns. I read that that was why Sam Raimi kept up the pace of "Evil Dead", to prevent horn-honking. I imagine that there was much honking during screenings of this film. The ending is laughably absurd; it MIGHT have worked in 1940, or 1876, and it might scare little four year olds who are still afraid of the bogeyman and have parents who try to keep them well-behaved by using his appearance as a threat, but for teenagers or adults, it's "Oh, Jesus" lame.
This is on top of the film being highly padded, with a minutes-long scene of one character's carnival-gazing and another set in a warehouse that doesn't make a lick of sense. However, I found this film mildly amusing, in a movie-night-with-your-drinking-buddies sort of way. It has touches of camp, sometimes intentional. The manager of the drive-in, filled with angrily-told stories of self-pity, amused me, and I thought that the actor playing "Germy" often hit some spot-on moments, his pathetic 'am-I-a-good-boy?' eagerness to help with the investigation and wounded reaction when finally being pushed too far helping to ground the film.
This is not the worst film of its genre, and I'd watch it again with friends who want to make fun of something while we get drunk.
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