Friday, September 25, 2015

Drive In Massacre

(Image from Paul J. Zamerelli's

We've had a long line of contributors that Crank (or Erok/Eric ok, internet-- the cat's outta the fucking bag) has recruited from Monster! or FB or the dark recesses of his imagination--I mean maybe all the writers are just me under different names aye? Ha that's ridiculous right, or is it? I mean I'm not also Skunkape how could I be that's just schizophrenic! Anyway, right now we've got our latest writer Michael Hauss and I expect great things from this guy because he seems to be as fixated on exploitive trash from the good old days of pre-internet shenanigans as much as we are. Thanks again Mike and take it away-E

USA, 1977
Directed by Stu Segall
Starring: John F Goff, Bruce Kimball, Buck Flower (uncredited)

Review By Michael Hauss

Do you ever watch a film and have a hard time figuring it out in your mind? This film was one of those for me. I know the film is bad, but it has some redeeming qualities and it had a real chance to be an explanation gem, if only...  
The pros of this film include a great dirty ass gritty 70's grindhouse/ drive-in feel, a cast loaded with exploitation veterans, some decent Gore effects and a couple of nicely fleshed out characters. The cons include, an open ended ending, the suspects are made to be such red herrings that they smelled fishy, an unrelated scene towards the end of the film that was designed either to throw the viewer off or was strictly filler, and one truly bad acting performance.

MASSACRE starts with the drive-in patrons streaming into the venue,  the camera settles onto a young couple who are there to do some shagging, the man has parked too far from the speaker and must reach out exposing most of his torso, a sword flashes on the screen and off goes his head, the woman looks out and sees his decapitated body and begins to scream, only to have her screams interrupted by a sword stabbing through her neck. Six minutes in and we get a throat piercing and a beheading, I thought I was in Gore heaven. From this point on we are introduced to the detectives who are investigating the case and the workers at the drive-in.

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SHIT! Someone poisoned my Peanut M&M's!

The detectives in the film are played by exploitation regulars John F. Goff,  who is listed as Jake Barnes in the credits, Goff plays detective Mike Leary and Bruce Kimball, who is listed as Michael Alden in the credits and plays detective John Koch. John F Goff is also credited as screenwriter along with Buck Flower and director Stu Segall. Goff has many exploitation film credits that include NURSE SHERRI (USA, 1978), GAS PUMP GIRLS (USA, 1979), ALLIGATOR (USA, 1980) and MANIAC COP (USA, 1988). Bruce Kimball while not as prolific as Koch, appeared in some sleazy gems himself including THE SCAVENGERS (USA, 1969), LOVE CAMP 7(USA, 1969) and THE MIGHTY GORGON (USA,1969) to name but a few. The detectives go to the Drive-in to speak to the manager, who's name is Austin Johnson (Robert E. Pearson), Johnson is a big bald headed dude with a penchant for turtleneck and loud blazer combos, and is as the cops call him a "perfect asshole." Johnson explains that the owner of this drive-in lives in Hawaii and closed the carnival that used to be on the site and opened the drive-in.

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Ok everything's in order, I've pissed in the popcorn so we're ready for business.

When questioned about the homicides Johnson tells the cops that " a couple of horny kids got themselves chopped up, so what?" Johnson is an intensely angry man who calls all the teenagers who frequent the drive-in, " one big zit with long hair." A " half wit" named Germy ( Norman Sheridan) works around the drive-in and lives on the lot Germy was a geek in the carnival, lost all his teeth biting the heads off of snakes and chickens he boast to the cops. Germy also says he used to be a sword swallower in the carnival and used the owners private sword collection in his act.

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Guinness Records, That's right you've found us, the slobbiest twin pigs

Douglas Gudbye plays Germy and his performance to me is awful, it's like he was auditioning to play a slow witted character on the ANDY GRIFFITH (USA 1960-1968) show, in a grimy, dirty picture as this, he should have been a perverted little fuck, who brought some anxiety to the role. Germy when asked by the cops if he noticed any odd characters around the drive-in, tells them that a man drives around looking into cars where couples are Shagging, the odd thing about this drive-in is that most of the patrons who are trying to engage in fornication or dry humping all seem to be well into their thirties! Germy calls the man the creeper, a pasty faced man who tries to look younger that he is. The cops ask Germy to get the creepers license plate number for them. As the cops drive off they deliver a classic line, " they may have closed the carnival, but the freaks are still hanging around."

We get our next murder piece around the twenty minute mark when a adultery committing man and his girlfriend, who happens to be pregnant get stabbed with a sword, killing both with one thrust, this being a few years before Jason killed two entwined lovers in the second FRIDAY THE 13Th (USA 1981), which of course was taken from Mario Bava's TWITCH OF THE DEATH NERVE (ITALY 1971). The creeper had been staring in the car, but disappeared before the fatal moment. The police captain calls in the police psychologist to help the detectives and he tells them it's a psychotic killer who will display no pattern! Well two couples killed by a sword, at a drive-in, might be a pattern, you think? The captain and doctor only get about two minutes of screen time, the detectives had found the murder weapon, but no fingerprints. The detectives call in Germy to interrogate and the next red herring is revealed, Johnson was a sword handler and knife thrower in the carnival, Germy got the creepers license plate number for the cops.

The detectives pay the creeper a visit, he's a local truck driver named Orville Ingleson who has a long undisclosed rap sheet and many nude photos of women hanging on his living room walls. Orville says he's innocent, looked in on the  couple because, " I just wanted to beat my meat."After a search of the house, they move outside to search Orville' s car and find a bloody clothing article in his car, Orville runs for it, but is apprehended, explains it was the blood of a dog he ran over, which we find out eventually is true.

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OK Jism Jim we heard you got the goods, now whip it out!

After being released Orville is back creeping again, the cops though have set up a surveillance, with one cop dressed as a woman, the scene is comedic and is odd placed in a film like this, the cop dressed as the woman reminded me of Lou Costello, when he'd do his drag routine in the Abbot and Costello films. Orville parks next to an oversexed man and his girl, the woman just wants to watch the movie, he gets to first base exposing her breast, which oddly enough in a film like this which was directed by a porn directed named Stu Segall, that this would be the only nudity. The man gets peeved after she keeps turning her attention to the movie, he jumps angrily from the car, only to return minutes later, slap it into reverse, and as he backs out looks over and sees his decapitated girlfriend in the passenger seat. The bumbling cops had missed the murder after a comedic exchange, the cops fully expect to find Orville in the adjoining car, they do, but his throat has been pierced by a sword. The cops pull in the foul mouthed funky blazer wearing Johnson for a few questions, the cops want the drive-in closed, to which Johnson refuses. The cops tell him they are trying to catch a killer, which Johnson replies to them," your doing a pretty poor job, three cars away from where you were sitting." Johnson is livid and wants to be charged or let go, the pukes back at the drive-in as he calls the other unseen workers are ripping him off. Germy is at the police station too, Johnson is pissed at him because he brought sandwiches and he fouled his order up, words are exchanged, Johnson fires Germy, tells him to get his belongs and go.

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Harpo's boobs honk when you squeeze them.

We next get Germy wondering around a carnival as the audio of his last few days play over his scenes. The film quickly cuts to the cops getting a call about a guy, that's cornered in a warehouse who just wiped out two men, could it be Germy who was out wondering about and finally snapped all the way? Well, of course not it's a totally unrelated scene with the uncredited Buck Flower, who after killing the two guys has a young female hostage that he holds hostage with a machete. After the girl escapes her captor, we get a cat and mouse game, with Buck bellowing about Cutting the evil out of the little girl. The cops pull up and are met by one lone policeman, I am only assuming he was a cop though. The cops enter and after a bit more cat and mouse, old Buck is shot dead. The girl hostage says in a bitter ass tone, "did you have to kill him?" The girl goes on to explain the man they killed was her father, who had escaped the mental hospital just that morning, he was locked up for killing her mother and aunt. So, what did the scene have to do with this film you ask? Absolutely nothing except filler or the director trying to throw the viewer off. The cops decide that Johnson is the killer, and say "let's go pick up that bald headed garbage can."

Germy returns to pick his belongs up and wants to see Johnson, he's stopped by the only other worker we see onscreen, a female who runs the concession stand. She runs out and tells Germy that Johnson said he'd kill Germy if he saw him again. Germy says he's owed money and wants it, he enters the projection booth. The cops pull up and they see silhouetted on the screen, a man being killed by a sword as the cowboy movie plays on behind it. They run into the booth and see Johnson dead and fully expect to see Germy hiding behind a closed door, but what they find is a dead Germy. Roll the ending on screen Caption: "... the senseless bloodbath that gripped a California Drive-in has spread to other theatres throughout the country. Authorities say there are no clues to the killers identity and no end to the hotel in sight. The killer could strike at again. Anywhere--- Anytime...
" Who will be next---"?

Buck Flower who plays the escaped crazy man in the warehouse appeared in a massive amount of films, which many were exploitation films, this including many soft core sex films. Flower has 159 acting credits appearing in such fine films as CRIMINALLY INSANE (USA, 1975), ILSA: SHE WOLF OF THE SS (CANADA, 1975), THEY LIVE (USA, 1988) and PUMPKINHEAD (USA, 1988). Flower' s daughter Verkina plays the young girl held hostage in the warehouse, she's best remembered for her appearance in the film WITCH WHO CAME FROM THE SEA ( USA, 1977).
Most of the actors who appeared in this film used an alias in the credits, not sure the reasoning as most have appeared in equally bad films, Buck Flower appeared here uncredited. 

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If someone doesn't buy one of these Mr. Microphones in this warehouse soon, the little twerp dies!

I am sure the drive-in crowd back in the day were spooked at the ending when the open ending stated that a murderer was still roaming and killing drive-in patrons. The film while ultimately bad, does have enough for this reviewer to recommend it. Watch it and in your mind and realize that the film was so close to 70's exploitation nirvana, but ultimately fell too short because of a seriously ambiguous and frustrating ending.



  1. I was lucky enough to catch this as a "quasi-Drive-In" years ago. The audience was me .... and a homeless guy.

  2. I saw it at the drive in years ago. Might have been on a dusk to dawn viewing with TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and other films. That's what my faulty memory is suggesting to me..Lol..


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