Everyone has an opinion when it comes to The Last Drive-In. If you could request one film for Joe Bob Briggs and Darcy the Mail Girl to cover, what would it be? It just so happens that a few members of 25YL’s Horror Team have some suggestions for our next trip to the drive-in. Check them out and let us know which films you would choose for the perfect episode.
The Children (1980)
Indulge me for a second as I explain why this should make it to the series and Shudder’s growing catalog. The film is something of an oddity that I’m surprised more genre fans haven’t caught up on. Without spoiling much of the plot, let’s just say that kids on a bus run through the remnants of a toxic cloud; that’s all you need to know. I promise it’s far more fun than that logline gives it credit for. You’ll get black fingernails, chauffeur-driven disco, sexual innuendo, bad parents, drugs, rural settings, and an ending that seems perfect for the schlock. Now, isn’t that what the drive-in is all about…
Prom Night (1980)
My pick would be 1980’s Prom Night, which IS currently streaming on Shudder. Part of the reason would be because I don’t recall Joe Bob ever covering it, or if he did, I missed it. I think Josh mentioned something in a previous roundtable about how he’d like a week where Joe Bob would cover two bona fide classics and I agree. So far, in seven weeks of these double features, there hasn’t been a single movie I’ve seen more than once. In one sense, that’s great, because it means Joe Bob is expanding my horror education but I do yearn for something very familiar to me that I can hear a fresh take, namely Joe Bob’s, on. Even if he seems less inspired to talk about the slashers—at least that’s the impression I get from movies like The Prowler and Blood Rage—which I had more fun with. Slashers are my horror comfort food. I doubt many would consider Prom Night to be a bona fide classic; it’s true that I probably hold it in higher regard than most. It’s my third favorite slasher movie, after Halloween and Friday the 13th. I know most people would probably find it cliche and formulaic (with things like sinister phone calls and messages left in lockers, the revenge motivation) and it probably is nowadays; just a reminder that it was released fairly early in the heyday of slashers. Besides, it’s familiarity might be one reason I love it so much; I know horror aspects I love that I can expect from it. As Randy in Scream called out, one thing I appreciate about it is that “everybody’s a suspect!” I have a retro taste in music, so I dig the disco tracks (as well as the end credits track “Fade to Black”, which adds a sadder punch to the ending) even if you can guess the songs they’re ripped off from. We even get a Saturday Night Fever-style dance number featuring Jamie Lee Curtis and Casey Stevens (it’s been said the two dated shortly; though sadly Stevens later passed away). I love the ominous score by Paul Zaza (My Bloody Valentine, Curtains) and Carl Zittrer (Black Christmas); given that the cast includes Jamie Lee Curtis and a pre-comedy star Leslie Nielsen gives it some acting cred. Really, I’d love it if Joe Bob covered ANY Jamie Lee Curtis horror movie, though I know The Fog and Halloween II were covered on Monstervision. Just more slashers in general would be fun for me.
Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988)
Killer Klowns from Outer Space is a 1988 American science fiction horror comedy film written, directed, and produced by the Chiodo Brothers. Why do I think it’s perfect? Now considered a cult classic among most horror fans, it has 40 kills: one decapitation, one person killed with melted cream pies, and the majority of people dying by either a cotton candy gun or by being turned into a cotton candy cocoon. Killer Klowns From Outer Space is the perfect campy flavor of what Joe Bob and The Last Drive-In is all about!
Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)
I wanna make a request…the film I would like to see on The Last Drive-In the most is Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. I know the original is the best but Hooper’s sequel is the most fun. The cast is aces, with Caroline Williams, Bill Moseley, and Dennis Hopper all giving standout performances. This film is truly a blast and made for the drive-in; once it starts it never lets up and it’s almost Hooper parodying himself on purpose. It is as over the top as the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre is deadly serious. The soundtrack is fantastic and the film just has a sense of fun and that it shouldn’t be taken too seriously; it also has a pretty nice amount of gore. The opening sequence where two of Leatherface and Chop Top’s (Bill Moseley) victims are killed during a radio call-in is classic, as is the radio station break in by Chop Top and Leatherface. Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is full of bombastic, gory sequences and Caroline Williams is the greatest scream queen of all time.