The Last Drive-In | Your Guide to the Drive-In Totals

There’s a few things Joe Bob can’t stand: cat-and-mouse, movies described as psychological fever dreams and goin meta. Sorry big man. A year of The Last Drive-In has revealed certain … patterns. We asked our crack team of scientist to study the Drive-In Totals and came up with these observations. While we’ve limited our study to the marathons and Season 1, we feel sure the holiday specials, MonsterVision and Joe Bob’s Movie Channel days would yield similar findins.

Anatomy Of A Body Count

First things first. After just one year of Joe Bob, we’re already up to 488 dead bodies. That’s an average of 15.7 per flick and does not include the two dead hogs from The Legend of Boggy Creek. We never count dead breasts on The Last Drive-In and we try not to count dead animals. Highest body count honors go to Wolf Guy, lowest to A Girl Walks Home Alone, a study in contrasts if there ever was one.

The Longer The Totals, The More Drive-In The Flick

All blog art by T.J. Denton – @tdenton_1138

How many dead and/or exploding bodies, gratuitous whatnots and -Fus does it take to get a Lone Star around here? Technically just a few; we’re not into withholdin. When more than 30 items grace the Totals, that’s a drive-in flick even by drive-in standards. Common characteristics include body counts in the double digits, higher-than-average Fu, and an over-the-top special effects bonanza complete with slime glopola that lets you know plot will repeatedly be gettin in the way of the story. Examples: Society, Deathgasm, Wolf Guy, Demon Wind, Contamination, Street Trash

Breast Count: Cracking The Code

For obvious reasons, there is no direct correlation between body count and breast count unless you have a uni-boob character and so far, no dice. Until then, here’s a few things to keep in mind:

  • Numero Uno: Both the Marathon and Season 1 kicked off with zero breast counts: Tourist Trap, Sleepaway Camp, and C.H.U.D. Now is that any way to bring back the drive-in?
  • Numero Two-o: Skinny dippin and shower scenes do not a high breast count make. See films above.
  • Numero Three-o: Small cast + high garbanza count = Low breast diversity. If there is one female lead and 14 breasts, you will be seeing the same blessed pair over and over. Let’s hope it’s a good one. (Lookin at you Blood Harvest.)

Note: It is possible to have a single breast in the Drive-In Totals (Demons). Leave it to the Eye-talians.

Aardvarkin May Be Used For Good Or Evil

The French have an innate understanding of horror. Their word for orgasm, le petit mort, translates as The Little Death. And we all know that when it comes to horror, having sex is probably gonna kill ya. From Hellraiser to Society – and despite Pat Benatar’s repeated requests – sex can and will be used as a weapon. And while the time between coitus and interruptus (by knife, rod or other phallic stunt double) may be depressingly short, at least you’ll die happy. Special shout-out here to Madman. While it don’t take words to know that an excruciating hot-tub scene with even more excruciating musical accompaniment will spell certain death, TP and Betsy were at least permitted to contemplate their futures before said futures were cut terribly short.

Monster Movies May Not Show The Titular Monster

C.H.U.D. and Demon Wind, enough said. Like aardvarkin itself, sometimes the build-up and the pay-off – like the stars above the drive-in trailer – may not align. Note: Demon Wind was actually high on the demons, low on the demon wind. We admit that “showing wind,” possessed or otherwise, is a bit of a challenge.

Gratuitous Household Objects Equals “Serious Horror”

We don’t like to divide horror into camps. That’s constricting the Dangle Space and we all know where that leads. You will find, however, a higher-than-average number of everyday objects in movies like:

  • Daughters of Darkness: Spooky makeup mirror, gratuitous turquoise cocktail, Fruit Bowl Fu
  • The Changeling: Haunted piano keys, possessed water faucet, animated rocking wheelchair, multiple knick-knack hurling, creepy music box
  • House of the Devil: Disgusting candy jar, vase smashing, extrasensory pay phone, Sony Walkman Fu
George C. Scott in "The Changeling" — newly single and a teenage dream? Week 3 cover art by T.J. Denton @TDenton_1138

Mangled Dick May Appear In Movies That Do Not Star Felissa Rose

Some of us have brought ourselves to do what Joe Bob could not: freeze frame the final scenes of Sleepaway Camp. Whether you’re on Team Mangled or Team It’s Just Small/Shriveled/Leans to the Left, two things are true: 1) Without Joe Bob’s theory, we would not have Felissa Rose on Last Drive-In speed dial and 2) We might never have pondered the State of the Dick. On-screen full-frontal male nudity when it appears is pretty freakin sweet. On the downside, it’s usually attached to a man in the midst of a serious personality crisis. Examples: Castle Freak, Basket Case

A High Body Count Does Not A Good Slasher Pic Make And A Good Slasher Pic Does Not A Good Time Make

There were 10 dead bodies in The Prowler. It was still The Prowler, despite Bayonet and Pitchfork Fu, effects by Tom Savini, and one of the longest death scenes in the history of cinema. Contrast that with Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. Great slasher pic? Yes. A good time. No. We’re pretty sure Joe Bob kicked of Week 7 with Contamination just to help us feel better again.

Things You Can Tell About A Movie Just By Looking At The Totals

While it may be hard to remember whether it was Demons or Demon Wind that featured 47 gallons of slime glopola, there are some drive-in totals that very clearly belong to just one flick. Note: There may be a quiz…

  • Orange panty-fondling
  • Rubber Dildo and Anal Beads Fu
  • Waterbed Fu
  • Five-thousand-year flashback sequence featuring virgin sacrifice and heart-ripping
  • One jive-talking midget monster who talks like Barry White hosting a game show

Maple Syrup Anything Is Good

Despite being very nice people, Canadians know how to make some messed-up horror flicks. From Maple Syrup Porn (Rabid) to Maple Syrup Lycanthropes (Wolfcop), Joe Bob’s comeback demonstrates the impact that long winters and alcohol clearly have on the human psyche. That or just being David Cronenberg.

Barbara Crampton Anything is Great

Despite her conspicuous absence from Joe Bob’s Re-Animator Drive-In Academy Award nominations, her conspicuous presence during Castle Freak – plus live-tweeting with @Kellimaroney and @JohnTerlesky during @MutantTheater’s Chopping Mall feature – prove you can never have too much @BarbaraCrampton. Or too much #MutantFam.

Two Larry Cohens and One Prom Queen Make for a Great Drive-In Comeback

While we await news of Joe Bob’s triumphant Season 2 return, let’s tip our Stetsons once more to Larry Cohen (Q the Winged Serpent, The Stuff, and a Drive-In Kind of Guy) and our tiaras to Darcy (Prom Night II). If the marathons and Season 1 were any indication, Season 2 is gonna be a drive-in double fantasy.

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Laura Beerman

Our Gratuitous Blogger is Laura Beerman. Her bio may be summarized in two words: Mama tried. Laura is a lifelong horror fan with a particular soft spot for Joe Bob and Dario Argento. She earned a graduate degree in Early American Literature from Austin Peay State University. She has written professionally for more than two decades, primarily in healthcare, and has been interviewed by The Wall Street Journal and other industry publications for her insights. Laura lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her horticulturist husband, The Greenman, and her four cats. Her other musings are forthcoming in Diabolique Magazine.

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