Drive-In Film Details
Overview: The adventures of a group of teenagers at a drive-in theatre in Texas one weekend night.
Review: In the mid-1970’s the Texas Film Commission provided considerable assistance to local filmmakers in an effort to grow the in-state film industry. One benefit of this was a little film appropriately titled “Drive-In”; a feature about drive-in movies meant to be shown at drive-ins. Although set in a small town outside Dallas, it could be Anywhere, USA; or at least any place where teen entertainment is centered around a town’s roller skating rink and the drive-in theater. If “Drive-In” was nothing more than a loving look at drive-ins and a time-capsule of the mid-70’s it would be a treat, but this film is actually very well made. I originally saw it at a drive in Orange County, CA a few months after moving there from Texas. Although most of America’s drive-ins have vanished, the entertainment aspect of this film has held up very well. Don’t go looking for a lot of familiar faces in the cast, part of the film commission’s mission was to utilize local talent so you will see a lot of Texas folks getting their first and last screen credits. You might recognize Engelberg (Gary Cavagnaro), the fat catcher from “The Bad News Bears”; and character actor Glenn Morshower but the rest of the cast are folks like Michelle Franks, a local beauty who just acts natural. The main story involves the efforts of the town’s hottest girl (Glowie played by Lisa LeMole) to convince nice but very shy Orville (Morshower) that she is sincerely interested in him. But the film is loaded with side stories that weave into and around the main story. These include two wimpy teen gangs, The Widow Makers and The Gear Grinders who have a mild fight witnessed by a couple of outlaw bikers who comment: “Gang violence, its frightening”. There are a couple of bumbling small time thieves who attempt to rob the theater box office. There is an auxiliary sheriff with gun rack and right-wing bumper stickers who shuts up his nagging mother by smoking a joint with her. There is an engaged couple having second thoughts about getting married, especially after the guy gets a look at Michelle Franks at the concession stand. Much of the humor comes from “Disaster 76”, a movie within the movie. It is being screened at the drive-in and there are frequent cuts to the action on that screen. It is a nice spoof of a whole group of disaster flicks including “Airport”, “Jaws”, and “The Towering Inferno”. Current viewers will be shocked when a 747 crashes into the side of a skyscraper in a manner almost identical to the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. Obviously this idea has been around for a long time although apparently no one in the FBI ever viewed “Drive-In”, wonder if it got any play in the Middle East? There is also a television show within the movie as The Widow Makers spend their downtime watching “Ozzie and Harriet” reruns on the television set in their van. At one point Engleberg refers to Oklahoma as Baja Arkansas and says “reasoning with a woman is like eating soup with a fork”. Glowie turns down the offer of a ride home from a guy hitting on her with the immortal line: “I’d rather have a nonspecific infection”. Fans of classic country music will love the soundtrack featuring Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, Ronnie Milsap, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, and Jerry Lee Lewis. “Whatever Happened to Randolph Scott?” by The Statler Brothers is the theme song. Then again, what do I know? I’m only a child.
Duration: 96 min
Also known as: Drive-In,Автокино,Ciné-parc