Tom Doty Times Columnist
A drive-in theater hosts four films on its closing night, as well as an army of zombies that consume the patrons, in this fast-paced salute to all things cinema.
The bare bones of a story finds a trio of friends hitting the drive-in. They enjoy the films which begin with “Wadzilla.” This is a salute to those 1950s sci-fi flicks where a high brow scientist (who has to define every word he uses) and a young couple must face down a monster. The creature turns out to be an enormous, well, you’ll just have to see the flick. This is a raunchy segment that has a lot of fun with how the fabulous fifties took a big bite out of morality and opened the door to more permissive standards for cinema. This is actually backed up by history. 1950s cinema tried luring teens to the drive-in with more ribald fare, since adults were sitting home watching that new electronic device, the television.
“I Was a Teenage Werebear” is the second feature and turns out to be a spoof of the teen horror movies of Roger Corman as well as those beach comedies that flourished at the same time. There are even musical numbers as we witness a high school boy struggle with kissing his girlfriend when there are all manner of distractions. The chief thing on his mind is a James Dean-like hood who may just be a wearbear capable of making our hero a monster too with a single bite.
The third flick is my favorite. It pokes fun at 1930s horror cinema, was shot in black and white, and has all of the characters speaking their lines in faux German. Welcome to the ‘The Diary of Anne Frankenstein.” Here, the family hiding out from Nazi persecution also harbors a secret — they can bring the dead back to life. Turns out that Adolf Hitler himself is hunting them.
The family is found out and the Adolf uses their recipe to reanimate a corpse. However, this procedure actually creates a Golem which is sworn to protect the Jewish faith. It has a field day ripping into the bad guys with an assortment of objects like a deadly Menorah and a Dradle that spins right into your brain.
The final film is a just a teaser. Good thing, too, because it is really gross. The last movie never finishes because most of the audience members have turned into zombies and are now cruising the snack bar for flesh.
This is fun stuff that was cobbled together by four directors who are known for low-budget horror. The good news is they are even better at comedy and have a vast knowledge of cinema. Every character is named after a famous director and there are way too many film references to count. Rest assured that you will hear dialogue from many classic films as well as a few cult ones.
Fun stuff and very sophomoric at times, but well worth trolling through the gross moments for some genuine homages to Hollywood’s best and brightest.
Best line: “Miles showed up at her door, grabbed his crotch, and started screaming.”
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