If you’re a home video junkie like me, Arrow Video is a name that’s become fairly infamous in recent years. Since their stunning (and well-received) re-release of ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS in 2012, Arrow Video has quickly rose to the top of the food chain in regards to remastered re-releases of classic exploitation, horror, schlock, and gore films dating back to the early 1960’s and beyond complete with retro-inspired exclusive covers and features that any film junkie would surely drool over.
They’re absolutely remarkable and if you’re somehow unaware of the magic that is Arrow Video, might I recommend you start with their limited edition, remastering of Takashi Miike’s THE HAPPINESS OF THE KATAKURIS – it’s quite a trip and worth every penny. Essentially, Arrow Video and their aesthetically beautiful re-releases should be on everyone’s radar.
Lucky for us at Terror Time, Arrow has been kind enough to grant us access to some of their newest upcoming releases before they’re unleashed to the public and as they become available to us, we’ll be passing on all the juicy info to you. Prepare your wallets now; they’re about to get lighter.
This week, we’re talking about the 1986 Ozploitation classic, DEAD END DRIVE-IN.
DEAD END DRIVE-IN is one of those films that tends to fall off the radar for many. Regardless, the trashterpiece remains amazing in its own right and shines like a day-glo beacon in all of its sleazy glory.
DEAD END DRIVE-IN focuses on Jimmy AKA “Crabs” and his girlfriend Carmen.
In the not-so-distant future, the economy has collapsed and massive crime waves tear through the inner cities. The manufacturing industry has diminished to the point where cars are a hot commodity and parts are fought over by roving gangs and competing salvage companies. In an attempt to contain the rash of crime taking the cities by storm, several Drive-In theatres have been converted into neon concentration camp for the undesirable, unemployed youth. The camps are surrounded by high, electrified fences and monitored by police, stationed on security roads (or “S” roads) that do not allow walking or public transportation of any kind.
The police collaborate with the owners of these Drive-Ins to sabotage the vehicles of unsuspecting visitors, stranding them within the “Camps.”
Despite being imprisoned within the high walls of the Drive-in, the Prisoners are granted access to various entertainments, junk food, drugs, alcohol, and new wave music.
Due to the horrible conditions on the outside, several inmates accept their fate and voluntarily choose to stay within, never seeking escape or release.
When Jimmy steals his brother’s vintage 1956 Chevy to take his girlfriend Carmen to the local Star Drive-In, the most they expected was a night of cramped intimacy, junk food, and a bad movie. What they didn’t expect was the Police to steal the tires off their car, trapping them inside the walls of the Drive-In.
The following morning, the two of them tell the owner of the theft. He takes down their names and “fills out a report”, discreetly entering their names into the prison system. He informs them that they’d be there for quite a while and hands them a stack of meal tickets to use at the run-down café and Crabs and Carmen begin to plot their escape.
DEAD END DRIVE-IN never ceases to entertain. Despite being absolutely ridiculous, the overall concept, plot, execution, and climax of the film are absurdly entertaining. The “vaguely Australian” accents (despite being filmed in Australia) are equal parts confusing as they are hilarious. Overall though, it’s a solid ‘80s, neon, trash/action/suspense flick even made more enjoyable by the absolutely beautiful restoration from the folks at Arrow.
The upcoming re-release comes packed with features including:
A brand new 2k restoration from the original film materials
High Definition (1080p) presentation
Optional subtitles not previously available for the deaf and/or hard of hearing
Audio commentary by Director Brian Trenchard-Smith
THE STUNTMEN, Trenchard Smith’s classic television documentary on Grant Page (ROAD GAMES, MAD MAX) and other Australian stunt performers
HOSPITALS DON’T BURN DOWN, Trenchard Smith’s 1978 public information film told in pure Ozploitation fashion
Original theatrical trailer
Exclusive (1st pressing only) fully illustrated collector’s booklet containing writings on the film by Cullen Gallagher and Neil Mitchell.
DEAD END DRIVE IN is some of the finest Ozploitation, Post-Apocalyptic, Aussie Trash one could ever ask for. Giving obvious nods to MAD MAX and its’ various sequels, it’s a classic film that absolutely deserves to be enjoyed by everyone. And thanks to Arrow, everyone can with their absolutely beautiful re-relese.
DEAD END DRIVE-IN is available on Blu-Ray on September 20th, 2016 exclusively from Arrow Video.
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DEAD END DRIVE-IN