Detroit Area Shock Show!!! Oct. 16 and 30, 1987

Detroit Area Shock Show!!! Oct. 16 and 30, 1987

Even in the dying days of the Drive In, there were a couple of Detroit area screens that were willing to celebrate the Halloween season with some special Shock Shows which continued the classic tradition of Low Budget and sometimes imported ghouls and gore (and of course, the girls!).

The ad pictured here is for a wonderful show that played at Downtown Adams theater (sadly to be closed down a year later) as well as the Ford Wyoming and Wayne 4 Drive Ins, the later in Wayne on Wayne Rd. just east of I-275 at the time.

The California AXE Massacre is the one and only Axe, originally released as Lisa Lisa in 1974 and later to be picked up by Box Office International who played it with The Child, a double feature that played a large number of area screens starting 9/16/77, and then retitled it possibly around 1984 when the company in it’s Valiant International Pictures (VIP) phase was playing it’s Horror features in selected areas around the US (a program which hit The Deuce in the Mid 80’s as described by Bill Landis in his Sleazeoid Express). A very effective Rural thriller, Co-Produced by JG “Pat” Patterson of The Body Shop/Dr. Gore infamy, it relies more on the brooding atmosphere than gore, but although it worked very well for some viewers it was something that might not have been fun for those who were only wanting the effects to take over.

Hollywood Hillside Strangler was originally Hollywood 90028 and released through Parker International Films who knew how to re-sell the film. It played the Detroit area with Horror Hospital (another Parker International re-release I think) back in October, 1978.

Mausoleum is the fun MPM ride that played the area first on 5/20/83 with many theaters playing it with Hells Angels Forever and then in the next week with many theaters pairing it with the legendary Gates of Hell (Fulci’s classic City of the Living Dead in it’s US edit) before turning into a favorite pick for a B flick for many Horror films that arrived in the area through the years. While not as essential as many of the other MPM/FCG films that played the Detroit area screens, you have to admit that Bobbie Bresee was a nice sight to see and the low budget effects were very cool to look at on the big screens.

Demons needs no introduction, but just in case, it was the fun film Produced by the one and only Dario Argento that seriously delivered the gore goods with a great soundtrack and some cool thrills. The best was certainly saved for last in true to Shock Show form! Originally, this played the Detroit area on 5/30/86, Distributed through the Ascot Entertainment Group, with the three screens hosting this show all part of the original run!

Sadly, the next Shock Show to be written about had no big ad, but it still had some quality films.

On Oct. 30, 1987, the Wayne Drive In had it’s Living Dead themed Halloween Death Show, which was arguably better than the one a couple of weeks before.

Revenge of the Living Dead might have been Bob Clark’s iconic 1973 shocker Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things in one of it’s few akas, Nights of the Living Dead may have been the ever-reliable and classic Night of the Living Dead (of course, we all know that misspellings happened a lot), and City of the Walking Dead was Unberto Lenzi’s incredible Nightmare City in it’s US edition Distributed through 21’st Century, and a film that was already a VHS favorite when released through Continental Video and rented at many Mom and Pop stores that had a galaxy of these films and originally played the Detroit area with The Return of the Alien’s Deadly Spawn as it’s B starting 12/2/83.

For the 4’th film in the Oct. 30’th feast, it was Night of the Dead Zombies, and it would have been very disappointing if it was Joel M. Reed’s Night of the Zombies which played a number of times in the Detroit area, usually as a B to better Horrors, although those who don’t know his career should check out his sick flick Bloodsucking Freaks, aka The Incredible Torture Show and even Blood Freaks – the later title playing the Detroit area as part of a three film Troma show that hit in 1985 – or even his 60’s New York Roughie flicks Sex by Advertisement and Career Bed.

Then again…it could have been a number of the better Zombie flicks. If anyone reading went to that show and knows, please let me know. FCG played Burial Ground in Detroit back in 1985, so I’m hoping that it’s something like that.

Oh well, at least three out of four ain’t bad…certainly better than two out of three of course (OUCH!!!), and you also had another night to check out Prince of Darkness/Hello Mary Lou:Prom Night 2 and The Lost Boys/Dragnet on it’s other screens, both cool ways to waste some time in a Drive In in it’s dying days.

Take my advice: Get these films on video and have a groovy ghoul night with either of these playlists!


~ by screen13 on October 22, 2013.

3 Responses to “Detroit Area Shock Show!!! Oct. 16 and 30, 1987”

  1. This ad was created by Bob Murawski, years before he co-founded Grindhouse Releasing and became the Academy Award winning editor of THE HURT LOCKER and Sam Raimi’s OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL. It was the last show he booked for Detroit film biz legend Bob Mason – two weeks later, Murawski moved to California where he began his career as a film editor.

  2. Many thanks for the information! It’s great that these ads can be connected to future success as well as to some pretty cool films.

  3. I hope I have this right – One of Bob Mason’s contributions to the Detroit film business was that of running Mason Films, a Sub Distribution company. From my notes, he handled NMD (Nick Demetroules’ company), Group 1, and from what I know 21’st Century Distribution among other companies.

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