Late 80’s Fall Horror Movie Fests at the Butch Cassidy Drive In, Toledo

9/14/84, Toledo OH


In the final days of the original Drive In era, there were only a couple standing in the Toledo area including the Butch Cassidy, where I went to a couple of times in the Late 80’s, and it was a trend to have their seasons start and end with the groovy ghoul triple plays. As it is September, I feel that it’s a great time to look through these back pages of Horror in an era when the letters V, H, and S were starting to creep into out vocabulary while there were still chances to catch these films as they were meant to be seen – on a big screen!

In this first ad, Make Them Die Slowly makes it’s only Toledo appearance. Originally called Cannibal Ferox, Make Them… was Distributed by Aquarius in The US starting around September, 1983, a time when the ideal places to play it at in the Glass City – The Pantheon and the Colony – were no longer with us as they closed in 1981 and the main theaters were possibly staying away from it. The Umberto Lenzi film starring a classic performance by Giovanni Lombardo Radice was not played much in my area of The States, making it’s release on Wizard Video a must-rent item for extreme movie fans who have only read about it. I’m still trying to find a Detroit area date (maybe a non-advertised one at the Madison during it’s days of not being seen in the listings?)

The trailer is the first one in this compilation – and it’s very graphic.

The original Hills Have Eyes you already know about (and if you don’t you should!), so I’ll go right over to Meat Cleaver Massacre. Presented by Group One, this actually has a very low budget charm of it’s own and good for a night out (and I can imagine some of you thinking “with some extra Blue Ribbon influence hidden in the trunk”.) and was played a lot as a B through the years, especially in Detroit. The tagged-on appearance of the great Christopher Lee aimed for another film that was never completed was a crass move, but in retrospect is a slightly amusing (tacky to some) bit of the great actor’s history when he was aiming for more American work that sadly want to films like End of the World.

…and in VHS-vision. worth it for the opening moments alone!


This  9-12-1986 show, after the Fall of 1985 had a Comedy Clean Up show, features The Howling 2, Silent Night Deadly Night, and The House Where Death Lives.  this capture also featuring what happened to two 1970’s theaters and the legendary Westwood by that year,

Silent Night Deadly Night was possibly already re-released by Aquarius by this time and was still a good play – even the Adams in Downtown Detroit had it I think in ’87 or ’88 (have to check the notes again).

Howling 2 from 1985, Starring Christopher Lee, tried to throw in a New Wave/Commercial Punk flavor to the story and in a Mid 80’s way is a nice way to kill some time. Robert Randles’ music clearly is up there with his work on Return of the Living Dead, another enjoyable Punkish Horror flick that still works well (maybe even more in my opinion)


The next week in ’86 was the Fall Horror Cleanup special with Joseph Sergeant’s anthology film Nightmares, released through Universal in 1983, Tom DeSimone’s Concrete Jungle from 1982 released through MPM, and City of the Walking Dead, the Umberto Lenxi classic Nightmare City released by 21’st Century.  Still…the S was cut off from “Nightmare”…maybe someone might remember if it was the infamous 21;st Century Italian Gore flick from 1981 that played the Showcase Cinema (with a sneak at the Franklin Park Cinema) back in ’81 which is way too slim of a chance, but considering the other two films and that our next ad used the art of House by the Cemetery, you never know!


In this 9-27-87 triple play, things were for the serious Horror fiend! David Hess’ appearance in House on the Edge of the Park (which played Detroit back in the Fall of 1984) was worth the price of admission alone although Giovanni Lombardo Radice also has a great co-starring role in this Ruggero Deodato film. It might have already been a bit dated through the Disco music by Soundtrack legend Riz Ortolani by then, as it was a 1980 film, this still packed a punch.

A nice tribute featuring the film’s highly effective theme. Ortolani’s music magic with these extreme films was on the target!

Mansion of the Doomed was the Group 1 film directed by Michael Pataki which played a lot of times in the Metro Detroit area as a B through the Late 70’s and Early 80’s.

The House of Psychotic Women was the Independent international release we already met back in the Detroit 1978 article starring the one and only Paul Naschy aka Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll.

Sadly, that was about it for the Fall Horror shows, but I will leave this post with this one cool Spring show from 4-19-1985! The main attraction for Horror fiends that are looking for films that had very little play in the Toledo area is Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond, here in it’s Seven Doors of Death cut released by Aquarius. The Evil Dead is there as well, but I will  continue with this Drive In topic later!


I had to end it with some great Fulci!


~ by screen13 on September 29, 2014.

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