Tales from the Last Run Drive In
Starting off this (kind of) new feature of The Scene devoted to Drive In ads from 1976 to 1986 is a serious WTF Mind-Melt from Akron which can make a great discussion starter among fans. I’m guessing that it’s a real shell game between the two DIs as each part of this ad at least suggests two different films being advertised. I can imagine the few die-hard Horror fans would have caught this triple bill to figure it out even if they saw these films at least a couple of times before through The 70’s, but most of the customers would have just went for a good time (even if it was something else than actually watching the movies).
#1 – The main image is that from the ads of Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks, as the font of the title suggested. Although the classic Freaks was still around for theatrical showings, I’m guessing that it’s possible that I Drink Your Blood is in this mix due to the classic sight from the Cinemation campaign. In 1970, both of the films were in the hands of Boxoffice International, making it a stronger possibility.
#2 – The main image is that of the Midwest release of Peter Walker’s Schizo, released in The US through Niles International for it’s very small Stateside appearance. An alternative title was Blood of the Undead which played Akron back in 1977, and the ad on display was that of the AKA from that showing. The listing of Christopher Lee as the star suggests that either his films that were released by Hemisphere withe the word Blood in the title (Blood Fiend or hopefully Blood Demon if that’s so) or more fittingly the then-recent release of “Count Dracula and His Vampire Bride” (the US title of The Satanic Rites of Dracula released by Dynamite Entertainment), the Jess Franco version of Count Dracula which had a very small release (by then picked up by World Entertainment), or maybe one of the many Hammer Horrors were a part of this game.
#3 – The reason why I mentioned Hemisphere was due to the Independent-International release of the Paul Naschy film Night of the Howling Beast, but with John Ashley and Mary Wilcox listed as the stars I think that New World’s release of Beast of the Yellow Night was also a part of this mess of greatness.
Who knows, maybe other films were shown and this ad was just to being the fiends in. Either way, this ad is an award winner!
5-7-82, Akron and 10-16-82, Detroit
Ooh La La and Oh What’s Going On?!!! In the Early 80’s, loads of 1970’s Softcore flicks were still making the rounds of the Drive Ins and desperate theaters willing to play just about anything to brig a few customers in. It’s easy to spot a couple of familiar titles although I’m sure that Inga was not one of them despite using the classic image of it’s star in these ads, although it’s possible that Cherry Hill High (a small Drive In hit) and the MPM release of Schoolgirl Report 4 as Sex Education (where it was one Campus Swingers by Hemisphere) were on the bill. Despite the R in these ads, I wonder if those “Natural Cheerleaders” and “Nurse Candy” were pushing things more to the X – This show played two weekends in Akron thanks to the paper not allowing the titles to be advertised, so that’s already a possibility!
4-16-82, San Bernardino
Sunset International was one of the many companies that specialized in imported Exploitation and this triple play was a reminder of what happened in many Drive ins through the Late 70’s when these were appearing anywhere they can. Most important of note is the Jean Rollin film Schoolgirl Hitchhikers which features two very attractive women with some of the Director’s unique traits through the film to make it stand out from the norm.
How to Play the Seduction Game was sometimes known as Virgin on the Verge and Sex and the Lonely Woman was Directed by Ted Leversuch, who I think co-formed Sunset and was already a world traveler in the scene (Violated Love)! I’m talking about a time capsule of sleaze, and while some might have grumbled about the age of these films, I seriously would have loved this show. It’s seriously one of those Last Run showings that brought the viewer into a time and place that no longer existed by 1982.
12-4-81, Phoenix – It’s time to “Scream All Night” again with this four film Dawn to Dusk all night feast including one of the most brain-damaging films ever created, Don’t Go Near the Park, and a couple of class acts in Creatures (reportedly the re-release of the classic Amicus anthology film From Beyond the Grave) and The Hatchet Murders (which is the Late 70’s re-title of Deep Red which has been said to been cut down a lot). Beyond the Fog was another Independent-International re-title of the Late 70’s-Early 80’s, this one of Horror on Snape Island.
Creatures and The Hatchet Murders were from Howard Mahler.