Drive-In Double Features Part One
Drive-In Double Features #1
Summer is the time for outside barbecues, picnics, swimming, and movies under the stars. Drive-in theaters have been providing patrons with the experience of watching movies from their cars on giant outdoor screens for almost 90 years. At one time, there were a number of drive-ins in the Huntsville area, including the 431 Drive-in, the 72 Drive-in, the Parkway Drive-in, Woody’s Drive-In and the beloved Whitesburg Drive-In.
Sadly, the Huntsville drive-ins were gone by 1979, but drive-ins are still around and the summer of 2020 has experienced an upswing in drive-in attendance since it offers the perfect setting for family entertainment while social distancing from other families. This summer has been notable with a number of classic films returning to the giant outdoor screens and reaching the number one spot again for the first time in twenty, thirty and nearly fifty years. (Films re-released doing great business include Jaws, Jurassic Park, Back to the Future, The Goonies, Grease, and American Graffiti, while many drive-in have been reliving the glory days of the ozoners with retro horror shows like A Nightmare on Elm St & The Lost Boys, and Dracula vs. Frankenstein & Brain of Blood, among many more.)
It is also worth mentioning, because big studios have canceled virtually every new release for the year, independent studios have released smaller films to drive-ins to great success. Although it was only released in a couple hundred theaters and brought in less than two million dollars during its stateside run, the independent horror film The Wretched was actually, technically, the first film to top the number one spot five consecutive weeks of its initial release since Avatar in 2009.
Without further ado, grab a sparkling soda, some fresh popped, hot buttered popcorn, maybe a couple slices of tempt tasting pizza and dig into a double feature and keep the spirit of the drive-in alive until someone builds a new one. (There is no “double feature” option on Hoopla. You will just be selecting two films, one after the other.)
The Big Guns-A-Blazing All Action Western Show
Django (1966) & Posse (1993)
The show starts with the classic Euro Western Django. Django (Franco Nero) slides into town dragging a coffin and confronts the town’s evil head honcho. A classic sagebrush actioner from Sergio Corbucci. In Posse, Mario Van Peebles heads a group of infantrymen returning from war with a cache of gold. Van Peebles also directed.
The Lunatics are Coming!
VFW (2029) & Hunting Emma (2016)
First, in VFW, we meet a group of Vietnam veterans who meet up to close down the VFW bar and take a friend out for his birthday. Before they can commence with the celebration, a frantic young woman comes into the bar with a bag of stolen narcotics and an army of whacked-out zombies on the attack. This is non-stop action from start to finish. Then, gentle Emma is returning home from school when she witnesses a murder, and is then on the run from ruthless drug dealers in Hunting Emma. Emma quickly turns the tables and puts a whooping on the bad dudes.
Laughs and Scares Show
Elvira Mistress of the Dark (1988) & My Boyfriend’s Back (1993)
Elvira Mistress of the Dark sees our favorite “hostess with the mostest” lose her movie hosting gig but inheriting her aunt’s mansion in the conservative (and superstitious) Massachusetts town of Falwell. My Boyfriend’s Back reminds us of a time in the early 90’s when Disney couldn’t buy a hit and gambled on this teen zom-com (zombie-romance-comedy) from the producer of Friday the 13th. A PG-13 double feature.
Old School Smack Downs
Coffy (1973) & Bad Ass (2012)
Pam Grier is nurse turned avenger in Coffy, where she goes after the drug dealers responsible after her sister gets hooked on smack. Danny Trejo is a local hero and the target for neighborhood thugs after a video of him defending an old man on a bus goes viral in Bad Ass. This double feature is an avalanche of old school head-thumping and jaw-jacking action.
Cult Movies A Go-Go
Furious (1984) & Ed Wood (1994)
Up first, experts of kung fu wage war with aliens out to control our universe in Furious, then Ed Wood examines the life of outrageous filmmaker Ed Wood, who made sci-fi cult movies with fifty cents, a shower curtain and some hubcaps, all while dressed as a woman in an Angora sweater. Directed with much love and respect by Tim Burton. (Wood’s classic Plan 9 from Outer Space is also available on Hoopla.)
The Big Feed Your Brain Documentary Show!
Bruce Lee: The Immortal Dragon (2001) & Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines (2013)
Bruce Lee: The Immortal Dragon looks at the life and career of superstar Bruce Lee through interviews with the people who knew him and behind the scenes footage of Lee in action. Then, Wonder Women! looks at the world of superheroines with interviews by such super powered luminaries as Lynda Carter (70’s Wonder Woman) and Lindsay Wagner (70’s Bionic Woman) among others.
Let’s Get Physical Yoga-O-Rama
Psycho Yoga Instructor (2020) & Kung Fu Yoga (2017)
Full disclosure, the made-for-Lifetime Network thriller Psycho Yoga Instructor was only selected because it is ACTUALLY CALLED Psycho Yoga Instructor! How bad can it be? Next, Jackie Chan is a professor who finds a lost city and then has to fend off mercenaries in Kung Fu Yoga.
Halloween in July
Halloween (1978) & Trick (2019)
It’s never too early to celebrate the most wonderful holiday of the year, Halloween. Accept no substitute, remake, re-imagining, or reboot. John Carpenter and Debra Hill’s Halloween is still the scariest, most tense film ever made called Halloween. Trick picks up the tradition of the un-killable killer in its gory tale of a cop pursuing the seemingly invincible Patrick “Trick” Weaver.
Let’s Hit the Lost Highway!
Gone in 60 Seconds (1974) & The Fast and the Furious (1955)
Sometimes, you just feel like sitting back and watching cars go really fast and stop only when something gets in their way and stops them. The original Gone in 20 Seconds is a vehicular tour de force for gearheads looking to watch classic American muscle cars race around and smash up in glorious fashion. The original The Fast and the Furious is another action packed race-a-thon as an innocent man breaks out of jail, takes a beautiful hostage and goes on the chase to clear his name.
Tiny Tales of Terror
Creepshow 2 (1987) & Nightmare Cinema (2018)
Creepshow 2 collects a trio of Stephen King stories adapted by the great George Romero. Tales include a cigar shop wooden Indian, an evil oil slick and a hitchhiker who appreciates the ride. Nightmare Cinema tackles alien invasions, cosmetic surgery and possessed children. If these little tales of terror don’t make your skin crawl…it’s on too tight!