There’s something about this weather that reminds me of going to drive-in movies.
Around here, we had two — the Muncie Drive-In and the Ski-Hi Drive-In — in or near the city and another — the Blackford County Drive-In — just to the north. The latter wasn’t the type of drive-in your parents took you to, however. The Blackford showed “adult” movies — porn, in other words.
As for the Muncie and the Ski-Hi, I spent many, many hours there as a kid and young adult.
One of my earliest drive-in moviegoing memories was of seeing the 1967 flick “Born Losers” at one of Muncie’s two drive-ins. “Born Losers” was a low-budget action movie that introduced the cult character of Billy Jack (played by Tom Laughlin), a returning Vietnam vet who takes on a motorcycle gang. The movie actually inspired sequels.
I remember seeing it with my parents and paternal grandmother. Why my parents decided to take me or my grandmother to a (in my memory) sleazy, bloody action movie I can’t imagine.
I just remember my grandmother nearly fainting into her concession-stand pizza after the bad guys push a young man’s face into the windshield of a car, resulting in a bloody, slobbery mess. Onscreen, I mean.
From time to time in this spot I’ll share some memories and some great old drive-in movie ads.
How about this one for a re-release of “The Mask” Not the Jim Carrey comedy but a bizarre 1961 horror movie about an ancient mask that has the power to drive people crazy. Some remember “The Mask” from the early 1980s, when it was re-released at the height of the 3-D revival.
This “midnight shock-a-thon” ad features not only “The Mask” but “The Bat,” probably a 1959 Vincent Price thriller and “Town Without Pity,” a 1961 Kirk Douglas movie that is sold, as you can tell from the ad, in the sleaziest way possible:
“The story of what four men did to a girl .. and what the town did to them!”
This ad has some exploitation/drive-in advertising gems, including “A free comb to all after your hair-raising experience!” I can hear it now: “Mom, Dad, can we go to the drive-in tonight? They’re giving away free combs!”
Lastly, how about the exploitation double-feature classic “I Drink Your Blood” and “I Eat Your Skin.” The former is a 1970 movie about Satanists terrorizing a town. The latter originally came out in 1964 and was about zombies. The combination of titles was drive-in movie gold.
The canny drive-in operator offered a free buffet of “skin chips and dip” and “flesh fries” and provided free Tums.
Who wouldn’t turn out for this drive-in combo?