Dead End Drive-in (Dystopian Dayglo Horror Drama)


Described by none other than Quentin Tarantino as his favorite film in the “Exploration” subgenre, Brian Trenchard-Smith’s Dead End Drive-in receives a jam packed 2-disc UHD special edition from the fine folks at Umbrella Entertainment. A queasy mix of dayglo Post-Nuke goodness and genuinely effective social satire, this film is a personal favorite for a multitude of reasons. By the end of this review, I’ll make you a believer too. Crabs (a middle-aged Ned Manning playing 20 years younger than he was) steals his brother Frank’s prized Chevy for a date with his best girl Carmen. While enjoying cheesy movies, the Chevy has its wheels stolen. After filing their report with management, Crabs and Carmen woke up to discover that the Star Drive-in serves as a concentration camp for young people with no job prospects and no future. As the harsh reality dawns on both of them, Crabs longs for freedom from a aimless life of junk food, B-Movies and MTV.


Dead End Drive-in works because it knows when to hold back and when to pull out all the stops. Like Class of 1984, it’s a candy colored punk explosion of sights and sounds. In a genius move, Trenchard-Smith never allows the satire to overwhelm the action while retaining a macabre sense of humor throughout. For added laughs, read the graffiti that pops up from time to time. Umbrella Entertainment pull out the stops with this release, which marks the first appearance of the never-before-seen uncut version of the film. Two commentary tracks, multiple featurettes, deleted scenes and a CD of the catchy soundtrack round up an incredible package. The import price is a little steep, but if you’re a fan of Dead End Drive-in this is a small price to pay for perfection. In closing, those of you with region free BD players will be well-served by Umbrella, who are quickly making a name for themselves with their jam-packed special editions of films like Kids and Razorback. This is an absolute must-own.


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Written by David, Comptroller of Your Last Scrap of Existence

Dead End Drive-in (2024 on Blu-ray)
Director: Brian Trenchard-Smith
Distributor: Umbrella Entertainment
5 / 5