Directed by Shane Kuhn, Brendan Cowles
Written by Shane Kuhn, Brendan Cowles
Starring Leighton Meester, Nicholas D'Agosto, Melora
Hardin, Larry Joe Campbell
Produced by Chris Sievernich, Matthew Weaver, Matt
Milich, Martin Wiley
"Drive Thru" is going to be one of the best cases of
grand theft movie you've ever seen.
For the teenage denizens of the scenic and wholly boring
Orange County suburbia of Blanca Carne (White Meat!
Ha!), things are going very wrong. Namely, they're
getting killed. And in an extremely messy,
horror-movie-style fashion with loads of dismemberment,
lacerations, and blunt force trauma like no tomorrow.
Behind the killings is the mascot for the local burger
chain, Hella Burger.
Now, I don't know about the rest of you, but I always
sort of wondered if Ronald McDonald or that creepy,
creepy King from the Burger King commercials was living
some kind of secret double life where mass murder was
just foreplay. And after watching Horny the
Clown--chop-happy, air-humping, wisecracking Horny the
Clown--in action, it made me look just a little more
askance as the perpetually plastic features of the new
Which is probably what they were gunning for. And it's
funny. There's a lot of humor to be had in "Drive Thru";
watching two stoners rampage through a ball pit before
meeting their inevitable date with Horny is inspired fun!
No two ways about it! The white rapper boy wannabe who
makes Jamie Kennedy look downright ghetto-authentic by
comparison that's the first to die, the horrific prices
at the Hella Burger, the laugh-riot commercials from the
Hella Burger (the whole Triple-X Wings sketch is to die
for)...there's no shortage of fun in "Drive Thru". They
even had the sheer comic balls to throw in Morgan
Spurlock, for crying out loud! Mr. "Super-Size-Me"
himself in a movie about a fast food killer? That's
But it's what happens when you find out why the killings
are going on that you start to wonder what's going on
here. Especially given what I said in the first sentence.
Because, as you'll discover, Kuhn and Cowles are taking a
whole lot of pages out of the Wes "Nerve Gas" Craven
playbook. When you put "Drive Thru"in a side-by-side
comparison with "Nightmare on Elm Street", you're going
to spot a hella lot of coincidences. The wisecracking,
superdeformed slasher with the superhuman capabilities,
for example. The fact that the children of local parents
are the ones being targeted--and the only ones, no less!
Now here's the really sad part--Wes, buddy...you're
screwed. Kuhn and Cowles have just taken your best work
and shut it down. "Drive Thru" is almost identical to
"Nightmare on Elm Street", only it's wildly, wildly
funnier. Sure, the effects are actually better too, but
that can't be held against NOES.
Yes, "Drive Thru" is funny, bloody, and as cheesy as a
Triple Hella Patty Melt, but it's still kinda good. It's
part Fred Kreuger, part Ronald McDonald, and all fun.
The ending only goes to prove that you should just not
get involved with them Carpenter women, because it's like
mother like daughter around there--trust me on that
one--and there'll be twist enough to suggest that if
"Drive Thru 2: Drive Harder" isn't already being shot,
it's probably being planned. No, that's not advance news.
That's just me being snarky.
The special features include some audio options, English
and Spanish subtitles, English closed captions and
trailers for the After Dark Horrorfest, "Shadow Walkers",
"Curse of the Zodiac", "Diary of a Cannibal", "Beneath
Still Waters", "The Lost Room" and Fearnet.com.
All in all, sure, it's a ripoff. But when the ripoff is
better than the original, what can you do but call it
Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainfield
Directed by Michael Feifer
Written by Michael Feifer
Starring Kane Hodder, Adrienne Frantz, Michael Barryman,
Produced by Michael Feifer
If you should be wandering your video store aisles, and
you see a movie box assert that its contents are, in
fact, "too terrifying for theatres", you can be
reasonably certain that they are not.
Like that schmuck at the bar who won't stop screaming
about how great his job is and how cool his car is and
how amazing his girlfriend is, he likely has none of the
above, and is quite possibly living in his mom's
This spectacularly roundabout metaphor is actually a
solid descriptor for "Ed Gein: The Butcher of
Plainfield". Of course, as the box will cite repeatedly,
Ed Gein was the philosophical model behind the great
cinematic killers--Leatherface, Norman Bates, and Buffalo
Bill--but watching Ed go through this movie is like
watching bad summer stock theatre with enough gore to
offend most of the Church Ladies' Muffin Auxiliary, this
newest serial killer dramatization will fail to impress
on nearly every level.
It's hard to spoiler a movie whose plot is public
knowledge dozens of times over before it was even
completed--sorta like "Titanic"; the boat sank--so I can
comfortably spoiler like no tomorrow. Basically, some
guy loses his mom and brother in a very close time span,
and this unbalances him to the point where he goes
carving up the locals for a whole slew of reasons no one
will bother to discuss and spend some time making various
handicrafts like leather suits out of their skin.
On the plus side, we've got Kane Hodder back. There will
be plenty who disagree with me and plenty who agree when
I say that Hodder was the best of all the Jason Voorhees
actors from the Friday the 13th saga. It's good to see
Kane working again--he's always had a way of projecting a
methodical, relentless menace without saying a word.
Thus, it's a smidge disappointing to find out that he has
a speaking role here. But only a smidge disappointing.
He's not half bad. As a further benefit, we get some
halfway-decent comic bits out of this, including a
positively chuckleworthy sequence where Ed, driving his
pickup truck, smiles at the county sheriff's department
deputy whom he has caught enjoying sloppy makeouts with
his girlfriend, the sheriff's daughter. The deputy in
question laughs at being caught--what's Ed gonna do, call
the police?--but while sharing the chuckle with his lady
friend, he fails utterly to notice the body being dragged
behind Ed's pickup.
See? Funny! In a real gallows humor kind of way.
Sadly, this is about the only joy "Ed Gein: The Butcher
of Plainfield" can generate. Much of the rest of the
film is so painfully slow that you'll wonder if you're
actually watching professionals act or a bunch of
volunteers dragged in from a dinner theatre. The halfway
mark, when a movie should be starting to hit its stride,
is comprised of the deputy and his girlfriend...having a
picnic. No plot development, nothing. It might as well
not even have been there. It was a total yawnfest.
Perhaps worse that all the humor in this movie stems from
the fact that these are the most incompetent cops in most
of the world. Even Springfield cops would have a hard
time matching these morons, and that's really very sad.
It's a good thing all of Plainfield can't be worth more
than a couple grand or this would be the crime capital of
Take the ending, for example. While generating the
funniest line in the entire movie, it's also one of the
saddest. When the sheriff's department closes in on
Gein, all four cars of it are arrayed outside the house.
The sheriff then stands outside his car and announces
that "the entire sheriff's department is out here on
official business". The entire sheriff's department.
All four cars of it. Because if I were a psychopath who
killed messily and wore his victims' faces like leather
masks, I'd be just pissing myself at the thought of
taking on the ENTIRE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT. All FOUR of
them! Yipes! Ooooh, scary!
Thankfully, there is a bit of suspense in this ending, at
least until Feifer's script calls for everybody on screen
to moralize at Gein just as hard as they possibly can,
trying to show him "the error of his ways".
The special features include audio commentary, deleted
scenes, still gallery, various audio and display options,
Spanish subtitles, English closed captions, and trailers
for "Return of the Living Dead 5: Rave to the Grave", the
After Dark Horrorfest, "Silent Scream", "Open Water 2:
Adrift", "Black Dahlia", and "Saw III".
All in all, yet another serial killer biopic from Lions
Gate goes off without doing anything special, but at
least this time it managed not to spend the whole movie
drooling on itself either. A thoroughly bland but
marginally acceptible romp, if you're devoted to seeing
real-life killers, then you might at least get a good
rental out of "Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainfield".