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10 Awesome Drive-In Movies

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Today, a little over three hundred drive-in movie theaters remain sprinkled throughout the United States. This means that many Americans are not lucky enough to have a drive-in movie theater close by their home. In the drive-in’s heyday, small production companies would release B-movies tailor-made for the drive-in audience. There was everything from angry extraterrestrials to hip-shaking teenage beach parties, all of which are now enjoyed for their campy special effects and corny performances. Today, many of these films are available on DVD, Blu-ray, or Netflix, and can be enjoyed from the comfort of your couch. If you’re someone without the luxury of a drive-in theater nearby, you can create your own drive-in movie night right at home. Just grab any one of these out-of-this-world flicks, pop some pop corn, cook up a few hot dogs on the grill, grab a date or the kids, throw open the living room windows, and enjoy some light-hearted entertainment from yesteryear. For those looking for some more adult-oriented entertainment, there are also a few horror flicks that made the drive-in rounds. Just make sure to put little Johnny or Susie to bed before showtime.

 

  • The Blob (1958)

Director Irvin Yeaworth’s The Blob was released late in the summer of 1958, but this cosmic freak-out still thrilled fresh-faced moviegoers with its

the-blob-1958 double featureshapeless monster that consumed everything in its path. Starring a young Steve McQueen, this teenage monster movie will delight adults and children alike with its catchy theme song, playful action, and exciting climax that finds the alien menace oozing out of an indoor movie theater. Maybe Yeaworth was letting audiences know that the blob wasn’t meant for indoor viewing?

 

 

 

  • Jaws (1975)

Jaws posterReleased in the summer of 1975, when drive-ins were embracing harder-edged entertainment, director Steven Spielberg petrified audiences with Jaws, the ultimate summer movie. (Sorry Star Wars) Ripe with quotable one-liners and perfect viewing while peepers belt out their summer songs into the night air, Jaws is an essential experience for the young and the old. This movie just screams drive-in! You can just picture a young couple gripping onto each other as Brody tells Quint, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat…”

 

 

  • Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957)

Originally intended as a serious slice of sci-fi entertainment, director Edward Cahn’s cosmic comedy boasts some of the cutest extraterrestrials to ever invasion_of_the_saucer_men drive inscamper across the big screen. Released by American International Pictures (AIP) in a double bill with I Was a Teenage Werewolf, Invasion of the Saucer Men runs just over an hour, making it a light and brief ride for younger viewers with short attention spans. Don’t worry about things getting too spooky, as kids are sure to adore the pint-sized aliens with their oversized heads. It also features a beer-drinking bull intruding on a make-out session. You just have to love ‘50s science fiction!

 

 

  • The Beach Girls and the Monster (1965)

beach_girls_and_monster_poster_01 drive inBeach party movies quickly became a favorite among drive-in audiences, as they blared hip surf rock from tiny transistor speakers and featured beautiful bods doing the twist in the California sun. While many of these films focused on young lovers dashing around on sandy beaches, a few dared to venture into spookier territory. Directed by Jon Hall, The Beach Girls and the Monster tries its darndest to pass itself off as a legitimate monster movie, but it delivers more unintentional comedy and is a bit more concerned with partying than it is with telling a gripping story. A sure hit with older teens who are sure to get a kick out of the campy monster who preys on bikini clad babes.

 

  • I Drink Your Blood/I Eat Your Skin (1970)

As the drive-in theater rusted away and audiences got seedier, the entertainment got harder and nastier. One of the most i drink your blood drive infamous double bills from the drive-in’s darker days is I Drink Your Blood/I Eat Your Skin, which was released by drive-in kingpin Jerry Gross. Horror and exploitation fans are guaranteed to love I Drink Your Blood’s copious amounts of gore and bad taste as tainted meat pies turn satanic hippies into wild-eyed zombies, and there is plenty of hilarious charisma dripping off of I Eat Your Skin’s black-and-white jungle-voodoo mayhem. I Eat Your Skin isn’t nearly as disgusting as its title suggests, but one thing is for sure, make sure you put this double feature on after the kiddies hit the hay.

 

 

  • Them! (1954)

them1954 drive inReleased in the summer of 1954, this giant bug movie was released by Warner Bros. and packs some respectable tension. Telling the tale of a group of military personnel and scientists racing to stop a colony of giant ants, Them! is a hypnotic chiller from the Atomic Age that is more suitable for teenage viewers who will be surprised to discover just how eerie giant ants can be. Made with more money than some drive-in fare, Them!’s ants hold up incredibly well and the performances—specifically from James Arness and Edmund Gwenn—are A-list quality. A masterpiece genre film that ranks as a must-see classic.

 

 

  • Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958)

Just hearing the title Attack of the 50 Foot Woman is enough to sell anyone on this drive-in romp. Barely clocking in at an attack of the 50 ft woman drive inhour and designed for those more interested in making out, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman is a Frankenstein monster of a film. It’s part giant monster movie and part alien B-movie. It’s also brimming with hilarious special effects, massive papier mache hands, and some of wildest performances you might ever see in a B-movie. View it as a comedy, pair it up with The Beach Girls and the Monster, and you are sure to have a great time with it.

 

 

  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (1956)

godzilla king of monsters drive inIn 1954, Japan’s Toho Films released the pitch-black Gojira, a bleak reflection on the horrors of the atomic bombs that ended WWII. Gojira was a massive hit, and America took notice of the enthusiasm this monster movie received. Picked up by an American distributor who added actor Raymond Burr to the chaos, Godzilla was projected under the stars for American teens more interested in city smashing than underlying meaning. While Gojira may be too dark for children, Godzilla: King of the Monsters will have younger viewers glued to the screen with its non-stop action.

 

 

  • Beach Blanket Bingo (1965)

Absolutely nothing says “drive-in” like American International Pictures and Beach Blanket Bingo. One that is sure to beach blanket bingo drive inplease your mother, director William Asher’s toe-tapping Technicolor musical is brimming with surfing, skydiving, and summer romance. Colorful and accessible, Beach Blanket Bingo is a sunny little number that will offer a welcome escape from the long list of monster movies that dominated drive-in double bills. As if it needs any more drive-in credibility, the film can be glimpsed showing during the drive-in scene in 1981’s The Outsiders.

 

 

  • Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)

plan-9-from-outer-space-movie-poster-drive inFilm fans may remember Roger Corman as the king of the B-movie, but nobody did schlock better than Edward D. Wood, Jr. Remembered more by cult movie fans than by mainstream filmgoers, Ed Wood is celebrated for making what many consider to be the worst film ever made—Plan 9 from Outer Space. Part gothic horror movie, part alien invasion thriller, Plan 9 from Outer Space is so bad, it’s hilariously awesome for those who love camp. Made on the cheap and chock full of goofs, Wood’s enthusiasm is contagious and his mistake are easily forgiven, even while one actor reads from a script hidden in his lap! Featuring a final performance from Bela Lugosi, who died shortly before production officially began, Plan 9 from Outer Space is one the whole family can laugh at.

 

 

 

 

What are some of your favorite drive-in movies? Sound off in the comments section!

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TRAILER THURSDAY!

Today’s giant monster trailer is for none other than the 1957 classic Attack of the Crab Monsters, directed by B-movie king Roger Corman.

Attack of the Crab Monsters Poster

TRAILER THURSDAY!

In honor of Godzilla hitting theaters this month, the Trailer Tuesday and Thursday series is going to be dominated by giant monster trailers throughout all of May. Up first is the trailer for the 1953 classic The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, directed by Eugène Lourié.

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TRAILER TUESDAY!

Can YOU mix humor and horror?! If so, then check out the cheesy trailer for 1957’s Invasion of the Saucer Men, directed by Edward L. Cahn.

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TRAILER TUESDAY!

“With the swiftness of a deadly cosmic ray, the Earth is invaded by indestructible Moon monsters!” Here is the trailer for the goofy 1953 sci-fi cheesefest Robot Monster, directed by Phil Tucker.

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TRAILER THURSDAY!

If this one doesn’t put you in the Christmas spirit, nothing will. Behold, the trailer for the 1964 sci-fi cheesefest Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, directed by Nicholas Webster.

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TRAILER TUESDAY!

“See what they do for THRILLS! See what they do for LOVE!” Today’s trailer is for the 1971 women-in-prison exploitation film The Big Doll House, directed by Jack Hill.

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And now, it’s intermission time, folks! Reviews, trailers, and more will return December 2nd!

TRAILER THURSDAY!

Into a world not yet know… In spaceships of the future! It’s producer Roger Corman’s 1959 drive-in flick Battle Beyond the Sun, directed by Francis Ford Coppola.

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TRAILER TUESDAY!

The wild ones… DEATH-DEFIANT! Check out a trailer for the sleazy 1966 biker flick The Wild Angels, directed by Roger Corman.

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TRAILER THURSDAY!

Hot chicks, supped-up cars, ultra-violence, and Sylvester Stallone coming your way courtesy of Roger Corman. It must be Trailer Thursday! Here is a trailer for the super awesome 1975 dystopian car-chase thriller Death Race 2000, directed by Paul Bartel.

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