Saturday, March 1, 2014

Dead End Drive In, The Future of Australia

Today's blog entry takes a peek at Australia in the not too distant future.  We know from the "Mad Max" movies that Aussies can make futuristic tales containing chaotic landscapes.  The nostalgia lover in us loves both the era of the drive-in, and 1980s apocalyptic tales.  Throw in car chases, road carnage, cast-offs from "The Road Warrior," explosions, gunfights, and cheap romance and we have a great B Movie!  Hence 1986's "Dead End Drive In."
   The plot:  Civilization has fallen victim to financial crises, violent crime, riots, looting, and misbehaving youth.  In Sydney, Crabs (Ned Manning) and Carmen (Natalie McCurry) are two relatively clean kids who just want to make-out with each other.  The two hopeless romantics borrow a classic Chevy and head to the Star Drive-In for a couple of B Movies, and some serious making-out.  Unbeknownst to them, the government has turned the drive-in complexes into detention camps which do not allow the young viewers to leave.  To combat the soaring crime-rate, youths are contained in these make-shift shanty-towns.  Due process?   Yeah right!  Many viewers who do not realize these B Movies can have deep meaning may believe that this is what the movie is about.  An intelligent viewer will know that this movie has an infinitely more horrifying theme.
 Soon after their arrival, the two lovers realize they can never leave.  They and 193 other "movie-goers" now make up a community of violent pseudo-criminals.  Movies in the evening are shown to keep order and the days are filled with fights, crimes, and other social deviance. Here is the frightening part, only Crabs is upset about this.  Carmen and the rest of her new neighbors accept the slum-like conditions.  After all, they are fed and get to watch movies.  Crabs has a fanatical view of freedom and individuality and can't get anyone to help him arrange an escape.  The warden, attempts to give Crabs  "favorite status" to seduce him into the slum lifestyle, but Crabs rejects it.  The brilliance of this 1986 film is that it is so pertinent to what we have going on in our society.  We have de-valued freedom and individuality as long as we are fed and entertained. Hard work, industry, and initiative are now profanity because they threaten a welfare mindset.  Why work for something if government will provide our basic needs without us having to work?  Truly a horror tale in 1986, but perhaps a reality today.
   Crabs doesn't give in and goes ahead with an escape attempt.  The conclusion of this movie is filled with explosions, car chases, and shoot-outs.  Crabs is the  John Galt of B Movies.  "Dead End Drive In" may be a bit less epic than Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged," but you will be cheering for Crabs so hard, you will wish our society in 2014 has someone like him waiting to emerge.
  A final note, I give big thanks to my favorite Canadian Twitter peep, Trev H. (@trev_76) for turning me onto this film.  All you Twitterers, please follow him!


  1. I saw some of this onece. I would like to see it again one day.

  2. This one also sounds good. I like post-apocalyptic tales and also enjoy the whole rebel thing. Makes me think a bit of "The Prisoner", my favorite TV series.(The original one, of course)