Drive-Thru (V)

Following a dearth of quality straight-to-DVD horror films in 2007 that left me disconsolate, frequently turning to old VHS tapes of “Tales From the Darkside” as a source of post-midnight entertainment, Lion’s Gate has finally, thankfully, delivered a thick, juicy slice of postmodern horror with Drive-Thru, a slick slasher written and directed by Brendan Cowles and Shane Kuhn. Horny the Clown, the 7-foot tall mascot of local fast-food giant, Hella-Burger, runs crazy-rampant with a wicked-huge machete, churning up a heavy handful of nubile high-schoolers in a test tube baby movie composed of the splooge shot by films such as Nightmare on Elm Street, Venom, and I Know What You Did Last Summer.

The pre-credit sequence alone establishes Drive-Thru as an immediate cult favorite. Two wiggers, riding with their bitches in an SUV, decide to stop at Hella-Burger for a bite, only to be verbally provoked by the enormous clown-head drive-thru speaker. Intent on confrontation, the two white boys head inside the dark restaurant, one of them jacking his gat as he rolls through the prep kitchen, pausing to taunt their possible assailant over the front-line microphone. One of the dudes is finally discovered with his head buried in the deep fryer, and once retrieved, his greasy face slides right off his head. The remaining wigger freaks at the sight of his faceless compadre, and Horny the Clown cruises into the kitchen, grabs him by the throat, and begins tossing him all over the place before whacking him with a machete in a shot that jump cuts to the credits sequence. Good shit.

Mackenzie Carpenter (the totally hot Leighton Meester) is a local high school senior who starts to retrieve precognitive notice of upcoming Horny the Clown murders via kitschy 70s-era toys, you know, an Etch-A-Sketch, Magic 8-Ball, Ouija board, that kind of shit. She tries to notify the local police, but they’ve got their collective thumbs buried up their asses, and honestly, she’s not THAT intent on getting police assistance since she’s preoccupied with being a virgin who is totally cock-teasing her boyfriend, Fisher (Nicholas D’Agnosto), into waiting until her 18th birthday before banging her for the first time in a hardly relevant but still strangely titillating subplot. Yep, Mackenzie is all about the tease, but I like her anyway.

All of the high school students murdered by Horny the Clown are connected via their parents in a Freddy Krueger-type scenario, and the ringleader of the group turns out to be Mackenzie’s mom (Melora Hardin, Jan from “The Office”). Too much of the latter half of Drive-Thru is committed to the mystery surrounding the identity of Horny the Clown, but even still, the kill scenes and witty banter allow the movie to go the distance, all the way to its disappointing ending. With thrash metal backing up every aggressive kill sequence, the gore is impressive, even if too much of the violence takes place off-screen with crunchy sound effects serving as the only indicator of the carnage. Signs in the background indicate the film has been shelved since 2005, and the cheesy dialogue has a weird political undertone, but the actors always manage to reign it back in, and when all else fails, the directors just strobe-light a Horny the Clown killing, and all is good. Balls to the wall, Drive-Thru is straight-up, straight-to-DVD horror, a good movie that deserves a look by fans of the genre.

Official Score