DEAD END DRIVE IN/ CUT AND RUN
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
Brian Trenchard-Smith,Ruggero Deodato
What's it about
Dead End Drive-In : A young fellow named Crabs and his girlfriend get trapped in a post-apocalyptic Drive-In that sort of serves as a concentration camp. Yep, that's really what this is about.
Cut and Run: A TV reporter and a cameraman go into the jungle, looking for the missing son of a TV producer. Unfortunately for them, they find themselves smack in the middle of a huge drug war.
Is it good movie?
So we'll start with Dead End Drive in. The plot here basically deals with a bunch of punks called "Car Boys" who ravage the city, being mean and stealing car parts to drive their mean machines around. Soon it is found that the government is stealing the car parts back, and our hero Crabs and his new girlfriend Carmen are stuck in the middle of an old drive in where tons of young people are actually living.
You know, this flick really wasn't that bad, although this one is clearly an 80's anti-government flick. It reeks of cheese, although it is watchable if you're interested enough. The concept of being stuck in the drive in by the government, as they try to pass things off as a normal youth hangout is sort of interesting. Your immediate thought will be to compare it to the Mad Max series of films, and that makes perfect sense because without one, I don't think you'd have the other.
If nothing else, it's great to just see the set. The flick is laid out in true post-apocalyptic 80s style, which means tons of neon and lots of punk-themed outfits. Unfortunately the flick suffers from poor pacing and bad timing. The whole thing is about the outside world being better than being trapped in a narrow area, but you barely see the 'outside world'. Also, the film throws a bit of a racism angle in near the end of the film and that seems out of place. Finally, by the time Crabs makes up his mind that he doesn't want to be trapped forever, I was really ready for the movie to end. With that being said, I did enjoy this little flick for what it was, and it was far more intelligent and watchable than I pegged it to be.
Let's move on to Cut and Run. This one comes from director Ruggero Deodato, the man who brought one of the most disturbing films I've ever watched to the screen in Cannibal Holocaust. Some people like those flicks, but I can't get past the animal cruelty. Anyway, let's get onto the business at hand.
This flick was a bit strange, and not what I expected. First, let me say that Michael Berryman is in this flick, which automatically bumps it up a notch in my opinion. He leads a band of local natives who are ready to dispatch those who stand in their way. Unfortunately though, there are not a lot of other positive things in this one.
My number one complaint here is that the acting is really quite awful, during the 'Miami vice' part of the flick and the 'jungle fight' part. It's just all around terrible, besides Richard Lynch's evil portrayal of Colonel Horne. The guy stands out as a diamond in the rough. And this is rough, believe me.
Chances are you're not going to watch this for the story though, and if you're looking for gore, you've got it. Berryman alone hacks off many a limb and the red stuff flows quite freely. The plot is passable (except the whole baby thing), but there isn't much else that could possibly attract someone to this, in my opinion. I simply couldn't get into the film, despite its sea of red- just couldn't get past the acting.
Video / Audio
Both films are given the star treatment from Anchor Bay.
Video looks great, given the age of these films. Both come to us in 1.85:1 Widescreen and are really sharp.
Audio sounds decent too, although it only seems to be presented in Dolby 2.0 surround.
Overall, this two pack will serve fans of retro cinema. These are both relatively obscure cult films that will certainly whet the appetite of the more eccentric completists, although both of these films are really different and I'm not sure why they were grouped together. If you're a fan of these films, you've probably already got this, otherwise you may just want to go for the whole concept of the 'two films on one disc' rental.