Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Would you like some fries with your face?

So within the first five minutes of Drive Thru, we get to watch a jumpsuit wearing clown butcher two urban talking white boys that spew out every possible stereotype of ghetto speak (holmes, dog, busta cap in yo ass, etc.) before dying wonderfully exciting painful deaths (face fries and all). Naturally, I’m instantly convinced Drive Thru is the best piece of cinema ever to include a cameo by Morgan Spurlock and Sean "Aawon Buhh" Whalen. Screw that, the best piece of cinema ever made by mankind.

Quick Plot: In the quiet, wonderfully named town Blanca Carne, a hip hopping van of weed smoking teens orders some artery clogging dinner from Hella Burger, a greasy fast food chain best known for its popular Horny the Clown mascot. I never understood how such an ambitious venture like McDonald’s could succeed despite 30% of the greater population being absolutely terrified by the face that graces every Happy Meal, but apparently, I’m just not that smart.

Anyway, our stoners don’t make it to their milkshakes because Horny, accompanied by some intensely annoying metal music, slices or fries them up while making excruciatingly awesome puns. Meanwhile, high school senior McKenzie (Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester) is partying with her friends (including another Gossip Girl actor, Penn Badgley, in a glorious curly afro) and playing with a Ouja board in the hopes of contacting Marilyn Manson. Instead, they receive a mysterious bunch of letters and numbers that later proves itself to be the license plate of the ill-fated diners.

Before you can say ‘xoxo,’ McKenzie is receiving all sorts of ominous warnings through her retro toys, including a Magic 8 ball and Etch-a-Sketch. Like a straighter haired Nancy Thompson wearing eye liner that would give Blair Waldorf hives, McKenzie pieces together a mystery involving her former hippie mom (Jan from The Office) and a typical prank gone wrong from many years ago.

If there’s a fatal flaw to Drive Thru, it’s that the film overplays its hand during its incredibly American cheesy opening. The ridiculous joy shown in those first five minutes just can't quite be matched once the (sigh) story kicks in, even if it means we get Blair Waldorf singing rock ‘n roll and calling the preppy Bush supporters Banana Republicans. In fact, Drive-Thru kind of has an insane case of identity crisis all the way through, selling itself as urban horror but primarily focusing on rich white people. Even Horny himself makes the Leprechaun look like the little guy belongs in the hood. It's strange.

But also, simply great. Great. Great. And kind of okay. 

And great.
High Points
Kudos to a movie that finds a more realistic way to show a microwaved head than Last House On the Left, providing one could poke a hole in the bottom of a microwave, stick someone's head through it, and make it explode. That's how it works right?

Low Points
Obviously, the soundtrack wasn’t going to go on my iPod, but that doesn’t mean it has to be played at 10 decibels louder than the rest of the film

Buddhist Question of the Month
Does the pope shit in the woods?
No seriously, does he? When using this expression, is it rhetorical in the affirmative or negative? I. Don't. Know.

Lessons Learned
It takes about 10 seconds to realize that your body has been severed in two
Taking a secret to the grave is a great way to guarantee your presence in a horror movie
Psycho killers usually keep shit in the garage
All you can really hope to get out of fancy college is a designer drug addiction or stalker
Today’s youth are quite retro, using dark rooms to develop photographs and making hip references to Greg Brady and Captain Kangaroo 

Look, some of us really love these kinds of movies, and God clearly loves such people because Neflix/God puts them on Instant Watch. If logic follows, those of us that adored Drive Thru will enjoy watching such films on fluffy cotton candy clouds up in heaven. I kind of can’t wait for that, even if it means I have to be sliced up by a 7’ tall clown making bad puns in order to get there.

In other words, add to queue, queue up, watch, rate 5 stars, and move on. Your afterlife will be better for it.


  1. I'm putting this at the top of my instant queue right now. Thanks Emily!

  2. I hope you enjoy it a quarter as much as I did John! It's a bad movie, but I was just intensely seduced by its over the top charms. It's best watched with a bag of candy corn so your giddiness can be further fueled.

  3. That looks amazing, but it's at least the second clown-based horror movie I've seen to just use the Twisted Metal Black cover...


  4. This looks absolutely awesome....
    Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

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  6. Damn, this review makes me want to hop on over to Netflix and watch this beauty while devouring a Happy Meal.

    However, since I haven't been to McDonalds in over twenty years (due to "the Quarter-Pounder incident") I'm guessing one of those things is not going to happen.

    Oh! And wow, that Drive-Thru clown is rad!

  7. John: Ah well. It's not like the story isn't torn straight out of Nightmare On Elm Street anyway. Originality ain't always all it's cracked up to be I suppose.

    Andrew: Always a pleasure

    Christine: I fear any explanation of what "The Quarter Pounder Incident" could possibly be. I imagine it involved much regret. The other great thing about Drive Thru that I didn't mention is that in no way will you possibly want to eat any fast food after watching it. The film doesn't go all Fast Food Nation on you or anything, but the burgers on display simply look gross. You will totally want pizza instead.

  8. Hmmm I kinda like this movie. I remember watching it on Fear Net. Glad you did a post based on this movie.

    I always found that clown scary.

  9. Great post! Some people may not remember, but you used to actually have to order from the clown at Jack in the Box
    Dreaded Dreams
    Petunia Scareum

  10. See World, I'm pretty vulnerable to clowns--I had a Ronald McDonald doll that laid in the middle of my bedroom floors because I was too afraid to touch it--but I have a slight immunity to any monster that talks without opening its mouth. Hence, Horny got NOTHING on my fear. NOTHING!

    Pete, ah! I do remember that weird stick figure mascot in the dunce hat and I just never quite liked it. Jack in the boxes---THOSE are scary.

  11. Holy cotton candy clouds, Batman! This has SO much promise - I'm sorry to hear that it fell short on its delivery. Though watching an urban slasher movie featuring a murderous fast-food mascot have an identity crisis must be quite interesting. At least on some levels? OK, maybe ONE level at least? Surely? NO?? Ok. Another cool review, Emily. ;o)

  12. Oh James, this movie is entertaining on MANY levels. It just blows its load in the first incredibly incredible scene. Still, a huge recommend for fans of cheesy modern horror. Now that I think of it, I'd compare Drive-Thru to the first Leprechaun movie in spirit...just with more actors from Gossip Girl and The Office.

  13. I fucking loved this movie. It did falter a but in parts but overall, its still a lot of fun. The microwave scene was awesome.

    And don't you talk no mess about metal music lady!

  14. Just when we agree on something, you have to take offense at my musical taste! Will I never please you Cortez!?