Dead-End Drive-In (1986) Blu-ray review

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Set in a dystopian Australian future, a young couple find themselves stuck in a drive-in theatre with gangs and street punks in the 80’s flick Dead-End Drive-In.

dead end pic 1024x576 Dead End Drive In (1986) Blu ray review

Why is it, in 80’s movies when there is a problem with the economy, the world crumbles and people join gangs whose sole purpose it just to cause trouble? Like many that came before it 1986’s Dead-End Drive-In is no different. Australia is a mess. People are without jobs and food and gags rule the streets – tormenting those who just want to make life bearable.

Take Crabs (Ned Manning) for example. He may be a little different (weird) but he wants to earn a honest dollar and get a job with his older brother in the salvage business. Yet he is plagued by gangs (known as Cowboys)  attempting to steal his shoes.

Crabs takes his brother’s car without permission in order to take his girlfriend Carmen (the late Natalie McCurry) on a date to a drive-in theatre. They soon find themselves stranded, along with many others, when the tyres from the said car, go missing.  What transpires is a plot by the government to create concentration camps at drive-in cinemas to keep the unruly off the streets.dead end Dead End Drive In (1986) Blu ray review

Dead-End Drive-In is a very 80’s film. The look, costumes and hair dos all scream 1980’s and I love it. The colours of the movie are all very vivid and stand out incredibly to this date – thirty years later. The acting can be a little (maybe a lot) wooden and over-the-top at times but the film also gets a lot right – especially with some spectacular stunt work and a fantastic sync-pop soundtrack.

Directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith, Dead-End Drive-In is rumoured to be a favourite of Quentin Tarantino and it’s easy to see why.

Arrow Video have done another fantastic 2k restoration job and have added some great extras to the discs too, with The Stuntmen documentary, Hospitals Don’t Burn Down (public information film), trailer and a collector’s booklet. Not to mention another brilliant reversible sleeve.

Dead-End Drive-In is released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 19th and is available to pre-order now from Arrow.

3.5 / 5 stars     

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