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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Crime > Teens > Post-Apocalyptic > Satire > Australia > Exploitation > Dead-End Drive-In (1986 aka Dead End Drive-In/MVD Visual/Arrow Blu-ray)

Dead-End Drive-In (1986 aka Dead End Drive-In/MVD Visual/Arrow Blu-ray)

Picture: B+ Sound: B Extras: B Film: C+

While VERY '80s in terms of fashion, music, and style, Brian Trenchard-Smith's 1986 film Dead-End Drive In is a nicely produced, well shot Ozploitation film that is geared towards fans of Mad Max-esque post apocalyptic thrills. Thanks to Arrow, you can enjoy the film in in U.S. and in all of its high-def glory with some interesting, expanded extras that will be sure to please fans new and old alike. The film stars Ned Manning, Natalie McCurry, and Peter Whitford to name a few with a screenplay by Peter Smalley (The Wild Duck).

Set in the post apocalyptic 1990s, Jimmy Crabs (Manning) lives in a violent Police State where fires, riots, and violent rampages are the norm. He asks out Carmen (McCurry) and the two end up going to a Drive-In, only to find that his wheels are stolen and they can't escape. Turns out that the Drive-in has become a prison with electrified fences and cops that make sure nobody leaves. Home to hundreds of young adult criminal misfits, the Drive-In doesn't hold back Crabs from doing all in his power to try to escape - be it stealing police vehicles or shooting whoever he needs to make sure that happens.

While an entertaining popcorn muncher, there are many things in the film that don't add up. Namely, the prisoners of this Drive-in are able to carry concealed weapons, do drugs, and basically live whatever kind of destructive life they choose... so why haven't they rebelled against the Police and overtaken the Drive-In themselves a while ago? Still, with a budget of two million Australian Dollars, the film doesn't look too shabby and you can quickly see that the money is on the screen.

Presented in 1080p high definition with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and a great sounding PCM Stereo 2.0 track, the new 2K restoration from the original film negative looks fantastic on Blu-ray disc with rich colors throughout and upgraded sound that finally outdoes the mixed performance of the import DVD we reviewed a good few years ago. The film is very colorful - with several characters looking very vibrant on disc themselves, so the color is very accurate.

Extras repeat the feature length audio commentary by director Brian Trenchard-Smith from the import DVD, a theatrical trailer and adds the following...

The Stuntmen, Trenchard Smith's classic television documentary on Grant Page (Mad Max, Road Games) and other Australian stunt performers

Hospitals Don't Burn Down, Trenchard-Smith's 1978 public information film told in pure

Ozploitation fashion

Behind the scenes gallery by graffiti artist Vladimir Cherepanoff

Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon

and First pressing only: fully-illustrated collector's booklet containing writing on the films by Cullen Gallagher and Neil Mitchell

For more on the film, try our coverage of the older import DVD...


- James Lockhart



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