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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Crime > Teens > Post-Apocalyptic > Satire > Australia > Exploitation > Dead End Drive-In (1986/Region Four/4/PAL Import/Madman DVD)

Dead End Drive-In (1986/Region Four/4/PAL Import/Madman DVD)


Picture: C†††† Sound: C†††† Extras: C+†††† Film: C+



PLEASE NOTE: This DVD can only be operated on machines capable of playing back DVDs that can handle Region Four/4 PAL format software and can be ordered from our friends at Madman Entertainment at the website address provided at the end of the review.The cover image is ©1986 Springvale Productions, Ltd. and New South Wales Film Corp. All Rights Reserved.



One of the most amusing exploitation films you are likely to have never seen, Brian Trenchard-Smithís Dead End Drive-In (1986), the mastermind behind Oz-Ploitaiton classics Turkey Shoot and The Man From Hong Kong, both reviewed elsewhere on this site.Besides a great name, it has another hilarious plot and is the kind of movie they just donít make anymore unfortunately.


The world has semi-annihilated itself and including Australia, which is plastered with junk, broken down cars, day glow graffiti and much crime.Crabs (Ned Manning) tries to get by and ignore the idiots and his brother works as a tow truck man helping the scattered police to survive.One night, Crabs and his girlfriend go to see a movie at a local drive-in in his minty 1950s Chevy, but they make the mistake of taking the discount price and land up in the screen that has been converted to a youth prison.


The gilded cage has all the teen amenities like candy, popcorn, contraception and Punk music, but you cannot get out no matter what you try.Crabs and his girlfriend Carmen (Natalie McCurry) do everything to escape, but it will be tougher than they think and there are plenty of convicts and criminals inside to keep them busy.


When I first heard of this one, I knew I had to see it and though I knew also to expect plenty of trash moments, Trenchard-Smith delivers the action and fun once again and when it kicks in, he is as good as any action director alive.This even made it to the U.S., but has unacceptably faded from that market.If you have a multi-region player, you should get this and see it at least once.Sooner or later, it will get rediscovered.


The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image is shot in 35mm in an unidentified widescreen scope format and one we believe is a variation of Super 35mm, so that means no anamorphic lenses were used to create the wide image.Director of Photography Paul Murphy (Bliss) does a fine job of creating cinematic space and the film is a good looking one.However, this transfer is riddled with problems like ghosting, strobing and aliasing issues it should not have, made sad by the fact that the print is not bad.Such a good looking film deserves better.The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has very, very weak surrounds and distortion form being an old Dolby A-type analog theatrical release.A cleaning and remix to 5.1 is much needed.


Extras include feature length audio commentary by Trenchard-Smith that is fun as usual and the original theatrical trailer for this and other Madman releases.



As noted above, you can order this PAL DVD import exclusively from Madman at:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


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