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Art by T.J. Denton (@TDenton_1138 on Twitter)
It was a Cinco de Mayo celebration full of tequila and peliculas Mexicanas on The Last Drive-In. (Art by T.J. Denton @TDenton_1138 on Twitter, shop on Etsy)

Cinco de Mayo was the reason to celebrate at the trailer out in Grapevine as Joe Bob waxed poetic about Mexican military history and the origins of some favorite cuisines that have migrated to these here Estados Unidos from south of the border.

And he and Darcy put away enough cervezas and tequila that it was a pretty big accomplishment that they were vertical at the first segment break, let alone through dos (that’s Spanish for “two”) peliculas.

While Darcy wasn’t too, too impressed with the vast intricacy of the brilliant military strategy that won the Battle of Puebla those many years ago (even though JB had not one, but TWO maps prepared to illustrate his point), she has to admit that she probably wouldn’t get such a detailed lecture plus a margarita to boot from at least 75% of North America’s institutes of higher learning, no way, no how.

And the flicks, well, they were muy bueno in their own unique ways as well.

The first feature was the psychic possession/nightmare/slasher/teen romance Don’t Panic, featuring Jon Michael Bischof as a guy who finally came to the realization that he was old enough to drive an automobile after adventuring for three quarters of the flick in his dinosaur PJs and riding his E.T. bike all over Mexican suburbia after midnight.

Let’s face it. If you’re Michael and you’re going to court that senorita bonita with her unibrow, it’s a lot more effective to have actual wheels and not just a bunch of race car posters on your wall. Gotta be glad that writer/director Rubin Galindo Jr. made that adjustment in his story there.

Here are those totals for the flick where, again, we learn that if you’re gonna monkey with a weejee board in a horror flick, you better be ready for the unexpected and, at minimum, one demonic possession.

The Last Drive-In: Season 5, Week 3 — Don't Panic and Tigers are Not Afraid 1

Rounding out the two features was the powerful, heart-rending and four-star Tigers are Not Afraid. While we got a primer on the history of the nacho and the genesis of the margarita, Issa Lopez’s powerful movie about a group of orphans who run afoul of the evil narcos who rule the streets of Mexico City stands for itself as the haunting masterwork that it is.

The authenticity of the performances and the unreal harshness of what is a very real situation for the young casualties of drug crimes in Mexico probably resulted in the most shedding of Mutant tears since at least Train to Busan. Lopez’s work shows that sometimes facing a seven-foot-tall maniac with a meat cleaver in some ways is more comfortable than being exposed to the true horror the world can (and does) produce when innocence is robbed.

The Last Drive-In: Season 5, Week 3 — Don't Panic and Tigers are Not Afraid 2

We’ve got two more theme nights before we hit halftime for this season of the Last Drive-In.
Tonight we have a mother of a double feature ahead (top hat optional) and it’d be nothing short of criminal if you miss it.

Enjoy!