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The Last Drive-In: Season Four, Week Six: The Monster Club and Hellbender

Art by T.J. Denton @TDenton_1138 on Twitter.

As we start down the hill toward the conclusion of Season 4, we got a rant for the ages and a rave to die for.

And that was just during the first feature.

Long-timers on the Patreon would know that Joe Bob did The Monster Club in his best and lowest-budget Bela Lugosi get-up complete with gratuitous Brylcreem (or slime glopola, take your pick) applied to slick back his hair in late 1996 as he closed out the year on MonsterVision. If you are not subscribing to the Patreon, you’re missing out, BECAUSE IT’S THERE! So there might have been some recognizable repetition for the hardest of hardcore Mutants of a certain age when getting to stuff like the Drive-In Totals, but everybody needed a breather after a torrential rant that encapsulated the FDA, the FCC, Big Pharma, Baby Boomers and millennial modern rockers suffering from Crohn’s disease blended into a scathing redneck indictment of the economics of the U.S. drug industry and a glimpse into the mind-bending ads you get when watching late-night crime TV.

Heck, maybe the ads are the things that get people to develop schizo-adenoidal inflammatory hemorrhage entropic dysphoria — so what we have here is a self-replicating cycle. Anyone who watches the commercial might end up getting the condition the drug treats because it’s caused by the commercial and so they sell more drugs which gives em the bigger budget to run more commercials involving bathtubs in the middle of yards, emergency trips to the nearest porta-potty and so on.

Wish Larry Cohen was still around. I smell a script idea there. Is David Cronenberg available?

The first feature was probably the most family friendly that’s been run on The Last Drive-In, even when taking into account the impalings, feline immolations, neck chomping and implied cannibalism. Nobody liked The Monster Club when released because horror had moved on from the Hammer-Amicus features of the late 1960s and mid 1970s into the Slasher era. But there’s something a bit comforting, innocent, classy and charming seeing the legendary Vincent Price and the legendary Donald Pleasence messing about as vampires smooshed between musical interludes in the flick and a monster-themed dance party at Joe Bob’s trailer park as well. Here are the totals:

Drive-In Totals GIF courtesy the kind Shudder Twitterer

Folks who liked The Monster Club might want to also check The House of the Long Shadows out. A premium cable staple in the early 1980s, it got Price, John Carradine, Sir Peter Cushing and Sir Christopher Lee all together in the same flick. That’s a lot of legends to fit on screen and it has the same warm, squishy, feeling to it that Mutants all enjoyed.

And speaking of together, the Adams family simply rocks as a unit.

Responsible for the bootstraps-in-action indy flick Hellbender shot with a single camera, a tripod and two mics, some other minimalist gear and a hell (pun intended) of a lot of heart, the three-star “minimalist witchbeast-in-a-forest-folk horror” flick featured the requisite amount of pasty women looking sullen at a hanging, a bunch of forays into a fiery hellscape. Plus, you know, flaming Roman candle witch effects.

GIF courtesy Shudder’s Twitter

Lessons learned from Hellbender — don’t feed a coming-of-age girl worms, no matter the health benefits of eating organically, don’t p.o. your pals because they’ll probably bisect you if they happen to be a hell creature and, lastly, get yourself a Canon 5D (it looks like a still camera so you don’t get hassled for permits) so you can GO OUT AND SHOOT YOUR FLICK.

Thanks to John, Toby Poser and Zelda Adams for hanging out, complete with faceprint, at the trailer and jamming with John Brennan and continuing to remind us that inspiration isn’t enough, but with support and drive, you can go out and make something happen. We’ll see you down the road, keeping in mind these filmmakers went pretty far with Hellbender, but they coulda gone FARTHER.

That’s it. Oh Lord, please let there never be a cure for Horror Host Verbosity Syndrome. Darcy’ll just have to get in touch with FrightRags to have em create some custom earplugs, because on some nights the man just gets on a ROLL. Musical Horror Night was one of those nights and we were there for it.

Check you next week!

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