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Joe R. Lansdale's The Drive-In Paperback – Feb 2 2006

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About the Author

Don Coscarelli: Don Coscarelli, Jr. (b. 1954) is an American film director, producer and screenwriter best known for horror films. His credits include the Phantasm series, The Beastmaster, and Bubba Ho-Tep.
Joe R. Lansdale: Joe R. Lansdale is a highly successful writer of horror and crime fiction. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 35 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
By Tim Janson - Published on
Format: Paperback
The Adaptation of Joe Lansdale's "The Drive-In" is as much about humanistic horror as it is supernatural. A devious, and visceral lab experiment with humans as the test subjects. A group of young friends in Texas decide to spend an evening at the Orbit drive-in movie theater to see an all night long horror film festival with movies like "Evil Dead", "Dawn of the Dead", "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", and more, but the terror will soon turn all too real. Best friends Jack and Bob, along with sheepish Randy, and tough biker Willard think they're in for a long evening of horror classics and beer when the appearance of a meteor changes everything. Suddenly the four friends find themselves trapped in the drive-in with hundreds of other customers by an otherworldly force. They are virtually cut off from the rest of the world by a darkened sky and an impenetrable wall which virtually melts anyone who tries to leave.

Without any means of calling for help, and dwindling food supplies from the concession stand, it is the reactions of the captives that provide the true horror. Some rage forth to try and takeover the concession stand for themselves, others decide that end of the world sex is the way to go, while a fundamentalist Christian movement starts up preaching the way of God. Jack retreats into a shell and has to be pulled out of his self-imposed isolation by Bob who has a hidden stash of food in his car. Meanwhile Willard and Randy's relationship soon turns grossly symbiotic. The pair takes over the concession stand and are struck by a bolt of lightening which should have killed them both. Instead, the pair's bodies have become virtually fused together in a twisted, corroded form that now calls itself the Popcorn King. This demonic dark lord soon has most of the residents worshipping him as a God, even as he feasts upon their bodies. Bob & Jack soon realize that they may be the only hope of salvation for the survivors as they hatch a plot to destroy the Popcorn King.

Lansdale's original story is adapted by Christopher Golden who is probably best known for his Buffy the Vampire Slayer novels as well as writer of the Buffy comic for Dark Horse. He is aided greatly by the beautifully chaotic artwork of Andres Guinaldo who captures the drive-in in all its animalistic glory. The true horror isn't the demonic Popcorn King but seeing how humanity quickly degrades in the face of adversity. Typical, and outstanding Lansdale and a fine job by Golden and Guinaldo. The graphic novel also includes an interview with Landsdale.

Reviewed by Tim Janson
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Great B-movie fun in an A+ book Dec 29 2013
By Tony Crumpton - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
My first brush with Mr. Lansdale's writing was an excerpt of this novel in the long-defunct Horror Show Magazine (or was it The Twilight Zone Magazine? It's been decades). From that four or five page excerpt, I made it my mission to find a copy of the book. This was back in the 80's when tracking down the things you wanted meant more than a few clicks of the mouse and the first bricks of the huge, chain-bookstores had yet to be laid. Thankfully, I managed to persuade my local mom and pop store to order me a copy. After several weeks of waiting, I finally got the call letting me know it was in. I can still remember just about everything about that evening spent reading this rollicking, funny and imaginative book. There are images and passages from this book that will stick with you your whole life, but in a good way. I seldom re-read books, but I've read THE DRIVE-IN and it's sequels (okay, I've only read the third one once, but it's relatively new) several times over the years, and continue to get pleasure from them.

I believe Lansdale is one of the great American voices, and easily my favorite writer. Anything you read by him is well worth the time, so click your mouse and give it a try. Now days, It's that simple.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The weirdest, Wildest B-Movie in Book Form You'll Ever Read Dec 29 2013
By Brad Ellison - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Joe Lansdale's name guarantees a little weirdness, even when he's writing relatively conventional mystery stories, westerns, or Batman cartoons. When he really cuts loose, though, you can get some deranged phantasmagorias that are resolutely unlike anything else you'll ever see. This ferocious little novel, though, may take the cake for the absolute weirdest, grossest, scariest, funniest thing he's ever written, and cousin, that is saying something. If you've got the stomach for it, and a sufficiently warped outlook on life, you'll take this book into your heart. It'll get lodged in your brain and soul like one of those parasitic worms, or those brain tumors that cause violent and irrational behavior.

The distillation of a vivid recurring dream (a dream apparently fueled by a steady diet of B-movies and lard-cooked popcorn), this is the tale of a few young friends, an all-night horror-show at the world's largest drive-in motion picture theater, and an inexplicable transdimensional event that might be the work of third-rate outer gods trying to throw something together under budget and might be the result of a completely undirected and uncaring universe devoid of purpose or reason. Either way, the whole thing naturally devolves into tribalistic savagery, cannibalism, and the incarnation of the Popcorn King, probably the most grotesque and bizarre deity ever to preside over a drive-in theater cut off from the outside world in an alien dimension.

If you've ever watched all the Evil Dead movies back to back throughout the night, this book's for you. If you've got a subscription to Fangoria, a collection of Joe Bob Briggs bootleg tapes, or a framed Texas Chainsaw Massacre poster in your living room, this is for you. If you've ever wished you could relieve the feverish nightmares you get after dozing off in front of a late-night creature feature with a belly full of junk food, this is for you.

If none of the above describes you, well then, maybe don't read it. Buy it anyway, though, and give it to the weirdest friend or relation you can find. They'll thank you.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A modern classic Dec 29 2013
By Ray Wallace - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
One of the great things about the digital publishing revolution is the ready availability of books that may have gone long out of print or might only be found in expensive, limited editions. Case in point: Joe Lansdale's cult classic novel, THE DRIVE-IN. I read this one years back when it first came out and have had the pleasure of re-reading it more than once since then. Plot-wise, there's not much to it. A group of friends go to see the All-Night Horror Show at what has to be the largest drive-in the world has ever seen, The Orbit Drive-In off I-45 in Texas. While there, they become trapped -- along with their fellow movie goers -- within the drive-in's borders when the world beyond inexplicably disappears. The situation only goes from bad to worse, much worse, as The Orbit degenerates into a realm of savagery and brutality with the arrival of the Popcorn King. And, well, to give any more away would only ruin the fun.

For any fans of "survival horror," THE DRIVE-IN is a must read. The book hearkens back to the days when Mr. Lansdale burst onto the scene as a horror writer to be reckoned with, the tale infused with the author's trademark black humor. More recently, he has penned a long list of excellent books more closely associated with the "thriller" genre -- a label that does little to convey their consistent quality and uniqueness, however. It all began with a number of horror gems, though, none of them more enduring or widely recognized than THE DRIVE-IN. And with good reason. This book kicks ass, plain and simple.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Lunatic Roller-Coaster Ride Through B-Movie Hell Dec 29 2013
By judi b goodman - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Many are the imitators, but there's only one Joe Lansdale, who here offers his strangest and most riotously off-the-wall novel, a trip to the movies that does not go quite as expected. All hail the popcorn king!