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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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
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.
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.
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.
So I read it again and am upping my rating to four and a half, maybe ever four and three quarters. Just don't get that five star feeling but it is awfully close. This was written when Lansdale was a shining star of Splatter-Punk, a sub-genre of horror that has recently shifted into Bizzaro fiction. Those who know Lansdale only for his mysteries might be a bit shocked by the downright weirdness of his earlier writings, of which The Drive-In is a prime example. Lansdale's Texas authenticity is still there but is wrapped in a form of sci-fi horror gruesomeness that comes out like a Lord of The Flies as if written in a collaboration between Jean-Paul Sartre and Joe Bob Briggs. Lansdale is still feeling his chops with this one. It gets a little out of hand and over the top at times but that is part of the fun. There are two other short novels in this series and I'm going to hunt them down.