Saturday, September 10, 2005
The $1.49 Double Feature?
I happened into a 99 Cents Store today and (of course) gravitated to a display of "DVDs for $1." A separate shelf at the same display announced "DVD Double Features for $1.49." Remember how great double features were? My friends and I still talk about them. As I rummaged through the DVDs, I came across Drive-In Massacre. This less-than-stellar title brought a smile to my face because it figures into one of my favorite moviegoing experiences (one that I talk about time and again). When I was a teenager (before of advent of VHS), a new low-budget horror movie would open every week. Back then, I would go anywhere, to any movie theater, to see some of the worst films ever made. In retrospect, this was productive, since I had a benchmark against which to measure the good ones. One week, I spied a tiny newspaper ad (I actually still have this ad) for a double feature of Drive-In Massacre and Driller Killer. (It would be many years later, as I was doing research to interview Abel Ferrara until I would realize that not only was Driller Killer his directorial debut, but he also starred in it!!) The only theater showing this double feature near me was the Duffield, a rundown movie house in a rough part of Brooklyn (in fact, this theater later closed after one of its patrons was killed during a showing of New Jack City). Since I didn't have my license yet, my father (also a huge horror movie buff) offered to drive me and stick around to check it out himself. I was far more unnerved about the theater we were in, than anything that was on the screen; but my father, completely unaffected by the surroundings, just sat there calmly munching on his popcorn. So, as I stood there today holding the DVD in my hand, this memory rushed back to me. I quickly flipped over the package and was ecstatic to see the second title: Driller Killer. Once again, these two movies shared a double bill! I happily put down my $1.49 and walked out with the films. My Dad is gone now, but having this DVD double feature in my collection (and watching it in the comfort of my own living room (instead of the rundown theater where I first saw it) will allow me to relive a particularly fun and somewhat adventurous time at the movies with him.