All Next of Kin and Dead End Drive-In have in common is that they came from Australia in the 1980s. But that’s good enough!
NEXT OF KIN (1982)
Kids growing up in the 1970s and 1980s were accustomed to the “slow burn” of horror, so a movie like Next of Kin was easily appreciated as hugely suspenseful. In this day and age, we demand immediate excitement, so this one might be lost on some horror viewers. Yet if it was presented to you as a new Ti West film, you might just believe it.
A chick (who bears an uncanny resemblance to Tina Fey at times) comes to take over the retirement home owned previously by her deceased mother and deceased aunt.
As she delves into her mother’s diary and gets to know the ropes at the house, creepy things begin happening…starting with the death of one of the residents! Tina Fey chick soon thinks something mysterious is going on in the house. It feels very supernatural as we are treated to some super eerie sequences, including what pretty much amounts to a Slender Man moment in the woods, the body of the old man (which is still in a fricking room in the house) popping up in her dreams, and the brief appearance of an old lady doll that so easily scared the crap out of me.
While everything is sinister and foreboding, you begin to question if anything major is ever going to happen…which totally keeps you watching. WTF is going on, you wonder? And then in an instant, shit hits the fan and you’re like HOLY FUCK!
I really can’t say much at all about what is revealed, but it leads to some killer confrontations and a final chase scene that will visually blow your mind if you have any appreciation of horror camerawork. Some of these amazing angles would make the original Resident Evil video game jealous.
Did I mention, Tina Fey chick’s boyfriend is the Wolf Creek psycho when he was more than 20 years younger with a tight bod and tight jeans?
DEAD-END DRIVE-IN (1986)
One of the best things about 80s movies is that they showed us that new wave music and punk rock fashions were the future in a post-apocalyptic world. At least I have something to look forward to.
Dead End Drive-In features an amazing soundtrack of new wave bands, including Kids in the Kitchen (including their gorgeous new wave ballad “Current Stand”), Machinations, Hunters & Collectors, and The Expression.
While an oh-so 80s blond cutie named Crabs bangs his chick in the backseat of a car at a drive-in, his tires are stolen. Soon, Crabs finds out he is part of a program that uses the drive-in as a “prison” for society’s bad seeds (aka: those who listen to new wave and dress punk). But the drive-in also feeds these kids endless supplies of junk food, drugs, and new wave music.
Why does everyone keep calling me Fairuza Balk?
Crabs begins to lose his girlfriend to the dark side as he formulates a plan to escape. Problem is, every time he steals back missing parts from his car, new parts are stolen. On top of that, he makes enemies with a punk gang that hates Asian people, blaming them for all that is wrong in the world.
Yes, it’s a fucking weird movie that ends with a big car chase reminiscent of Mad Max, but that—along with everything I mentioned above (and the pic below)—is what makes it an 80s cult winner.