And his name is Jason Constantine. I mention him because on one of the DVD covers, it makes mention that this slasher comes to us from the producer of SAW 1 and 2. What a hollow and shameless marketing ploy that turned out to be. Most fans of the genre would see that, and be intrigued. Sad for us however, that instead of even getting a passable slasher that could at least be considered a guilty pleasure, we served a hot steamy pile of poo that even the Sci-Fi channel would be embarrassed showing at 3 am on a Tuesday morning.
Even if you were stoned and drunk, hanging with your best buds and doing a bad movie marathon, you might want to overlook this. I’m a very tolerant horror fan, and one things I’m even more lenient toward are slashers. Why? Because slashers are very difficult to make. Pacing, a clever heavy (bad guy), a descent motivation for the killer, a good gimmick for your killer in the way he kills or where and how, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Then you have to make sure you have somewhat likable characters that have to face-off against your villain, and somehow mix all this up and create tension and atmosphere on top.
It’s a tall order, and that’s why we see so many fail.
But even the “bad” ones still seem to have something offer. Exceptional special effects, gore, and innovative kills can carry an entire movie, or even a series, to becoming successful. Sometimes a great twist about who or what the killer is can make watching 90 minutes of “bleh” cinema completely worth it. Or having a killer that the audience roots for instead of fears to make your film rise above it’s competitors. Drive-Thru delivers none of these characteristics, and fails at following the tried and true formula of slasher movie making in general.
The plot concerns a vengeful guy (or spirit, were never told of course) in a “Horny the Clown” costume, fully imagined with a mouthpiece that distorts his voice just like those talk boxes in old run down burger joints, running around killing the children (all teenagers, how original) of the people who wound up killing him when he was a teenager when a prank went horribly wrong 20 years ago.
On paper, this isn’t exactly crippled from the start, but you got to expect that a sense of humor would be included to make such a plot, and such a ridiculous gimmick for a killer, easily digestible. Wrong. Besides a few stabs at republicans, the American government, epically failed pot and pot head humor, and trying to shit on the “O.C.” California lifestyle, Drive-Thru tries to play it straight. None of the humor comes off as genuine, original or funny, and seems to be there just to fall in line with flavor of the week politics, trends, and habits that the youth they hope will buy this piece of shit will relate with. Its obvious their target audience was the the anti-establishment kids, the kids who are sick of the “McWorld” we live in, but instead of making astute observations about how, fast food for instance, is a microcosm of our whole country and even world today, we are instead treated to one liners like “Fast food kills, fucker.”
How incredibly enlightening.
Delivering this poignant dialogue is a cast and crew full of nobodies, with the exception of Morgan Spurlock who has that “30 Days” show on F/X and did that “I’m gonna eat McDonalds every day for a month” or whatever movie. Either the actors are to young and talentless to handle even these see through characters, as the case is with the main friend group who is terrorized by the killer clown, or they are just “I’m here for the paycheck” older actors and actresses who you probably have never seen before, and hopefully will never see again. Throughout the whole ordeal, either over-acting or just not giving a shit is the two varieties of acting we get. Great.
All this is nothing compared to the directing though. It makes rap videos look like Titanic. Every time someone is killed, the director feels its necessary to speed up and slow down the kill, seemingly at random, and BLAST really bad hard rock/heavy metal over top of it. This means once you hear the butt rock kick in, any suspense and tension has been removed, as the fact that someone will die in the next few seconds is announced. Not like the director has enough skill to even TRY to create tension and atmosphere. Nowhere in Drive-Thru is their even an attempt at a stalk and kill sequence. Sometimes people walk into a room and Horny the Clown pops out and kills them, but that’s about it. Awesome job.
The kills and “gore” are all very poorly done. Good violence can help almost any movie out, and apparently that memo wasn’t passed on to these filmmakers. The kills just make you shake your head in how they are terribly executed and how talentless you have to be to not even be able to give your audience a serviceable pay off for sitting through your dreck. Speaking of pay offs, the ending is so mishandled, it hurts to think about it. It makes no sense, but does…somewhat…answer the “is it a man or a spirit” question, because somehow even though Horny the Clown is killed at the end, one of our main characters takes up the reigns and continues the slashing. How they came to this conclusion I have no idea. Unless there’s some brilliant plot revelation they will reveal to us in the sequel. Have no doubt folks, someone will ressurrect this, and I’ll die a little inside when they do.
I could go on for a few pages slamming this film, but I won’t. I honestly wanted to like this movie. I want to like pretty much everything I see. And indeed I did actually finish watching this movie, however much I now regret that decision. If you are the most passionate and fanatical slasher freak out there, I still don’t suggest you even download this movie for free. It’s not even worth the look to say “Yeah, I saw that.” Avoid it like you would avoid watching a porno with a family member in it.
As for Jason Constantine, hopefully the paycheck for this was worth it, because he’s seriously got to redeem himself after allowing his name to be put on a movie he had know was this bad.