Drive Thru : Release Year - 2007

Overall Rating : 7/10

Directed By : Brendan Cowles, Shane Kuhn

Leighton Meester (Hangman's Curse)
Nicholas D'Agosto (Election)
Penn Badgley (John Tucker Must Die)
Larry Joe Campbell (According To Jim (TV) )

Supplied By : Lionsgate Films

Film Reviewed By : Rick L. Blalock

Date Reviewed : May. 30, 2007


Mackenzie Carpenter, a gorgeous 17-year-old girl who would kick your ass for saying so, thinks her biggest problem is dying of boredom in the bucolic wasteland of Orange County...that is until her classmates start dying of massive blood loss and Horny The Clown begins madly stalking her with cryptic messages hidden in 70's kitsch toys. It isn't until Mac discovers her unbelievable connection to Horny and his victims that she realizes, if she's gonna live to see 18, she must come face to face with the killer clown in the bloodiest week Blanca Carne, California has ever known.
In the Horror film with a slight edge of comedy, DRIVE THRU, the fictitious town of Blanca Carne California is in terror, It seems that someone dressed as the mascot for Blanca Carne's favorite fast food restaurant Hella- Burger is stalking and killing the California town's youth. With "Horny the Clown" still on the loose and the town acting very cautious to protect themselves from harm, young Mackenzie Carpenter wants nothing more than to graduate and move out of Orange County - but in order to do that she must turn 18 first. With her 18th Birthday drawing near Mackenzie just can't wait to be free, but when she begins to receive strange hidden messages through the likes of 70's toys(Ouija Boards, Magic 8 Balls, Etch-A-Sketch, etc.), just getting will be harder than she thought. Through the messages she receives she is eventually able to predict whom will die next, and after several deaths a pattern emerges. It is revealed that the children that are being killed off by the clown, including Mackenzie all have something in common - their parents all were childhood friends involved in a fiery accident that left one person dead. It seems that the Clown is now targeting in one Mackenzie due to her Mother's involvement in the 1970's accident, and when a duo of two oddly coupled police partners fail to put an end to the evil Horny, Mackenzie takes matters into her almost legal hands.

When I saw that DRIVE THRU was finally on Lionsgate's US release schedule for this month, I was excited. A few months ago before it was released here is the US, I actually had the chance to download a Region 2 DVD rip of this. Being that I have a fascination with all things "Evil Clown", I just had to check out DRIVE THRU then and there, as I figured if done right this would be a blast. Sure, not all killer clown movies are bound to be good, but after I got finished with DRIVE THRU, I was impressed by it, and upon this, the 2nd viewing I still am!

I'll admit, when the first scene opens and you see a bunch as white kids acting gangsta smoking pot, you assume the worst(or at least I did). The said saids, get the "mad munchies" and have a craving for a Hella--Burger. As soon as they pull into the Drive-Thru window, it is immediately apparent that these "Wiggas" won't be around for long as the person behind the PA system makes a few wise-cracks and even a threat. That person would be "Horny The Clown" the mascot for the Hella--Burger chain, from here would make his first appearance slashing away, setting the stage for the right of the film. We then join Mackenzie at a pool party she is hosting at her house as she plays live with her band, the zoom is on Mackenzie so it is apparent that she would be the film's heroine. Unlike with most films that have their heroine portrayed as quiet and repressed Mackenzie is somewhat rebellious and "punk", and actually gives the audience some belief that she might be able to kick someone's ass in means to defending herself, which is something a little less cliché'. I absolutely loved the idea of Horny sending messages to Mackenzie through various vintage toys from the 70's, that would later tie into the incident that occurred involving the parents, which occurred in that decade - I actually thought this was clever and brilliant, and hadn't seen anything like it, or so I remember. But just like any other film these days, since every angle in the Horror movie genre has basically been covered many times before, there are a few of the old cliché's that turn up here as well. The first one is the false suspect or suspect, at one point the creepy Janitor is pointed at as being the killer, and the said character acts strangely to make you believe so. The revenge angle has been played up in films such as PUMPKINHEAD, PROM NIGHT to even lower budgeted fun-fests such as UNCLE SAM, and DRIVE THRU really is no different from those, but the films plot kind of reversely hits on the plot of the original A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET a little. But here instead of having the town's parents kill a child murderer we instead have a group of teens that kill the son of Hella--Burger Entrepreneur Jack Benjamin. Whomever the killer is here is stalking now the children of the teens that killed Archie Benjamin years ago - although not original by any means, I have to say it is really an interesting concept. Truthfully speaking no Slasher film that has ever been made could solely survive on characters alone, that's why there are so many bad one's lying around. The slasher flicks that have always been successful and continue to be successful always have one key ingredient, a villain that attracts you and sticks out, one that makes an impression. I believe Brendan Cowles, and Shane Kuhn have created such a character in Horny the Clown. The appearance of the clown is quite unique, from the steel mask to his killer cleaver, he is a character that should be memorable for at least some reason to any who see this film. I really loved how they made Horny a wise-cracking villain, much in the vein of a Freddy Krueger, while speaking in his rather distinct PA Speaker voice.... the voice was truly a character it's own.

I will admit that the acting here is not award winning, but passable. A lot of the characters featured here have little to remember, as a matter of fact few will likely remember most of the lesser characters. But is Leighton Meester's portrayal as Mackenzie that would likely be most remember next to the villain of course. Meester who also starred in another thriller called HANGMAN'S CURSE a few years back showed promise as a star in the genre, and although DRIVE THRU may not move her a notch, it proves that she can be the center piece of a project. Here as Mackenzie, she had the right look and appeal to make the character likeable. Other characters that stand out are the characters of Police officials Chase and Crockers. Now Det. Crockers played by Larry Joe Campbell(of the TV series ACCORDING TO JIM) has an undying problem with people pronouncing his name incorrectly, they pronounce it as "Crackers" This happens to be an ongoing joke in the film his name is pronounced Crackers over and over again, sure it makes the team of Chase and Crockers sound like "Cheese and Crackers", it's funny the first few times but later wears thin - perhaps it was my only annoyance within the film, but it doesn't bother me much.

I see that this film has got a mixed reaction from the viewing public out there, and just like any other time, I can only speak for myself. I really liked this film, I actually thought the premise and villain were great and really kept the film interesting. The film ends on a whim leaving us at a mystery, maybe leaving room for a sequel? Some may not want it, but i'd be all for it!
3.5/10 Some of the film's kills do happen off screen, later revealing the aftermath. But we do get a head exploded in a giant microwave, a beheading and an axe to the skull among them. Not all that gory i'd say but it's enough to keep it all enjoyable!
5.5/10 To me, although not performed by big named acts, I thought the songs and music here featured were great. The music really gave it an independent feeling that works well with this type of film. Heavy Rock mixed with some Melodic Rock.
As a fan of killer clown flicks I have seen a lot of good AND bad ones(S.I.C.K. and Mr. Jingles come to mind). In my opinion DRIVE THRU is a very good one, I really enjoyed the old-school feeling used in this film, although it takes place in present day, I thought it had a 1970s feel to it at times. DRIVE THRU is definitely a B-Movie through and through from it's many jokes and set ups to it's taste-less dialogue, I am a fan of a good B-Movie and disagreeing with most of the critics whom have already canned this - I believe it's a near perfect one, I do recommend this one, as DRIVE THRU would fit in great in a triple bill along with KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE and CLOWNHOUSE for a night of clown fun!

<---------- BACK TO ::