‘Drive Thru’ – 2007
Director: Brendan Cowles and Shane Kuhn
Writer: Brendan Cowles and Shane Kuhn
Starring: Leighton Meester, Nicholas D’Agosto, Melora Hardin, Sita Young, Penn Badgley
Taglines: “At Hella Burger, It Won’t Be The Food That Kills You… But You’ll Wish It Did.”, “Hungry for a killer burger?” and “Fast Food Kills”
Runtime: 91 minutes.
This may be one of the most hilariously awful things I’ve seen in awhile. And I warn you now, there are spoilers contained within. It was just too good to leave the details out, because the details were too exquisite.
Drive Thru opens like any other horror film would open; with a murder. The fact that the murderees are something like if Kevin Federline and Seth Green’s character from Can’t Hardly Wait had children and pumped them up on steroids doesn’t really hurt.
The killer is a supped up version of Hella-Burger’s mascot, Horny the Clown. His mask appears to have the drive thru intercom built in and his outfit is sort of a flame patterned jump-suit with shoulder pads best suited to inter-galactic travel. Also, he’s very fond of one-liners. Here are a few examples: “Order up, bub. Employee of the month’s gonna fuck you up!”, “something here”, and “When you die alone, no one can hear you scream”. The end result is one of the more amusing killers I’ve encountered on screen.
And then there’s a supernatural end of things, relating in general back to our heroine, Mackenzie Carpenter. Mackenzie’s in a band, a fact we know because they play throughout the entire opening credits to the point where my viewing companion was convinced this band was friends with the director. I begged to differ, you see, because Mackenzie is played by Leighton Meester of Gossip Girl fame. We know she can sing, of course, because she released a few singles last year and we’re still awaiting her first CD. Mackenzie is that “alternative” kind of girl who wears gobs of black eyeliner, combat boots, and pours a can of Red Bull on a few “Banana Republicans” who make it into her house party. She’s actually a little bit awesome.
But, Mackenzie’s toys have a habit of attempting to warn her about the killings before they happen. This doesn’t seem to be because she’s meant to stop them, but rather in some sort of taunting fashion. For example, after the house party she and her boyfriend start playing around on an Ouija Board when suddenly it takes on a life of it’s own and spells out a mysterious list of numbers and letters, which turns out to be the license plate number of the two killed in the beginning. Then the next day she’s talking to her Magic 8 Ball and wants to know whether she would go to class or get baked in the bathroom, two very excellent choices, clearly. Mr. 8 Ball responds with “Hi Mackenzie” and then a cryptic message about a broken heart. Then her Etch-A-Sketch spells out I Heart Bush. It’s unclear as to whether this is in reference to the former president, Gavin Rosedale’s former band, or pussy. What is clear is that in the next scene a girl with enormous breasts is wearing a belly shirt with the same slogan. Finally Mackenzie is getting a soda from a vending machine when one of those toy dispensers pops out a little Horny doll that reads “See you at 4:20”.
This movie was made in 2007 but it watches as if it was made in 1997. Honestly. The main character has a Blink 182 poster. Yeah, okay, I liked Blink 182 a lot, back in 2000. I have not heard the word “wigger” used for quite some time. Probably because it’s offensive. And not to the idiots who behave that way, but rather to the people where the word is appropriated from. I also think it’s out of fashion to use the word “fly” to describe something as cool. The whole script seems as if it was written in the mid-nineties and never updated when it was being put to celluloid. Either that or it was scribed by an early thirties fast food addict who’s still attached to the slang of the time when he was young, fit, and cool.
Other stellar characters include; the fat, obnoxious policeman who thinks Mackenzie’s on drugs and continually bumbles around acting as if everyone’s nutso for thinking there’s even a killer of the loose, up until he gets his at the very end of the movie. The snobby Banana Republicans who have really awful looking sex from behind in a haunted house (literally the dude wasn’t even moving and apparently shot his wad too early). Mackenzie’s small group friends that include stoner Van played by Meester’s Gossip Girl co-star Penn Badgley who gets cut in half and doesn’t seem to realize it until he tries to walk away and his guts slide out.
And we can’t forget the 4:20 Boyz, who are some sort of gang that hang outside a Hella-Burger, Jay and Silent Bob style, and vandalize the place to the torment of the manager, who is played by Super Size Me’s Morgan Spurlock. No word on their name but I’m willing to bet that they smoke a lot of weed. Though who knows because when Mackenzie and her boyfriend Fisher are attempting to decipher their latest clue regarding the time 4:20 and Fisher is reminded of the gang’s existence his response is “Oh yeah, those fags.” And the sole female member of the 4:20 Boyz is couth enough to use the phrase “Where’s the shitter?” while her companions piss on a bust of Horny’s face.
Eventually, though as it always does, it comes out that the parents of all the murdered kids used to know each other. From there it really doesn’t take much to figure that they did something bad all those years ago. Quite right too. Back in the seventies all the parents used to hang out during the summers in a pot infested, Scooby Doo style van. One of their favorite activities was tormenting the local somewhat disabled boy, Archie, who was the son of the owner of Hella-Burger and the first incarnation of Horny. Also, he had a crush on Mackenzie’s mom. So they came up with a fantastic way to pwn good old Archie on his eighteenth birthday. As he sat in Hella-Burger alone with his alighted cake, the mom came to the door and stood in a sexy pose. Then her boyfriend jumped up behind Archie and ran about in a Horny mask attempting to scare him. The cake table was knocked over, Archie went unconscious, and the whole place burned down. So basically, they killed the guy. When Mackenzie hears the story everything becomes clear, it’s Archie back from the dead, taking his revenge on his killer’s children. We can only presume that he’s taken an extra special interest in Mackenzie because Archie was so infatuated with her mother. But Mackenzie is not your typical little girl victim who runs screaming and allows herself to e taken down with a minimal amount of fight. She’s snarky, sarcastic, and generally seems to have a good head on her shoulders. Together with that and the flask of “liquid courage” she carries around she’s a formidable opponent for Horny.
So would I recommend this? Let’s just say I’m on pins and needles for Drive Thru 2: The Nightmare Is Just Beginning.