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Dead End Drive-In

Australia 1986
produced by
Andrew Williams for New South Wales Film Corp., Springvale Productions
directed by Brian Trenchard-Smith
starring Ned Manning, Natalie McCurry, Peter Whitford, Wilbur Wilde, Dave Gibson, Sandie Lillingston, Ollie Hall, Lyn Collingwood, Nikki McWaters, Melissa Davis, Margi Di Ferranti, Desirée Smith, Murray Fahey, Jeremy Shadlow, Brett Climo, Alan McQueen, Ken Snodgrass, Bill Lyle, Garry Who, Bernadette Foster, Ron Sinclair, Gandhi MacIntyre, David Jones
written by Peter Carey, music by Frank Strangio

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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In a dystopian future, not too far removed from the 1980s: All Jimmy (Ned Manning) wanted to do was take his girlfriend Carmen (Natalie McCurry) out to a bit of making out on the backseat at the local drive-in ... and then two of his tyres are stolen, and not just by anyone but by a couple of cops - but when Jimmy wants to report it to the place's manager Thompson (Peter Whitford), he offers little assistance other than agreeing to let Jimmy and Carmen stay for the night at the drive-in and see what he can do tomorrow - which the youngsters agree to ... to notice the next morning that there were quite a few people, all youngsters like themselves, staying overnight, and apparently some of them have stayed quite a bit longer than that. Jimmy makes investigations and soon finds out that the drive-in is less of a drive-in (even though movies are played every night) and more of a correctional facility, as one can't leave from here but by car, but a car without wheels isn't much use. Apparently too, everyone in here shares a similar story, and most of them have actually accepted their situation and made the best of it - especially since many of them didn't have much of a life outside. But Jimmy isn't one to be quieted down that easily, and thus is actually not liked all that well by the other "inmates" - even Carmen eventually starts to find him and his attempts to escape a little obnoxious eventually. Problems in the drive-in really heat up though when the police, in the dark of the night, ship in a waggonload of Asians, with their derelict cars, and a white supremacy league thus soon starts to stir troubles, just for the sake of it - which only reinforces Jimmy's resolution to get away as soon as possible ...


One can be of two minds about Dead End Drive-In: On one hand, the film is a bit of a missed opportunity, it never totally lives up to its promises, and falls short of being a political satire by way of dystopian science fiction, with a bit of absurdity thrown in ... or one can see the movie as a fun piece of 80s nostalgia, where a bizarre plot is married to plenty of action, punk and new wave music and fashion, quite some nice camerawork and imagery, bits of comedy and plenty of tension in an oddly irreverent story. It's really your choice here, but as for me, a fun trip down memory lane can never be the wrong thing to do!


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD