Joe R. Lansdale Guest Blog: What’s Playing at The Drive-In?

Joe Lansdale's The Complete Drive-InOne of the key features of Joe R. Lansdale’s The Complete Drive-In is that two movies are playing at the Orbit Drive-In in the novels: Night of the Living Dead and The Toolbox Murders. Today Joe’s guest blog discusses them both.

The question posed to Joe is: Tell us about the two movies that are playing at the theater. How did you choose them, and do you remember when you first saw them?

I saw Night of the Living Dead in Longview, Texas, I believe, at The River Road, and then I saw a midnight showing of it at an indoor drive-in in Tyler, Texas. I think it was The Tyler Theater, but it’s been a long time. Both times it knocked me dead. Back then we didn’t have videos or DVDs. You saw it when it came out or when it came on TV, usually years later and most likely cut to pieces, minus gore and sex, etc.

The Toolbox Murders I believe I saw at The Lumberjack Drive-In in Nacogdoches, Texas.

Tomorrow is the final entry in Lansdale’s guest blog, and then we’ll be posting all the details of our contest so stay tuned! A summary of The Complete Drive-In follows below.

Friday night at the Orbit Drive-in: a circus of noise, sex, teenage hormones, B-movie blood, and popcorn. On a cool, crisp summer night, with the Texas stars shining down like rattlesnake eyes, movie-goers for the All-Night Horror Show are trapped in the drive-in by a demonic-looking comet. Then the fun begins. If the movie-goers try to leave, their bodies dissolve into goo. Cowboys are reduced to tears. Lovers quarrel. Bikini-clad women let their stomachs sag, having lost the ambition to hold them in. The world outside the six monstrous screens fades to black while the movie-goers spiral into base humanity, resorting to fighting, murdering, crucifying, and cannibalizing to survive. Part dark comedy, part horror show, Lansdale’s cult Drive-In books are as shocking and entertaining today as they were 20 years ago.

For more on the author, be sure to read Elaine Lamkin’s recent interview with Joe R. Lansdale.

Debi Moore

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Debi Moore

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