In an apocalyptic Australia, outcasts and misfits are being secretly herded into concentration camps disguised as drive-in movie theatres. When their car’s tyres are stolen whilst on a date at their local drive-in, Crabs (Neil Manning) and Carmen (Natalie McCurry) face the terrible realisation that they have become the prison’s latest inmates. Will they ever find a way to escape?
This Ozploitation action thriller (which refers to a host of films made in Australia during the 1970s and 1980s) was the brainchild of Brian Trenchard-Smith (aka Australia’s answer Roger Corman), who was responsible for such diverse fare as The Man from Hong Kong (Australia first martial arts thriller), BMX Bandits (that made Nicole Kidman a star) and the cult prison actioner Turkey Shoot.
Dead End Drive-In bombed when it was released Down Under in 1986, basically because it was written off as a poor-man’s Mad Max rip-off featuring an unconvincing punked-up cast who looked like they had just stepped out of i-D magazine. Over the intervening years, however, the film has attracted a bit of a following and the ArrowDrome DVD release is the perfect chance to revisit the futuristic thriller that popularised German Bundeswehr vests and featured some cool music from Aussie alternative bands Hunters + Collectors and Kids in the Kitchen