Drive Thru (2007)

Drive Thru (2007)

At Hella Burger, It Won’t Be The Food That Kills You… But You’ll Wish It Did.

Horny the clown, the mascot of local fast food joint Hella Burger, begins killing off a group of teenagers in Orange County. At first the teenagers think that the deaths are random but after a while, they begin to suspect that there is something more amiss. They realise that their parents aren’t telling them why Horny has targeted them.

 

I bought Drive Thru months ago after seeing the trailer on another DVD. My first thoughts upon seeing the trailer were “wow, a slasher film with a clown as the killer” and so I rushed out to buy it from the States. But by the time it came, my enthusiasm had died down and it was placed on the shelf with the hundreds of other films I’ve had queued up to watch. Slowly as time went on, I’ve put off watching it in favour of newer films but I couldn’t put it off any longer. So I eventually took the plunge and within minutes of sitting down to watch, I suddenly realised that I had made a huge mistake and error of judgment.

Despite its decent production values and the look of a bigger budgeted film, Drive Thru is a terrible slasher film which had me tuning out before the first scene had even finished. When you’ve got a bunch of not-so-tough white actors spouting off hip-hop speak and acting like they’re stereotypically gangsta, you really don’t see the rest of the characters being better developed. And that is the case indeed. This has to be the most irritating bunch of characters I’ve ever seen. They’re obnoxious. They’re dumb as hell. They’re just plain annoying. Dialogue was definitely not high on the list of skills that the script writer brought to the table.

Like a lot of the film, it seems to have been written on the fly so it wouldn’t surprise me if the actors were just making it up as they went along. Thankfully co-directors Brendan Cowles and Shane Kuhn waste little time in unleashing Horny the Clown and the kills are at least gory, if a little on the predictable side. I was expecting a lot more of the fast-food gimmick seeing as though the premise of a slasher set inside a fast food restaurant does have some novelty appeal. You’ve got an instant check list of fast food-themed kills which the audience would be familiar with yet none of them are used. Maybe McDonalds threatened to sue in cast it harmed their business!

This angle is merely an opening scene ploy and Drive Thru shifts into a complete A Nightmare on Elm Street rip-off soon after, complete with a supernatural bad guy who spouts one-liners and a group of teenagers being targeted for the actions of their parents. The film really tries to be funny and scary at the same time and fails miserably on both counts. The dialogue is filled with one-liners and jokes that the co-directors and writer obviously found funny but no one outside their circle of friends would. Does anyone find cheesy horror film bad guys who fire off quips before dispatching victims even remotely funny anymore? You’re more likely to groan and roll your eyeballs than laugh with amusement and this isn’t just a problem with Drive Thru, it’s a problem with a lot of modern slasher films that try to channel the spirit of Freddy Kruger. He wasn’t that funny to begin with and too many slasher films try to make their villains stand out with the same comedic tone.

Horny the clown is the best bit of the film bar none though. He has one of the best costumes I’ve seen for a while for a slasher – the suit looks like something I’d wear for Halloween and his clown face even has a speaker for a mouth so that when he talks, it sounds like the guy who takes your order in the drive-thru. There’s also an ironic piece of casting in which Morgan Spurlock, the documentary filmmaker who went on the McDonalds diet in Supersize Me, is cast as the manager of the fast food chain. You’d think that the film would run with this a little more and throw in some jokes but it’s a totally wasted opportunity.

 

Really hard to sit through despite the promise of a killer clown, Drive Thru is eighty-three minutes of pure fast food junk. Like a fast food burger, it may look good when you pick it up but as soon as you take your first bite, you realise you’ve made a horrible mistake and all you’ve got left is an ultimately fatty concoction of things that are bad for your health. A crappy slasher films are top of my list!

 

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