Oct 282010

When I was in Seattle this year, I picked up Joe R. Lansdale’s ‘The Complete Drive-in’. It is an omnibus of three novels that take place, well, at the drive-in.

Four friends go to the drive-in to watch a marathon of horror movies. Partway through, something abducts the whole damn drive-in area. I’m talking about multiple screens, all the cars, all the people and the concession stands. They find themselves transported to an area of endless night and unexplained electrical power. The movies keep playing and any one who braves the surrounding darkness is dissolved and spat back out.

Then things get really bad. Some stories will fuck your shit up and these tales are no exception. What starts as an amusing if baffling story degenerates into cannibalism, orgies and a whole fucking lot of murders. Bizarre monsters and even more bizarre insane characters prowl the book. It ain’t pretty. As jaded as I think I am as a reader, I had quite a few moments where I just couldn’t wrap my mind around the depravity I had just read. Yet I kept reading, because when you are on a roller-coaster of a story like this, you can’t wait for the next dropping thrill.

This collection has three books about this abducted drive-in. It is like the best b-movie never made. Just like a b-movie, it is fearless in it’s horror while relishing in the insanity of its plot. As a writer, this book was just inspiring in its audacity. I wish porn was half this fearless.

I can’t recommend this collection enough to horror fans.

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