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Page 3 - Backstories
by Mike Neel
twitter icon@DriveInHorror
2013-11-08 07:06:06

Hello Boils and Ghouls! I think it’s time to give you some backstory about the Drive-In Horrorshow universe.

Drive-In Horrorshow originally started as a feature anthology film, created by myself and Greg Ansin, in the vein of Creepshow or Tales from the Crypt: five stories and a wrap-around narrative. We wrote the stories first, and our goal was to make them all different so that the movie wouldn’t get stale. We came up with a bunch of tales and chose five that fit well together: Pig (rape/revenge), The Closet (fairy tale), Fall Apart (super-gory body horror), The Meat Man (urban legend), and The Watcher (classic 80s-era slasher).

The setting of the drive-in was a no-brainer, since the genres we used were staples of 70s and 80s horror cinema. I think our upbringing has a lot to do with our choice of setting and subject matter. Greg and I both grew up in the 80s and most of the films we watched in our formative years were from that era: Friday the 13th, Creepshow, The Fly, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and about a thousand more that used to line video store walls. That era is now gone, and the drive-in in the film reflects that: after two apocalypses, it has fallen into disrepair and is barely scraping by. I’m not sure how intentional that allegory is - I don’t think it was in our minds as we wrote the film - but it fits, nonetheless.

When we finished the film, we wrote a new batch of stories which could be turned into a few new films, a TV series, or something else. We were in a writing groove and had a good grasp of the world we had created, and I think the new stories fit well with the ones from the film. When Jerem approached us to do a comic from the DIHS universe, we thought it would be much more interesting and worthwhile for him to do one of these new stories. Greg and I are so close to the source material, having written, directed, and produced the original film, and we thought it would be really neat to see what other people could do with it - and since the horror anthology format we used came from EC comics in the first place, we thought the transition would work. Suffice it to say that we are thrilled with what he and Shi created.

One last thing: the titles on the film canisters on this page and the previous ones. Here’s how we wrote the beginning of the script:


A dark room, full of cobwebs. Long aisles of old, gray film canisters recede into the blackness.

BILLY TROLL carries a small homemade lantern. He walks down the aisle. He stops and puts a film in his pack.

THE PROJECTIONIST appears out of the shadows.

And then The Projectionist speaks, etc. If we were to film this, we’d do our own set decoration and props, but we don’t usually write those details unless they are absolutely necessary, because it slows down the pace of the script. As you can see, Jerem added a TON of elements to the story (and cut Billy Troll’s pack): setting the stage in the Drive-In exterior, the zombies at the food stand, etc. When Jerem was working on this (we hadn’t seen any pages yet) he emailed us asking for some film titles for the sign and the canisters in the vault. Greg and I have a great time thinking of titles - the more ridiculous the better (Trampoline Chainsaw Lovers!) - and we were psyched to send them along and have them get used. It’s a small detail but it adds a lot to the world, and it’s a great example of what Jerem did to the script and how he made it his own.

Trailer for the film:

To buy/rent the movie: www.DriveInHorrorshow.com