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Page 5 - The characters
by Greg Ansin
twitter icon@DriveInHorror
2013-11-22 07:06:06

Why did I pick a drive-in? Well, since most of the stuff I write is usually sick, twisted or apocalyptic, then why not at a place that is dying. Unfortunately, the drive-ins are.

As a teen, I spent only a few fun nights at the drive-in. Since there were not many around, it was only when I was on vacation at Weirs Beach, New Hampshire, that I got to experience the magic of the drive-in. Ten buzzed people packed in a car, flies biting, stale popcorn, speaker broken, Die Hard 2 playing - who could ask for more? So this is where I started writing from.

For Drive-In Horrorshow, I set the drive-in in the second apocalypse because one apocalypse is never enough. Screw modern times. We made it run down and there’s so little left of the world that it’s tough to find replacement parts and fix it up. There were little to no customers. I thought this was a good setting for a film.

The Drive-In needs a staff, right?

Someone needs to run the show and be the big boss. I thought a Projectionist would fit and I imagined an un-dead John Waters and took it from there. The Projectionist is a caring, thoughtful man who always tries to find a moral in the films he shows. Quality is important to him despite his dilapidated surroundings. "If you can't have class, what can you have?"

Next was a character written for my good friend, Bill Gage. Bill is a rock ‘n roller with Down’s Syndrome and we thought he would enjoy himself in the latex mask and costume. He has a deep, heavy metal growl, too, that fit the part perfectly.

Billy Troll is The Projectionist’s loyal assistant and he has a long and storied past. He was a force to be reckoned with in his day but has given up that lifestyle. He is a peaceful man now. After his long journey through the wasteland to the Drive-In, Billy Troll is happy to be a part of something. He is a master craftsman and can fix just about anything; The Drive-In could not function without his skills.

Every Drive-In needs a Zombie. Or, in this case, two.

Zombies are not hard to write. They are un-dead, covered in worms and rot and other dying shit. Their dialogue is limited by their swollen, broken or missing tongues. Zombie Frank, who mans the ticket booth, is particularly lazy and is lucky to have his job at the drive-in and deep down he knows it too. Teenage Axe Victim, who runs the snack bar, is completely out to lunch (pun intended). She did not have a whole lot upstairs before she got the axe in her back and what little she did have seems to be gone; this character just seemed to write itself.

From there it was just sitting down and getting it onto the page.