GHOULGUY’S HORROR DRIVE-IN DOUBLE FEATURE: “I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF” & “INVASION OF THE SAUCER MEN”

 

Hey Ghoulzoids! Welcome back to the Horror Drive-In! We’ve got another great Double Feature for ya tonight! Once again, this is not a review, but an attempt to relive what it may have been like to see a Double Feature at a Drive-In Movie Theater during the time of it’s release.
But first, let’s go even further back in time, to the year 1932, where Richard M. Hollingshead Jr. of Camden, New Jersey had a wacky idea. What if people could actually watch a movie while sitting in their very own automobile? The concept being, there are several things Americans will not give up, their own mode of transportation and their favorite form of entertainment. With this in mind, Mr. Hollingshead began to do tests in his yard. He nailed a screen to some trees and placed a radio behind it. A projector was placed on the hood of his car. Blocks were placed under the front of the vehicle which gave him an estimate of size and spacing of ramps so all cars would have a good view of the screen.
On May 16th, 1933 Mr. Hollingshead was given a U.S. patent for his invention. On June 6th, 1933 the first Drive-In Theater, ever, was open in New Jersey. The feature film that night was “Wife Beware“.
Twenty four years later, approximately 5000 Drive-In Theaters were open coast to coast in the USA and on June 19th, 1957 Drive-In patrons were happily treated to the ghastly double bill of “I Was A Teenage Werewolf” and “Invasion Of The Saucer Men”.
Okay, now everyone be cool as we enter the Drive-In. Please make sure your friends in the trunk of the car stay quiet. The folks at the ticket booth seem to have a problem with those kind of shenanigans. Guess they were just brought up that way. ‘To itch his own’, I guess. Look at all the cars here tonight! Isn’t that Pete’s car? There’s Ron and Mary! Hey! A spot close to the Snack Bar!
Dibs on that! Nice parking job. Great view of the screen. Let’s put the speaker in the window and turn-up the volume. Everyone set? Here come the opening credits for tonight’s first movie…I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF, starring Michael Landon and co-starring Yvonne Lime, Whit Bissell and Tony Marshall.

Seems High School student Tony Rivers (Landon) has a problem. He’s a little touchy. Don’t pat him on the back or he might kick your ass. I once worked with a gal at Payless Shoes like that. She still won‘t return my calls. After breaking up one of too many fights, that Tony started himself, Detective Donovan advises Tony to talk with psychologist, Dr. Alfred Brandon. Tony doesn’t much like the idea, but after he punches another friend in the chops for singing and doing a bad dance number at a Halloween party, he decides to pay old Dr. Brandon a visit. However, Dr. Brandon has a few ideas of his own. He has just developed a fun new serum that causes the regression of ones personality to a very primitive state, much like that of a high school jock. Under the influence of the serum, he suggests to Tony that he was once a werewolf. Personally, I think the Doc just did it for laughs, like a ‘Celebrity Hypnotist’ making someone act like a chicken…or a male cosmetologist. Later a friend of Tony’s is brutally murdered while walking home from a party that both Tony and his girl friend, Arlene, also attended. Naturally, the police are baffled. The next day at school, while passing the gymnasium, Tony sees a girl exercising. A bell goes off, triggering his transformation into a toothpaste drooling werewolf. He attacks the girl and kills her. Tony runs from the scene but is identified by witnesses. Guess they thought: ‘Gee, that’s what Tony would look like if he was a teenage werewolf. An all-points bulletin is issued for his arrest. Officers search the woods with flaming torches (because it’s the 1950’s after all) looking for the werewolf, but come up empty handed. The next morning Tony awakens in the woods as his normal(?) self and walks back into town. He pays a visit to Dr. Brandon and begs the Doc for help. Instead, the evil doctor gives Tony another injection of the serum. After the transformation, a telephone rings triggering Tony’s instincts, (another bell ringing…got’a be a ‘Pavlov’s Dog’ connection there) he kills the doctor and his assistant. Just then Detective Donovan and another officer break in and are forced to shoot. Upon dying, Tony turns back to his normal self once again.
Taglines: “The most amazing motion picture of our time!” and “Explosive! Amazing! Terrifying! You won’t believe your eyes!”
IT’S INTERMISSION TIME ! TEN MINUTES TO GET SOFT DRINKS, POPCORN, CANDY, HOT DOGS, BURGERS, PIZZA, ICE CREAM & INDIGESTION !

Next up, INVASION OF THE SAUCER MEN, starring Steve Terrell, Gloria Castillo and Frank Gorshin. Two drifters, Joe and Art, Find themselves with nothing to do in a small town on a Saturday night…story of my life. Art gives up on the evening and heads back to their room to sleep. Meanwhile, Joe takes off in their car to look for chicks (ya know, female type girls). Instead, he sees a spaceship come down to earth and heads for the landing site. In town, teens Johnny and Joan are planning to elope but decide to visit their old necking ground where all the kids suck face, located on old man Larkin’s property. About this time Joe returns to his roommate to tell him about his incredible find. Art thinks Joe is drunk and wants no part of it. While leaving ’Lover’s Point’ Johnny and Joan run over one of the little aliens from the spaceship. (Why do people always ignore the ’Little Alien Crossing’ signs?) A severed hand of the creature, with long needles at the end of it’s finger tips, punctures a tire of Johnny’s car, giving Johnny and Joan no choice but to head for old man Larkin’s farm house to use the phone. If all of this wasn’t enough (and don’t you think it ought’a be?), The Military has been informed of the alien spacecraft and is moving in.

When Johnny and Joan arrive at the Larkin place, no one is home. They call the police about the creature they ran over, but the police think it is just another teenage prank. By this time, Joe is driving back to the spaceship and sees Johnny’s car and finds the alien’s body under it. Joe, who has been drinking through most of the picture, is attacked by the alien creatures who stick their long fingernails full of alcohol into him, killing Joe (Another alcohol related death). Meanwhile, the Military has been trying to get into the spacecraft with no luck, so they try acetylene torches on it, which causes the ship to blowup. The police find Joe’s body under Johnny’s car and based on their phone call, arrest Johnny and Joan for murder. Later the two escape from the police station and steel a patrol car and head back to the scene of the crime to look for clues. While there, the severed hand crawls into the patrol car where the teen couple lock it inside. The two then decide to find dead Joe’s roommate, Art, to help them out. (Hope you’re still following me ’cause… I’m lost) After they find Art, he agrees to go look at the severed hand and take a picture of it for proof. When they get back to the car, Art takes a picture of the hand and it explodes due to the intense light from the flashbulb. They are then surrounded by the little aliens. Johnny and Joan escape, but Art gets ‘finger nailed‘ (Ha-ha…sorry). Johnny and Joan then run to ‘Lover’s Point’ to get the tongue happy teens to help them. These young bright kids then formulate a plan to surround the aliens with their cars. They do so and turn on their head lights causing the big headed saucer men to explode.
Tagline: “Creeping horror from the depths of time and space!”
Going to the Drive-In in the Fifties must have been awesomesauce! It was the golden age of drive-ins and shows like our double feature tonight are a good part of the reason why.
That’s it for now, Ghoulzoids! Until next time, we’ll see you at the Drive-In!
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Ghoulguy is the host of the fun movie program Ghoulguy’s Horror Drive-In Theater and is currently seeking backers to make more shows…find out more here on indiegogo!