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Joe R. Lansdale's The Drive-In

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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,034 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
When a group of friends decided to spend a day at the world's largest Drive-In theater horror fest, they expected to see tons of bloody murders, rampaging madmen, and mayhem - but only on the screen. As a mysterious force traps all the patrons inside the Drive-In, the worst in humanity comes out. Filled with Lansdale's razor whit and black humor, The Drive-In is a darkly h ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by Avatar Press
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Hudson
Aug 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Three words best describe this book by the inimitable Joe Lansdale, FUN, FUN FUN! This is classic B grade movie horror schlock but with the added bonus of typical JR writing thrown in for good measure.

The story takes place at a massive drive in movie complex. All of a sudden a (long) black veil descends on the area and everyone there is trapped. Naturally things decline pretty quickly, enter starvation, roving biker gangs, religious cannibals and oh yes...the Popcorn King.

Great read for any hor
...more
Stephen
3.0 stars. This book was a lot of fun. It is the literary equivalent of a cheesy, midnight horror flick but with much better dialogue and humor. The narrator's "voice" had just the right tone and automatic acceptance of whatever bizarro event were occurring around him to carry this book through.

Nominee: Locus Award for Best Horror/Dark Fantasy Novel
Nominee: Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel
Nominee: World Fantasy Award for Best Novel
Charles
Jul 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This book is very hard to categorize. There's a fair amount of fantasy and horror, though. This is truly a fun book. Weird as the day is long, but compelling.
Benoit Lelièvre
Sep 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Reading Joe Lansdale is something that goes far beyond a simple money-for-entertainment transaction. It's an experience, something deeply satisfying in the form as well as in the content. THE DRIVE-IN is like a demented celebration of everything Joe Lansdale stands for. It's so out there, it could've well been fan fiction, but we're lucky enough to have it written by the master. Think Ghostbuster meets Goonies meets Stephen King and the B-movie Gods. Ferociously fun.
Kendra
Mar 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who like gore
ok this is one of those trainwrecks where you can't look away but everything inside of you wishes you could. i actually read this story at the beginning of a lansdale reader (electric gumbo) which included several short stories by the author as well. let's just say his stuff is fucked up no matter how you slice it.
Angel Gelique
Jul 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was definitely an interesting read, to say the least! It was well-written and full of wonderfully descriptive similes. The author has quite an imagination, and I truly enjoyed the fact that as I read the story, it came alive in my mind as if I were watching a movie. I will definitely read more of Lansdale's works, starting with the sequel, "Drive-In 2."
Ruth Turner
Apr 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror

Loved the beginning. Great writing, great characters and quite a few laugh out loud moments.

But, lost me at the King of Popcorn!
Quentin Wallace
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had already read the novel, so thought I'd try the graphic novel. It is a very accurate adaptation and just as weird as the original. This is so far out I really wouldn't think I would enjoy it, but it's so compelling it's still a good read. The line art was a little light and confusing, but still detailed.

Overall a good adaptation of the novel. Whether you prefer graphic novels or just would like to see the novel in a more visual form, it's probably worth a look.
Chris
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
For the uninitiated, Joe R Lansdale is an original in modern fiction. Most known for his early works in the horror genre, but he's also equally revered for his short stories, westerns, mainstream and mystery thrillers, such as his Hap and Leonard series, graphic novels, and even YA. He even created his own form of martial arts. Prolific would be an understatement.

THE DRIVE IN, which also spawned two sequels, is about a group of teenagers who decide to spend Friday night at The Orbit, to take in
...more
Craig DiLouie
May 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
In THE DRIVE-IN by Joe Lansdale, a group of teenagers excitedly pulls into the Orbit, a giant multi-screen drive-in with multiple horror features on six giant screens. Soon after the movies start, however, a comet descends, shrouding the drive-in in a lethal darkness and trapping thousands of people. While the movies keep rolling night and day to provide light, and the concession stand starts to run out of soda and candy and popcorn, the inhabitants begin to starve, slowly devolving into savager ...more
Shawn
May 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John
Feb 20, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: splatter fans
Shelves: fiction
This comic book gave me a strange feeling, in part because the artwork is horrible to look at, and in part because all the text gets muddled about in those busy drawings. Interesting for two reasons, Popcorn King & what becomes of the Christians. Silly.
Bill
Jul 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
This one was a trip. A B-Movie romp with B-Movies Gods! Good solid fun and good times…trapped in the drive-in with the Popcorn King! 3.5*
Cat Rambo
Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing, gonzo, crazy book.
Crossett  Library
Feb 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Really sick and disturbing graphic novel, about a drive-in that experiences an apocalyptic event. Very disturbing!
Corky
Feb 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
Best horror story I've ever read. Even if horror is not your thing (its not mine) it is still worth reading.
Chriskolak
Mar 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Quite possibly the most bizarre Lansdale book out there, and that's saying ALOT.
April
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Joe Landsdale's short stories are great. I decided to read this story as well. It has 4 parts. The first part was wonderful. Reading it was like watching a fantastic B Movie horror flick. There were parts that made me laugh out loud because of the absurdness of the situation. Unfortunately, each subsequent part grew more and more ridiculous until I didn't know what I was reading. It's a bummer because Landsdale really has a great knack for writing. He can definitely put the humor in horror, but ...more
Stacey
Oct 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book was so stupid I couldn't bare to finish it even though it was short
Christian
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a crazy assed ride through B-movie land. It makes no since most of the time, just like the best low budget late night horror classic.

Loved it.
Frank Errington
Jan 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Review copy

Those were the days. Heading to the drive in on a Friday night. If you were lucky, it was with the girl with whom you were hoping to get past second base. But then, it could be just as much fun with your friends. Maybe with one or two of you in the trunk to save the admission fee.

The Orbit Drive-In off I-45 is the largest Drive-In in Texas with space for four-thousand cars. With two or more occupants per car, that makes The Orbit bigger than many small Texas towns.

The Orbit shows "B-s
...more
Ben Rowe
Aug 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
I did not think this was my kind of book but it was short and I am always keen to step outside my normal comfort zone. This was the first time I think I have read any Lansdale and I can certainly see me reading more of him.

The book takes a kind of light hearted and humourous approach to stuff like death and canibalism and whilst I am ok with dark humor it was perhaps not quite to my taste in that regard. It was also more plot driven/ world building than what I normally go for...Also the satire
...more
Gregor Xane
Mar 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
I especially like Lansdale's wackier stuff like Zeppelins West and Flaming London. The Drive-In is almost as wacky as those books. However, it's not an absurd pastiche. Instead, it's an homage to B-movie horror flicks (obviously). I found this to be a highly entertaining read, once I got past the dreadful John Hughes-style breakfast scene with the protagonist's wise-cracking and flirty parents, that is.

The Drive-In's way over-the-top in its depiction of humanity crumbling in a nightmare world of
...more
Shane
Sep 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, vintage-pulp
Yeah... Very 'not what I expected', but not bad for all that. I got a little tired of the same old, day to day grind about two thirds of the way through or so, but the black humour saw me through. I had expected this to be a kind of 'trick 'r treat(the movie)' kind of anthology type story, but as it turns out it was very much a normal, full length novel that hides a lot of gruesome and depressing bits in amongst that black humour I mentioned. The humour excuses a lot in my view, since my expecta ...more
Roberta
Aug 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror-e-gotico
I like horror novels and movies, I read so much of this genre in the past. Why did I stop? Because today authors rarely write something as good as this one! Why do we moved from the funniest splatter of late '80s and 90s to some sparkling vampires who spend their eternity in high schools?
This is good, and it's not even one of my favourite Lansdale books. I'd say I prefer the Hap& Leonard cycle. Still... The idea of b-gods, a sort of low-level chtulhus, who's manoeuvre a bunch of humans onto
...more
Mick kar-oh-lack
This is one of the most Phucked Up and whacked books I have ever read. Don't know who turned me on to it, but let me tell you, if you read this, you will NOT be the same. One of those experiences where you realize the world isn't necessarily the way you thought it was. Mind bending like that. Drive in is not real, it is fictional, in the extreme sense of Made Up... but goddamn, this Lansdale dude is a FREAK. I can't even describe this book in any kind of meaningful way. If you like reading a boo ...more
Curtis Hempler
Jun 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a great over-the-top pulpy horror story. It's gruesome at times, and quite imaginative. The story has the feel of a bad dream come to life.

I see some resemblance to Stephen King's novels, but pared down to remove all but the essential action and character moments. In King's hands, I think this would have had triple the page-count.

This is the first thing I've read by Lansdale, and look forward to more of his output. I'm not sure, but I think there was a comic adaptation of this story too
...more
Jason
Jul 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Joe Lansdale has similes to spare in this candy-coated horror yarn, and they stick like dried soda on the soles of your shoes. This book makes no apologies for the strangeness it serves, and there's something bold about that. It doesn't even feel the need to explain itself, and that's the sign of a author that knows how to write the genre. As a horror enthusiast, I was never particularly shocked by the turns taken. But it was sweet and familiar, a confection I would have bought again if I'd only ...more
Julie Hughes
Aug 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
I thought I was prepared for Ed Wood meets Stephen King but B movies must be more gruesome, violent and ridiculous than I remember. The Popcorn King was way over the top even before the vomit. I kept thinking "The Mist" by King was a similar but superior story. I still really like this author but I will stick to his southern gothic historical fiction.
Debby
Jul 30, 2016 rated it liked it
I like this story and the characters. I thought that author would somehow tie this into the ending of the world and there would be some kind of biblical interpretations but there wasn't and I cannot discuss just how I would put the book down and talk to myself on how I thought this book would end. I recommend this book to others.
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Champion Mojo Storyteller Joe R. Lansdale is the author of over forty novels and numerous short stories. His work has appeared in national anthologies, magazines, and collections, as well as numerous foreign publications. He has written for comics, television, film, newspapers, and Internet sites. His work has been collected in more than two dozen short-story collections, and he has edited or co-e ...more
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