Thursday, March 31, 2011


Just learned of the official name for Minnesota's own NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH PRODUCTIONS' latest installment in their 'You're Next' series. This from NFTS founder Jason Stephenson's Facebook post last night:

"Even though someone decided to make a horror feature titled YOU'RE NEXT coming soon... I stand by my humble beginings dating back to 2003 with my 1st super short called YOU'RE NEXT as well... Be well prepared for some not so family friendly sites to see for YN4: Extraction!!!"

Looking forward to this one - and the 'You're Next' series is definitely Stephenson's baby - the one that started it all - so we can expect good things in the form of low-budget, high intensity local horror!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Production Update

So things are still moving forward on Drive-In of the Dead's first cinematic endeavor. Moving forward - but seemingly at a snail's pace. I'm not really one for putting the cart before the horse (like doing poster art before there's even a movie to promote); but this production is definitely at the whim of the weather, and mother nature simply isn't cooperating. So now it's practically April and we are a full month behind schedule of where I had hoped to be at this point. Our first teaser trailer is about 75% finished, but most of that was done in the month of February in a freezing (sometimes below freezing) garage.

Now we've come to a point where we simply have to have warmer weather - and no snow! - for the two and a half minute trailer to be completed. In other news, the trailer has thus far been assembled on an IBM computer using Microsoft's woefully inefficient MovieMaker program. Once that is at last completed, I have invested in a refurbished Apple G5 computer that's equipped with Final Cut Pro for the actual movie when we get to that point. I'm pretty excited about this development (I'm an Apple kind of guy) and can't wait to dig in to all the G5 has to offer. However, since the trailer was started on my PC, I feel like I should finish it there - no sense re-doing it all over! So hooking up the Apple for good will just have to wait. Sigh...

I will admit that the art for the above mentioned teaser poster turned out pretty darn good. I'm pleased with how it all came together in Photoshop, besides the fact that even THAT project had to be shot around the huge piles of snow here in Minnesota! The only other thing I have to report is that I've drawn up some official Drive-In of the Dead release forms to hand out to actors, extras, and crew so they can sign on the dotted line and make their effort on our project official. I hope to get the last few shots I needed wrapped up this weekend - it's supposed to be in the 50's on Saturday! - and then do some minor editing and tweaking to the trailer before it makes its debut.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Poe Shadow

Edgar Allan Poe
Originally uploaded by chucka_nc

[From the photographer's description:] Bust in the garden at Edgar Allan Poe Museum. Not exactly a huge place, but a few interesting artifacts -- His desk, chair, some writings, childhood bed, etc.

I must see this. I WILL see this...someday.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Plan 9

"Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future."

Those stunningly awful lines of dialogue open moviemaker Ed Wood's "Plan 9 from Outer Space," the 1959 ultralow-budget science fiction monster mash-up that for decades held the undisputed title of "Worst Movie of All Time." Charlottesville director and producer John Johnson, himself a veteran of low-budget schlock, thinks "Plan 9" can be redeemed. And he's filming his remake in Roanoke starting Friday. Johnson's goals are relatively modest. His company, Darkstone Entertainment, intends to use a cast and crew of about 200, including extras, wrap up by April 25, and aim for a worldwide direct-to-DVD release.

Read more here:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Today's Horrorscope

Pisces Venus makes life (and death) dramatic, enhances communication with other survivors of the great wolf plague, and inspires you creatively with how to dispatch them. With the Moon squaring Mercury tonight, there could be too much talk and no understanding without wolfsbane on hand. However, if you apply the latter, by late evening you improve conditions, thanks to Mars' encouragement to keep working until you work the wolf's blood out.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


The Drive In
Originally uploaded by leahish

Think the stars twinkle in the heavens at this drive-in? I would guess there's not a lot of light pollution at this Colorado ozoner located somewhere near Cottonwood Hot Springs...

Friday, March 25, 2011

I Will Survive

So I finally got around to reading Max Brooks' 'The Zombie Survival Guide.' What did I think? Well - it was okay, but not as accessible as 'World War Z.' This is more of a book that looks good up on a bookshelf, or something you read in airports or while sitting in the waiting room at the doctor's office. The last portion of the book involves past outbreaks and that was definitely the most interesting (hence the graphic novel which was released for it), but unless you're planning on making a zombie movie (or are seriously anticipating an outbreak of undead ghouls), this book can be a bit too thorough for humorous reading. But for fans of George Romero, this is obviously required reading - if only to say you read it...

Thursday, March 24, 2011


A little something I threw together last October for our zombie themed Halloween party. The whole thing was constructed mostly from garage sale purchases and cost less than five bucks to make - $1.25 for toy gun and frame which used to contain a butterfly and bug collection that reeked of mothballs, and $1.99 for a can of gray spray paint). I think it turned out pretty cool. It's one of the rare Halloween props that doesn't get stored away - I now have it hanging in my garage...just in case.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Leatherwood Drive In Theatre
Originally uploaded by gb_packards

From the photographer's description:

I finally made it to this long closed drive in theatre known as the Leatherwood Drive In on Route 147 in Belmont County. The theatre once served the town of Barnesville Ohio and had the capacity for 200 vehicles...About everything, except the speakers and poles is still there, although falling further into a state of ruin. The screen still looks good for not having been used for somewhere around 30 years. From what I understand, the old theatre closed sometime in the late 1970s.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Zombie King

I think this news falls under the 'pretty cool' category: genius horror scribe Stephen King is in talks to pen a script for Frank Darabont's THE WALKING DEAD series on AMC. I think this is just what the show needs, for as great as the first season was, the final episode seemed like kind of a let-down to me. I think King is the man to give this program the shot in the arm it needs. Here is the official story:

Stephen King in talks to write an episode of AMC's zombie series

by Darren Franich

AMC’s zombie sensation The Walking Dead might be getting a serious scare injection on its writing staff for next season. Iconic horror novelist (and former EW columnist) Stephen King has confirmed with EW that he’s currently in talks to write an episode of the post-apocalyptic series. Dead is executive-produced by Frank Darabont, who has directed three films based on King’s work — four, if you count his 1983 short film The Woman in the Room — and King tells EW exclusively that Darabont “has expressed enthusiastic interest for season 2 or possibly 3.”

Monday, March 21, 2011

Blood Eagle

This week's featured film: 'Experiment 519' was a unique, enjoyable take on the zombie genre by Blood Eagle Productions. We are very excited to be featuring this film's trailer on our big screen and recommend visiting Blood Eagle's website to see how you can get a copy of the film. For a low budget production, 'Experiment 519' has a lot of heart and definitely entertains.

We were impressed with what Blood Eagle was able to put together with this production on what was almost certainly a minimal budget - and we are definitely looking forward to what this indie film studio comes up with next (if their first feature film is any indication, we see big things ahead for these guys!) Stop by and check it out and get yourself a dose of 519!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Quote of the Day

"It takes your guts and your entrails and your soul to make a film. It takes everything you possess within you."

--Ted V. Mikels

Saturday, March 19, 2011


An abandoned drive-in
Originally uploaded by plainsart

This photo is frame-worthy. A beautiful picture of a once glorious ozoner in the Nebraska Sandhills.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Today's Horrorscope

Mercury opposes Saturn today with double-barreled ferocity. Get the facts on the raging undead plague or you risk certain setbacks because of miscommunication - this you cannot afford with ghouls at your door. The fickle members of your survivor's group tend to outnumber the more stable personalities in tonight's social scene. That means that it isn't the time to take a chance on romance. But when is a good time when the walking dead have overwhelmed the planet? If you have time for romance, then plan on locking lips with a reanimated corpse!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


That's all I can say about this. I knew Rob Zombie loves horror, b-movies, schlock and grindhouse films, heavy metal and other musical influences...but I had no idea he was a coffee connoisseur - much less an entrepreneur in the field of the flavorful bean. So here's one of his brands, and apparently he has other flavors to choose from. Here's the lowdown from his site:

Our deepest and darkest roasted coffee. This 100% Certified Organic, Fair Trade Certified™ French Roast offering has a surprising characteristic that you'll notice when you purchase whole beans - a hint of speckle. This is because we artistically blend our French Roast with a moderate percentage of different roasts, producing a complex taste profile that no other French-style coffee has in existence. Savor the deepness.

WTF? I mean seriously - who knew?

Check it:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


25 James Bond films in 3 days? You've got to see it to believe it...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


DRIVE-IN OF THE DEAD sends out congratulations to ALICE COOPER for his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

AP– Tue Mar 15, 1:29 am ET

NEW YORK – Alice Cooper came into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with a friend — a boa constrictor. The theatrical rock band with a lead singer who takes the same name was inducted Monday into the Hall of Fame. His class includes New Orleans piano maestro Dr. John, Tom Waits, Neil Diamond, Darlene Love and Leon Russell.

Cooper wore a blood-splattered shirt and also brought schoolkids along to sing "School's Out." It all seemed appropriate for a band that inductor Rob Zombie said invented the rock show. Says Cooper: "We've always been a hard rock band. We just wanted to decorate it a little differently."

The work by the inducted artists will be celebrated in perpetuity at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland.

Craving A New Script

So did you happen to catch this little blurb from Wes Craven's chat with Total Film? Sounds like all is not well in Woodsboro, with script re-writes always signaling a troubled production (translation: studio meddling). The question arose from a Tweet Craven posted stating that he was 'no longer in control of the script.' The names in question that Craven mentions are Kevin Williamson (scribe behind the first two installments) and Ehren Kruger (the writer behind 'Scream 3'). Here's what Craven had to say about the direction 'Scream 4' is taking:

"I was just stating the fact. In some ways it's a Wes Craven film, and in way it's not entirely, because it's not a script I have control of. It's ultimately controlled by what the studio wants in the script. My job is much more bringing whatever experience and expertise and creativity I can. [pause] Look, there was a bumpy period when things shifted over from Kevin to Ehren. I signed up to do a script by Kevin and unfortunately that didn't go all the way through the shooting. But it certainly is Kevin's script and concept and ideas and themes.

When I initially met with Kevin, he sketched out what the next two would be, and I found it really fascinating. A lot depends on whether they come up with scripts to flesh out. But certainly, I'm up for it, if the script is there. It's a fascinating thing to do two trilogies in a career."

Monday, March 14, 2011


Check out progress on 'The Night Shift,' the first feature length film from the Alabama indie film studio: Fighting Owl Films. Work began on this picture in the summer of 2010 - and the story is based on a short film of the same name that was produced in 2009 that met with some good reviews. Inspired by the positive feedback, Fighting Owl decided to make it their first feature film. To learn more, visit:

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Get Yer Kicks

66 Drive-In Theater
Originally uploaded by queenodesign

I've seen this one in person. Yeah - it's really that impressive!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011

Wisconsin Project X

Cool news from one of the very first independent films we featured here at the Drive-In. Filmmaker Christian Ackerman's unique take on the zombie genre: 'Wisconsin Project X' has landed a distribution deal with Brain Damage Films, with a release date set for July 5, 2011! (And look for a mention of Drive-In of the Dead on the film's bonus documentary that will be included. Groovy!)

I've also been told that WPX may be included in the upcoming B-movie Celebration Film Festival. All great news for the little coffee-fueled indie film that could. My congratulations go out to Christian Ackerman and his cast and crew of WPX. We'll be sure to report more news as we hear it about 'Wisconsin Project X' as we near the release date this summer. Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Poe - The Series?

Man - I just don't know what to think about this. I should be thrilled - but somehow I'm underwhelmed by an ABC 1840's crime drama centered around Edgar Allan Poe and his time in Boston. Maybe it's the casting of the lead (the hunky blond Christopher Egan) or the rest of the fabulously beautiful cast, but something just doesn't seem right about this. I've been a Poe enthusiast for years - so I'm obviously very protective of his legacy. Let's hope ABC gets it right and doesn't turn this into the disaster waiting to happen that I think it will be...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Quote of the Day

"Quite simply, it's me. The pity is I can't become a werewolf in true life. All too often I would like to. It's obvious that in the works of every man there is much of his true self. Like Waldemar, I too have been left aside and misunderstood. I have spent all my life swimming against the current."

--Paul Naschy [on the character of Waldemar Daninsky]

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

St Croix Ozoner

St Croix Hilltop Drive-In Theater, Houlton Wisconsin - IMG_4615.JPG
Originally uploaded by thomasbrandt

I chose this picture because I've actually driven by the Hilltop Drive-In in Houlton, WI many times - in fact, I usually go out of my way to see it whenever we're in the St. Croix area. A great old ozoner - it was this screen that actually was the inspiration for Drive-In of the Dead all those years ago...

Monday, March 7, 2011

Get Your Fix

This week's featured presentation is extra groovy for me as it involves a film made by my good buddy Michael Heagle. A local legend in indie circles and a true gentleman in every sense of the word (for God's sakes don't tell him I said that!) I've known Michael for the better part of a decade - he was once my instructor in school and has been a mentor and confidant ever since. One of the things I dig about Michael - and his films - is that he has a uniquely skewed sense of humor. It sometimes feels like a challenge to be around the guy because you're always feeling like you need to keep up intellectually (don't tell him I said THAT either - I can sense his ego inflating as I type this...)

His film 'Planetfall' is a good example of taking a larger-than-life plot and making it come alive with almost no budget. He's one of those rare individuals who's able to realize a nifty idea with simply a camera, some Goodwill army fatigues, and plenty of ambition. I encourage you to check out his film - if not just for its truly independent spirit, then for my cool cameo I did as an alien in the space bar scene. That's right: I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the set for one day of shooting - and even got to dress the part (I'll leave it to you to guess which bar denizen I am). For more info about Michael and 'Planetfall,' visit:

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Mising Teeth

East Bend Drive In Screen Yadkin County
Originally uploaded by Bass Player Keith Hall

A cool pic of a sad screen. This is what's left of the East Bend Drive-in in North Carolina. It almost looks like it needs to be put out of its misery - but who has the heart to pull the plug?

Friday, March 4, 2011

More AZM:4 News

Some cool news from the wild word of Ted V. Mikels to help get you ready for the weekend. Things seem to be really shaping up for Ted's latest Astro-Zombies adventure: 'Astro-Zombies M4: Invaders From Cyberspace.' I got an e-mail earlier this week from Richard Lester, the film's producer, and here's what he had to say about the latest installment in Mr. Mikels' long-running horror series:

"This month we filmed major scenes for Astro Zombies M4: Invaders From Cyberspace in Florida and NYC. We also completed location scouting and casting in Berlin, Germany, and will be filming at such landmarks as the Brandenburg Gate and the historic Reichstag building. Tomorrow and Sunday we wrap Florida by taking over an entire city block and shooting major panic in the streets. We also completed principal casting in Las Vegas this week."

The best part about all this globe-trotting and filmmaking is that I got Mr. Lester to agree to have Ted give Drive-In of the Dead a few minutes of his time for an exclusive one-on-one interview when he has a minute to spare. How cool is that? Stay tuned for our talk with Ted coming up in the next few weeks!

To learn more about this cool indie film, visit: or

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Just finished reading a fascinating book called 'Messages' by Stan Romanek (with an assist from J. Allan Danelek) which details Romanek's bizarre encounters with UFOs, extraterrestrials, and many other instances of 'high strangeness.' If you remember the 'Grey Peeping In The Window' video that was all the rage a year back (and parodied endlessly on YouTube) then you might remember Romanek's name.

His case interested me initially due to the complex mathematical equations he was supposedly given by a higher intelligence - but those equations are only a small part of his story. After reading the book I can't say for certain that Romanek is the real deal - but I will say this: if his story proves to be a hoax then it is the biggest, longest running, and most elaborate hoax of all time. I suggest reading the book and deciding for yourself. If you're a skeptic on the possibility of life beyond our planet, this may be the book to convince you otherwise.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

You're Next 4?

What's this? Another 'You're Next' movie is in the works? That sure seems to be the case according to Jason Stephenson, founder of Minnesota's own: Not For The Squeamish Productions. Stephenson dropped this bit of info on Facebook last night regarding the possibility of a new installment - check it out:

"Yep, thinking I need to shoot a 4th part to the ongoing NFTS Productions YOU'RE NEXT series (Pt 3 known as PAJAMA PARTY MASSACRE) so I can work with some new talent & cure that itch for making movies till the new feature this summer... details soon!!!"

This is surprising but very cool information considering his recent post just a couple of weeks ago regarding NFTS's now in development 'A Haunting On Eerie Street.' Stay tuned to learn more about this as we hear it!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Dark Side of the Moon

Not a big fan of the hand-held 'found footage' sub-genre of horror, but Apollo 18 looks pretty groovy. It wins points for its cool tagline anyway: There's a reason we never went back to the moon. I'll definitely be checking this one out! Apollo 18 launches on Friday, April 22nd. To find out more about the conspiracy, visit: