Isaacs Picture Conclusions

LET’S SNEAK IN TO THE DRIVE IN # 4: SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT (1974) FOUR ‘ALL OR NOTHING’ FOUNTAIN DRINKS

This was part of a series I did back in the day before I broke it off into another site that I never update – so it might seem a little weird…

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Technically, when we would run to the concession building and get one of these, we called them “suicides” but I don’t know if that’s an appropriate word to use in our new, sensitive age we live in. The concept was this: pay for your cup, dip this cup into the ice bin (forsaking the scoop and getting whatever was on our hands {dirt, mud, tar from the parking lot, sugar, whatever was on the floor board, etc} in the ice) and then hitting each one of the different pops they had to offer.

This picture of one that I found seems to be a little disappointing because there’s no Mr. Pibb or Big Red, but hopefully you get the point. I don’t remember what these drinks tasted like but I can only imagine it would be this = awful. But we did what we did and I’m still standing so let’s turn off our record players, put the Captain and Tennile vinyl back in it’s sleeve and head out to the Drive In for:

this is fan art I found on hartter.deviantart.com – all rights to that person

Where did this come from?? Why do more people not know about this?? Does everyone know about this except for dumb me?? This was great! Well – the movie itself was fantastic but the quality was piss poor. Well, wait. Maybe it wasn’t “fantastic” but it sure deserves some mention by someone. I know this: if I had seen this when I was a kid, this would have scared the shit out of me. For real. If it wasn’t for the surprisingly bloody and unexpected kills in this thing,then the whole terribly colored “sepia” flashback of the hopelessly and criminally insane maniacs storming that house would have given me serious nightmares. I don’t think I can do any sort of write up on this without giving something away so:

~ SPOILERS ~

Large, isolated house in the country? YES

Loud, creepy organ music to open? YES

Man on fire? YES!

“Silent Night” sung over the credits by a creepy little kid? YES!!

Mary Woronov as good looking twenty something? YES!!

Escapee from an Institute for the Criminally Insane? YES!!!!

The quality of the film on this DVD is absolutely terrible and the sound is pitiful, but the story plays out excellently and there’s even an “I can’t believe that’s what’s going on here” moment towards the end. I am glad I can say that I’ve seen this (even though the experience was difficult) and I think this is a must see if The Masochist The Good and Curious Reader is into some early 70s Drive-In Slasher material.

We open to Woronov walking through the woods, doing some voice-over about this house in the country. Wilfred Butler lived here, you see, alone and sad, see, until one Christmas Eve he committed suicide (interestingly no correlation to my choice of 70’s flashback up above) by catching himself on fire and burning himself to death! Queue up come eerie still shots of his family and various other things inside the house, his funeral and some creepy, deep bass voice-over about the coroner declaring his death self-implemented and that his estate has been left to his grandson Jeffrey Butler. Roll title credits with a kid doing some singing – scary kids!

Cut to twenty years later and a old-man lawyer and his hot, young lover (Astrid Heeren) show up in town to sell the estate in Jeffrey’s name. For 50,000 dollars! WHAT? 50 Grand? Sheesh! He meets with the weird contingent of the townspeople proper (the mayor, the sheriff, the phone operator, the doctor and someone who can’t speak) and they agree to buy the house but need to scare up some money. The lawyer and his hot piece of ass decide to go stay in the house, forsaking the Paradise Inn motel and have a nice dinner with some wine – little do they know there’s a first person POV escapee from the Asylum skulking around upstairs!! oooooohhhhhhhhmyyyyyyyygaaaaaaawwwwwwwwdd! Right when they finally start getting it on (“The best part of pleasure is the anticipation of pleasure” says he) the killer busts in and chops them up with an axe!!! WHAT? There go our two main characters?? Offed at 20 minutes?? You don’t see that very often….

Elsewhere, a strange man is looking at his broken down car. Woronov drives by and, instead of giving him a lift, she gives him the finger and throws a whiskey bottle at him (j/k she just drives away). He loads his shotgun and vows to kill every man, woman and child in this godforsaken fucking town!! (j/k) Cut to the telephone office and Tess, The Telephone Operator, gets a call from the Butler Estate! “I’m baaaaccckkkkkk….” the voice gurgles. “Come see me, Tesssssssssss….” She’s terrified! She tells the only cop in town! Over at the Woronov house, she’s preparing dinner for herself and her dad (the Mayor) when someone knocks on the door! She whips out her firearm and yells “Who’s there??” “Jeffrey Butler,” he coldly replies but she lets him in anyway. “Sorry for the gun, there’s an escapee from the mental asylum on the loose, don’t you know.” “I didn’t know,” he replies and they have a drink toasting “Here’s to a fast dollar.”

Jeffrey needs to get to his house for some reason and she decides to go with him even though he’s obviously the escaped mental patient. Elsewhere, everyone is getting the axe!! Blood is spilled all over the place!! As everyone is getting killed we learn that ~ MAJOR SPOILERS ~ OMG – Wilfred Butler built this estate for his family, then his wife died and he had “love” with his daughter who birthed his child and then she contracted T.B. So he decided to turn his house into – yes! – a lunatic asylum and brought in all of the best MDs from around the country but they were gluttons and just ate all of his food and drank his wine.

Feeling terribly guilty about impregnating his own daughter, he shipped his grandson / son out to California and let all of the maniacs loose and they killed everyone! They actually caught him on fire and sent him out in the snow that Christmas Eve and then killed his daughter!! Or did they!! What’s going on??!! Jeffrey Butler’s grandpa is his dad!!  The people running the town are the escaped lunatics from twenty years ago!! The escapee from the beginning of the film is Wilfred!! HOLY SHIT THIS IS AWESOME!! Jeffrey kills the mayor! The dying mayor kills Jeffrey!! Wilfred confronts Woronov, thinking she’s his daughter he knocked up so long ago!! “YOU’RE ALIVE, MARY ANN!! YOU’RE ALIVE!!” Sure enough, she picks up the shotgun and blows him to smithereens and she’s the only one left, screaming and wailing. Queue up her walking in the woods doing voice-over about the house and that fateful Christmas Eve day… -FIN-

I (obviously) had a lot of fun with this and would recommend it – but you have to be prepared for some shitty sound and film quality. So far, these Drive-In movies have been everything I’ve hoped for. I can’t wait for number five.

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I know not many people will look at this because of the strange title and the obscurity of the movie but – here’s a little treat for those of you who do happen to stop by:

COMING SOON!

 

20 comments

    • theipc

      YES!! I am thinking of trying one of these the next time I am around a fountain drink stand and recording the results – you know – for posterity.

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      • I haven’t done that since about 1987…doesn’t it burn your throat from all the carbonation? I remember that the draw was that it was somewhat unpleasant.

        You should take a picture of your reaction to drinking it, after all that’s why God made the cell phone camera, so we could embarrass ourselves online.

        Like

      • theipc

        I guess we’ll find out soon… if you don’t hear from me next week you’ll know not to try this for yourself…

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  1. Ah, the “Suicide”. I remember it not being that terrible actually. But this was also the early 90s so maybe there was just a better soda selection then? 😉 This title sounds wildly familiar but the play by play doesn’t so I am so confused about what movie I’ve seen that has this same title (or just a similar one). This one sounds like it definitely needs to be seen though!

    Like

    • theipc

      Hey! I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the sugar and carbon lines were probably a LOT cleaner in the early 90s than they were in the late seventies so there’s no telling what kind of living bacteria we were ingesting back then – HAHAHA – oh wait – GROSS… how are we still living…? Also – when I went to look this up and get the actor’s names and such, I saw that there was another Silent Night, Bloody Night from the late aughts and it didn’t appear to be a straight up “remake”. I bet that’s what you’re thinking of and not the movie about Grandpa Daddy. : )

      Like

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