Jul 10, 2021

Drive-In VHS Fest V

Drive-In VHS Fest V
Mahoning Drive-In - Lehighton, PA
Most of the movies shown at the Mahoning Drive-In are from their original 35mm prints.  The Drive-In VHS Fest is an exception to the rule because it celebrates movies that didn't make it to the big screen.  These are the direct-to-video classics that we all discovered at our local video rental shops in sunbleached and genre-stickered boxes with artwork that lured all of us up to the counter to bring it home for a few nights.

The Mahoning Drive-In is partnering with Lunchmeat VHS and SaturnsCore for this event.  There are three films from the late 80's that are being shown on the big screen at the drive-in on first night of VHS Fest: Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, Rabid Grannies and Black PastHollywood Chainsaw Hookers is a hysterically funny horror comedy told as a detective story.  It's absolutely ridiculous in all the right ways.  I hadn't seen the other two films before, but they were definitely interesting.  The copy of Rabid Grannies that was screened had German subtitles, but you forgot they were there after the first few minutes.

Scream queen Linnea Quigley was in attendance to meet fans for selfies and autographs.  She's best known for her role as Trash in Return Of The Living Dead, but she's in a ton of other horror flicks, including Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers and Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, both of which are a part of VHS Fest on the big screen.

Another reason I passed up on the selfie/autograph deal is because they had 30 different tents set up with vendors selling hard-to-find movies on VHS and DVD, as well as t-shirts, posters and other memorabilia.  Unfortunately for these vendors, it started to rain at around 7:00, and what started as a light drizzle turned into one of the most intense thunderstorms I've seen all year.  I was huddled under a tent with a few of the vendors for about 45 minutes to wait out the storm, while we took turns holding the frame of the tent in place to keep it from blowing away.  Some of the vendors weren't so lucky.  I watched two tents shred to pieces from the rain and wind.  A lot of the merchandise that folks were selling got pretty damaged by the storm, which really sucks because everyone I met was really awesome, and they deserved to have a better weekend than this.

I only managed to get two tapes from a couple from Whitehall who had a tent at the end of the row beneath the drive-in screen.  By the time the rain slowed down enough for me to make a run for it back to the car, my feet were ankle deep in water and mud.  

Thankfully, the rain cleared up about a half hour before showtime, so we got to see the movies from the deck chairs, even if they were sitting in some mud.

You can't have a movie without popcorn, and it's only a buck to fill up my little yellow bucket. 

One of the special foods available for VHS Fest were these VHS Zest Nuggets.  The sign said they are "Zest AF".  What it should have said is "holy shit, this chicken is going to burn the tongue out of your skull".  They were very tasty, but dude, thank goodness I had a bottle of water in the car!

Seriously, I can't put into words how much this place means to me.  Joe Bob is going to be here next weekend, and the first thing I'm going to do when I see him is to thank him for bringing this place to my attention.  I can't believe I didn't know about it sooner.  Look, I'm a misfit, and I'm always going to be a misfit.  Throughout my life, I always feel like I'm an outsider regardless of the circumstance, even among my own family, as if I'm an alien who's just here to observe, but who really doesn't belong.  There are very few places where I truly feel at peace, and I absolutely treasure them when I find them.  This is one of those places.  As long as I've got my health and at least ten bucks in my wallet, I'm going to keep coming back here as much as I can.