A Trip Back in Time
On the night of July 10, 2020, your friendly Unimonster, his nephew, and his nephew’s cousin took a little trip back in time, courtesy of the Tibbs Drive-In Theatre [www.tibbsdriveintheatre.com], in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our going to the Drive-In was nothing unusual, though it has been at least four years since we last rolled through the gates of the venerable Westside Indy institution. Multiple health problems have kept the ol’ Unimonster homebound for most of that time, and as much as those summer trips to the Tibbs have been missed, it was much easier to celebrate our regular movie nights in the quiet confines of the Crypt. However, when word recently reached us concerning a special event the Tibbs had planned for the weekend after the Fourth of July, we knew that the time had come for our return to the Drive-In. For on this night, we were there to see three of the greatest, most definitive films of the Slasher genre of the 1970s and ‘80s—the original masterpieces of the genre: Friday the 13th, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Halloween.
There’s little I can say about these movies here that would serve to increase the readers’ familiarity with, and appreciation for them. Volumes have been written about them, including the contribution of my own meager writings over the past two decades, and they have long since entered into the lexicon of Pop Culture ubiquity. These three films helped shape my love of Horror, as well as the decade between the release of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the end of the first era of the Slasher genre. Rather, it’s the experience of seeing these movies on the big screen, especially at a Drive-In, that is the focus of my thoughts regarding this trip. For me, it was, virtually at least, a trip back to the 1970s, to the first time I had seen these movies, all on the big screen. For Tyler and Jordan, it was a new way to experience these familiar films, in the venue for which they were created.
And I must say, as far as the venue goes that the Tibbs Drive-In Theatre really put on a show on that Friday night. We arrived at the Drive-In more than an hour and a half prior to the movies’ start time, and the place was already jumping; more so than a normal showing at the Tibbs. The energy was palpable among the attendees, and the feeling was more like that at a Horror Convention than just a trip to the movies. People were in costume; people were in Horror tees; I of course was sporting my finest Count Gore De Vol’s Creature Feature t-shirt. The boys set up their lawn chairs in front of the truck, as most people were doing. There were barbeque grills, enormous coolers, and most of all, people having a great time, well before the movies began.
Perhaps it was the experience of seeing these great Horror classics under the stars again, or maybe it was the release of finally doing something, anything, after four months of isolation. Whatever the reason, it was a spectacular evening’s entertainment, an event that we all enjoyed immensely, and were unwilling to see end when the screen finally went dark around 2am. Upon our arrival back home, we watched two more horror movies, ending our movie night well after the sun came up.
It wasn’t our first visit to the Tibbs Drive-In Theatre, nor will it be our last. It may, however, be our most memorable. It was a great way to break the lockdown, as well as the perfect midsummer kick-off to the upcoming Halloween season (not that the Halloween season ever ends, not when you’re the Unimonster). I want to thank the management of the Tibbs Drive-In Theatre for hosting such a fantastic triple-feature, and ask them to please consider doing this again—perhaps with a slate of Sci-Fi classics from the 1950s. I promise that we would be there.
Creature Feature © D. Dyszel 2020
Dick Dyszel - Voice Actor