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Hops and Box Office Flops: ‘DRIVE ANGRY – Coming Like a Bat Out of Hell

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Drive Angry is an ode to grindhouse cinema. A dead man (Nicolas Cage) breaks out of Hell to save the newborn child of his slain daughter — a child who has been kidnapped by a troupe of Satanists. Though a noble action, it’s not allowed; thus, it prompts the Devil’s “accountant” (William Fichtner) to pursue him.

Yep. That is the story. It’s 100%, Grade A schlock. And its absurdity is bolstered by a legit attempt to incorporate 3-D thrills and bloody spills. 

That’s the fun of it. It came out at a time when distributors were attempting to reignite that schtick. Most films lazily cashed in on this premise, reprinting their films into 3-D without ever bothering to have a reason why. To its credit, Drive Angry really goes for it.

The Accountant (William Fichtner) with John Milton (Nicolas Cage) in Drive Angry

There are hands getting blown off, cars plowing toward the screen, and a gun fit to kill gods being unloaded directly at the viewer. It’s loud, dumb, and somewhat fun. It’s never meant to be anything more than that.

Unfortunately, that did not equate to viewers. On a budget of $50 million, it grossed roughly $40 million. It also received a chilly reception; it sits at 47% on Rotten Tomatoes with 122 reviews. The audience was less kind — 37%. Each of these is more than likely due to Drive Angry‘s sophomoric and often tasteless sense of humor.

But those numbers should not deter you from seeing it. It may not be prime Cage, but it is dealing death in all manner of gnarly 3-D ways Cage! So sit back, speed through a couple Battle Wagon Double IPAsfrom Service Brewing Co., and reload the God Killer! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. Cash, and Chumpzilla are escaping the depths of Hell to take down a Satanic cult!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – We put the pedal to the metal to assess this flaming car crash of a film. (00:00)
  •  Lingering Questions and the Like a Bat Out of Hell Trivia Challenge – Capt. Cash poses some final questions and then tests us to identify the character that escaped from the fire-filled pits of Hell to seek revenge. Bonus points were awarded if we could name the property they appeared in. (48:28)
  • Recommendations – Three-dimensional car combat is fun and all, but you’d probably prefer these recommendations. Next up on the final installment of Summer Rage with Nicolas Cage: Primal! (1:13:02)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to check out all the interesting factoids—Fichtner’s Buffalo fandom and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbeanSpotifyAcastTuneIn, and iHeartRadio!

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Thomas L. Kelly

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