WNEW Channel 5: DRIVE IN MOVIE (1981-1988)

drive in movie

Where were you in the mid 1980’s on a saturday afternoon at 3pm in the New York City area? I know that this young martian(me) had a reoccurring date with the tube on WNEW CHANNEL 5’s DRIVE IN MOVIE at 3pm every Saturday as some of you Gen X robots probably had as well! This kung fu theatre of awesomeness with an occassional sprinkling of hammer horror flicks spearheaded my love for anything chopsocky, vampires, & frankenstein related goodness!
I can still remember it like it was yesterday. Every weekend from 1983 till about 1987, I would work at my pops ghetto fabulous chinese take out resto in south orange-NJ close to the campus of Seton Hall University & not very far from the urban moshpit of Newark & Irvington. This “Cream of Sum young” robot would work his tail off all in the name of family survival but, come 3-5pm on Saturdays I would gently lay down my chinese cleaver, simmer down the boil to the egg foo young gravy, & set aside the WOK utensils to focus in on WNEW’s Channel 5 drive in movie! I was already watching plenty of revolutionary Hong Kong action films at the time with the likes of a young Jackie Chan, Sammo, Chow Yun Fat, Simon Yam, & Anthony Wong, but something about these period piece films from the Shaw Brothers really sucked me in to the vortex. The Venom’s Mob, Gordon Liu, Chang Cheh the Director, Lau Kar Leung & many others from the shaw brother studios were on top of their game in terms of storytelling, martial arts choreography, costume, & set design. It seems like the 70’s & 80’s were the golden era for period piece traditional kung fu films & the mid 80’s to 90’s were all about modern no holds barred Hong Kong action! Getting back to the Drive In Movies, I had come across some treasures of information regarding the programming of WNEW’s Drive in Movies since its birth from May of 1981 to July of 1988 thanks to a great article by CHRIS POGGIALI crediting native new yorker & movie distributor, MEL MARON on orchestrating the movement for getting these kung fu movies out of the grindhouses & into our local TV station for playback!: http://www.dvddrive-in.com/TV%20Guide/driveinmovie5.htm
In honor of WNEW’s Channel 5 Drive in movie programming, Planet Chocko will write a movie review on a previous shown film on channel 5’s DRIVE IN MOVIE every Saturday set to post around 3pm EST to PLANET CHOCKO ZINE! Stay Tuned! Check out a list of the original programming of WNEW’s Channel 5 DRIVE IN MOVIE below:

Intro music to DRIVE IN MOVIE Courtesy of @whatsayak on youtube

1981
5/2/81 3pm BRUCE LEE: HIS LAST DAYS, HIS LAST NIGHTS
5/16/81 3pm FUNNY CAR SUMMER
5/23/81 3pm DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE
6/6/81 3pm THE MASTER KILLER
6/13/81 3pm GRAD NIGHT
6/20/81 3pm FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN
7/4/81 1pm SUNSET COVE
7/11/81 3pm THE THREE AVENGERS
7/18/81 3pm HORROR OF FRANKENSTEIN
7/25/81 3pm DUEL OF THE IRON FIST
8/1/81 3pm HELLS ANGELS ON WHEELS
8/8/81 3pm THE CHINATOWN KID
8/15/81 3pm THE FACE OF FU MANCHU
8/22/81 3pm RUN, ANGEL, RUN!
9/5/81 3pm HARD DRIVER
9/12/81 3pm EXECUTIONERS OF DEATH
9/19/81 3pm SCARS OF DRACULA
9/25/81 3pm DYNAMO
10/3/81 3pm THE FIVE DEADLY VENOMS
10/10/81 3pm THE SAVAGE FIVE
10/24/81 3pm THE VENGEANCE OF FU MANCHU
10/31/81 3pm THE KID WITH THE GOLDEN ARM
11/21/81 3pm THE TATTOO CONNECTION
12/5/81 3pm TO LOVE A VAMPIRE
12/26/81 3pm THE STARHOPS

1982
1/2/82 3pm CUTTING LOOSE
1/9/82 3pm BRUCE LEE: HIS LAST DAYS, HIS LAST NIGHTS
1/16/82 3pm THE MASTER KILLER
1/23/82 3pm BLOOD OF THE VAMPIRE
1/30/82 3pm THE THREE AVENGERS
2/6/82 3pm DUEL OF THE IRON FIST
2/13/82 3pm SATAN’S CHEERLEADERS
2/20/82 3pm TEN TIGERS OF KWANGTUNG
2/27/82 3pm THE CHINATOWN KID
3/6/82 3pm FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED
3/13/82 3pm THE LOSERS
3/20/82 3pm EXECUTIONERS OF DEATH
4/3/82 3pm DRACULA, PRINCE OF DARKNESS
4/10/82 3pm SWIM TEAM
4/17/82 3pm DYNAMO
5/8/82 3pm STREET GANGS OF HONG KONG
5/15/82 3pm FIVE MASTERS OF DEATH
5/22/82 3pm SHAOLIN HANDLOCK
6/5/82 3pm MALIBU BEACH
6/12/82 3pm THE FIVE DEADLY VENOMS
6/19/82 3pm THE VAN
7/3/82 3pm SPIDER-MAN: THE CHINESE WEB
7/10/82 3pm CHALLENGE OF THE MASTERS
7/17/82 3pm THE UNBEATABLE DRAGON
7/24/82 3pm THE MASTER OF KUNG FU
7/31/82 3pm KILLER FROM SHANTUNG
8/7/82 3pm THE MUMMY (Hammer)
8/14/82 3pm BLUE SUNSHINE
8/21/82 3pm THE DEVIL’S OWN
9/4/82 3pm VAN NUYS BLVD.
9/11/82 3pm THE TATTOO CONNECTION
9/18/82 3pm THE SAVAGE FIVE
9/25/82 3pm THE FOUR INVINCIBLES
10/2/82 3pm THE TATTOOED DRAGON
10/9/82 3pm A MAN CALLED TIGER
10/23/82 3pm STONER
10/30/82 3pm THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE
11/6/82 3pm SLAUGHTER IN SAN FRANCISCO
11/20/82 3pm ROOTS OF EVIL
12/11/82 3pm AVENGING EAGLES
12/18/82 3pm DEATH CHAMBER

1983
1/1/83 3pm DIRTY MARY, CRAZY LARRY
1/8/83 3pm THE HORROR OF DRACULA
1/15/83 3pm FIVE MASTERS OF DEATH
1/22/83 3pm STREET GANGS OF HONG KONG
2/5/83 3pm THE DEADLY ANGELS
2/12/83 3pm KUNG FU CONSPIRACY
2/19/83 3pm A HARD WAY TO DIE
2/26/83 3pm THE NINJA WARLORD
3/5/83 3pm BRUCE LEE: HIS LAST DAYS, HIS LAST NIGHTS
3/12/83 3pm THE KID WITH THE GOLDEN ARM
3/19/83 3pm JADE CLAW
4/2/83 3pm SUPER POWER
4/16/83 3pm THE MASTER KILLER
4/23/83 3pm THE FOUR ASSASSINS
5/7/83 3pm CHALLENGE OF THE NINJA
5/14/83 3pm THE FLYING GUILLOTINE
5/28/83 3pm HELLS ANGELS ON WHEELS
6/4/83 1pm SLAUGHTER IN SAN FRANCISCO; 3pm DUEL OF THE IRON FIST
6/11/83 1pm STREET GANGS OF HONG KONG
6/18/83 1:30pm GRAD NIGHT; 3pm DEADMAN’S CURVE
6/25/83 1pm THE SAVAGE FIVE
7/2/83 1pm RUN, ANGEL, RUN; 3pm THE FIVE DEADLY VENOMS
7/9/83 1pm CHALLENGE OF THE MASTERS; 3pm THE CHINATOWN KID
7/16/83 1pm THE UNBEATABLE DRAGON; 3pm THE THREE AVENGERS
7/23/83 1pm THE MASTER OF KUNG FU; 3pm EXECUTIONERS OF DEATH
7/30/83 1pm STONER; 3pm THE BLOODY AVENGERS
8/6/83 1pm THE VENGEANCE OF FU MANCHU; 3pm AVENGING EAGLES
8/13/83 1pm FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED; 3pm DYNAMO
8/20/83 1pm THE SHUTTERED ROOM; 3:15pm THE TATTOO CONNECTION
8/27/83 1pm TEN TIGERS OF KWANGTUNG
9/3/83 1pm DEATH CHAMBER; 3:15pm THE TATTOOED DRAGON
9/10/83 1pm DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE
9/17/83 1pm THE KID WITH THE GOLDEN ARM; 2:45pm THE SPEARMAN OF DEATH
9/24/83 3pm THE DEADLY ANGELS
10/1/83 1pm KUNG FU EXECUTIONER; 3pm A HARD WAY TO DIE
10/8/83 1pm A MAN CALLED TIGER; 2:30pm THE BULLET TRAIN
10/15/83 1pm THE FOUR ASSASSINS
10/22/83 1pm SUPER POWER; 3pm KOWLOON ASSIGNMENT
10/29/83 3pm DRACULA, PRINCE OF DARKNESS
11/5/83 1pm KILLER FROM SHANTUNG; 3pm WHEN TAEKWONDO STRIKES
11/12/83 1pm THE NINJA WARLORD; 3pm THE RETURN OF THE MASTER KILLER
11/19/83 1pm THE DESTROYERS
11/26/83 1pm KUNG FU CONSPIRACY; 2:45pm TWO CHAMPIONS OF DEATH
12/3/83 1pm JADE CLAW
12/10/83 1pm BRUCE LEE: HIS LAST DAYS, HIS LAST NIGHTS
12/17/83 1pm FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN
12/31/83 3:30pm MALIBU BEACH

1984
1/7/84 2pm THE TATTOO CONNECTION
1/14/84 3pm AVENGING EAGLES
1/21/84 3pm FIVE MASTERS OF DEATH
2/4/84 3pm FISTS OF THE WHITE LOTUS
2/11/84 3pm MASKED AVENGERS
2/18/84 3pm INSTRUCTORS OF DEATH
2/25/84 3pm CHALLENGE OF THE NINJA
3/3/84 3pm STREET GANGS OF HONG KONG
3/17/84 3pm THE FACE OF FU MANCHU
3/24/84 3pm THE HORROR OF FRANKENSTEIN
3/31/84 3pm KUNG FU EXECUTIONER
4/21/84 3pm THE FLYING GUILLOTINE
5/5/84 3pm DIRTY HO
5/12/84 3pm SLICE OF DEATH
5/26/84 3pm MORTAL COMBAT
6/2/84 3pm WHEN TAEKWONDO STRIKES
6/9/84 3pm ROOTS OF EVIL
6/23/84 2:30pm COP IN BLUE JEANS
6/30/84 2:30pm THE SPEARMAN OF DEATH
7/7/84 3pm DUEL OF THE IRON FIST
7/14/84 3pm THE MASTER KILLER
7/21/84 3pm TEN TIGERS OF KWANGTUNG
7/28/84 3pm CHALLENGE OF THE MASTERS
8/4/84 3pm THE FOUR ASSASSINS
8/11/84 3pm THE FIVE DEADLY VENOMS
8/18/84 3pm THE MASTER OF KUNG FU
9/1/84 3pm THE UNBEATABLE DRAGON
9/8/84 3pm THE THREE AVENGERS
9/15/84 3pm THE DESTROYERS
9/22/84 3pm THE DEATH CHAMBER
9/29/84 3pm KILLER ARMY
10/13/84 3pm KUNG FU KILLERS
10/20/84 3pm THE DEADLY MANTIS (1978)
11/10/84 3pm SUPER NINJAS
11/17/84 3pm WINNERS AND SINNERS
11/24/84 3pm THE INVINCIBLE ONE
12/8/84 3pm STONER
12/15/84 3pm THE BLOODY AVENGERS
12/29/84 3pm KILLER FROM SHANTUNG

1985
1/5/85 3pm THE YOUNG MASTER
1/12/85 3pm RETURN OF THE MASTER KILLER
1/19/85 3pm RETURN OF THE DRAGON
1/26/85 3pm THE CHINESE CONNECTION
2/9/85 3pm THE GAME OF DEATH
2/26/85 3pm GAME OF DEATH II
2/23/85 3pm THE TATTOOED DRAGON
3/2/85 3pm BREAKER! BREAKER!
3/16/85 3pm SUPER POWER
3/30/85 3pm A HARD WAY TO DIE
4/13/85 3pm THE CHINATOWN KID
5/4/85 3pm FIVE MASTERS OF DEATH
5/11/85 3pm FISTS OF FURY
5/25/85 3pm SLAUGHTER IN SAN FRANCISCO
6/1/85 3pm HOT RODS TO HELL
6/8/85 3pm DRACULA, PRINCE OF DARKNESS
6/15/85 3pm THE DEADLY ANGELS
6/29/85 3pm KUNG FU CONSPIRACY
7/6/85 3pm JADE CLAW
7/20/85 3pm GOLIATHON
7/27/85 3pm THE SAVAGE FIVE
8/3/85 3pm STREET GANGS OF HONG KONG
8/10/85 3pm DUEL OF THE IRON FIST
8/17/85 3pm THE KID WITH THE GOLDEN ARM
8/31/85 3pm KUNG FU EXECUTIONER
9/7/85 3pm EXECUTIONERS OF DEATH
9/21/85 1pm THEM!; 3pm CHALLENGE OF THE NINJA
9/28/85 1pm TERROR IN THE WAX MUSEUM; 3pm AVENGING EAGLES
10/5/85 1:15pm THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS; 3pm KUNG FU WARLORDS
10/12/85 1pm TO LOVE A VAMPIRE; 3pm ROAR OF THE LION
10/19/85 1pm DISCIPLES OF DEATH
10/26/85 1pm SCARS OF DRACULA; 3pm TWO CHAMPIONS OF DEATH
11/2/85 1pm THE CONQUEROR WORM; 2:45pm KARATE EXTERMINATORS
11/9/85 1:10pm THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH; 3pm LEGENDARY WEAPONS OF KUNG FU
11/16/85 1pm TALES OF TERROR
11/23/85 1pm BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY’S TOMB; 3pm YOR, THE HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE
11/30/85 1pm THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN; 2:45pm INVINCIBLE KUNG FU BROTHERS
12/14/85 1pm DOCTOR BLOOD’S COFFIN; 3pm INSTRUCTORS OF DEATH
12/21/85 1:15pm JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF TIME; 3pm DIRTY HO
12/28/85 1pm THE OTHER; 3pm SLICE OF DEATH

1986
1/4/86 1pm THE BAT PEOPLE; 3pm WINNERS AND SINNERS
1/11/86 1pm THE OBLONG BOX; 3pm BRUCE LEE: THE MAN, THE MYTH
1/18/86 1:15pm TOMB OF LIGEIA; 3pm SHAOLIN HANDLOCK
1/25/86 1pm INVASION EARTH 2150 A.D.; 3pm IRON FINGERS OF DEATH
2/1/86 1pm GAMERA – SUPER MONSTER; 3pm STROKE OF DEATH
2/8/86 1pm THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM; 2:45pm THE MASTER KILLER
2/15/86 1pm THE RAVEN; 3pm SEVEN SOLDIERS OF KUNG FU
2/22/86 1pm COUNT YORGA, VAMPIRE; 3pm STRIKE 4 REVENGE
3/1/86 1pm SPIRITS OF THE DEAD; 3:15pm BRUCE LEE: THE MAN, THE LEGEND
3/8/86 1pm THE HORROR OF FRANKENSTEIN; 3pm SHAOLIN MARTIAL ARTS
3/15/86 1pm JENNIFER — THE SNAKE GODDESS; 3pm IRON CHAIN ASSASSIN
3/29/86 1pm MASTER OF THE WORLD; 3pm POWERFORCE
4/5/86 1:15pm THE BLACK CASTLE; 3pm THE FLYING GUILLOTINE
4/12/86 3pm THE SPEARMAN OF DEATH
4/19/86 1pm SHRIEK OF THE MUTILATED; 3pm KILLER ARMY
4/26/86 1:45pm CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON; 3:30pm THE NINJA WARLORD
5/3/86 1pm BLACK SABBATH; 3pm THUNDERBOLT FISTS
5/10/86 1pm THE DEVIL WITHIN HER; 3pm DAREDEVILS OF KUNG FU
5/17/86 1pm SCREAM, BLACULA, SCREAM
5/24/86 1pm THE THING WITH TWO HEADS; 3pm KUNG FU HELLCATS
5/31/86 1:15pm THE ZOMBIES OF SUGAR HILL; 3pm THE DEADLY MANTIS (1978)
6/7/86 1pm THE STRANGER (1972); 3pm FISTS OF THE WHITE LOTUS
6/14/86 1pm DRACULA VS. FRANKENSTEIN; 3pm MORTAL COMBAT
6/21/86 1pm FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD; 3pm THE INVINCIBLE ONE
6/28/86 1pm THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD; 3pm GODZILLA 1985
7/26/86 1pm THE UFO INCIDENT; 3pm THE UNBEATABLE DRAGON
8/16/86 1:30pm IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE; 3:15pm KUNG FU KILLERS
8/23/86 1pm PANIC IN YEAR ZERO!; 3pm CHALLENGE OF THE MASTERS
8/30/86 1pm PHANTOM OF THE RUE MORGUE; 2:45pm THE FOUR ASSASSINS
9/6/86 1pm MONSTER ZERO; 3pm THE FIVE FINGERS OF DEATH
9/13/86 1:15pm THE INCREDIBLE TWO-HEADED TRANSPLANT
9/20/86 1:30pm GODZILLA VS. THE SMOG MONSTER; 3:15pm SUPERFIGHTERS
9/27/86 1pm DESTROY ALL MONSTERS; 3pm DEATH CHAMBER
10/4/86 1:15pm TALES OF TERROR; 3pm SHAOLIN MASTERS
10/11/86 1:05pm THE OBLONG BOX; 3pm WARRIOR OF STEEL
10/18/86 1:15pm CONQUEST OF SPACE; 3pm KUNG FU GOLD
10/25/86 1:15pm WAR OF THE WORLDS; 3pm POWERFORCE
11/1/86 1:30pm WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE; 3:15pm THE KILLING MACHINE
11/8/86 1:15pm I, MONSTER; 3pm KUNG FU INVADERS
11/22/86 1:15pm THE WIZARD OF OZ (Toho, 1982); 3:15pm DEMON FIST OF KUNG FU
11/29/86 1:15pm CREATION OF THE HUMANOIDS
12/6/86 1pm THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH
12/13/86 1pm THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN; 3pm THE DESTROYERS
12/20/86 3pm THE RETURN OF THE MASTER KILLER
12/27/86 1pm UFOs ARE REAL; 3pm TEN TIGERS OF KWANGTUNG

1987
1/3/87 1:30pm THE WOLF MAN; 3pm THE BLOODY AVENGERS
1/10/87 1pm SCARS OF DRACULA; 3pm SOUL BROTHERS OF KUNG FU
1/17/87 1:15pm THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS; 3pm THE MASTER OF KUNG FU
1/24/87 1pm THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE; 3pm SHAOLIN HANDLOCK
1/31/87 1pm BLACULA; 3pm KILLER FROM SHANTUNG
2/7/87 1pm BEWARE! THE BLOB; 3pm THREE EVIL MASTERS
2/14/87 1:15pm THE GIANT SPIDER INVASION; 2:45pm DYNASTY OF BLOOD
2/21/87 1:15pm THE BLACK CASTLE; 3pm THE KUNG FU INSTRUCTOR
2/28/87 1pm HORROR HOSPITAL; 2:45pm AVENGING WARRIORS OF SHAOLIN
3/7/87 1pm THE KEEPER; 2:45pm STONER
3/14/87 1pm BLACK SABBATH; 3pm WHEN TAEKWONDO STRIKES
3/21/87 1pm THE PUMA MAN; 3pm CHALLENGE OF THE NINJA
4/4/87 12:45pm THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN
4/11/87 3pm A HARD WAY TO DIE
4/18/87 1pm THE OBLONG BOX; 3pm INSTRUCTORS OF DEATH
4/25/87 3:30pm SUPER POWER
5/2/87 1pm THE STEPFORD WIVES; 3:30pm SLAUGHTER IN SAN FRANCISCO
5/9/87 1pm THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN; 2:15pm MARK OF THE VAMPIRE
5/16/87 1pm CATASTROPHE!; 3pm KUNG FU WARLORDS
5/23/87 1pm LEGENDARY WEAPONS OF KUNG FU
5/30/87 1pm HOUSE OF DRACULA
6/6/87 1pm SATURN 3; 3pm THE BLACK HOLE
6/13/87 1pm STOWAWAY TO THE MOON; 3pm KOWLOON ASSIGMENT
6/20/87 1pm THE CONQUEROR WORM; 2:45pm THE FLYING GUILLOTINE
6/27/87 1pm SPIRITS OF THE DEAD; 3pm THE $1,000,000 DUCK
7/11/87 1pm METEOR; 3:15pm KUNG FU CONSPIRACY
7/18/87 1pm THE OUTLAWS IS COMING; 3pm THE SPEARMAN OF DEATH
7/25/87 1pm THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN
8/15/87 1pm JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH; 3:30pm THE NINJA WARLORD
8/22/87 1pm KUNG FU EXECUTIONER
8/29/87 1pm THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD; 3pm ROOTS OF EVIL
9/5/87 3pm AVENGING EAGLES
9/12/87 3pm THE DEADLY MANTIS (1978)
10/3/87 1pm CAPTAIN SINBAD; 3pm BARBARELLA
10/10/87 1pm THE CANTERVILLE GHOST (1986); 3pm THE NAKED JUNGLE
10/24/87 3pm ATRAGON
11/7/87 3pm LOVE AT FIRST BITE
11/14/87 3pm WAR OF THE WORLDS
11/21/87 3pm PIRANHA II: THE SPAWNING
11/28/87 3pm THE MAD MAGICIAN
12/5/87 3pm DYNASTY
12/12/87 3pm GODZILLA VS. THE COSMIC MONSTER

1988
1/2/88 3pm YOR, THE HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE
1/16/88 3pm DREAMSCAPE
1/23/88 3pm D.A.R.Y.L
1/30/88 3pm ALLIGATOR
2/6/88 3pm WAR GODS OF THE DEEP
2/13/88 3pm TROLL
2/20/88 2:45pm PLANET OF THE APES
2/27/88 3pm CRACK IN THE WORLD
3/5/88 3pm THE PUMA MAN
3/12/88 3pm THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK
3/19/88 3pm BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES
3/26/88 3pm THE BAT PEOPLE
4/2/88 3pm RUSTLER’S RHAPSODY
4/9/88 3pm KING SOLOMON’S MINES (1950)
4/16/88 1pm THE YOUNG RUNAWAYS; 3pm THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN
4/23/88 1pm TREASURE OF SAN BOSCO REEF; 3pm YOR, THE HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE
4/30/88 3pm BUCKAROO BANZAI
5/7/88 3pm THE GREEN SLIME
5/14/88 3pm EXPLORERS
5/21/88 3pm ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES
5/28/88 3pm THE CLAIRVOYANT
6/4/88 3pm THE INCREDIBLE TWO-HEADED TRANSPLANT
6/11/88 2:45pm METEOR
6/18/88 3pm TALES OF TERROR
6/25/88 3:15pm TOMB OF LIGEIA
7/2/88 3pm THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH

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