Bikini Drive-In (Retromedia) Blu-ray Review + 1080p Screenshots + Packaging Shots

Another video store classic, Bikini Drive-In, comes to blu-ray with a stacked disc loaded with special features and nice video and audio.

Studio: Retromedia
Release Date: April 8th, 1995 (video premiere) / July 25th, 2023 (blu-ray)
Run Time:
Region Code: FREE
Disc Count: 1
Picture: 1080p (1.33:1 aspect ratio)
Sound: English Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles: No
Slipcover: No
Digital Copy: No
Starring: Ashlie Rhey, Richard Gabai, Ross Hagen as Harry, Peter Spellos, Roxanne Blaze, Rob Vogl
Written by Steve Armogida and John N. Willey
Directed by Fred Olen Ray
Rating: R (strong sexual content)




What's It About?

Kim Taylor inherits her grandfather's drive-in theater, but must raise $25,000 over one weekend or the bank will take the property from her — or worse yet, pesky capitalist J.B. Winston!


Presented in the film's original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and given a fresh scan from the original camera negative, BIKINI DRIVE-IN looks nice. Colors are very strong here and are so throughout the film. There is a decent amount of detail for the most part with a few scenes offering an uptick in detail. Skin tones are good and whites aren't blown out but pretty nicely balanced. I was happy with this transfer as I never thought we would get to see BIKINI DRIVE-IN in HD and looking good to boot. 

The audio included is a lossy Dolby Digital track. It's a good track and I didn't find anything wrong with it. 


Commentary by Fred Olen Ray and Richard Gabai
"Bikini Drive-In" Bloopers (1m 55s, HD, 1.33:1) When Fred Olen Ray was transferring, he discovered a few pieces of outtakes and bloopers. He presents them here without sound with his commentary over them.
Coming Attractions (1h 1m, HD, 1.33:1) This is an hour long trailer reel featuring horror, sci-fi, and fantasy films from the 50s and 60s. 36 trailers in all.
Intermission Time (11m 14s, HD, 1.33:1) This is a reel of advertisements you would have seen at the drive-in.
Fred's 1980's Blooper Reels (31m 6s, HD, 1.78:1) We get bloopers from the following films: Inner Sanctum, Deep Space, Demon Sword, Haunting Fear, Bad Girls from Mars, Mob Boss, Angel Eyes, Possessed by the Night, Mind Twister, Inner Sanctum 2, Evil Toons.
Retromedia Drive-In Theater (5m 30s, SD, 1.33:1) Fred Olen Ray used to introduce the films he was releasing on DVD with some drive-in flair. The only problem I have with these segments is there is the constant sound of someone honking their horn. It is really annoying. 
"Deep Space" Alternate Endings (4m 4s, HD, 1.33:1) Ray gives us two alternate endings for his sci-fi horror film, Deep Space. The audio tracks for this footage are lost so Ray gives us some more commentary about the scene and the behind-the-scenes stories.
Gordon Mitchell Interview (6m, SD, 1.33:1) Mitchell was a bodybuilder who was cast in a ton of Italian exploitation films during the 60s and 70s who would then work with Fred Olen Ray a few times in the 80s and 90s. He gives us a few good stories about his life and career.
Mamie Van Doren Interview (22m 10s, SD, 1.33:1) Van Doren is an actress who made is basically the Pamela Anderson of the 50s and 60s. She gives us some great stories from her life and career.
Paul Petersen Interview (10m 11s, SD, 1.33:1) Petersen was an actor who started his career as one of the original Mouseketeers. He talks about his time on the Donna Reed Show as well as his musical career.

As you can tell, this blu-ray is stacked with special features. First off is a commentary track with director Fred Olen Ray and actor Richard Gabai. This is a great track with tons of stories. There is a blooper reel for the film that contains no audio but does contain a Fred Olen Ray commentary track. It's short but great. There is an hour long trailer reel comprised of films from the 50s and 60s. I do wish that Ray had included some of the trailers for his own films, but this reel is nice nonetheless. A reel of drive-in advertisements follows and I had fun with these. I never saw these when I went to drive-in so they were a treat to see here. 

We get two Retromedia Drive-In introductions, a few alternate endings for the Fred Olen Ray film, DEEP SPACE, and a few interviews with legacy stars Gordon Mitchell, Mamie Van Doren, and Paul Peterson

I was pleasantly surprised by the wealth of special features here and look forward to the next blu-ray Ray does as we know it's going to be great.

The blu-ray package is nice but kind of plain. The front cover is new artwork that's nice but I wish they had used the original video art. I get why they didn't but it would have been nice. The back of the box doesn't feature a plot synopsis (because the title says it all). It lists everyone who appears in the film (which is more important). We do get a list of all the special features as well as a Michelle Bauer autograph.

The disc features a portion of the same artwork from the blu-ray case and is REGION FREE


BIKINI DRIVE-IN is a really fun film. It is a Fred Olen Ray through and through. You've got young beautiful people getting naked, sex scenes, and comedy. You really can't go wrong with this film. 

The blu-ray is really good. I loved going through everything and learning a lot from the commentary track. The film has never looked better with a nice layer of grain and great colors. The sound is lossy but this is a straight-to-video film from the mid-90s so its ok. This is a great release that fans of 90s sex comedies, or sex comedies in general, will love.






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