I do NOT like movie critics, as a rule. Any gander at the critic vs. audience ratio on most of the films on Rotten Tomatoes should give you a hint how out-of-touch they are with their take on everything from what is toxic to the ever-present diversity checklist. It can be infuriatingly tiresome when you just want to see a car chase.
This has never been the case with my fellow Texan Joe Bob Briggs. He lists the things that matter: what body parts are rolling, where it sits on the vomit meter, how much blood is flowing, and all that great gratuitous “fu”. He still does his breast count, which is not always an even number. Let’s face it, the only thing toxic I want to avoid would be glowing, green and radioactivity. As far as diversity, well, I know we’re all God’s children and we all bleed the same color. If not, then there’s another story I want to see.
Joe Bob Briggs does movies right, worthy of the Drive-In venue where movies were shown under the open sky “as God intended.”
See, I’ve been reading Joe Bob since his weekly Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In Dallas-based column appeared in the next-to-the-last page of the weekly entertainment guide Tiempo in the El Paso Times. There probably wasn’t a scary movie and kung fu loving redneck, cowpunk, rockabilly tinged teenage girl in El Paso who didn’t have at least a mild fangirl crush on this charmingly unapologetic trash movie-loving man. Actually, that may have been only me.
Seriously, look at a minute or two this hillbilly hottie back in the day. Here’s his before and after commentary for Nude On the Moon from his long lost The Sleaziest Movies in The History of the World.
I have a stack of his fine literature, including his collected columns, Cosmic Wit, and Guide to Western Civilization. I still have a prized autograph photo to “a Drive-In kind of gal.” Now, thanks be to Shudder, I can enjoy him and his cohort Darcy the Mail Girl on The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs.
But I digress.
This month, Joe Bob and Darcy are back for his Halloween Special, Joe Bob’s Halloween Hoedown. Anyone who watches Joe Bob knows you aren’t watching it for the quality movie viewing, but rather the very cool and intelligent (yes, really) commentary on the art of filmmaking.
I’m a sucker for behind-the-scenes facts and movie history. Particularly for movies that not are mega-budget CGI-filled, overpaid actor money machines. There is something wonderfully and nostalgically do-it-yourself about these grindhouse fixtures. It makes it more fun watching a film knowing the director had to mix his own gushy spilling guts with household products, or beg, borrow and steal for a useable location. I get it…and I appreciate the work ethic.
Anyway, this six-hour Halloween double-feature special is now available in two parts. You have the option of watching just one movie at a time, but make sure to catch both of them eventually. This is primarily for the special guest interviews this year: mega prolific producer and Blumhouse CEO Jason Blum and director, writer and Texan David Gordon Green. Both of these men are involved in the sequel to the mega hit Halloween (2018), Halloween Kills.
It was great to see a couple of heavy hitters right now having a genuinely enthusiastic conversation about their work and passion. I rarely watch celebrity (including director) interviews, because there’s such a façade of fake interest on everyone’s part. Green and Blum seemed to really get into the conversation with Joe Bob, particularly Green who noted he himself had been a fan of Briggs.
The commentary was interesting, void of all politics, and most of all just plain fun. The two movies picked for the festivities were the 1980s exploitation film about a “high school honor student by day, Hollywood hooker by night,” Angel. The actress was 25 when she played the title role, as well as pretty much all the senior class. The other film was John Carpenter’s murder-on-rails slasher Terror Train starring the original Halloween scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis…and David Copperfield in his only real movie role where he played a…magician.
These films were picked by Blum and Green for the special. Any complaints can be directed toward them. They are too busy counting their money from Halloween Kills right now to answer any hate mail at the moment.
Between the cringe-worthy films and the extremely enjoyable interviews, this show should be a Halloween treat for all but the easily offended and squeamish.
This isn’t the first year Job Bob has taken on Halloween (you can still catch up on his Halloween Hootenanny and Halloween Hideaway from past seasons), but this year’s offering was particularly entertaining with Blum and Green. This isn’t to say he hasn’t had some great guests on in the past, including his high-energy conversation (albeit on a video chat) with Eli Roth.
The special hit Shudder on Oct. 8 before Halloween Kills was in theatres, and it is now already a huge hit. I’m not saying Joe Bob had anything to do with that…but I would like to think he should.
If you need a break from the political world, particularly a rest from the vast dry desert of politics-infused entertainment, Joe Bob and Darcy are there keeping the oasis flowing with wonderfully, wickedly “problematic” gore-filled goodness.
At risk of sounding a little too much like Sam Elliot in The Big Lebowski, it certainly is comforting to know that no matter what craziness this world brings us Joe Bob Briggs is there. Now in his late sixties, he is still out there doing his thing…and he’s sharing it with us.
Before this Halloween hits, get yourself subscribed to Shudder, at least for Joe Bob’s Halloween Hoedown, and every schlock and shock-filled episode of the grindhouse-style orgy which is The Last Drive-In. The special is also now on demand on Shudder, AMC+ and Amazon Prime as well.
If you haven’t seen the best of the drive-in style movies with Joe Bob and Darcy, Lisa Kay here says, “Check it out.”