TV Review: The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs – Original Marathon (2018)

Original Run: July 13th, 2018 – July 14th, 2018
Directed by: Austin Jennings
Written by: Joe Bob Briggs
Cast: Joe Bob Briggs, Diana Prince

Not the Funeral Home, Shudder, 13 Episodes/Segments, 120 Minutes (roughly) (per episode)

Review:

People that have followed this site back when it was still Cinespiria, know that I have a pretty solid love for Joe Bob Briggs. He is the greatest Texan that ever lived and possibly the greatest American as well. I have been watching this guy since I was in grade school because my parents had no idea what I was doing late at night on the weekends. I could’ve been snorting lines off of a dead ferret for all they knew.

Well, I’ve watched Joe Bob my entire life other than a nearly twenty year gap between the cancellation of Monstervision on TNT and then the birth of this awesome show, which just dropped a few days ago.

Anyway, if you too are a hardcore Joe Bob fan or just loved Drive-In Theater or Monstervision than this thirteen film marathon is exactly your cup of Joe Bob!

This was absolute perfection, Joe Bob didn’t miss a damn beat and it felt exactly like those shows did way back in the day. I stayed up for the entirety of this 26-plus hour marathon, other than dozing off a bit during Rabid and Daughters of Darkness but I pushed on through with a big ass mug of dark roast. I didn’t indulge in bottles of bourbon because that shit would’ve knocked me out. I’m much older than I was when Joe Bob used to be on TV and therefore, I am not as resilient. Had I known they would just end up streaming all these movies as episodes after the marathon, I wouldn’t have pushed myself so hard.

Anyway, what made this so f’n great is that it streamed live on Shudder and therefore, it didn’t have to be censored like the movies when Joe Bob was on TNT. We got titties, gore and no commercials! Just Joe Bob and the movie. And man, it was great hearing him add his commentary once again.

Joe Bob presented thirteen films. In order, those films were Tourist TrapSleepaway CampRabidThe ProwlerSorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-RamaDaughters of DarknessBlood FeastBasket CaseRe-AnimatorDemonsThe Legend of Boggy CreekHellraiser and Pieces. I’ve already reviewed most of these films but for the handful I haven’t reviewed, I will have those posted in the next few weeks.

It just felt really good having Joe Bob back on TV. They’ve basically called this his retirement from hosting movies but this was so huge for Shudder that it crashed the website a few times. I only missed out on the first hour and everything ran smooth after that. But the demand is obviously there and really, this should lead to Joe Bob making a come back on a full-time basis.

I don’t want this to be the end. You can’t bring back Joe Bob and then just take him away after a day. It’s cruel, it’s mean and it’s un-f’n-American!

Rating: 10/10
Pairs well with: Joe Bob Brigg’s other great shows: Drive-In Theater and Monstervision. Good luck tracking down full episodes of those, however.

Book Review: ‘Joe Bob Goes Back to the Drive-In’ by Joe Bob Briggs

After reading Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In I had to get my hands on its sequel Joe Bob Goes Back to the Drive-In.

This book is essentially more of the same. While the first book covers Joe Bob’s tenure as a movie critic for the Dallas Times Herald, this book follows his stint at the Dallas Observer, following his firing from the Herald. It also leads up to when he left the newspapers behind and went on to host The Movie Channel’s popular series Dirve-In Theater.

This book has tons of great reviews of drive-in and grindhouse classics. This volume spans the mid to late 1980s and even gets into VHS reviews, as changing technologies were causing drive-ins to shutdown across the United States.

Joe Bob writes in his gonzo style, as he did with the previous book. However, there are less personal stories about the colorful characters that populated his first volume. Here, we get more into his social and political views. He also experiments with the format a bit more. Honestly though, I liked his more straight up gonzo style that he used at the Dallas Times Herald, which is featured in the first book.

In any event, this is still a hilarious read and Joe Bob covers a lot of films, many I already knew and some I didn’t. The man had a talent for picking out some really obscure yet interesting pictures during his time as a film reviewer.

If you are a fan of Joe Bob Briggs, these books are great to have. The first one is slightly better but this one is still a great piece of work where Joe Bob pulls no punches and goes for the throat with every article featured in the book.

 

Documentary Review: VHS Massacre: Cult Films and the Decline of Physical Media (2016)

Release Date: June 20th, 2016
Directed by: Kenneth Powell, Thomas Edward Seymour
Music by: Tim Kulig

New York Cine Productions, 72 Minutes

Review:

Any documentary that features an interview with Joe Bob Briggs is obviously a film made by people that know what the hell they are doing. This thing also gets some insight from Lloyd Kaufman (Troma Entertainment), Greg Sestero (The Room), Debbie Rochon (Return to Nuke ‘Em High), Deborah Reed (Troll 2), Mark Frazer (Samurai Cop), James Nguyen (Birdemic) and many others. Needless to say, this documentary has a friggin’ all-star cast.

The movie itself analyzes the history and appreciation for the VHS format. It also goes on to talk about cult films and how they were helped by VHS and mom and pop video stores. It looks at modern times, where physical media is dying and how that will effect the art of independent filmmaking.

VHS Massacre is a cool documentary, especially for those of us who were really into spending hours walking the aisles of every mom and pop video store, looking for diamonds in the rough and then just settling on every piece of cinematic schlock we could watch within the 24-to-48 hour rental window.

If you want to remember what it was like, back in the day, before Blockbuster killed everything and then Netflix killed Blockbuster, then this is a documentary that is worth your time.

In the end, I just miss walking the aisles and staring at video cassette box art for hours on end while my mum was getting her nails done by the Koreans next door.

Book Review: ‘Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In’ by Joe Bob Briggs

My love for Joe Bob Briggs is no secret. I’ve written about him plenty of times on Cinespiria.

Growing up with Drive-In Theater and MonsterVision was awesome. Before that however, he wrote for the Dallas Times Herald. While there, John Bloom created the persona of Joe Bob Briggs when he took over the movie review section. Joe Bob was a guy that loved drive-in movies and hated that “indoor bullstuff”. This book is the first of two that collects some of his best work from his time writing b-movie reviews.

This book is straight gonzo. It’s like if Dr. Hunter S. Thompson put down the guns and cocaine for a minute and had a passion for the types of films that no one else in America would even review.

Joe Bob Briggs looks at the wealth of b-movies that were coming out in droves in the 1980s. Domestic films, foreign films and films with no discernible place of origin. But unlike the high society types that looked down their noses at these works of art, Joe Bob honored and celebrated these films, even though most of them were horrible. The man had an eye that was able to detect a great b-movie from a sea of horrible ones.

Joe Bob also spends a lot of his time talking about his personal life. The book is full of colorful stories with even more colorful characters. He also gets socially and politically fired up at times because someone has to defend the holy American tradition of going to the drive-in theater and if it wasn’t for Joe Bob we all might be living in “wimp city” like those drive-in hating “jerkola” “turkeys” from San Francisco.

If you grew up with these movies or just have an appreciation for this sort of thing, Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In should be your Bible.