Film Review: Things (1989)

Release Date: September, 1989
Directed by: Andrew Jordan
Written by: Andrew Jordan, Barry J. Gillis
Music by: Jack Procher
Cast: Barry J. Gillis, Amber Lynn, Bruce Roach, Doug Bunston, Jan W. Pachul, Patricia Sadler

Exosphere Motion Pictures, Left Field Productions, 83 Minutes

Review:

“Next time I bring you with me I’m leaving you at home.” – Don Drake

Every time that I think I may have discovered the worst film ever made, something else falls out of the sewer pipes and right into my lap. This time, it came courtesy of Joe Bob Briggs on his show The Last Drive-In.

Those of you who have been around Talking Pulp for awhile, probably know about my lifelong respect and admiration for Joe Bob Briggs. Hell, years back, I wrote a piece called Joe Bob Briggs – A Texan of Exquisite Taste and a Man Who Influenced a Generation.

So this epic betrayal really hit me like a kangaroo punch to the gonads. Sure, my good friend Joe Bob has shown me some really shitty movies over the decades I’ve been watching his various shows on various networks but nothing was even close to being quite this bad.

This was shown on what Joe Bob was calling “VHS Night” and it was paired with Sledgehammer, another VHS horror relic that was filmed on video, as opposed to traditional film. As rough as that film was to get through, this one really elevated Sledgehammer and by comparison, made it look like the Citizen Kane of primitive video horror.

Nothing in this film makes sense, the characters aren’t likable or relatable and everything that could go wrong from a production standpoint… did!

Well, at least the movie featured porn star Amber Lynn. However, even that was handled abysmally bad, as she stays fully clothed in all her scenes and just reads fake news reports off of a cue card that makes her look away from the camera and off to the side.

Normally, I’d be happy to see these guys use practical effects but even the creatures in this movie were terrible. They were basically large plastic ants with sharp teeth glued to their poorly crafted mouths.

Even with the added commentary of Joe Bob, Darcy and special guest Chris Jericho, this movie was incredibly hard to get through.

In the end, I’ve now seen it and I never have to watch it again.

As for Joe Bob, this whole ordeal reminds me of the time my Uncle Denny told me he had WrestleMania tickets but instead, took me to some outlaw wrestling mud show in what I can only assume was the same violent, fantastical, redneck Florida town where Two Thousand Maniacs! took place.

Rating: 0/10
Pairs well with: other horror films shot on video. Also, dental surgery without painkillers.

Documentary Review: In Search of Darkness: Part II (2020)

Release Date: October 6th, 2020
Directed by: David A. Weiner
Written by: David A. Weiner
Music by: Weary Pines
Cast: Nancy Allen, Tom Atkins, Joe Bob Briggs, Doug Bradley, Clancy Brown, Lori Cardille, John Carpenter, Nick Castle, Larry Cohen, Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Sean S. Cunningham, Joe Dante, Keith David, Robert Englund, Stuart Gordon, Andre Gower, Kane Hodder, Tom Holland, Chris Jericho, Jackie Kong, Heather Langenkamp, Don Mancini, Harry Manfredini, Kelli Maroney, Bill Moseley, Greg Nicotero, Cassandra Peterson, Diana Prince, Linnea Quigley, James Rolfe, Robert Rusler, Tom Savini, Corey Taylor, Gedde Watanabe, Caroline Williams, Alex Winter, Tom Woodruff Jr., Brian Yuzna

CreatorVC, 263 Minutes

Review:

Everything I said in my review of the first film in this series still holds true for this one. Reason being, they’re exactly the same in what they are. It’s just that each one features different films.

I think that I like this one a wee bit better for two reasons.

The first, is that I already know what I’m getting into now. I know that this will just fly through dozens of films and not give them the proper amount of time they deserve. As I said in the previous film’s review, I’d love to see each section spread out into a full episode and have these films actually be a streaming series.

The second reason, is that I like that the films are getting more obscure, as there were a few here I hadn’t heard of. With that, I walked away from this with a list of shit I need to watch and review.

Apart from that, this was more of the same. That’s not a bad thing, at all. I just wish that these documentaries didn’t fly through films and other topics so quickly.

I still like these, though. I know there’s a third one coming, which I look forward to, and there’s also one coming out on ’80s sci-fi flicks.

Rating: 8/10
Pairs well with: the other documentaries in the In Search of… series, as well as other documentaries on ’80s horror.

Ranking All the Movies Shown (Thus Far) on ‘The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs’ – UPDATED (After Season 3)

*Intro originally written after Season 1. Total movie count changed though.

Joe Bob Briggs is one of the most important Americans that ever walked God’s green Earth. In fact, he’s probably the greatest Texan that ever lived and that’s a huge state with a lot of history.

So when I heard that Joe Bob was coming back with a new show, I was ecstatic. But if you’re a loyal reader of Talking Pulp (and its original form: Cinespiria) then you already know this.

But it’s already been about a year and Joe Bob, thanks to the wonderful people at Shudder, has provided us with three marathons and a full season of The Last Drive-In.

Also, I have to give a special shout out to Darcy the Mail Girl, who is super fucking cool to the fans and because of this, breaks Twitter every Friday night.

With all that being said, I wanted to rank all 91 films that have been featured on The Last Drive-In (thus far).

These 91 motion pictures are ranked based off of what they were rated in their reviews here on Talking Pulp.

So without further ado, roll that beautiful scream footage!

1. Black Christmas (9.5 out of 10)
2. Phantasm (9 out of 10)
3. Hellraiser (9 out of 10)
4. The Changeling (9 out of 10)
5. Hellbound: Hellraiser II (8.75 out of 10)
6. The Exorcist III (8.75 out of 10)
7. The House of the Devil (8.75 out of 10)
8. Bride of Re-Animator (8.25 out of 10)
9. Heathers (8.25 out of 10)
10. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (8.25 out of 10)
11. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (8 out of 10)
12. Demons (8 out of 10)
13. Deep Red (8 out of 10)
14. Train to Busan (8 out of 10)
15. The Love Witch (8 out of 10)
16. Basket Case (8 out of 10)
17. Class of 1984 (7.75 out of 10)
18. Evilspeak (7.75 out of 10)
19. Brain Damage (7.75 out of 10)
20. Re-Animator (7.5 out of 10)
21. Next of Kin (7.5 out of 10)
22. Day of the Beast (7.5 out of 10)
23. Mandy (7.5 out of 10)
24. Haunt (7.5 out of 10)
25. Chopping Mall (7.5 out of 10)
26. Fried Barry (7.5 out of 10)
27. Halloween (7.25 out of 10)
28. Maniac (7.25 out of 10)
29. Dead & Buried (7.25 out of 10)
30. Society (7.25 out of 10)
31. Sleepaway Camp (7 out of 10)
32. The Stuff (7 out of 10)
33. Blood Rage (7 out of 10)
34. Pieces (7 out of 10)
35. Maniac Cop 2 (7 out of 10)
36. Rabid (7 out of 10)
37. Audition (6.75 out of 10)
38. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (6.75 out of 10)
39. Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead (6.75 out of 10)
40. Silent Night, Deadly Night, Part 2 (6.75 out of 10)
41. Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (6.5 out of 10)
42. Little Shop of Horrors (6.5 out of 10)
43. Tammy & the T-Rex (6.5 out of 10)
44. Dead Heat (6.5 out of 10)
45. The Prowler (6.5 out of 10)
46. Humanoids From the Deep (6.25 out of 10)
47. Wolf Guy (6.25 out of 10)
48. Q: The Winged Serpent (6.25 out of 10)
49. Maniac Cop (6 out of 10)
50. Victor Crowley (6 out of 10)
51. One Cut of the Dead (6 out of 10)
52. The House by the Cemetery (6 out of 10)
53. Bloodsucking Freaks (6 out of 10)
54. Deadly Games (6 out of 10)
55. Mother’s Day (6 out of 10)
56. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (6 out of 10)
57. WolfCop (6 out of 10)
58. Deathgasm (5.75 out of 10)
59. Christmas Evil (5.75 out of 10)
60. Sorority Babes In the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (5.75 out of 10)
61. Phantasm IV: Oblivion (5.5 out of 10)
62. Daughters of Darkness (5.5 out of 10)
63. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (5.5 out of 10)
64. Contamination (5.5 out of 10)
65. Slumber Party Massacre II (5.5 out of 10)
66. Troma’s War (5.5 out of 10)
67. Street Trash (5.25 out of 10)
68. The Hills Have Eyes (5.25 out of 10)
69. Phantasm: Ravager (5 out of 10)
70. C.H.U.D. (5 out of 10)
71. Blood Harvest (4.75 out of 10)
72. Ginger Snaps (4.5 out of 10)
73. Hell Comes to Frogtown (4.5 out of 10)
74. Spookies (4.5 out of 10)
75. The Legend of Boggy Creek (4.5 out of 10)
76. Dead or Alive (4.25 out of 10)
77. Castle Freak (4 out of 10)
78. Demon Wind (4 out of 10)
79. Mayhem (3.5 out of 10)
80. Hack-O-Lantern (3.5 out of 10)
81. Tourist Trap (3 out of 10)
82. Cannibal Holocaust (3 out of 10)
83. Scare Package (3 out of 10)
84. Blood Feast (3 out of 10)
85. Sledgehammer (2.75 out of 10)
86. Hogzilla (2.5 out of 10)
87. Deadbeat at Dawn (2.5 out of 10)
88. Jack Frost (2.25 out of 10)
89. Tetsuo: The Iron Man (2 out of 10)
90. Madman (2 out of 10)
91. Things (0 out of 10)

Film Review: Casino (1995)

Release Date: April 3rd, 1995 (New York City premiere)
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Written by: Nicholas Pileggi, Martin Scorsese
Based on: Casino: Love and Honor In Las Vegas by Nicholas Pileggi
Music by: various
Cast: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, Don Rickles, Kevin Pollak, James Woods, Alan King, L. Q. Jones, Dick Smothers, Frank Vincent, John Bloom (Joe Bob Briggs), Richard Riehle, Frankie Avalon

Syalis DA, Legende Enterprises, Universal Pictures, 178 Minutes

Review:

“Listen to me very carefully. There are three ways of doing things around here: the right way, the wrong way, and the way that I do it. You understand?” – Ace Rothstein

Casino was the longest of Martin Scorsese’s films until The Wolf of Wall Street came out nearly two decades later. More recently, The Irishman came out and took the title. Truthfully, this picture could’ve actually been shorter by about a half hour but it’s still pretty damn good.

I do like this movie but my review may still come off as overly critical or as if I don’t like it. Reason being, it’s far from my favorite Scorsese flick and I feel like it’s trying to be too much like the far superior Goodfellas and because of that, it’s hard not to compare it to its superior, more interesting and energetic, predecessor.

To start, the acting in this is superb from top-to-bottom. I’d say that this also features Sharon Stone’s greatest performance even if her character was completely unlikable. By the end of the film, however, you actually feel for her character and her dark fate. That’s honestly got to be a testament to how great she was in this and how Scorsese really maximized her talent in a way that few directors have.

Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci were also fabulous but this is also really familiar territory for them and they already had tremendous chemistry, by this point, as they had starred alongside each other in several films before this one.

Other standouts were Frank Vincent and John Bloom, who is known by most people as the legendary and charismatic Joe Bob Briggs. Both these guys shined in this and in regards to Bloom, I had always wished he’d been in more films, as he proves in this that he can act pretty well in the right situation.

The narrative structure is almost too much like Goodfellas, though, and I find it kind of distracting, as it continually makes me think of that film and if Scorsese is just relying on what seems to be a trope that worked exceptionally well for him half a decade earlier. At the same time, I’ve never been a fan of multiple narrators, specifically when some of the characters are dead. That’s my problem, though, and I know that it doesn’t bother most people.

Back to one of my earlier points, this could’ve been better overall with about a half hour edited out. There are sometimes too many details and side plots, as this wedges in several characters that kind of don’t matter when you boil this story down to its core elements.

Also, the film does drag on in some parts and I feel like it would’ve been a much stiffer punch in less time with just the truly important parts left in. This also would’ve given the film more energy.

Casino is still a film Scorsese should definitely be proud of, as well as all the actors featured in it. I like the story, most of the characters and thought that it was a worthwhile way to spend three hours.

Rating: 7.75/10
Pairs well with: other Martin Scorsese crime films, as well as those by Brian De Palma and Michael Mann’s Heat, also from 1995.

Documentary Review: In Search of Darkness: A Journey Into Iconic ’80s Horror (2019)

Release Date: October 6th, 2019 (Beyond Fest premiere)
Directed by: David A. Weiner
Written by: David A. Weiner
Music by: Weary Pines
Cast: Tom Atkins, Doug Bradley, Joe Bob Briggs, Diana Prince, John Carpenter, Larry Cohen, Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Sean S. Cunningham, Joe Dante, Keith David, Stuart Gordon, Kane Hodder, Tom Holland, Lloyd Kaufman, Heather Langenkamp, Kelli Maroney, Bill Moseley, Greg Nicotero, Cassandra Peterson, Caroline Williams, Alex Winter, Brian Yuzna, various

CreatorVC, 264 Minutes

Review:

I was anticipating this documentary for a long time. So once it ended up on Shudder, I had to check it out. But holy shit!… I wasn’t expecting this thing to be four and a half f’n hours! Not that I’m complaining but I had to make an entire night out of this thing.

Realistically, this probably would’ve worked better as a documentary television series with an episode focused on each year in the decade. They could’ve expanded even further in that format but then this was crowdfunded and not a traditional production.

Still, this was a cool documentary and while it does jump from film-to-film too fast, it covers a lot of ground. Obviously, it can’t feature every horror film from the ’80s, as there were hundreds (if not thousands) but it does hit on most of the important ones.

This goes through the films in order of their release but it also has a few breaks between each year that focuses on other aspects of ’80s horror.

This is mostly talking head interviews with a few dozen different people, spliced together with footage from all the films they’re talking about. It kind of plays like one of those VH1 I Love the ’80s shows but it is a lot less smarmy. Well, for the most part. There is one guy that kept popping up that I wanted to punch because he was oozing with failed comedian smarm.

Overall, though, this was worth the wait. As I’ve said, I wish it could’ve given more on each film but even four and a half hours isn’t enough time to do more than just scratch the surface with the rich history of ’80s horror.

Rating: 7.75/10
Pairs well with: other documentaries about ’80s horror and horror franchises.

Film Review: Hogzilla (2014)

Release Date: December 15th, 2014
Directed by: Diane Jacques
Written by: Diane Jacques, Beatrice Moon, Todd M. Webster
Cast: Joe Bob Briggs, William A. Butland, Zachary Dubale, Justin Kane, Joey Malone, Meredith Martin, John Pagnam, Tomey Sellars, Wade White

90 Minutes

Review:

I’ve heard the legend of this film’s existence for far too long. I wasn’t even sure if it was real and if it was, whether or not it was actually completed.

That being said, my only real interest in it was due to the fact that horror host icon Joe Bob Briggs was in it and it was about a giant killer hog. I like giant killer hog movies and there aren’t enough of them and frankly, none of the ones that do exist are all that good.

Well, this one may actually be the worst one I’ve seen. Also, the poster is a lie, as there aren’t a bunch of gun toting hotties in the movie. It’s just a pretty mundane group of normies with no real skills whatsoever. One of them is a Marine, I guess, but you only really know that because he wears camo pants and a very clean t-shirt that says “Marines” on it.

The great Joe Bob is in this and while his scenes are just about the only watchable ones in the film, I guess he’s a ghost or something because he just fades away at the end.

I don’t know, this just sucked. I had hoped it was going to be that type of film that was so shitty it was entertaining and amusing but it was so boring, drab and incompetent that it was a real bore to sit through.

It also sucks as it was filmed in Florida, not too far away from me, and I like killer animal horror from my neck of the woods.

Well, I guess I can claim that I’ve seen it now and that I can verify its existence but it didn’t make me a better person or teach me any worthwhile lessons that I could pass on to someone else’s kids.

Rating: 2.5/10
Pairs well with: other extremely low budget killer animal horror movies.

Ranking All the Movies Shown (Thus Far) on ‘The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs’ – UPDATED (After Season 2 & Its Specials)

*Intro originally written after season 1. Total movie count changed though.

Joe Bob Briggs is one of the most important Americans that ever walked God’s green Earth. In fact, he’s probably the greatest Texan that ever lived and that’s a huge state with a lot of history.

So when I heard that Joe Bob was coming back with a new show, I was ecstatic. But if you’re a loyal reader of Talking Pulp (and its original form: Cinespiria) then you already know this.

But it’s already been about a year and Joe Bob, thanks to the wonderful people at Shudder, has provided us with three marathons and a full season of The Last Drive-In.

Also, I have to give a special shout out to Darcy the Mail Girl, who is super fucking cool to the fans and because of this, breaks Twitter every Friday night.

With all that being said, I wanted to rank all 63 films that have been featured on The Last Drive-In (thus far).

These 63 motion pictures are ranked based off of what they were rated in their reviews here on Talking Pulp.

So without further ado, roll that beautiful scream footage!

*Updated on 10/26/2020 after the 2020 Halloween Special.

*Updated again on 12/12/2020 after the 2020 Christmas Special.

*Updated a third time on 2/15/2021 after the 2021 Valentine’s Special.

1. Black Christmas (9.5 out of 10)
2. Phantasm (9 out of 10)
3. Hellraiser (9 out of 10)
4. The Changeling (9 out of 10)
5. Hellbound: Hellraiser II (8.75 out of 10)
6. The Exorcist III (8.75 out of 10)
7. The House of the Devil (8.75 out of 10)
8. Heathers (8.25 out of 10)
9. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (8.25 out of 10)
10. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (8 out of 10)
11. Demons (8 out of 10)
12. Deep Red (8 out of 10)
13. The Love Witch (8 out of 10)
14. Basket Case (8 out of 10)
15. Brain Damage (7.75 out of 10)
16. ReAnimator (7.5 out of 10)
17. Haunt (7.5 out of 10)
18. Chopping Mall (7.5 out of 10)
19. Halloween (7.25 out of 10)
20. Maniac (7.25 out of 10)
21. Society (7.25 out of 10)
22. Sleepaway Camp (7 out of 10)
23. The Stuff (7 out of 10)
24. Blood Rage (7 out of 10)
25. Pieces (7 out of 10)
26. Rabid (7 out of 10)
27. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (6.75 out of 10)
28. Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead (6.75 out of 10)
29. Silent Night, Deadly Night, Part 2 (6.75 out of 10)
30. Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (6.5 out of 10)
31. Tammy & the T-Rex (6.5 out of 10)
32. Dead Heat (6.5 out of 10)
33. The Prowler (6.5 out of 10)
34. Wolf Guy (6.25 out of 10)
35. Q: The Winged Serpent (6.25 out of 10)
36. Victor Crowley (6 out of 10)
37. One Cut of the Dead (6 out of 10)
38. Bloodsucking Freaks (6 out of 10)
39. Deadly Games (6 out of 10)
40. Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (6 out of 10)
41. WolfCop (6 out of 10)
42. Deathgasm (5.75 out of 10)
43. Christmas Evil (5.75 out of 10)
44. Sorority Babes In the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (5.75 out of 10)
45. Phantasm IV: Oblivion (5.5 out of 10)
46. Daughters of Darkness (5.5 out of 10)
47. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (5.5 out of 10)
48. Contamination (5.5 out of 10)
49. Slumber Party Massacre II (5.5 out of 10)
50. Troma’s War (5.5 out of 10)
51. Street Trash (5.25 out of 10)
52. The Hills Have Eyes (5.25 out of 10)
53. Phantasm: Ravager (5 out of 10)
54. C.H.U.D. (5 out of 10)
55. Blood Harvest (4.75 out of 10)
56. Hell Comes to Frogtown (4.5 out of 10)
57. The Legend of Boggy Creek (4.5 out of 10)
58. Dead or Alive (4.25 out of 10)
59. Castle Freak (4 out of 10)
60. Demon Wind (4 out of 10)
61. Mayhem (3.5 out of 10)
62. Hack-O-Lantern (3.5 out of 10)
63. Tourist Trap (3 out of 10)
64. Cannibal Holocaust (3 out of 10)
65. Scare Package (3 out of 10)
66. Blood Feast (3 out of 10)
67. Hogzilla (2.5 out of 10)
68. Deadbeat at Dawn (2.5 out of 10)
69. Jack Frost (2.25 out of 10)
70. Tetsuo: The Iron Man (2 out of 10)
71. Madman (2 out of 10)

Ranking All the Movies Shown (Thus Far) on ‘The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs’

Joe Bob Briggs is one of the most important Americans that ever walked God’s green Earth. In fact, he’s probably the greatest Texan that ever lived and that’s a huge state with a lot of history.

So when I heard that Joe Bob was coming back with a new show, I was ecstatic. But if you’re a loyal reader of Talking Pulp (and its original form: Cinespiria) then you already know this.

But it’s already been about a year and Joe Bob, thanks to the wonderful people at Shudder, has provided us with three marathons and a full season of The Last Drive-In.

Also, I have to give a special shout out to Darcy the Mail Girl, who is super fucking cool to the fans and because of this, breaks Twitter every Friday night.

With all that being said, I wanted to rank all 39 films that have been featured on The Last Drive-In (thus far).

These 39 motion pictures are ranked based off of what they were rated in their reviews here on Talking Pulp.

So without further ado, roll that beautiful scream footage!

1. Phantasm (9 out of 10)
2. Hellraiser (9 out of 10)
3. The Changeling (9 out of 10)
4. The House of the Devil (8.75 out of 10)
5. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (8.25 out of 10)
6. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (8 out of 10)
7. Demons (8 out of 10)
8. Basket Case (8 out of 10)
9. ReAnimator (7.5 out of 10)
10. Society (7.25 out of 10)
11. Sleepaway Camp (7 out of 10)
12. The Stuff (7 out of 10)
13. Blood Rage (7 out of 10)
14. Pieces (7 out of 10)
15. Rabid (7 out of 10)
16. Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead (6.75 out of 10)
17. Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (6.5 out of 10)
18. The Prowler (6.5 out of 10)
19. Wolf Guy (6.25 out of 10)
20. Q: The Winged Serpent (6.25 out of 10)
21. WolfCop (6 out of 10)
22. Deathgasm (5.75 out of 10)
23. Sorority Babes In the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (5.75 out of 10)
24. Phantasm IV: Oblivion (5.5 out of 10)
25. Daughters of Darkness (5.5 out of 10)
26. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (5.5 out of 10)
27. Contamination (5.5 out of 10)
28. Street Trash (5.25 out of 10)
29. The Hills Have Eyes (5.25 out of 10)
30. Phantasm: Ravager (5 out of 10)
31. C.H.U.D. (5 out of 10)
32. Blood Harvest (4.75 out of 10)
33. The Legend of Boggy Creek (4.5 out of 10)
34. Dead or Alive (4.25 out of 10)
35. Castle Freak (4 out of 10)
36. Demon Wind (4 out of 10)
37. Tourist Trap (3 out of 10)
38. Blood Feast (3 out of 10)
39. Madman (2 out of 10)