It gives me great pleasure to say that Joe Bob Briggs is back in the movie reviewing business. Recently JBB has done his patented, drive-in-style reviews for retro drive-in movies like Machete and Piranha 3D, and all of his older reviews are all archived on his site.
God, I loved watching Joe Bob Briggs' Drive-In Theater when it was on The Movie Channel. Every Saturday night was an event, whether the movie was a good one or a pile of crap. "We're going into the toilet", Joe Bob would enthusiastically proclaim when he was forced to show something below even his standards.
I didn't always like him. When I first saw Joe Bob on The Movie Channel, I said to myself, Who the hell is this hillbilly? A dumb knee-jerk reaction, which is something I'm prone to. I'm working on changing that.
Then one Friday night I saw that The Brood was coming on The Movie Channel at 11:00 PM. When I got ready to watch it, I was unaware that in addition to Joe Bob's Saturday Night show, he would host what he called The Iron Man Triple Feature, which would run most of the night on Fridays. So I got set up to watch The Brood, and I saw that Joe Bob was introducing it. Now I love most of Cronenberg's movies, and The Brood is no exception. So I stayed put, even though I thought I didn't like Joe Bob. But I was surprised when he said some pretty astute things about the work of David Cronenberg. The best part was how Joe Bob was in no way like a serious movie critic. He spoke in the language of the true fan. That night is when I became a Joe Bob Briggs fan.
Soon after that, I saw a book in my local WaldenBooks called Joe Bob Goes To The Drive-In. I picked it up immediately, and if there was any hesitation on my part to buy it, seeing that Stephen King had written the introduction quickly changed that. I laid my money down and took the book home.
Joe Bob Goes To The Drive-In is a collection of his drive-in movie reviews that originally appeared in The Dallas Times-Herald, and were later syndicated in numerous papers. Joe Bob was eventually 'killed' by the paper when his column proved to be too controversial.
To say that I loved the book is an understatement. The book is filled with JBB's reviews, which also contain sordid accounts of his own misadventures with a colorful group of misfits that he called his friends. The book is an unbeatable mix of comedy and loving descriptions of exploitation film. Joe Bob always gave detailed lists of the number of breasts, the amount of blood, and the car crashes, kung fu fights, as well as other elements of exploitation film.
And the guest he had on the show were awesome. There was a month devoted to horror movie hosts, with Zacharlie, John Stanley, and Elvira sitting in. Roger and Julie Corman were on the show. Herschell Gordon Lewis. Linda Blair. Wings Hauser. Miles O'Keefe. Many, many others.
Nothing lasts forever, and sadly, Joe Bob Briggs' Drive-In Theater was canceled from The Movie Channel. It was the end of an important and fun era of my life. I was moving on to different types of viewing by the early 90's anyway, so I had my cable Tv turned off. Joe Bob was just about the only thing I was watching by that point, anyway.
His show was brought back later on TNT, as Monstervision, but I never watched it. I know, I should have, but I knew that the movies would be cut and it seemed like it would be an unacceptably watered-down version of the show I loved.
In addition to being the foremost drive-in movie critic, Joe Bob Briggs is a humorist of the first order. His reviews always contained social satire, and Joe Bob published books like Iron Joe Bob, which celebrated The Men's Movement. A hilariously faux account of his life called A History of Western Civilization; or, My Story. Still another book, The Cosmic Wisdom of Joe Bob Briggs, is a collection of his essays. He currently pens a semi-regular column called Joe Bob's America, which is as controversial as it is timely and hysterical.
Later, Joe Bob Briggs wrote two surprisingly serious books that analyze provocative movies. Profoundly Disturbing is a look at what he considers the most upsetting movies of all time, while Profoundly Erotic focuses on the most influential erotic films ever made. These books both are incisive, informative, but they are also mercifully free of the tedious boredom that most academic film studies suffer from.
Joe Bob has also had a fairly busy career in the movies. He appeared in the underrated Jerry Lee Lewis biopic, Great Balls of Fire, Joe Bob played a character of the same name in The Stand, and he had a weighty role in Martin Scorsese's Casino. He also has appeared in numerous smaller productions, usually in the low budget horror arena.
Joe Bob kept the tradition of his show alive in a series of DVDs where he introduced and provided audio commentaries to classic (and not-so-classic) horror movies.
If all of that isn't enough Joe Bob Briggs has written extensively for The Wittenberg Door, and has been a regular on The Daily Show.
Lately, Joe Bob has been doing what he does best, and that's reviewing drive-in movies. His most recent is for the movie, Frozen.
Head to the site, where you'll find hours of entertaining things to read. Movie reviews, columns, book reviews, letters from fans, and lots, lots more.
In the meantime, please join in The Drive-In Oath. If this doesn't bring a tear to your eye, you belong at another website.