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Advice to the Hopeless 3/24/14

WRITING - Advice to the Hopeless

Joe Bob,

I'm interested in what you think about the evolution of the drive-in. A couple of months ago, I saw "The Outsiders" up in Silver Spring, at the AFI's theater and there's that great scene set in the drive-in in Tulsa. It made me think about this topic again, how drive-ins
used to be rowdy places, and that kind of went out of style. The ones that have survived are great, but, overall, seem to be a real wholesome, family kind of atmosphere. Seems like the end of an era, or at least a real change. Curious what you think.

Cheers!

Jason


Jason,

Drive-ins have always gone back and forth between seedy teenage hangouts and family attractions. The yin and the yang of them existed in 1954 as surely as it does today, and you will find drive-ins across America that are rife with rowdiness. You can find articles over the
past 50 years that start out, "It used to be a passion pit, but the local drive-in is more and more attracted to family fare these days . . ." and those articles are usually efforts by the owner to get rid of the rowdy teens. It was not uncommon in the fifties for a drive-in to have
drunks passed out in their cars on Saturday night, then a special Easter showing of "The Ten Commandments" on Sunday night. So it kind of goes with the territory.

Best,

Joe Bob


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Dearest Joe:

Of the 3 billion websites out there, yours has got to be the coolest. Where might I go to find a watchable copy of the movie The Swinging Barmaids? I can't seem to find it anywhere and have no idea where to look.

Is it even considered a B-movie, or just an older A-movie?

Peter


Peter,

The title "Swinging Barmaids" was used as a re-title on more than one movie released by Motion Picture Marketing, so you need to tell me which one you're talking about. Some identifying feature. Maybe a
poster? And, yes, all of them were definitely B movies.

Preciate the nice words, bud.

Hang in there,

Joe Bob


* * *

JOE BOB!!!

My profound statement is, and it might not be "profound" but it is definitely a good one, "A good friend will bail you out of jail but a true friend will be sitting beside you in jail and say DAMN THAT WAS FUN"

Love you!!!!! Miss you reading prison mail!!!

Nicole


Nicole,

First of all, I didn't do it. Secondly, she's lying. Third, I don't own any weapon of the type in question. Fourth, that's not my DNA.

Thanks for the nice words!

Hang in there,

Joe Bob


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Hey Joe Bob

I been reading your book about going Back to the Drive-in recently because I didn't have it until this past Christmas when my loverly girlfriend gave it to me. I already read your first book about going to the drive-in, and ever since I read your column in one of the finer
local newspapers back in the early 1990s I been telling everyone how much they been missing by not reading your stuff or watching you on the TV, but usually they just tell me to, "get the hell out of the store."

Anyway, I wrote you back in 1998-or-so asking for info on a film about a guy with no legs that fought a guy with no arms, and you said it was Crippled Masters and that you'd play it on MonsterVision, if you did, I missed it... so now I'm just writing to let you know that I did end up buying a DVD of "Crippled Masters" back in 2004, so you don't have to worry about that anymore.

Jon


Jon,

Well, since I've been waiting SIXTEEN YEARS for your review, tell me: how was it?

Hang in there,

Joe Bob


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Hey Joe Bob!

I think you might have known my dad, Frank E. Griffis? He's told me stories about you and, oh what's that guy's name, the one that wrote Texas Chainsaw Massacre, another West Texas guy...anyway. I grew up watching Monstervision and harassing old librarians trying to find whatever grummy, dog-chewed copies of your
books I could.

I don't have any profundities off the top, just wanted to drop a line and say how much I appreciate the stuff you've put out there. Love your humor, and dangit, it was good information too. I hope you know how big of a cult following you have out there! We aren't very vocal, or productive, or sober. But we're there! Watching horrible movies and
wishing they were narrated by a certain good ol' boy armed with vital statistics. Wish you the best, man.

Frank


Hey Frank,

Thanks for the nice words. I learned long ago that the movies are better when drunk.

Preciate the support.

Hang in there,

Joe Bob


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Joe Bob,

On MonsterVision, you once showed a film that was based on an epic Greek or Roman story. Seems it was based in the subways or something like that. You illustrated/diagrammed some of the plot on a blackboard or whiteboard or flip chart. What was the film and what epic story was it based on? Do you know the air date?

I thought you were brilliant.

Rita

Rita!

Thanks for remembering one of my favorite episodes. It may be the one time in my life that being a Classical Studies minor came in handy. The movie was "The Warriors," directed by Walter Hill, who would go on to direct much more famous movies like "48 Hrs.," "Streets of Fire" and "Brewster's Millions." Walter Hill may or may not have cared about the story's classical origins, but the screenplay was based on a novel by Sol Yurick, and Yurick had used Xenophon's account of the retreat of the Ten Thousand, as described in "Anabasis," and transposed it onto a fable about New York gang territories. The conceit worked because the Ten Thousand was a band of Greek warriors who marched all the way to the Euphrates in 401 BC, where they were employed by Cyrus to fight against Artaxerxes. Even though they won the battle, Cyrus was killed and they ended up with no food, no supplies, and no leadership after all their generals were lured to a meeting and executed. They then had to fight their way back through every hostile territory between Babylon and the Black Sea before finding ships to take them home--a process that took two years and is considered one of the great "underdog" stories in military history. At any rate, the route of the Warriors in the movie began at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, where their leader was killed, and ended after many fights later at their home turf of Coney Island. I used a 1960s New York subway map to chart their progress.

Much more information than you wanted, I'm sure!

All my best,

Joe Bob

 

Advice to the Hopeless December 7, 2013

WRITING - Advice to the Hopeless

Hey Joe Bob,

I recently had the dubious privilege of watching 'The Stand' for the first time in ten years and I had to ask my girlfriend to stop it so I could dredge up memories of MonsterVision. After looking around the site (I'm very glad you still do the advice to the hopeless, by the way) and googling, I'm shocked that there aren't more full episodes of MonsterVision available (though your treatment of 'Return of the Living Dead' is out there on youtube, thankfully). Not only did you introduce me to a number of amazing movies I probably wouldn't have seen otherwise ('Motel Hell' was a hell of an experience), but you provided a pretty great environment for me to find some other nerd friends (thanks for introducing me to IRC and forcing me to give a damn about computers, it worked out pretty well).

Anyway, to the point- I moved up to Seattle a while back and have been pretty impressed with the showing of cult movies at small, independent theaters. They even have guests show up to assist in either making fun of or otherwise officiating movies- like the Found Footage Festival guys or various actors from 'The Room' (if you could call that a movie). Do you ever do anything like that yourself, or have you considered it? I'm no demographer, but I'd hope/assume that there are more than enough fans of 'good' (bad) horror wandering around to make it worth your while- going to the theater to have a beer, burger, and listen to you introduce a good bad film would be a treat. Anyway, this probably isn't the first time someone's asked you to come into town for bad movies and beer, and it probably won't be the last. Thanks again for sharing your enthusiasm for the kinds of films that may never be made again. If you're ever in Seattle and want to cash in on some beer and maybe hit Central Cinema for a showing of 'They Live!', consider my schedule cleared.

- Greg


Hey Greg-- I got close this past May. I was at the big Crypticon thing out by the airport, and while I was in town I did a presentation of "Pieces" at the Grand Cinema in downtown Tacoma. I didn't realize at the time that SeaTac would pass the $15-an-hour minimum wage or I would have stayed there. Preciate the support, bud.

Hang in there, Joe Bob





Hey Joe Bob, I know you've probably gotten tons or e-mails asking the same question, but I was just wondering what your opinion of the Evil Dead remake was. Have you seen it, and if so, what did you think? PS: Have you ever been to Starlight Six Drive-In in Atlanta? Every Labor Day, they hold a dusk until dawn screening of classic B-movie fare. It would be awesome to have you as a guest of honor here this year!

Take care, Your friendly neighborhood Jimbo


Jimbo, I thought the Evil Dead remake was remarkably unemotional--I mean, it didn't really do anything for me. All that money and so little edgy stuff. There's was nothing obviously wrong with it. Well, there was one thing. How do you remake Evil Dead and leave out the Ash character? I mean, come on, man. Anyway, yes, I've been to the Labor Day festival at the Starlight Six. I can't remember which year I was there, but they've never invited me back! Preciate the support, bud.

Hang in there, Joe Bob





Hey Joe Bob, I don't have a question or anything, just wanted to tell you that I think you are awesome. Loved Monstervision. Hope to meet you at a convention some day.

Later, Kate


Hi Kate Thank you soooooo much for that sweet note. You're awesome for taking the time to do that. I haven't done any conventions since June but I'm sure I'll be out there next year.

Hang in there, Joe Bob





Joe Bob,

I am curious about something. Did you, by any chance, work for Kelly Services back in 2000? I ask because I worked a temp job for Kelly Services at that time & the HR person who conducted the orientation for the temp job looked very very similar to you & he talked the exact same way that you do. Was that you or was it just coincidence. R.S.V.P. Thanks.

- Les


Wow, Les, That's not the kind of email I get every day. I've known two girls named Kelly, but I never worked for them. The only jobs I can remember having in the year 2000 involved Talk magazine and a short-lived publication called Maximum Golf. Oh, and Playboy. Did Kelly work for Playboy?

Hang in there, Joe Bob





Joe Bob,

I'm on an Asian epic kick. Re-watched Hero, watched The Warlords. Looking for big sweeping epic Asian violence, preferably with satisfying action scenes and high body counts. Stumbled on War of Arrows at the video store. Bingo! Action that's as exciting as any I've seen in a while. Body count? Check. Serious violence? Check. Predictable, yeah sorta. Epic? approaching it. Visceral joyride? Check. It's fairly new, from 2011. I'd never heard of it but that doesn't mean anything.

Pedro says check it out.


Hi Pedro, Are you the U.S. distributor????? Only kidding. Thanks for the tip, man. Asia is making a comeback, I can tell.

Hang in there, Joe Bob




Hello Joe Bob,

My name is Jamielee and I live in australia. I wholeheartedly support your efforts to preserve the drive-in theater which unfortunately Australia has very few of. I personally hope that there is still some around for the next generation to enjoy. Keep up the good work.

Jamielee


Jamielee, Thanks for those words of support. Some of the greatest drive-in movies of all time have been filmed in Australia, not to mention the weirdbeard favorite "Dead End Drive-In," so I'm sorry to hear their numbers are declining.

Hang in there, Joe Bob

 

 

The World's 2nd Shortest Horror Story

WRITING - Joe Bob Briggs

The World’s Second Shortest Horror Story

By Rebecca Brock and Joe Bob Briggs

The last man on Earth sits in a room.

There’s a knock at the door.

It’s his ex-wife.

And her mother.

 

The Fog (1980)

TRANSCRIPTS - Monstervision

Hey, Joe Bob Briggs here, with Monster Vision. Excuse me if I'm a little hacked off tonight. You might of heard about it.

They barred me.last week from the Putt-Putt miniature golf course on Coit Road for putting a two-foot dent in a baby elephant. It wasn't MY fault. Mavis Hunley kept knocking her ball into the decorative concrete jungle-swamp water garden.  And I told her, "Mavis, they got three-year-old kids that can hit the ball hard enough to get it up to the hole.

Read more: The Fog (1980)

 

The Beast Within (1982)

TRANSCRIPTS - Monstervision

Hey, I'm Joe Bob Briggs, between features here on Monster Vision, and you know what I always say is: Any movie that starts off with a woman being diddled by a giant katydid can't be all bad.

Of course, you know what I'm talkin about. I'm talkin about "The Beast Within," our second feature tonight. First we had violent attack cats. Now we've got mutant insect sex. And you know what happens when THAT happens, don't ya?

Read more: The Beast Within (1982)

 

The Hand

TRANSCRIPTS - Monstervision

Hey, Joe Bob Briggs, world-famous drive-in movie critic.

Like I have to tell you. Actually, I'm the world's ONLY drive-in movie critic, but let's not dwell on it. Well, now that the story is out to the worldwide media that I've been hired by TNT to do Monster Vision ever Friday night, it's gotten a little wild around here. Reporters surge into the airport everywhere I stop, demanding interviews, snapping pictures, trying to pry into my private life. Unfortunately for them, I don't USE the airport.

Read more: The Hand

 

The Creeping Unknown

TRANSCRIPTS - Monstervision

Hey, I'm Joe Bob Briggs again, and you'll notice that this is the time of night when we switch from color to black and white, because a movie like "The Hand," we've gotta pay like, 40 bucks, every time we use that flick, and the one coming up is designed for late Friday night, when nobody will remember what they watched tomorrow morning, and so we pay ten bucks for this one.

Read more: The Creeping Unknown

   

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