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Joe Bob Briggs

The Official Home of America's Drive-In Movie Critic Extraordinaire

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Joe Bob’s Advice to the Hopeless – Dec ’14

Dear Joe Bob, Thank you with all my heart.

I recently obtained an old copy of Joe Bob Goes to the Drive In and watched my niece go to tears laughing at your totally professional and fair imitation of someone who was not the anti-war, pro-art man you are. You were my once-a-week relief in the 80’s when I was washing dishes in Austin and we would rush to buy out the Dallas newspaper (and there was only ONE Dallas newspaper then) to read your column aloud while we slaved in the kitchen heat. Thank you. Your writing in the 80’s was air conditioning to us in that slave hall. BTW, some guy in LA found a copy of Hells Angels Forever on tape and digitalized it. I bought it two weeks ago after searching 25 years on the alleged Internet…..and I thought I had hallucinated the movie ’cause no mention. Watched it several times over, compared your review in JBGTTM and have to concede….you were unduly unfair to these obvious humanitarians.

You should be ashamed!


Hey Paul–

Thanks for the great memories. One of which is the Hell’s Angels sending an “enforcer” to mess me up when I was late for the introduction of “Hell’s Angels Forever” at the Inwood Theater in Dallas.

Preciate the nice words! Hang in there, Joe Bob

Hey Joe Bob! I’m a big fan of yours! Were you in the movie “The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald”? In the TV movie The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald at around 1:56 the actor playing the guy who carpooled with Lee Harvey Oswald and saw Lee with the brown package of “curtain rods”is that you ? It sounds just like you but doesn’t look much like you? Matt

Matt, You’re talking about the two-night miniseries from 1977, but you may not know there was a movie with the same title, made in Dallas in 1964 by the late great Larry Buchanan. At any rate, I wasn’t in either of them. I was in Dallas in 1977 but I was a feature reporter for the Dallas Times-Herald and had no idea I would ever try acting. Preciate the nice words, bud. Hang in there, Joe Bob

Hi Joe Bob, In your commentary on “Incredibly Strange Creatures…!!?, you wanted to know what Madam Estrella and Ortega were doing with their hands (in a scene following the stabbing of the Barker and Stella). They were mixing acid with glass beakers. I realize someone has probably answered this question before but just in case they have not, I thought I would put in my two cents. Your fan, James Clay James– At last I can sleep at night! Thanks a lot, bud.

That’s a while back that I did that commentary. Preciate the support.

Hang in there, Joe Bob

Joe Bob, I have heard that there may be a remake of the classic movie:”curse of the demon.” Have you heard anything about this? If so, please send me an e mail with full details. One of my comments appeared in one of your columns years ago in the d.t.h. Robert


I’m not a fan of remakes but I can see why whoever has the rights is choosing that one in 2014. Paranormal is crazy popular right now. I’ll check into it and let you know. Preciate the support, bud.

Hang in there, Joe Bob



Dear Joe Bob, I recall reading in one of your articles a while ago that the imposition of Daylight Savings Time was an effort by the studios and big movie theaters to cripple the Drive-Ins. I also saw the documentary on PBS which asserted the same thing. Sounds good to me. The problem is, that some of the skeptics here demand that I back up my opinions with facts, and I cannot find any reference to the relationship between DST and the death of the Drive-Ins. When you get a minute, could you help me out here by pointing me to a source of information regarding how The Man went after the Drive-In by changing the time every Spring?


Dear George,

Daylight Savings Time was instituted in the United States toward the end of the drive-in’s heyday, namely, 1967, with the result that a lot of triple-feature venues had to become double features, and some drive-ins had June and July start times of 9 p.m. or later. Obviously this was not good for business, and the owners started holding barbecues and instituting other attractions like miniature golf to get families to come earlier. Then in 1973 the feds ordered mandatory year-round DST, so the southern drive-ins that had shows in the winter had to deal with it 365 days a year. Fortunately that only lasted a year. By then most drive-ins had turned to porn just to survive.

There were a lot of contributing factors–the rise of the multiplex, the decline of Detroit gas guzzlers and the rise of Japanese rice rockets, and, yes, DST was one of them–but the drive-ins that managed to last to the mid-eighties are mostly still in business today.

Preciate the support, bud. Hang in there, Joe Bob


Advice to the Hopeless 3/24/14

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.




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.


Joe Bob

* * *

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?



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

* * *


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!!!



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

*  *  *  *

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.



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

Hang in there,

Joe Bob

*  *  *

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.


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

*  *  *

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.



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

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, 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

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)

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.

You don’t have to PROVE anything here.” But Mavis just pretty much smashes the yellow Day-Glo paint off the ball every single time she hits it. And then my girlfriend Wanda Bodine was there. She gets all upset every time you have to pass one of those seventeen-year-old girls in the blue-jean mini-skirts. You know the ones I’m talking about? The ones that are always playing miniature golf with guys named Shane that wear football jerseys that are cut in half across their chest? These gals, as we all know, don’t know how to play miniature golf. We all realize this. We all realize they’re gonna put their ball down on the mat and sweep it like a broom and then giggle. And then, when it goes too far and bounces off the back and comes all the way back down to where it started, they’re gonna giggle some more and jump up and down and HIT IT AGAIN


BEFORE IT STOPS ROLLING. I know this. You know this. Girls in blue-jean mini-skirts have been doing this for years. Everybody who has played miniature golf knows this.

Wanda doesn’t know this.

“What does she thinks she’s doing?” Wanda will say.

I’ll try to explain. “She’s jumping up and down so Shane will see her mini-skirt.”

“SEE her mini-skirt? SEE it? I think we’ve all seen ENOUGH of it.”

And then I say “It’s your turn. Hit the goldurn ball.”

And then, of course, Wanda will hit the ball off the back

board and it’ll come all the way back down to where it started.

Or you take Mavis. Mavis’s problem is kids with purple hair or a lot of chains on their shirt. You know this group, don’t you? The group of six, and NONE of them EVER get their ball in the hole. Never, ever, not once. They just hit it and then hit it again and then hit it some more, and then they pick it up and start hitting it on the next hole. And when they’re not hitting it, they act like they’re about to hit one another over the head with their clubs. And when they’re not doing that, they all hit their balls at the same time. And when they’re not doing that, they KICK the balls?

And I say “It’s punk golf, Mavis. Don’t worry about it.”

But she can’t stand it.

“I’m gonna speak to the manager.”

“What good is that gonna do. They can play punk golf if they want to.”

“It says here, right on the scorecard, that only one person plays at a time.”

“Yeah, right, Mavis. Maybe we’ll need the police.”

And she starts yellin “Five-stroke maximum! Five-stroke maximum!”

“Mavis, they hit the goldurn balls so fast nobody can tell how many times they hit em anyway.”

“I saw one guy hit his ball NINE times on one hole.”

And that’s when Mavis got SO mad she took a full backswing, like she was in the U.S. Open or something, and she hit the ball so hard that it flew right off the end of the club, bounced off a replica of the Matterhorn, skimmed across a zebra’s back, and fell into two feet of water underneath a spraying-trunk baby elephant. I didn’t wanna say anything at the time, but it also missed a kid with orange hair by about nine inches.

Fortunately, the kid thought it was really cool.

I didn’t want this situation to escalate, though, and so I plunged into the swamp and, in one graceful athletic movement, vaulted over the baby elephant’s back and kicked Mavis’s ball off the bottom with the side of my boot.

Unfortunately, it landed on the assistant night manager’s Adam’s apple.

Well, it didn’t really land there. It kind of hit there and sprung backward, and when the ambulance came it was . . .

Well, all I’ve got to say is I think it’s a little strict to get barred just for one lousy dent in a baby elephant. I could have reached down in there and beat it back into shape. I used to

work for Deke’s Auto Body Repair.

Anyhow, I don’t wanna talk any more about that–how’d I get off on that?–it’s time to watch John Carpenter’s classic “The Fog,” the first of a Monster Vision double feature tonight. Later on we’ll be seeing the Filipino stinker “Superbeast.” But right now it’s Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Hal Holbrook, and a whole bunch of John Carpenter’s friends going “The fog is evil! Don’t go into the fog!” Frankly I don’t think you can make FOG that creepy, but tell me what you think. Those drive-in totals are: Eight dead bodies. No breasts. Sword through the chest. Hook through the chest. Dagger to the chest. Six zombies. Strangulation. I give it about . . . three stars. Check it out, and [EFX: CHEESY FOG ROLLS IN] Oh my God! The foooooooogg!


“The Fog,” Commercial Break 1 Joe Bob Briggs

Kinda. surprising, huh? Jamie Lee Curtis and the guy shoulda got killed just for jumpin in bed too fast, right? Isn’t that what’s supposed to happen in horror flicks? Nookie equals death. But this time it’s the FOG that we’re supposed to be afraid of. There’s some guy right off camera just pumpin that stuff in as fast as John Carpenter can use it up, right? And just so we’ll know how evil the fog is–it moves AGAINST THE WIND–0000000000. [whispering] “The Fooooooog.”


“The Fog, 11 Commercial Break 2 Joe Bob Briggs

Okay, did you get that? The creepy pirate zombies are actually dead lepers, from a leper colony that wanted to live Antonio Bay a hundred years ago. But Hal Holbrook’s grandpa TRICKED EM and made em shipwreck and stole their gold. But I a question: If priests don’t get married, then how does Hal Holbrook have a grandfather who’s a priest? Don’t try to put stuff like that over on me.


“The Fog,” Commercial Break 3 Joe Bob Briggs

Well, what was that dang corpse trying to do? He gets up, walks across the room, writes somethin stupid on the floor. And they all just look at one another, like, “Well, there goes another one?” And what was that stuff about liquid drippin off the wooden plank and settin Adrienne Barbeau’s tapes on fire?

This is one of those movies where anything can happen and you don’t have to explain it. . . . Adrienne looks good, though, doesn’t she? Two enormous talents on that woman. I mean that with all due respect.


“The Fog,” Commercial Break 4 Joe Bob Briggs

That’ll teach Dan to make fun of the fog, right. “There’s something different about this fog, Dan. IT GLOWS.” So it’s green, and it moves the wrong way. Excuse me if I’m not impressed. Okay, it starts gettin a little better. You’ve got nothin to do, right?


“The Fog,” Commercial Break 5 Joe Bob Briggs

My question is, why did he let Jamie Lee Curtis drive the truck in the first place? He was driving the truck the whole movie until he had to go rescue the kid. They almost got eaten, like the babysitter. Obviously, at this point, you can tell the zombies are p.o.ed. Don’t give the girl the KEYS. Okay, now the fog’s gettin serious. “Stay away from the fog!”


“The Fog,” Commercial Break 6 Joe Bob Briggs

Hal Holbrook’s gonna give em their gold back and the zombies are gonna go home?

I don’t think so.

Here’s the conclusion of “The Fog.” After it’s over I’ll still be here, cause our second feature tonight is “Superbeast,” the story of a beautiful pathologist in tight white jeans who goes to the Philippines to figure out why people are turning into crazed murderers in the jungle. She has to spike this guy’s Coco Loco in order to escape. You’ll enjoy it–well, you won’t REALLY enjoy it, but you’ll be under the impression that you can turn it off at any time, so compared to me, you’ll be happy.

And now, the last of “The Fog.”

Monster Vision


Originally aired 7/5/96

Read More

The Beast Within (1982)

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? Seventeen years later you get a mutant insect teenager, and if you don’t watch that boy, he’s gonna be sneakin out of the house, transformin into a cicada, and chewin clean through the spaghetti-strap T-shirts on old fat guys. The only thing that makes this movie different from your usual giant-katydid insect-sex classic is that THIS kid only eats people named KERWIN. Which is fine with me, because I used to know a guy named Kerwin, and he was one of those guys that, when he walked, both of his arms would swing in the same direction. I actually kinda enjoyed this picture, and I am NOT being cynical, like usual.

Let’s take a look at those drive-in totals: Sixteen dead bodies. One dead dog. Neck-munching. Embalming needle through the chest. Electrocution. Disemboweling. Head rolls. Hand rolls. Three and a half stars. Check it out, and I’ll be here a while longer to give you important biological info while you’re watchin the flick.

[fading] You know, there have been times in my life when insect sex sounded pretty good. Shoot, now that I think about . . . let’s not go down that road. It’s not pretty.

Monster Vision
“The Beast Within,” Commercial Break 1 Joe Bob Briggs

“The Beast Within.” This is one of those great flicks about evil southern towns. Where everybody knows the town secret, and they’re so inbred that they all look like they have brain damage. I’ve BEEN to towns in Mississippi like that. Come to think of it, I have several relatives living in towns like that. Come to think of it, there IS this one secret that I can’t talk about. Well, let’s watch some more of the giant katydid movie, starring Ronny Cox and Bibi Besch, the husband and wife that just might have a son who’s an insect.

[fading] Actually, there’s this one guy in MY family . . . never mind.

Monster Vision

“The Beast Within,” Commercial Break 2 Joe Bob Briggs

Is it my imagination, or is there a little WEIRD SEX subplot going on here? Like the way the fat newspaper editor in the dirty T-shirt—the way he looked at Michael when he was fixing up that hamburger meat. And the way Amanda’s pa got so jealous when he drove up in his pickup. There’s no telling how much diddlin around is goin on in this town, and no tellin who’s diddlin who, if you know what I mean and I think you do. Fortunately, the insect werewolf is on OUR side. Right?

Monster Vision

“The Beast Within, ” Commercial Break 3 Joe Bob Briggs

The old embalming-needle-through-the-chest trick. See, I think they want us to THINK this is a werewolf movie, but we know that something is not too wolfy about him at this point. You know, I saw this flick when it first came out in the theater, and I seem to remember a little more slime glopola flying off of the screen. Has Ted been crackin down on us again? Are we hackin these babies up for Monster Vision? Come ooooon, it’s 2 o’clock in the mornin’, show us some innards the next time Michael goes psycho, how bout it?

[fading] Censorship in America. A national disgrace. I’m goin on “Nightline.”

Monster Vision

“The Beast Within,” Commercial Break 5 Joe Bob Briggs

Gettin kinda interestin after the slow part in the middle. For those of you who care, “The Beast Within” was filmed in Raymond, Mississippi, which, if you know the state, is about 20 miles southwest of Jackson. Where they had the Civil War’s Battle of Raymond. But the HOSPITAL scenes, like the one we just watched where he was yellin “Kill me Kill me Kill me,” were all shot at this abandoned hospital in Jackson—the old Baptist Hospital, which was closed in 1975 and is REAL spooky. Lot of dead Babtist ghosts hangin around there, I guess. See, you watch Monster Vision, you learn this stuff. They don’t tell you this stuff on Turner Classics. They tell you how Elizabeth Taylor got a hickey on her elbow in 1957. My buddy Robert Osborne, he knows all that stuff. That’s why we don’t let him come around here anymore.

Monster Vision

“The Beast Within,” Commercial Break 6 Joe Bob Briggs

Was that a great transformation scene, or was that a great transformation scene? That one was as good as the one in “American Werewolf in London.” And then that actor, Paul Clemens is his name, he SHEDS HIS SKIN. This last part makes sittin through the whole thing kinda worth it, doesn’t it? But remember–the killer cicada with the vengeful brain of Billy Connors still has love for Amanda, who was last seen barrelin through a barricade on the highway.

[fading] Does that about sum it up? I thought so.

Monster Vision

“The Beast Within,” Outro Joe Bob Briggs

So lemme get this straight. Lionel Kerwin put Billy Connors down in that cellar and fed him dead bodies to keep him alive, but one night he got out and raped Bibi Besch in the woods, and then seventeen years later Bibi Besch’s son turns into a giant avenging cicada. But how does the cicada thing come into the picture? Why does he become a cicada? Did they explain that and I just missed it. You would think they would explain it, cause Tom Holland wrote the script, and Tom is a great horror writer. I’m gonna have to talk to that boy. Anyhow, that’s it for Monster Vision tonight. I’ve just got time to tell you that next week we’ve got “The People Under the Stairs,” by the great Wes Craven, followed by the classic “Swamp Thing,” starring Adrienne Barbeau. Meanwhile, our quote for the day comes from my buddy Stephen King. Stephen said, “Some people say that I must be a horrible person, but that’s not true. I have the heart of a young boy—in a jar on my desk.”
I’m Joe Bob Briggs, reminding you that the drive-in will never die.

Remember, he who dies with the most toys, is still dead.

Monster Vision TNT

“The Beast Within,” Commercial Break 4 Joe Bob Briggs

That’s the great character actor, R.G. Armstrong, by the way, as the doctor who gets attacked by Michael. Somethin about R.G., I always just LOVE his performances, no matter what he’s doing. Why is Michael only killin guys named Kerwin, that’s what I wanna know. Come on, maybe they’ll tell us.

Monster Vision TNT
Original Airdate:  7/26/96

“The Beast Within”


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The Hand

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.

I’m driving around in my car. So mostly they just get pictures of beat-up luggage and guys carrying lap-top computers.

So: What am I doing here? All right, that’s a fair question. It’s NOT because I was cancelled off the last show I had on cable. I’m over that. It’s no big deal. I’m in therapy. No, what’s going on here, beginning tonight, is unique in the annals of American television. It’s one of the annals that you don’t hear much about. It’s the annal of the monster movie. So it’s unique in ONE annal, but what I’m talking about is the three B’s: Blood, Breasts and Beasts. Only we can’t show nekkid breasts cause it’s basic cable and Ted would get upset. However, I get to watch the copy of the movie with the nekkid breasts in it, because I’m the star. It’s called a perk. Actually, a perky.

Perky and nubile, that’s what we’re talkin about. So Blood and Beasts–although actually some of the blood we have to cut out, too–you know what? Never mind about the three B’s. Forget that. Start over.

If you’ve never watched me before, then you’ve probly turned this off by now, and I did that on purpose. Because the only people still watchin at this point are the sick slimy scum like myself who have nothin better to do on a Friday night than engage in some major brain damage by watchin a double feature of flicks your mother probly HATES. First we’re gonna watch “The Hand,” which many people consider Oliver Stone’s finest flick-well, one person in Newark, New Jersey, thinks that. And then our second feature is “The Creeping Unknown,” which is a bunch of British guys in trenchcoats running around London chasing an anorexic astronaut who’s mutating into a cactus, a monkey, and a rubberlegged octopus, all at once. You might wanna get pretty deep into the six-pack before you watch that one.

But right now it’s Michael Caine as a troubled cartoonist, having a hard time dealing with his hand gettin hacked off, in “The Hand.” I don’t wanna tell you too much about it, cause it has a few surprises, but I will say that I liked Oliver Stone a WHOLE lot better back when he was making flicks like this one. Remember when he wrote “Conan the Barbarian,” and “Midnight Express,” and this one came out around 1981, and then Oliver just kinda went nutzoid, didn’t he? You know, we LOVE him, but we wouldn’t wanna do Tequila shooters with him, you know what I mean? All right, let’s take a look at those drive-in totals. Five dead bodies. Four breasts. (Of course, YOU won’t be seeing those. I can’t believe, in America in 1996, you can’t see a little breastage at 11:30 at night.) Mutilated snake. Two motor vehicle crashes, with explosion. Hand-hacking. Multiple strangulation. And, of course, the famous Hand-Cam, which sees the world from knuckle level. Three and a half stars. Check it out, and I’ll see you later on tonight.

[fading] How was that? They can’t fire me till the first show’s over, right?


“The Hand,” Commercial Break 1 Joe Bob Briggs

Remember when your mama always told you, “Don’t stick your hand out the window, it might get cut off”? What she didn’t tell you is that it might get cut off and go crawlin around in the grass and make your face all tensed up like Michael Caine’s. Even his haircut is creepy, you know? Okay, coming up now, as we continue with “The Hand” . . . the Hand-Cam.


“The Hand,” Commercial Break 2 Joe Bob Briggs

Andrea Marcovicci, the woman who plays Michael Caine’s wife -don’t you just hate her little New Age squat-in-a-leotard class Okay, coming up right now–there’s gonna be a homeless bum. Look at his face REAL close. It’s OLIVER! Oliver Stone his ownself. I know it’s been slow–just HANG IN THERE, okay?


“The Hand,” Commercial Break 3 Joe Bob Briggs

Wouldn’t you like to take the hunky yoga teacher and just ram a two-by-four through his spaghetti-strap T-shirt? Is it just me, or is that guy a major weenie?


“The Hand, ” Commercial Break 4 Joe Bob Briggs

Okay, this actress Annie McEnroe who comes over to have sex with Michael Caine–yummy! What happened to her? Doesn’t she look like somebody you’d like to see in a lot of pictures? She had a couple little parts in “True Stories” and “Beetlejuice,” then WHERE THE HECK DID SHE GO? And, more important, does anybody have her phone number? Whoa! There’s more of her, but you don’t get to see her nekkid. Only I do.


“The Hand,” Commercial Break 5 Joe Bob Briggs

I’ve gotten to where I kinda LIKE the hand, you know? Okay, it looked cheesy at the beginning. And it looks cheesy when it jumps on somebody’s neck and strangles em. But . . . yeah, you’re right, it’s real lame, isn’t it? Forget what I said.


“The Hand,” Commercial Break 6 Joe Bob Briggs

Michael Caine kinda grows on you. You start out the movie thinking, “Oh, yeah, Michael Caine, ho hum, seen it,” and then he starts doing this tortured inner self dealie. I bet he would of got more credit for this, except it came out in the same year as “The Shining.” Anyhow, we’re headin for the good part now. Check this out.


Monster Vision

“The Hand”

Original Air Date:  6/28/96

Joe Bob Briggs


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The Creeping Unknown

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.

It’s “The Creeping Unknown,” made in 1956, and the best thing I can say about it is that it does eventually end. In other words, this is what’s known in the industry as Toilet Time on TNT, but we warn you in advance.

This is the story of a rocket that goes up into space and comes crashin back down on an English farm and two astronauts have been eaten up by jelly fungus, and the third one is lookin a little green around the gills, and pretty soon he’s hungering for blood and his hand is turning into a cactus and he’s dining on animals at the zoo. But the last straw is when he turns into a giant rubber octopus and interrupts a live broadcast of the BBC. Even the British wanna nuke him at that point. What’s really strange about this is that it started out as a PLAY, called “The Quatermass Experiment.” How do you do a mutant creature sci-fi outer-space flick on a STAGE? And who would go to see that? Probly the same people that would go to see this. Guys named Ian.

Anyhoo, let’s check those drive-in totals and then run this sucker. Five dead bodies. Three dead zoo animals. One dead lump of gooey protoplasm. One cheesy rocket crash. One twitching mutant zombie. And full of great dialogue, lines like “Something happened in here–something beyond our understanding!” I give, oh, about one and a half stars. We’re tankin here. But hang in there. I’ll give you some info to keep you going. It’s only 79 dang minutes long. You can do it. Come on.

[fading] I hate it when you have to beg. It’s a British stage drama! It’s good for you!


“The Creeping Unknown, ” Commercial Break 1 Joe Bob Briggs

You know, I realize this is an old movie. 1956. But don’t those fire engines look like they were made in nineteen TWENTY six? I’m surprised they’re not pulled by horses. And when they do the big “Let’s hose it down” scene, it looks like three guys with garden hoses cooling off that rocket. All right, get on with it. The guy’s twitchin in the ambulance. His friends are dead. Let’s MOVE it a long. Jeezus, these things were slow.


“The Creeping Unknown,” Commercial Break 2 Joe Bob Briggs

“Some fantastic invisible force converted two men into . . JELLY?” One of the great lines in sci-fi history. And how about that Judith, the wife of Victor the twitching mutant-man. That actress is named Margia Dean, and I think this was the first in series of one starring roles for Margia, bless her heart.


“The Creeping Unknown,” Commercial Break 3 Joe Bob Briggs

Can we have JUST a few more guys in grey suits and trenchcoats standing around TALKING ABOUT IT? Please, if you’re gonna show a monster movie, let’s see some goldurn MONSTER action, is that too much to ask? Coming up now is Judith’s big moment, where she gets to scream hysterically. Tell me if you don’t admire this scream. This is a great scream.


“The Creeping Unknown,” Commercial Break 4 Joe Bob Briggs

Now lemme get this straight. Victor is half-man, half-jelly, except for his hand, which has turned into a cactus plant. Does that about sum it up? I think so. But wait–it’s time for the suits to TALK ABOUT IT some more. Ask me if I’m happy.


“The Creeping Unknown,” Commercial Break 5 Joe Bob Briggs

You know, it’s not like this is the fastest movie ever made. So these British guys, they decide that, right in the middle of it, they need a scene of Brian Donlevy getting dressed while talking to his wife and she’s trying to give him a cup of tea. That’ll really SPEED UP THAT PLOT, won’t it? Okay, it gets moderately interesting right here. I didn’t say fascinating. It gets BEARABLE for about eight minutes.


“The Creeping Unknown,” Commercial Break 6 Joe Bob Briggs

Thora Hird was the drunk lady at the police station–great British character actress–best performance in the whole dang movie. Do you ever watch these old flicks and think, “Well, she’s dead now. She looks so old, she’s GOTTA be dead by now. I’m watchin a DEAD PERSON.” All right, the big finale of “The Creeping Unknown.” Well, the medium-sized finale of “The Creeping Unknown.” . . .


Outro to “The Creeping Unknown”

Joe Bob Briggs

And there you have it. The giant rubber octopus with a monkey face gets fried on the scaffolding of Westminster Abbey, while the BBC looks on in horror. The British shouldn’t even do horror films, you know? You can’t have accents like that and be SCARED. It’s impossible. But speaking of lame, next week’s double feature on Monster Vision features the John Carpenter classic “The Fog,” starring drive-in legends Adrienne Barbeau and Jamie Lee Curtis, and then “Superbeast,” which is one of the top hundred movies filmed in the Philippines in 1972. Basically two hours of people wandering around in the jungle. And I’ll be here to bring em to you, whether you like it or not. Joe Bob Briggs, reminding you to observe a minute of silence tonight for the Polish guy who locked his keys in his car this week. It took him three days to get his family out.

Remember, the drive-in will never die.

[fading] Did you hear about the Polish kamikaze pilot who flew 37 missions?


Monster Vision


Original Airdate:  6/28/96

“The Creeping Unknown”

Joe Bob Briggs

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Advice to the Hopeless Feb ’13

Dear Joe Bob,

First off I’m a huge fan of yours growing up”Monstervision” was always a must see and your commentary was always hilarious to watch. This past Halloween on AMC they aired “Motel Hell” which I instantly remembered seeing first on “Monstervision” and it made me smile. However now that I am older (26) I’ve given up on horror movies since the foundation of them are almost repetitive just with different actors.


Anyways back to my question I’m addicted to Casino and since my brother had luck writing to you and getting a response I wanted to ask: During the filming what was the most meaningful to you working with the cast? Or being in a Martin Scorsese film? A response is definitely appreciated and hope to see more of you in the future. Take Care and God Bless.



Everybody was nice to me on “Casino,” including DeNiro and Rickles, and I’m a fan of all those guys, but the highlight was discussing “The Honeymoon Killers” with Scorsese between takes. Actually it was a painful topic for him–he doesn’t like to talk about it–but he had some great insights about how it affected his career and then his early Corman movie in Arkansas.

Preciate the nice words and the support, man.

Hang in there,

Joe Bob



*          *          *         *


Hey Joe Bob,

Any thoughts on publishing the post-Return to the Drive-In movie reviews? I’d love to see a complete 1991 and onward collection of the reviews. The first two collections are just great reading and I’d love to have the rest in a linear fashion.





I’ve been talking about trying to line that up for years. Thanks for prodding me about it. Just too much on my pie plate.

Preciate the support, by the way.

Hang in there,

Joe Bob


*          *          *          *


Joe Bob, this is a love letter.

I’ve been a Joe Bob fan for many many years — my then-girlfriend-now-wife and I used to watch Monstervision while chatting on the internet years before it was popular, when we were still considered weird and creepy.

We have now been married for 9 years and have four beautiful children — sadly, none of them will ever get to see an episode of Monstervision! This is a tragedy, if I do say so myself.

Thankfully, I have a copy of ‘Iron Joe Bob’ that I’ve been holding on to since about 1996. This is one of the first books I ever legitimately laughed out loud at, thoroughly embarrassing myself in a crowded airport. I hope that some day my children will look at this strange paper object, marvel at the bizarre printing in it, and laugh as well. It is truly a classic.

Thank you for years of entertainment. The time is ripe for a return of Monstervision, though — seize the moment! Conquer the world!


P.S. The part of the book that generated the embarrassing snort-laughter in the airport was when Shirley ‘The Weasel’ Stoddard nearly beats Slats to death, thinking she’s caressing herself. I have spent the intervening years searching for the Terrell Institute for the Feebleminded.



I can’t believe that you made the decision to reinforce your manhood by purchasing “Iron Joe Bob” and then you FAILED TO READ THE PART ABOUT BIRTH CONTROL. Four children in nine years? You’re approaching fertility records previously recorded only by breakaway Mormon sects in the panhandle of Idaho.

I do, however, feel that it is my duty to corrupt your brood, so I will be in touch with news of my top-secret exploitation venture, certain to go down in the annals of time-wasting history.

With my condolences, and my respect,

Joe Bob


*         *         *        *

Dear Joe Bob!

In my younger days, I would peruse the television during the late hours of night, and every once in a while, I would be lucky enough to catch MonsterVision back during your tenure. It was a great time in life, as I loved horror films, and it was a great way for me to stay entertained when I would be dropped off at my grandma’s for the weekend. It opened up doorways into what would evolve into my acquired taste of campy horror cinema. I thank you for hosting.

I wanted to ask a couple of questions about MonsterVision that never crossed my mind until last night, when I saw some “Fear Fest Horror Block” on the AMC channel and immediately had my mind flooded with all my classic memories of how MonsterVision made it better.

#1. Were your MonsterVision segments aired live? I caught a recorded segment on YouTube where you were hosting Friday the 13th Part VI, and they didn’t have any of your titles ready for your “Drive in Totals”. It made me wonder if you guys shot and aired it live. I think that would be fun.

#2. What were the sets like? Just seeing the horror movies on TV today, watching old recorded broadcasts of MonsterVision… It’s inspired me to kind of craft my own MonsterVision-inspired space at home, filled with lawn furniture, an old wood grain tube television, and perhaps an indoor setting with something reminiscent of your old sets. Looking at the videos of your time on MonsterVision, and other shows hosted by you, I can see you love what you do. You love these old movies. I’m sure it was a fun time working MonsterVision (before the not so “monster” movies were forced to air. If you were to offer any advice for set decoration or anything that may be appealing for such a thing, please share your thoughts! I have so many friends who would jump at the opportunity to re-live our childhood nights of watching some of the best horror films the 80s & 90s had to offer.

Joe Bob Briggs, thank you for taking the time to read this email. I wish one of these horror stations would approach you to host a new show. Everyone would win (in theory). You take care, and keep inspiring others out there like you have me!



Are you telling me you’re gonna try to create the MonsterVision set at home? That’s awesome, man. The only thing that was permanent on that set was the Lazy Boy recliner, which always had steer horns on the back of it. Everything else was just little junk items we picked up over the years. As to doing the segments live, yes and no. I didn’t allow the director to do retakes because I wanted a live feel, so we probably did retakes on maybe one out of every 200 segments. The crew knew that if we made mistakes we were just gonna plough on through.

Preciate all the support, bud!

Hang in there,

Joe Bob

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Advice to the Hopeless Jan 2013

Dear J B,
I wuz reeding wun of yur reeviews about thu Great CHUCK NORRIS himself, where CN goes bak ‘n chopsockies a whole heapa bad guys whilst rescuin’ a whole heapa
kiddies an’ some wisecracker wuz sayin’ thut thu bad guy chopper shoots more rockets than it could carry! Well thut jes’ goes tu show thut them thar evil commies has lernt ta ree-load in mid-air! Ah hope
yer girlfrend Cherry Dilday is well.

Kindest reegards frum Oz (as in Oztraylee-ya),

You’re bringing back painful memories. No, I don’t mean Big Chuck running through the Filipino jungle kung-fuing extras. I mean Cherry Dilday. God I miss those pretzel arms.
Preciate the support, bud.

Hang in there,
Joe Bob

Dear Joe Bob,

I haven’t read your genius league writing since the Chronicle Pink Section dropped you like a red hot bullet. Or so it seemed. Here today. Outa here tomorrow. What is the deal about getting ahold of some of the old scravings from
the long ago, the early ninteties, when I could share them with my big-breasted lady and rejoice in the eupemisms you listed for tittays? Are they at large? Like my lady’s tittays?
I intend to keep on reaping the wisdom of your weirdness now that I have crossed paths with you once again. Blow my mind and reply forthwith. Great Gig, Griggs. I envy you.


Dear Brian,
Actually we had to discontinue the ultimate list of breast synonyms due to LAZYNESS on the part of my loyal public. It’s time to revive it, right?

Hang in there,
Joe Bob

Hey Joe Bob,
I’m a brain-damaged regular and I’d like to offer my assistance concerning one of your on-air queries during the screening of Jaws 2. You asked which guy was Billy Van Zant’s character “Bob” – he’s the guy with the life-jacket on! Is
that classic or what? Hahaha! He was one of the gang, also had a grey wool hat and maroon t-shirt. He said “Do you have to talk like that?” in response to his buddie’s ‘Sparrow comment. Also I think Roy
Scheider wasn’t electrocuted by the power cable because the raft was rubber, kinda like an insulator, or maybe it was just because he was Roy Scheider, hehe. Anyway, take ‘er easy and not too sleazy!


Dear James,

Thanks for doing that drive-in forensic investigation. We’ve all been waiting with bad breath all these years to find out what the hayull Billy was doing in that movie. We can finally get some sleep at night.

Hang in there,
Joe Bob

Howdy Joe Bob
I’m a professional writer and artist and B-Movie fanatic. Even have one movie I wrote to my credit – Carnies. At the moment I’m working on a weighty tome about cheesy B-Movies. WHY IS THE CHEESE MOVING –
Exploring the World of B-Movies. While it will, of course, have a ponderous list of movies, it is, after all about cheesy movies. That’s the theme. And, as I am a frustrated stand up, I, of course, want to
make the book fun and cheesy and entertaining as are the movies we B-Movie freaks love. As such, lots of sidebars and short articles covering areas maybe others have missed. In that spirit, I have a
question I haven’t been able to answer to my satisfaction, which you might know the answer to. Precisely, what B-Movie contains the largest number of bare breasts ever put on film outside of National Geographic
flicks? My vote, so far, is for The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik Yak. I haven’t seen it since 1988, but I recall hundreds of topless Yik Yaks. However, you, as the world’s leading authority on
breastesses, may have a more definitive answer for me. This is a matter of some importance, of course, as, aside from some thirty or forty absolutely fake movies I plan to salt through the book (with a
list at the end, naturally. One has to play fair.) I want my facts to be as accurate as I can make them, accounting for whatever absurd lies I plan to tell lol. Just kidding. At any rate, I’m hoping this is one
of those bits of information so necessary for humanity’s health and well being may be in your possession.

Thank you so very much for your kindness and attention,


If I’m not mistaken–and I very well could be–it’s “Gas Pump Girls,” mainly because there are so many shots of multiple nekkid women in a single scene. I actually saw the movie at the drive-in in the early
eighties, but I remember it being the record holder for a long time. You could also check out “Beach House.” Same thing.

Preciate the support, bud.

Hang in there,
Joe Bob

Dear Joe Bob,

Several old cronies of mine and I recently convened for beer, burgers and bullstuff – and your column came up for discussion. I recall that there used to be five Bs in your rating scale – blood,
beasts, breasts, bullets and beheadings. These days I see that it’s mainly the first three on the list. Can you verify this for me. A six pack of great Mexican beer is
resting on your decision.

Many thanks!


Your imagination has run off with your memory. There were always three B’s. Blood, breasts and beasts. Occasionally I would say “and Boots,” if the movie had Kung Fu, but I stopped saying it, because it
wasn’t a good B.

Preciate the memories, bud.

Hang in there,
Joe Bob



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Joe Bob Briggs is a film critic, writer and comic performer. He has appeared on The Tonight Show , Larry King Live and Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” amongst others.

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