Joe Bob Briggs on the State of Horror, Censorship, and More [Exclusive]

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My introduction to Joe Bob Briggs was more than 20 years ago. I was changing channels one Saturday evening and stumbled across Troll, the 1986 cult classic about child-abducting dwarf monsters that turn Sonny Bono into a kumquat gift basket, on TNT. Unbeknownst to me, however, this wasn’t just any old screening of Troll, it was the Monstervision airing, which — of course — meant it was coupled with commentary from Mr. Briggs all night long. 

As soon as Joe Bob rolled those drive-in totals (in which he boiled down the film to its core essence — number of onscreen deaths, exposed breasts, monster transformation sequences, etc.) I was hooked. Here was a guy who was the anti Leonard Maltin, an of-the-soil humorist who truly appreciated cinematic trash as the unrefined, unsung art it truly was. So amused by his wit and the scope of his useless movie trivia knowledge (remember, this was well before IMDb ruled the world) that I decided to stick around for the second movie on the double bill — the no-budget ‘80s sci-fi cheapie Trancers — even though I had no real interest in that particular movie itself. The way Joe Bob deconstructed and dissected and disassembled movies was so appealing that Monstervision was worth checking out solely to hear him go off on rants and tangents and asides about everything from French philosophy to Civil War literature to expressionistic art.

For the next three years, my entire week basically revolved around Saturday night. It didn’t matter if Monstervision was showing a legitimately great genre movie like Return of the Living Dead or an unsung gem like Parents or even utter dreck like Superbeast, getting to hear Joe Bob yammer and rave until early Sunday morning made each and every episode a must-see. To this day, the infamous 1998 dusk-to-dawn Friday the 13th mega-movie-marathon remains one of the highlights of my middle school years.   

Also See: Why Return of the Living Dead is the Ultimate Punk Rock Horror Movie 

But Joe Bob Briggs and Monstervision just didn’t cement my genre fandom, it made me a connoisseur of cinema as a whole. Hearing Joe Bob simply talk about all the movies he couldn’t show on a Turner network inspired me to seek out stuff I otherwise never would’ve heard of — not just exploitation classics like The Last House on the Left and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but the works of Bergman and Antonioni to boot.

Yes … a guy named “Joe Bob” was what got me into classic Italian cinema. Go figure.

A photograph of Joe Bob Briggs

Legendary drive-in film critic Joe Bob Briggs returns to Shudder Nov. 22 for his “Dinners of Death” marathon.

Ever since Monstervision was cancelled in 2000 I dreamed of the day that some network came along and resurrected the program. Well, earlier this year — and after an 18-year-hiatus — Joe Bob Briggs made his triumphant return to the airwaves … well, sorta … when the online streaming service Shudder aired a “live” 24-hour movie marathon hosted by the Old Milwaukee-chuggin’ one himself. The feedback from the aptly titled The Last Drive-In was overwhelming — literally, since so many long-deprived Joe Bob fans logged onto the network that the Shudder servers crashed.

This summer’s movie marathon proved so popular that Shudder’s bringing Joe Bob Briggs back for not just one but TWO holiday specials — the Thanksgiving-themed “Dinners of Death” on Nov. 22 and “A Very Joe Bob Christmas,” slated for Dec. 21. But that’s not all — in our exclusive interview with Joe Bob, the drive-in legend divulges some details on plans for a regular weekly Shudder program set to air next year!

All I can say is that it was both a hoot and an honor to get to spend an hour shooting the breeze with one of my long-time pop culture idols, and it was certainly entertaining and enlightening to hear his thoughts on modern horror, fandom demographics, media distribution platforms, censorship and his own long-term business plans (aspiring filmmakers, you’ll definitely want to take note here.)

Of course, considering a man of Joe Bob’s distinction, I think it’s for the best if we let him speak for himself, don’t you? So kick back, plug in your headphones and pop open that tall boy — it’s time to hear the living legend tell it like it is

The post Joe Bob Briggs on the State of Horror, Censorship, and More [Exclusive] appeared first on Wicked Horror.

Joe Bob Briggs Discusses His Upcoming Shudder Marathons at NYCC 2018 Panel

Long-time horror host Joe Bob Briggs took the opportunity to discuss his upcoming marathons and his feelings about horror, both new and old, at the Shudder panel at this year’s New York Comic Con.

The always entertaining host confirmed that his next Shudder marathon (entitled “The Dinners of Death”) will take place on Thursday November 22. The Thanksgiving themed event will also include Brigg’s favorite film which he “…has never been able to host.”  Briggs wouldn’t give any other information about the mystery title, but the host did say that it is one of the films on the “too grisly for pay cable” list.

Briggs will continue the holiday theme for his next Shudder special called “A Very Joe Bob Christmas”, which will air on Friday, December 21st.  Briggs stated that the films for this marathon will “…not be the predictable ones.  These are the films that I think think you should be watching at Christmas.”  Briggs also teased cameos on the marathon by “two iconic guests” and mentioned that both of them have “action figures made of them.”

Briggs said that he was surprised and happy with the enthusiastic response to his first Shudder marathon, July’s “The Last Drive-In”, and that he enjoyed giving people the opportunity to have a communal experience while watching the movies.

Stay tuned to Horror News Network for further updates about these two “appointment television” events, only available on Shudder.


The post Joe Bob Briggs Discusses His Upcoming Shudder Marathons at NYCC 2018 Panel appeared first on Horror News Network – The Horror News You Need!.

After the Stunning Success of THE LAST DRIVE-IN Shudder Has Big Plans for Joe Bob Briggs

Horror fans have long considered Shudder a must-have streaming service; while smaller than Netflix and Hulu, they focus specifically on the horror genre and, in that capacity, their selection can’t be beaten. They even have original content that will give anything else horror-related on the Internet a run for its money!

While Shudder’s popularity and rise can both be described as meteoric, they reach new heights of popularity following a 24-hour movie marathon on Friday the 13th last July. The live event was hosted by Joe Bob Briggs and was so well attended, hordes of horror fans crashed Shudder’s servers! Clearly smelling the potential for big bucks, Shudder just announced that they have big plans for Briggs; additional marathons, of course, but also unique holiday specials!

Here’s the full scoop from today’s press release:

(September 5, 2018, New York, N.Y.) After the unprecedented 24-hour event The Last Drive-In With Joe Bob Briggs “broke the Internet” in July, Shudder will bring back the iconic horror host for Thanksgiving and Christmas specials, to be titled “The Dinners of Death” and “A Very Joe Bob Christmas.” Shudder, AMC’s premium streaming service for thriller, suspense and horror, also announced plans to launch a regular series featuring Joe Bob in 2019.

“The response to our first marathon was overwhelming, and we can’t think of a better gift for our members than to bring Joe Bob back for the holidays,” said Shudder GM Craig Engler. “We’ve been hard at work with Joe Bob and his team to make these new marathons unforgettable events, and we have even bigger plans for 2019.”

Joe Bob Briggs adds, “In November we’re turning Black Friday into Red Thursday with the best deadly-dinner movies in history, and in December we have a very special way to fill that void felt by American households ever since ABC stopped airing the ‘Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey’ Claymation special.”

This holiday season, set an extra place at the table for Joe Bob: “The Dinners of Death” is scheduled to air on Thursday, Nov. 22, followed by “A Very Joe Bob Christmas” on Friday, Dec. 21. Both marathons will be streamed live and feature films hand-picked by Joe Bob himself, with special guest stars and Joe Bob’s signature brand of Drive-In deep-dives and commentary.

Details for the Joe Bob series will be announced in early 2019. Both the marathons and the series will be produced by Matt Manjourides and Justin Martell and directed by Austin Jennings. 

The Last Drive-In originally streamed live on Shudder on Friday, July 13, and trended nationally on Twitter during its entire 24-run, with celebrities like Stephen King and Jonah Ray tweeting about it. The demand temporarily took down Shudder servers, leading fans of Joe Bob to proudly proclaim that their hero “broke the Internet.”

Joe Bob Briggs has long showcased the best and worst of shock and schlock cinema as the host of The Movie Channel’s Joe Bob’s Drive-In Theatre and TNT’s MonsterVision. The Last Drive-In is a celebration of exploitation and genre cinema and a return to Joe Bob’s legendary irreverence and wit.

Did you watch (or attempt to watch) The Last Drive-In? Are you excited for more Shudder exclusives featuring Joe Bob Briggs? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!

The post After the Stunning Success of THE LAST DRIVE-IN Shudder Has Big Plans for Joe Bob Briggs appeared first on Dread Central.