Tearing the heart out of Saturday night! The good ol' days of Monstervision.
Some might say Elvira was the ultimate horror host. Or maybe Vampira and Ron Serling. Well I'll have to disagree. The ultimate horror host for me is Mr. John Bloom himself, Joe Bob Briggs.
I'm sure I'm speaking for many people roughly around my age all having fond memories of watching
Monstervision on TNT. I sadly really missed the heyday of Joe Bob's Dive-In which lasted for several seasons in the late 1980's to early 90's. Here, writer John Bloom who started off reviewing movies and writing articles for newspapers before breaking out in a one man show before he got his big break in creating a hillbilly all American, Southern cowboy who loved cold beer, dressed in snake skin boots, and a wide brim hat. Here he would lounge in his abandoned drive-in studio and talk about the old days of the drive-in, all the while reviewing classic B movies that usually didn't air on cable. Joe Bob's down to Earth personality, and cocky charm was what won audiences from all over to tune in weekly to see what movies he had in store for them. Joe Bob started two trends that set his show apart from so many in the past.
The first being the fact he did his drive-in totals. Here he would list off highlights of the film, always seeking out the three B's.
He would remark on certain kills, action, characters, and truly memorable moments from the films he screened. He even coined the term FU at the end of certain totals as a take on Kung-Fu. Such as Chainsaw-FU, Zombie-FU, and Masked Killer-FU. Joe Bob was a perfectly example for the younger generation to magnify pop culture before pop culture was even cool. Instead of digging into each film and picking them apart, Joe Bob would roll off a little info/background about the film, do his totals, and crack jokes all the while sipping on a cold one. What made Joe Bob so awesome was the fact he wasn't sitting in some antique chair, in a suit, with his nose in the air. Instead he just seemed like a regular person, who truly loved movies, and seemed like an old friend just chilling out shooting the shit about movies.
The second thing was his mail girls. Most popular being Honey and later Rusty among all the girls that visited his set. All girls were gorgeous, and would play along with his sexist playfuly banter that was nothing short of being charming and adorable. (This is a woman saying this, I never found any of his jokes, views, or shameless come ons with the mail girls offensive) Anyone who does clearly needs a drink themselves. Everything was in good fun and you need to remember, Mr. Bloom was playing a character as were these women. For examples Honey left the show to go across the world to get her masters and Rusty was in the military! These stunning women played a part, and were too cute for worlds rolling their eyes and putting up with Joe Bob's behavior. The cool thing about the mail girls was the fact that they were actually delivering Joe Bob real fan mail from all over the world, including prison! No matter what the mail said, and a lot were more on the ruder side, Joe Bob would just smile and give a witty remark back. These little things that made Joe Bob stand out was something he carried on with Monstervision. I feel his shift to Monstervision, was what truly changed the game of horror hosting. For years, Joe Bob would sit outside his trailer, and continue showing two films a night, all the while cracking jokes to his crew, flirting with his mail girls, and giving the drive-in totals.
His interviews and marathons were always on point, and he kept on cranking out the wise cracks and keeping the fun alive on set. Thanks to so many hard core fans, tons of his episodes are uploaded on YouTube.
I actually have memories of watching this show on Saturday night with my sister, one episode really standing out being when Joe Bob reviewed Strays about the killer cats.
I of course knew of Joe Bob long before he was looking handsome in those bolo ties, cowboy hats, and boots. I knew him for his cameo in Stephen King's mini series The Stand as deputy Joe Bob. (so handsome) This mini-series was a huge part of my childhood growing up (Still would love to see his deleted death scene.)
But I'll never forget catching episodes of Monstervision late at night. This was the only chance besides going to the video store that I could watch horror movies, and having a handsome cowboy like Mr. Briggs himself, shaped the way I became a huge lover of film. In fact, this is in all honestly if it hadn't been for a friend years ago once telling me that I reminded them of a female Joe Bob Briggs for my style of reviewing, and love of B movies, mostly horror. He's the main reason why I started this blog, and why I continue writing about the oddball movies that are near and dear to my heart. A few years back a friend of mine at school met him and got me his autograph. I downright adorable the photo she took with her young daughter at the time with him. My heart melts whenever I see it.
I knew for years I had to meet him. Mostly after discovering he was not only in Casino, BUT in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 2 in a deleted but epic scene.
Just two weeks ago I FINALLY after years of waiting got the chance to meet him in person and I was completely and utterly star struck. I missed the chance to meet him several times, and kept kicking myself since he was in my top 5 people to meet. Finally, when I did meet him I couldn't help but wrap my arms around him and give him a squeeze. Joe Bob was by far the most soft spoken, friendly, and charming person I've ever met at a show. When I saw what he wrote on his autograph I swooned. I can't wait to meet him again. That same show I sat in the front row during a Q&A with him and seriously was in a trance. I could listen to this man talk for hours.
So to honor Joe Bob's old school Southern style of movie reviewing I honor this Staystillreview's Summer Sensation to him. (I think we all remember his Joe Bob Briggs' summer school) A legend and a hero of mine who shaped my love of movies and keeps pushing me to continue reviewing. So stay tuned for lots of update this summer, and plenty of nods to Mr. Briggs! If it wasn't for him I can honestly say there wouldn't be a Staystillreviews! So take your koozie and crack open a cold one and toast to the greatest horror host of all time.
Thank you Joe Bob Briggs!