Ho-wdy Ho-rror Ho-mies!! Here's "our" interview with the legendary Frank Henenlotter!! Enjoy!! xoxo
(Kreepin' it -way too- real with some semi-serious talk about mental health stuffs)
Wanna send The Last Drive In some Snail Mail? The addy for that is:
215 Thompson St. #113
New York, NY 10012
Here's where you can find Mr. Joe Bob (and sometimes me ;), if'n that's a thing that interests ya! (Updated on the reg, so check back often! :)
Egyptian Theatre Ho-llyood
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Finally! I won't have to travel for this one!! ;)
Egyptian Theatre Ho-llyood
Colonial Theatre, Phoenixxxville, PA
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An Evening with Mr. JBB...at the Blob theatre! You so know I;ll be at this one!! :)
Colonial Theatre, Phoenixxxville, PA
Capitol Theatre, Cleveland OH
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An Evening with Mr. JBB.
Capitol Theatre, Cleveland OH
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Mr. Joe Bob and I will be hanging out all weekend...He'll be doing his Redneck show, intro-ing movies, etc...Come party with us, October Style!!!! :)
Alamo Drafthouse Winchester, VA
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An Evening with Joe Bob Briggs
Alamo Drafthouse Winchester, VA
Ho-wdy, Ho-rror Ho-mies!
Last night at the historic Egyptian Theatre (located in the heart of Ho-rrorwood, Karloffornia), we took in the frights and sounds at the premiere of Shudder's "Creepshow," the new SCREAMing series based on the 1982 cl-ass-sick! The ghouls all came from their humble abodes to get a jolt... and they weren't disappointed! The lobby of the venerable venue ho-used monstrous props from the series, including a sinister scarecrow and a life-size werewolf. (Yours Cruelly even had a few pics snapped with the creatures!) And that was just the overture, Kinky Kreeps; the real scares began in the Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre!
Showrunner/effects wizard Greg Nicotero introduced the episode, sharing anecdotes about George Romero and his history with "Creepshow." His passion is infectious, and it's immediately apparent that Nicotero was the right ghoul to resurrect "Creepshow." His company, KNB EFXxx Group, supplied the effects for the show, including the aforementioned menagerie of monsters. Shudder's "Creepshow" is clearly Nicotero's two-headed baby, so it was a thrill to see the great man spill his guts... both on and off the screen.
After Nicotero's introduction, the show began... and what a show! From the comic-style format that evokes the original to the myriad of monster movie references, you can tell that this series was made for and by hardcore ho-rrorhounds! I mean, there's a direct visual reference to Aurora monster model kits; it's fright fiend nirvana! But it isn't all in-jokes, folks... no, this is the real deal! We won't spoil anything, but we would like to give you our takes on the two segments that make up the episode. Dig.
The first segment was "Gray Matter," an adaptation of the short story by original Creepshowman, Stephen King. With King's considerable contributions to the original, it's fitting that the latest incarnation starts with one of his yelp-yarns. And speaking of paying ho-mage to the original, the brilliant Adrienne Barbeau returns to the franchise, this time as a far more amiable figure than her infamous "Billie." Tobin Bell of "SAW" also plays a part, adding an eXXXtra ounce of creep-credence. The best THING about this chiller-diller is just ho-w old-fashioned it is: the stormy atmosphere and ominous storytelling recall '50s comic chillers much in the way that the film did. And the monster is ripped straight from the pages of "Weird Fantasy." If you love goo (and we know you do! ;), you'll have the SLIME of your life with this tale!
Segment the second was a heady supernatural number en-tit-led "House of the Head." OG "Creepshow" composer/assistant director John Harrison helmed this haunting head-hunter about a little girl and her haunted dollhouse. For your sake, we don't want to spoil a single moment of this freak-fable, but we will tell that this one has the potential to become a cl-ass-sick! It's unique, it's funny, it's disturbing, and it forces you to fear for the lives of little plastic people. Young Cailey Fleming of "The Walking Dead" is just magnificent, and she carries the entire segment. "House of the Head" is a surprise-a-second SuspenStory; if you had any doubts about this series, let "House..." quell them! A-head of the curve, this one!
The premiere was a night to DISmember, indeed! We had a blast, and we ho-pe you Crypt Cats check out "Creepshow!" The series starts SCREAMing on September 26th, just in time for Halloween. For fans of the original and anthologies in general, you may have a new grave-orite show. Check it out; It's most fun you'll ever have being scared...on Shudder...until Oct. 25th. ;) #specialtreat
It should go without saying that the most essential part of any monster movie is the monster. An overall mediocre film can still achieve legendary status if it has a ghoul worth remembering. Would we still be discussing "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms" if not for the stop-motion wizardry of Ray Harryhausen? "Child's Play" is a dandy little thriller, but it just wouldn't be the same without the wit of Charles Lee Ray. Your sets may be sumptuous, your cast may be enchanting, but it's that featured creature that may grant you immortality.
Oh, but it doesn't have to be a conventionally "good" monster, dear reader. Sometimes, a monster is so absurd, so bizarrely conceived that it stumbles into pure divinity. 1957's "The Giant Claw" is a perfectly fine film from the Atomic Age of science fiction; the dialogue is silly, but it's that sort of '50s silly that's still pleasant to listen to. Director Fred F. Sears was no great stylist; he was, however, a proficient workman with experience in the genre, having recently directed the great "Earth vs. The Flying Saucers." Jeff "This Island Earth" Morrow, Mara "Tarantula!" Corday, and Morris "Earth vs. The Flying Saucers" Ankrum are all engaging, all having starred in creep pictures before. In short, we have an assortment of professionals working within a world they had previously conquered. What could go wrong?
So, before we see the monster, everything seems rather routine: we get the standard narration about the unknown and all that, playful banter between the reliable leads, hints at imminent horror, and few goofs but nothing to distract from the plot. As it's shaping up, there really is nothing to betray the absurd nature of what your eyes are about to behold; at this point, its far too competent for that "Worst Film Ever" title it often receives. And then... without warning... it appears. My. God.
Producer Sam Katzman wanted Ray Harryhausen, but due to budget restraints, he had the creature created by an effects shop in Mexico City. On a technical level, there isn't that much wrong with the creature, save for a few visible strings. If it had even a basic design, this film would've passed on by without raising anyone's eyebrows. Honestly, if Master Harryhausen conjured one of his considerable creations, this might have been dismissed as a lesser entry in the Harryhausen oeuvre. It would've been ordinary, exactly what this monster ain't.
Words... I haven't the words. It perplexes me to the point beyond rationality. By denizens of this peculiar picture, it is often compared to a "flying battleship." Personally, I don't see it; it resembles a battleship as much as Jeff Goldblum does. Really, it looks more like Big Bird during his CBGB days or Beaky Buzzard after several gallons of coffee. The creature has two ping-pong ball eyes and flies in a spiral, so it could be an escapee from the mind of Tim Burton. And the fact that it's surrounded by an antimatter forcefield makes it all the stranger. With no effort whatsoever, the Clawed One turns the production into a cartoon; a competent creature feature is now a work of unintentional surrealism.
And that was ultimately for the best. This monster... this... googly-eyed turkey marionette is why this film lives on; why monster lovers still reference it while other competent films from the era just fade away. Over the years, I've seen the fine-feathered fiend on t-shirts and recreated in toys and model kits; why, he even appears as a boss in an Angry Video Game Nerd game. Yeah, it's goofy... but endearingly so. It's unlike anything on earth and that's what sci-fi pictures are about. Without that nerdy birdie, this film would be woefully normal. We here at Kinky Ho-rror adore "The Giant Claw" and proudly celebrate it as one of the most unique monster movies of the 1950s.
If you haven't seen this one, feast your eyes on the trailer below:
It's funny how 27 years can feel like two.
When we last saw the Losers' Club, they swore in blood that they would return should IT return. And 27 years (or maybe two) later, the conflict between IT and the Losers continues in "IT: Chapter 2," the highly anticipated sequel to 2017's "IT." With so much of the first chapter's appeal deriving from its cast of youngsters and evocation of '80s culture, this film had its work cut out for it. The filmmakers had to endear us to new incarnations of the characters we knew from the 2017 film; their relationships and chemistry had to be transferred to entirely different actors. And this was an issue in the 1990 miniseries: our love for the late Harry Anderson aside, the adults weren't as engaging as their child counterparts; they felt like strangers, not old friends returning for the final stand. Great as its predecessor was, we also feared that "Chapter 2" would fall prey to the same problem.
Dear readers, we are pleased to report that the Losers of "Chapter 2" mostly maintain the cozy camaraderie that made the first "IT" a hit. Sure, much of the juvenile charm is lost, but the matured misfits do give the impression of reuniting buddies. This is especially true of Bill Hader as Richie Tozier and James Ransone as Eddie Kaspbrak respectively. Their banter is just spot on, and you believe that these are the same people we met in the last installment. Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy are a boon to any production, and their work here is superb. They're no longer children, but they're still our Losers.
But what of the ho-rror? Chemistry is well and good, but this is a film about a cosmic clown monster; it has to be freaky! And does it succeed on that level? Well, it's not going to keep you up at night, but it sure is spectacular! We are talking about a film fearless enough to allow doll-faced insects and crawling eyeballs to hatch from fortune cookies; to include a scene in which a skull-faced Paul Bunyan statue swings his axe at boy... accompanied by a mini-musical number; to set a leprous zombie vomiting bile on a man to Juice Newton's "Angel of the Morning." And these are only a few of the marvels that await you! "IT" even includes an extended homage to John Carpenter's "The Thing," which brought a Gwynplaine-esque smile to our faces. You won't be mortally terrified-----you might not even be startled-------but you'd have to be cold as the grave not to get a kick from at least some of the ghoulery. "Chapter 2" isn't quite at Raimi-levels of lunacy, but it sure comes close! Think of this film less as an exercise in eXXXtreme ho-rror and more as a cinematic hayride.
Andy Muschietti returns as director, and he really swung for the fences! We love a ho-rror director who really embraces old-school melodrama, which is eXXXactly what Muschietti does here. Dutch angles and dramatic zooms are used to brilliant effect, and we dug the heck out of the creative editing on display! Muschietti and his team give some creep-out surrealism that brings to mind our favorite ho-rror fantasies.
"IT" is a visual shock-opera; possibly the grandest film about killer clowns. (Though we still prefer Killer Klowns!) IT returns! IT lives! IT ends! The devilish duology comes to an end and signals the start of Halloween 2019. We're sad to see the Losers (adult and child) go, but we're happy to have had them for two fabulous films. The Pennywise of this series is already an icon, but this film cemented his place in the pantheon of monsters. In our soulless eyes, Tim Curry is Pennywise's Bela Lugosi and Bill Skarsgård is IT's Christopher Lee; there's room enough for both.
Go see this flick... and you'll float, too!
There's something funny about clowns... and I don't mean their act.
The clown-----formerly a figure of fun and frivolity-----has been the victim of some rather nasty press lately. It doesn't take a Stephen King to see the ho-rror inherent in the clown, but the jocular jesters used to coeXXXist with the twisted parodies that inhabit fright flicks. When creepy clowns initially began to invade ho-rror, they were distortions of an image of the clown that no longer eXXXists in 2019: the greasepainted gagster who amused adults and kids alike. A killer clown used to be akin to a sadistic Santa Claus: an aberration of a jolly figure still very much ass-ociated with the sugarplum dreams of the young.
But that's not where it ended. Dear Santa is still beloved by youngsters and sinister depictions are usually dismissed as a bit of ghoulish fun. But the clown, as it was, is a rare sight. Barnum & Bailey's tents have been rolled away and seldom do you see a painted grin on a cereal box. What you are far more likely to see is a clown in a ho-rror ho-use or with a bloodied knife in his lily-white hand. What was once subversion has become the norm; clowns now stand with the monsters... and outspook them all.
Why do clowns scare us? Is it the makeup that hides away their natural faces? Is it the eXXXaggerated gestures that make them appear alien? The cartoonish antics that are often more surreal than funny? We were once expected to trust clowns as purveyors of harmless amusements, but many see mystery in the makeup-clad creatures... perhaps even danger.
When did clowns start being overtly scary? Well, clowns have always been tinged with a sort of darkness. Joseph Grimaldi, the popular 18th/19th-century performer and "Father of Modern Clowning," was a notoriously tragic figure: his father used to beat him (sometimes on stage), his first wife died during childbirth, his son drunk himself to death, and the slapstick that made him a star left him disabled. Grimaldi would eXXXclaim, "I am GRIM ALL DAY, but I make you laugh at night".
Though the personal tragedies of Grimaldi did force folks to consider the man behind the smile, the murderous clown didn't come about until much later. Edgar Allan Poe's 1849 story, "Hop-Frog", told of a dwarf/jester's scheme for revenge; Ruggero Leoncavallo's famed opera, " Pagliacci", is also an early example of the clown as a killer. While those two are important in the history of villainous clowns, they didn't really change the public's perception of the costumed characters. Without spending too much time on the subject, we must state that serial killer John Wayne Gacy was a major factor in the popularization of clowns as monsters; most depictions of ho-micidal clowns came after the 1978 arrest of Gacy.
If we can say that the modern clown abomination was spawned from any decade, it would certainly be the 1980s. After all, it was the decade that gave us... well, "IT," Stephen King's 1986 novel about an evil entity in the guise of the clown. We also saw the rise of films like "Killer Klowns from Outer Space" and "Blood Harvest." Even DC supervillain the Joker received newfound popularity in comics like "The Killing Joke" and Tim Burton's 1989 batty blockbuster, "Batman." The Clown Prince of Crime had several outings as a malicious murderer (including his 1940 debut), but it was in the '80s when the Joker was truly established as Comicdom's most infamous killer clown.
Now, we have nothing but respect for comic clowns; if given the chance, a consummate clown can still delight an audience. It's an unusual art form that incorporates many different skills: comedy, magic, music, juggling, acrobatics, and puppetry are just a few of the acts included in the clown's repertoire. And the makeup was originally intended not to conceal but reveal; each design is meant to be an exaggeration of the clown's personality. Sadly, the clown's brand of amusement is seen as antiquated, and the clown of today now lives in the sewers. We wouldn't mind a resurgence of comic clowns, but the creepy clown reigns supreme in 2019.
It is peculiar that clowns went from jovial jokesters to the most dominant fiends in horror fiction. During these last few Halloween seasons, we have seen more clowns lurking in spookhouses than we have werewolves, vampires, or any other classical creature. And with the upcoming releases of "IT: Chapter Two" and "Joker", it's clear that the circus isn't leaving any time soon. Creepy clowns have supplanted both comic clowns and most monsters; like 'em, hate 'em, or both, creepy clowns are now the top bogeymen. They are the fearmakers, and we are the screamers of screams.
And to close our circus of ho-rrors, we have for you the greatest song written on the subject of Killer Klowns. Enjoy!
Children's ho-rror is a rather tricky thing. It's not because kids are not voracious consumers of the macabre; it's that adults seem to forget how much kids love the grotesque. Instead of indulging that appetite for the gross and ghoulish, the grown folks hide the beasts away and act as if no monsters ever stalked the earth. On those very rare occasions when an adult tries to satisfy their child's youthful yearning for good ol' terror, they dull the edge so completely that they couldn't kill a single nerve. Kids love the eerie stuff, and we should embrace that! A good children's ho-rror film not only satiates that innate desire to see something strange, but it also helps kids confront and conquer their fears; to acknowledge and learn from the dark side of life in a harmless manner. Don't shy away from the vampires and werewolves; let kids in on the way of the weird. Fright 'em! Delight 'em! Insight 'em! Introduce them to the monster in the closet! And with all of that said, it's now time to sing the praises of a film that does all of that and more: "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark."
"Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" is based on the book series written by Alvin Schwartz and originally illustrated by Stephen Gammell. The books drew from urban legends and folklore, and they were just about the most ho-rrifying thing an impressionable monster kid could read back in the '80s and '90s. If the stories didn't chill you, the art definitely killed you! Gammell's lurid work is supremely disturbing, as if it had been pulled from the haunted dreams of madman. I don't care how old you are: if those illustrations don't make your blood run cold, you're deep beneath the sod! And the film knows this, for it faithfully recreates Gammell's most disconcerting images. The monsters are Gammell's, and it's a morbid delight to see those nightmares in motion. Every creature is superbly realized and superbly sickening, just the way we like it! For fans of the source material, it will be an unmitigated thrill to see its creepers on the screen; for those unfamiliar with "Scary Stories," they'll be treated to the most breathtaking beasties of the year.
So, what is "Scary Stories" about? I eXXXpected the film to be an anthology, but it does actually have a singular narrative: a group of teens discover a sinister short story collection written by a deceased woman of local infamy; the pages fill themselves with ho-rrific stories that begin to play out in the real world. It's very similar to the premise of the "Goosebumps" film, but this particular tale has far more venom than the R.L. Stine fantasy. And through the concept of the malefic manuscript, it pays perfect ho-mage to the series that inspired it, feeling more like a "Scary Stories" outing than "Goosebumps" felt like its namesake.
Perhaps the best thing about the movie is that it is, without question, a ho-rror film. There's no profanity and there's hardly any blood on screen, but don't let that fool you: it revels in putrescence; it relishes the revolting; it celebrates the monstrous. The aforementioned monsters are genuinely creepy and certainly would not be out of place in "Conjuring" sequel. Beyond monsters, it's chockablock with ghastly images, including a severed toe being eaten by a teenager and a nasty spider infection that will surely traumatize the arachnophobic. And let me tell you this, dear reader: it has an actual body count.
If there is any criticism I have for the film, it's that its attempt to tie phantasmagorical scares with real-life horrors doesn't entirely work. The film is set in 1968, so it does indeed evoke the Vietnam War and other bits of reality from that decade. I applaud the filmmakers for daring to bring up such heavy subjects, but it does seem incongruous in a film that features were-scarecrows and spider pimples. However, the 1960s setting itself is fantastic and does pay ho-mage to the monster mania that was so prevalent during that time.
"Scary Stories" remembers and embraces a child's love of the dark. It never talks down to its target audience, and it does its darnedest to give them the creeps they deserve. Older spooksters should still find much to dig, especially in the creature set pieces. Destined to take its seat neXXXt to "Return to Oz" and "Something Wicked This Way Comes," "Scary Stories" is a perfect fright fest for all the Wednesdays and Pugsleys of the world.
My epic, extended, erotic (for those of us into 6 foot bunnies) shower death from the upcoming Bunnyman 3, Grindhouse edition.
Big thanks to the fine folks at MasiMedia who got this shindig together, and also to Mr. Roger Jackson (pictured intro-ing a screening of the film in Stu's backyard!! :) who not only came out to party with us, but-t also left me this terrifying vm that I will treasure for the neXXXt billion centuries!! :) xoxo
My Interview with Clint Freakin' Howard!!!
(nude Clint Howard and snow globes...need I say more?)
High History: Why I love Scream so much!
(remember to finish him)
This shit is legit.