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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! :)
Alamo Drafthouse, Raleigh
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It's gonna be another long assnight (not complaining, though!! :) as Mr. JB (and I :) do back-to-back Redneck shows in NC (#mypeeps!)
Alamo Drafthouse, Raleigh
Ho-tel Wyndham, Gettysburg PA
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Mr. Joe Bob and I will be hanging out all weekend!! :)
Ho-tel Wyndham, Gettysburg PA
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
To this day, the existence of Invader Zim still baffles us. On a channel dominated by the jolly juvenility of Rugrats and SpongeBob SquarePants, it was a genuine shock to see a show as misanthropic and grimy as Invader Zim. Cartoons for adults were nothing new by 2001, but that's the thing about Invader Zim: it wasn't for adults. Zim was----ostensibly----aimed at the same audience as The Fairly OddParents... which is why it had an entire episode centered around harvesting organs from children, of course. Zim was nasty and dark; as bleak as any horror movie and just as gruesome. The aesthetic was grotesque by design, its outlook was cynical, the humor was strange (but hilarious), and it reveled in absurdity. A 'toon like Zim would be odd on Adult Swim... but on Nickelodeon? Unfathomable.
The series initially ran from 2001 to 2002, had poor ratings, and reportedly scared away Nick's target demographic of 6-10 year-olds. And that would be the end of the story for most cartoons, but ZIm was certainly not most cartoons. Through merchandise sales and critical acclaim, Zim gained new popularity long after its cancellation. Too weird to truly die, the franchise survived in comic form and rumors of a movie had been zipping across the web for years. And all those years, it finally happened; Invader Zim got that movie.
Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus is recognizably Zim. The humor is in line with that of the original series, and the movie is plenty bizarre. I'd recommend it to newcomers and veterans alike... but there is something different about it. Is it the animation? Well, it is cleaner and less angular... but that's not it. All of the beloved voice actors are back, so that couldn't be what's throwing us off. Something about it just seems... unusual for Zim. Well, after much pondering and excogitation, we have come up with an answer:
Now, we're not saying that's a good thing or bad thing, we are simply saying that it's a... thing. Outside of the cheerful naivete of GIR (the titular Zim's robot sidekick), the original show was remarkably grim. Its dark, cynical attitude is what differentiated it from the sunlit worlds that cartoons are traditionally associated with. And while this movie is not without its edge, it is far more sentimental than one expects from this cartoon. The way it handles the relationship between one major character and his father is surprisingly sweet. And a generally gloomy Goth girl is given a rare moment of warmth. The sudden spoonful of sugar may be too much for some viewers, but we certainly enjoyed it. Even if it's a tad more friendly, it's still maintains most of what made the show a favorite among oddballs.
Richard Steven Horvitz is still superbly funny as the would-be world-conquerer, Zim, screeching and manically laughing as if it were still 2001. Rikki Simons once again charms as GIR, reminding us why the adorable android was once on every wall in every Hot Topic. Really, every returning cast member is just exceptional and just as you remember them. Sweetness and less angularity aside, you sometimes forget that this wasn't just an old Zim they found in a vault somewhere. Enter the Florpus recaptures much of the dark absurdity, while still feeling fresh and accessible for those who are not already in the cult of Zim.
Since Enter the Florpus is mostly reliant on gags, we'll keep quiet and let you discover them on your own. Suffice to say that if you're among the converted, you'll find plenty to laugh at; if you're new but enjoy eccentric, over-the-top humor, you'll also get a kick out of Florpus. Though a little kinder than before, Florpus proves that Zim is as funny and dark as ever. May the invasion continue... and may we see more of the Invader in the near future. Long live Zim.
Enter the Florpus is available to watch Netflix. If you want a small taste, check out the trailer below:
Vampires! Scourge to the living! Mockeries of death! Cereal mascots! No fiends in fiction are as feared and abhorred as vampires. With these remorseless rotters stalking the night, there must exist a force of good to oppose their perennial evil. And, indeed, such a force exists: vampire slayers! There are as many of the courageous characters as there are bloodsuckers, and some of them are just as iconic as the monsters they stalk: Van Helsing, Buffy Summers, Blade, Peter Vincent, and the Frog Brothers are just a few of of the fabulous foes of the Urbane Undead. And though we respectfully raise our crosses to these brave individuals, we feel there is one who never receives the lordly respect he deserves: Hammer's first superhero and the titular star of this week's film, Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter!
First, we start with The Dark Age of Hammer: The 1970s.
By the mid-seventies, things were looking rather grim for the House of Horror. Their Dracula films had no bite left in them and their Frankenstein series was dead on the slab. Without a single marketable ghoul left in their crypt, Hammer was in dire need of a new fright franchise. In their desperation, they allowed Brian Clemens (writer-producer of The Avengers; Emma Peel, not Scarlet Witch) to go completely nuts and frankenstein together a film from the following parts: swashbucklers, Gothic chillers, westerns, art cinema, fantasy, and exploitation. And from these disparate elements was born a film... that did absolutely abysmal business at the box office. No, this film did not save mighty Hammer, but it is just a brilliant anomaly from the studio. It really is a shame this picture failed; it was just begging to be a franchise.
Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter is the thrilling, chilling, and fulfilling adventure of the eponymous hero and his hunchbacked assistant, Prof. Hieronymus Grost. When a mysterious vampire-like creature (most likely a vampire) drains the youth from several women, the intrepid monster-slayer and his faithful sidekick investigate the matter. In their search for the creature, they meet a young gypsy girl who aids them in their holy crusade. Will the righteous trio be able to vanquish the evil or will all three be on the receiving end of a vampire's toothy champ?
This... is a comic book. It may look like a film, but don't let that deceive you. From the way it amalgamates various fantastical elements to the hints at previous exploits (possibly covered in earlier issues) to its Jack-of-all-trades protagonist (and his trusty sidekick), this is exactly the sort of pulpy peculiarity that Stan Lee would've proudly stamped his name on. In a just world, Captain Kronos would've appeared in Tomb of Dracula or teamed up with Man-Thing to take down Shuma-Gorath. Oh, I'm afraid this is not the dignified melodrama Hammer once specialized in, but it's the best supernatural superhero film that's never actually announced as one.
Horst Janson as Captain Kronos looks like somebody willed Marvel's original Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) into reality. He is every bit the sort that funnybooks tell us are innate heroes: dashingly blonde with hair styled like a model. His stoic and noble demeanor do wonders for the film; he is a storybook prince in flesh. John Cater as Professor Hieronymus Grost is just a delight and possibly our favorite character. He brings so much dignity and warmth to the part; it's impossible not to love him. Caroline Munro, Our First Lady of Fantasy, is a boon to any production. Her inclusion automatically bumps the film up a half-star.
Hoo-boy! This is the big one, Vampire Lovers! Protect your necks and get ready for the paramount entertainment! Swordfights, schlocky frights, and big bites await you below! Crosses out and stakes ready for... Captain Kronos -- Vampire Hunter!
Well, considering that this is a ho-rror website, I think you can surmise that The Last Man on Earth is not alone. And if you are familiar with Richard Matheson's 1954 novel, I Am Legend, you'll think we're downright daffy for even calling attention to that. Heck, if you've seen any, ANY zombie picture since Romero's Night of the Living Dead, you know what to assume when the vast majority of humanity has been seemingly annihilated. It's a concept as tried and true as a phantom at an opera or a murder in the Rue Morgue.
Ho-wever, in 1964, undead armies besieging the remnants of humanity was still a novel concept; zombies were largely the product of Haitian voodoo, worked on plantations, and didn't start nibbling on flesh until Romero unleashed his plague. In fact, in this picture and the novel that birthed it, the returning dead were referred to as... vampires. Though they fear stakes, sunlight, and never drink wine, these pulse-free pursuers are far-removed from the revoltingly romantic reprobates that dominated cinema at the time. Charmless and without capes, they resemble less Lugosi than they do the ho-mogenous ho-rdes of The Walking Dead.
George A. Romero has often cited Matheson's I Am Legend as an influence on Night of the Living Dead, but it's easy to imagine that the Dad of the Dead found some inspiration in this particular take. Matheson's vampires are fast-movers with the capacity to run and climb; Last Man's gaggle of ghouls are slow, lumbering figures who wouldn't look out of place at a mall or a farmhouse. And while Matheson explains that the vampires were spawned from a biological disease, Last Man offers no explanation, a future trope of romeroesque thrillers. Ostensible vampirism aside, we would feel no shame in calling The Last Man on Earth the first modern zombie film.
Beyond its historical significance as a precursor to the Romero zombie, Last Man is certainly a film worthy of your attention. The mood is eerie, the dread is palpable, and the "vampires" are fairly freaky. Matheson didn't care for the film, but it does adhere to his novel closer than any subsequent adaptation. (I'm looking at you, I Am Legend starring Will Smith!) If history and dread aren't enough to pique your interest, we have two words that are sure to win you over: Vincent Price.
Oh man, does Uncle Vinny carry this film! The Merchant of Menace is always worth an eXXXtra 1/2 star, but his intensity here raises Last Man up to the status of a classic. You feel for the man, understand his sorrow and isolation, and truly root for him... until the end, that is. Those who have read the book understand what I mean, but if you've only seen the Will Smith film... this will be a new eXXXperience!
For your amusement and education, we present The Last Man on Earth in its entirety! Enjoy, Kinky Kreeps!
Without even the slightest hint of irony, we proudly proclaim our undying love for the original Dark Shadows. Though immensely popular in its time and hugely influential to subsequent supernatural soap-shows, the serialized TV melodrama has garnered a reputation for being... silly. Because of its meager budget and the nature of soap operas, Dark Shadows was often unintentionally goofy, awkward, and riddled with mistakes; the most prominent shadows on the show were the ones cast by boom mics. However, for all of its goofery, there was something oddly enchanting about the series. Flaws aside, the show often possessed the moonlit majesty of the finest Gothic romances. When good, it was eXXXceptional monster melodrama; when bad, it was still superb. Now, we understand that 1,225 episodes is a bit much for the sane (I'm sure a few of you still have your marbles), but if you are unfamiliar with the Collins clan and wish to be enveloped by Dark Shadows, we recommend you pay a visit to Ho-use of Dark Shadows, the first film based on the series.
Imprisoned in a coffin for more than a century, the vampiric Barnabas Collins is accidentally freed by the handyman of his descendants. Charming his relatives, he "lives" among them by pretending to be a distant relative. Like all good creatures of the night, Barnabas secretly satisfies his ghoulish appetite for blood by draining the locals. While ho-sting a ball in honour of his family, the cadaverous Collins is introduced to Maggie Evans, a woman whom he believes to be his lost love reincarnated. Blood on his lips and love in his withered heart, he pursues the young woman with intent of making her his bride.
Ho-use of Dark Shadows was (as far as we can tell) the first theatrical movie based on a soap opera, and it is one of the finest Gothic yelp-yarns of the sinister seventies. By this point, Hammer's vampires were attempting to stay out of the sun by adding hip youngsters and young hipsters, following trends, upping the sleaze, and eXXXchanging Victorian fashion for '70s grooviness. It made for some eXXXcellent entertainment, but-t it betrayed what made those early Hammer films so special. Even without any affiliation with the Ho-use of Ho-rror, Ho-use of Dark Shadows was far more successful at adapting that Hammer mood to a modern setting. Totally boss threads aside, this film is every bit the old-fashioned neck-biter we monster lovers can't get enough of! Ho-use... is familiar to anyone who has seen a Dracula picture, yet it still packs enough twists and turns to keep veteran ho-rror fans from going batty.
The goofs and flubs that plagued the soap opera are nowhere to be found here. Mic shadows and strange pauses are replaced with surprisingly stylish direction and moments of genuine unease. Jonathan Frid proves just ho-w brilliant he could be when given the opportunity. Frid plays Barnabas with the authority a true monster needs in order to properly terrify his audience. Makeup man Dick Smith's work shines with the creepiest aged vamp we've seen in any movie macabre. And if you're into the gruesome, you'll surely get a kick out of some the vicious vampire violence on display.
Ho-use of Dark Shadows, though made by many of the same cast and crew, is not a strictly faithful adaptation of the soap. Barnabas was still afforded some shades of humanity, but he is far more monstrous than the compleXXX antihero we saw on the show. Important figures in Dark Shadows lore are reduced to glorified cameos, and the fashion in which some beloved characters are disposed of is shockingly brutal. With all that said, it's still a brilliant introduction to those who are new to the franchise. Much of the drama and danger of the show is still intact, even if everything (shadows included) is a tad darker. As a first taste, Ho-use of Dark Shadows is strong stuff. And if you end up enjoying it, we suggest giving the series a bite.
We dig this one like a grave, and we hope you crypt cats check it out! The film is available to buy and/or rent on YouTube Movies and Amazon. For a sample, we have for you the original theatrical trailer; a trailer almost as amusing as the film itself! Check it out below, kinky kreeps!
Of all the great Universal Monsters, the Bride of Frankenstein is perhaps the most peculiar. She was spawned from literature like the majority, but she wasn't eXXXactly a character; she was destroyed before she was even created. In the film that bears her name, she appears for about 5 minutes before meeting her end. And yet, with just a few pages and less screentime than Drew Barrymore in Scream, she became the first lady of fright; scare fiction's most eXXXalted female monster. Why are fear-favoring citizens drawn to this strange creature? And why is she our Monster of the Month? Well, don't stop reading now, groovy ghoulies! Venture forward to discover the terrifying truth about... the Bride of Frankenstein!
As mentioned in our introduction, the concept of the Bride originated in literature, specifically Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. In Shelley's seminal shock-story, the Bride was less a monster than a condition: the Creature promises to into the wilderness if Victor Frankenstein creates for him a bride; if Vic refuses, the Creature will murder his bride on their wedding night. Fearing for his family, Victor reluctantly agrees to construct the mate. Ho-wever, after being haunted by ghastly premonitions of the un-ho-ly union (and their petrifying progeny), Vic goes back on their deal and destroys the unfinished bride. A monster of his word, the Creature kills Victor's wife, Elizabeth.
The Bride didn't become a true character until Universal's Bride of Frankenstein, a true all-timer. While a good chunk of the film revolves around the creation of the Bride, she doesn't actually show up until the final moments of the film; but in her limited appearance, she does make a mighty impression. Played by the great Elsa Lanchester and created by makeup man Jack Pierce, the Bride shines as brightly as the lightning that birthed her. The patchwork partner is simply a marvel of a monster, hissing and cocking her head around in bizarre fashion. (Lanchester said her performance was based on the swans in Regent's Park, London.) And with her bandaged body and Nefertiti haircut, she is a fright to behold. Really, the only true flaw that the Bride possesses as a movie monster is the aforementioned lack of screentime.
Curiously, there have been very few ho-rror films featuring the Bride. To date, Universal has only made one Bride film, although there have been attempts by the studio to resurrect the creature. There was an unofficial remake in 1985 en-tit-led The Bride (starring Jennifer Beals as the Bride), but that's about it as far as straight Bride movies go. Helena Bonham Carter's Elizabeth does become a Bride-style monster in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, but--as usual--we see far too little of the Bride.
In the realm of comedy, the Bride has made more consistent appearances. In the stop-motion-animated Mad Monster Party?, Phyllis Diller is a hoot as the Monster's Mate, a very Dilleresque take on the monster. Fran Drescher voiced Eunice/Bride in the Hotel Transylvania films, and Madeline Kahn does become a sort of Bride of Frankenstein at the end of Young Frankenstein. Beyond those three eXXXamples, the Bride has been spoofed in enough cartoons, movies, comics, video games, and TV shows to fill a graveyard.
And... that's mostly it. Though it's possible that we may be forgetting a few minor appearances, the Bride is mainly known for five minutes in one movie and a sea of spooky spoofs. Considering that she is the most famous and beloved of all female movie monsters, it's a little odd how little there is of her outside of parodic cameos. So, why has she resonated with so many of us for so many decades? Are we so bereft of female monsters that we will settle for one whose most notable role was only slightly longer than a trailer? If so, why didn't Countess Marya Zaleska/Dracula's Daughter stay with us the way that Bride has? After all, she was indeed the star of her own film and one of the first tragic vampires onscreen, making her the ancestor to Barnabas Collins and the vampires of Anne Rice.
I think that, despite her lack of screentime, the Bride is worthy of her status. We do wish that Marya Zaleska and all the other great monster women would receive more attention; we would love to see new female ho-rror icons created, and the relatively low number of female frightsters in cinema is disappointing. Ho-wever, the Bride is an important figure in ho-rror history: her name appears in the tit-le of one of the greatest films of all time, she made a memorable appearance in the climaXXX of said film, and she is now an unofficial mascot of the Halloween season, having launched nearly as many costumes and decorations as her ho-rrible hubby. She is truly a highlight in a film full of magnificent things, and that alone is worthy of her legendary status.
Though deserving of her position as it is, we would love for Ho-rrorwood to eXXXpand upon her personality; give her the pathos and depth of a Frankenstein or Phantom of the Opera. If any monster demands a truly superb reimagining, it's the Bride of Frankenstein. Imbue her with the majesty she deserves, and may it inspire filmmakers to bring to life more ho-rrific monster women, figures as frightful as their male counterparts; may it also encourage folks to seek out some of ho-rror's other fantastic female creatures.
Ho-wever, as she is, the Bride of Frankenstein is still a worthy inclusion in the pantheon of cla-ass-sick monsters and we our proud to have her as our Monster of the Month.
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.