Joe Bob Briggs

Drive-In Movie Critic of Grapevine, TX

The Fire Chief of New York City keeps trying to get permission to rip down all the fire-alarm boxes on the street--let people just dial 911 if they see a fire--but nobody wants to let him do it.

Everybody thinks the city will burn down or somethin'.
But listen to the guy's reasons. Ninety-five percent of all fire alarms out of these call boxes are false alarms.

Nine Five. Only in New York could we get a statistic like this. A quarter million falsies a year.

So I think all the guy is saying is, "Hey! People! This ain't workin'!"
And everybody thinks he's a Mean Ole Man for sayin' it.
You notice this lately?
Whenever something is obviously not working, everybody wants to save it.

You know what I mean? Last year the Postal Service tried to close down a few rural post offices because they were only servin', like, 30 people each.

And people got furious. More than just those 30 people. Everybody was furious.

Or when somebody says, "You know what? These kids at the little red 19th-century schoolhouse out on Highway 80 are scoring a lot lower on their tests than the ones at the big shiny new Yuppie high school downtown.

"Maybe we oughta shut the little school down and truck the kids over to Unimegaplex High."

And the parents go nuts. It's like they're saying, "No! We want 'em to be stupid! We want 'em to be picturesque and stupid! It's a Texas tradition!"

You see it a lot with farmers, too. Some ole boy will be losin' more and more money every year raisin' cattle or plantin' soybeans, borrowin' more and more money from the bank, wonderin' why his tractor keeps gettin' repoed.

And you say, "Willie, maybe you'd be better off gettin' into some new crop, like vineyards, or raisin' sheep instead of cattle, 'cause you aren't doin' diddly squat with cattle and soybeans."

And the guy will always say, "My daddy raised cattle, and my granddaddy before him, and his daddy before him, and so cattle is good enough for me. Soybeans, too."

And so it's the principle of the dang thing. We'll get poor, and get stupid, and burn down our cities, but we'll uphold all the great traditions, won't we?

I love this country.
Speaking of great traditions, the greatest series in the history of Bazookas-and-Bazoomas action flicks is back.

I have to admit, I was a little worried when legendary ABC sports director Andy Sidaris decided to retire from the business of making James Bond rip-offs starring Playboy Playmates who never went to acting class.

After classics like Malibu Express, Hard Hunted, and Do or Die, all featuring big-breasted federal undercover agents blowing up helicopters and jumping in and out of showers, I was a complete skeptic when Andy handed over the director's close-up underwater hot-tub lens to his son, Drew Sidaris, the No. 1 film director based in Shreveport, La.

Drew's first outing, a year ago, was a little shaky.
Enemy Gold had the babes, it had the bazookas, but it didn't have the old classic Sidaris international espionage plot that never makes sense even after they explain it in the last talkin' scene.

But now Drew enters the big leagues, with The Dallas Connection, starring 1993 Penthouse Pet of the Year Julie Strain as Black Widow, the only villain in film history who has to have sex with anybody she kills.

Julie, the six-foot-tall Amazon who makes about 30 movies a year, disguises her real job as an international assassin by posing as the ruthless owner of a country-western topless bar in Dallas.

Every once in a while she goes there to interrupt the showers of Playboy model Wendy Hamilton and February 1993 Penthouse Pet Julie K. Smith, who travel around the world blowing up renowned scientists.

Meanwhile, June 1993 Penthouse Pet Sam Phillips, a CIA agent who always takes her cellular phone with her when she pumps iron in the nude, doesn't like it one bit.

So she joins up with two bodybuilders to protect the last renowned scientist in the world who hasn't been assassinated by a nude centerfold model, and to keep him occupied she spends the day with him, sipping champagne at Louisiana Downs racetrack in Bossier City, La., while wearing a computer chip around her neck that could possibly be used to power a top-secret satellite that can be used by western governments to find every illegal weapon in the universe, only the scientist she's with is not really what she thinks he is and...

I could swear Andy Sidaris wrote this. You have to see this one to believe it--and then you still won't believe it.

Twelve dead bodies. Twenty-six breasts. Multiple aardvarking. Exploding van, with fireball. Multiple use of dog collars, if you know what I mean. Kung Fu. Fistfight Fu. Taser Fu.

Drive-In Academy Award nomination to:
Julie Strain, as the agent in the tiniest miniskirt in the history of the universe, who has wild animal sex with a guy, shoots him in the forehead, then says, "God you were good--but hey, so was I."

Four stars.
Joe Bob says check it out.

Joe Bob's Find That Flick
This week's medulla-mangler comes from...Christopher Martin of St. Clair Shores, Mich.:

"Though I pride myself on my knowledge of schlock sci-fi films, there is one flick that has haunted me since the tender age of 9. During a family trip to the East Coast, we stopped at a hotel in New York state. While flipping the dial on the room TV, I caught a glimpse of two vaguely British actors talking about something called 'blood rust.' The implication was that this 'rust,' like the Blob, had an appetite for humans. Before I could learn more, my parents yanked me away from the TV and tossed me in the car. Despite my protests, we resumed our trip. (I always meant to go back to that hotel and switch the set off.) To this day, that film has remained a mystery to me. Does it have a scream queen? Does the 'blood rust' ever get around to eating someone? (I'm not fussy; I'll settle for an arm or a leg.) If your readers could supply the title and some details, I could finally close the door on one of those minor traumas that made my childhood a living hell."

A video will be awarded to the correct answer. (The winner chooses from a list of about a thousand titles.) In the event of a tie, a drawing will be held.

Send "Find That Flick" questions and solutions to Joe Bob Briggs, P.O. Box 2002, Dallas, Texas 75221.

Copyright1994 Joe Bob Briggs. Distributed by NYT Special Features/Syndication Sales.

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