Joe Bob Briggs

Drive-In Movie Critic of Grapevine, TX

This week I'm wondering why those fat, cow-faced husbands on "Oprah" never defend themselves.

You know the guys I'm talking about? They bring out some chunky, ticked-off Jenny Craig dropout with a lab experiment on her head resulting in Blonde Meltdown, and she says, "Oprah, I found out he was sleeping with three of my best friends, and sometimes all four of them would make love on the couch while I was sleeping in the next room. I had no idea this was going on."

In other words, they'll tell this white-trash story that's purt-near impossible to believe, then they'll ambush the guy by bringing out all the secret girlfriends.

And all the time he'll sit there with his elbows on the arms of his plush daytime talk show studio chair, twiddling his thumbs, grinning like a cheetah at a parrot show.

And all these women will scream for a half hour, and the guy says nothing. Nada. Zip. He doesn't even act like it bothers him that this is happening to him on national television.

And then, when they finally do calm down long enough for the guy to say something, he says, "Uh, well, uh, yeah, I guess I did, uh-huh. I guess I, uh, shouldn't have done that. But I still love Trisha."

And then the audience screams at him for 15 minutes about how "You don't love her!" and "You don't know what love is!" and "You're a dirty slimeball!"

And the guy still just sits there like a catatonic lab animal. And maybe, at the very end, he'll offer some explanation like, "I couldn't decide which girl I wanted."

Where do these guys come from?
I mean, I've heard of guys who score a lot. I've heard of guys who sleep with a lot of women and don't have any conscience about it. I've even heard of guys who lie to every woman they sleep with. But this is something different.

This is a guy who has a big sign on him: Most Disgusting Male Who Ever Lived. And he's enjoying it. He's eating it up. It never occurs to him to say either, "I'm sick," or, "I don't personally think there's anything wrong with having group sex with the neighbors while my wife is sleeping."

The guy doesn't say he's wrong, and he doesn't say he's right. He just sits there, grinning, twiddling, contemplating his next Dorito. It's like it's happening to someone else.

And it's not like there's just one of these guys. There's an unending stream. Jerk of the Week. Male Pig of the Century. You could probably call these guys up and say, "Hello, I'm from the 'Oprah' show, and we think you're the scummiest human being we've ever heard about. Would you like to be on the show?"

And they would just say, "Yep."
Somebody explain this to me, 'cause I'm punting.
Speaking of guys who look out of place, Don "The Dragon" Wilson returns this week as the mild-mannered doctor who heals by day, kills by night, and takes on the Italian Mafia and the Russian Mafia while rescuing his real-life son, Jonathon Wilson, from vicious rednecks, biker gangs, and KGB hitmen, while falling in love with Desert Storm-veteran-turned-forest-ranger Bobbie Phillips, while uttering the minimum amount of dialogue.

Of course, you know what I'm talking about. I'm talking Ring of Fire 3: Lion Strike.

They said it could never happen. They said that, after Ring of Fire uno, one of the worst kung fu movies ever made, there could never be even one sequel, much less two.

But never underestimate Don The Dragon, the Energizer Bunny of martial arts, who keeps going, and going, and going, no matter how many times he walks down an alley and is surrounded by six stupid goons in sweatshirts who stand still while he kicks them in the head one by one.

Gangsters from Hong Kong, Tokyo, Bogota, Moscow and, of course, El Lay are meeting in a secret mansion, trying to dominate the world by selling nuclear weapons to the Third World.

Unfortunately, Don The Dragon keeps getting in their way by machine-gunning helicopters from the roof of the hospital where he works, kung-fuing hitmen who get in his way while he's driving home and going fishing in the mountains with their secret computer disk in his bag.

We've seen it all before, but have we seen Don do it before? As a matter of fact, yes we have.

Thirty-eight dead bodies. No breasts. Exploding helicopter, with fireball.
Eleven kung fu scenes.
Drive-In Academy Award nominations for...

Bobbie Phillips, as the forest ranger love interest, who says, "I feel like I'm closer to heaven up here."

And, of course, Don The Dragon, for keeping that torso greased.
Two and a half stars.
Joe Bob says check it out.

Joe Bob's Find That Flick
This week's skull-skunker comes from...John F. Pinckney of McLean, Va.:
"I have a movie for you and your cadre of experts to identify. It dealt with the kidnapping of a young (20ish) couple by aliens in a flying saucer with the intention of transporting them to their home planet.

"The lead alien took great pains to explain to the couple what each step of the preparation process was, in terms relative to Earth equivalents. It was without doubt the campiest movie I've ever seen!"

A video will be awarded to the correct answer. Send "Find That Flick" questions and solutions to Joe Bob Briggs, P.O. Box 2002, Dallas, Texas 75221.

We Have a Winner!
In a previous issue, Bill Cantey of Charleston, S.C. wrote: "I've got a semi-remembered movie. I think it's a Japanese job, but it had a Chinese look to it. It involves a giant, manlike stone formation coming to life to rescue a valley of farmers from a small-minded tyrant.

"It was black and white, with English subtitles. It had an eerie quality that may have been inspired by our Second Coming belief. Well, mine anyway..."

We received 17 correct answers, so our winner was chosen by drawing. And he is...Bret McCormick of Fort Worth:

"Bill is talking about a Japanese movie released in 1966 from the Daiei Company. "The film was called Majin, Monster of Terror. Bill is right! This is the most compelling of all the giant-monster movies to come out of Japan.

"The local villagers worship a stone god. To break their spirit, the tyrant has his men hammer a steel spike into the idol's forehead. This is too much for old Majin to take lying down.

"In a scene somewhat reminiscent of the Talos scene in Harryhausen's Jason and the Argonauts, Majin animates and wreaks destruction on the tyrant's army.

"I believe there was even a sequel to the film. The film made its way onto American television via the infamous AIP television package, which brought us such wonders as Brainiac from Mexico and the Larry Buchanan films from Dallas!"

Copyright 1995 by Joe Bob Briggs. Distributed by NYT Special Features/Syndication Sales.

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