Joe Bob Briggs

Drive-In Movie Critic of Grapevine, TX

I have a question about "women's studies." Did you know you can get a Ph.D. in this? You can basically spend your whole life at a college proving how the reason the world is all screwed up is that there are too dang many men in it.

People go to college and say: "Gee whiz, what should I do? Premed? Naw, too practical. Math? Nope, too theoretical. Journalism? Too easy.

"Hey, I know! Women's studies! I won't have to wear makeup!"
But here's my question. It's similar to the question I have about professors of sociology--namely, why is there no such thing as a conservative professor of sociology?

Not once. In history. Why are they all chardonnay-drinkin' wussies in two-button cardigans?

So my question about women's studies is: Why are there never any professors of women's studies who dress like Cindy Crawford? Shouldn't there be one, somewhere? You know what I mean?

Or, to ask the same question from the other direction, why do all 23-year-old supermodels hate the idea of radical feminism? Even the lesbian ones.

I had a lesbian tell me last week, "Makeup was invented for men." She was living proof of her premise, because she was real scary for me to look at.

But what would happen if a world-class beauty in hip-hugging Calvin Klein jeans enrolled in Women's Studies 101 at Sarah Lawrence College?

After all, there are women who like to dress this way, even when there are no men around to notice.

Would they kick her out? Prob'ly not. Would they all sit a long way away from her? Maybe.

No. You know what they would prob'ly do? Convince her that men were forcing her to dress that way.

Someday we'll know what this is all about. In the meantime, listen to me, guys. The best policy is: Act like we don't notice. It's safer that way.

Speaking of typically violent, hiney-kicking, jerky men--Jeff Speakman is back, taking on the entire population of Tennessee's Death Row, in The Expert.

When Jeff's sister gets wasted by a sex-pervert, computer-geek serial killer and The System decides to put him in a mental hospital instead of frying him to death like God intended, Speakman buys an arsenal from soldier-of-fortune weapons expert Jim Varney (!) and heads for the state prison.

It's all a little disturbing to tabloid reporter/love interest Elizabeth Gracen.

I have two questions:
Why does every movie suddenly have a "Hard Copy"-type female love interest? This is getting booooooooring.

And why doesn't Speakman get the break he deserves? The girls go wild for this guy. He's the best-looking kung fu star since Bruce Lee and he can really fight.

But he's still working the direct-to-video system while Belgian ballet dancer Jean Claude Van Damme pulls down five mill per picture. Let's get some priorities, people.

This isn't the best Speakman flick ever made. It's pretty much paint-by-numbers, with the murdered little sister, the hard-bitten girl who melts into his arms, the black sidekick, the impossible mission, the psycho protected by the system.

In fact, the only highlights are Varney as "Snake," the black-market arms dealer, and James Brolin as the warden so nasty he likes to hold free buffets before each execution.

The chopsocky, however, is major.
Twenty dead bodies. Two breasts. Cleaver to the throat. Redneck through a plate-glass window. Six kung fu scenes. Paint-gun fu. Rubber-truncheon fu. Bench-press fu.

Drive-In Academy Award nominations for...
*Michael Shaner, as the Binaca-spraying serial killer who says, "Life is good--love is better."

*James Brolin, as the meany prison warden, who says, "We all have a dark place, and I don't like to visit mine, but I will if I have to."

*Jeff Speakman, as the morose SWAT-team instructor who says, "It's never gonna be over for me."

*And Jim Varney, as Snake, for saying, "Splatter that son of a bitch."
Too much plot getting in the way of the story, but...
Three stars.
Joe Bob says check it out.

Dear Joe Bob:
I do enjoy your columns, but you made a statement some time ago that is not accurate. You said that Texas was the only state that could secede at will from the United States. It's true that under one of the terms of admission Texas can divide at will into five states. But secede? Never! They tried that in the 1860s.

Now I ought to let a big, good-looking cowboy like yourself get by with it, but someone told me you grew up on Earth, so you must've gone to Spring Lake Schools out in the country and I know they taught you better.

I grew up in Dimmit and played end for the Bobcats when we beat the Wolverines 93-6! Were you on that team?

Let me know when you research that old column and learn the facts. Our family has been in Texas since a certain birth in 1844.

P.S. If you travel out here, call and we can check out some of the real drive-ins that still exist (most of which are going the way of small-town wayside gas stations).

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