Joe Bob Briggs

Drive-In Movie Critic of Grapevine, TX

Have you ever noticed that, when the media do interviews, they almost always ask questions about...

a) things that happened 30 years ago and don't matter anymore, like why the Beatles broke up, or

b) stuff that nobody wanted to know in the first place, like what Henry Kissinger's favorite baseball team is, or

c) astrological bullstuff, like what Charlie Sheen thinks he'll be doing 10 years from now?

I'm what's known in the biz as a "bad interview." Every once in a while, somebody will be having such a pathetically slow news day that they'll try to interview me. At least half of my answers will be, "I don't know anything about that."

And you hear this little catch in the reporter's voice, like, "Why is this guy being such a jerk?"

But the truth is, I don't know anything about that.
One time a reporter asked me what I thought of Jerry Garcia. Until that moment, I didn't really think anything of Jerry Garcia. I knew who he was. I saw him one time. So I said, "Nothing."

The reporter said, "Does that mean you don't like him?"
I said, "I don't like him or dislike him. I like his beard."
And so the guy used that in the article. He actually informed the reading public that Joe Bob Briggs likes Jerry Garcia's beard. And he wrote it in such a way that this was some hysterically funny comment I had made.

Now look at a publication like, oh, Entertainment Weekly, and multiply that experience by 9,000.

Then add in all the people being interviewed who think, "Oh my god, they want me to comment on Bosnia. If I don't say something about it, I'll look stupid."

Then add in all the bimbos and dimwits who actually spend time trying to get interviewed, and...

Let's give those reporter's notebooks a little rest, you know what I mean?
If I want this kind of wisdom, I'll just go down to Denny's and turn on a tape recorder.

And speaking of tape recorders, I just finished watching the latest flick by Michael DiPaolo.

Michael's day job is videotaping all the confessions for the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office, so you can imagine what kinda slime this guy has witnessed over the years.

About 10 years ago Michael started turning this material into movies, beginning with Brutal Ardor, the story of a battered wife, and continuing through Bought and Sold, which is about a sexually tormented runaway, Requiem for a Whore, and Where No Sun Shines, which is a hidden-camera documentary that takes a look at hustlers and homeless people in the sleaziest parts of New York City.

Every Michael DiPaolo film is like getting hit over the head with a concrete piling, and he doesn't disappoint with Transgression, his latest and most elaborate.

Molly Jackson stars as a TV reporter who investigates a serial killer, gets kidnapped and terrorized by him, and starts to know his mind so well that she gets these ideas of her own about how to work out her anger against men. She tells her story from Death Row on her last day of life.

With DiPaolo flicks, it's not so much the story as how he tells the story. He loves to use religious music with scenes of graphic sex, violence, torture, and death. And I do mean graphic. I've seen so many slasher flicks that not much bothers me anymore. These scenes bother me.

My kinda flick.
Twelve dead bodies. Eighteen breasts.
Bondage. Rape. Mutilation. (All the usual New York City tourist attractions.)

Blood-drinking. Throat-slashing. Aard-varking. Corpse-licking. (Yuk.) Chest-slicing. Gratuitous alcoholism subplot.

Handcuff fu. Wooden-spoon fu. Wire-hanger fu.
Drive-In Academy Award nominations for...
* Molly Jackson, as the TV-reporter-turned-serial-killer, for saying, "I killed three men and found God."

* Marc St. Camille, as the psychiatrist-turned-serial-killer, for rubbing blood all over himself every time he kills a hooker, and for saying, "This is a classic example of a serial killer showing off his ego."

* Sharon Ann Sposta, as the creepy mom who says, "Your father and I didn't raise you to be with people like him."

* Julio Rodriguez, as the cop boyfriend who says, "That little incident--you enjoyed it!"

* And Michael DiPaolo, for being one of the few filmmakers who is absolutely original.

Four stars.
Joe Bob says check it out.

Joe Bob's Find That Flick
This week's brain-basher comes from...John Mark Eberhart of Raytown, Mississippi:

"When I was a little kid in the late '60s my dad used to let me stay up and watch these Friday night Creature Features.

"One Friday night they had this movie that scared the pants off me and gave me really cool bad dreams for about two weeks.

"It was about this water witch who goes out looking for water and instead finds this buried human head. Her friends dig it up and they all take it back to the house and put it in a hatbox (I'm not kidding).

"Then the head opens its eyes and starts talking to her, only he's moving his lips but you can't hear the sound. She understands, though, that he's telling her where to look for his body.

"Turns out he's this 400-year-old warlock or something who was executed and they buried his head and body separately to keep him from coming back to life.

"So she finds his body and these fools set the head on the body and he comes back to life and all hell breaks loose. I don't remember much of the rest because I think I started screaming or something.

"Anyway, I'd like to know the title of this film and whether it's available on video, 'cause I'd really like to have it for my collection."

A video will be awarded for the correct answer. (The winner chooses from our library of 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. You can also fax them to (213) 462-5982 or e-mail them to Joe Bob on the Internet: 76702.1435@compuserve.com. (E-mail entries must include a postal mailing address.)

©1996 Joe Bob Briggs (Distributed by NYT Special Features)

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