Joe Bob Briggs

Drive-In Movie Critic of Grapevine, TX

Why is it that the people on airplanes who look like they have no jobs are always the ones who have to get off the plane immediately to get somewhere?

Check out the guy with the six-day growth of beard carrying a paper sack full of greasy buffalo wings. As soon as the stewardess says, "Please remain seated with your seat belt fastened until...," he's up and running. He's climbed over three people, stepped on an old lady, and crawled up inside the overhead luggage rack to get his cardboard box full of Mexican pinatas.

Now check out the guy in the $4,000 Armani suit who's snoozin' in first class, on his way to Brussels to negotiate a merger. The plane stops. He starts packing up his laptop and looking around for his coat. He actually straightens his clothes before he gets up. It's no big deal to him that the plane stopped.

But he's definitely the minority. Because 90 percent of the people on the plane are gonna bunch up in the aisles like senile hogs, sniffin' each other on the way out, gettin' irritated when somebody stops in the aisle for, like, five seconds.

Now, 20 minutes later, you're all standin' around the baggage-claim carousel dealie. All of you. You didn't get any points for being the first one to the baggage area. In fact, if you left the plane first, you were prob'ly part of a massive goat herd that was dodgin' and weavin', trying to jump on the moving walkway quicker than everybody else, jockeying for position so you could burst into the baggage area and find...no sign of life.

Listen up, people: The luggage is never there. What's your goldurn hurry? Do you enjoy shifting from one foot to the other while a guy named Mokbar tries to sell you a limo ride? Is it your idea of a good time to watch kids jump on and off the moving carousel while Daddy bitches at 'em? Does the CNN Airport Channel make your heart leap?

Calm down, you guys. You're not going anywhere.
I'm surprised I have to explain this.
And speaking of inevitable American traditions, this week's one-man-against-the-drug-world action flick is When the Bullet Hits the Bone, starring Canadian kung-fu dude Jeff Wincott as a trauma doctor who gets sick of watching drug addicts die in the emergency room, so he trades in his stethoscope for a couple of really cool handguns and takes on the biggest drug cartel in the world.

Fortunately, Mr. Big is also into prostitution, kidnapping, and white slavery, so Jeff ends up with somebody to fall in love with--the always slinky Michelle Johnson, here seen as a kung-fu hooker who does what she has to do to preserve the illegitimate child she had by drug weasel Doug O'Keeffe.

O'Keeffe scores about an 87 in the competitive world of sleazy-drug-lord performances, but he's easily outdistanced by his killer sidekick, Roy Lewis, who gives all his victims an American-history quiz right before he blows them away.

Unlike most Bronson-type stories, this one moves; it twists, it turns, and it doesn't even drag in the middle.

Twenty-two dead bodies. Two pistol-whippings. Three gun battles.
Do-it-yourself gunshot-cauterizing.
One mugging. One drive-by shooting. One flaming Rastafarian cab driver.

Four point-blank executions. Two finger removals. The old scalpel-under-the-fingernails torture.

Neck-chewing. Three kung-fu scenes. Taser Fu.
Drive-in Academy Award nominations for...
* Doug O'Keeffe, as the limping drug lord who says, "It's a bad thing if he talks about your face or my license plate," and, "Lisa, will you be nice to the general?" and, "You have one hour or you will be an orphan."

* Roy Harris, as the history-buff hit man who says, "Welcome home, you smug-faced bitch," as he hooks up a heroin rig.

* Phillip Jarrett, as the greedy Rasta cab driver.
* Jeff Wincott, as the kung-fu doctor-turned-vigilante, who says, "I'm not brave enough to lie."

* And Damian Lee, the writer and director, for doing things the drive-in way.

Four stars.
Joe Bob says check it out.

Joe Bob's Find That Flick
This week's head-banger comes from...Michael Pearce of Portland, Oregon:
"This image has been bugging me for years. The scene is a wasteland that looks like a suburban development after the bomb--mostly dirt and foundations.

"There's a guy wearing a space suit--it looks like a cheap fire suit--with a clear faceplate. The mouthpiece is--get this--a telephone mouthpiece unscrewed from its handset!

"I thought it might be Plan 9 From Outer Space, but when I saw Plan again after several years, there was no suit or phone mouthpiece.

"So what movie was this?"
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

"I caught the tail end of a movie when I incorrectly set my VCR. It was a zombie flick with rather bad effects. (They scratched the film emulsion to simulate ray guns firing.)

"It appeared to be '80s vintage. The closing credits included a rock title score, Raiders of the Living Dead, that was actually rather funny."

We had two correct answers, so the winner was chosen by drawing, and he is...Jim Manson of St. Paul, Minnesota: "The movie was--Ready?--Raiders of the Living Dead.

"It was pretty bad. The hero, a computer geek, made a 'ray gun' out of a CD player and used it to 'kill' the zombies."

Also answering correctly was...Dan Schwartz of Scottsdale, Arizona:
"It is carried by the Savage Cinema and Horror Relations Shop. They offer American movies in European VHS format, so that probably won't do David any good, but they have a Web site: http://www.xs4all.nl/~peterzir/catalog.htm, and maybe they could direct him toward the video maker."

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

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