Joe Bob Briggs

Drive-In Movie Critic of Grapevine, TX

Have you noticed that the only people who know how to do anything are from other countries?

These two Armenian brothers are the only guys I'll let work on my car. I can never pronounce their names, so I refer to 'em as the Skinny Goofy One and the Stocky Older One. The Stocky Older Armenian Brother is one of those old-fashioned mechanics who can listen to your engine and diagnose it within 15 seconds. And if they say it'll be ready Tuesday, by God it's ready Tuesday.

The guy behind the counter at the neighborhood deli is a Ukrainian. He can make the best danged sandwiches since the invention of the cold cut.

The only cobbler left in the whole known universe is this Cuban who has a little shop five blocks over. He doesn't believe that any shoe is ever dead. Any shoe can be resoled, recycled, and placed back on the foot where it belongs. Better yet, he knows how to make a pair of shoes. From scratch.

Ninety percent of the cooks in America are from other countries. Almost all the great cab drivers are from either Russia or Pakistan or India. They can drive 90 miles an hour through lanes too narrow for a bicycle and never scratch a bumper.

So my question is: Since it's only the people from other countries who still know how to do all the practical stuff in the world, why do we keep trying to kick 'em out? What we should do is kick ever'body out who was born here, and keep everybody who just got off the boat.

This would be bad news for yours truly, of course, because I might find it hard to sell "Joe Bob's Drive-In" in, say, Norway, but it would be the healthiest thing we could do for America.

You ever see a guy who just went down to the courthouse and became an American? Most of 'em would instantly go to war if we asked 'em to. Those are the people I want running the country, not hiding from the Immigration Police.

Speaking of people in hiding, Garrett Morris is back! Garrett plays a jive-talkin' stolen-car specialist who befriends Joan Severance when she dons a bat-girl outfit and becomes...Black Scorpion.

Joan is working undercover as a hooker--aren't all female cops working undercover as hookers?--trying to get evil pimps off the streets and make her dad proud.

Dad is a drunken security guard who got kicked off the force 18 years earlier when he accidentally shot a doctor during a gun battle in an emergency room. So Joan is having a drink with her dad, when suddenly the district attorney walks up and blows away the old man for no apparent reason.

Enter the bat mask, the thigh-high boots, and the whole black-vinyl Spandex thing as Joan starts kung-fuing her way through the city, eliminating scumballs as she searches for the asthmatic iron-lung man who's trying to control the minds of the world with experimental drugs while plotting to release deadly superpollution nerve gas into the atmosphere.

Only Garrett Morris can build the military computer car Joan needs to vanquish the Metal Bug Man and avenge her father's death.

And you might be surprised to learn this, but Joan knows how to kung a little fu. She doesn't look bad at all.

Nineteen dead bodies. Eight breasts. Three motor-vehicle chases, with three crash-and-burns.

Five gun battles. One strangulation.
Six kung-fu scenes. Taser Fu.
Drive-In Academy Award nominations for...

* Michael Wiseman, as the deranged bank robber who says, "Slow down, man, I wanna blow some cops away."

* Darryl M. Bell, as the sleazoid pimp who says, "You look a little too uptown to be downtown."

* Joan Severance, as the vigilante in leather who says, "Didn't anybody ever tell you that when a girl says 'no,' she means 'no'?"

* Terri J. Vaughn, as the sweet hooker who says, "You go, girl."
* Bruce Abbott, as the clueless boyfriend who says, "You're a great cop, but you're no Black Scorpion."

* Casey Siemasko, as the crazed doctor in an iron lung who says, "If I can't breathe like everyone else, then I'm gonna make everyone else breathe like me."

* And Jonathan Winfrey, the 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 beanie buster comes from...Ramon Jasso of Dallas: "Who's that chick with the huge breasts who used to do movies about Nazi concentration camps? She'd feed guys to tigers, have their heads smashed by big mallets, and she did shower scenes. What's her name, and what's she been doing lately?"

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

"Hey, Joe Bob, we need your help in finding out the name of some kung-fu-type movie where the hero uses a circular-saw blade as a throwing star and utters, 'Thank God for Black & Decker.'"

We had three correct answers, so the winner was chosen at random. And he is...Jack C. Dolph of Dallas:

"That film was a 1981 release entitled Force Five. The stars (?) were Joe Lewis (not the fighter), Pam Huntington, Richard Norton, Benny 'The Jet' Urquidez, and 'Master' Bong Soo Han (Billy Jack's karate stand-in). The director was Robert Clouse, director of Enter the Dragon."

Additional information came from Brandon Luna of Addison, Texas:
"It starred kung-fu reject Jack Ryan of Kill or Be Killed fame.
"The one who said the line 'Thank God for Black & Decker' was not Ryan, though. It was Richard Norton.

"Ryan pretty much disappeared from the movie scene, but Norton has gone on to do movies with Jackie Chan and Cynthia Rothrock."

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

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