Joe Bob Briggs

Drive-In Movie Critic of Grapevine, TX

What are the seven most dreaded words in the history of civilization?
Of course, you know what I'm talking about.
"I need to talk about the relationship."

Wanda Bodine was on me about this last week. She left it on the answering machine. After a three-day drunk in Mexico, I returned the call.

"We need to talk about the relationship."
"Really? I don't need to talk about the relationship. 'We' would include me, right?"

"OK, I need to talk about the relationship."
"Can you maybe talk about it to yourself?"
As you can see, I'm a very mature individual.

Now we move to the next seven most dreaded words in the history of civilization.

"I think you take me for granted."
I have never known what this means.
"Should I, like, send flowers, or what? Is this one of those deals that can be cured with flowers, or is it gonna take a three-day massive-emotional-pain screaming-and-yelling marathon where nobody remembers anything they say and it ends up being about how you can't stand dirty socks on the floor?"

"This is not about flowers."
"That's what I was afraid of?"
You know the only thing good about conversations like this?

At the end of 'em, you always have great sex. I don't know why this is true, either, but it is. You guys know what I'm talking about, right?

And speaking of guys willing to die for great sex, this week's flick is Virtual Seduction, starring Jeff Fahey as a dude who elopes with his girlfriend only to be kidnapped by killer goons who execute her and critically wound him.

Cut to...years later, blah blah blah, and he's messin' around with a virtual-reality home-entertainment center, wearin' one of those Darth Vader football-helmet visors, and suddenly his dead fiancee appears in the vision with him.

Pretty soon they're going at it hot and heavy, and he gets into it so much that all he does for days at a time is live in this virtual-reality igloo pod that a corporation is testing out at his apartment.

His living girlfriend, Ami Dolenz, is not too thrilled about her dead rival, and neither is the virtual-reality technician assigned to monitor Jeff's waking dreams.

The whole thing is starting to look like a gruesome sci-fi version of Leaving Las Vegas when Ami decides to start kicking butt.

This is actually one of the better efforts in a long time to come out of Concorde Pictures, home of legendary drive-in producer Roger Corman, and the best thing about it is...I'd choose the dead one, too.

When you get a look at Carrie Genzel in heat, you'll know why.
Four dead bodies. Four breasts. Multiple aardvarking.
One pistol-whipping. Sexual body-painting. Wrist-slitting.
Gratuitous Elvis.
Drive-In Academy Award nominations for...

* Frank Novak, as the evil virtual-reality corporate guy, for saying, "Our goal is to make virtual reality more real than reality."

* Emile Levisetti, as the VR guide who says, "Things here are created and uncreated."

* Jeff Fahey, as the man in love with a dead woman, for saying, "You're not supposed to be here: You're dead."

* Carrie Genzel, as the dead woman trying to steal her man back, for saying, "It's OK, I forgive you, but I have to take him back now. Liam loves me."

Ami Dolenz, as the feisty girlfriend who says, "Are you going to spend the rest of your life in that pod?"

* And Paul Ziller, the director, for doing things the drive-in way.
Four stars.

Joe Bob's Find That Flick
This week's noggin flogger comes from...The Rev. Dr. Mr. Ken of Tokyo:
"I have memories of this scene from a movie where the 'bad guys' have this boxer in an alley. The boxer was supposed to take a dive and didn't, so they teach him a lesson by putting his hands between some door hinges and slamming this huge friggin' door shut, crushing his hands.

"Now, they don't just slam it on his hands in the usual manner, but rather they put his fingers in the area between the hinges, which you just know is a zillion times more painful than just getting a door slammed on your hands.

"Anyway the (I hope) great part about this scene is that the boxer was played by Ronald Reagan. This memory was of great comfort to me throughout the '80s. The problem is that now that we're out of the sewer that was the Reagan years, I'm starting to have doubts and I'm thinking that perhaps it was Robert Ryan or one of those other look-alikes with the same haircut.

"Does anyone else remember this movie? (It was black-and-white, if that's any help).

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.)

We Have a Winner!
Steve Carrier of Barcelona, Spain, wrote:
"When I first came to Spain in 1991, I caught the last half of what was (I think) an American sci-fi film.

"I'm pretty sure it starred Martin Kove, who played the evil karate instructor in the first Karate Kid. I think he was playing an alien who was hiding on earth and being chased by other aliens.

"I also think he had lost his memory, because he was having flashbacks and was having a difficult time controlling his alien powers. A teen-age girl was helping him out.

"I can't be sure about any of this, though, because it was dubbed into Spanish and my Spanish skills were very poor at the time.

"Can your faithful readers put this mystery to rest for me?"
We had three correct answers, so the winner was chosen at random. And he is...Stephen A. Blaylock of Garland, Texas:

"The name of the movie is Doin' Time on Planet Earth. It was also made into a short-lived TV series on CBS."

To discuss the meaning of life with Joe Bob, write Joe Bob Briggs, P.O. Box 2002, Dallas, Texas 75221 or fax him at (213) 462-5982. Joe Bob even hangs out on the Internet: 76702.1435@compuserve.com.

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

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