Joe Bob Briggs

Drive-In Movie Critic of Grapevine, TX

Everybody's been hacked off all week because Chubb Fricke showed up at the family reunion with his new mail-order wife from the Philippines. Actually, I'm not supposed to call her a mail-order wife 'cause it makes Chubb mad. He spent $1,200 on a plane ticket to go over there and get her, and he doesn't want that ignored.

So anyhow, Chubb just turned 68 and his wife just turned 17. We know this because all the women at the reunion badgered the poor girl so they could go around saying: "He's FOURTIMES her age! He's FOURTIMES her age!"

And what's really remarkable is that, if you figure it out, he's exactly four times her age. But who would automatically think to do that? Who would start doing long division in their heads before they even meet the girl? WOMEN, that's who. It was only the women who were going around doing computer logarithms in their heads. All the men were thinking, "Way to go, Chubb! Does she have any sisters over there?"

Course, we weren't saying that. You can't actually say things like that. You're obligated by law to stand around saying: "Oh, yes, yes; you're right. The novelty will probably wear off. They'll run out of things to talk about. Yes, it's said that she has such low self-esteem."

When, meanwhile, this gal looks incredibly HAPPY and, more important to the gawking male Briggses at the reunion, incredibly sexy in her little muumuu draped over all 90 pounds of her curvy miniature-doll body.

Not that I NOTICED, of course.
I sauntered over to this gal at one point and said, "Soooo, what kinda stuff were you into back in the Philippines?" I had to repeat it a couple of times because her main language is something only spoken on an island in the South China Sea. But I finally got my answer: "Sewing, cooking, reading, and making a cozy home for my husband."

BINGO! I walked over to Chubb, who was grinnin' like a cheetah, and I said, " I gotta hand it to you, man. This is WHY we fought Guadalcanal, you know? I'll never be able to look at that Iwo Jima statue again without a giant tear coming to my eye."

And Chubb was looking at least 20 years younger, too. I asked him how he even got the idea to do this.

"Saw an ad in the back of Guns and Ammo. It said Filipina wives love you forever and don't talk too much. It sounded good to me."

It sounded good to ALL of us. So, as I rejoined Wanda Bodine at the buffet table, I said:"Chubb is already a miserable man. He's realizing that he married a child and that they have nothing in common. It's soooo sad."

Wanda just glared at the little Filipina doll-wife, and MAYBE it's my imagination, but I saw something flash behind her eyeballs that looked like homicide.

I'm not gonna think about it, OK?
And speaking of brutal politics, this week's movie is Virus, starring Brian Bosworth, one of my all-time favorite football-player-turned-actors. In fact, I never did understand why The Boz's career didn't take off like a rocket after the great action flick Stone Cold, in which he went undercover to nail Lance Henriksen's motorcycle gang.

But now he's back, looking cooler that a crate of refrigerated popsicles, as the head of the president's Secret Service detail. The Boz gets sent out to a national park in Oregon to do advance security for a presidential visit, and he happens to get there right at the moment when a boozed-up, pill-poppin' truck driver noses an 18-wheeler over a mountain cliff and dumps some biological warfare nerve gas into the river that feeds the geyser system.

We've got the possibility of Old Faithful spraying instant paralysis into the ozone here, but fortunately The Boz hooks up with a cutie-pie cowgirl and outruns a gang of machine-gun-toting chemical-company goons dressed up as forest rangers, determined to gun down anybody who's been exposed to the nerve gas and feed 'em to a portable incinerator.

Obviously we've got way too much plot getting in the way of the story, but we've also got one of the greatest action stunts ever filmed, when the 18-wheeler nosedives one piece at a time into a waterfall canyon. The Boz has to stretch those acting muscles as an ex-University of Oklahoma football player who had to end his career early because of an injury, and the supporting cast is pretty dang decent, too--especially Chuck Shamata as the cigar-chompin' investigative reporter with his nose to the Yellowstone.

Thirty dead bodies. One dead horse (unbeaten). Two dead fish.
No breasts. Clumsy lab-employee immolation. Egg to the face.
Man hit by a car, with hood flip.
Civilian-smothering.

Emergency tracheotomy. Syringe to the shoulder. Character-actor incineration. Canyon death plunge. Bullet to the brain.

One gun-battle, with mushroom cloud. Four motor-vehicle chases, with four crashes, two explosions. Gratuitous seaplane footage.

Three kung fu scenes. Geyser fu.
Drive-In Academy Award nominations for:
*Patrick Galligan, as the disgruntled military whistle-blower who sulks around New York pay phones, going, "The project must be stopped!"

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