Film Reviews

Joe Bob Briggs

How come all the people who defend porno act like they hate porno? You ever notice this? There's always some guy in a corduroy coat, the professor of institutional mediocrity at Wyoming State Technical Institute, and he's being interviewed by Dick Cavett or William F. Buckley or somebody.

He says, "The First Amendment protects all forms of speech, including these dirty movies. Of course, I don't personally like this material, and I certainly wouldn't want my kids to see it, but it has a constitutional right to exist."

In other words, why does every single person immediately turn into a backtracking weenie on this subject? Why hasn't there been one professor, in the whole history of First Amendment debate, who had the courage to say, "I love that Nina Hartley when she does hard-core. I saw her in a three-way one time with Jerry Butler and Ron Jeremy that was, like, wow! We need to fight against the prudes who would deny our right to watch this stuff. In fact, I'm going down to Times Square right now. Got any quarters?"

Because porno is bigger than ever, right? They're selling billions of porno home videos every year. So there's gotta be somebody out there who likes it.

Like me. I like it. I don't see anything wrong with it. I don't see a dang thing wrong with a tape that has nothing but sex on it. Kinky sex, weird sex, perverted sex, any kind of sex. When I say, "The First Amendment protects this stuff," I really mean it.

The people on the other side think it's disgusting, immoral, indecent, illegal and should be stuck in an iron Dempster Dumpster and dropped into the middle of the Atlantic.

So you have these slobbering wolves on one side, and when it comes time to fight with them, we've got baldheaded guys with prostate trouble going, "I beg to respectfully disagree."

Let's get militant about this stuff. Let's get some people in there who like to watch Teri Weigel nekkid. Let's get somebody on CNN who thinks Ginger Lynn is God's gift to film--or who at least knows Ginger Lynn's name, and knows the difference between Ginger Lynn and Amber Lynn.

And speaking of great American institutions, it took more than 20 years, but we finally have a decent sequel to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which is, of course, the greatest drive-in movie ever made.

All along we thought that Tobe Hooper, the director of Saw, was a genius. And he is. He really is. But we completely overlooked the writer of Saw, Kim Henkel, who not only wrote that movie, but wrote the second greatest movie to come out of Texas in the last 20 years, Last Night at the Alamo.

Kim basically kept three things from the original. He kept the house in the woods. He kept the idea of a mutant cannibal family that lies in wait for anybody lost on the highway.

And he kept, of course, Leatherface, the chainsaw-wielding transvestite human-skin-masked legend who inspired every great horror villain of the last three decades, from Jason to Michael Myers to Freddy Krueger to Jame Gumb.

Oh yeah. One other thing. He uses that giant meat hook again. Yuk.
This time two prom-night couples get lost out on the highway where a creepy redneck named W.E. roams around in a satanic wrecker, collecting bodies and quoting literature and trapping teen-age girls in gunny sacks.

Wait till you meet the rest of his family.
This one has so many completely unpredictable twists that I don't wanna give it away, but it definitely satisfies the first rule of great drive-in filmmaking--anyone can die at any moment.

There are a couple of scenes in this baby that were almost too intense for me to watch--and I've seen 47,000 of these things.

This is the best horror film of the '90s.
Eight dead bodies. Two breasts.
Neck-breaking. Sledgehammer to the head. Bimbo on a meat hook.
Stuffed state trooper. Woman on fire.
Face-licking. Head-stomping.
Four motor vehicle chases, with four crashes.
Evil-stepfather Fu.
Meat-locker Fu.
Drive-In Academy Award nominations for ...

Tyler Cone, as the spoiled rich-kid son-of-a-lawyer who gets caught kissing another woman on prom night and says, "I can't believe how possessive you are."

Robert Jacks, as a new, improved, more womanly Leatherface.
Writer/director Kim Henkel, for doing it the drive-in way.
Four stars.
Joe Bob says check it out twice.

Joe Bob's Find That Flick
This week's synapse-scrambler comes from...Harriet Kips of Annandale, Va.:
"The plot of the film involves a teacher and a busload of students who are kidnapped, kept in an underground chamber, and brutally treated by a gang. Eventually, the class manages to escape.

"When the police find the bus, they also find the bodies of the bad guys. The heart of the gang leader has been savagely cut out.

"The film then cuts to a classroom, where the teacher and the students are smiling at a jar of formaldehyde on the shelf. Inside the jar is a beating heart. That's it in a nutshell. I'll be your fan for life if you can find this movie."

A video will be awarded to the correct answer. Send "Find That Flick" questions and solutions to Joe Bob Briggs, P.O. Box 2002, Dallas, Texas 75221.

We Have a Winner!
In a previous column, Dan Cziraky of Newark, N.J., wrote:
"I need the title to a slasher flick from the early '70s. It was about this guy who has these blackout spells, and it looks like he's hacking up bimbos whenever he blacks out.

"There's this one scene where he's on the beach at night with this bimbo in a bikini, and he goes off in search of beer. Next thing you know, the bimbo gets it right between the mahi-mahis with an ax!

"The best part is when the camera goes in for an extreme close-up of the blood and it pulls back out and shows a bowl of tomato soup this homicide detective is eating.

"The same detective gets his hand lopped off with an ax later in the movie."
We received 10 correct answers, so our winner was chosen by drawing. And he is...Jesse Foster of Silver Spring, Md.:

"The movie that Dan is referring to is Night of Bloody Horror. I saw it at a drive-in theatre in York County, Pa., when it first came out in the early 1970s. I was maybe 10 years old, and my whole family went to a triple-feature horror-fest that night.

"We still talk about Night of Bloody Horror to this day."

Copyright 1995 by Joe Bob Briggs. Distributed by NYT Special Features/Syndication Sales.