Film Reviews

Joe Bob Briggs

While nothing can come close to duplicating the inimitable Drive-In experience, going to the videotape is the next best thing.

I heartily recommend these classics--true Drive-In material--for every home library:

* I Spit On Your Grave: This flick is considered "the most disgusting movie ever made" by Ebert the Wimp and Siskel the Simp, who went on TV telling everybody that it makes men want to rape women, which is why the theaters quit running it.

But Spit is the most feminist drive-in movie ever made. The most likely thing that'll happen after a man watches this flick--especially the bathtub scene--is he won't be able to walk straight for a week.

A combination of Deliverance, Death Wish, and Straw Dogs, this one has the second-best title of the '70s (the best is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and is a category all unto its own self.

Camille Keaton, Eron Tabor and Richard Pace all give Drive-ln Academy Award performances--especially Tabor, who is the finest crudhead slimeball woman-hater ever portrayed on the big screen.

The speech this guy gives about why it was necessary for him to rape Camille is a classic, and Meir Zarchi--one of those directors who is world-renowned for just one movie, this one--develops every single scene so that, even though you already sorta know what's gonna happen, you're always surprised by what really does happen.

The flick also has the best ad line in history: "This woman just chopped, burned, maimed, and mutilated four men beyond recognition--and no jury in the world would convict her."

A 94 on the Vomit Meter. Screenwriting Hall of Fame for the following line, spoken by a drunk rapist standing over a battered, corpselike woman: "Total submission. That's what I like in a woman. Total submission."

* Sybil Danning's Adventure Video: This is a bunch of drive-in movies with ripaway-bra-queen Sybil Danning stuck on the front end of 'em, and usually Sybil is the only decent thing to look at on the whole reel.

One exception: Fast Money, the ultimate dope-deal movie, made in Austin in 1981 for about 50 cents, never seen in theaters, featuring an incredible gonzo acidhead performance by Lou Perry, who also appears as the dead-but-still-blubberin' radio-station engineer in Saw 2.

* She-Devils on Wheels: A hard-to-find 1968 classic about a female biker gang called the Man-Eaters, who wear pink pussycats with bow ties on their leather jackets and have a daily race to see who gets first pick from the "stud line."

This bothers the sensitive new recruit Karen, who says, "We treat men like they're slabs of meat, hanging on a rack at a butcher shop." She thinks about running away to be married.

Especially fine performance by 300-pound Miami biker Pat Poston, who screams, "Up your Magic Dragon!" when she's not terrorizing small towns by sweeping past small children on her bike and stealing their snow cones.

By the neglected master, Herschell Gordon Lewis, the Chicago genius who made the first explicit-gore flick, Blood Feast, in 1962.

Joe Bob says check 'em all out.

Joe Bob's Find That Flick
This week's skull-slammer comes from...John Woodford of Ann Arbor, Michigan:
"At the Medford [Massachusetts] Twin Drive-In (where what 'can happen here' has happened), I saw an Italian import in 1966 or '67.

"It was the tale of an Italian guy who comes to America to look for a wife. He goes to several big cities--New York, Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles--each of which is sharply satirized.

"Some famous Italian comic actor starred, maybe Ugo Tognazzi or that other guy. Terribly funny.

"Anyone else see it? The significant persons I saw it with can't even remember its existence."

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: [email protected]. (E-mail entries must include a postal mailing address.)

We Have a Winner!
Larry Cywin of Russellville, Kentucky, wrote:
"I'm trying to find the title of a movie I saw way back when, in the late '60s.

"It was Japanese, and featured aliens that looked like starfish, but who walked upright and had a big eye in the center.

"I can't recall if they were invading the Earth or what, but they were all over the place.

"This movie was the type that independent stations played, so I guess it was low-grade '50s stuff.

"Sorry, I don't remember more about the flick. There's been a lot of beverage-of-choice since then."

We had one correct answer--from a married couple--so the winners are...Mark and Evelyn Leeper of Matawan, New Jersey:

"This is Warning from Space (a.k.a. Uchinjin Tokyo Ni Arawaru, a.k.a. The Mysterious Satellite, a.k.a. The Cosmic Man Appears in Tokyo, a.k.a. Space Men Appear in Tokyo, a.k.a. Unknown Satellite over Tokyo).

"Giant starfish with an eye in the middle of their body come from planet Paira to try to convince us not to use atomic weapons on each other, but instead to help Paira destroy a runaway planet that is going to hit Earth.

"For a change, the aliens are friendly, and they adopt human disguises to avoid frightening us. There's a still from this 1956 film in Phil Hardy's Overlook Film Encyclopedia."

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: [email protected].

1996 Joe Bob Briggs (Distributed by NYT Special Features)

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Joe Bob Briggs