Film Reviews

Joe Bob Briggs

Only in California.
People keep getting kicked off the O.J. jury for "planning to write a book."
First of all, what difference does it make?

Nine million people a day decide their life is so danged fascinating they'll write a book about it, but none of them ever actually do it.

And those who do do it--the two or three who actually scratch it out--can't write worth a flip, so they can't sell it.

You might as well kick people off the jury for vowing to "move to Hawaii after this is all over." 'Cause they're not gonna do that, either.

But let's assume there was a publisher who decided to buy one of these jurors' stories and go up against the Joe McGinnis book and the Dominick Dunne book and the 10 other books that will already be out by the time it's over.

I'm still wondering, "What the heck difference does it make?"
We'd just have an eyewitness account of a year of claustrophobic living and bickering and a boring retelling of the jury deliberations.

Or, if we really lucked out, an exciting retelling of the jury deliberations.

But the idea seems to be, "Well, if the guy is writing a book, then he won't be a fair juror."

Why not?
Let's assume he's biased as hell. Which way is he gonna vote to make his book come out better? Guilty or innocent?

If O.J. is guilty, it's a great trial story.
If O.J. is innocent, it's still a great trial story.
So how could this possibly affect the outcome of the trial? He's just gonna go ahead and vote his conscience and then write about it. The last time I looked, it wasn't illegal to write about something.

But what I really wanna know is, how did the judge find out they were writing books?

Apparently they were taking notes, and the notes were seized by deputies, and blah blah blah.

What a bunch of dummies.
All they had to do was sit through the trial, then order a trial transcript!
They could probably even get a publisher to pay for it. Heck, they could probably just watch the Court TV videos that are already being released.

Every day's coverage would remind them of what was happening behind the scenes on that day. They could reconstruct it. And voila! Half-million-dollar advance from Grove/Atlantic.

I've done three-hour interviews during which I've written down nothing--to give the person the impression that I was not going to print what he was saying.

I had it all on tape anyway.
This stuff is easy. What we should really be worried about is that there are people so dumb they can't figure out how to do it sitting on the jury of the most celebrated trial of the century.

Speaking of great American stories, America's Deadliest Home Video is the best B-movie release of the year, and the only one absolutely no one has seen.

They're having a rough time getting the word out on this baby, in spite of the top-notch performance of the legendary Danny Bonaduce of "The Partridge Family" and substance-abuse fame.

Danny plays a nerdy husband who's in love with his camcorder, and the whole movie is his attempt to record his life "for posterity."

Unfortunately, his desire for more and more reality results in getting his wife on tape while she's having sex--with another man.

Thinking quickly, he steals the family van and sets off across America, doing goofball poses in cornfields, bird-dogging women on the streets of Chicago, and eventually filming a guy who pushes a stolen car off a cliff into a rock quarry in Wisconsin.

Jump-cut to--a crazed woman with a shotgun staring down the barrel of his fisheye lens, asking him what the F is up.

Welcome to the Clint Dryer gang--three convenience store specialists who decide they kinda like having their exploits recorded on tape. And pretty soon we've got Spinal Tap meets Natural Born Killers.

Every scene of the flick is seen through Danny's viewfinder, which sounds like it might get kinda old, but it doesn't a-tall.

In fact, the psycho killer gang leader eventually decides he wants to do a little camera work of his own, starring his abused blond girlfriend and her Victoria's Secret ward-robe, if you know what I mean and I think you do.

One of the finest movies ever made in Racine, Wisconsin.
Thirteen dead bodies. Four breasts. Aardvarking.
Car shoved off a cliff. Three shootouts. Aardvarkus interruptus.
Two fist-fights. Marijuana Fu.
Drive-In Academy Award nominations for...

*Gretchen Bonaduce, as the cheating wife who doesn't like a fisheye lens being used for close-ups of her nose.

*Mick Wynhoff, as the starry-eyed sociopath who says, "She's a bitch, but she's a great shot."

*Mollena Williams, as the charming, shotgun-wielding trigger-woman, for saying, "I'm going to watch you die like a pig."

*Danny Bonaduce, as the video nerd who falls in love with the gun moll.
*Melora Walters, as the bimbo girlfriend who doesn't feel like she gets enough interview time.

*And Jack Perez, the writer/director, for doing things the drive-in way.
Four stars.
Joe Bob says check it out.

(If you have trouble finding this one, drop me a line and I'll send you the ordering information.)

JOE BOB'S ADVICE TO THE HOPELESS Victory Over Development Fu!
The Sumner Drive-In, on Highway 31E in Gallatin, Tenn., is holding out against the megadevelopment in the Nashville area with a new screen, a large snack bar (popcorn two bucks a tub) and $4 for a double feature.

The Sumner is also just down the road from the eighth wonder of the world, the late Conway Twitty's "Twitty City."

Dr. Todd Wyatt of Nashville reminds us that, with eternal vigilance, the drive-in will never die.

(To discuss the meaning of life with Joe Bob, or to get free junk in the mail or his world-famous newsletter, write Joe Bob Briggs, P.O. Box 2002, Dallas, Texas 75221. Joe Bob's fax line at his trailer house is always open: 214-985-7448. Joe Bob even hangs out on CompuServe: 76702,1435.)

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

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Joe Bob Briggs