Welcome again, Drive-In Mutants, to the second week of Drive-In recaps we call “Notes from The Last Drive-In.” As before, we’re covering each double-feature that makes up an episode of Shudder‘s original series The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs. We cover some of Joe Bob’s observations, the films themselves, and then provide the Haunted MTL review for each movie.
So, let’s go!
Q (The Winged Serpent) (1982)
We can’t start the recap without noting the memorial to Larry Cohen (July 15, 1936 – March 23, 2019) at the start of the episode. Larry Cohen was a huge figure in independent horror and many of his films are bound to make for great future episodes of The Last Drive-In. Cohen was a brilliant writer, director, and producer and the world of horror has really lost a great icon. Joe Bob has a great deal to say about Larry Cohen throughout the episode.
In Joe Bob’s words, Q, also known as Q – The Winged Serpent, is “the best movie in history about a flying-type lizard.” This film, directed by Larry Cohen, is a strong 4 star drive-in film. Among some of the notable elements Joe Bob talks about during the breaks are the network of old school, tough guy actors Larry Cohen worked with, including Michael Moriarty. We were also regaled with stories of Cohen’s existing friendship with David Carradine (R.I.P.) back in the army as entertainers. Most importantly, however, we learn that Larry Cohen gave no fucks, such as actually firing automatic weapons off the Chrysler Building during the shoot for Q, and even flying a goddamn helicopter between the World Trade Center towers.
Q, released in 1982, is a fantasy horror film about New York City under siege from a deadly, winged lizard that hunts for humans during the day. The film stars Michael Moriarty, David Carradine, and Richard Roundtree. Moriarty is particularly fantastic in the film, and the scene where he extorts the city for the location of Q’s nest is a magnetic performance. It is also unique to have a horror film that takes place near entirely in daylight.
As for the Haunted MTL rating, Q is a 4 star film, hands down. The film is great in its own right with many amazing moments and a certain streak of self-awareness that can be found in a number of Cohen’s films. It is not perfect, after all, few movies are. The ritual sacrifice subplot, for example, is laughably bad and has little impact on the overall film beyond a small twist for the ending. Jimmy Quinn’s piano scene is also just strange. What makes Q such a great movie are the little things, such as Shelly Desai as the cult figure who just sort of pops up at the end. You may recognize him as Charlie’s landlord in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Plus… there is a chase scene with a cop dressed as a mime.
Best line: “New York is famous for good eating.”
There is just something to the idea of the rich eating the poor as a genesis to a good horror film, isn’t there? Joe Bob points out a number of films with this theme, but this one is the only one on that list the depicts “shunting.” Not aware of what shunting is? You will by the end of Society. Society is another 4 star drive-in entry according to Joe Bob, and he has a lot to say about the film, orgies, and director Brian Yuzna. Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this episode may not be a particular factoid from the film, but rather that Joe Bob is possibly a third wave feminist, or that Darcy has seen some really fucked up stuff in some L.A. orgies. Don’t worry, though, there is still a lot of fantastic info to be learned, such as how Brian Yuzna and Stuart Gordon were set to work on Disney’s Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. Yep. This was a weird episode.
Society is a 1989 film about a Beverly Hills teenager who makes a horrifying discovery about his family and the social class he is part of. This body horror film features astounding special effects work by legendary artist Screaming Mad George. The film features Billy Warlock, Devin DeVasquez, Evan Richards, and Ben Meyerson. It also features what seems to be about 50 gallons of lubricant for the shunting. This was the first movie directed Brian Yuzna who until this point what best known as a producer.
As for the Haunted MTL rating, Society is good, very good, and we rate it 3.5 stars. The shunting scene is worth the price of admission alone, as is the “tactical fisting” scene. The only issue with society is that there is a lot of plot to get to the main point of the film – the pile of flesh that is the Beverly Hills elite. Some elements of the film are just sort of there and are unexplained, such as Clarrissa’s mom. Still, these are minor quibbles. Any film that features the protagonist pulling someone’s head through their own asshole (we think, it might also have been through his dick) is an automatic drive-in legend.
Best Line: “Paranoid? I’m not paranoid, all my fears are real.” I mean, we’re fudging this a bit. The best line is “First we dine, then copulation,” but Joe Bob already claimed it.
Haunted MTL’s Drive-In Totals
Like last week, we’ve tracked some of our own totals we think you might appreciate:
- 1 Red, white, and blue shirt with bolo tie
- 1 Darcy cosplay (hello, Clarissa)
- 1 fallen sex doll
- 1 Catholic joke
- 1 Medieval joke
- 1 Shelly Desai-ting
- Gratuitous L.A. orgy questions
- Gratuitous claymation cops
- Knocking magnets off the trailer’s fridge fu
- Darcy stalking Clint Howard fu
The Drive-In will never die…
As always, please share your thoughts with us about The Last Drive-In. Also, please check out our other great content here at Haunted MTL.
Let’s close out with Michael Moriarty to serenade us, shall we?