Joe Bob Briggs and Shudder deliver a Valentine to the MutantFam with the release of a Valentine’s Day special, “Joe Bob Put a Spell on You.” It was a night of love, sex, magic, and dinosaurs and the sort of shocking wedding you’d expect from the trashiest of soap operas. Plus, all the sheer, unadulterated Yuki lust was just too hot to handle.
It’s the sticky, oozy love that you need to take a shower to get off of you in this special. Our two films? 1994’s Tammy and the T-Rex and the recent, retro-throwback The Love Witch.
Let me whisper some sweet nothings into your ear about it…
Tammy and the T-Rex (1994)
Opening: Wild Man Weekends
Haunted MTL is no stranger to the unique joys of 1994’s Tammy and the T-Rex. This cult classic pretty much tells you everything to expect from the movie in style and substance from it’s IMDB synopsis:
An evil scientist implants the brain of Michael, a murdered high school student, into a Tyrannosaurus. He escapes, wreaks vengeance on his high school tormentors, and is reunited with his sweetheart Tammy.
If that does not scream B-movie fun and drive-in fodder I worry about how you define those things.
So, Tammy and the T-Rex is the stuff of legend, or at least as legendary as 1994 dinosaur high school films can be. The film, directed by Stuart Raffill, was written by Raffill with Gary Brockette, and had its script turned around in about a week subject to the revelation that Raffill had access to an animatronic T-Rex. The film stars relative newbies Denise Richards and the titular Tammy, Paul Walker as the hunky-boyfriend-cum-robot-dinosaur, and the film is basically stolen by Theo Forsett as Byron. Oh, and the biggest star is, of course, the life-sized animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex. I could also go on about all the other great character actors in the film, a hallmark of any great drive-in movie. The movie has a solid cast of characters of all stars, stripes, and claws.
The film is the good kind of cheap. Not at expense of the overall quality, but because of the ingenuity involved in production because most of the money went toward a T-Rex that had to spend a lot of time stationary, barring shots involving a moving head. The film is also a great example of the sort of controlled-chaos of the best drive-in movies. A pivotal scene of Tammy riding Walkersaurus-Rex off into the distance was short amidst a photogenic orange sky, but the orange was due to wildfires raging at the time. Sometimes smoke from the fires even show up in frame. How could the film even be filmed in such conditions? A $250 bribe to the right people.
It’s just that sort of movie.
The writing will not generally “wow” most people. There are jokes that simply don’t really land today, and probably never really did. The plot is insane and a lot of logic flies out the window when you deal with brain transplants into robot dinosaur bodies. The film also rewards the actors who are best able to commit to the absurdity of it all, with Paul Walker and Denise Richards proving surprisingly adept at walking the line between sincere and silly. Theo Forsett, playing Tammy’s gay bestie, however, absolutely steals the show. But everyone from the mad science party to the police to the dopey-ass teens deliver some fun, campy performances.
The film, originally released as a PG-13 family film, which makes absolutely no sense, is in many ways saved by it’s “gore cut” which is what The Last Drive-In opted to show. The camp of the film is elevated to incredible levels and the gore is absolutely hilarious, and arguably necessary to the film.
A lot of Joe Bob’s factoids of the film sort of worked their way into my review, which happens when so much great information is given. Among the highlights is the reveal that we were absolutely robbed of more Theo Forsett, who made Tammy and the T-Rex his final film. He is probably happily retired somewhere. The other strange reveal, Stuart Raffell would work again with J. Jay Saunders (sheriff and Byron’s father) for the film Lost in Africa (1994). The curiosity here? It was financed by the Duke of Northumberland to promote wildlife conservation.
The principal gag of the night, dealing with the topics of love and witchcraft, were shenanigans involving potions. Throughout the night love, or something like it, was sought through the creation of potions, all revolving around witchcraft, as befits the second movie of the night. As far as the setting, we are still in the cabin in New Jersey, a lingering reminder of the coronavirus on production. The cabin is starting to grow on me, however. The last Halloween special was a bit rough and felt a bit isolated in a way that stripped the fun out of the experience, but things are becoming a little more homey with each new special set in the cabin.
That being said, I really want to get back to the trailer. It’s an iconic set design.
For a Valentine’s Day special, Tammy and the T-Rex is a surprisingly perfect choice that illustrates undying love that comes in surprising forms, and that the right person will move Heaven and Earth to be there for you. It also features a robot-dinosaur that murders several people in cartoonish gory ways. Joe Bob Briggs gave the film four stars, which I’d say is a fair assessment and well deserved. It is impossible to find something to dislike in this movie, for me. On that note, I give Tammy and the T-Rex the five Cthulhu treatment. (5 / 5)
Best Line: “He’s a brother. Soulfood. Rythym.” – Byron handling a corpse for a potential brain transplant.
The Love Witch (2016)
Opening: Word choice matters, an etymology lesson.
I came into the Valentine’s Day special already very, very excited because I had guessed that 2016’s The Love Witch was going to be one of the films for the night. It is in many ways the perfect film for The Last Drive-In‘s approach to Valentine’s Day. The Love Witch is a horror comedy written, directed, edited, scored, and produced by all-around badass Anna Biller. It is an absolutely gorgeous 1960s-throwback in visuals but with modern feminist themes and explorations into contemporary gender roles, sex, and love.
The IMDB synopsis doesn’t give away the story, but doesn’t exactly really sell just how good the film is.
A modern-day witch uses spells and magic to get men to fall in love with her, with deadly consequences.
The movie was a limited release but caught the attention of horror fans, witchcraft enthusiasts, and cinephiles around the US. It had quite the impact as far as cult projects go. Anna Biller gathered a talented group of naturalistic actors, including Samantha Robinson as the titular Love Witch, Gian Keys as the detective who she falls for, and Laura Waddell as the real-estate agent whose life Elaine selfishly ruins. My only real criticism of the film, a minor one, is that the performances could have been a touch more camp. Not overwhelmingly so, of course. I understand Biller’s choices when it comes to how she wanted scenes played… but I do want to see the more tongue-in-cheek version of The Love Witch.
There is a lot going on with this movie, and a lot to say, more so than I can do in this article. As far as why the film is so good, though, there are a couple of reasons: the style, the exploration of gender, and the usage of witchcraft.
Stylistically, this movie is astounding, taking some of the aesthetics of the 1960s and transplanting them to the modern-day. The effect is so good, that moments where cell-phones and modern cars pop up feel positively anachronistic because you’ve been so pulled into the technicolor stylings of the camera and design. So much of that is at the hand of Anna Biller who led virtually every choice seen on-screen, down to costumes and set design, collecting and crafting items for the film herself. The colors, as well, stand out. The film uses the technicolor aesthetic well, with bright colors emphasizing moods, traits, and on-screen magic. At times you wonder if you’ve maybe watched a lost Alfred Hitchcock film, or perhaps something from Hammer Horror.
The other two reasons for the film’s success, the exploration of gender and the film’s usage of witchcraft is also of note and deserve to be explored in a much more thorough essay. At heart, though, during her discussion with Joe Bob Briggs, Anna Biller mentions the female gaze and how that gaze is reflected in the witchcraft done in the film, which I think makes up the heart of the movie. The movie is all about the selfish desires of the narcissistic Elaine and the tragedy that transpires all derives from her inability to come to terms with her desires and how she wishes to see love written in the way she mistakenly believes it must be for her to be fulfilled. The problem is that Elaine can never be fulfilled and magic becomes a sort of addiction to fill that missing something in her life.
As far as the episodic festivities with Joe Bob, Darcy, Yuki, and the behind-the-scenes crew, we still have everyone held hostage at the cabin with Joe Bob doing the best he can. Darcy has also grown to be a snarkier and more assertive presence in the show, which I welcome entirely. I’ve followed JBB for a long time, since I was a kid, really, and Darcy is the most-involved and most fun Mail Girl of the bunch.
As for the potion shenanigans, all the strange brews begin to have some delirious and fun effects on the show, with Joe Bob and Darcy both feeling a little something about the resident Kyoto Cowboy, Yuki, and culminates in trippin’ Joe Bob hallucinating (or was he?) a Ren-Faire wedding between Darcy and a cardboard cutout of Tom Atkins. It’s one of the most deliriously funny, and out-there skits in the show, and I was reminded of the host segments from Mystery Science Theater 3000.
The real highlight of the host segments, however, was the interview with Anna Biller. Socially distanced through a screen on the body of a mannequin, the interview proved to be a fascinating discussion and love letter to film in general, perhaps the real Valentine of the night. Joe Bob’s understanding of film is that of a master, but even the master himself can learn something new, and Anna Biller brings in some great moments with our host. Of note was her discussion of the female gaze. There is a moment where you see something on Joe Bob Briggs’ face… a genuine moment of surprise and delight – all in raised eyebrows and wide eyes.
This was perhaps my favorite guest spot on the show. I love getting actors and such on the set, do not get me wrong, but something about the behind-the-scenes directorial talent just adds something special to The Last Drive-In. Anna Biller might be the best guest since ol’ Uncle Lloydie. I was absolutely thrilled to just hear Briggs and Biller talk, and I think Shudder is sitting on a potential podcast of Joe Bob talking horror with the people who make it. It feels appropriate to their brand, gives Joe Bob more money, and makes the fans happy. I hope it happens one day.
I have to quibble with Job Bob giving The Love Witch the mere three-and-a-half stars he opted for. Generally, I feel his judgment is pretty strong, but there really is no reason not to give The Love Witch perfect marks. Hell, it has 25 breasts, blood, and it has the beast with two backs. It’s a triple-B feature with the aesthetic and indie credit of “real” film. As far as I could tell, he didn’t really deliver much in the way of a major critique of the film either, leaving me a bit lost in his reasoning. As for me, The Love Witch is a perfect film, and it’s pretty hot too, in a number of ways. See it with your partner while having a glass of wine. Trust me. I give it the full five Cthulhu treatment.(5 / 5)
Best Line: “I’m the love witch! I’m your ultimate fantasy!” – Elaine, not being wrong…
Haunted MTL Drive-In Totals
We start, of course, with the official totals. Thanks, Shudder.
As for our own quirky count, we have:
- 1 Darcy Jailing
- 2 JBB “Thee-ate-ers”
- 2 Weeks to Film Tammy and the T-Rex
- 3 Punches to Paul Walker by Strong Germanic Woman
- 3 Love Potions
- 4 Punished Testicles
- 6 Day Script
- 7 Yuki Sightings
- 7 Years to make The Love Witch
- 35mm Film
- $250 Bribe
- Gratuitous 90s Fashion
- Gratuitous “Tootsie-Wootise”
- Gratuitous Pillow Sulking
- Surprise Bard Brennan
- Goon Flattening
- Dinosaur Towing
- Awkward Stripteasing
- LA Joking
- Brooms in Love Joking
- Wig Fu
- Surprise Wedding Fu
- Nude Ritual Fu
- Silver Bolo Award goes to The Real Queen of Horror
- Darcy Cosplay: 3, an inflatable T-Rex suit, the striptease outfit, and the Ren-Faire wedding dress
Over 2000 words so far on this special so far. I had a lot to say on it because it was that good, frankly. It is always a treat to discover that my favorite episode or film pairing can always update and I applaud The Last Drive-In for delivering new surprises. I do worry we may be running out of holidays, however. Maybe they can do some of the Leprechaun films for St. Patrick’s Day. Shudder can get the rights to those, right?
Maybe they can do something for Arbor Day. There is a killer tree movie out there, right? (5 / 5)
And, with that, we reach the end. Please let us know what you think about these recaps, and please consider commenting and sharing them to spread the word. I am not so secretly gunning for a Silver Bolo for myself one day. Why not help us out, huh?
We’ll see you at the next special or season, whichever comes first.
Movies n TV
The Wolf of Snow Hollow, a Film Review
The Wolf of Snow Hollow is a 2020 horror comedy directed by Jim Cummings, starring Jim Cummings, Riki Lindhome and Robert Forster.
The Wolf of Snow Hollow is a 2020 horror comedy directed by Jim Cummings. The cast of this horror includes Jim Cummings, Riki Lindhome and Robert Forster. This R-rated film is currently available for DirecTV and Shudder subscribers.
Deputy John Marshall (Jim Cummings) faces a messy divorce, an ill father, a serial killer and crippling addiction. With Marshall’s life spiraling, he focuses on a mysterious killer plaguing the town. The brutality of the crime convinces locals that the murderer is a werewolf, a possibility Marshall cannot entertain. As John Marshall tries to keep order in the town, his conviction crumbles.
What I Like
The comedy reflects the spiraling chaos that runs through a control freak’s mind as they lose control. This comedy lands best as Marshal spirals further and further into disarray. Viewers should expect a dry wit layered with sarcasm. If this type of humor doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, The Wolf of Snow Hollow would be hard to recommend. Nearly every character plays their part to perfection, building off each other. Jim Cummings seems to have created a team to complement his project.
Another impressive comedic element comes from the film’s ability to jump between serious issues and comedy without the humor undercutting the weight of those essential moments. Though somewhat flawed, it remains consistently effective.
Despite the fact this is a horror comedy, the monster adds genuine horror to the film. Part of the mystery comes from that line between the possibility of a killer or a real-life werewolf, which I won’t spoil here.
The werewolf design, though traditional, is consistently believable. With one exception that felt purposeful in context, the creature works surprisingly well for a horror comedy.
Jim Cummings creates these rapid scenes that show time passing. As mentioned earlier, these scenes reflect Marshall’s mental state. It surprises me how clearly and haunting they convey information while noting elements of comedy. Again, not always perfect, but effective.
Trigger Warnings and Tired Tropes
John Marshall struggles with alcoholism, often falling victim to the disease. Despite the comedy label, this element remains mature and respective. Regardless, I understand this is a sensitive issue that worth noting.
The film can get gory and dark, but rarely more than a horror fan expects. However, one of the victims is a baby. Though no act appears on screen, viewers may require prior knowledge.
What I Dislike or Points to Consider
Don’t expect a detective tale or any focus on a mystery. If this movie is anything, it’s a character study of John Marshall. The killer isn’t a figure we uncover through available information. The Wolf of Snow Hollow focuses on the stress that unravels our characters as they investigate. The trailer was a bit misleading, creating a focus more centered on the mystery and comedy of the film.
Without going into too much detail, some of the deaths get overshadowed by those earlier-mentioned scene cuts. While I still stand by my praise of these scenes, some of these deaths needed more silence and longevity. Though I recognize this might ruin the comedy focus of the film, death should have weight in a story.
This film isn’t scary. While some moments might unnerve you, don’t expect to be haunted.
While not a traditional werewolf film, The Wolf of Snow Hollow remains a surprisingly effective horror comedy. If you like your humor dry and dark, this film might align with your taste. However, this barely makes the cut in the horror genre. Don’t expect to jump or scream. If this sounds like your taste, then give The Wolf of Snow Hollow a view.
(3.5 / 5)
The Last Drive-In Season 5 Premiering April 21st Exclusively on Shudder!
They say good things come to those who wait, and boy have we been patient. It has been close to a year since our eyes have indulged a full season of ‘The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs’, in fact, the season 4 finale premiered on Shudder July 1st, 2022. Since then, we have been able to satisfy our appetites with festive holiday specials sprinkled throughout the past year. Specials such as ‘Joe Bob’s Halloween Hangout’ guest starring horror’s favorite Mistress of the Dark, Elvira (played by the legendary Cassandra Peterson) and ‘Joe Bob’s Ghoultide Get-Together’. Last month was a treat in itself, as we were able to witness Joe Bob Briggs and co-host Darcy the Mail Girl (Diana Prince) marry one lucky couple for the first time on the show with ‘Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine‘ special.
While the current changes in staff at Shudder have left fans questioning whether we will receive a new season of the popular series, I can happily say mutant family, we need not worry. In fact, to our wonderous surprise, Joe Bob Briggs has officially announced via Twitter, season 5 of ‘The Last Drive-In‘ will be premiering April 21st, exclusively on Shudder! One thing that is noteworthy, is unlike previous seasons, it has been reported by 1428Elm that season 5 will be broken up into two parts of five double-feature blood-curdling episodes. Though we have not been provided the official release schedule for the second block of season 5, here is a sneak peek of what we can expect for the first half of the season:
April 21: Season 5 Launch Party!
April 28: Walpurgisnacht Part 2!
May 5: Cinco de Fucking Mayo!
May 12: Mama’s Day!
May 19: Dysfunctional Family Jubilee!
Unfortunately, we do not have an official list of the brand-new double feature films for the first half of season 5 but, with amusing episode titles such as these, one can only imagine what grindhouse-classics will be joining ‘The Last Drive-In’s’ already eclectic list of sloshy goodness. For those impatient mutants eagerly waiting for more hilarious Joe Bob rant-filled commentaries, or those newcomers who’ve yet to experience the magic that is ‘The Last Drive-In‘, all previous four seasons, including past holiday specials are currently available to stream now on Shudder.
If you are just as big of fans of ‘The Last Drive-In‘ as we here at HauntedMTL are, please be sure to follow us on Twitter @HauntedMTL and join us April 21st as we tweet along with Joe Bob and Darcy the Mail Girl for the season premier. As is tradition, we will be hosting live watch parties every Friday with each new episode, including fresh holiday specials. The road to season 5 is upon us…let the countdown begin!
April 21: Season 5 Launch Party!
April 28: Walpurgisnacht Part 2!
May 5: Cinco de Fucking Mayo!
May 12: Mama's Day!
May 19: Dysfunctional Family Jubilee!
. . . and that's only the beginning.#TheLastDriveIn pic.twitter.com/WfeTx0shNa— Joe Bob Briggs (@therealjoebob) March 16, 2023
Shudder March 2023 Release Schedule
Mutant family, please gather ’round as February kicks rocks and we shove our way into March. With the new month comes the shifting from winter to spring as death beautifully resurrects back to life, drunken patrons swarm our local bars like rabid locusts for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, and of course new exclusives and returning favorites on Shudder to satisfy the horror fiend in us all. To quote the prestigious Samuel L. Jackson, “hold onto your butts” and let’s dive right into Shudder’s March 2023 release schedule.
While it is true that the release schedule for the start of 2023 on Shudder has been minor and slightly mixed, with films such as the much talked about experimental low-budget indie ‘Skinamarink‘, the surprisingly entertaining horror comedy ‘Sorry About the Demon‘, and writer/director Neil Marshall’s return to the genre with ‘The Lair‘. We also graciously received the wildly fun ‘The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine” special, with season 5 currently in production and premiering later this year; though it can’t come soon enough. As we like to do here at HauntedMTL, let’s kick off March with Shudder’s newest exclusives currently streaming now and in the coming weeks.
Spoonful of Sugar – Now Streaming
Starting off this list we begin with director Mercedes Bryce Morgan and writer Leah Saint Marie’s latest film ‘Spoonful of Sugar‘, now currently streaming.
Millicent (Morgan Saylor), a disturbed college student working on her thesis about children with severe allergies, is hired to babysit little Johnny (Danilo Crovetti), a sickly, mute child who suffers from every allergy under the sun. His mother Rebecca (Kate Foster) is an accomplished author currently focused on her newest book release, while his father Jacob (Myko Olivier) spends his days in the backyard working on frivolous carpentry projects. After experiencing a bizarre sexual awakening while using LSD as an alternative treatment for Johnny, she soon uncovers the family’s dark secrets as things begin to become unhinged.
Leave – Premiering Friday 3/17
After having been abandoned as an infant at a cemetery wrapped in a cloth with satanic symbols, Hunter White (Alicia von Rittberg) grows obsessed with figuring out who her biological parents are and why they seemingly abandoned her. However, as she gets closer to the answers she so desperately seeks, a malevolent spirit is warning her to leave.
‘Leave‘ premiers exclusively on Shudder Friday 03/17 and is directed by Alex Herron and written by Thomas Moldestad, starring Alicia von Rittberg, Herman Tømmeraas, Ellen Dorrit Petersen, and Stig R. Amda
The Unheard – Premiering Friday 03/31
‘The Unheard‘ follows the story of deaf 20-year-old Chloe Grayden (Lachlan Watson) after she undergoes an experimental treatment to restore her hearing. While recovering at her family’s beach home after the successful procedure, Chloe begins to fear she is not alone as she begins to experience auditory hallucinations related to the mysterious disappearance of her mother.
‘The Unheard’ is directed by Shudder alumni Jeffrey A. Brown (The Beach House) and written by brothers/screenwriting partners Shawn Rasmussen and Michael Rasmussen (Crawl), co-starring Michele Hicks and Nick Sandow. ‘The Unheard‘ premiers exclusively on Shudder Friday 03/31.
Returning Classic and Fan Favorites
Now that we’ve removed the veil for the new exclusive titles dropping this month, I think it’s time we reveal the returning classics jump starting our transition into spring for 2023. Allow me to highlight some of my favorite films returning to Shudder for March including ‘Gretel and Hansel‘ and ‘The Company of Wolves‘; grim re-telling’s of popular children’s fairy tales. We also cannot forget John Carpenter’s haunted coastal horror ‘The Fog‘; no, not the remake…thankfully.
Gretel and Hansel – Now Streaming
Directed by Osgood Perkins, ‘Gretel and Hansel’ is a terrifyingly dark and unique vision to one of history’s most famous childhood fairy tales. After being thrown out of their mother’s home, Gretel (Sophia Lillis) leads her younger brother, Hansel (Samuel Leakey), through the woods in search of food and work. The children soon discover a quaint cottage where a fragile old woman Holda (Alice Krige) offers fresh food and bed. The children accept all Holda has to offer, with little thought as to what may be asked of them in return.
Though it has been met with mixed reviews, ‘Gretel and Hansel‘ offers astounding performances by veteran actress Alice Krige as the films iconic Witch of the woods and Sophia Lillis as lead Gretel. Director Osgood Perkins does well to draw his viewer in with a beautifully haunting score and unnerving cinematography, making this one grim re-telling worth checking out at least once. ‘Gretel and Hansel‘ is available to stream now.
The Company of Wolves – Now Streaming
Continuing our list of returning classics, we have yet another bold re-telling of a beloved children’s fairy tale, 1984’s ‘The Company of Wolves‘. While the story of ‘Little Red Riding Hood‘ has been retold through various forms of media, including numerous films, ‘The Company of Wolves‘ is a beloved horror interpretation with adult themes and memorable practical effects including one of the genres best werewolf transformations.
A wise grandmother (Angela Lansbury) tells her granddaughter Rosaleen (Sarah Patterson) a disturbing tale of innocent maidens falling in love with handsome strangers … and of their sudden mysterious disappearances when the moon is full and accompanied by the strange sound of a beast in the woods.
‘The Company of Wolves’ is co-written and directed by Neil Jordan and stars Sarah Patterson, Angela Lansbury, Micha Bergese, and David Warner, streaming now.
John Carpenter’s The Fog – Streaming 03/31
Writer, director, musician, and horror master John Carpenter is a legend in the genre having provided countless classics such as ‘The Thing‘, a terrifyingly gruesome remake of ‘The Thing from Another World‘. Or his sci-fi action/horror ‘They Live’ where he deals with societal control through corporations and government. And of course, my personal favorite, the film that jumpstarted his career and created one of horror’s most iconic slashers…’Halloween‘.
1980’s ‘The Fog‘ is a terrifying shoreside tale of vengeful spirits haunting the fictional coastal town of Antonio Bay, OR. as they begin preparations to celebrate its centenary. Following exactly 100 years after a ship mysteriously sank in the town’s waters, a thick unearthly fog harboring the souls of those who perished rolls in and with them, the dark secrets of Antonio Bay’s past.
John Carpenter’s ‘The Fog’ stars scream queen and recent Academy Award winner Jamie Lee Curtis, genre alums Adrienne Barbeau, Janet Leigh, Tom Atkins, Charles Cyphers, and Nancy Kyes, and was co-written by the late Debra Hill. ‘The Fog‘ will be available to stream on Shudder 03/31.
Full Shudder March 2023 Film Releases
For a full comprehensive list of all the titles being added to Shudder for the month of January, please refer to the graphic below. Please be on the lookout for our review of ‘The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine’ to drop later this week here on HauntedMTL and be sure to follow us on Twitter and Instagram for more Shudder news and spooky reviews!
Gretel and Hansel
Spoonful of Sugar
The Company of Wolves
Jack be Nimble
The Blair Witch Project & Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2