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Tonight’s theme is demons… and the people who love them… and who run from them, too.

We’re back with Joe Bob again this week at The Last Drive-In, exclusively on Shudder. It’s important to note, Mutants, that as of this moment Shudder has not committed to renewing The Last Drive-In for another round, so what I ask is that you take a moment to tweet @shudder with your desire for more episodes. Don’t forget the hashtag #TheLastDriveIn either!

And before we dive in to the Drive-In, I figure I’d toot my own horn again from the livestream.

https://twitter.com/hpkomic/status/1121958150301569025

Demon Wind (1990)

Opening Rant: That old idea of “this will hurt me more than it will hurt you.”

The first film of the night was that kind of drive-in cheese that is a perfect fit for us mutants. Demon Wind (1990) is a knockoff of The Evil Dead that is probably most interesting for the un-credited appearance of Lou Diamond Phillips as a zombie. Well, the Kung Fu magician is a nice touch as well.

The film follows a young man named Cory and his group of friends as they visit a farm that was owned by Cory’s family and has seen several bizarre and tragic deaths. After being attacked by demons, the group is forced to take shelter in the old farm and survive a night of terror, possessions, and surprisingly little demonic wind.

Demon Wind was directed by Charles Philip Moore and was only one of four films in his career. The movie features a group of very bland actors and actresses who look like knock-off versions of far more famous folks. The sole exception here being Stephen Quadros, the show-stealing Kung Fu magician. Other performances include Eric Larson, Francine Lapensée, Rufus Norris, and Jack Forcinito.

Reviews

Joe Bob offered the film a generous 3 stars. The first half of the night’s highlight comes from Joe Bob attempting to summarize the 4 generations-worth of plot that Demon Wind eventually, inscrutably manages to work in. As always though, the insights into the filming were particularly entertaining, such as the revelation of the crew using the short ends of film stock, and using available fog for the foggy sequences of the movie as there was no budget for a fog machine. Wow.

As for the Haunted MTL review of the film, Demon Wind is strictly a 2 and a half star affair. It becomes a lot more fun when you pretend it is a spin-off of The Evil Dead with some doomed idiots and the random badassery of the Kung Fu magician. Also… those were some of the most Deadite-esque demon zombies outside of the Ash Williams adventures.

“Surprise!”

Best Line: “You killed me.” (Spoken like a disappointed mother)

The House of the Devil (2009)

Opening Rant: The theological origins of the concept of Hell.

The second film of the night was Ti West’s 2009 throwback Satanic cult film The House of the Devil. Ti West is a bit of a divisive figure in horror, sure, but no matter where you land on his work, The House of the Devil is certainly a much better film than Demon Wind… though maybe not as a drive-in movie. More on that later.

The House of the Devil follows a young babysitter named Samantha who, in desperate need of money to escape her awful roommate and pay for her own apartment, takes on a babysitting job. When she arrives at the house, however, she discovers that the job was not quite what was advertised. Regardless, she takes the job and spends a terrifying night seemingly alone in a spooky house, unaware of the sinister events she will become embroiled in.

The movie was written, edited, and directed by Ti West. It stars the magnetic Jocelin Donahue as Samantha, with Tom Noonan and Mary Woronov. Greta Gerwig has a brief, but memorable role, and there is a dash of Dee Wallace to add a little more flavor to this throwback film.

The House of the Devil, for someone who is unaware of its throwback nature, would likely see the film as a product of the late 70s early 80s, which the film purposefully evokes. Everything from the cameras used, the quality of the film, to the title card and lighting make this a film that really captures the grimy aesthetic of the late 70s to 80s slasher aesthetic.

Reviews

Joe Bob awarded The House of the Devil 3 and a half stars. Joe Bob’s praise of the quality of the film and the sound design was effusive. In particular, there was a great deal of praise pointed at Jeff Grace’s score of the film, particularly how the score punctuates the noises of the house that terrify poor Samantha. Joe Bob did spend a great deal of time discussing Ti West as a filmmaker and horror audience reactions to the kind of “slow horror” that he tends to focus on in his work. At one point, Joe Bob describes Ti West as an “obsessive-compulsive only child” in a way that can only be described as endearing.

We’ll get this out of the way now: I am a fan of Ti West and The House of the Devil is a 4 star film. It is important to note that the film is slower that most films on The Last Drive-In, and unfortunately it makes the Mutants a little cranky. It is very interesting to watch these films live and watch Mutants discuss it on Twitter. Much like week 3 when The Changeling was on, many fans seemed to complain about The House of the Devil being slow. The Changeling and The House of the Devil are amazing movies and worth watching, but… they are not necessarily drive-in sort of films that live up to the three Bs (Blood, Breasts, and Beasts).

Despite these films not being the kind of films expected for drive-in fare, I appreciate and value their presence in The Last Drive-In, though and hope we get more of these slow-burn creepers as they are personal favorites of mine.

Spontaneous Spook-house Shuffle

Best Line: “I heard you college kids love pizza.”

Drive-In Totals

  • 1 tan suede shirt with white trim, with a silvery triangular bolo tie
  • 1 creepy gas station in the literal middle of nowhere
  • 1 rotten egg
  • 2 ceremonial daggers
  • 2 Joe Bob jokes (the British vs. the French, and handjobs)
  • 2 Joe Bob clipboard sightings
  • 3 warnings to “not go up there”
  • 4 generations worth of plot
  • 5 Twitter bans for Darcy
  • 9 bland, identical teenage archetypes
  • 18 day shoot for The House of the Devil
  • Gratuitous 90s sexism and homophobia
  • Gratuitous gun-totin’ old man
  • Gratuitous hallucinatory she-demon titties
  • Gratuitous home inspection
  • Gratuitous @jocelindonahue dancing
  • Gratuitous blood slip and slide
  • Gratuitous Darcy cosplay (as Samantha)
  • Beer Can Fu
  • Exploding Doll Fu
  • Tongue Lash Fu
  • Joe Bob Plot Summary Fu
  • Surprise Lou Diamond Phillips Fu
  • Vase Smashing Fu

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.

David Davis is a writer, cartoonist, and educator in Southern California with an M.A. in literature and writing studies.

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The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine Special Live Watch Party February 10th!

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The sweet putrid stench of love lingers through the air which can only mean one thing…Valentine’s Day and its annoying little winged cherub mascot, Cupid, is fast approaching. Soon, partners will be spoiling one another with extravagant bouquets of roses, heartfelt Hallmark cards, obnoxiously large teddy bears, glistening diamond jewelry, and heart-shaped candies or boxes filled with assorted mediocre chocolates. You know? Normal things couples do. I tend to prefer my chocolate boxes filled with bleeding hearts, à la ‘My Bloody Valentine’ but, beggars can’t be choosers, right? All jokes aside, Valentine’s Day is special for many couples, however, there are also many others who find themselves celebrating this day without a significant other. Luckily, Shudder, along with drive-in king Joe Bob Briggs and co-host Darcy the Mail Girl (Diana Prince) will graciously be keeping us lonely mutants’, and yes, all you horror fanatic couples’ company on Friday, February 10th as they return with The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine, premiering live at 9pm EST.

Love Spells Abound…

Back in 2021, Joe Bob and Darcy invited us to a gruesomely passionate night of spell-binding love witches and animatronic dinosaurs infused with teenage human brains during The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob Put a Spell on You. Many, including myself, were introduced to the tantalizing 70’s inspired retro throwback ‘The Love Witch’ and the graphically goofy cult classic ‘Tammy and the T-Rex’, providing the perfect viewing pleasure to mend any broken heart. While the two films for this year’s morbid love-induced special have yet to be announced, as a special treat, Briggs has announced for the first time on The Last Drive-In, he will be marrying one lucky couple during the live showing. We here at HauntedMTL are eagerly awaiting the return of the ghoulish duo so, as is tradition, we will be proudly hosting a watch party on Twitter during the broadcasting of The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and tag us  @hauntedMTL as well as @shudder@therealjoebob, and @kinky_horror to partake in this night of unholy love.

Drawn image of Joe Bob Briggs pouring  a drop of pink liquid into a clear glass potion bottled filled with a glowing red substance. To his left lies a book a magic spells with a golden pentagram necklace resting on top. Also on the books rests a human skull with heart shaped pupils for eyes hiding behind a pair of clear glasses. In bold white letters a text reads "Join us on February 10th as we live tweet The Last Drive-In Valentine's Day Special".
Follow @hauntedMTL for live tweets and replies!

What started off as a one-time special premiering on Shudder July 13, 2018, ‘The Last Drive- In’ was originally meant to be Brigg’s swan song; one last special before hanging up the bolo tie in retirement. However, due to so many mutants, excuse me…viewers tuning in and breaking the Shudder servers, it was only natural to announce an official full season of ‘The Last Drive-In‘, which would make its explosive debut March 19, 2019. Since then, Darcy and Briggs have spawned many exclusive holiday specials, have graciously donated to many charities within the community, and have accumulated 4 seasons of ‘The Last Drive-In’, with a fifth currently in production premiering on Shudder’s 2023 schedule sometime this year, let’s hope sooner rather than later.

Picture of Joe Bob Briggs, Darcy the Mail Girl, John Patrick Brennan and Yuki Nakamura standing together dressed in medieval costumes. A cardboard cutout of Tom Atkins stands between Darcy and Yuki. Darcy is seen drapped in a beautfiul elegant princess dress, satin white with gold trim. Yuki is seen holding a small wreath of purple, white, and yellow flowers that match his loud medieval king costume. Resting atop both their heads are golden crowns. Joe Bob Briggs is seen standing to the left of Darcy, as he smiles whilst wearing a half-put together jester costumer. Lastly, we see Brennan with two wooden recorders in his hand as he mimics playing them both dress clad in a bright yellow dress.
An unexpected ceremony during The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob Put a Spell on You (2021) special.

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Movies n TV

Horror Noire, a Film Review

Horror Noire is a horror collection that includes “Daddy,” “The Lake,” “Brand of Evil,” “Bride Before You,” “Fugue State,” and “Sundown.”

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Horror Noire is a horror collection brought by the combined efforts of AMC+ and Shudder. The collection includes “Daddy,” “The Lake,” “Brand of Evil,” “Bride Before You,” “Fugue State,” and “Sundown.” Horror Noire boasts Black directors and screenwriters, providing six unique stories.

As this collection explores six stories, I will skip the usual synopsis to assess the genres and ideas explored, albeit limited as needed. Expect to find supernatural horror, creature features, and psychological thrillers. Many short films deal with these genres while exploring Black issues, but this isn’t universal for the collection.

The directors and writers include Zandashé Brown, Robin Givens, Rob Greenlea, Kimani Ray Smith, Steven Barnes, Ezra Clayton Daniels, Tananarive Due, Shernold Edwards, Victor LaValle, and Al Letson.

Woman and man wearing a vote for candidate shirt, scared of something off screne
Image from “Sundown” Directed by Kimani Ray Smith

What I Like

Each story remains unique, holding different strengths and weaknesses that highlight drastically different perspectives. Collections like VHS hold a similar premise to create their collection, but Horror Noire gives more creative freedom to its talent to be independent.

My personal favorite short film is Zandashé Brown’s “Bride Before You.” This period piece unravels a fable set in the Reconstruction Era. The entry feels Fabulistic in approach, which happens to be my preferred niche.

However, the best example of horror goes to Robin Givens’ “Daddy,” providing an existential horror tied directly to the characters involved.

Woman listening to a preacher amidst a crowd
Image from “Fugue State” directed by Rob Greenlea

What I Dislike

As mentioned, all have a particular style and idea. The downside of this approach always remains to keep the viewer interested long enough to find their favorite. If you find several underwhelming choices, this becomes a chore. But I imagine that is rare as the variety makes the options refreshing.

Personally, “Brand of Evil” had an interesting premise, but the execution fell short. On paper, it might have sounded like my favorite, which makes the lackluster execution a bigger letdown.

Zeth M. Martinez

Final Thoughts

Horror Noire gives power and control to Black creators, providing a formula for a unique collection against others in the space. While the various subjects and approaches mean you aren’t likely to love them all, there should be a short film for everyone.
3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

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Dahmer, Silenced

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Episode six of Netflix’s Dahmer was not, honestly about our title character. Instead, it was about one of his victims, a man named Tony. We’ve actually seen Tony a few times during this series. We just didn’t know it was him.

Rodney Burford in Dahmer

And, well, he wasn’t exactly alive the first time we saw him.

Tony was born into a supportive, loving family. This is good because soon after he was born a viral infection took his hearing. He is black, deaf, and gay in the early 90’s.

Tony has a dream of becoming a model. And he certainly has the looks for it. He is beautiful, body and soul. He has lots of opportunities for romance, but it’s not what he’s looking for. He wants a real relationship. 

Eventually Tony moves to Madison, trying to pursue his dream. He gets a job and starts getting modeling work.

Then, he meets Jeff Dahmer at a bar. 

At first, we can almost believe that it’s going to be alright. Jeff seems happy. He’s taking care of himself. He’s not drinking as much. He even has his dad and stepmom over for dinner. It seems like his life is getting on track. Even better, he’s treating Tony right.

Then, of course, things go bad. 

One thing that has always bothered me as a true crime fan is that we know so much about the killers, but not as much about the victims. Not so much if we don’t know who the killer is, of course. But the names that are part of our pop culture are those of the killers. Dahmer, Manson, Jones, Bundy, Holms. The names we don’t know are Roberta Parks, Beth LaBiancas, Leno LaBiancas, and Tony Hughes. And clearly, we should know them.

If Tony Hughes was half the shining, positive person that the show Dahmer made him out to be, I’m so sad that he isn’t with us anymore. We need so many more people like him. And many of Dahmer’s victims were likely just like him. After all, he was attracted to them for a reason.

This was a significant episode, and I understand why it’s the highest-rated episode of the series. I finished it with a heavy heart, saddened by the loss of a man who should still be with us today. 

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

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