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It’s no secret that Haunted MTL absolutely loves The Last Drive-In on Shudder. However, we do have some small suggestions and a wish or two for the upcoming second season that we wanted to float for the producers, drive-in mutants, and Joe Bob Briggs himself.

So, what do we want to see?

Separately archived host segments are a must

The first marathon of The Last Drive-In had many great moments tied to particular films. The problem is, though, that sometimes Shudder cannot keep the rights to those films. This means that all of the great Joe Bob Briggs moments during The Legend of Boggy Creek, for example, are now officially lost for fans outside of YouTube.

Our request is simple: Consider archiving the host segments of the show separately from the films as well so that they can be enjoyed as special features with each season or marathon of the series. We need immediate and ready access to Joe Bob singing “Nobody Sees the Flowers Bloom But Me.”

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More guests are always good

Joe Bob Briggs is a fantastic host who bounces off guests masterfully. In fact, guests have become a fun treat of The Last Drive-In in general. From Felissa Rose’s mangled-dick expertise to seeing the legendary Barbara Crampton sitting outside the trailer, guests inject something special into the whole formula of the show that could be utilized a lot more.

One example could be the creation of another segment. Felissa’s hotline is always fun when a mangled member is plot-relevant, but how about some other potential experts? Maybe Joe Bob should take a spin through the Rolodex and call in a favor or two.

A wish for Troma movies

We admit that this will take some doing. There isn’t a movie studio quite as adept at the drive-in weirdness as Troma Entertainment, and any number of their movies would be perfect for The Last Drive-In. This all comes down to streaming rights negotiations and complicated things most mutants are not even qualified to attempt to unpack, but The Toxic Avenger would make for a great part of a double-feature, wouldn’t it?

Plus, imagine Lloyd Kaufman stopping by for a little chat at the drive-in. We’re already salivating at the idea.

More Japanese movies, please!

Some of the most insane films shown on The Last Drive-In have been from Japan. The Drive-In Totals for Wolf Guy alone were a masterclass in film excess that was only really matched by Street Trash. Plus, we’re still absolutely puzzled over just what the hell happened in Dead or Alive. So, getting down to it, mutants everywhere wish for more drive-in trips to Japan.

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Basically, Japanese cinema needs to continue to be a part of the drive-in tradition, especially if the creative team can tailor those moments to the show, such as using that hilarious title card featuring Ernie, the resident lizard.

A longer break between films would be nice

Sometimes the live stream can be a bit of a bladder-buster. It makes sense given the large block of time that The Last Drive-In could occupy (over 4 hours with some episodes) that too long a run time could prove to be a scheduling issue. Generally, between the two films, Shudder runs a trailer for a film. It kind of evokes the feeling of grindhouse cinema and it could really be a help to the bathroom-bound audience to maybe run two to three trailers, if possible. Surely some mutants have made this sort of wish as they ran from the tv to the toilet, right?

We wish for a live audience of Mutants

Hearing the audience of the crew bouncing off of Joe Bob Briggs is one of those small little joys that are unique to The Last Drive-In and MonsterVision back in the day. Joe Bob asking the crew if they knew a fact, or their occasional whoops and hollers at the namedropping of a cult movie make the show feel super communal.

This is a big ask, but if possible, a live audience of drive-in mutants for the show would be incredible. Naturally, the logistics of episode production would dictate the process, but perhaps a live audience for the host segments and a later screening of the movie for the mutants might prove possible?

Could we have a half-hour spinoff?

Part of the joy of The Last Drive-In is simply hearing Joe Bob’s tales about cult films and the weirdos behind them. There’s also the fact he brings on great guests who are only there for a very short amount of time.

So, maybe this is us just being greedy, but we would love to see a simple half-hour show that expands on the weekly host segments with longer interviews, more stories, and the always popular Joe Bob rants. It could even be a sort of preview of coming attractions as well with hints about the upcoming double feature. Basically, we wish for even more Joe Bob, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be tied to a movie either.

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

Movies n TV

The Boys, The Insider

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We’ve reached the second to last episode of The Boys, season four. And, as is appropriate for the penultimate episode of any show, things have to get a lot worse before they can get better.

Let’s discuss.

The story

Christmas is coming, and the whole world is getting ready. Ryan, despite being very clear that he didn’t want to appear on any TV shows or movies, has been strong-armed into participating in a Vought puppet Christmas special. He draws the line, though, when asked to sing about turning one’s parents in if they start talking about woke things.

Cameron Crovetti in The Boys.

Meanwhile, The Boys are trying to keep each other together. Butcher decides to take Sameer to the rest of the team. He also gets Frenchie out of prison, hoping they can make the Sup virus necessary to finally take down Homelander. Instead, this decision means disaster for one member of the team.

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What worked

I first want to talk about Ryan’s speech near the end of the episode. Because it was exactly the moral of this whole story.

Ryan’s dad is a monster. His stepdad is also kind of a monster. But Ryan is a good kid. He cares about people, about family. And while he loves Homelander and Butcher, he doesn’t want to be like them.

Even better, this speech sounded like something a kid would say. Ryan didn’t open his mouth and start sounding like a college student all of a sudden. He sounds like a kid who misses his mom and wants to live up to the good standards she set for him. And I think that’s terrific.

Speaking of Homelander, he shot himself in the foot in this episode. I said earlier in the season that his hubris was going to be his downfall, and I was right. Without Sage, he just has the same weaknesses he’s always had. He’s going to fail because he just isn’t clever enough or patient enough to succeed.

Without Sage, I think a win is in the bag for The Boys. This isn’t to say that Homelander by himself isn’t dangerous. It’s just that he’s more like a wildfire than a controlled burn. He’s going to cause a lot of damage, but not get anything he wants out of it.

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More’s the pity for him and everyone else who has to share his world.

Finally, I am thrilled with A-Train’s redemption story. I love that he wants to be a good person not to save himself, but to be a good person. His honest, pure and warm reaction to that little kid smiling at him in the last episode was heartwarming. It changed him in a moment, bringing to light a goodness that he’s been keeping under wraps for a long time.

Jessie T. Usher in The Boys.

This, along with Ryan’s courageous speech, proves once again what The Boys does so well. Yes, it’s gruesome. Yes, there’s blood and balls and batshit events. Yes, someone occasionally gets ripped in half. But there is a true human goodness in the story. One that we catch glimpses of. There are good people among the monsters. There is hope for redemption.

What didn’t work

Of course, so few things in this life are perfect, and this episode was no exception. For instance, I was irritated by the insinuation that Butcher cheated on his wife.

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That just doesn’t make any sense. We’ve seen flashbacks of Billy and Becca. They were happy. He was happy. He was head over heels for her. And I don’t think it’s realistic or necessary for the character to throw in that he cheated. It does nothing to add to the story, it’s just a weird and offputting moment.

Doesn’t Butcher have enough to hate about himself? Can’t we just give him that at least he was a good husband?

Finally, I kind of hate that we ended up with Annie being caught. It’s just cliche, which is something I don’t normally say about this show. It feels lazy unless they do something very clever with it in the last episode. Which, I suppose, they might.

Next up is the season finale. And with this season being as insane as it has been, I’m expecting nothing short of bloody fireworks. And I mean literal fireworks of blood. At this point, would it surprise anyone?

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4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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Movies n TV

The Boys, Dirty Business

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Episode six of The Boys was one of the most surprising episodes of the series so far. And that is certainly saying something. Because this season has so far been bonkers.

The story

Our episode today revolves around a party at Tek Knight’s lovely mansion. Yes, it does look just like Wayne Manor.

The Boys know that Tek Knight is working with Homelander on something, but they don’t know the details. So they decide to send Hughie in to bug the mansion.

Because that’s worked so well the other two times he’s tried to hide a bug!

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It should surprise no one that this time goes no better. Hughie finds himself in Tek Knight’s basement. And by that I mean his BDSM dungeon.

Meanwhile, the party upstairs is no less disturbing. Homelander and Sage are trying to convince some well-off political donors to support a cue after the election. When pressed for details on his plan, Homelander freezes. He looks to Sage for help, but she wasn’t recently shot in the head and still in the junk food stage of her healing.

Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on your point of view, Neuman jumps in and saves the day.

Claudia Doumit in The Boys.

What works

If I’m going to say one thing about this episode, it didn’t hold back at all. I didn’t expect them to show a character masturbating, sitting their bare behind on a cake, or spraying breastmilk into someone’s face. But every time I thought they’d cut the scene and let something be left to our imagination, they did not do that.

Derek Wilson in The Boys.

This is a dangerous move. Whenever you show the monster, you run the risk of them not being scary enough, or gross enough. As Stephen King says in Danse Macabre, to leave this sort of thing to the imagination if the reader makes things so much worse. So when they finally experience the monster, they might say that this isn’t so bad. It could have been so much worse.

But in this case, they managed to avoid that by making the scenes, especially the ones in Tek Knight’s dungeon, so much worse than I imagined it would be.

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What doesn’t work

While this was a deeply disturbing episode in many ways, there was one really innocent and sweet moment.

And yes, I did have a problem with it.

Confronted by Firecracker, Annie decides to apologize for spreading rumors about her when they were kids. She tells her that she is genuinely sorry.

And I believe her. I don’t think Firecracker did, but I did.

So why is this an issue? Because I’m starting to think that Annie is maybe too nice. She is too good.

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I know that Annie is our good guy. But every one of the other good guys has flaws. Hughie let his pride get in the way and took Temp V. MM hid himself from his daughter instead of teaching her to work through her emotions. Kimiko is far too closed off and has a hard time trusting others. Frenchie numbs himself with drugs. And well, what hasn’t Butcher done?

It is unrealistic that Annie is just so kind and so flawless. We all have shadows in our personalities. We all have weaknesses, we all mess up. We all do things we wish we could take back. The fact that Annie doesn’t seem to have anything like that is not just unrealistic. It’s infantilizing.

Give her some deep dark secrets. Give her something real to regret.

This was a shocking episode, even for someone fairly jaded like me. I wasn’t expecting the sort of weird sexual depravity, though I guess maybe I should have seen it coming. It was dark, upsetting, tense, and funny as hell. And with just two episodes left in the season, I can imagine the stakes are only going to get higher.

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4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

By the way, if you like my writing you can get my short story, Man In The Woods, on Smashwords and Amazon.

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Movies n TV

House of he Dragon: S2E4 – The Return of Trogdor!

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Instead of recapping this episode, I will link you to Strongbad, so you can see something with a dragon that doesn’t suck.

See you for Episode 5!

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