The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs returned for its annual Halloween (Helloween) special on October 20th. Joe Bob reins himself in and hands the ropes to the ever-capable Darcy the Mail Girl for the special. Special guest Danhausen provides additional demonic entertainment. The Drive-In is available on AMC+ and Shudder.
This week on The Last Drive-In, Joe Bob and Darcy return to present their annual Halloween special. Joe Bob’s Helloween delivers a gooey and blood-soaked experience with Lamberto Bava’s Demons 2 (1986) and Damien Leone’s All Hallows’ Eve (2013). For those crying foul about showing a sequel without showing the first film, Joe Bob previously hosted Demons (1985) during the original comeback marathon.
Helloween opens with a phone call reminiscent of Scream (1996). Instead of Darcy being stalked by a masked killer, Joe Bob (from his safe space: Cracker Barrel) pleads with her to take control of the Halloween special. He admits to the myriad of ways he’s messed up the special before to convince her. These include getting drunk & angry, getting drunk & sad, and trying “to sell Angel (1983) as a Halloween movie.” He doesn’t even try to blame the booze for that one.
Darcy agrees to take the helm and presides over the fully decked-out set in a stunning devil costume. The decorations do not conform to any era or style and turn the trailer park into a proper homestyle haunt. However, Joe Bob’s chair is not in its place and he begrudgingly stands to deliver the introduction to Demons 2.
Demons 2 tells the story of a birthday party gone horribly wrong. When a demonic TV broadcast transforms birthday girl Sally (Coralina Cataldi Tassoni) into a grotesque monster, newlyweds Hannah (Nancy Brilli) and George (David Knight) attempt to escape their apartment building full of corrupted souls to save themselves and their unborn child.
The Drive-In Totals include but are not limited to: 64 undead bodies, 1 squealing gremlin, penis grabbing demon, TV monitor ax destruction and potted plant fu. The movie earns a full four stars from Joe Bob. Considering the film is Darcy’s pick, Joe Bob must be thrilled to present a movie he likes.
Ahem, It’s Hell-O-Ween
Joe Bob does his best to launch into a lecture about the history of Demons 2 when a cloud of smoke interrupts his train of thought. Darcy’s additions of musical stings and smoke machines brings repeated levity into the episode. It makes me a little sad knowing they probably won’t continue into the regular season.
After being interrupted, he remarks, “Darcy, I have never felt less in control of this show.” It’s a prophetic statement as none other than professional wrestler (and demon) Danhausen soon invades Helloween . Using a clever movie tie-in, he shoves his way through a TV set and into our hearts.
Despite the unconventional entrance, Joe Bob does his best to interview Danhausen throughout the segments. Danhausen unfortunately does not have much to offer in terms of Demons 2. “It’s very good. Very Evil. Very interesting.” He does bring, however, a rare Thuringian liquor called “aromatic.” Thuringia is apparently Danhausen’s home… plane of existence?
Joe Bob and Darcy down multiple shots of this strange drink and Danhausen tells Joe Bob his thoughts on the depiction of demons in the film. He yells in frustration, “They are movie demons!” He believes they are much more like zombies than actual demons. When Joe Bob asks what a real demon looks like, Danhausen rightfully appears hurt.
Drinking shots of Danhausen’s drink changes Joe Bob into a more lethargic and less controlling version of himself. It’s a fun depiction of Joe Bob handing control of Helloween over to Darcy and being along for the ride. When the Joe Bobhausen transformation is complete, it’s time for the real one to go. After Joe Bob most heinously accuses him of fakery, Danhausen chooses to shimmy through the airwaves to a hot tub party in Aspen.
Pool Full of Liquor
When Joe Bob is able to power through the Thuringian liquor’s effects, he gives audiences the usual deep dive into the production and cast of Demons 2. Bava is a third-generation Italian filmmaker. He learned many of his skills from his father, the “Master of the Macabre,” Mario Bava. Previously working as an assistant director under Dario Argento for Inferno (1980) and Tenebrae (1982), the two reunited under Bava’s direction for Demons and Demons 2.
The film was a rushed production following the major, and slightly unexpected, success of Demons. It was filmed in seven months with a budget of $1.5 million and released unrated in the United States.
Many of the actors featured in the film, according to Joe Bob, are known for their roles within it. He says the characters George and Hannah, played by David Knight and Nancy Brilli respectively, are “just too boring for this world.” Bobby Rhodes as Hank is, however, “the real scene stealer,” of the film.
While Joe Bob and Darcy agree the screenwriters should have stuck with their original ending, they both enjoy the movie. It is a nonstop romp through a world that doesn’t make much sense, and it rips off at least five other movies, but it does it with pure 80’s style.
My rating for Demons 2: (4.3 / 5)
Haggis, Neeps and Tatties
The first piece of mail for the night comes all the way from Russell in Newburgh, Scotland. Joe Bob doesn’t seem too surprised by the distance. He says, “We have more fans in Scotland than all the rest of the UK.” Russell writes in hopes of the UK gaining more access to The Drive-In. Joe Bob seems more focused instead on bringing the Scottish holiday of Hogmanay to The Drive-In.
International licensing issues are probably a nightmare, but Russell brings up a valid point in Shudder’s lack of The Last Drive-In: Just Joe Bob episodes. Just Joe Bob allows tenacious viewers to match up commentary breaks with a legal version of the presented film. Unfortunately, these are no longer being released with any regularity.
Cowboy Ken and Demon Barbie
Darcy has been making comments about getting Joe Bob into a Ken costume all night, and she makes good when it comes time for the second movie of the night. More specifically, and aptly, a Cowboy Ken costume. She joins him as Demon Barbie, unfortunately without the full face of paint we saw on Joe Bobhausen.
Seemingly freed from the effects of demon liquor, Joe Bob launches fully into an educational rant on the history of Samhain and poppers. No, not those poppers. I know, Darcy was disappointed too. Dumping a pumpkins worth of toys onto the table, he challenges Darcy to a game. They argue about the rules as Joe Bob continues his lecture about Gaelic spirits and jump-scares.
When he picks up an eyeball shaped popper, Darcy remarks, “That’s some Art the Clown type shit.” This is the cue he needs to finally introduce the movie. All Hallows’ Eve is an anthology horror set fittingly on Halloween night. Babysitter Sarah (Katie Maguire) and her charges Tia (Sydney Freihofer) and Timmy (Cole Mathewson) watch a VHS tape found in Timmy’s candy bag and unknowingly invite terror into their lives.
If you’ve seen Terrifier or Terrifier 2, you’re familiar with Leone’s blood splattered style of filmmaking. This film is no exception. The Drive-In Totals include but are not limited to: 1 bloody mud monster, stomach slicing with bloody fetus, monster-face skeleton army, gratuitous rotten egg vandalism and upchuck fu. “Four stars. Joe Bob says check it out.”
Joe Bob questions why he is wearing a Cowboy Ken costume because he feels Ken is the bad guy in the movie. Darcy corrects him and says Ken isn’t necessarily bad. He simply “represents the patriarchy,” she pauses before adding, “…perfect for you.” When Joe Bob feigns ignorance on what the patriarchy is, Darcy smartly tells him to “go read one of [his] books.”
This review isn’t the time nor the place for me to flex my degree in gender studies. Nor am I going to delve into the issue of misogyny within horror spaces. I do think it is important, however, to remind people that when you say things online – it isn’t only your intended target who reads your words.
Darcy has repeatedly stated she is confident in her position and knows her worth, but gender-coded insults towards her serve as a stark reminder that even spaces as inclusive as the horror community still have a ways to go.
‘Tis The Season
Despite Joe Bob’s hesitancy in his costume (don’t worry, you are Kenough), he is determined to give Darcy the Helloween she deserves. Producer Austin Jennings shoots down his idea of a trailer park bonfire with a quick, “Not on my set!” In response Joe Bob makes mention of the show’s new filming location by offering to burn down a The Walking Dead set for her. Unfortunately, none of this is in the budget.
Within the budget remains other great Samhain traditions, such as bobbing for apples and repeatedly mispronouncing Samhain. “It’s Halloween. We have to do annoying things.” He explains too many people have forgotten about the trick portion of the holiday. In perhaps his cruelest trick of the night, he offers Darcy candy corn that she can no longer eat. She puts out a plea for vegan candy corn, so if you know of any, let her know.
No Treats Here
Keeping the tradition of tricking people alive, although not the people, is Art the Clown. Joe Bob heaps praise on the first segment of All Hallows’ Eve, which was originally released as a short film. “If this was Damien Leone’s first movie, you can already see how talented he is.” Throughout the special, Joe Bob attempts to pathologize Art the Clown to explain his behavior.
This goes back to his feelings on Michael Myers from the AMC FearFest presentation of Halloween (1978). Sometimes evil is just evil, despite how little he likes that explanation. Art the Clown displays powers that are clearly otherworldly in nature, so it’s natural to assume his motivations cannot be explained by human motivations.
The second segment of the film was created specifically for All Hallows’ Eve, and Joe Bob describes it as “the part that drags in the middle.” Despite this, he loves the “goofy direction” it goes in. In my opinion, this segment does a better job of demonstrating Leone’s ability to build atmosphere and suspense than his special effect skills.
All Hallows’ Eve ends with the segment that set the Terrifier franchise in motion. Discussing whether or not Art the Clown can be considered a horror icon, Darcy says, “He’s a baby icon.” Joe Bob wonders why the film “doesn’t get more love from the hardcore fans.” He also praises the ingenuity Leone displays with twisting urban myths into full-on nightmares within this work.
If you’re currently on the fence about whether the Terrifier films are for you, All Hallows’ Eve makes for the perfect introduction to Art the Clown’s twisted world. My rating for this film: (3.7 / 5)
Stay Sick and Disgusting
Adam from Tennessee writes in for the second mail call of the night. Interestingly (or horrifyingly) enough, Adam credits watching Herbert West’s Re-Animator (1985) during the original marathon for his goal of becoming a doctor. He also says The Last Drive-In embodies the acceptance and comfort he finds in horror. Speaking from experience, I can say the Mutant Family is the most inviting and inclusive community I’ve ever encountered.
The letter itself is quite lengthy, but it does include one crucial line, “Halloween III is sick.” Perpetually unable to stream the 1982 classic, Darcy instead has the dance party she’s been asking for all Helloween. Fart the Clown (yes, Fart) flatulates a beat on the mic and the set is overrun with costumed crew and they break it down to a “royalty-free, parody version” of the Silver Shamrock song.
Including strobing lights without a warning was certainly a choice, and not one I recommend they do again, but the party is a perfect 2AM fever-dream send-off for Helloween. My rating for this special: (4.6 / 5)
Joe Bob Briggs Creepy Christmas spooktacular: The Last Drive-In Special Charity phenomena
Famed horror host, Pulitzer Prize nominated, and Cracker Barrel aficionado Joe Bob Briggs is back in action, ready to bring some macabre merriment to your holiday season with Joe Bob’s Creepy Christmas. It also gives us horror fans something to take into the new year, be that something Darcy’s panties (sorry, box, I tried) or just the intangible good feels of hanging with friends and supporting a lot of good causes.
The Return of Joe Bob Briggs’s Christmas Special
The Joe Bob Briggs’s Christmas event is akin to a Jerry Lewis telethon for Gen X, with a twist of ‘the last drive-in with Joe Bob Briggs’. This ‘Briggs’ auction of sorts is a nostalgic nod to the past, especially for those who remember the telethons. The dread, however, has shifted from the … well… whatever Jerry was supposed to do (see Sam Kinison’s bit on this for more info) to that of evil goodies.
Without a doubt, this Joe Bob Briggs special is the event we eagerly anticipate each year. It’s a tradition, and a worthy one at that. We hope to see everyone on the interwebs, joining the ‘creepy links’ and engaging in the conversation (We’ll be on Threads and Twitter….tag us as you wish!) ‘live’ the only way anyone should ever watch a tv show (oh, and I guess on demand, but ya weirdos will never know the sting of the Iron Mutant Award!). ‘Live’ is the only way anyone should ever watch a TV show, especially ‘the last drive-in with Joe Bob Briggs’ (as it’s far too hard to watch tv whilst dead).
Joe Bob’s Creepy Christmas The ‘Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs and Darcy the Mail Girl’ special will hit the airwaves live on Shudder TV and AMC+ TV on Friday, December 15th at 9 p.m. ET. Fans of ‘the last drive-in with Joe Bob Briggs’ can also catch the special on-demand starting Sunday, December 17th.
A Creepy Christmas with a Cause
In its fourth year, the holiday tradition of The Last Drive-In goes beyond mere entertainment. It aims to use the platform to raise funds for four vital causes. The charity auction will feature unique props and exclusive merchandise from The Last Drive-In and memorabilia from Briggs’ illustrious 35-year career…including some of his unspoken work as John Bloom. I say Unspoken, because if anyone remembers the first Christmas Special, the autographed copy of Eccentric Orbits was featured (sincerely, a good book–check it out if you haven’t. Jim gives it 4.5/5)
The supported charities for Joe Bob’s Creepy Christmas will include:
- Wildlife Conservation Network
- Paralyzed Veterans of America
- Every Mother Counts
- Solving Kids’ Cancer
The Mystery of the Joe Bob Briggs’s Creepy Christmas Special
The anticipation for Joe Bob’s Creepy Christmas is high, with fans wildly speculating what films will be featured. Personally, nothing can beat the #1 top horror Christmas film of all time, the Easter classic: Passion of the Christ (if a snuff film about a guy who doesn’t fit in getting whipped and nailed up doesn’t scream horror story, I don’t know what does. Also: See Sam Kinison’s concept on crosses and resurrection). However, a Christmas movie I really want to see up on this is Hogzilla and Kiss Save Santa Clause! BOOMMM!! Christmas Won!
As we eagerly wait for December 15th, we wonder what surprises our favorite horror host, Joe Bob Briggs, has in store this time. Will there be exclusive ‘merch’ that Jim will buy and then accidentally put in a Toys for Tots box in the mall?
Join the Fun, Join the Cause, Join the Joe Bob Briggs Christmas event!
Are you ready to dive into the world of Joe Bob’s Creepy Christmas? Do you dare to watch along and help raise money for a good cause? If so, join us at HauntedMTL on Threads (_HauntedMTL_) and maybe Twitter (@HauntedMTL) as we experience the thrill and chills that only Joe Bob Briggs and Darcy can deliver.
Remember, this is not just about indulging in some good old horror fun with ‘Joe Bob’s’ double feature. It’s about giving back and making a difference. So, let’s gear up to have a creepy Christmas with ‘Joe Bob Briggs’, filled with ‘christmas horror films’, ‘christmas demons’, ‘christmas slasher films’, ‘ho-ho-horror’, ‘yuletide horror’ and insightful ‘horror commentary’.Joe Bob’s Creepy Christmas and make this holiday season memorable for all the right reasons! I’m sure Fright Rags will have another stellar set this year, too. They are perfect for the horror fan in your life (even if that fan is you!). I can’t wait to see what they have in store (no pun).
SPECIAL — IF YOU WANT Freeeeeeeee (as supplies last) Fright Rags Joe Bob Briggs merch for this year, just tweet/thread at us during the event and Jim will pick the one that makes him chuckle the most (you will need to give us your address and size in DMs)
No subscription to watch Joe Bob Briggs’s Creepy Christmas yet? No problem! Check the link below:
AMC Networks’ Shudder is a premium streaming video service, super-serving members with the best selection in genre entertainment, covering horror, thrillers and the supernatural. Shudder’s expanding library of film, TV series, and originals is available on most streaming devices in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. For a 7-day, risk-free trial, visit Joe Bob at www.shudder.com.
X-Files, How The Ghosts Stole Christmas
Airing in December of 1998, How the Ghosts Stole Christmas is a classic monster of the week episode of the X-Files. Except, of course, it’s ghosts, not monsters. Because it’s Christmas, and there’s no better time for a little ghost story than that.
Our story begins like any good holiday evening should. Mulder is telling Scully a ghost story. They’re sitting together outside a supposedly haunted house on Christmas Eve, waiting for the ghosts of two lovers to appear. The story is that they killed each other eighty-one years ago, that very night. Mulder is very excited to see some ghosts. Scully would rather be at home celebrating the holiday.
One of these people has a family life and a dog. The other only has his partner.
Eventually, the two of them do make it inside, where they find an elderly couple named Maurice and Lydia. They seem like a nice enough couple until things start getting weird. Doors lock and unlock as they please. Lydia and Maurice seem to appear and vanish. And, of course, some dead bodies are found.
As Scully and Mulder try to find each other in this sprawling maze of a house, the ghosts are after them. They tell them terrible, insightful things about themselves and each other. The scary thing is that some of this is good advice.
The scary thing is how much of this Mulder and Scully needed to hear.
Eventually, our heroes escape, though they sure don’t exorcise the ghosts in the house or themselves. Lydia and Maurice are left to enjoy their quiet Christmas Eve in the comfort of their love, no longer a raging fire of passion, but a warm bed of glowing embers.
First off, let me say that I’m a sucker for a bottle episode. Especially in a show like X-Files. (And it is a true bottle episode, being the cheapest episode of the season.) For the most part, our story takes place in one location, with just four actors. It is tense, it is tight, and it is intimate.
Honestly, this episode has everything going for it. Of course, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson bring their A Game. And they’re joined by two of the funniest comedic actors of all time, Ed Asner and Lily Tomlin. These people could read you the phone book and have you in stitches.
But the writing is also exemplary. Mulder and Scully are forced to take a good look at how they treat each other, for better or worse. They have to consider their relationship, the way they live their lives, and the darker voices in their heads.
In the end, I think they come together beautifully.
Finally, I want to praise the location. The haunted house looks so much like Hill House, it can’t be an accident. It’s in turn freezing and warm, falling apart and beautifully maintained. The cobwebs and hanging sheets on the unused furniture are just classic. And with the massive fireplaces, bookshelves to the ceiling, and the well-stocked bar, the whole place has an air of old-fashioned comfort, left to rot.
What didn’t work
I honestly cannot think of one thing that didn’t work in this episode. It’s funny, it’s touching, it’s dark. It’s the perfect Christmas episode of television.
In the end, How The Ghosts Stole Christmas is a dark, spooky little tale. It’s filled with scares and chills but still manages to warm your heart. And if you want to fit a little more blood and gore into your holiday watch list, this is a great way to do it.
(5 / 5)
Released in 1997, it would be understandable if you confused this Jack Frost with the movie of the same title that was released in 1998 and starred Michael Keaton. We are not talking about the Michael Keaton Jack Frost because it’s not horror. It’s also not good.
(Look at that, you’re getting two reviews in one today. Merry Christmas.)
No, today we are talking about Jack Frost, starring Christopher Allport and Scott MacDonald. And it is possibly the most bonkers Christmas movie I have ever seen.
We begin our tale in a very messed up fashion. A little girl asks her uncle for a bedtime story on Christmas Eve. The uncle tells her about a serial killer named Jack Frost who was caught after leaving bits of his victims inside pies. But there’s no need to worry, the uncle explains. Because Jack Frost was caught and is being executed that very night.
And we won’t be hearing from these two characters again for the whole movie.
Instead, we cut to Jack, being transported to his execution. Somehow he manages to escape, only to be doused with some sort of acid and melted into the snow.
Meanwhile, the sheriff who caught Jack Frost, Sam, is trying to come to terms with his death. He’s thankful that he’s gone, but the nightmare just doesn’t feel over yet.
Then, of course, people start turning up dead in his little town. And in spectacular ways.
Slowly, Jack Frost seems to work his way through a family called the Metzners. Even though it appears that this family didn’t have a single thing to do with him. First, he murders their son, then proceeds to stalk the entire family.
Sam is joined by an FBI agent named Agent Manners and a scientist named Stone. Together they fumble around the tiny little town, trying to figure out how to kill Jack. Bullets do nothing. He can melt and slip through cracks. But hairdryers seem to do the trick.
I’m going to be honest here. Nothing in this movie was good. The effects were bad. The writing is bad. The constant snow puns are bad. The acting is bad.
But it is this exact combination of bad aspects that makes Jack Frost funny. It is so intentionally bad that it is hilarious. None of the characters are likable, so we’re not overly upset when they’re murdered in horrific ways. None of the effects look real, but they look fun. The writing is awful, but it’s hilarious.
And here’s the greatest thing about Jack Frost. Everyone working on it is having fun. You can just tell that every single actor is having the time of their lives. Nobody was having a single bad day on stage here. And that alone makes Jack Frost enjoyable to watch.
What didn’t work
One thing I have to say here is that the acting was just bad. It was not, I believe, intentionally bad acting. That is to say, it wasn’t a talented actor acting badly for comedic effect. This was just bad acting from almost everyone in the cast. The two exceptions are Allport and Marsha Clark, who plays Marla. Everybody else is overacting so hard that they’re pulling muscles. They’re chewing the scenery so much that they’re not going to have room for Christmas cookies.
To enjoy Jack Frost, you need to have a deep appreciation for campy effects, bad snow puns, and really inappropriate humor. It’s one of those movies where you turn off your brain, make sure all loose items are secured and your lap bar is completely locked, and enjoy the ride.
If you can do that, then you’re going to have a great time with this movie. If not, don’t worry. There’s lots more holiday horror to come. (4 / 5)