Connect with us

Published

on

The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs wraps up season five with another double feature of delicious horror. Fans say goodbye for now to the informative, and sometimes on-topic, rants Joe Bob delivers during breaks in the films. His co-host, the intelligent and beautiful Darcy the Mailgirl, has done her best to keep him under control this season, but he is one hard to wrangle cowboy. The Drive-In can be watched on AMC+ and Shudder. Stay tuned for future news about specials and seasons.

This week on The Last Drive-In, Joe Bob brings the season full circle by ending on another zombie night. You may remember the season premier features Lucio Fulci’s Zombie (1979) and The Beyond (1981). The finale brings the dead back with the Spanish-Italian film The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue (1974) and George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead (1985). The episode also treats viewers to an incredibly charming cast reunion of Day of the Dead.

Joe Bob Briggs and Darcy selling hotdogs at a theatre. The Last Drive In with Joe Bob Briggs is written on the poster.
The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs

You Are What You Wear

Thankfully, Shudder seems to have resolved the major server issues plaguing the site/app last week. Joe Bob opens the episode asking why children are told to keep their elbows off of the table while they eat. An interesting question given zombies are perhaps the least polite diners.

Joe Bob seems hopeful viewers have specifically requested Manchester and Darcy has to break it to him that it just isn’t true. He alone is responsible for the crusade to bring this movie to our screens. As he describes the plot, he says the zombies were “created by flat cappers.” Darcy makes the mistake of asking for clarification and Joe Bob is off describing European hat culture.

A poster for The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue. It shows two zombies with their arms outstretched. They are next to a man who is placing is bloodstained hands over the eye of a man in a coffin.
A poster for The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue

Manchester is written and directed by Jorge Grau and tells the story of George (Ray Lovelock) and Edna (Chrisina Galbo) as they plead with local law enforcement (Arthur Kennedy) to believe them about the zombie threat created by a new piece of farming equipment promising to eliminate crop pests.

The Drive-In Totals include but are not limited to: 13 Dead Bodies, 16 Undead Bodies, 5 Dead Undead Bodies, zombie toast, bloody psychotic infant, gratuitous streaker, and lantern fu. This movie earns four stars and high praise from Joe Bob. He says Grau figured out how to “outdo Romero with Romero-type zombies.”

Advertisement
Joe Bob reads the Drive-In totals for Manchester. The text on the screen reads: 13 dead bodies, 16 undead bodies, 5 dead undead bodies, 2 breasts, breast eating.
The math ain’t mathing here, Joe Bob.

I Hate Spanish Zombies

No movie presentation is complete without a history lesson. Joe Bob explains the economic and political climate of Spain under the rule of General Francisco Franco. Franco controlled most everything about life in Spain, including which films could be produced and released.

His hardline stance against horror was loosened with The Awful Dr. Orlof (1962). However, any Spanish horror films had to be filmed outside of Spain and feature foreign actors in unsavory roles.

These limitations result in Kennedy as the only American in the cast playing the over-the-top authoritarian police inspector. The inspector is actually never given a name, and Joe Bob says this is because Grau is using Kennedy’s character as a stand-in for Franco. Joe Bob disagrees with those who say Kennedy over-delivers his lines. “He’s just delivering exactly what this movie demanded.”

Manchester probably wins the award this season for the movie with the most alternate titles. Titles include but are not limited to: Weekend of the Dead, Don’t Disturb the Sleep of the Dead,  Zombi 3 (no relation to the Fulci films), and Let Sleeping Corpses Lie.

Joe Bob sits in his longhorn chair and lists off alternate titles to Manchester. The caption on the image reads "Don't Open the Window."
Yet another title.

New Rules

Joe Bob says Manchester is almost ““the true sequel to Night of the Living Dead (1968).” Giannetto De Rossi is responsible for the zombie design in the film. Both he and Grau studied Night intensely before making Manchester.

They receive high praise from Joe Bob when he says, “You could say that Jorge was the European George Romero and Giannetto was the European Tom Savini.”

When he goes into the more technical aspects of filming, Joe Bob apologizes for giving too much detail. These deep dives into various aspects of filmmaking keep us coming back for more so please don’t apologize, Joe Bob.

Advertisement

This movie does not really have a character you could describe as the hero. As with many zombie movies, Grau imbues this film with socio-political commentary. Joe Bob points out city folks will find “There’s no escape from the hypocrites and the liars,” out in the country. According to the ending of Manchester, there may never be an escape at all.

My rating for The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Mail Call

There is only one mail reading in this episode and boy is it a doozy. Content warnings for SA, DV, SI for this portion of the episode.

I honestly do not feel comfortable recapping it or commenting on it. I’ll just leave Joe Bob’s words here, ““Some of these letters sound like they should be sent to a psychiatrist, you know, or a priest.”

Get Down to Business

Joe Bob gets right to it with and immediately starts talking about George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead. He begins with the start of the trilogy and says Night of the Living Dead is “the foundation film of modern horror and Dawn of the Dead is “the kind of spectacular pinnacle of that genre.”

Advertisement

Unfortunately by the time of Day of the Dead’s release in 1985, Joe Bob says Romero was already “made obsolete by movies he inspired.”

A poster for George A Romero's Day of the Dead.
A poster for Day of the Dead.

The movie we end up watching is a much different version from Romero’s original vision, with the working script being nearly one third of the length of the original script. Continuing, Joe Bob points out the criticisms levied against the film and Romero at release and says he still doesn’t understand the ending.

For those unaware, Day of the Dead tells the story of a group of scientists working in an underground facility guarded by soldiers attempting to solve the zombie pandemic ravaging the world. Power struggles cause chasms in the group and their plan to save the world falls apart.

Come on Down!

Before the guests start to come out as part of the cast reunion interview, Darcy appears in a beautifully shot homage to Lori Cardille’s opening scene as Sarah. Darcy awakens on set and tries to warn Joe Bob about a bad feeling she’s having. He brushes her off and tells her to “have a mushroom.”

Darcy stands in front of a brick wall with hands coming out of it. It is an homage to the opening scene of Romero's Day of the Dead.
Darcy’s homage to the opening scene of Day of the Dead.

Cardille enters the set and her presence is hard to describe. Her voice is low and soothing and she brings a measure of unexpected calm. Joe Bob starts by asking her about her father William “Chilly Billy” Cardille before moving to the film.

Her father stars as the reporter in Night of the Living Dead, though this connection is not entirely responsible for her role as Sarah. She reveals she had been approached by Romero with the original script for Day of the Dead after seeing her in a stage production of Reckless.

When Joe Bob asks about the “backyard” set up in the mines by John (Terry Alexander) and Bill (Jarlath Conroy), Cardille draws a comparison to the trailer set of The Drive-In. This obviously makes Darcy happy as she lets loose an adorable “Yay!”

Advertisement

Down and Out

One of the most pressing questions throughout the interview is about the gay subtext between the characters of John and Bill. When Cardille is asked, she says she doesn’t think the two of them are covert lovers.

Alexander is the next of the cast to enter the set for the interview. Joe Bob praises his delivery of the speech about the meaning of life in the face of a zombie apocalypse. He then asks Alexander if he thinks there is gay subtext between John and Bill.

When answering, Alexander is animated and lively. He puts his whole body into his answers and he smiles as he recounts a story in response to the question. According to him, Romero once joked he was going to make a movie called Gay of the Dead.

Cardille keeps reassuring everyone “that would be ok” if the two characters actually were gay and her earnestness is so endearing.

The final guest is Conroy and he certainly knows how to make an entrance. He confidently strolls across the set, grabs Alexander’s face in his hands, and plants a kiss right on his lips. The set erupts into cheers and laughter as Alexander sits with a slightly shocked look on his face.

Advertisement
Conroy kisses a startled Alexander on the mouth as Cardille laughs on the set of The Last Drive-In.
I present: George A Romero’s Gay of the Dead.

Despite this, Conroy says he never thought about there being gay subtext in John and Bill’s relationship. Joe Bob says audiences have almost been trained in the last 30 years to look for gay subtext and this is a frustrating trend.

It is so very important to have loving and intimate examples of straight male friendship. It is something that is sorely lacking in current media and reality.

Down Bad?

The interview is not entirely focused on the big gay question. It also touches on the various working conditions of filming. There is also an entire Holiday Inn portion which brings me back to Cassandra Peterson revealing she was a go-go dancer at a Holiday Inn once upon a time.

The camaraderie is obvious as the cast sits together and the interview is the most entertaining of the season.

Joe Bob, Darcy, Cardille, Alexander, and Conroy sit on the set of the Last Drive-In.
Best interview ever?

My rating for Day of the Dead: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Spill Your Guts

Lest you forget, this is the season five finale. Joe Bob has said multiple times that we never know how much time The Drive-In has left. While season six has been confirmed by the hosts, there has yet to be an official announcement from Shudder or AMC. The current state of streaming is a disaster and it remains to be seen how this will affect things in the future.

In that vein, the final segment of the episode features Joe Bob alone on set. Calling out for Darcy, he receives no response. Left alone, he begins to wax poetic about the ending of Day of the Dead. He sums it up as, “The struggle, that’s what we do.”

Advertisement

As he continues, zombies shamble out and surround him. He falls to the ground and begins singing a John Brennen original “See You on the Other Side.” The song sounds melancholy but as Joe Bob reminds us, “This is not the end. Oh, not goodbye.”

Much like the zombies in the films featured in the episode – the drive-in will never die. Joe Bob has a smile on his face as the zombie feast on his guts, after all.

Zombies feast on Joe Bob's guts as he sings "See you on the other side."
No matter what’s on the other side, the #MutantFam will be there.

My rating for the season five finale: 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Advertisement

Kait (she/her) haunts the cornfields of the Midwest after being raised in a small Indiana town built on sickness and death. She consumes all sorts of horror-related content and spits their remains back onto your screen. You can follow her on Twitter at @ KaitHorrorBreak, where she live tweets The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs and posts other spooky things.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Movies n TV

Fallout, The Target

Published

on

Episode two of Amazon Prime’s Fallout was equal parts funny and bloody. This almost always leads to a good time.

The story

We begin this episode with the birth of some puppies that look like they’ve had a rough start to life. Each one is weighed, with the ones who fall short being incinerated.

One pup who is just below the correct weight gets a bit of a thumb on their scale. The scientist weighing them, Wilzig, writes down the proper weight. He later takes the puppy home to raise instead of putting them into what looks like an unforgiving training program.

Advertisement

Eventually, we see Wilzig put some blue glowing thing into his neck. When a soldier comes for him, Dog attacks the soldier, and the two escape.

Ella Purnell in Fallout.

We go from there to the wilderness, where Lucy is recovering from the last episode and enjoying a campfire at night. Wilzig and Dog come out of the shadows, saving Lucy from a bug monster. Wilzig tells Lucy she should go home. And if she’s not going to go home, she needs to evolve.

The next day Lucy finds her way to a town called Filly. As a Pennsylvanian, it hurts me to spell it that way. Lucy is entranced by this town, though clearly put off by the fact that no one is very nice here.

She eventually finds her way to a shop run by a delightful woman named Ma June. Ma doesn’t seem particularly interested in helping Lucy. Or, frankly, having Lucy in her shop.

Or in her town.

Eventually, Wilzig is tracked to this same shop, being tracked by The Ghoul. This is our final primary character. Lucy defends Wilzig, being aided at the last moment by Maximus.

Advertisement

Maximus, by the way, has been having a terrible time. After finally becoming a squire he’s disappointed to find that his knight, Knight Titus, is a terrible person.

Fortunately, Maximus doesn’t have to put up with Titus for long. After Titus gets the bright idea to go hunting, he’s attacked by a mutated bear. Maximus freezes, unable to save him. Then, well, he decides not to save him.

It was Titus’s idea to go hunt the bear, after all.

What worked

Walton Goggins in Fallout.

The first thing I want to draw attention to is the shootout scene at Filly. This scene checked every box a fight scene should check. It was fun to watch, with great effects. But it also gave us insight into the characters. Lucy is a decent fighter and has a strong moral compass. The Ghoul is callus and desensitized to death. And Maximus continues to be, well, sort of bad at this whole fighting thing. But with enough moral fortitude that we have a hard time blaming him.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the dog. Who’s name, as far as I’ve been able to ascertain, is just Dog. Which is fine. He doesn’t need to have a name to be a very good boy. He’s sweet, loyal, and fearless.

Advertisement

Also, puppies. Puppies are always great.

Finally, I’d like to shine a spotlight on Lucy’s reaction to the world at large. She is both amazed and terrified by everything. And while she certainly doesn’t want to be rude, she also doesn’t want to be taken advantage of. The best example of this is when she stops to ask for directions with a bright smile and a gun.

Once again, I don’t have anything bad to say about this episode. It was funny, dark, and fun to watch. I’m very much looking forward to the rest of the season. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Movies n TV

Fallout, The End

Published

on

Launching with worldwide excitement, Fallout is based on the extremely popular game series of the same name. Fans of the series have waited with anticipation and trepidation to see if the Prime series would live up to the game.

Having now watched the first episode I can say that, so far, it’s successful.

The story

Our story begins with a children’s birthday party. A performer is there with his daughter, giving horse rides and taking pictures with the kids.

Advertisement

As much as the adults try to focus on the party and the kids, it’s impossible to ignore the looming threat of war that’s on everyone’s mind.

Of course, it’s during this party that war comes, and the bombs drop.

We then cut to after the war and into one of the vaults established to protect humankind and the American Way. For future reference, this is Vault 33. We meet Lucy, our first main character, who’s petitioning to be married to a man from Vault 32 to ensure DNA diversity.

On the wedding night, though, Lucy and the rest of Vault 33 are met with a horrible surprise. The group they let in is not in fact from Vault 32, but is instead a team of raiders from the surface. The raiders kill a lot of the vault dwellers and kidnap Lucy’s father.

We are then introduced to our second main character, Maximus. He is in training to become a Knight in the Brotherhood of Steel. And, well, he’s not doing great.

Advertisement

Things get worse when his best friend Dane becomes a squire before him. But when Dane is hurt, Maximus gets their spot.

Aaron Moten in Fallout.

We then go back to Lucy, who has decided to leave the vault and find her dad. Of course, the council of her vault doesn’t want her to go. So she is aided by her brother Norm and cousin Chet in a wild escape.

What worked

The first thing that deserves attention is the exceptional character work. Our three main characters are fleshed out and relatable right away. We feel sympathetic for The Ghoul before he’s even introduced as such. We love Lucy’s nativity and selflessness. And we love Maximus for his honesty and passion for his cause.

While these characters are their own people, they also exhibit the three responses we might expect to see in a post-apocalyptic world. We have the hopeful optimist who doesn’t understand how bad things are. We have the aspiring hero who wants to make the world better by force. And we have the self-serving individual who’s given up on the rest of humanity and is only focused on surviving.

Another thing I enjoyed about this episode was the balance of humor and gore. Because there was certainly enough blood and guts for even the most hardcore horror lover. We had a violent sabotage, a brawl with raiders, and even several nuclear bombs.

But there were a lot of funny moments as well. Usually from Lucy. Her overall goodwill and fearless gumption are absolutely hilarious, especially given the horrors she’s facing. It never ceases to amuse me.

Advertisement
Ella Purnell in Fallout

Both of these aspects are done perfectly. The jokes land and the bloody scenes pull no punches. It was delightful.

All in all, this was an exciting start to a much-anticipated series. Here’s hoping they’re able to stick the landing.

For more tv shows based on video games, check out my review of Witcher. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Continue Reading

Movies n TV

American Horror Story Delicate, Ave Hestia

Published

on

Episode seven of American Horror Story Delicate was a classic AHS flashback episode. If you were excited to see what Preecher had to say to Anna at the end of the last episode, I’m sorry to say that you will not get that satisfaction. However, we did learn all sorts of other fascinating things about the strange coven hunting Anna. And, we learned all sorts of things we didn’t know about Dex’s first wife, Adeline.

The story

We begin our story with a woman giving birth alone in a barn. When it becomes clear that she’s not going to be able to deliver vaginally, she pulls out a knife and cuts her stomach open to pull out her children.

For whatever reason, this is when the coven of witches decides to make themselves known.

Advertisement
Ashlie Atkinson in American Horror Story.

We then cut to 2013, when Dex was still married to Adeline. In true Dex fashion, he’s surprised her with a puppy.

While that sounds great in theory, dogs are something a couple should talk about, not gift each other with as a surprise. An adult would know that. A trust fund boy like Dex does not.

Adeline owns a vegan restaurant called Ave Hestia. Love that name. She seems to be living a great life. She has a career she’s passionate about, friends who love her, and a husband she seems kind of fond of.

Maybe that’s why she didn’t want a puppy. She already had one.

Of course, things aren’t as good as they appear. We soon find out that Adeline was one of those babies we saw at the start of the episode. The other baby was Sonia, the painter.

Annabelle Dexter-Jones in American Horror Story.

And yes, both of these characters are played by Annabelle Dexter-Jones.

Adeline has stepped away from their family, and whatever dark things they do. But the family isn’t happy with her decision. And if she isn’t going to come back willingly, they’re going to make her.

Advertisement

What worked

To start with, I loved the character, Adeline. She is fierce, she is fearless, and relentless. I feel like this would have been a far different story if Adeline had been our main character. It was astounding to see her interact with the same people Anna has, and get a completely different response. It’s clear now, how much everyone around Anna resents her for simply not being Adeline.

I also appreciated that there was just a shocking amount of blood in this episode. From the start when Adeline and Sonia are born, to the climactic end of Adeline, this episode is just drenched in blood.

Finally, I’m fascinated by the changes in this season from the book it’s based on. Because absolutely none of this was in the book. Compared to this, the book is heartwarming.

The book is kind of heartwarming even without the comparison.

Advertisement

But I love the fact that, even with just two episodes left in the season, I have no idea what’s going to happen. I do not know what Anna is carrying. I do not know if she’s going to survive this. I do not know what these people want with her.

But I can’t wait to find out.

What didn’t work

All that being said, it is a bit frustrating to have no forward momentum in this episode. This was all backstory, and it felt like there wasn’t enough backstory to fill a full forty minutes. Because of that, it dragged. There were a lot of scenes that just didn’t need to be as long as they were. It felt like they could have cut that down considerably, and had some time to check in with our main characters at either the start or the end of the episode.

There are only two episodes left in the season, and I can honestly say I have no idea what’s going to happen. But so far the story has been dark, bloody, and provocative. So I hope they can manage to end it on a high note.

Advertisement

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

If you’re a fan of my work, please check out my latest story, Nova, on Paper Beats World. New chapters launch every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending