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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.”

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.


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.”


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!”


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.

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.”


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)


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.

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Movies n TV

American Horror Story Delicate, Multiply Thy Pain



American Horror Story Delicate began last night, Killer Queens. And it was, well, a complicated episode. This makes sense because this season is about a complicated topic.

Just in case you didn’t know, this whole season is based on the novel Delicate Condition by Danielle Valentine. If you haven’t read it yet, you should. 

The Story

Anna Victoria Alcott is an actress who just got her big break. She was in a horror movie that no one can stop talking about.

Emma Roberts in American Horror Story Delicate

Except Anna herself. Because this career success couldn’t have come at a worse time. She and her husband Dex are in the middle of the difficult IVF process. It’s expensive, time-consuming and painful. Ironically, so is trying to win an Oscar.

But Anna has other things to worry about. Someone is messing with her. Several women are watching her in public. Worse, someone appears to be getting into her home, slashing notes she leaves for Dex, and removing her vital IVF medication from the fridge so it spoils. Her calendar is hacked to move her doctor appointments around so she misses them. Worst of all, someone broke into her home and crawled into bed with her.


Of course, no one takes any of these concerns seriously. Her agent, Siobhan, is focusing on getting her an Oscar. Her husband, Dex, doesn’t seem to give a shit about her except for when it comes to having a baby. He’s frequently dismissive of her concerns and only seems to want her around when it’s convenient for him. He goes so far as to kick her out of his show opening because she’s on edge.

You know, maybe because she’s clearly being stalked by someone who is trying to keep her from having a baby. 

What worked

AHS Asylum had a lot of dark and important things to say about mental health care in America. AHS Coven had a lot of dark and important things to say about race and gender relationships.

Last season, AHS NYC wasn’t so subtle. Yes, there was a killer. But the real historical horror of the AIDs epidemic in the 80s was the focus of the season. And that worked very well.

This season, the story is clearly about female body autonomy. Anna is a woman struggling with so many issues that modern women face. The balance between our careers and our families. Feeling like growing old is the most unforgivable thing a woman can do. And of course, the fact that our bodies often feel like they don’t belong to us. 


I was also pleased to see some AHS alumni. Denis O’Hare as Dr. Hill was delightful. Leslie Grossman and Billie Lourd will be involved soon, and they never bring anything less than their A-game.

This episode also did something I never thought could happen. It managed to scare me with a calendar notification. That was a special moment for me as a horror fan and calendar-obsessed person.

What didn’t work

Here are some things I didn’t love. First off, the main character Anna is a pushover. She can’t say no to Dex, Talia, Dr. Hill, or Siobhan. No one gets a no from this woman!

Anna didn’t act like that in the book. She stood up to everyone all the time, it was great. She wasn’t getting any support, but she was advocating for herself! That was such an important part of her character, and I’m sad to see that she’s lost that here. 

I also hate the changes made to Siobhan and Talia. Now, please understand that this isn’t me complaining that the book was different. That’s not my point. Siobhan was a kind, loving woman who supported her best friend even while dying of cancer. Talia was a smart, business-oriented woman who was still kind. She was trying to start a family with her transgender husband, and bonded with Anna over their IVF journeys. These were vital characters in the story.

Juliana Canfield in American Horror Story Delicate

I feel like they’ve been railroaded. 

All that being said, this was a decent start to AHS Delicate. It’s not the best start of a season we’ve had. But it’s okay. I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of the season is going to bring.  4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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Movies n TV

Wheel of Time, Strangers and Friends



Episode two of Wheel of Time, widened the divide between the show and the books. Things are happening out of order, people are acting out of character. Whether this is to the detriment of the show, however, has yet to be determined. 

The story

One character missing from episode one was Rand. You know, our main character. But we finally catch up with him now. 

He’s living in a city with a woman named Selene. They don’t have what I’d call a super healthy relationship. She spends a bit too much time talking about her ex. 

Yes, for those of you who didn’t read the books, this is going to be important.


Rand is also working at an insane asylum. He’s kind and patent with his charges, but not all of his fellow caregivers are. 

Josha Stradowski in The Wheel of Time

Meanwhile, Lan and Moiraine are recovering form their Fade attack from last episode. Rather than taking the time to actually heal, Moiraine decides to head out to find Rand. Her team comes with her, which seems to really bother her. 

While that little hissy fit is taking place, Nynaeve is causing issues. Not by anything she’s doing, but by what she’s not doing. As none of the regular novice teacher have been able to get her to use the One Power, Liandrin offers to try. No one, including me, is thrilled with this. But, the Aes Sedai are desperate. They know that The Dark One is around, and they need Nynaeve to be ready. So, they let the person who’s driven other students to their deaths and actively committed multiple hate crimes take over. 

What could go wrong?

What worked

The special effects in this episode were really well done. I especially liked the dead fade nailed to the wall.

I was also pleased with the introduction of Elayne. Ceara Coveney is playing her, and doing a fine job. She’s warm, kind and sweet. I am thrilled that she’s around. 


One of the greatest things about Wheel of Time is the friendships between the characters. Rand, Perrin, Mat, Nynaeve and Egwene legitimately care about each other. Elayne seems to care for Egwene right away. I really love that. 

What didn’t work

One thing that bothered me in this episode, and frankly the last episode, was Liandrin keeping Mat in prison. I feel like this wasn’t adequately explained. Why does she have him? How did she trap him? What in the hell is she trying to get from him? Perhaps I simply missed something, and please let me know in the comments if this is the case. But it feels like some poor writing to me. 

I also don’t love how Moiraine is portrayed in this episode. Really, in this season so far.

I get that she’s never exactly been a warm person. She’s not personable, open, or kind. Some (most) fans of the book would likely agree that she’s kind of a bitch.

But she’s not a bitch for no reason. She certainly isn’t the sort to lash out at the people who love her because she’s in pain. And that’s what she’s doing through this episode. She’s taking her pain out on Lan. And that’s just out of character for her. 

Dónal Finn in The Wheel of Time.

It feels very much like a lot is being skipped over from the Wheel of Time books. But, so far at least, I don’t feel like anything vital has been missed. It feels more like the story is being streamlined. 

Yes, I understand how this might go horribly wrong. I think we’ve all seen that. But as of right now, the changes make sense for the switch in mediums. 

Now, let’s see if it stays that way. 

3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

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Movies n TV

Fantastico Disasterpiece Theatre: Francois and The Unicorn Review




Gringo Fantastico is a troubled luchador presenting Troma films from the safety of a derelict recreation center nestled in chaotic Tromaville. He is tortured by the French-Canadian Demon Piñata Francois who trash talks and hurls abuse throughout the episodes. This week’s special guest is Jonah Ray Rodrigues. New episodes release on the first of each month on Troma NOW.

The poster for episode 2 of Fantastico Disasterpiece Theatre featuring special guest Jonah Ray Rodrigues.
Fantastico Disasterpiece Theatre: Francois and the Unicorn featuring Jonah Ray

Roll the Tape!

Welcome back to Tromaville for Chapter Dos of Fantastico Disasterpiece Theatre! Gringo Fantastico (Nate Turnpaugh) returns to the screen with guest Jonah Ray (current host of Mystery Science Theater 3000) to proudly host Ed Wood’s Plan 9 from Outer Space (1957). Turnpaugh espouses his love for the movie in our most recent interview and credits his friends with helping him to discover it. “They kept trying to get me to watch it, and one day I finally did.”

On a totally unrelated note, the Mirriam-Webster dictionary defines libel as “a written or oral defamatory statement or representation that conveys an unjustly unfavorable impression.” For no reason at all, I choose to immediately correct the record and inform you that Fantastico actually hosts Herb Freed’s Graduation Day (1981).

A poster for Graduation Day. It reads "There are 200 seniors at Midvale High. And Seven days 'til graduation. The class of '81 is running out of time."

It shows a woman's face in a mirror, with a halberd shattering it.
A poster for Graduation Day (1981)

Turning Heel

We once again begin with grainy VHS footage of an interview from the luchador’s past. Much like the previous episode, Fantastico becomes upset at the prodding questions being asked of him. As this ongoing narrative continues to build, it is becoming obvious Fantastico is coming close to a breaking point.

These segments, while short, work to highlight Turnpaugh’s screenwriting ability. They feel authentic and demonstrate a solid understanding of wrestling culture. Crafting a compelling story can be difficult when it is broken into parts and spread across significant time. However, he creates bite-sized pieces of lore that manage to both satisfy and leave the audience craving more.

A Piñata by Any Other Name

Before the movie can start, Fantastico has to deal with the usual shenanigans from Francois. When it is time to bring out Jonah Ray for his interview from the Satellite of Love, Francois outright refuses. The interview must come at the cost of Fantastico’s soul. Fearing for the worst but desperate to continue the episode, Fantastico agrees to a one-day-only loan of his soul.


Enter Francine. She’s a sassy yet loving unicorn who only wants the best for Fantastico. She is complimentary and eager to help, offering her kind words in a sugary sweet voice. For all intents and purposes, she is the opposite of Francois. And yet, she is Francois. At least, she is Francois after consuming Fantastico’s soul.

The unicorn pinata Francine and Fantastico sit in the rec center together.
Francine and Fantastico

Inner Demons

Turnpaugh continues the ongoing theme of addressing his PTSD within the episode. He explains it as, “the whole concept of self-worth with the PTSD and things like that because that is a problem that I’ve experienced. When people are constantly negative towards you and you constantly have to defend yourself and you constantly be on edge and finally something happens and you don’t have to do that anymore. But you’re so guarded when that happens that you don’t know how to act.”

Throughout the episode, Fantastico chafes against Francine’s presence. He is unsure of what to do when someone speaks affectionately to him after suffering Francois for so long. The only punishments she doles out are rainbows that make you laugh. It’s unsettling and a little uncomfortable and is exactly what working to replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk feels like.

The Satellite of Love

The interview segments with Jonah Ray feel like listening to old friends banter. Turnpaugh tells me he first met Ray at the Malco Drive-In Theater last year where they both attended Joe Bob’s Jamboree. He admits to being caught off guard when Ray knew who he was and was familiar with his work.

Jonah Ray is shown on the screen of an old television for the interview segments.
Jonah Ray beaming in on the Satellite of Love

Fame and the mental games it causes one to play ends up becoming a large part of the interview. When asked by Fantastico when he felt like he had made it, Jonah Ray responds “I don’t think there is a there, there.” He likens the fame game to climbing a ladder. “You’re […] looking up […] but you rarely look back down.”

One of the best portions of the interview is when Jonah Ray goes full meta and begins roasting the ego necessary to take on the role of a media host. It’s hard not to laugh when you remember this is coming from the mouth of one host straight into the ear of another. It is important to note that both men are playing characters as hosts, which according to Ray changes the dynamic.

New Place, Same Thing

Jonah Ray also spends time talking about the difference in production having moved away from Netflix and onto Gizmoplex. He says it has been a lifelong dream to host MST3K and the move has allowed him space to better bring his vision of hosting to the screen. Netflix, while important in bringing MST3K back, seems to have sucked some of the soul out of the show. He believes moving to Gizmoplex helps with delivering the level of quality fans expect.


Turnpaugh is familiar with format shifts, having moved his show from YouTube onto Troma Now. I ask how this has changed things in terms of production and he says while he has never felt more supported, he has started placing more pressure on himself. “The pressure is never from Troma.” Lloyd Kaufman clearly believes in the show, as he’s recently started giving it top-billing on the site. 

Back to Basics

The end of the episode brings back an extremely confused Francois. It seems consuming Fantastico’s soul didn’t go exactly as planned. Turnpaugh promises that audiences have not seen the last of Francine and that some answers may be coming sooner rather than later. You’ll just have to tune in next month to see what insanity happens next in Tromaville.

Francois sits in his ripped up picnic basket.
Francois the Demon Piñata

My rating for the episode: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Follow @realfantastico on the platform formerly known as Twitter to join in with the rest of the Fantasticats as they live-tweet each episode the Friday after release. Episode three features special guests Toby Poser, John Adams and Lulu Adams. 

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