Interview: Joe Bob Briggs talks social isolation and the return of the drive-in

The Last Drive-In. Image Courtesy Shudder
The Last Drive-In. Image Courtesy Shudder /
2 of 3
Joe Bob Briggs
Photo: The Last Drive-In returns for Joe Bob’s Halloween Hootenanny.. Image Courtesy Shudder /

Reindeer Games

1428 Elm: Fans loved Darcy’s reindeer antler impalement during Red Christmas, how did you come up with the idea, and did Shudder really say no to the idea of Darcy doing the scene topless (as it was in Silent Night, Deadly Night 2)?

Joe Bob Briggs: Yes, Shudder is comfortable with nudity in the movies but not nudity in the material Shudder is responsible for. One of Darcy’s First Amendment causes is “Free the Nipple,” so she prefers to be topless whenever possible. I came up with the idea of the reindeer antler impalement as a way to tease Darcy, but it backfired because she was so into it we couldn’t NOT do it.

1428 Elm: There have been a number of surprisingly touching moments during your time on Shudder, most notably the prom held at the end of Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II and the sad stories you and Darcy exchanged during Red Christmas. Who comes up with those ideas, and do you expect them to be so emotional when they are happening?

Joe Bob Briggs: Well, yes and no. We have a special relationship with our fans, they expect us to be a little bit more personal than normal. It actually started with my last rant on the July 2018 marathon, about the great John Zacherle—I thought it was my farewell to hosting and I sort of became emotional in the middle of it, and people remembered that and commented on it.

1428 Elm: Do you have an end date in sight for the series, or will you continue on as long as Shudder lets you?

Joe Bob Briggs: I’m very happy to be doing the show but don’t want to wear out my welcome with the fans. I think people will tell me when they tire of the format. I want to help Shudder become an ongoing positive force for the celebration of horror, so my main mission is to grow their audience.

1428 Elm: Do you ever let fans give you ideas for movies they would like you to show, and if so, what are some examples? (I would personally love to see Herschell Gordon Lewis’s The Gruesome Twosome, which my Uncle took me to see when I was a kid).

Joe Bob Briggs: You might want to watch The Gruesome Twosome again before advocating for it—not one of Herschell’s best, and even Herschell’s best can be suspect—but yes, fans send in movie requests all the time, and Darcy organizes them into a list that can be upvoted or downvoted so that we always know what the most requested and desired titles are. Having said that, some of our most successful episodes have featured movies that nobody ever requested—like Demon Wind.