Joe Bob and Darcy never fail to entertain on The Last Drive-In, but sometimes they really go above and beyond!
Shudder series The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs is currently in its third season, and Joe Bob and Darcy never fail to entertain. But there have been times they have gone above and beyond for their fans.
The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs began as a “one-time” marathon, intended to be the swan song for Briggs, who was beloved from his time hosting Joe Bob’s Drive-In Theater and MonsterVision. The marathon was so popular, it caused Shudder’s servers to crash.
Shudder knew a good thing when they saw it, and Joe Bob returned with multiple holiday specials before the series was finally born in 2019. The specials have also continued along the way, so we are taking a look at the entirety of the Joe Bob Briggs library on Shudder for the purposes of this piece.
And just because it’s fun, I have chosen to present these choices as awards. Consider it an homage to Joe Bob’s own Drive-In Academy Award nominations! So, without further delay, here we go.
The I Didn’t Even Know This Was Missing From My Life award goes to the original marathon from July of 2018 –After many long Joe Bob-less years, he came back with a vengeance, presenting 13 awesome films in 24 hours.
I wish newcomers to the world of The Last Drive-In were able to watch the marathon in its entirety, but unfortunately, licensing agreements are not eternal.
Of the original 13 films that were shown, only 7 can still be viewed: Tourist Trap, Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, Sleepaway Camp, Re-Animator, Demons, Hellraiser and Pieces. My personal favorite on this shorter list is Tourist Trap, which was way creepier and more intense than I remembered. It’s a film I actually saw in a theater as a young teen, so nostalgia may color my perception somewhat, but I highly recommend watching it as it was presented on the marathon.
The “Best Play on Words, Plus an Awesome Guest Star” award goes to Dinners of Death. This was The Last Drive-In’s Thanksgiving special, and it featured two classic films populated with cannibals, The Hills Have Eyes and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. You can’t really go wrong with either of those harrowing movies, but what made Dinners of Death even better was the appearance of Michael Berryman.
Fans of the 1977 version of The Hills Have Eyes remember Berryman as Pluto, the most distinctive looking of the cannibalistic family. Berryman has a rare condition resulting in no hair or sweat glands, but despite his imposing physical appearance, he advocates for preserving our environment, and even lived on a wolf sanctuary for a time.
His interview on Dinners of Death is nothing less than fascinating, and he gave fans exactly what they want out of personal appearances: behind the scenes stories. It was also pretty cool to see Darcy the Mail Girl meeting one of her horror idols, and that’s when I started to realize that she was the real deal.
The Best Callback to my Youth award goes to Maniac (Season 2) – As a very young horror geekling way back in 1981, I clearly remember picking up my Uncle Ronnie’s copy of Fangoria, and reading a story about a film called Maniac. The gory photos fascinated me, and that was my introduction to special effects makeup legend Tom Savini. I was a fan of his forever after that.
The movie itself was one I didn’t get to see back then. I lived in a small Florida town, and hardcore horror didn’t typically play in theaters close to home. So, this episode of The Last Drive-In was doubly special for me, because I not only got to finally watch Maniac (which did not disappoint), I also got to witness Tom Savini’s personal appearance.
Savini himself also did not disappoint, he was even more personable and fascinating than I had imagined. I followed up on his interview by watching Smoke and Mirrors: The Story of Tom Savini, which only made me love him even more.