MonsterVision Lives


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Those poor kids today have no idea what it was like to have to use cable and local TV to see many cult films that never came to their area. Or enjoy drive in’s, something I have never been fortunate to expirence. Well for us who were around for the 1990s Joe Bob Briggs was the guide to numerous low budget cult classics every week on TNT’s MonsterVision. Even though there were commercials and some questionable footage had to be cut (often for time) there were also Drive-In totals, great trivia bits, and Briggs’ snappy commentary.

So when years after TNT axed MonsterVision, all of us fans were excited to hear that the streaming service Shudder had convinced Briggs to do one last (hopefully not) Drive In marathon show. Fittingly called The Last Drive-In, this was to be a 24 hour marathon hosted on Shudder from Friday night to Saturday night. This was a great idea, one that would allow us fans to also comment on Twitter during the marathon. In fact, I wrote this while enjoying one of the films shown, the freaky 1987 classic Hellraiser. Plus getting retweeted by Briggs on Twitter in real time is cool, a nice byproduct of social media.

Despite some issues with my Roku player and the Shudder app (something everyone else experienced) this was a success. Clearly the fans of Briggs still heavily exist, and the “Hey we broke Shudder” jokes were amusing despite having to deal with streaming issues. However it was all worth it, just to see Joe Bob Briggs on TV doing his thing all over again. I am glad that Ted Turner and overworked servers could not stop JBB from doing what he does best: introduce us to fun and interesting cinema. Joe Bob Briggs forever, indeed.

Horrorfest 2014 Presents: Orca: The Killer Whale (1977, Michael Anderson)


Joe Bob Briggs’ commentary on this film is complete gold, and is far better than anything I could possibly write about this movie. In fact there is a good movie in here somewhere, however Orca is overall a mediocre at best Jaws rip off that fails hard because it journeys into self-parody. The film also has some of the most hilarious slow motion deaths in cinema history, as the angry killer whale has to rely on his victims to literally hang over the boat in order for him to grab them. Did I mention that the big angry whale is also seeking revenge? Does it matter that really such a thing isn’t possible? Nope. This is a movie so reality is suspended, however there is only so much that I can take before I start to laugh and write off what is happening onscreen. Case in point: the Orca manages to attack a power station, followed by it giving Richard Harris the death stare as he stands on land. Now that’s one intelligent pissed off animal. This film is literally if Free Willy’s mate was killed and he decided to go on an epic killing spree-in fact maybe Free Willy is really what would happen if Mr. Orca decided to befriend a kid instead of murdering people. But where would the fun be in that?

What’s even worse about this movie is that it wastes a good cast that includes besides Harris Charlotte Rampling (who is given very little to do whatsoever), Keenan Wynn, Bo Derek (before she became famous-what happens to her is one of the film’s highlights) Robert Carradine and a post One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest Will Sampson, who has some of the film’s less cringe worthy lines. Although I liked certain moments and I didn’t mind the film’s ridiculous plot I still cannot give this film a passing grade. And yes I must stress viewing Joe Bob Briggs’ MonsterVision commentary for this film because it is really quite humorous. I’m not sure why the 70s became so killer animal obsessed as Jaws wasn’t the earliest example, even if it did end up becoming the most famous and best of the bunch. Oh and for some reason this film has a score by the legendary Ennio Morricone. I hope he got paid really well for composing music for this turkey.

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