"Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In" for 9/21/90
By Joe Bob Briggs
Drive-In Movie Critic of Grapevine, Texas
You know what the 1980's contributed to modern civilization?
Only one thing.
The 900 phone number.
As a tool of mass insanity, treating people like brainless slabs of meat, it's the greatest invention since neckties. A couple of months ago Cable News Network had a 900-number poll where people were asked to vote on whether Donald Trump was a great American or not. So a friend of Donald Trump's used an automatic speed dialer to vote more than 9,000 times for Trump, and the results were something like 88 per cent for The Donald, 12 per cent against. Then CNN got all HUFFY about it, like the guy had done something wrong.
That's what it is, you Guardians of the Media! It's SELLING votes! He BOUGHT the goldurn votes! Why are you giving him a hard time when he enjoys the BENEFITS of buying the votes?
So, anyhow, I was thinking about this last week when I called up the 2 Live Crew 900 number, the Paula Abdul 900 number, the New Kids on the Block 900 number, and the "Soap Opera Digest" 900 number, because all of these have been directly connected to brain tumors in teenagers. A 14-year-old kid named Stephen Salerno of East Brunswick, New Jersey, spent $11,346 in ONE MONTH on 900-number phone calls before the bill came in. When his mother found out, she decided to withhold his allowance until the year 3798.
But it's just one pitiful sleazy example of how 900 numbers prey on the young, the shut-in, the poor, the elderly, the people who should be using their money for something more important, like Cheetos.
It's gotten to be a national sickness. And that's why I've decided to do something about it. It's all well and good to TALK about putting limitations on 900 number abuse. It's fine to wait on Congress to pass the laws we need. That's not good enough for me.
People need counseling, advice, and help TODAY, not later.
Call 1-900-4-JOEBOB. I'll be there for you. Call as many times as you need to. Stephen, if you're reading this, I'm waiting. Any time. Day or night. That's how strongly I feel about it.
1-900-4-JOEBOB. Someday you'll thank me.
Speaking of demonic forces invading your space, The Exorcist III has been getting a bad rap. Go see the flick. It's not just a sequel. It's the sequel where William Peter Blatty has figured out a way to BRING BACK Father Damien! The guy who got green vomit on his shoes and then fell down the steps and went to Catholic heaven is now living in the body of a serial killer--or, wait a minute, maybe the serial killer is living in HIS body--either he's DEAD, but the serial killer is keeping his body alive, or else he's alive, and the serial killer is dead, but the devil is making him act like a serial killer, I'm not sure, but the bottom line here is that Brad Dourif is a really mean psycho dude in a straitjacket and a rubber room, and he's possessing the bodies of mental zombies and telling them to scissor off the heads of priests, nurses, and young children.
The only man who can stop him is George C. Scott, a cop with a carp in his bathtub, who gets a little TESTY when he finds a 12-year-old kid with ingots driven into his eyes and his head cut off and a Jesus head made up like a black minstrel stuck on his shoulders where his head used to be. George thinks, "This is not normal. This is not correct." Then, when he goes to the hospital to see his old friend the priest, and finds out that--whoops!--somebody went into his room and sucked all his blood out of his body and put it in neat vials on a shelf, without spilling a drop, he decides, "This, too, is incorrect." And pretty soon you know what happens. He gets the dusty leather book down off the shelf of the theological library. He turns to the page with the red letters, to the sentence that begins "Save your servant . . ."
Get out the green pea soup.
In fact, get out the lasagna.
This one's a thousand times better than the weenie "Exorcist II: The Heretic" they made in 1977.
No breasts. Six dead bodies. Blood-sucking. Vital-organ chopping. Devil snakes. Neck-ripping. Priest-zapping. Hell gapes open. One scene that had a totally unexpected scare, never before seen in films (and I've seen ALL the tricks). Gratuitous Tommy Dorsey big-band dream sequence. Confession Fu. Drive-In Academy Award nominations for Brad Dourif, as the Gemini Killer, even creepier than the psycho in Dirty Harry, for saying "I kill at random--no motive--that's the fun";
George C. Scott, for his description of the carp in his bathtub; and William Peter Blatty, the writer/director, for lines like "God is like a power mower" and "Everything is relative--or maybe not."
Four stars. Joe Bob says check it out.
JOE BOB'S ADVICE TO THE HOPELESS
Partial Victory Over Communism! The Lomaland Drive-In in El Paso was ripped down so a shopping center could be built, but patriotic Texas Representative Jay J. Armes blocked construction until he got a promise that the center would include a movie theater. We all do what we can. Remember, without eternal vigilance, it can happen here.
Hi. I am a creature from outer space. I have transformed myself into this piece of paper. Right now I am having sex with your fingers. I know you like it because you are smiling. Please pass me on to someone else because I am really horny. Thank you.
Jimmy D. Spencer
Kings Mills, O.
Hi. I have transformed myself into this letter. I have already had sex. Five minutes ago. A lot of sex. It was very messy.
Dear Joe Bob,
How'd you get to be so smart?
What can I do to become smart like you?
Is there something I can read?
Anita M. "Bubbles" Speroni
Why are women like you NEVER around when guys like me are looking for wives?
I read your editorials every chance I get. On June 14th, I read your article on "Baby proves that ugly is hereditary." First of all, I've seen ugly parents with very adorable children, and vice versa. But that's not my point. My point is how do you know he'll be ugly when he grows up?? You don't! Just because he's ugly now doesn't mean he'll be ugly later on in life. Anyways you seen him when he was first born. So tell me, Joe, how many baby's have you seen that are good-looking when they are first born??
I understand that Roseanne Barr was a BEAUTIFUL baby.
This is my third letter to you. And this is the first one without any complaining. I'm not going to moan about how Tobe "Steve. It's me. Remember POLTERGEIST? Can I have a job?" Hooper hasn't made a good movie in like 700 years. I'm not gonna whine about why The Movie Channel doesn't have a Dyanne Thorne film festival. I'm not gonna bitch about how one of Kung-Fu's major stars, Sho Kosugi, has a physique like Yogi Berra.
This letter is about a mistake you made!
Page 103 of your latest literary masterpiece, JBB Goes Back To the Drive-In. In the "The 10 Best Flicks to Get Nookie By" section, you say "The Hills Have Eyes" is "the closest the movies have ever come to wasting a baby onscreen."
Well, what about Penelope Spheeris's 1983 cult fave, "Suburbia"? The movie is about punks that fight with the local white trash, but at the beginning of the movie we see a very BIG dog EAT a very SMALL child. None of this wimp-ola "implied violence." We get to see the little brat get tossed around like Mike Spinks in the ring against Mike Tyson.
You must have seen the movie. Does it count as an official baby death?
It's been a while since I saw the flick, but I remember it as a big dog eating a fake baby DOLL.
Actually, there was one monster that DID eat a child. In "Rawhead Rex," the prehistoric creature breaks into a van, drags out a ten-year-old boy, and chews him to pieces. You don't really see it. You just hear one loud chomp. But it's still pretty frightening, cause you're thinking, "No problayma, they never let the monster hurt the kids," and then THEY LET THE MONSTER EAT THE KID!
Dear Joe Bob:
So, as I sit here Saturday afternoon watchin' "Grave of the Vampire," aka "Seed of Terror," reading Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In II, drinkin' my Sonic diet Coke, I ask you--am I in heaven or what?
Hugs and kisses,
You ever have Texas Beaujolais?
Jack Daniels and diet Dr. Pepper.