Monstervision's Joe Bob Briggs Looks At

Basket Case 3

America's favorite Siamese twin brothers develop a new level of trust and understanding as Kevin Van Hentenryck helps Belial become the Mutant Terminator and eat the entire sheriff's department of a rural Georgia county

"Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In" for 2/21/92
By Joe Bob Briggs
Drive-In Movie Critic of Grapevine, Texas

1982 movie poster I was such a devoted and serious college student that I have credits from 37 different schools, so I think I know what I'm talking about when I say that this "no drinking on campus" stuff is just a LITTLE BIT out of line.
One time, at the University of Arkansas, I was part of the "Gang of Seven" who drank 94 cases of Coors in one week without ever leaving a dorm room. Think about it. Besides the sheer stamina this took, we had to SMELL each other.
Another time, at Ole Miss, I was the runner-up in the annual Swill-and-Spill Kamikaze Mud Slide, where you skid on your butt down a cattle chute while trying to pour, carry and drink a Tequila shooter, chased with an Old Milwaukee Tall Boy. I didn't spill a drop. I would have one, but I temporarily lost my bearings and drank the Tall Boy first and chased it with the Tequila.
I went to Cal State Chico one time and showed the student body how to mix more HEALTHFUL drinks, like Jack-Daniels-and-Diet-Dr.-Pepper. That'll keep that body fat down, save room for the keg later.
So two things I really know about are a) college, and b) getting polluted in college, and so what I'd like to say, first, is we should all remember to drink ONLY in moderation. I was talking to my friend Hunter Thompson about this last week, and he reminded me that crack cocaine causes NO PERMANENT BRAIN DAMAGE, but you have to know when to say when. So I wanna be straight about that first of all. We're talking social drinking here.

Next, let's get down to the real nitty-gritty about why they have all these new federal laws telling the colleges that, if they allow a lot of liquor on campus, they get all their money cut off.
Listen up, Bozos:
All those guys and gals in college are VOTING AGE.
Why don't you ask THEM to vote on it?
Nobody would pass a law saying black people can't do something, and they can't even VOTE on whether or not they get to do it. Nobody would pass a law saying people OVER the age of 65 can't drink, even though it's probly MORE damaging to them than it is to people aged 18 to 21. But this particular group of people gets trampled on more than any other single minority group we've got.
So what's really going on here?
Why would we have a gerbil-brained law like this that restricts personal freedom and treats voters like pond scum?
Because the lawmakers are OLD, and they just flat don't LIKE teenagers. They don't like their hormones. They don't like their wildness. They don't like their lack of CONTROL. It's almost as if our MOTHERS ran the Congress these days. Mothers have ALWAYS wanted to totally eliminate alcohol from campuses. But who always stepped in and restored freedom?
Aren't any of these Congressmen fathers? Are they all transvestites? Didn't anybody read Hemingway or get drunk with his old man? When these people were 18, did they really believe that THEY were too stupid to make decisions about alcohol? I doubt it--because now they're 62 and they don't realize they're too stupid to make decisions about RESTRICTING alcohol.
Give these people their liquor back.
It's their decision, not yours.

Speaking of grotesquely deformed mutants with too much power, "Basket Case III" is finally here, and after ten years, the world's most famous gnarly-squashed-octopus-Siamese-twin-in-a-basket can still chew neck with the best of them. As far as I know, Frank Henenlotter, the writer and director of this series, is the only man making serious handicapped-rights films today, but does he get any credit? In fact, Frank may be the only filmmaker who makes every single character RETARDED in one way or another, so that finally you can't tell the loonies from the bin.

As everyone knows from the last movie, Duane went crazy after his girlfriend died, so he took a baseball bat to his mutant brother and SEWED HIM BACK ON HIS BODY. Part Three begins with Duane in a strait-jacket, Belial refusing to come out of his basket, and all the other members of America's most popular mutant family boarding a school bus to go down South and visit "Little Hal," a 3,000-pound six-armed Jello mold with acne.

I'm not kidding.
You've gotta see this.
But that's not even the grossest thing in the movie. The grossest thing in the movie is the delivery of Belial's 12 children, who come out of Eve (Mrs. Belial) on a 30-foot rope that looks like a gooey intestine, and they have these enormous teeth that . . . Are you following this? And there's a nymphomaniac sheriff's daughter who locks Duane up in the jail and puts on a leather corset, and . . .

This is really too hard to explain. Lemme just put it this way. The mutants are ugly, the mutants are angry, and the mutants don't care who gets hurt. We're talking some serious gore here. This is like a combination of "Alien," "The Terminator II," and "The Chef Boyardee Pasta Jubilee Show."

Twelve dead bodies.
Four breasts.
Neck chewing.
Mutant sex.
Closeup body sewing.
Pregnant mutant "breaking water." (You don't wanna know.)
Baby mutant twelve-tuplets.
Head rolls.
Drive-in Academy Award nominations for Annie Ross, as Granny Ruth the Mutant Mama, for saying "Sewing him back on like that wasn't the answer, Duane";
Kevin Van Hentenryck, excellent as always as Duane the "normal" brother, for saying "Can I have some pancakes?";
Tina Louise Hilbert, as the nympho, for saying "You're an animal, Duane, but I'm an animal, too, and I know how to handle animals like you";
and Frank Henenlotter and Edgar Ievins, for directing and producing the drive-in series that defined the eighties. 4 stars Four stars.

Joe Bob says check it out.


Bureaucrat Alert! The Mt. Healthy Drive-In, on Compton Road in Mt. Healthy, O., just north of Cincinnati, is now the Mt. Heathy Drive-In because one of the huge letters has blown off the screen, some of the neon glass is broken on the street sign, and--this is usually the sign that the end is near--a weed has grown so high that it covers the lower portion of the screen. It gets worse. Now the government of the City of Mt. Healthy has bought it with GOVERNMENT MONEY, with plans to raze the theater and turn it into an industrial park. The Mt. Healthy opened in 1948 with "April Showers," starring Jack Carson and Ann Southern. Thomas A. Long and Kenneth Jordan, both of Cincinnati, remind us that, without eternal vigilance, it can happen here. To discuss the meaning of life with Joe Bob, or to get free junk in the mail and Joe Bob's world-famous "We Are the Weird" newsletter, write Joe Bob Briggs, P.O. Box 2002, Dallas, TX 75221. Joe Bob's Fax is always open: 214-368-2310

Dear Joe Bob,
Your "When Free Time Isn't Free" is a brilliant, comic explanation of the Kierkegaardian-Sartrean point that man most fears the freedom of having to choose. Next, could you do something on Nietzsche's doctrine of eternal recurrence?
Tom Long

Dear Tom:
I was saving my views on Nietzsche for a full-length comic book.

Dear Joe Bob:
Some evenings after a hard day's work at our computer screens, me and a few buddies take in the high culture of the Canadian Ballet. So when we walked in a few weeks ago we knew somthing was up big time cause the French-Canadian girls who usually sit at the bar lookin real bored in their lace bras and panties were standin up and lookin over the crowd of guys massed around the stage. On the stage were two real tall, statuesque blondes with their own announcer who said they were the Bubbles Sisters from Atlanta. This was no normal show.
These women had rassled a guy to the floor and were proceeding to tear off his clothes. Needless to say, they were wearing no more than spiked high heels. They were spraying him with foam mousse. I remember the music was very loud. The crowd was going wild. But it even got crazier when the girls started to spray the whole crowd with mousse, grab individuals by the ears and beat them at random with their hooters. I am not kidding when I say the place was in pandemonium.
It got even wilder when the girls put on t-shirts with their pictures on the front and the announcer said that the guy yelling the loudest would be chosen to take off the t-shirt and keep it forever to remember this night. Well, grown men were crying like babies, screaming at the top of their lungs, even beating their heads on the stage. It was not a pretty sight. My buddy, known as a stud muffin by some, was chosen by one of the Bubbles Sisters to receive a shirt.
Joe Bob, this is where the whole thing got weird. She proceeded to take off the shirt herself, twist it like a towel in the locker room, and place it between her legs. Then she made my buddy get down on all fours and bark like a dog while she feigned fear and ran around the stage with him chasing her.
I have just one question regarding this living theatre. Was my friend being used as a sex object? She did give him the t-shirt.
Confused in Buffalo,
Grand Island, N.Y.

Dear M.C.:
Your friend was not being used as a sex object. What you witnessed was simply the true relationship between men and women, which is rarely expressed so truly as when drunk men are put in the same room with nude women. What you witnessed, my friend, was reality. She got $5,000. He got a shirt. This is life.

Dear Joe Bob:
Ever since I've become an amateur writer, I've been getting strange junk mail that says it can teach me to be a better writer in "nine easy steps," or some such garbage. There's one that says, "We'll teach you the power words that will make publishers salivate." Not only is this a disgusting image, but the name--"power words"? I thought I was a writer, not a corporate stooge. Another tells me they can hypnotize me into being a better writer. Personally, I don't know any writer who was in a comatose state while writing. Anyway, I guess the question I wanted to ask you is: Are these for real? Are these ads just jokes I'm supposed to laugh at? And are these people snake oil salesmen, like I suspect?

Well, since I have you trapped reading this letter, I wanted to ask you a couple technical questions about writing. First, is there an easier way to do a word count? Right now, I'm counting every word to get an approximate word count. It wouldn't bother me so much if it was an exact word count, but this is an APPROXIMATE word count. What's the penalty if I make up a number?

Also, I seem to write material that offends people, though I don't always intend to. This could be because I have a large group of friends with varied interests, who, after reading my stories, become a large group of enemies. Anyway, what I'm wondering is: Is there anything out there that can't be written about?
Your loyal fan,
Lyle MacDougall
Buffalo, N.Y.

Dear Lyle:
1) The way you do a "word count" is YOU JUST MAKE IT UP! What idiot is gonna check your arithmetic? Nobody knows what the word counts mean anyway.
2) No newspaper columnist has ever been fired for being boring. If you want a career, that would be my advice. Keep it safe and down-home. If, on the other hand, you wanna be a writer, don't even ask the question in the first place. As soon as you think you have some "moral responsibility," you're finished.

Joe Bob,
God bless America and what you're doing to save what made us great and imitated (but never duplicated) the world over. Are there drive-ins in other countries? I don't know, since you would have to probably catch dysentery if you used the refreshment stand.
Brad Mandell
Dublin, O.

Dear Brad:
There are drive-ins in 54 nations of the world, but most of em just have one or two screens. The only REAL drive-in countries are the U.S., Canada, Australia and West Germany (next to the U.S. Army bases).

Dear The Joe Bobster,
I'm this close to losing my spot on the local Government Access channel because of (what were described to me as) "Joe Bob-type attitudes" on a rivaling high-powered Lexington frequency, the local public access channel ("Brother George On Film" is the show). Still waiting on a call back for a part in Jim Van Bebber's "Charlie's Family." Why can't I be you?
Don't know if you remember me writing to you about showing Bob Novak your Washingtonian bit. But I told him about your deep-socketed eye barb and he was none too happy. He said, "I don't know this yahoo but he's obviously a left-wing, peacenik, non-patriot, ACLU-card-carrying, limp-wristed, non-Christian, Michael Kingsley-resembling foo foo la roo."
George Maranville
Lexington, Ky.

Dear George:
You misunderstood. I LOVE Robert Novak's eyesockets. Women get lost in them. Farm tractors get lost in them. Sometimes Evans get lost in them and they have to fish him out with a bean pole.

1992 Joe Bob Briggs. All Rights Reserved. Not an AOL Time-Warner Company in this lifetime.

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