But before we get to that, a lot of you may have noticed that young children frequently write in to "MonsterVision," even though this show comes on WAY past their bedtimes, and sometimes they're seeking advice from "Uncle Joe Bob." Since all of these children are criminals and liars who shouldn't be watching this show anyway, I felt like maybe I should do my part to influence their delicate young minds. Hence, a few tips from my own childhood.
First of all, your SISTER is always the enemy, guys. Never forget this. Your sister was placed in your family by God in order to be terrorized by you. Lemme give you an example. I used to say the following words to my own sister: "In exactly one minute, I'm going to copy everything you say." She would start SCREAMING at me. "No, you're NOT." I would just placidly look up at the second hand on the clock, inexorably sweeping closer and closer to the dreaded twelve.
You're thinking, "So what? Unoriginal. Everyone has done the old 'I'm gonna copy you' torture." But here's the beauty of it. The BEST part is the minute BEFORE you start copying her. It's the WAITING A MINUTE to copy her that makes it so brutally perfect. She'll talk the whole minute.
"I'm not gonna say anything."
"If you copy me, I'll copy you." Just chuckle when she says this. Even if she goes to the ultimate threat: "I'll tell Mama!" You might want to respond to this one: "You'll tell Mama what? That I was exercising my Constitutional rights of free speech to copy you?"
Actually, my own sister tried to follow through on that threat. Most of my terror was carried out while I was the official family babysitter. So she would write notes to my mom. First I would say, "Well, your bedtime is before she gets home, so I'll just find the note and tear it up." This would require her to clutch it in her fist while falling asleep, or hide it under her pillow. But here's the best part. When she finally got the note to my mother, usually the next day, it would say something like "Joe Bob copied me." And you know what Moms do when they see a note like that? They say "Isn't that cute? We should save that note for our scrapbook."
Okay, more tips in the future as we expand our childhood audience of guys evading their bedtimes. But right now it's time for Robert Patrick, star of Terminator 2, and his foxy girlfriend to run through the Filipino jungle fighting Nazis, Amazon warrior tribes, kung fu masters, white flesh-eating crocodiles, while searching for the sacred crystal Spear of Destiny. I'll do those drive-in totals at the first break. Roll film.
[fading] Also starring Bruce Li! Remember when Bruce Lee died, the Hong Kong filmmakers came up with all these other martial artists named Bruce. Bruce Lo, Bruce Lay, Bruce Law. Well, Bruce Li was one of the best. He's got a battle in here with Wang Chang Lee that's one of the funniest dang kung fu fight scenes I've ever witnessed. And I'm the guy who DISCOVERED "Mad Monkey Kung Fu" and introduced it to the west. Little known fact.
Nothing like the old crystal Spear of Longinus to break up a sexual assault by a biker gang that preys on female anthropologists. See, they trick you. You THINK it's gonna be a post-holocaust Mad Max sorta deal, then they switch to a "Raiders of the Lost Ark" Spear of Longinus subplot, then they've got sweaty evil biker gangs screwing up the time-travel plot. I admit, I WAS a little confused there for a minute -- when we flashed back from 2025 to 1986, I thought maybe we were seeing Matthew when he was younger. But now I see they're two different guys. The one from 2025 is the great B-movie actor Richard Norton -- "Karate Cops," "Ironheart," "Rage and Honor," one AND two, of course. And the younger guy is Robert Patrick, otherwise known as the T-1000 from "Terminator 2," as I mentioned earlier. We'll talk more about him later--for now let's do those drive-in totals I promised. We have:
Seventy dead bodies.
Three motor vehicle chases, with five crash-and-burns.
Spear to the back.
Multiple spears to the chest.
Candelabra to the head.
Multiple Kung Fu.
Babes in fur bikinis, rassling over an alligator pit.
Three and a half stars. Let us continue.
[fading] That Spear of Longinus is in the book "Holy Blood, Holy Grail," by the way. A lot of guys ARE searching for it, and the BBC guys think they know where it is. The Masons have it or something. Longinus was the guy who pierced the side of Jesus, and the wooden spear he used to do that is called the Spear of Longinus, or the Spear of Destiny. It's the second most holy object sought by holy-object-seekers. After the holy grail itself. Did you follow that? The crystal thing, though. Cirio Santiago made that up, I think. I don't think the Roman soldiers had crystal spears. So to speak. I got your Spear of Destiny right HERE, man.
Whew! Good thing Michelle is wearing that bra and panties when she delivers those lines. That gal is a magnet for attempted sexual assaults, though, isn't she? We're only a half hour into this thing and she's already been attacked twice. Okay, meeting Robert Patrick and Linda Carol -- that's the actress's name -- wow! is that a producer's girlfriend name or WHAT? -- "Starring Linda Carol as the girl who couldn't say no" -- meeting Robert and Linda at the Hong Kong airport is Bruce Li. The great Bruce Li, star of many a Hong Kong kung fu picture. Hey, you know what just occurred to me about the "Raiders of the Lost Ark" ripoff aspect of this picture? They didn't wanna hire TWO actors in the Philippines, so Linda Carol is both the archeologist and the cafe owner--she plays the Harrison Ford part AND the Karen Allen part. And Robert Patrick is just the wimp along for the ride. Which we're gonna prove in this next section. Bruce Li and Wang Chang Lee engage in one of THE funniest, most imaginatively choreographed kung fu matches ever filmed -- it's really the highlight of this movie -- and Bobby just kinda stands around going "Uh, need any help?" like Kurt Russell in the tong war scene of Big Trouble in Little China
[fading] Robert Patrick has done a LOT of B movie stuff. Psycho biker in "Warlords from Hell." Psycho cowboy in "Equalizer 2000." Psycho terrorist in "Die Hard 2." Why does he always need "psycho" in front of his name? Wasn't he also in that Teri Hatcher movie that set all the records for internet downloads? What was that thing called? Robert Patrick, right? The man is everywhere.
I call that the "Land Shark" scene. "Telegram." Michelle has her sexy bathrobe on. SHOULD she answer? "Telegram." She won't open the door. Then they give her the line she just can't argue with. "You've got to sign for it." So she opens the door and sets off on yet ANOTHER attempted sexual assault. Okay, we're goin to Manila. Did I forget to mention that this flick was directed by Cirio Santiago? One THE most famous Filipino directors around. His father, Ciriaco Santiago, started Premiere Productions in Manila, which is still one of the biggest studios in the Philippines. Cirio runs it now. Cirio was one of the first guys to cast blacks as action heroes, so you could call him a pioneer of the Blaxploitation genre. Remember "T.N.T. Jackson" from 1975? That was Cirio Santiago. Then in the eighties he did a bunch of low-budget Vietnam war movies like "Firehawk." Made over twenty flicks with Roger Corman, although "Future Hunters" isn't one of em. In fact, a lot of pretty big directors started out working with Cirio Santiago -- he and Jonathan Demme co-produced a flick called "Hot Box" -- I'm sure you guys have all seen that. Then Demme went on to do "Silence of the Lambs." Carl Franklin, the guy who did "Devil in a Blue Dress" and "One False Move," he directed "Eye of the Eagle 2" for Cirio. I'll give you more of an overview of the Filipino cinema later. For now, let's do the ads and get back to the flick.
[fading] We all have our favorite Cirio Santiago film. "The Vampire Hookers," of course, is a classic. You might know it as "Ladies of the Night."
"Nam Angels" from 1988.
"She-Devils in Chains." It's no wonder the Filipino president made Cirio president of the Philippines Film Development Funds in 95. You guys know how much "The Vampire Hookers" made, compared to what it cost? Well . . . a lot, I'm sure. I should look that up sometime. Remember the poster for "Vampire Hookers"? "They tease, they squeeze, they're ready to please."
Don't you love it when the motor vehicle chase starts in the nighttime but ends up in broad daylight. That was a LONG mother of a chase, wasn't it? And you know that wherever you see a fruit stand in a chase scene, they're gonna bust over the fruit stand, right? But a fruit stand in the middle of the night? Do they HAVE that in the Philippines? Fresh prunes at 2 a.m.? Then we've got the machinegun fire in the lobby of the Manila Hilton, the old "let's leave our flight plan in the OTHER helicopter and maybe they'll try to fly the other helicopter and then we can blow it up by remote control" trick, and about five minutes back, was I hearing right? Did the Nazi professor stop the big guy from shooting the heroes by saying, "No, no! That would spoil our fun!"? I must not of heard that right. And speaking of fun, [Rusty enters] it's time for "Joe Bob's Advice to the Hopeless," with the funnest Mail Girl around, Rusty.
RUSTY: Funnest, huh?
J.B.: Yeah -- fun, funner, funnest.
RUSTY: I believe that's fun, most fun, and mostest fun.
J.B.: Whatever you say
RUSTY: By the way, I have a joke for you.
J.B.: Oh, yeah? Let's hear it.
RUSTY: How are men like fine wine?
J.B.: I don't know -- how?
RUSTY: They all start out like grapes, and it's our job to stomp on them and keep them in the dark until they mature into something you'd like to have dinner with.
J.B.: That's very funny. Ha ha. You got a letter for me?
RUSTY: I have an e-mail, from Jeff Brown of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, for email@example.com
"My wife and I used to love staying up late and watching MonsterVision. You were drinking beer and being rude and saying what was on your mind. A real rebel. Now you are wearing a tie and showing Willie Wonka. We all think that Jane Fonda had a chat with you about your future. It is not too late to turn back, man. Grab a cold one and put on Return of the Living Dead and you will probably recover.
"Hope the best for you,
"Jeff Brown, Elizabethtown, Kentucky."
Well, Jeff, you got your wish. I didn't like showing all that prime-time mush, so I bailed on the first movie, and I'm concentrating on the late show.
RUSTY: Is that what you're telling them?
J.B.: Shush. You're wrong about the beer, though. This is, uh, V-8. A meal in a can. All right, keep writing me care of TNT, 1010 Techwood Drive, Atlanta, Georgia 30318.
RUSTY: Or e-mail through the "MonsterVision" website: tnt.turner.com/joebob.
J.B.: Exactamundo. So, Rusty, how are WOMEN like fine wine?
RUSTY: I don't know.
J.B.: They all start out fresh, fruity and intoxicating to the mind and then turn full-bodied with age until they go all sour and vinegary and give you a headache.
J.B.: What -- that was funny! Maybe I didn't tell it right. Hey, I laughed at your masculist joke.
Uh, did some Nazi soldiers just fight a battle with some samurai on horseback, preceded by an airplane crash and followed by a gunbattle on a rope bridge? Is that what I just watched? I thought so. And I can't believe they killed off Bauer, the Nazi bodyguard in the knee socks. He had a good look going. He was being true to his German roots. You guys ever been to Germany? Socks and sandals -- big look over there. Anyway, the bad guys had a great offensive strategy there on the footbridge, didn't they?
"Hans, run out there and kill that couple on the bridge. No, no, don't shoot them -- HIT them with your gun. I don't CARE if they have ouzis! Just go! Okay, Hans is dead. Wolfgang! Go hit those people with your gun!" All right, we still got midgets and amazons comin up, so let's get back to the flick, after the ads.
[fading] Who were those guys on horseback, by the way? I have no idea. We just had a major battle, and I don't even know who those guys were. You know who they probly are? They represent nature, going against the evil forces of man gone bad. The horse being the classic image of rural life. That was the Ingmar Bergman part of the flick. I think Ingmar did the second unit work.
That Michelle, she's always falling out of her dress, isn't she? What a goofball. Is she still wearing her high heels in the jungle? I thought so. And that was the famous sledgehammer-wielding tribe of midgets against the Mongol horde saltpeter and nitrates lab sequence, complete with dynamite-stick hurling, chest-spearing, and, of course, plenty of crossbow action. Actually my favorite bit of violence was not any of that stuff. It was when the four midgets just jump on the guy and stomp him to death. All of which could only exist in the Filipino cinema! They shot part of this flick in Trinidad, and part of it right here in L.A., but a lot of it's shot in and around Manila. Filipinos love movies, and they make about 150 of their own every year, so they can be full of the stuff they like best: sex and violence, melodrama, toilet humor, fantasy, horror, and sex and violence.
There are a handful of early guys who were serious filmmakers, like Lamberto Avellana, Manong Gerry de Leon, Manuel Conde, and Cirio Santiago himself, who used to do the occasional art film, but lately they haven't been too proud of their output. I'm not making a judgment, I say this because a little while ago, the Filipino government itself created a couple of organizations to improve things, like the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The trouble was, the Filipino audience LIKED the stuff that was being made. So you know what the government decided to do? Affect the demand -- CHANGE THE AUDIENCE.
They started doing these traveling workshops in the provinces on how to watch films. They have marathon screenings of classic films: "Rashoman," "A Clockwork Orange," "The Bicycle Thief," -- 34 flicks in eight days -- with discussions afterwards. These people didn't need to WATCH "A Clockwork Orange" -- they were living it. Anyhow, these organizations are trying to teach the audience how to "read" films, that in order to appreciate Filipino movies, you have to watch out for the film's cultural subtext, blah blah blah. I'll teach you how to "read" a Filipino movie. You just go, "Hey! Two-hundred midgets with crossbows! Cool!" All right, best part, coming up after the commercials.
[fading] I have no idea why the midgets needed Robert Patrick and Linda Carol's help. They seemed to do pretty well on their own. I think they just wanted to keep em around in case Linda Carol's dress fell off completely. A sundress and white pumps -- not very practical for an anthropologist, is it? And after Labor Day, no less.
And the Filipinos do know how to end a movie, don't they? An earthquake, an avalanche, a speared Nazi and a midget rescue. And, of course, you can't go wrong with catfighting Amazons in fur bikinis, dangling over the flesh-eating crocodile pit. That was Ursula Marquez as the amazon queen--"Future Hunters" was the first in a series of one movies for Ursula. A woman with two amazing talents, matched only by the two talents of Elizabeth Oropesa as the huntress. That alligator had one sumptuous snack.
Okay, I wanna let you know that next week we have an encore-performance of the classic Planet of the Apes. Charlton Heston bares his bewtocks and kisses a monkey, not necessarily in that order, in the science fiction standard. If you missed it last time we showed it, do NOT repeat that mistake.
That's it for me, Joe Bob Briggs, reminding you that the light at the end of the tunnel just may be a muzzle flash.
You guys hear the one about the team of archaeologists who are excavating in Israel when they come upon a cave? Written on the wall of the cave are symbols of a woman, a donkey, a shovel, a fish, and a Star of David. The writings are determined to be at least three thousand years old. The piece of stone is removed, brought to the museum, and archaeologists from around the world come to study the ancient symbols. They hold a huge meeting after months of conferences to discuss the meaning of the markings.
The President of the society points at the first drawing and says: "This looks like a woman. We can judge that this race was family-oriented and held women in high esteem. You can also tell they were intelligent, as the next symbol resembles a donkey, so, they were smart enough to have animals help them till the soil. The next drawing looks like a shovel of some sort, which means they even had tools to help them. Even further proof of their high intelligence is the fish, which means that if a famine had hit the earth, and the food didn't grow, they would take to the sea for food. The last symbol appears to be the Star of David which means they were evidently Hebrews."
The audience applauds.
But a little old man stands up in the back of the room and says, "Idiots! Hebrew is read from right to left. It says: 'Holy Mackerel, Dig The Ass On That Woman!'"
Joe Bob Briggs, reminding you that the drive-in will never die.
A priest and a rabbi are flying in a plane. After a while the priest turns to the rabbi and asks, "Is it still a requirement of your faith that you not eat pork?"
Rabbi says, "Yes, that is still one of our beliefs."
The priest then asks, "Have you ever eaten pork?"
Rabbi says, "Yes, on one occasion I did succumb to temptations, and tasted pork."
The priest nods in an understanding way and goes on reading. A few minutes later, the rabbi asks the priest, "Is it still a requirement of your church that you remain celibate?"
Priest says, "Oh, yes celibacy is a requirement."
Rabbi asks him, "Have you ever fallen to the temptations of the flesh?"
Priest says, "Yes, Rabbi, on one occasion, I broke with my faith."
Rabbi nods in an understanding way, then says, "A lot better than pork, isn't it?"
Robert Patrick films are available on video and on DVD from Amazon.com
Do not use above email or websites. Joe Bob's new one is: www.joebobbriggs.com