Monstervision's Joe Bob Briggs Looks At

Snake Eater (1990)

(several members of Joe Bob's family got acting jobs in "Snake Eater")

Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In" for 4/27/90
By Joe Bob Briggs
Drive-In Movie Critic of Grapevine, Texas

     The other day I was watching the Battle of the Monster Trucks Smash Challenge Expo '90 Exploding Carburetor ESPN Test Match Big Ole Pickup Show, which is probly my favorite show on TV, and if you've been following it this year then you know that they've gone hog wild with technology. The wheels on the new Bigfoot truck are so far off the ground they have to bring out a hook-and-ladder firetruck to get Andy Brass, the driver, up inside it. And then, once the race starts, the question is not "Who's gonna win this sucker?" but "Who will be the first guy to flip his rear end up in the air and smash his front axle like a piece of beef jerky that's being ripped apart?"
But the other day, like I say, I was watching the show, as usual, and Army Armstrong came on to do the interviews. Yall know Army? He's the one that stands out there in the mud after the race and screams questions at em, like, "Dave, it looks like you just hammered down there at the end." This is a question. I know it doesn't look or sound like a question. But it's a question. And then Dave will ANSWER it. And this is the interesting part, that I discovered the other day.
I've been watching the Battle of the Monster Trucks Show since whenever it started, seven, eight years ago. And I realized that I've NEVER UNDERSTOOD A SINGLE WORD ANY DRIVER HAS EVER SAID.
Sometimes I THINK I understand. And then I try to REMEMBER what they just said, and I can't figure it out.
Like the other day they were interviewing Andy Brass after Bigfoot beat Awesome Kong in the quarterfinals at the Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis. I don't know if you've ever seen Andy, but he gets out of this truck the size of Pakistan--and you can't BELIEVE it. He's about three-foot-nine and talks like one of the Lollipop Kids in "The Wizard of Oz." And Army Armstrong asks him a question, and he says, "Lane choice is not real particular to me at this moment. It's just kinda where I wanna start out on the hill. We're putting a lot of the horsepower more to the ground than what a lot of the other guys are."
Do you know what this means?

And then lately they been doing this other weird thing, where they put a microphone in the cab with the driver--to get the REAL sounds of the race.
Here's the real sounds of the first race I heard:
Here's the real sounds of the second race I heard:
Here's the real sounds of the third race I heard:
"Vrrrrroooooooom Crash Thump Thud. 'I'm okay.'"
Most of the time the race takes about four seconds, so what's supposed to happen on the mike? Are we supposed to hear some guy going "Let's see, if I rev to 5400 rpms and then downshift, PERHAPS I'll attain the proper trajectory"? All the guy's got time to say is "Yeeeeeeowwwwww!"

And then a half hour later, after they take the Swiss Alpine ski-lift ride back down from the cab of the truck, their brains are so banged up that they don't have any complete sentences left in em:
"Anytime you run against Grave Digger, you've got to expect being impacted. Even one of the 'Foot trucks. Just some hose clamps loosened up. Our boil-over spring coils back home, plus the fuel injection, and she won't nose over or go squirrelly."
There's only one guy on the Monster Truck circuit I can identify with--David Morris of Springfield, Tennessee, who drives The Equalizer. All David says after a race is, "Don't put it to the wood till it's time to."

And speaking of macho-macho men, we have a Lorenzo Lamas Alert! I have to admit, I had serious doubts about the guy who started out as a "Falcon Crest" goonie, but in this week's drive-in selection--Snake Eater--he proves he has the stuff to be a solid professional kung-fu king. It's a Double Chuck script--combination Chuck Bronson/Chuck Norris revenge story. You know how Bronson is always an ex-cop, and Norris is always an ex-Marine? Well, Lorenzo Lamas is an ex-cop AND and ex-Marine. He got fired from BOTH for being a head-busting maniac, nailing drug dealers' feet to the floor, innocent stuff like that.

And now some Deliverance hillbillies out in the woods throw a log out in the river and cause the houseboat of Lorenzo's family to stall out. Then Junior and his Cro-Magnon cousins come aboard and stuff Mama's face in a pot of boiling water and turn Daddy into a Roman candle and carry Lorenzo's yummy sister away so they can cage her up and poke her with a stick. Also there's some stuff in there about Lorenzo being a biker, and there's an old biker played by Ronnie Hawkins (yes, THE Ronnie Hawkins, The Hawk, king of rockabilly) who helps him out by turning his Harley into an ocean-going Jet-Ski Harley.

So what we got here is Death Wish, "Delta Force," Deliverance and The Wild Angels all rolled into one, and so, of course, they hired a special-effects guy to direct--and all I can say is, I've seen the future of scum-sweeping motor-vehicle crashing drive-in heroes, and the future is Lorenzo.
Two breasts.
Twelve dead bodies.
Nails through the feet (four).
Ketchup guzzling.
Exploding houseboat.
Molotov river cocktail.
Four excellent fistfights, with beer bottles.
Amateur tooth-pulling.
Shovel head-hacking.
One Harley Jet-Ski.
Gratuitous "Kum-ba-ya."
Kung Fu.
Punji-stick Fu.
Hatchet Fu.
Drive-In Academy Award nominations for Mowava Pryor, as Chloe the drug delivery girl, for saying "All right, Soldier, strip!";
Lorenzo Lamas, for some excellent body tattoos, for sailing head-first through a roadhouse window, getting beer poured in his lap, and saying "So THIS is what happens when you breed a human with a tree" and
"Those mutants know a lot more than they're saying";
Robert Scott, as Junior, one of the sleaziest pond-scum psycho hillbillies ever portrayed in the movies, for dressing up in a bear-suit and saying "Your dream man's here, and he's come to change your life!";
and Cheryl Jeans, as Lorenzo's little sister, penned up like a pig in the hillbilly shed, for saying "I was told not to eat the fish up here, because of the pollution";
and George Erschbamer, the director, for imaginative use of explosives.
Four stars. Joe Bob says check it out.

Communist Alert! Stockton, Calif., is down to a single, one, uno drive-in after two were ripped down for a shopping center and a golf course. The Valley 99 Drive-In is IT, according to A. Blum, who reminds us that, without eternal vigilance, it can happen here. To discuss the meaning of life with Joe Bob, or to get his world famous "We Are the Weird" newsletter, write Joe Bob Briggs, P.O. Box 2002, Dallas, TX 75221. Joe Bob's Fax line is always open: 214-368-2310.

Dear Joe Bob:
The other night I had a dream. You were dressed as Elvis and, with a wave of your jewelled hand, the gravity began to intensify and all the mucus from everyone's noses began to pour onto the ground. And in this dream, Joe Bob, the flood began to encompass what had to be the last drive-in on the face of the earth and all you did was laugh, just like ELVIS. What does this mean?
Chris Gilbreath and Andy Thompson
Irving, Tex.

Dear Chris and Andy:
It either means you fell asleep with The Nashville Network on and the air conditioner turned down too low, or else the Randy Travis Demon has taken over your body.

Send me some stuff and I might let you take a peek (or two) of my picture of Busty Russell, star of the cult classic "Deadly Weapons." Busty (76-28-38) was much more impressive "live" at the Pilgrim Burlesque House, Boston, Maine, 1974, when I was just a young pup of 21.
Art Tedeschi
DeSoto, Tex.

Dear Art:
Busty Russell changed her name about once a year, but she was best known as Chesty Morgan, the name she used in "Double Agent 73," where she's a CIA spy who has a secret camera implanted in her left breast. In "Deadly Weapons" she used the name Zsa Zsa. That's the one where she smothers Harry Reems to death with her garbonzas.
Actually, she was from Israel and never told ANYBODY her real name. Whatever happened to those 73-inchers anyhow? (I think it's interesting that they would add three inches to her stats at the strip show. I mean, why bother?)

Dear Joe Bob,
I've been married for 20 years, and not once have I witnessed a woman break wind until last night! I was raised to believe that women just don't do that. Ever.
But last night my wife turned one loose that blew the quilt off the bed, spun the ceiling fan around, and knocked out our cat. After all these years of believing a lie, I'm considering therapy, but I need your advice first.
Gene Taylor
Louisville, Ky.

Did you really write me that letter?
Am I hallucinating this?
Did I make this up?
Does Ann Landers get mail like this?

But why does the porridge bird lay his eggs in the air?
Bob John Wittman
Virginia Beach, Va.

Because it's too hard to do Caesarean sections in the air.

To Joe Bob:
Your article on the movie "Carnival of Souls" was quite interesting. I like it that someone has taken an interest in a movie that premiered some twenty years ago.
You are inaccurate, however, when you suggest Rod Serling stole the idea with the Twilight Zone episode, "The Hitchhiker." This episode of Twilight zone was shown to audiences Jan. 20, 1960, two years before "Carnival" existed. Keep up the good work,
Gordon Winkler
San Mateo, Calif.

Dear Gordon:
Are you one of those guys that saves your TV Guides your entire life?
You're right. May the spirit of Rod forgive me.

1990 Joe Bob Briggs All Rights Reserved

For more of Joe Bob's pre-TNT reviews in Grapevine, Texas, go to his Drive-In Reviews Archive over yonder at Joe Bob

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Snakes On A Bus (actual news item)

Elvis has left the building, and he took Joe Bob with him.