Monstervision's Joe Bob Briggs Looks At


"Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In" for 1/4/91
Is a Sheen coming to take your soul? Very close--it's Joe Estevez as the Angel of Death in "Soultaker"
By Joe Bob Briggs
Drive-In Movie Critic of Grapevine, Texas

Here! For the first time! Never-before-published excerpts from Super-Producer Julia Phillips' new book about the REAL Hollywood! (Actually, these are the only excerpts left after the excerpts in Fame, Spy, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Ebony, National Geographic, Petroleum Market Weekly, The Farmer's Almanac, and Akron This Week.)
As our story begins, Julia has divorced Super-Producer Husband Michael Phillips for being a cokehead, because "I want to be accepted as a cokehead on my own terms, not just the WIFE of a cokehead." We pick up the story at a party for Barbra Streisand, hosted by Erica Jong. Julia is in the ladies room with seven other coke-sniffing Hollywood celebrities, and they are discussing who should be in Spielberg's next film for Universal . . . well, we'll let her tell it:

"I'm pulling more blow out of my purse when I get this idea to buy the film rights to Lewis Carroll's 'Alice in Wonderland,' with Goldie Hawn as Alice! I've got to have this book! I've got to have it. I bang on the stall. Someone's taking an awfully long time in there. Of course, I could never stand Goldie Hawn's hair. It was always dirty, and she has B.O.
"Lynn Velman, the ICM agent, suddenly swings open the stall door, and she's in there with Mark Stallman, the screenwriter. I once spent six months with Mark trying to get a workable script for the Jane Fonda action vehicle for Martin Scorsese. I finally figured out Mark was more interested in my bod than he was in the script. I can't STAND this idea that, just because women like coke, they'll do anything to get it. Not that Mark wasn't generous with his coke. But I always had my own stash so I wouldn't owe any favors.
"'Just the man I wanted to see!' I say to Mark. "What do you think about Goldie as 'Alice in Wonderland'?"
"'She won't do it,' said Lynn. I never liked Lynn Velman. She'd take coke from anybody. But I kept my professional cool under the circumstances.
"'Why is that?' I asked politely.
"'Because I'll tell David Begelman to tell Frank Vecsey to tell Mariah Wilson that it's bad for her career. How did this bathroom get so crowded?
"You can't deal with some people in Hollywood. I shouldered my way past them.
"'Think about it,' I said to Mark. At that moment I want Mark to love me, but I also want them to leave so I can sniff some nose candy.

"Later I find some friends at the party and we gossip about how trashy Super-Agent Sue Mengers' dress looks tonight. She's talking to Jon Peters about hair. One time Jon cut my bangs and they still looked like they belonged to a dead cocker spaniel. Suddenly I decide I want to direct Natalie Wood and Elliott Gould in the movie version of 'Fear of Flying.' I can't wait to tell David Begelman.

"Mick Jagger shows up and asks me to go to another party with him. Up close he's ugly. I tell him I have to meet Richard Dreyfuss about a deal at Warner Brothers, but he's persistent. He looks like a monkey and he has B.O. His hair is dirty. I enjoy his attention, but I let him know that I have my own coke, I don't need his.

"I continue to work on this 'Alice in Wonderland' idea. If I directed myself, then I could cast Natalie and Elliott, with Dennis Hopper as The Mad Hatter, and if Erica Jong would cooperate, we could combine the story with 'Fear of Flying' and make it 'Fear of Falling.' We need a sexually-driven female. Not like Erica. She looks like a sow in heat. She's never offered me any coke anyway. When I first met her, we really hit it off, but now she's getting snide and pushy. She wants to know what I'm doing with her book.

"I smoke a joint and head for the bar at the Imperial Gardens to think about what to do with Erica. I notice my T-shirt is torn. Maybe I could produce something with James Garner. Why am I thinking about James Garner? Because THERE HE IS, sitting at the bar with Chucky Cadwallader, the famous agent, producer and mortician. I wave to them, but they don't do coke. I don't think he has body odor, either. I'm not close enough to be able to tell.

"I look around, trying to find the ladies room. I would love to produce an Edward Albee play for the screen. Warren Beatty in an Edward Albee script--is that a scream? I don't feel like sleeping with anyone this evening, but can you imagine Warren's casting couch? . . ."

That's all the room for excerpts I have this week, but I'd like to add one thought. I could never figure out why Julia Phillips never became the great movie producer and director she dreamed of becoming. Must have been brutal personal politics directed against her.

Speaking of acid trips, Soultaker just came out, starring the Sheen you always forget about--Joe Estevez, brother of Martin Sheen, uncle of Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez--as an Angel of Death who skulks around Mobile, Alabama, in a black trenchcoat, sucking the souls out of dead people and taking em up to heaven in a little box. Unfortunately, he screws up when five teenagers are SUPPOSED to die in a car crash, but their souls get separated from their bodies, and so the souls are wandering around the countryside, trying to call the police, while the bodies are hooked up to life-support at Mobile General.

Robert Z'dar, best known as the original Maniac Cop, comes down from heaven to tell Joe Estevez that he'd better get his hiney in gear and track down those souls and send em up to heaven, or else Joe is gonna be in a little collision himself, so the rest of the movie is spent watching this Jason-From-Outer-Space hunt down the little yuppie scum one by one while they go around invisible to everyone except us saying things like "Why won't you HELP us?"

If they can get to their bodies in time, do some heart massage, and CAPTURE THOSE SOULS, then maybe
. . . aw, I can't explain it.

In other words, this is the drive-in "Ghost."
No breasts.
Five dead bodies.
Green soul-sucking.
Golf club to the noggin.
One motor vehicle smash-up.
The ultimate CPR.
Two roof plunges.
Shotgun Fu.
Spirit Fu.
Drive-In Academy Award nominations for Vivian Schilling, as Natalie, who wrote the screenplay so she could get a job in a movie;
Robert Z'dar, as the ultimate head honcho angel, for saying "You must restore the balance or pay the penalty";
Joe Estevez, for falling in love with Natalie, even though he's a ghost and she's a human, and for saying "You can't kill a man who's already dead";
Gregg Thomsen, as Zach, for figuring out the plot so we can all understand it;
and David Shark, as Brad the dead coke dealer, for saying "Led Zeppelin was wrong, man. There IS no stairway to heaven."
And a special commendation to Michael Rissi, the director, who made this baby for $300,000 (El Cheapo Grande).
Four stars.
Joe Bob says check it out.


Baghdad Alert! One of the saddest sights in America is on a stretch of Interstate 80 heading through Richmond, Calif., where there is a giant concrete pillar with the word "Hilltop" on it. It's a gravestone, marking the exact place where the screen of the Hilltop Drive-In once stood. At least the people of Richmond remember their heritage. Clifford Runkle of Vallejo, Calif., reminds 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 his world-famous "We Are the Weird" newsletter, write P.O. Box 2002, Dallas, TX 75221, or leave your name and address on Joe Bob's comedy line, 1-900-4-JOEBOB ($1.50 first minute, 75 cents each additional). Joe Bob's Fax: 214-368-2310.

Dear Joe Bob,
I have a quick question. If you sneeze with your eyes open, will your eyeballs pop out? This has always troubled me, so please, with your all-knowing power, answer this ponderous question.
Kecie Simmons
Lumberton, N.C.

Dear Kecie:
I hope this gets to you in time. I wrote as soon as I got your letter.
You must ALWAYS keep your eyes open when sneezing.
If you close your eyes, pressure will build up in your head and you'll get partial brain damage and start writing letters to sleazy people.

Dear Joe Bob Briggs,
A friend asked me this dilema of a question a while back and I have racked my brain to figure it out. "What would chairs look like if our knees bent backwards?"
Going Crazy,
Jeff Skumby
Pleasanton, Calif.

Dear Jeff:

Dear Joe Bob:
In our eternal quest to manufacture an opinion on every conceivable subject in the universe, we've stumbled upon one of the more current topics for which we're unable to come to a complete consensus. We're talkin' Irack-thing. Therefore, we need an objective third party (not third world) tie-breaker opinion.
R.C. says we should glaze over the ragheads with some conventional nukeelar weapons, shine up the newly made glass with industrial strength Windex, coat it with vegetable oil and slide from city to city. I say we do a 900-mile slant drill and suck all our crude right out from under the diaper jocks, then tell Saddamy Hosehead we never liked Kwate anyway.
My cousin Rex says we should gas up every running Pinto and back them all straight to Baghdad, but he's on prescription medication so we don't count his opinion.
Awaiting your urgently needed reply.
Brett E. Stephens
Plano, Tex.

Dear Brett:
Did you say slant-drilling?
I'm surprised Georgie Bush, a slant-driller from way back, never thought of this before now.
This is great.
We've got enough unemployed roughneck oil cheaters in Texas to make this a reality TOMORROW.

Dear Sir or Madam:
Please cancel my subscription to "We Are The Weird," at this time.
My life has been changed-over in the recent past, back to a total harmony with the will of the Lord. This means avoiding those things which draw us down to our lesser nature, including films depicting the things reviewed in many entertainment publications.
Anything that keeps us from enjoying everlasting life, with the one who gave up his own life on the cross of salvation, cannot be worth while.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Robert F. Smith
Tacoma, Wash.

Dear Robert:
Would you mind telling us which movie it was that the Lord objected to?
He could make it a lot easier on us here at the "We Are the Weird" newsletter if He would communicate with us directly.
It was "Chopper Chicks in Zombietown," wasn't it?
I KNEW I shouldn't have reviewed that one.

Joe Bob,
Communist Alert! Has JBB gone Commie Pinko? What is this, siding with lawyers? Siding with lawyers who will lie or cheat to win, siding with lawyers who whine for their whining and sicko "my guy" killers. Come on, Joe Bob, these guys aren't on death row for stealing candy, and most of them are repeat offenders, habitual criminals. Not only that, but it is costing us good American taxpayers billions of dollars to house, feed, clothe and entertain these "my guy" killers while they spend years appealing and re-appealing their cases. Hey! Where is the Joe Bob of old, who would say "Fry the slime-filled jerkolas." They weren't worrying about whining when they were doing the killing.
What do you call 1000 lawyers at the bottom of a lake?
A good start!
What's black and brown and looks good on a lawyer?
A Doberman.
Your buddy,
Bill Snow Jr.
Port Arthur, Tex.

Dear Bill:
I didn't say they weren't slimeballs. They ARE slimeballs. I just don't see what good it does to kill em. All that does is punish their FAMILIES, not them.

Want a second opinion? Check out Mystery Science Theater host segment for this same movie, Soultaker (and you thought Martin Sheen looks gloomy on The West Wing)
1991 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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Soultaker (1990)
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I couldn't find the themesong for "Soultaker", but click here if you want to hear the one for The Shadow again