Weekly World MonsterVision ... Week of June 23, 1997

Joe Bob Chews The Fat

The Elephant Man

I am not an animal. I am a human being

I've been a fan of yours for the last 10 years or so...even have two of your books. It was a proud day when I realized that I'd seen nearly all the flicks you've written about.
I'm glad to be able to check you out on TNT these days. True, you won't be able to show stuff like MAKE THEM DIE SLOWLY, but I'm sure there's plenty of stuff out there that you can show which is just as good, even if it doesn't rate so hgh on the vomit meter.
I was really shocked to see that you're showing THE ELEPHANT MAN. Huh? I mean, it's a great movie, but it's a little too serious. You almost expect Meryl Streep to show up.
If you ever get the time, you might wanna check out a documentary about the late singer/performance artist GG Allin. It's called HATED, and makes HELL'S ANGELS FOREVER look like a National Geographic Special...serious, serious ugly.
Anyway, I'll keep "checking it out".
Joel McLemore

Dear Joel,
I've already seen "Hated," and I think it's one of the most brilliant documentaries ever made. The guy who directed it was a student at New York University, but the film was banned from the annual student film festival. He rented a hall and showed it anyway, and it almost got him kicked out of school. That's one amazing movie, but very few people have seen it. I guess you know that GG Allin finally killed himself--drug overdose, I think.
Joe Bob

Joe Bob,
I was so pleased to find such a wonderful film on television; imagine my horror when I discovered that it was part of a program called "Monster Vision." May I remind you that John Merrick was a human being, a man who was unfortunate enough to be afflicted with a disfiguring disease. How dare you label him as a monster! If you had actually watched the film you might notice that he was quite human, more human than many people with perfectly normal faces. You obviously have no decency or respect for others. I find it amazing that such a large network would risk offending so many viewers. I doubt if I will ever watch TNT again.
Tara McIlwain

Dear John,
That would be a good idea. Please don't ever watch TNT again. You obviously don't get it.
Joe Bob

Click here for photo of Joe Bob and Honey Hi Joe Bob,
I love your shows!! Its nice to see a person from Texas on TV saying somthing other than: "It did sound like a freight train!! or Yeup were 'bout to declare Texas free from the union!! People must think were all morons, thanks for being our spokesman.
Anyway, I wanted to as you about some movies. I remember watching two movies with the wrestler Roddy Pipper in them. One was Hell Comes to Frogg Town the other was some alien movie. Thought the might make good flicks for the show.
Later Stacy

Dear Stacy,
I recently saw Rowdy Roddy at the Cable Ace Awards in El Lay, and I was telling him how much I admired him in all those great B movies he's making, and he thought I was making fun of him! He didn't believe I was serious! He was good-natured about it, but I'm afraid the boy thinks he oughta be starring in "War and Peace," you know?
Joe Bob

Joe Bob,
First off, my wife turned me on to your show and we both love it!
I wanna see you play two movies that are truly cool ones:
1)Wheels of Fire (road warriors ripoff)
2)Deadly Prey (truly sad!)
I've been looking all over to rent Wheels of Fire but never find the thing. Do you know if it's available anywhere?
Deadly Prey is the ultimate in cheese! There's one seen where the hero drops his gun, grabs a machette, and charges the villian (who has a pistol). The villian fires off a coupla rounds POINT BLANK and the never hits the hero! To make it even better, the hero chops the guy's arm off and beats him with it! HAHAHA! The whole movie is hilarious!

If you ever need any help finding flaws and the such in Arnold's movie Commando, then I'm the man for the job. In high school I formed a group and we spent countless hours finding funny/ cheesy movies and knitpicking'em. Commando is what I consider a beginner level movie for knitpickers 'cause of the massive amount of flaws. You don't always get to see a M-60 gunbelt that grows longer when being fired! :)
--= Weasel =--

Dear Weasel,
A lot of Arnold the Barbarian's movies have that kinda stuff in em. "Predator" is the same way.
Preciate the suggestions, bud. I don't think I've seen "Wheels of Fire" or "Deadly Prey," and I can't imagine why not. So I'll talk to the crack TNT programming department and we'll see what slithers down the wall.
Joe Bob

Dear Joe Bob,
I enjoyed the showing of "The Road Warrior" last Friday night. It is in my opinion one of the best action films ever made, ranking with the original "Die Hard" and Raiders of the Lost Ark. I am really glad your show airs movies such as this as opposed to other cable networks which only seem to show awful films without any commentary to make them worthwhile.
Anyway, there was a question that arose on the show regarding the kind of car Max drove. It is a Ford Falcon XB hardtop that was available in Australia from 1973 to 1976. There are a few modifications to the car including a different nose cone as well as the supercharger. They only made one car for the original "Mad Max" and it was destroyed in the sequel. I read that it was restored and is in a museum somewhere in Australia.
Thought you would like to know.

Dear John,
That's some amazing information. Who would have ever guessed that was a Ford Falcon? I've NEVER seen a Ford Falcon that looks that cool. Preciate it, bud.
Joe Bob

"The Elephant Man" availability on video and on DVD from Amazon.com

MonsterVision host segments for The Road Warrior

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Quotes & Trivia (Courtesy of the Internet Movie Database)

* John Merrick: People are frightened by what they don't understand

* Director David Lynch originally tried to do the makeup for the elephant man himself but simply wasn't able to.

* The Elephant Man's name was Joseph, not John, Merrick. When Frederick Treves wrote his memoir, he referred to him as John. His handwritten manuscript reveals that Treves knew that Merrick's name was Joseph, and deliberately crossed out "Joseph" and replaced it with "John." Merrick's surviving correspondence shows he signed his name as Joseph, and contemporary newspaper articles about his case refer to him by his correct name. Why Treves changed his name to John is unclear.

* This film was executive produced by Mel Brooks, who was responsible for hiring director David Lynch and obtaining permission to film in black and white. He deliberately left his name off the credits, as he knew that people would get the wrong idea about the movie if they saw his name on the film, given his fame as a satirist.

* Following the death of the real John Merrick, parts of his body were preserved for medical science to study. Some internal organs were kept in jars, and plaster casts were taken of his head, an arm, and a foot. Although the organs were destroyed by German air raids during the Second World War, the casts survived and were kept at the London Hospital. The makeup for John Hurt, who played Merrick in the film, was designed directly from those casts.

* The Elephant Man makeup took 12 hours to apply each time.

* Merrick's condition was undiagnosed at the time of his death. Later studies of his skeleton and the casts made of his body led researchers to believe he suffered from Neuro Fibromatosis (NF), a genetic condition that 1 in 100,000 persons suffer from. The NF Foundation used the movie as a fund raising tool and credited it with making the disease more widely known. Later examination, including CT Scans of the skeleton, now lead researchers to believe he suffered from Proteus Syndrome, a much rarer condition than NF. Attempts to confirm either diagnosis with a DNA sample from a tooth have been unsuccessful.

* The writers based this film on the memoirs of Dr. Treves and other true accounts, and avoided the play by Bernard Pomerance and the novel by Christine Sparks. The true name of the "Elephant Man" was not John Merrick as most people have known, but Joseph Carey Merrick. Merrick was born in Leicester, England on August 5, 1862, and died in the Royal London Hospital on April 11, 1890, at the age of 27.

* After the first day of shooting, when actor John Hurt was exposed for the first time to the inconveniences of having his make-up applied and walking around in it, he called his wife, saying, "I think they finally managed to make me hate acting."

* In the 'Making Of' featurette on the Region 1 DVD, John Hurt says that he did the film for free.

* When Treeves sees Merrick for the first time, he sheds a single tear. Hopkins thought of his sick brother at that moment to help him to cry.

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