For my money, The Last Drive-In will be the most memorable cinematic event of the year. Over the course of a too-short 24 hours, horror fans across America got to hang out with their favorite redneck exploitation historian Joe Bob Briggs while he walked us through 13 of the wildest, goofiest, and best genre pictures that Shudder could license for $30 or less. Sure, there were technical difficulties (as Joe Bob "broke the Internet" during the broadcast when Shudder's servers crashed), but it was all worth it to see the former MonsterVision great get choked up when talking about Basket Case, or while paying tribute to the late great John Zacherle (the Philadelphia horror host whom Briggs credits with starting the very profession he holds so dear to his heart).
Well, Shudder has recognized that they've got a great thing going, and just announced that they'll be bringing Joe Bob back to their streaming service via not one, not two, but a trio of new programs, where the trailer park trash diver can continue to crack wise and sip Lone Star in-between further sets of horrifying greats. First up is "The Dinners of Death", Briggs' Thanksgiving special, which will air on Thursday, November 22nd with hand-picked titles Joe Bob's labeled "the best deadly-dinner movies in history".
Not content to simply ruin one of your holidays, Briggs is also going to host "A Very Joe Bob Christmas" on Friday, December 21st (AKA the day before this writer's birthday!). With this program, Briggs is looking to "fill that void felt by American households ever since ABC stopped airing the Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey Claymation Special.” Like The Last Drive-In, both marathons will be streamed live, with special guest stars and Joe Bob’s signature brand of deep-dives and commentary.
But wait! There's more! Shudder is also planning a regular Joe Bob series in 2019. While there's no details on that as of yet, we can pretty much assume it's going to be another version of Drive-In Theater or MonsterVision, as even Briggs himself has famously copped to hosting "the same damn show over and over again until they cancel me, making the people suffer."
On a personal note, Briggs' return has meant nothing short of the world to this writer (read my lengthy interview with the man here). Without his brand of off-color ruminations about the realm of disreputable cinema, I don't believe that I (or many others, for that matter) would be writing about movies today. Seeing him come back with such a vengeance is awe-inspiring, and I've got my own little bit of Joe Bob news coming up very soon. Stay tuned, boys and ghouls, 2018 has truly turned out to be The Year of The Redneck.