If you fancy yourself any sort of horror fan, you know the name Joe Bob Briggs. You also know that Shudder hosted Mr. Briggs last weekend for what was hailed as “The Last Drive-In”, a chance for fans to get one last glorious 24-hour marathon of horror movies from one of America’s favorite monster movie hosts.
Joe Bob’s Drive-In Theater was a staple for monster lovers everywhere. From 1987 to 1996, the weekly series showed us all of the good, bad and gory that our beloved genre had to offer. When TMC pulled the plug on the show in 1996, TNT was wise enough to pounce on Mr. Briggs and introduce MonsterVision. That series lasted four more years, ending in July 2000. In those fourteen years, Briggs became everyone’s favorite uncle and he meant the world to generations of fans the world over.
If you know all that, you also know that due to astronomical viewer numbers, the special just about destroyed the internet! There were multiple issues with the live feed on Shudder (it’s hard to blame a subscription service when they made horror fans’ dream come true with this program) and it was instantly rectified as the streaming service released the films in the marathon individually, complete with Joe Bob’s commentary. This made for many a happy fan and also was a brilliant stroke of marketing genius by Shudder- it would have been easy enough to shrug it off and hope for better luck next time, but the company was transparent throughout the technical difficulties and provided updates on social media almost hourly. By the end of the marathon, the bugs were worked out and fans far and wide shed a tear as Joe Bob signed off for one final time. All thirteen films were uploaded for streaming, complete with JBB’s commentary, and something that many of us horror fanatics thought would never happened actually did- we got one last horror marathon with our favorite bolo tie-wearing buddy.
Well put away the tissues and make sure there’s plenty of head clearance where you’re currently at, because you’re about to jump for joy…
Joe Bob is coming back!
Shudder just keeps kicking ass and taking names. Something told me during last weekend’s marathon that we hadn’t seen the last of Joe Bob, but I chalked that up to wishful thinking. Now we know the dream continues and the drive-in will never die!