Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In [Paperback]

“Women should never be judged by their personal appearance. They Should be Judged by the Size of their Hooters.”  – Joe Bob’s Rules to Live By

It’s easy to see why John Bloom aka Joe Bob Briggs would arouse the ire of pretty much everyone in the South. He is not a writer that’s intent on being politically correct, nor does he really pull his punches with his reviews.

He refers to women only as bimbos, he calls men turkeys, he has an article devoted to Steven Spielberg and his “wimpy” movies, he bashes Gene Shallit, he mocks Moustapha Akkad for being an ayrab, and he calls people who perfer to go to indoor movies rather than drive-ins, folks too poor to afford cars.

But that’s all apart of the character of Joe Bob Briggs. Rather than writing a Drive-In report as John Bloom, writer Bloom created Joe Bob Briggs, a Southern gent who is politically incorrect, offends at every turn, and has a deep passion for the drive-in.

Joe Bob Briggs seeks to educate while entertaining. In the first pages of the book, Joe Bob explains the entire history of the Drive-In and how it went from a small chain of land owners looking to make a few bucks to a massive franchise that was eventually watered down for American sensibilities. There’s also explorations in to the types of films that played in early Drive-Ins, what the Drive-ins were like before technology was revolutionized for movie watchers, and of course the battle between big time Hollywood and Drive-In owners.

There’s also a page about the primary rules for folks who go to the Drive-In, one of which is not going to the Drive-In unless you have a car, and turning up the window if you have something else going on inside your car beside watching a movie. Joe Bob with his cast of friends Wanda Bodine, Cherry Dilday, Chubb Fricke, and Rhett Spears, explore the fun and unpleasant treasures of the drive-in, and you can’t help but love the world Joe Bob sucks us in. These aren’t reviews, so much as they are stories set to movie reviews. For anyone really hoping for a straight to the point look at a certain film, Joe Bob gives the viewer at least three paragraphs of lead in, with a story about his latest date, or gripe about Hollywood before speaking of the movie itself.

And when he does, it’s typically hilarious with his trademark Drive-In Totals, which sums up what the viewer should expect from the film itself. There are reviews for great schlock films like “Pieces,” and “Beast Master,” along with eighties junk like “Last American Virgin” and “Losing It.” Joe Bob constantly discovers new facets of eighties films, and is never afraid to really open up about what bothers him and what tickles his fancy. In one column, he argues with Wanda Bodine that you never see an ugly chick being chased by a man with a chainsaw. Which is true. And he is never afraid to mock bimbo actresses who appear in numerous movies Joe Bob reviews, but fail to impress him. I personally love his review for “Halloween III” (Add all the spin you want, it’s not a good movie) as well as his reviews for the “Friday the 13th” movies.

There’s Joe Bob’s Academy Awards, in which he nominates various actors, and films for his yearly film awards. And of course, what would a compilation of Joe Bob Briggs’ reviews and articles be without the requisite hate mail that litters the entire book? Joe Bob gets hate mail from angry parents, irritated Christians, folks who take issue with Joe Bob for bashing certain regions of Texas, professors never afraid to brag about their PhD’s, and of course, angry feminists that are enraged at Joe Bob’s insistence on referring to women only as bimbos. The 1986 compilation of the best of Joe Bob features an introduction from author Stephen King who expresses great love for the work of Joe Bob and his outrageous style. Anyone in the mood for a funny, and off the wall anthology of movie reviews, and scathing hate mail, “Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In” will cure what ails you. I had a damn good time reading it, and I may just read it again.