We were able to catch up with Joe Bob Briggs himself via phone before his comes to town this weekend. He shed some light on the genesis of The Last Drive-In and what makes a gang of mutants getting together at the Drafthouse so damn special.
On Returning To Television
“Ever since I went off the air [with] my last show [MonsterVision] that I had, which was on TNT, in the year 2000, about once a year people come to me and said ‘Do you want to do another show?’. And I always say ‘Yes! Absolutely!’. And then I never hear from them ever again. After a while, it makes you think, ‘My God, what are they looking up and finding out about me that they have this one meeting and then they never want to see me again?’
In the fall of 2017, these 2 guys came to see me from Shudder I expect them to never call me again—but they call back and say, ‘OK, come to this restaurant and meet this executive from Shudder.’ I went to the meeting, and four months later, we were shooting.”
On Shooting The Last Drive-In
“They didn’t give us any money. They gave us so little money that half the crew had to work for free. I was not gonna do because I didn’t want people working for free—but they wanted to. I was feeling a lot of love from these MonsterVision fans.
We got this cheap studio – Inkmaster [a tattooing reality TV show] has an old factory of some kind in an extremely forbidding section of Newark. They gave us a deal on one little room that we could use to shoot in, and so we sorta recreated the old MonsterVision set.
We shot it in two days. I guess you know the rest of the story – it aired, and there were so many people that wanted to see it that it crashed the servers on Shudder.
I was getting emails from people saying, ‘We’ve got 5 cases of beer here. There are 80 people who have gathered to see this thing. What do you want me to tell them!?!’ And I wrote back, ‘Start in on those kegs!’
On Getting Off The Couch And Going To the Movies
“This experience is fundamentally different if you are all having the same emotional experience in the same room at the same time. Obviously, Netflix has taken over the world. Their philosophy, their religion, is that the future is one person watching one piece of content—they would call it a piece of content— on one device at one particular time, chosen by that person. I think that’s ultimately not that satisfying, and that there will always be a need to gather just like the ancient Greeks gathered in an amphitheatre and tell stories together in a group. That’s why I do these Alamo Drafthouse things. I could do these at any theater, but I love Alamo Drafthouse because Alamo Drafthouse sort of gets it. They were way ahead of the curve in celebrating these exploitation movies that, when I started, were considered trash. Now we’ve had this great transition where people write their Ph.D dissertations on some of these movies.”
Basket Case Hosted by Joe Bob Briggs
$27.06, 7:30pm Sat, Oct. 13, Alamo Drafthouse Park North, 618 NW Loop 410, (210) 677-8500, drafthouse.com