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The Last Drive-In | Joe Bob’s Very Violent Valentine

The Last Drive-In | Joe Bob's Very Violent Valentine 1

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Not wanting to bury the lede, we begin with the closing credits for this epic evening of sex and violence. For what I believe is the first time, Diana Prince was listed as an “Associate Producer.” This was only appropriate as this truly was a night of Kinky Horror (Diana/Darcy’s website and Twitter/X tag).

Joe Bob expressed gratitude for Darcy’s presence on the night he called, “Kinkorama 2024.” The night would unveil a variety of sexual fetishes, with Darcy there to provide expert commentary. (These weren’t perhaps the “top” fetishes, they admit, but the top fetishes that Shudder Standards and Practices would allow.)

Of course, Joe Bob had films as well as fetishes to introduce, first in a general way. The first film he promised teaches “Don’t Trust Men,” while the second film would teach “Don’t Trust Women.”

That first film was a retelling of the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood: 1996’s Freeway. Darcy took on a Little Red Riding Hood cosplay (much less subtle than Reese Witherspoon’s crimson prison jumpsuit). Joe Bob, as one would expect, had fascinating trivia to share about the film.

Freeway was the first feature film for writer/director Matthew Bright. A friend of Bright’s had shown the script to Oliver Stone. Stone wanted to produce the film, but insisted that the screenwriter should direct, because no one else could capture this unique vision. Bright also brought a unique directional style, best described as not giving his actors much direction at all (to the actors’ frustration).

In spite of (because of?) the lack of direction, performances in the film are first rate throughout, due to a great degree to Oliver Stone’s aid in the casting. Not just the leads, Reese Whiterspoon (not yet a star) and Kiefer Sutherland (an established star), but supporting players including cops played by Dan Hedaya (of Blood Simple and Carla’s husband from Cheers) and Bokeem Woodbine (TV’s Fargo), the hooker mother played by Amanda Plummer (Pulp Fiction), Brooke Shields as the killer’s wife, and – perhaps most amazingly – the grandmother’s corpse played by Kitty Fox (the pioneer of granny porn, which Joe Bob, of course, lovingly detailed).

The film had to battle the ratings board to get an R rating. 53 cuts were requested from the 90-minute film. One of the troubles was the use of the C-word. It seems this word could only be used a maximum of two times before triggering NC-17. (Is there a Beetlejuice thing going on here? Is the ratings board concerned that if the word is used three times a c— might actually appear?)

The real problem the rating board had was with the “tone,” which Joe Bob explained just means the actors and writer were doing their jobs so well that it made the members of the board uncomfortable. Matthew Bright and the cast and crew did such a fine job that Joe Bob gave these Drive-In Totals:

And what were the fetishes mentioned during the first feature?

PODOPHILIA: As fans of Quentin Tarintino know, this is a fondness for feet or, as Joe Bob described it, “flippers and piggies.”  Darcy suggested at this time that viewers could send in photos and descriptions of their favorite fetishes but this idea was quashed by the AMC and Shudder powers that be.

COULROPHILIA: A fondness for clowns, and considering the Mutant Family’s affection for Pennywise, Captain Spaulding and Art, this surely was not a strange concept to many in the audience.

SERIAL KILLERS: Throughout the night, referring to the various fetishes, Darcy kept saying, “No judgment,” but whenever this fetish came up, she seemed pretty judgy.  

AXILLISM: A fondness for armpits. See Molly Shannon’s character Mary Katherine Gallagher from “Saturday Night Live” and/or Kevin Kline’s Oscar-winning performance as Otto in A Fish Called Wanda.

VORAREPHILIA: The desire to consume or be consumed by another person or creature. This was related to the roots of the film Freeway in Little Red Riding Hood. In various versions of the tale, Red’s Granny and sometimes Red herself are entirely consumed by the wolf.

FORMICOPHILIA: Sure, it sounds like the desire to get busy on the formica countertops, but it is, in fact, the desire to be crawled upon, and perhaps bitten by fire ants, cockroaches, bees, snails, etc.

The first part of the evening concluded with a letter from “Mistress Harley,” who thanked Joe Bob for featuring so many films that inspire kinksters. 

Feature #2: Vamp

Joe Bob introduced this film that predated From Dusk to Dawn by a decade with the idea of a sleazy nightclub infested with vampires. (“We can’t afford From Dusk to Dawn,” Joe Bob admitted.)

On this night featuring fear and fetishes, Joe Bob embarked inexplicably on a long tirade about the useless nature of hotel and motel sink “stoppers” that don’t stop a thing. He argued that rubber stoppers do work and yet, strangely, are never used. One hopes that there were some La Quinta executives who were listening in.

Eventually, Joe Bob got to talking about Vamp. He wasn’t the biggest fan. He described it as “a mess.” He complained that the acting was weak, the script has too many detours and too many endings. He also was quite upset about the “stiletto heeled” shoe worn by a stripper and used as a killing stake that instead looked like footwear worn, he said, by a high school science teacher who shopped at Kohl’s. (Perhaps it was things like this that led Joe Bob to refer to himself and Darcy as “the bottom feeders of film criticism.”)

But he had to admit the greatest attraction of the film: the presence of 1980s icon Grace Jones. Singer and model and occasional movie star, there has been no one like her before (and fortunately, she is still with us). Joe Bob noted that Jones’ dressing room was decorated by no one less than Andy Warhol. Jones plays a vampire stripper in the film, and in her stage number she is covered in body paint (credited to New York graffiti artist Keith Haring). This was the inspiration for Darcy’s second cosplay of the night.

Anyhoo, here are Joe Bob’s totals for Vamp:

Fetishes featured in the second feature:

PIE-SEXUALISM: Desire to bring pie and other pastry and gooey food into sexual situations. Popularized in American Pie (the film, not the song.)

HAEMOTOLANGIA: Desire to drink blood during sex. This fetish was rather germane to the film at hand.

FINDOM: When a man gives money to a woman at her demand. Mistress Harley, the first letter writer of the night, apparently is a practitioner of this fetish.

HYPNOTISM LEADING TO ROBOTICS: The longest name of the night, making it rather self-explanatory. Darcy argued it is a quite popular practice.

FURRIES: Joe Bob and Darcy agreed this was a relatively popular fetish in the Mutant Family, referring to Furries as “the ultimate nerds,” “performance artists,” and “very nice people.”  Joe Bob discussed “fursonas” and Darcy asked viewers to send in suggestions of what Joe Bob’s fursona should be. (Joe Bob suggested it might be a wolverine. Darcy emphatically insisted it was not a wolverine.)

At the show’s conclusion, Darcy asked Joe Bob, choosing between the fetishes mentioned, what would be his preferred fetish. Reluctantly, he chose Pie-Sexualism. I think that’s just because there was no fetish mentioned that involved maps, charts and pointers.

And then we see Joe Bob hit with a pie in the face not once, but twice, in an explicit moment that somehow passed Shudder’s censors.

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