The Last Drive-In | Season 1 Week 4: Madman

joe bob briggs madman - The Last Drive-In | Season 1 Week 4: Madman

Madman: Don’t Take Words to Know – But It Helps

Sing it Joe Bob! Tonight’s safe word is ballad. Madman features ’em, Joe Bob croons ’em, and we love ’em. In fact, we might be balladeers ourselves.

image1 - The Last Drive-In | Season 1 Week 4: Madman
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Cover art by T.J. Denton @tdenton_1138

“Do I Ask Too Many Questions?”
– Joe Bob Briggs

Yes, but we love it. And we love Madman, the tale of a murderous redneck summoned from retirement by teenage counselors at a gifted kids’ camp. Warned not to speak his name, they promptly speak his name. Richie disappears. Mass decapitations, a hanging, a cracked back, an axe to the chest, a shooting, and one fire-y death follow — causing premature break-ups for T.P. and Betsy, Dave and Stacy, Bill and Ellie.

It all leads Joe Bob to ponder:
• Where are the kids?
• Where are the actual campers?
• Why is everyone going to the office?

And the burning question: If one character’s name must be yelled the entire film, should it really be “T.P.”?

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Madman’s survivors include the now-insane Richie, who started the whole mess; camp supervisor Max, who really started the whole mess; and the gifted kids (there they are!), who escape on a getaway bus.

Here are those Drive-In totals:
The Cliff Notes…

8 Dead Bodies
• 2 Breasts
• Young Children Being Terrorized With Graphic, Bloody Story Telling
Carburetor Fu (winner of the 1983 Drive-In Academy Award, aka Hubbie, for Best Gross-Out scene, don’tcha know?)

Plus that infamous hot tub scene. It don’t take words to know, but it does take repeated 360-degree turns in a 110-degree hot tub for T.P. and Betsy to get their freak on.

Three stars. Joe Bob says check it out.

To the Drive-In Totals, this Gratuitous Blogger adds: Multiple Homoerotic Long-Handle-Axe-Grippin Close-Ups and an honorary Hubbie for Alex Murphy, who strides through the woods with all the nuance of an actor looking for his mark. Somehow it comes together. Anchored in legend, Madman and The Last-Drive In prove you’re never too old for a campfire ballad – especially when it’s told in a Staten Island accent.

The Redneck Connection
It wouldn’t be a drive-in blog without a little hist’ry. In fact, you can draw a direct line between the ballad, Madman, and Joe Bob’s chosen people: the rednecks. Consider the following:

• The Scotch-Irish penned the first known ballads and brought them to Appalachia
• Ballad characters are generally country folk
• The murder ballad is a thing
• It features gruesome deaths
• The victim’s kin avenge with frontier justice
• The murderer gets hung

#Madman #redneck #Wikipedia

In case you want to sing along with Joe Bob and John (you’ve gotta see it to believe it), or harbor the deep desire to start your own legendary acoustic cover band that performs only at secluded camps for gifted kids, here are the official lyrics to the “Madman” theme song:

Lore of the campfire, telling of his horror,
Lost in the woods with the madman and the stars,
Don’t laugh at the tale, heed if you call him,
The legend lives beware the Madman Marz,
The legend lives beware the Madman Marz …

From Aristotle’s Poetics to words and music by Gary Sales – long live Joe Bob and long live Madman. The Drive-In Will Never Die.

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Kumbaya
If that didn’t bring a tear to your eye, feature this …

Last July, we broke the Internet because we missed Joe Bob’s ballads. Friday night became a place — and still is — where we gather around our digital campfires to hear him tell us stories.

But we’re balladeers, too. Before the show, during the show, after the show, we add to the lore: I love this movie! I hate this movie! I can’t believe Joe Bob said this. I can’t believe Joe Bob didn’t say that. Two stars for C.H.U.D.? Do Halloween III! Except don’t. Also, please Hogzilla.

Whether you’re a Staten Island Redneck, a Holst-loving B-movie director, a horror fan, a ho-rror nerd Mail Girl, or a horror host, we all have one thing in common: We’re in it for the love.

Last Drive-In's Last Call

Last Call: Joe Bob’s Priorities Are Not Darcy’s Priorities
Fan email from Cairn Michie in Paisley, Scotland (@wearebothcats) prompts a Joe Bob push for The Last Drive-In: International and Darcy’s help securing the overseas film rights:

Joe Bob: You go to Europe all the time right?
Darcy: Not all the time … (gratuitous eye roll)
Joe Bob: But you work over there. Get one of your friends over there to fix this situation.
Darcy: I’ll get right on that for ya.

Set and match.

Next Up …
The ballad of an enraged Lycanthrope as only Kazuhiko Yamaguchi can tell it …

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Laura Beerman

Our Gratuitous Blogger is Laura Beerman. Her bio may be summarized in two words: Mama tried. Laura is a lifelong horror fan with a particular soft spot for Joe Bob and Dario Argento. She earned a graduate degree in Early American Literature from Austin Peay State University. She has written professionally for more than two decades, primarily in healthcare, and has been interviewed by The Wall Street Journal and other industry publications for her insights. Laura lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her horticulturist husband, The Greenman, and her four cats. Her other musings are forthcoming in Diabolique Magazine.

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