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The Last Drive-In | Season Three-o, Week Five-o: Mandy and Dead & Buried

Week 5 featured a flick with a classic bathroom freakout, garbonzas missing from the Drive-In Totals and oh, yeah -- Chili Bandit.

Mandy inspired lots of folks and gave us the Cheddar Goblin. The Last Drive-In gave us the Chili Bandit. The cabin’s plumbing will never be the same. (Art by T.J. Denton @TDenton_1138 on Twitter)

There’s a certain way things are done in the boonies, and that way is a little bit different than how it’s done everywhere else.

We saw that during Week 1 of the season where some residents of the New Jersey boonies went off and kidnapped and did other nasty things to some former college roommates in Mother’s Day.  JBB explained this Boonie Effect in a little more detail this week when he talked about how the guys in the North (usually with three names) write books while they’re hanging out and living in the boonies while the guys down South in the boonies go by one name and fish instead of write. It’s only the really misguided ones who go on murder sprees for their mothers or join cults.

And full disclosure – Joe Bob has three names last I counted, he’s up North, and he and the crew are stuck in a cabin in the boonies. Make of that what you will.

He’s also whittling something on that porch. Not sure what it is, but he’s working awfully hard on it in between bouts of philosophizin. Make of that what you will.

And, if there are plans to have another Last Drive-In Shopping Network special this holiday season, Joe Bob better start forming some kind of elaborate shape so he can match the price of those hand-carved Mexican donkey bookends. It’s either that or commission his work to Peter Vincent. A third option would be the LDI crew making it into a non-fungible token. But all this suspense about the wood he’s handling could be enough to make the more impatient in the audience harbor a little bit of anger, possibly even rage at the Movie Critic of Grapevine, Texas. He has been working that stick going on five weeks and appears to have only succeeded in making it fairly pointy. Will the stick survive and what will be left of it?

Luckily the first monologue was directed at those Mutants with shorter fuses, who received a substantial lesson in the evolving field of rage dispersal. Today, somebody could reward themselves, treat themselves, resolve to do better or try harder to control the rage and, if all else fails, give yourself an emotional lift by saying that at least you don’t live in a drought-ridden foreign country.

Course, what this says for the future of the planet and the headspace of people living in the sorta-close-to-post pandemic Newnited States in the year 2021 is anybody’s guess. It could be a step ahead of controlling our tempers, venting our rage, talking about it, being artistic, blaming somebody else, blaming the corruption of your environment or joining a social media flash mob, which were the ways it was done dating back to the 1950s.

The big thing to remember, Joe Bob says, is to remember that “fine” means fine when you’re talkin to mailgirls, except when it doesn’t.

And speaking of fine, Nicolas Cage gave the finest vodka-fueled performance ever done in a carpeted bathroom while clad in underwear in Mandy, the first feature of the night.

Bad things happened to Cage as Red, the bearded lumberjack, but these things didn’t approach the worse things that happened to his Black Sabbath-shirt-wearing wife after she laughed at the cult leader’s whangdoodle. Suffering the occasional animated flashback definitely pales in comparison to the whole being burned alive in a sack thing, but I digress.

What we were treated to was a psychedelic episodic “Death Wish/Mad Max/The Trip/ Hells Angels ’69″ collage that featured the second cousins of the demon bikers in Hobo With a Shotgun and the second flick in a row that had so many genre homages and references that it might have even given our pal Eli Roth a challenge if asked to name all of them. 

Four stars all the way by Panos Cosmatos, even with the fact that you need shrooms and the remote nearby for all the quiet talking scenes for the first 45 minutes before you get to these quality totals (courtesy our tweeting pal at Shudder):

And I don’t think a greater three minutes of TV has ever occurred. Not only did we get Cage’s bathroom freakout, but I’ve got two words for ya:

Chili Bandit.

Right after Nic’s big scene, we were treated (and I do mean treated) to the commercial debut of Belial’s cousin from Texas who, instead of mainlining Big Macs in the Big Apple, inhaled Hormel in the Heart of Texas. All hail Mr. Vincent Guastini, sculptor, SFX artist extraordinaire and puppeteer, for bringing that creature to puking-brown-stuff-on-boots-while-wearing-overalls life.

The LDI team earns an extra four stars for creatin this interlude and a memorable monster who’s so cute that JBB didn’t mind a good pair of his boots being ruined or the potential asphyxiation from what came out of the Chili Bandit’s other end. Truly, not since the era of Bacon Curls pork rinds has Joe Bob had this much fun with a microwave. Thanks, Vincent, and thanks, Chili Bandit!

Dead & Buried

We had hardly recovered from seeing the blood-caked and wild-eyed visage of Red pull away in his vehicle after murdering the cult in Mandy when things started going goofy for the second feature on “People You Don’t Want to Meet in the Boonies” Night.

Dead & Buried is basically a homicidal seashore slaughter jamboree where the town funeral home director (played by Jack Albertson — Grandpa Bucket from Charlie & the Chocolate Factory or the Man from Chico & the Man, depending on whether you’re a movie person or a 1970s TV comedy person) loves a challenge.

The main cop is investigating all these deaths, and he’s married to former Ridgid calendar girl and main gal in Flash Gordon Melody Anderson and all these folks who were thought to be dead via hacking, torching and getting acid shoved into their faces keep showing back up.

Plus Joe Bob urged us to give credit where it’s due when it comes to the “atmosphere” or the “mood” of a flick – let’s all pledge to give props (figuratively, not literally) to the production designer, who actually is the one who executes what the director is talking about.

And we got to learn a lot about lying. Are there more liars out there these days? Could be. And they’re infectious, too.

Plenty of y’all noted on the interwebs that Lisa Blount’s breasts were omitted from Dead & Buried’s totals. We blame being distracted and the fact that, for once, we were too busy looking at Lisa Blount’s face instead of her garbonzas for not including them. (That’s the 1990s way to assuage the rage). But if you were paying attention to the monologue, you would have realized that the LDI crew was LYING to you about there being no breasts in the movie with those totals, so maybe we actually KNEW about the breasts but were lying to you about there being no breasts. Or I could be lying RIGHT NOW. Or JBB might be telling the truth and he got one of the cuts that didn’t have Lisa Blount showing off before the mob killed the photographer.

And speaking of crimes against the ocular nerves, the wool was pulled over the Shudder Twitterer’s eyes as well. Here are those lying totals:

The moral is: Be more careful in the boonies. Your life could depend on it.

See you next week!

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