Devilishly Fun Times With The Last Drive-In (S3E9)

And just like that, we are nearing the end of Season 3 of The Last Drive-In. Can you believe how fast time seems to fly when there’s been as much fun as Joe Bob has provided each week this season? The team that consists of Joe Bob with Darcy and the entire Last Drive-In crew provides enough joy every Friday night to last a lifetime. Between Joe Bob’s droll sense of humor punctuated with odd and informative film factoids plus Darcy interacting with the horror community online, the fun times never end—until next week rolls around. Let’s not get bogged down by the future, though, and instead focus on this week’s episode!

And what can be more fun than hanging out with the devil? Well, how about hanging with Joe Bob, Darcy, and the one and only Clint Howard! As Leonardo DiCaprio once said, “You had my curiosity; now you have my attention.”Joe Bob speaking with Clint Howard via satellite

Back in the old days when Joe Bob hosted MonsterVision on TNT, he held a handful of specials over the summer called “Joe Bob’s Summer School,” where he would host films with an academic theme specifically tailored to that particular night. On one glorious occasion, Joe Bob showed the horror classic Ice Cream Man and had Clint Howard on set to help host. Joe Bob and Clint shared a good rapport as they mused about the film industry, Clint’s famous family, and everything else that they could wedge into the MonsterVision segments. If you have never seen the episode, it is readily available on YouTube and is an entertaining watch.

As with all good things related to horror, it was time to make the sequel. Not falling into the trap of rehashing their first meeting, Joe Bob and Clint got together via satellite to rap and discuss Joe Bob’s favorite Clint Howard film: Evilspeak.

I like to think I have a good understanding of film, but I had yet to see Evilspeak. I distinctly remember watching the episode of “Joe Bob’s Summer School” and recall Joe Bob mentioning that he loved Evilspeak. Joe Bob’s affinity towards the film always stuck with me, and whenever I would go shopping for DVDs, I would see the movie on the shelf, yet never purchased it. My rationale for not picking up the film and opening my eyes to some early-era Clint Howard was that it might show up on television someday. Little did I know that it would take over two decades before my assumptions proved true.Coopersmith floating above a church with a sword in hand

Was Evilspeak worth the wait? Well, it was worth the wait to hear Joe Bob and Clint Howard get back together. The one thing that Joe Bob does well is he gets his guests to open up with a style that comes off as relaxed and natural. If you look back on interviews with The Last Drive-In, MonsterVision, Joe Bob’s Drive-In Theater, and elsewhere, each guest, or guests, feel natural and opens up. The same is true for this week’s episode.

I am not the foremost expert on Clint Howard—that would be Darcy, but what I got out of Clint Howard is that he is an open and honest guy who wears his emotions on his sleeve. The most revealing aspect of Clint’s time on The Last Drive-In is Clint’s understanding of who he is and where he fits into the Hollywood mold. As he mentioned, he’s not Kurt Russell. Not every actor understands that they cannot be the leading man. Clint does, and he enjoys where he lays on the entertainment food chain. Just because you aren’t a Tom Cruise or Denzel Washington, it doesn’t mean you’re any less. You need to understand your value and where you shine. Clint knows how to shine and does it as well as any actor out there.

And I don’t want to say that there weren’t laughs or lighthearted moments during Clint’s time. either; there were plenty. Everything from Clint’s toupee in Evilspeak to getting spanked permeated the interview. This good humor goes back to Joe Bob being able to create a well-constructed dialogue and having a guest who is willing to be open and talk about themselves honestly.

What about the film itself, you may ask? Clint Howard does what he always does and holds his own. As a whole, it has an unusual style to set itself apart, though I wish there more carnage sprinkled throughout Evilspeak would have been welcome. There is something to be said about Clint Howard conjuring up the devil via an early ’80s computer. 

And speaking on conjuring up the devil, Mephistopheles Night concluded with the Spanish language black comedy The Day of the Beast. As with Evilspeak, I was aware of The Day of the Beast but had yet to see the film. There was very little I knew about the movie before Friday night, which worked to my benefit. What I assumed was another stop-the-devil-before-the-end-of-the-world-type films met my expectations in that regard but flipped other expectations in terms of execution.The main characters looking at a black goat standing on its hind legs.

I’m not going to spoil the movie for anyone that has yet to see the film, but it is unlike any other devil film you have ever seen. What I will say is that co-writer/director Álex de la Iglesia and star Álex Angulo have concocted an enjoyable 103 minutes of cinema with likable stars and a deft blend of horror and comedy in the best sense.

So, yeah, like every good sequel, Joe Bob and Clint Howard picked up right where they left off two decades ago and crafted a worthy follow-up to their time on “Joe Bob’s Summer School.” Following that up with the non-stop rollercoaster that is The Day of the Beast gave us viewers a devilishly fun time as we watch the end of days unfold on Shudder.

And speaking about the end of days, next week brings down the curtain on Season 3 of The Last Drive-In. Let’s not think about that now, even though that’s all you can think about it since I brought it up. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it, but let’s rejoice and enjoy this week’s good times…about the end of times. Is there a better way to bring on the end times than with a hefty dose of the devil mixed with Darcy, Joe Bob, and the crew that makes The Last Drive-In a reality? I think not.

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Written by Robert Chipman

Robert Chipman has had a love of all things horror for as long as he can remember. His favorite horror franchise is the Nightmare on Elm Street series and his favorite horror director is John Carpenter. He thinks the Maniac Cop series is supremely underrated, Demon Knight and In the Mouth of Madness are slept on and loves what Don Mancini has accomplished with the Child's Play franchise.

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