I’m sure you’re looking at the title and thinking, “Rob, every week is a party at The Last Drive-In.” And my retort to that is that you are one hundred percent correct. Every Friday at 6:00 PM PST, Joe Bob and Darcy collect the Mutant Fam on social media, all gathering around our TVs, laptops, phones, and other media devices to watch another episode of Shudder‘s The Last Drive-In. You might be wondering what makes this latest episode of The Last Drive-In more of a party than any other? According to Joe Bob’s kickoff monologue, this sixth week of Season 4 is “Musical Horror Night”!
Before we get into the party atmosphere that JB and Darcy set for later in the evening, Joe Bob had to get something off his chest. In one of Mr. Briggs‘ wildest rants of the season, we got a fifteen-minute tirade directed at pharmaceutical commercials, or as Joe Bob calls them, “Diabetes Pharma-porn.” My words cannot do justice to the time and scorn that Joe Bob put forth in such a well-worded and hilarious breakdown of all things associated with Big Pharma. Hearing such condemnation, one might assume that a party is the last thing on Joe Bob’s mind after such a tirade, yet you would be mistaken. Releasing such anger and frustration only wants to make someone party harder, and that’s what Joe Bob and Darcy were all about this week!
When one thinks of musicals and horror, most people’s first thoughts might divert to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. And while this might be a kickass viewing, you should know by now that Joe Bob loves to subvert the audience’s expectations. If not something grandiose like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, what horror musicals does Joe Bob have in store? Why, The Monster Club and Hellbender, of course!
Never one to play to the front row, Joe Bob reached deep into the annals of horror film-dom and busted out the Vincent Price-led horror anthology, The Monster Club, for the first half of this week’s double-bill. Upon Joe Bob’s announcement of The Monster Club, I had trepidations as JB has stated in the past a dislike for anthology films. Can we have a party with a movie he might dislike? Thankfully, Joe Bob quelled those concerns as he rattled off the Drive-In Totals, mentioning that The Monster Club breaks the mold—as he rated it, “Four stars.” It is an anthology horror film that he enjoys!
When it comes to The Monster Club, for me, this was a film I had been aware of, yet it had escaped me until this weekend. When you have a horror movie that includes, but isn’t limited to, the talents of Vincent Price, John Carradine, and Donald Pleasance, there’s plenty of partying to be had. Hearing Joe Bob’s affection for the film and the historical significance behind The Monster Club, I was somewhat disappointed by the final results. As with many anthology films, what you get is a mixed bag. It’s a treat seeing such fine talent on the screen, some rollicking musical sequences, a fabulous strip scene, and a silly but fun segment with Donald Pleasance. At the same time, the rest of The Monster Club didn’t work for me as well as it did for Joe Bob. Not to say that this was a bad film, but the parts worked better than the whole. Even if The Monster Club wasn’t my cup of java, Joe Bob and Darcy hosted a monster-themed dance party during the film’s breaks. Decked out in monster masks, Joe Bob, Darcy, and The Last Drive-In crew got down and boogied ’til they puked (not literally), just as the Drive-In Oath directs us to. While The Monster Club may not have lived up to my expectations, Joe Bob and Darcy’s party more than made up for it.
The party continued with Joe Bob and Darcy as they brought out the Adams Family, creators of the horror flick Hellbender for a family get-together. Joining Joe Bob to conclude this week’s double-feature were Zelda Adams, Toby Poser, and John Adams. Hellbender, an independent and family-produced production, was a family celebration for the creators to discuss with Joe Bob the film’s origins and how the family functions as a unit.
One might wonder if they haven’t seen Hellbender, where is the music for this film to be part of “Musical Horror Night?” There’s plenty of it to be found throughout the film’s runtime! Hellbender tells the tale of a new form of witch/demon/apex predator. A mom lives in isolation with her daughter, who learns of her family history and the power each woman holds. While in seclusion, the mother and daughter practice music as a band under the titular title.
During the film’s breaks, Joe Bob spoke with Zelda, Toby, and John about how Hellbender came to be, film influences, working on an independent budget, and musical influences. The Adams Family each offered their perspective about how they came to be in the film and music history. John detailed his prior career as a male model, Toby discussed the meanings behind the project to be, and Zelda talked about her preferences in directing. Each offered a unique take on how Hellbender came to be. It was impressive to see and hear how three different personalities came together to create a fairly-cohesive narrative such as Hellbender.
And what would a party be without a live musical performance? Joe Bob and Darcy know how to close out a show as they gave Zelda, Toby, and John the stage to perform with The Last Drive-In Musical Director John Brennan to send off the show in style. So, while this week’s episode may not be known for its famous horror titles, it can certainly stake its claim as the episode where everyone got down, got jiggy with it, or partied all the time. And above all else, as the Drive-In Oath states: “We will party like jungle animals.” This week on The Last Drive-In, we did just that.