Ahead of his weekly Shudder series set to debut this month, Joe Bob Briggs paid a visit to the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas, for SXSW. The legendary TV star has put together a two-hour stage show called How Rednecks Saved Hollywood, and it’s needless to say that it’s must-see for any fan of Joe Bob.
Accompanied by Darcy the mail girl from The Last Drive-In on Shudder, Briggs delves through the complete history of American rednecks and their involvement in cinema. Having the opportunity to witness the SXSW premiere for How Rednecks Saved Hollywood, I can attest that Joe Bob’s theses is far better than any TED Talk you’ll ever see.
In the SXSW stage show, Briggs presents over 200 clips and movie stills from a century’s worth of redneck movies. A self-professed redneck himself, Briggs takes the talk a tad further by managing to identify the very first redneck in history, detailing exactly how the group came to be. From the various roles rednecks have played in movies throughout the years, Briggs highlights some rather significant moments in redneck cinematic history, leaving no stone unturned.
The good and the bad are both explored, as Briggs spends just as much time talking about fun redneck movies like the Ernest movies and The Beverly Hillbillies as he does with less-flattering portrayals like Deliverance and Child Bride. One fine example of this comes from a direct comparison between Forrest Gump and Sling Blade, with the crucial differences explained.
There is probably no greater movie expert than Joe Bob Briggs, and he especially excels with his knowledge of redneck cinema. Dubbing Smokey and the Bandit as the greatest movie of all time, Briggs goes through the evolution of rednecks and hillbillies serving as villains into their roles as the heroes of the movie. Burt Reynolds and Chuck Norris are a couple of the more obvious examples of heroes, but Briggs makes sure to mention how the rednecks still sometimes play the villain role as well. To demonstrate this point, Briggs shows the infamous gimp scene from Pulp Fiction, revealing that the movie’s rednecks are a couple of sadomasochistic rapists.
If you can’t make it to any of Joe Bob’s live shows, you can see him back on the small screen with new material very soon. The weekly series version of The Last Drive-In will premiere on Shudder on March 29, with new installments streaming live on every subsequent Friday. Each episode will later be available on demand. Like last year’s specials, the show will feature Briggs presenting some of his favorite movies and offering his own unique blend of commentary and movie tidbits. This will be the first time Briggs has hosted weekly television since MonsterVision came to an end in 2000.
Following the SXSW premiere of Joe Bob’s How Rednecks Saved Hollywood, the small screen star is taking the one-man show on the road. This will be in addition to other public appearances Briggs will make at film festivals and horror conventions. You can find out when and where to catch up with him by heading to JoeBobBriggs.net. As always, the past Last Drive-In specials featuring Joe Bob Briggs are streaming on Shudder as well.