The Commercial Appeal - Go Memphis

Briggs brings drive-in movie festival, convention to Memphis

- John Beifuss Memphis Commercial Appeal USA TODAY NETWORK – TENNESSEE

Joe Bob Briggs, the comedic film critic, B-movie aficionado and Shudder TV host, will bring his second annual “Joe Bob’s Drive-in Jamboree” movie festival and convention to Memphis in July.

The “Jamboree” runs July 8-10. Nighttime events will be at the Malco Summer Quartet Drive-in, with Briggs and Shudder colleague “Darcy the Mail Girl” (Diana Prince) screening vintage films, hosting reunions of the casts and crews from some movies, and recreating the format of the Shudder streaming network series, “The Last Drive-in with Joe Bob Briggs.” (The setting is appropriat­e, as the Summer is, in fact, the last drivein in Memphis.)

The screenings will culminate Sunday, July 10, with what is called “The World Drive-in Festival,” when all four Summer drive-in screens will be devoted to 10 new films — two features and eight shorts — from “filmmakers who work outside the traditiona­l financing systems of Los Angeles, New York and London,” according to a Jamboree press release. The filmmakers who attend will be presented with engraved Chevy hubcap awards, known as “Hubbies.”

Daytime events will be at the Hilton Memphis, 939 Ridge Lake Blvd., where memorabili­a will be on sale and panel discussion­s and autograph sessions will take place.

“I love Tennessee and I love Memphis,” said Briggs on Monday, in a statement. “It’s the city of great music, great festivals, great barbecue and the most hospitable people in the world.

“It’s also centrally located, which is important for us since we had so many people drive vast distances last year to get to eastern Pennsylvan­ia.”

Briggs is referring to the first “Joe Bob’s Jamboree,” which was held in July 2021 at the Mahoning Drive-in in Lehighton, Pennsylvan­ia, where “we were bulging at the seams,” he said.

Among the movies screened during this “drive-in Woodstock” (in Briggs’ words) were “Smokey and the Bandit,” with Burt Reynolds; the 1954 giant ants movie, “Them!”; and a gory 1973 “Eurohorror” thriller from Italy, “Torso.”

Briggs, 69, was born John Irving Bloom in Dallas. A critic, writer and actor, he developed his self-described “Texas redneck” alter ego of Joe Bob Briggs in the 1980s, to enable him to directly express his affection and even passion for monster movies, kung-fu flicks, biker films, sexploitat­ion and oth

er forms of drive-in cinema.

He wrote various books and columns about B-movies, and then found greater fame as an onscreen presence. From 1996 to 2000, he presented these types movies on the “Monstervis­ion“show on the TNT cable network. Since 2018, he has hosted “The Last Drive-in with Joe

Bob Briggs” on Shudder.

Submission­s for the “World Drive-in Movie Festival” are now being accepted. For informatio­n, visit filmfreewa­ Worlddrive­inmoviefes­tival. The movies and guests for the Jamboree will be announced at a later date. Tickets go on sale May 2 at joebobsjam­

 ?? COURTESY. ?? Joe Bob Briggs says Memphis has great music, festivals, barbecue and “the most hospitable people in the world.”
COURTESY. Joe Bob Briggs says Memphis has great music, festivals, barbecue and “the most hospitable people in the world.”

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