The Commercial Appeal - Go Memphis
Briggs brings drive-in movie festival, convention to Memphis
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 filmfreeway.com/ Worlddriveinmoviefestival. The movies and guests for the Jamboree will be announced at a later date. Tickets go on sale May 2 at joebobsjamboree.com.