To put it mildly, the effects of the coronavirus have been nearly apocalyptic for the entertainment industry. Movie studios are furloughing staff for months, the release calendar for summer blockbusters is almost completely bare (with some movies being delayed a full year) and production on new movies has been mostly suspended. Films that were playing in theaters were quickly moved to digital platforms, and for the first time ever the domestic box office was ....$0. That's not entirely true though in a broad sense, despite almost every movie theater in America having shut its doors, drive-ins are thriving across the country as film fans are eager to get out of the house for two hours.
If there's one person that saw this coming it's the world's foremost drive-in movie critic, Joe Bob Briggs. The television personality has spent decades hosting movies on cable (and now on the internet with horror streamer Shudder) frequently reminding fans of schlock and scares that the drive-in will never die. Well, he was right. The mentality of the Drive-In as he's espoused over the years remains as strong as ever, but the theaters themselves continue to thrive even in the face of a pandemic.
"People are always amazed at how many drive-in theaters still exist," Briggs told ComicBook.com in an exclusive interview. "Because the propaganda for the last 70 years has been that the drive-in is dying. Anybody who has a drive-in story or a drive-in article always sends it to me, so I have articles starting in the 1950s that say the drive-in is dead. In the 1960s, the drive-in is dead. The 1970s, the drive-in is dead. Every decade, and yet they've never gone away. They're not this vanished Americana, they're still there. People still go. It's just there are pockets of the country where the land is cheap enough for a drive-in to exist. Obviously, in the big cities you can't use that much land for a drive-in."
"That's an easy article to write if you work at a newspaper," Briggs added about the "death" of the Drive-In.
Lucky for Drive-In fans around the country that may not have one open nearby, Briggs will return to the Shudder network this Friday with the first episode of season 2 of The Last Drive-In. The new batch of episodes will run for ten weeks with double features streaming every Friday on the horror-centric service. Briggs told us that the 1970s will be getting plenty of love this season after the first season heavily focused on the 1980s; ten of the eighteen films screened last year hailed from the '80s, towering over the next most well-represented decade (the 2010s) which had three.0comments
Briggs will be joined in the season two premiere of The Last Drive-In by none other than wrestling icon Chris Jericho, who will co-host the second film of the evening with him. Typically the network doesn't like for Briggs to reveal the titles ahead of time, the opposite of his MonsterVision days, but he revealed to us that the film he and Jericho will be discussing is the 1976 exploitation film Bloodsucking Freaks the late Joel M. Reed (who tragically passed away earlier this month from the coronavirus).
Tune in to the season premiere of The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs on Friday, April 24th at 9 p.m. ET and look for our full chat with Joe Bob later this week!
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