“I will never do anything that violates my personal and professional code of journalistic ethics. However, I will do anything for money.”
Joe Bob enters the video age! Don’t worry, though, he’s still all about the drive-in. It’s just Joe Bob is now in the era where studios are sending critics screeners, and half of the book is mainly reviews for drive-in movies, and movies on VHS that Joe Bob either really liked or really hated. He’s hardly ever middle ground. As his loyal readers express anger at his changing of format for the sake of keeping his job, Joe Bob devotes a column in the book to explaining why he’s suddenly reviewing VHS tapes, and of course it’s a necessary evil.
I mean it was the late eighties after all. And during this time, Joe Bob was no longer just cruising drive-in movies, as now he was being sent VHS tapes, and was going to cable television for his famed show on The Movie Channel in US cable television. But hey, Joe Bob is still the same guy. And he’s still as funny as ever. In this second compilation, Joe Bob spares no one with his rants about the government, and public education, while reviewing movies that he feels warrant mentioning for his reader.
Reading a Joe Bob review is like talking with someone at a party. You begin on one topic, and eventually you run in to what movies you’ve recently seen. With Joe Bob you have to read about three paragraphs before you get to the actual review. And that’s what’s so hilarious about this compilation. One minute he’s discussing space travel and then goes in to a review about a sexploitation movie. Or he’ll provide readers with a list of the best vacation spots in America and then run in to a review about Friday the 13th. There’s also the trademark hate mail for Joe Bob, that’s filled with an assortment of whackos, religious fanatics, feminists, and obsessed fans. As usual Joe Bob is politically incorrect, calling Mexican “Meskans,” referring to Mexico as Chihuahua town, and mocking the Jerry Lewis Telethon.
There are also some really entertaining columns including Joe Bob’s visit to the set of “Chainsaw Massacre 2” where he mocks the production while exploring the set and props, his explanation of facts about the original “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” which he writes in response to the constant letters he receives from fans about the movie, and his anger about 7-11’s boycotting of “Playboy” Magazine, mocking Sally Fields for having the gall to pose for the magazine. He’s not incorrect in his assertion that she has no business being on the cover, but I digress.
There’s also a really good article about New York being refurbished and taking away all of the movie and strip clubs in favor of food franchises and clothing stores. Oh what horrors would arise in the years approaching. There’s also notices about Drive-In’s being torn down around the country, which at that time was a sad sign of things to come for the movie industry. People were now all about cable television and VCR’s, and no longer about making the trek to see a movie with others in a dusty lot. What a shame. “Joe Bob Goes Back to the Drive In” is just as entertaining as the first compilation and one that is a very addictive read, especially if you find Joe Bob’s rants and fearlessness entertaining as I do.