Artisanal Whisky, Amish Underwear and David Arquette

"The Changeling," in which George C. Scott is one haunted man in a haunted mansion.
“The Changeling,” in which George C. Scott is one haunted man in a haunted mansion.

You stayed up for The Changeling, right? If not, you missed a Lone-Star-fueled grand tour that spanned the whisky bottle performance art of the Keystone State; the cultural paragons of NYC, the city Joe Bob loves to hate; and a brief mention of Austin Jenning’s alma mater, some water color finger paintin school in North Carolina.

Along the way, Joe Bob threw in some Shakespeare, some Spenser, and satisfied his hidden-in-plain-sight map fetish with a little Vintage Postcard/Old-Timey Framed Photo Fu. Okay, roll it…

Episode 6: The Chessman Changelings vs The New Zealand Deathgasms

“You don’t have to choose a team. Jesus!” – Joe Bob Briggs

After Deathgasm, Peter Medak’s joint might’ve seemed a bit slow. Because some of you some drive-inners may have skipped this gem altogether, this plot summary is light on both plot and summary. Joe Bob hates spoilers.

The Changeling is the classic ghost story of the grieving composer who loses his wife and daughter in a preventable, slow-motion, multi-car pile-up. To heal, he moves into a ginormous mansion haunted by the ghost of a sickly dead kid with a greed-motivated backstory. Filmed in 1978 but not released until 1980, it stands in contrast to other horror classics of that year: Friday the 13th, The Shining, The Fog, Terror Train, Maniac and Inferno.

The Changeling offers copious amounts of George C. Scott and every looming, spinning, shaking, distorted haunted house shot you can imagine. The film’s centerpiece is a séance complete with a glassy-eyed paranormal who scores a 100 on the creep the fuck out scale and the most disturbing underwater drowned kid since Lucio Fulci’s Don’t Torture a Duckling.

Here are those Drive-In totals:
The Cliff Notes…

• 7 Dead Bodies
• Animated Rocking Wheelchair
• Multiple Toy-Ball-on-the-Stairs Ghost Signaling
• Excellent Séance, with Requisite Bald-Headed Doctor and Psychic Hag
• Microfiche Fu
• Grave Excavation, with Skeletal Hand
• Gratuitous Blogger Faux Fu: Recycled Exorcist Title Fonts

Before you think “Gee, I’m glad I didn’t watch this movie,” let us tempt you with some parallels to flick #1 in tonight’s double feature. The Changeling has a creepy music box. Deathgasm? Latin demon tunes – either one of which could be played backward to save the world. The Changeling has a psychic hag. Deathgasm features Hag Zombie Fu plus a fortune teller. In Peter Medak’s flick, George C. catches a glass shard to the neck while Jason Lei Howden slashes multiple throats belonging to multiple kiwis.

Not that we have to find the similarities. As Joe Bob reminds us, horror is diverse.

You can like auteurs and journeymen

Q the Winged Serpent and C.H.U.D.

Patton and Oklahoma Crude

You can like sex, violence and other food groups like sad romantic flashbacks. You can even bring Joe Bob back to his home horror festival in Chattanooga and serve the local hooch. Just have Russell’s Reserve on hand and serve it neat.

Remember good mutants: The margin between artisanal whisky and horror movie McCarthyism is dangerously slim. Deathgasm with a Changeling chaser reminds us just how lucky we are to have the drive-in. Constrict the dangle space and you’ve got yourself an Amish murder rampage.

The Gratuitous Blogger’s Horseback Riding Interlude
George C. Scott. The C stands for Crush. That raspy laugh? Mmmh. The way he flicks ash from those Tareytons? MMMH! Out the way Trish. In the game of Aadrvark, Marry, or Kill, I’d pick all three.

George C. Scott in "The Changeling" — newly single and a teenage dream? Week 3 cover art by T.J. Denton @TDenton_1138
George C. Scott in “The Changeling” — newly single and a teenage dream? Week 3 cover art by T.J. Denton @TDenton_1138
Last Drive-In's Last Call

What Happens at Scream House Stays at Scream House

The Changeling ain’t Darcy’s thing. Scream is – prompting Joe Bob to peer yet again into his mail girl’s David-Arquette-knowin Ho-rrorwood lifestyle

Joe Bob: You went to the Scream house.
Darcy: I did. I got to sleep in Stu’s parent’s bedroom.
Joe Bob: Really? And did anything happen during the sleepover?
Darcy: I mean, nothing involving the movie.

Set and match.

This week’s mail (plus Lone Star Beer Soap): Robert “Bobcat” Garcia of Corpus Christi, Texas

Next Up:
Serve me up another one of them Staten Island Ice Teas will ya?

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Laura Beerman

Our Gratuitous Blogger is Laura Beerman. Her bio may be summarized in two words: Mama tried. Laura is a lifelong horror fan with a particular soft spot for Joe Bob and Dario Argento. She earned a graduate degree in Early American Literature from Austin Peay State University. She has written professionally for more than two decades, primarily in healthcare, and has been interviewed by The Wall Street Journal and other industry publications for her insights. Laura lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her horticulturist husband, The Greenman, and her four cats. Her other musings are forthcoming in Diabolique Magazine.
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Deathgasm cover art by T.J. Denton @TDenton_1138

Deathgasm – Where Are They Now?

A movie like Deathgasm can’t just … end. You kill a demon with a rubber schlong and some butt beads, we wanna know what comes next. So here’s our wish list. Resurrected characters are indicated with an (R) and will receive an official Patrick Duffy/Dallas t-shirt.

Cast of Characters

Brodie and Medina have ice cream together during "Deathgasm" and go on to a rocking future.
The ice cream that Brodie and Medina have together during “Deathgasm” leads them to go on to a rocking future, according to Laura’s crystal ball.

Brodie: Lead guitar. Demon slayer, Medina lover. Plays the Zakk vinyl backwards, raising Dion and Giles from the dead. Forms new band, Murder Maggot Unicornsssssssssssss. Lives happily ever after.

Medina: Babe next door turned axe-wielding badass. Helps save the world, shacks up with Brodie in heavy metal bliss. Learns to shred and goes on tour with Lita Ford.

Zakk: Good guy turned bad guy turned demon guy turned dead guy. Lives on through vinyl. Haunts Tipper Gore’s standards collection. Curates metal station on Spotify.

Dion and Giles (R): Dead mates. Resurrected by Brodie, rejoin the band. Earn primary songwriting credits on “Intesticide” and “Birthcanal Boatrides” (Parts I and II).

Rikki Daggers (R): Metal god. Currently touring with Van Halen.

Rikki’s amplifiers: Coming soon to eBay.

Black Hymn: Medieval ballad, demon summoner. Remixes planned by Kanye, Blake Shelton, Lady Gaga.

Aeon: Demon, all-around antagonist. Leaves possession behind and turns to acting. Lands role of Darkness in Legend prequel with Tim Curry’s blessing.

Aeon's the big bad monster at the end of "Deathgasm."
Aeon’s the big bad monster at the end of “Deathgasm.” He reforms and takes up acting.

Shanna (R): Social climber. Intoner. Resurrects as environmental activist and lingerie designer with patent on the first solar-powered Wonderbra.

Uncle Albert (R): Father of David. Asshole uncle. Returns from the dead, converts to paganism, and opens an adult super store called Church Stuff.

Mr. Cappenhurst: Educator, hemophiliac, projectile vomiter. Takes FMLA, re-examines life. Enrolls in art school and perfects demon penis shading.

Terry: Heart-shaped sunglasses wearer, demon ambassador. Moves to the toilets in Greypoint Park. Diversifies. Opens nearby roasted nut stand.

Vadin: Henchman. Killer of Rikki Daggers. Promoted to the level of his incompetence, beheaded.

Incompetance leads to demonic decapitations in the world of "Deathgasm." Hey, being evil IS a cutthroat business, no?
Incompetence leads to demonic decapitations in the world of “Deathgasm.” Hey, being evil IS a cutthroat business, no?

David: Douche. Pre-emptively decapitated. Never heard from again.

Abigail: Farm league fortune teller, fails to predict own death. No resurrection for you.

This week’s mail: Justin LaSalle of Denver, Colorado

Next Up …
Set guitar speed to dirge. It’s time for The Changeling

Joe Bob Briggs

Joe Bob Briggs is the drive-in movie critic of Grapevine, Texas, currently resident in New York City, where his pop culture commentary appears in print, on television and at various dive bars that defy the modern world by allowing the smoking of cigars.

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