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So it was October 17th, 2015, Saturday afternoon. Just like any weird super Joe Bob Briggs fan I could not wait for the amazing event at The Hollywood Theater that evening. It was a special Halloween event with Master of Ceremonies/Monstervision host/author Joe Bob Briggs hosting a 35mm print of the great 80s metalhead film Trick or Treat. I had already bought my tickets two months in advance of the event. They had an autograph signing beforehand, a costume contest, raffle, many Halloween related things going on but for me it was all about Joe Bob Briggs. Hell even at the age of 40 years old I get to be 16 years old again for one night soon as I hear Joe Bob Briggs talk drive-in totals and spit out some random fact about an obscure actor in the film.
But my story begins when I walked in the door with my daughter that afternoon after catching the film Goosebumps at the theaters. I hear the phone ring and go pick it up only to hear Rich Dalzatto’s voice. Rich is one of the board members of The Hollywood Theater and promoter of Pittsburgh’s own Horror Realm convention. It was weird of Rich to be calling me on a Saturday afternoon but apparently Rich was in a bit of a pickle? Unknown to anyone who bought tickets to the event they had planned for a Q & A session with Joe Bob Briggs hosted by East Coast Horror Group’s Michael Exler. Michael Exler is a fine writer and has done dozens of Q & A’s for several conventions. According to Rich, Michael had bronchitis and was not able to speak. Which sucked even more for Exler was this would have been his first time he had the pleasure of speaking with Joe Bob Briggs in this type of setting. So Rich knowing the Joe Bob Briggs fan I am of the man and me having the knowledge of him, Rich called me and asked if I could do the Q & A with Joe Bob Briggs after the film.
Of course I said yes, but speaking with Rich and knowing Michael Exler and the work he most likely put into this event I wanted to see Michael’s questions. So within minutes, Michael e-mailed them to me and after reading they were great.
if anybody has read my stuff over the years knows I barely know English… Let’s call it fluent yinzer (if you live in or around Pittsburgh, you totally understand this phrase). So I did a quick proofread and began to rewrite it as I wrote them but made sure most of Michael’s work was in tack so he deserves the credit.
a lot of Q & A sessions for celebrities at events, conventions, etc., can become mundane and boring not just for the celebrities but for fans who are listening and viewing the event. So with this in mind I took from past experiences and meetings with Joe Bob Briggs over the years and interjected my own random questions, dialogue that would hopefully spark Joe Bob. So he could tell stories people have not heard before or have only read about in his books but I knew about already. Plus this was a bonus to interact with my idol in front of a crowd of people. Monstervision without the TNT set and Rusty the Mailgirl!
trying not to be so excited and become a complete nutbag in front of other celebrities such as Fred and Shelby from TOETAG, Mike and Amy Watt from Happy Cloud Pictures, or the Horror Realm Convention promoters.
With this in mind I nervously showed up at The Hollywood Theater at 6:30pm (one hour and thirty minutes before the movie and Joe Bob introduction starts). I hoped to meet with my buddy Daniel (co-director of Jagoff Massacre) Boyd to hide the nervousness. Yes, at 40 but 16 year old horror fan at heart I still get nervous for things like this mainly hoping not to screw up. So I said screw it and introduced myself to Joe Bob Briggs to let him know I will be in on the Q&A session with him and grabbed a beer. But as soon as I did this I ran into a few people who knew me and my reviews. Several people took pictures with me and reminded me of being the Pittsburgh version of Joe Bob Briggs which made my nervous mind click and focus on going on stage after the flick and have fun with Joe Bob Briggs. It also helped Joe Bob Briggs did a 30 minute introduction to Trick or Treat that reminded me so much of why I looked up to Joe Bob Briggs all these years and how he helped influence my writing of movie reviews.
After the film, the lights came up, and Joe Bob and I walked on stage where I got to ask questions about Monstervision, the Joe Bob Briggs persona (for those who never knew he is actually John Bloom), go back and forth about Roger Corman (Joe Bob does a perfect imitation of Roger Corman by the way), get the crowd involved question wise, and got to tell everyone on stage I laughed my ass off at the rape scene during Joe Bob’s commentary to I Spit on Your Grave. A chance phone call… having great friends… being a huge Joe Bob Briggs fan… I just call it I was having a good day.
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