A Night At The Drive-In.

-Leigh Evans

A once in a lifetime event, getting to watch my two hero’s chat!

Excuse me while I wipe my eye, oklahoma wind picks up alot of dust from time to time. Last Friday I did what I do every Friday, wrote next weeks podcast episode, bought some beer, ordered some snacks, and planted my ass in a favorite chair to watch The Last Drive-In on Shudder. This episode was special to me, very special.

This weeks special guest was another hero of mine, Lloyd Kaufman. If you’re a fan of NOTH you’ll know I cant shut up about Joe Bob and Lloyd. Most my creative endeavors I owe to these two titans, even more to Lloyd. From an early age Troma was there, albeit Toxic Crusader toon form. It would be years until I saw The Toxic Avenger, but its safe to say Troma was there in my early years. Joe Bob would come a little later around 97′. Of course Joe Bob was my guru and window into genre films, but Lloyd was just as important.

I first truly experienced Troma when I was 17 years old, that was long ago. I had just gotten a job and a car, so off to the specialty dvd store i went. I blew my entire first paycheck on a slew of Troma Flicks, all the Kaufman/Herz stuff. Hours were spent consuming every part of those DVD’s, they were treasures. I even bought Lloyds book Make Your Own Damn Movie, and of course made my own damn movies. I’ll have to find those someday and maybe post a few scenes. Every one of my creative endeavors have applied Lloyds writing, its become a mantra “what would Lloyd do”. So when it was announced my two heros would be combining forces I was over the moon. Friday night was more than I could have imagined, it was perfect.

AIRBORNE!!!

Tromas War was the first flick shown, fitting especially with the times we are living now. Hearing Joe Bob talk lovingly about a movie I’ve always defended was a real treat. Of course I knew he was going to give it two and a half stars, Joe Bob is one of the last honest film critics after all. Than Lloyd and Joe Bob got to talking, unlike some critics and producers you can tell these two love movies, and they truly care about the little guy getting trashed by mainstream. The entire Lloyd segment was heart warming, even more so when Pat (Lloyds soulmate) joined the festivities. For the first time since this whole dreaded quarintine started, I felt comforted.

People assume I have a few screws loose when I explain why Joe Bob and Lloyd are hero’s to me, but everyone seemed to finally get the importance during The Last Drive-in. This first half of the show will live on to me as one of the greatest moments of streaming history. The steam didnt run out after Lloyd left however, Joe Bob had one more tug at our heart strings.

The last honest heartfelt critic.

The second movie of the night was One Cut Of The Dead (2017). Im not proud to say newer international films escape me from time to time, they just dont land on my radar. Its a shame too, because I have seen my share of Japanese horror and they are truly wonderful. This second segment was all about the indie spirit, Ill save it for if you havent seen the episode yet but needless to say Joe Bob isnt just a character, he’s an extension of John Bloom, a great human being.

Joe Bob in his own elegant way reassured us that whats important is to never give up. Keep shooting those movies, this speech about never selling yourself short really landed with me. Lloyd and Joe Bob inspired and lit the fire for alot of creatives during this episode. I like to think that the next Wes Craven or Tobe Hooper were watching, and today they are gearing up and writing the next horror masterpiece.

Name a better duo, I’ll wait!

Lets not leave out Darcy aka Diana Prince, a few would disagree but she is the best mail girl Joe Bob has ever had. She adds a humanity to the mail girl role, her shyness and social anxiety make her extremely relatable, at least to me. Those cosplays forever on-point, she’s a true treasure to have as she banters with the Drive-In critic. The Last Drive-In, has pulled off what most productions wish they could do, made the audience family.

The warmth is there like a nice glass of Russell’s Reserve, you can’t help but feel it. A friend of mine sent me a message over the weekend, he had seen me defending Joe Bob Briggs and Lloyd Kaufman in an article, and wondered why. Well, it’s because they are indeed my hero’s, but they are also the ones that will fight for the little person.

Not what I meant by little person!

We independent artists have a long hard road to go before anything we do is taken seriously. Often times we are told not to even bother with our passion. Joe Bob and Lloyd are the ones who champion us along the way. I’ve interviewed both Lloyd and Joe Bob, spent years of my life studying their works because I have an obsessive problem-hence my horror knowledge-and I get what separates them, they care. Joe Bob and Lloyd are genuine caring human beings in a world where hate spewing reins supreme. I live in the Bible Belt where what I do on the podcast is considered a waste, I get that a lot around here. If your an indie filmmaker, artist, podcaster, etc, you probably get told the same thing. It’s good to know a breast, beast, and blood lovin cowboy, and Uncle Lloydie have our backs. It’s up to us to keep that torch burning and be true to ourselves. Yes I defend them, because they defend us all. As long as there is breath in my lungs…

The Drive-in will never die and Troma will keep disrupting the machine.

I need to start tracking these shirts down!!

Watch The Last Drive-In, Friday’s at 9 pm ET. Only on Shudder!!!

And check out Night Of The Horrorphile, new episodes every Friday!

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