There’s been a lot of talk lately about the apparent death of “event TV,” with the recent finale of HBO’s Game Of Thrones—regardless of your petition-y feelings about it—marking for many the end of what could be seen as the last great communal watching experience. But while everybody was busy arguing about why a dragon was so angry at a chair (our theory: good taste), one of the legends of great-bad movie watching has been quietly resurrecting the joy of shared viewing through a very different medium: Joe Bob Briggs, and his Shudder series The Last Drive-In.
For the last eight weeks, the former MonsterVision host has been defying the norms of streaming doctrine by inviting fans of high-quality schlock to make time in their lives for a little appointment viewing, dedicating their Friday nights to weekly double features offering up everything from intentionally nasty classics (Castle Freak, Deathgasm) to modern riffs on horror (A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night)—and also not just one, but two entries from the late, great master of gross-out weirdness, Larry Cohen. The Last Drive-In doesn’t wholly derive its pleasures from The Stuff, though, or even Briggs’ enduringly charming love of the B-Movie form; it’s also a sort of social media party, inviting anybody with a Shudder account to get in on the trashy fun and fill Twitter with their reactions to movies like WolfCop or C.H.U.D.
Happily, the party has now been set to continue, with the horror streaming service announcing this week that it’s renewed the series for another run of double-features somewhere down the line. (Details on when exactly that might be are still pending.) Briggs issued a statement as part of the announcement, walking the line between sweet and funny in a very on-brand, Joe Bob Briggs-y sort of way:
It hasn’t even been a full year since the 24-hour Last Drive-In marathon, but since then I’ve made thousands of new friends and reconnected with thousands of old ones. The main reason I’m coming back to do another season is that this community of horror fans is greater than the sum of its parts, and it’s about something larger than horror. Don’t ask me what that thing is, but it’s a source of great joy to me.
The season finale of the first run of The Last Drive-In will air on Shudder this Friday night, kicking off the fun at 9 p.m. Eastern.