As most of you by now may be aware, I’m one of Joe Bob Briggs’s biggest fans, and I love everything he has done for the horror community. I was pleasantly surprised when I was asked to join a who’s who of the genre to contribute my part to Hansi Oppenheimer’s video, Squee Fu: Fans Celebrate The Return Of Joe Bob Briggs, describing how his influences shaped my life, eventually bringing me here to PopHorror.
As a young pup, I was very much a lone wolf in my love of the horror genre. Few people outside my best friends even understood what I was connecting with at the time. One thing for sure was that horror was something that I not only identified with, but needed to contribute to as well.
As this young and hungry monster was seeking on screen monsters to quench an unrelenting thirst of knowledge of the history and backstories of the films I loved so much, I found a voice in the night. The voice that pierced the darkness was that of Joe Bob Briggs.
Finally, someone on TV was speaking my language, showing me that there were others out there in the ether just like me. Discovering Joe Bob Briggs as a young man was a watershed moment in my life that pointed me in a direction that fills my life to this day. The horror culture has connected me with people in my city I never would have met without it. I still feel humbled when I think of the friends I have had the pleasure to meet and interact with from all over the world through horror.
We all know of so many great filmmakers and their contributions to a genre that has somehow nestled its cold, dead corpse under our skin, giving us that healthy, undead glow, but up until recently, very few people knew the unsung heroes, the ones who were inarguably just as important in the creation of some of the best horror moments in history.
It’s now so easy to get up instant updates on what’s brewing in the horror world, courtesy of the hardworking people behind online publications like PopHorror.com (*cough* shameless plug *cough*). Sadly, that means that there is a whole generation of people who will never know the awesomeness of horror hosts, that feeling of amazement when they delivered some of the coolest hidden gems and B movie wonders hidden to us in that pre-Internet world. Fortunately for today’s boils and ghouls, we still get to enjoy the ones who are still doing what they have always done, but mostly on YouTube or recorded on their DVRs.
Besides Joe Bob Briggs, Vampira, Zacherly, Vincent Price, Elvira, Morgus the Magnificent, the immortal Svengoolie, even Penn and Teller helped pave the way for the modern heroes of horror influencers who can point us through the haze of a saturated yet beautiful genre, such as Blair Bathory, TheSuperghoul, James Rolf, and so many more.
Being a part of Squee Fu: Fans Celebrate The Return Of Joe Bob Briggs reminded me what made me fall in love with a genre that has given me more than just spooks and jumps. How could I forget that, through the best and worst of times, the movies are always there and the horror community is amazingly supportive, made up of a caring network of people who not only share a common interest but also never hesitates to jump into action should one of their own need a hand.
When a genre becomes an extended family, you can’t discount its power. As a family, it’s our duty to honor our forefathers and foremothers who shaped us into the powerful and loving collective we’ve become. I was happy to be a small part of it.
Watch Squee Fu: Fans Celebrate The Return Of Joe Bob Briggs below and remember what made the drive-in one of the coolest places to go on a Friday night.