Fantasia Fest runs from July 11th to August 1st, 2019. For more information, click here.
As part of Fantasia 2019, Joe Bob Briggs will be making an appearance and for the first time ever doing his one man show “How Rednecks Saved Hollywood” July 21st. I’m a huge fan of Joe Bob, and I think The Last Drive-in is possibly the best incarnation of Joe Bob yet. I have to say a big part of that is the new mail girl, Darcy ,who unlike previous incarnations of the mail girl sometimes challenges Joe Bob’s opinion on particular films she feels passionate about. I believe good criticism is hearing both sides of an argument, not only when you can say why you love something, but also when you don’t like it. When you got that discussion last season, and the duality of opinions with Joe Bob’s curmudgeon versus Darcy’s passionate fan, it really gave you both sides of the spectrum. For Last Drive-in fans that attend the talk at Fantasia, word is Darcy will also be stopping by for an appearance at the show as well.
Darcy, aka Diana Prince (which is also a fun nod to Wonder Woman), started out in the adult industry and now not only delivers the mail for Joe Bob, but also is tasked with wrangling the Twitter discourse that happens during each show. From this interview, it also sounds like her duties may even include some more fun things come season two. The running Twitter commentary has given fans like myself a reason to tune in every Friday night for the live stream on Shudder of the weekly double feature. The amazing community of Drive-in Mutants that have sprung up around The Last Drive-in is something I don’t think would exist without Darcy’s enthusiasm and love of all things horror. It was great to get to chat with her about not only her entry into fandom and her horror faves, also a bit about what to expect from season two of The Last Drive-in.
I have to ask what got you into fandom, and particularly horror?
Oh gosh. My dad was kind of always into it and kept it from me. So, I was always like very curious. So I don’t know. When I got through my first full horror movie, which was Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, I was just like hooked and in love and just ate up everything since then.
Were you a video store rat growing up? I know my parents would usually let me rent anything except the stuff in the big boxes.
Oh my God. Yeah, like just walking through, staring at everything. Like making a mental note, one day like when I can, I’m going to rent that. I’m going to rent that! Just staring at the cover art. I would go to Blockbuster when I could and I told them that, “I just want to stare at the movies all day,” and they’re like you have no idea how often I hear that.
What was your go to back in the day?
Go to… hmmmm, anything for Friday the 13th for sure. Just the flashbacks that they had at the beginning, they were so creepy. And I’m like, “Oh God, Jason is so scary.”
I don’t think folks realize what a big deal those films were back in the day, horror geeks just couldn’t wait for the next one to come out.
I don’t really remember that as much. Um, kind of the first one I remember coming out into theater was part eight, and like then my friends were like kind of like “ewwwww, another one?” But I was like, heck yeah! Another one!
I love the bits when you mention being a horror mom, being a parent myself; what was it like watching your child sort of find his fandom?
Well I am very proud of him, but I definitely don’t know that he had much of a choice. I kind of completely raised him on it from the beginning. My first apartment where I had my son was like decorated everywhere in Scream memorabilia and he had little horror dolls as his toys. So yeah, I’m glad he didn’t hate it.
What does he think of you working with Joe Bob?
Well he actually on his own found clips of Joe Bob on YouTube and he’s like, “Did you ever watch this show?” I am like, “Hell yeah I watched this. Let me tell you stories!” Now I got the job, he kind of wants to watch it, but it’s weird. He’s like, “Why is my mom on there now?”
Yeah, the show has changed a bit since the Monstervision days, I think for the best. Because the mail girls, they were just kind there for eye candy and Joe Bob’s jailbreak. (Remember that?) But I love how your passion for a particular film has Joe Bob screening it and giving certain films a chance he might not have otherwise. Now thanks to you he’s considering doing films like Phantom of the Paradise. It’s a great dynamic between the two of you as you kind of riff off of one another with your particular taste in a given film.
Oh, thank you for that. I’m definitely a different kind of mail girl, and I was kind of scared of how people were going take that. Even the makeup artist on the first day, I told her I was nervous, and she’s like, well, if they wanted the regular mail girl, they wouldn’t have hired whatever you are. I’m like, okay, thank you. That’s a confidence boost right there. But that’s cool. I’m glad he’s opening his mind to different ideas. I kind of forced him to. I am like what, you have you not seen Phantom of the Paradise? Halloween 3? Come on, he won’t even re-watch it. That’s going to change.
I love the that you bring a genuine love of the fandom to your take, like the cosplay — when did that come in?
Before we ever started, when he told me that we were going do the, the marathon thing he was like, “Do you have like crop tops and blah blah,” and I’m like, sure, whatever. And I was like not super excited about it. I was like, if I was going to a horror marathon, I would be wearing costumes to represent the ones that they like felt the strongest about, I was like, is there any way I could do that? I didn’t really expect him to say yeah, I just threw it out there. And he was like, “Can you get 13 costumes ready?” I had like two days or something and I was like I will make it happen and he was like, “All right, let’s do it.” So that’s how it happened and he was down with it. Yay.
Cosplay is definitely a newer aspect of horror fandom, and I think you represent that newer wave.
It’s definitely a big thing now. Like I’ve been doing with my son forever. Like whenever we go to a movie we always wear it, my son lives in cosplay basically. So yeah, it’s mandatory.
I know you’ve been a fan of Joe Bob for a while and were instrumental in getting him back on the air. I know you’ve told the story over and over, but looking back, now that it’s been a year later, what’s the one thing that happened that you least expected?
I didn’t really expect any of it. I thought it was just going to be a one off and a goodbye, and I was very happy to be part of that. Because when the show ended it just kind of went away, no fanfare or anything. None of us knew what happened or where he was. So, I was really happy to get a proper goodbye for him. But then the outpouring of just love from the fans just letting him know how much he meant to them, and how much he was missed. It’s just been amazing to see, and talking to him, I can promise you he had no idea any of that was a thing and he still can’t really grasp it. But it’s amazing that he gets to see that and know that. So, I’m grateful and surprised and happy about that.
You’re definitely getting well known for curating this great fan community with your Twitter enthusiasm during the show; being a fan yourself, there’s a sincerity you really can’t fake. What’s your favorite fan story or interaction so far?
I don’t know that there’s a particular one. It’s more of like, it’s amazing how close everyone feels to him. Like when I’m at cons with him or whatever, people come up and tell these like deeply personal stories of how he’s helped them through tough times and just open up to him. I’ve never seen that anywhere.
I asked him like, why does everyone feel comfortable, like just pouring everything out to you? He’s like, “I have no fucking idea.” But it is that way, and it’s awesome.
Was the Twitter thing always meant to be a component of the show?
That was kind of accidental. It wasn’t really a planned part of the show, but when the streams were going down, like I could see that people were working, but no one out there watching knew, and I was afraid they were just going to give up on the show. So, I was kind of like yelling everywhere from my social media, it’s coming back, just stay there, and like getting people pumped and other people would join in and everybody’s like, yeah, we’re here all night, doesn’t matter! It just kept going from there, and now a new part of the mail girl is they are going to do social media.
I love how everyone cares and stays up, and even during the 24 hour rerun people were up the whole time. That’s amazing!
Any update on Hogzilla?
I never know what I am allowed to say, but, yes you will see Hogzilla!
Dude, that was a big thing too. I kept trying to get a hold of the director to find out like where I can get a copy, and when I finally tracked her down, she was like, what the hell is going on? Why am I getting all of these messages from these insane Joe Bob fans about Hogzilla? We put that away like 15 years ago. I explained to her, and she was just so excited that anyone cared for this movie again. The editor had died, and they didn’t finish the effect stuff that they wanted, and they just kind of chalked it up to being like, oh well whatever, that was a cool experiment. I think we got it where she’s at least okay with us showing it. I just have to get her final approval, and Joe Bob’s down with it. So it’s like cool and that’s a big part, she only responded to me, because all the messages, from all the people trying to get a hold of her, and I called her saying Hogzilla, please. So that’s amazing that the community around this is just insane, and I love it.
Well, that’s funny you mention the lengths you sometimes have to go to license these films to screen. What’s the funniest story that you’ve had about trying to get the ability to screen something for the show?
Well on the Thanksgiving: Dinners of Death, we had the great Michael Berryman interview lined up, and I was so excited for it. And then last minute they said, oh, we might have to replace it with something else, and we had no time to prep for anything else. This was because no one could get a hold of the person to get the rights for it, and they literally had given up. I was like, no, we’re not giving up. We have to save this, I have the Berryman doll, like this is going to happen. Shudder was like no, we’re just going to like throw in like Madman or something like that. I was like, no, it’ll be boring. So I went on IMDB Pro, found out who had the rights, tracked down his address, and turns out he lives really close to me. He’s like two miles away.
So, I went to his house and like knocked and no one answered, so I left like a bouquet of flowers with a card explaining the situation. It turns out like he had been in like Brazil or something for like months and that was why we couldn’t get a hold of him, but the housekeeper told him that there’s this thing that this crazy person left with their contact info. He called me and from then I just kept begging and he’s kinda harsh negotiating with Shudder, and he wouldn’t agree to it. So, Shudder said if he didn’t say yes by midnight now we have to go with a different movie. So, I just kept like, please for the charity, for the wolves, what do we have to do to get this movie?
Finally, he just wrote back one text, “Okay to you.” I sent it to Shudder and I am like “Does this count?” And they were like, we’ll use it. I’m like, yes! I had to work my ass off to get that movie shown, but it was so worth it because that interview just turned out to be the best. Then raising money for the wolves, not only in the doll part, like the actual auction, but people that couldn’t necessarily afford to pay $1,000 for the doll still donated. And the awareness of the wolf sanctuary that we brought, it was amazing. I’m glad it really worked out, because Madman would have been fine as you saw later, but not as special for the Thanksgiving episode.
That was a great moment too, and you can tell Michael Berryman was genuinely touched by the gesture.
Oh my God, I know his face when I brought the doll out, was like this is so great. It was fucking worth it.
Speaking of moments like that, you guys don’t really script anything out do you?
No, it’s just kind of an outline. Actually, when we first started, Job Bob tried to script it out for me, and it didn’t work out. (Laughs) I can’t remember anything. Like in the first marathon they had all this scripted stuff, and I can’t remember it, and it didn’t feel natural. Like he was turning even more old school mail girl, with like “No Joe Bob, you’re the worst.” And I’m just like, no, “You’re the best, we’re so happy to have you back.” The director would be like, no, you have to pretend like he’s bothering you. I’m like, no. So now he just writes how Darcy talks, and that’s much better for me.
I’ll be completely honest, I guess it was a little dusty in the room during the prom episode, that definitely got me.
Aww. Thank you, that means a lot. Prom Night was amazing. I swear, I’ve always done like little YouTube videos and stuff like that, but I really never knew how to, like I wanted to do a Joe Bob or Elvira horror hosting kind of thing, but I wasn’t really sure what to do. I would just get on camera and be quiet and I don’t know, like Prom Night rules. But I always started with Prom Night, no matter what, people need to know about this movie. So, my dream was to show that in some way and he made it happen in the best way possible.
When you’re not meeting fans or slinging the mailbag, what are you up to? I know you’ve posted a bit about different films you’ve been involved in.
Yeah. Oh yeah. Just kind of more for hobbies, like I did the Friday the 13th: Vengance and just little things like that, not a huge actress kind of girl. But when there’s something fun, then I’m like happy to get to be a part of it. I do look for me to keep expanding stuff and doing more and more stuff like that. It’s cool, Job Bob’s very encouraging and very kind of a mentor to me, which is insane. I never thought that when I used to watch the show that I’d ever be as close to him as I am now, which is pretty cool and it worked out that way.
Next season he wants me to have a bigger part, there are certain segments I am going to be doing on my own and I am like good Lord, I think I am ready for it now.