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Southern Nevada may not have foliage tours and apple-picking excursions, but autumn here brings a full calendar of arts and culture to keep us busy. Find a guide to this year’s season here, along with book reviews, interviews, profiles, and a true-crime tale from the annals of punk rock.

It's Joe Bob's World, We Just Live in It

A classic car parked in front of a movie screen with a Western on
Ryan Vellinga

A cable channel B-film buff invites his ‘Mutant Family’ to Las Vegas

Joe Bob Briggs has been a B-movie advocate since long before genre cinema was cool. The author and TV personality began writing his so-called drive-in movie reviews for a Texas newspaper in the 1980s, and he has hosted B-movie showcases on TV since 1986, on cable networks The Movie Channel and TNT, and most recently on horror-focused streaming service Shudder. In 2021, he launched Joe Bob’s World Drive-In Jamboree, a multiday event honoring drive-in culture, held at an actual drive-in, serving as a film festival and a gathering place for his fans, affectionately known as the “Mutant Family.”

After editions in Pennsylvania and Tennessee, this year’s Jamboree comes to Las Vegas, setting up at the West Wind Drive-In for three days of movies, celebrity guests, musical performances, and fan camaraderie. “There are very few drive-ins that are big enough to do the size of event that we want to do,” Briggs says. The Jamboree will take over at least four of West Wind’s six screens, and all of the vendor booths and guest appearances will be on-site. Attendees can even camp at West Wind, making the Jamboree the B-movie equivalent of Electric Daisy Carnival or Coachella.

The event kicks off with a barbecue hosted by Briggs and his Shudder costar Diana Prince (aka “Darcy the Mail Girl”), with Friday’s programming devoted to submissions from independent filmmakers. “We’re looking for somebody who had to scrounge together the money,” Briggs says of the festival selections. “What we’re trying to do is be the bridge that notices these guys, so that they can get the distribution contract they need.”

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On Saturday, Briggs and Prince will be recording an episode of their Shudder series The Last Drive-In, featuring commentary on a double feature of Roger Corman movies that will be revealed that night. Legendary B-movie producer Corman himself will be on hand to celebrate what Briggs calls his “first 70 years in Hollywood.”

The night will continue beyond the TV taping with a marathon of five Corman movies, and Briggs also promises clips from 1954’s Highway Dragnet, Corman’s first-ever film credit, which is partially set in Las Vegas. “I don’t know exactly when the turn happened, but he became sort of an elder statesman in Hollywood,” Briggs says of Corman. “I already gave him a lifetime achievement award in 1982. He’s had another lifetime since then.”

The event wraps up on Sunday with a night devoted to the Sleepaway Camp slasher-movie franchise, featuring the first four Sleepaway Camp movies, appearances from numerous cast members, including original star Felissa Rose, and an opening performance by heavy metal band Fozzy, fronted by pro wrestler Chris Jericho. Jericho’s appearance is a testament to the fan devotion that Briggs and the movies he champions can inspire. “Out of the kindness of their hearts, really, because we couldn’t afford them, they have agreed to perform,” Briggs says. “That’s because Chris Jericho is a big Sleepaway Camp fan.”

For Briggs, Las Vegas is more than just a convenient location for the Jamboree. He’s been coming to town since the 1970s, when he befriended Wayne Newton, thanks to an article he wrote in Interview magazine. In the early aughts, he wrote a syndicated gambling column called The Vegas Guy that took him to casinos in Vegas and around the world. The Jamboree is set to include walking tours of the Fremont Street area, with Briggs providing commentary and historical insight on the period from about 1933 to 1965. “That’s what people think of as classic Vegas,” he says.

Briggs himself is part of Vegas lore, because of his playing a supporting role in Martin Scorsese’s Casino. He’s the kind of persistent pop culture figure who’s recognizable even to people who aren’t aware of his name or his body of work. He brings all of that history to the Jamboree, a celebration of movies that used to be “considered disposable trash,” as Briggs says, and are now cornerstones of American culture.

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Joe Bob’s World Drive-In Jamboree is Oct. 6-8 at West Wind Drive-In, $75-$275.