MARS MEN (1976): MOVIE REVIEW

Mars MenMARS MEN aka HUO XING REN (1976) – What do you get when Taiwanese filmmakers take a co-produced Thai/ Japanese kaiju movie, alter the monsters and the character names then edit in their own actors Mighty Morphin Power Rangers-style?

You get this deliriously weird sci-fi/ monster flick which combines the appeal of Godzilla, Gamera, Jet Jaguar and Ultraman with The Golden Bat and Infra-Man plus a wig or two from Fugitive Alien! Not to mention pirated Pink Floyd music! Who could resist?

Taiwan’s elusive monsterpiece Mars Men has long been the Holy Grail for all fans of kaiju and of overdubbed & re-edited movie mashups from around the world. Huo Xing Ren, as it was called during its Taiwanese run, started out in 1974 as Giant and Jumbo A, a co-production of studios from Thailand and Japan.

Mars Men side by sideThe “heroic” monster and giant were Yak Wat Jaeng (right) & Jumborg Ace, respectively. Yak Wat Jaeng was a fanged, green-colored stone statue from the Thai movie Tah Tien (1971).

Jumborg Ace was a Jet Jaguar/ Ultraman-ish kaiju superhero from a Japanese tv show (all 50 episodes are available for purchase). Continue reading

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TWENTY WRY QUOTES

Mascot sword and pistolAnother of Balladeer’s Blog’s Top Twenty Lists for 2020.

“Whoever is not a misanthrope at forty can never have loved mankind.” – Nicolas Chamfort 

“There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn.” – Albert Camus

“Education is a state-controlled manufactory of echoes.” – Norman Douglas

“To knock a thing down, especially if it is cocked at an arrogant angle, is a deep delight of the blood.” – George Santayana

“Bureaucracy is a giant mechanism operated by pygmies.” – Honore de Balzac Continue reading

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TOP MOVIES OF SHINYA TSUKAMOTO

tetsuo-bDirector Shinya Tsukamoto hails from Japan and is noted for his surreal, nightmarish excursions into the darker side of transformative  industrial technology … especially any technology that impacts the human anatomy.

Tsukamoto’s noteworthy films include:

 

tetsuoTetsuo: The Iron Man (1989) – From the early shots of a man removing one of his own bones and replacing it with a piece of metal viewers knew this was a work of true genius. Tetsuo becomes more and more relevant by the year, especially with the advent of nanotechnology and its potentially invasive effect on the human mind and body. Continue reading

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TRUMP’S PAYROLL PROTECTION PROGRAM FURTHERS HIS FDR IMAGE

Trump is the new FDRBalladeer’s Blog remains the only site on the web that equally criticizes both Republicans and Democrats. With all the doom and gloom in the news lately let’s put aside partisan politics and mark Friday with a positive take that anyone with compassion can appreciate. President Donald Trump’s Payroll Protection Program (see link below) is rolling and it’s as historic as any of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal programs.

Even the Democrats at CNBC are marveling at how quickly the president got this program running in a process which they noted “would usually take months.” And in another example of how Donald Trump is a de facto Third Party President I have to say I can’t picture any hard-core Republican taking necessary steps like this. Usually Republican office-holders refuse to accept the fact that governments spend money. Continue reading

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MASKED MAN: STORY NINE

Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of B.C. Boyer’s neglected 1980s superhero the Masked Man. For Part One click HERE

Eclipse Monthly 7ECLIPSE MONTHLY Vol 1 #7 (April 1984)

Title: Confessions

Synopsis: The Masked Man (Dick Carstairs) shared this issue of Eclipse Monthly with the new superheroine the Nightingale and the early 1800s western hero the Californio.

The relationship between our hero and his reporter friend Barney McAllister got stretched to the breaking point in this tale as the Masked Man found himself tempted by the offers from Dan Drekston. Those offers: to cash in on Masked Man merchandising, Masked Man action figures and books adapted from his adventures. 

Eclipse Monthly 6Once again, years before the overrated and overpraised Alan Moore’s work The Watchmen we see other comic book writers covering material that Moore was praised for as if he was the originator of such meta concepts. Drekston is planning a merchandising empire similar to that of Moore’s superhero Ozymandias.  Continue reading

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TWENTY MORE HAWAIIAN GODS AND GODDESSES

hawaiianislandsBalladeer’s Blog’s Top Twenty Lists For 2020 theme continues with this look at 20 more Hawaiian deities. FOR THE ORIGINAL LIST OF HAWAIIAN GODS AND GODDESSES CLICK HERE

OPUHALA – The goddess of coral, coral reefs and canoe bailers. Because of the sharp, abrasive nature of coral, fish with spiny scales were also considered to be under her rule. She was the daughter of the sea god Kanaloa and the aunt of the demigod Maui. In some traditions it is said she provided enormous jagged chunks of coral for Maui to use as hooks when he was fishing up islands.  

KALAIPAHOA – The Hawaiian poison god. His images were always carved from the nioi, a poisonous pepper tree sacred to him. He was believed to be able to ride comets across the sky. Kalaipahoa was originally worshipped only on the island of Molokai but his worship spread to all the other Hawaiian Islands after their unification into a single kingdom under Kamehameha I. Oddly, this god is also associated with gamblers.     Continue reading

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BERNIE SANDERS BROS HIT JOE BIDEN OVER HIS CORONAVIRUS LIES AND MORE

Trump with biden as backseat driverThank you to the BERNIE BROS who brought all this to my attention.

While I was fully aware that Joe Biden’s lying claim that Trump had called the Chinese Coronavirus a hoax had been proven false I missed a few of these other items. Links are below.

Trump state of the union 2TRUMP HAD MENTIONED THE NEED TO FIGHT THE WUHAN CORONAVIRUS IN HIS STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS – So much for Biden’s claim that the president was not prepared. Trump’s coronavirus remarks were among the items that privileged white one-percenter Nancy Pelosi tore up in a childish fit.

Bernie BrosRemember, Nancy had even encouraged people in her district to come out and celebrate Chinese New Year despite the coronavirus risks at the time. She and Biden were not taking the threat seriously just to play a game of political spite.  

JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY STUDY SHOWS THE U.S. WAS MORE PREPARED FOR THE PANDEMIC THAN ANY OTHER COUNTRY – When even the anti-Trump JHU points out this fact then you know it must be manifestly obvious. Thanks again, BERNIE BROS for pointing this out! Continue reading

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