FIRST QUARTERFINAL – In this game the KEISER UNIVERSITY SEAHAWKS delivered the Upset of the Playoffs so far on a visit to the defending National Champions – the MORNINGSIDE COLLEGE MUSTANGS. The Mustangs led 21-3 in the 1st Quarter but felt their grip slipping when the Seahawks pulled to within 21-10 by Halftime. The 3rd Quarter ended with Morningside up 28-16, but in the 4th Keiser U. exploded for a 29-28 win.
SECOND QUARTERFINAL – The NORTHWESTERN (IA) COLLEGE RED RAIDERS played the MARIAN UNIVERSITY KNIGHTS. The Red Raiders shut out the Knights in the opening Half, leading them 35-0 going into the locker room. Marian’s offense perked up after the break, but were in too big a hole. Northwestern won out 52-27. Continue reading
This weekend’s light-hearted and escapist superhero blog post will look at Marvel’s original run of the Jessica Drew version of Spider-Woman.
MARVEL SPOTLIGHT Vol 1 #32 (February 1977)
Title: Dark Destiny
NOTE: The origin of the Jessica Drew character presented in this issue, which claimed she was a creation of Marvel’s hero-villain the High Evolutionary, was soon retconned. In the new version, her father was a scientist working with the High Evolutionary, who injected her with experimental chemicals and spider DNA to save her life from radiation poisoning, and that was how she gained her super-powers.
Those powers: Spider-Man level strength, bioenergy “venom blasts” that she shot from her hands, wall-crawling abilities and limited flight through her web-wings.
Synopsis: Misled into working for Hydra, Spider-Woman is sent on a mission to assassinate S.H.I.E.L.D. chief Nick Fury on the Riviera. Nick survives her initial assault and then uses news and intelligence reports to show her how she was deceived into thinking that Hydra was a revolutionary organization rather than a criminal cabal.
Jessica, furious over the way she was used, leads a S.H.I.E.L.D. assault on the Hydra base from which she was sent to kill Nick Fury. After the base is shut down and all the Hydra agents are captured, the heroine declines to join S.H.I.E.L.D. and goes off to contemplate what she wants to do with her life. Continue reading
If it’s the Friday after Thanksgiving, then regular readers of Balladeer’s Blog know it’s the day when I kick off my annual Christmas Carol-A-Thon in which I review several versions of A Christmas Carol. I look at movies, television shows, radio shows and books which adapt the Dickens classic. Every year I present new reviews and a few old classics since newer readers will have missed them.
SCROOGE IN THE HOOD (2011) – This is easily the worst attempt at a comedy version of the Carol that I’ve ever seen. It’s also a failure in terms of production values. Acting is nonexistent, props are below Cable Public Access levels, dialogue is often impossible to make out and the writing is like something from a 14-year-old trying to be edgy.
The premise behind this failed comedy is that Scrooge is a pimp, and gangsters from outside the Hood are trying to muscle in on his business. They’ve already killed his colleague Marley and are gunning for him, now.
This flick has one joke – inserting profanity, bloodshed and sexual situations into A Christmas Carol – and repeats it over and over and over for 83 minutes. Even porno adaptations like Ebenezer Screwed show a more inventive approach. Continue reading
HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Enjoy this holiday and the hope for peaceful coexistence represented by the possibly mythic meal that it commemorates. The kind of self-righteous killjoys who bash Thanksgiving are the type of sanctimonious idiots that are fun to laugh at in this hilariously bad movie.
AN AMERICAN HIPPIE IN ISRAEL (1972) – Forget An American Werewolf in London! To hell with A Polish Vampire in Burbank! Seriously, though, it’s a shame, but this movie’s original title was The Hitch Hiker. Over the years it picked up the campier title An American Hippie in Israel.
Yes, this production was filmed in Israel and on Pharaoh’s Island in Egypt’s Gulf of Aqaba, which is up for World Heritage Site status because of the ruins of the citadel on the tiny island. That citadel is several centuries old and was at one time the residence of the Mameluke governor of Aqaba.
I figured a Golden Turkey like this would make a nice change of pace from the usual types of Bad Movies I review. Last Thanksgiving I reviewed a similarly atypical bad movie – James Batman, a Filipino movie illegally teaming James Bond and Batman.
An American Hippie in Israel was indeed an Israeli production which starred assorted young performers from the Israeli theater. Our title character is Mike (Asher Tzarfati), who has been bumming around Europe for a few years since returning from service in the Vietnam War. Having found no peace or contentment in Europe, he arrives by plane in Israel.
By the way, before we met Mike, we viewers were treated to bizarre opening credits which appeared over scenes of toplessness and nudity from later in the movie. Soon, the continuing credits appeared over pictures of idyllic fields of flowers. You can play the Moshe Drinking Game to these credits, since that happens to be a VERY common name among the team behind this flick.
After the credits finally end, the idyllic fields of flowers are run over and ruined by a steamroller. So deep, dude! This is indicative of the ham-fisted approach of the entire movie, which is to say it makes Neil Breen films and Tom Laughlin’s Billy Jack Goes to Washington seem like epitomes of subtlety by comparison. Continue reading
“Please, sir, may I have some more?”
It’s that time of year again! Just a note in the spirit of the holiday season to mention my favorite Thanksgiving Eve movie.
Every Wednesday before Thanksgiving I make a point out of watching the musical Oliver! And yes, I know it has nothing to do with Thanksgiving.
I know the musical sentimentalizes several characters that Dickens portrayed in a sinister way in the book (especially Fagan and The Artful Dodger) but the finished product has always seemed very holidayish to me. Continue reading
I’ll make my Thanksgiving Eve blog post later today. For right now, Independent Voter site Balladeer’s Blog takes a look at some news, memes and political cartoons.
ANTI-WOMAN AND ANTISEMITIC BIDEN REGIME SUED FOR THE WAY ONE OF JOE’S MEN PHYSICALLY ATTACKED AN ISRAELI WOMAN OUTSIDE A BAR. Well, remember, Joe Biden is himself an accused rapist and his alleged victim cited Joe’s remark “C’mon, man! I heard you liked me!”
BANANA REPUBLIC-STYLE MERRICK GARLAND CALLED OUT FOR ATTEMPTING TO OBSTRUCT A CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION. Garland and his ilk have acted like people who commit such offenses deserve to be investigated and impeached.
BIDEN CRIME FAMILY SCANDALS AND THEIR BIASED MEDIA OUTLETS CONTINUE TO DRAW CRITICISM.
EMERSON COLLEGE POLL: DONALD TRUMP CAME OUT OVER THIRTY PERCENT HIGHER THAN RON DESANTIS IN REPUBLICAN CHOICE FOR 2024. More HERE. And HERE. And while it’s way too early for such polls, it flies in the face of the Republican Establishment claim that it’s time to once again switch horses in mid-stream.
Weird little man
HARVARD POLL: TRUMP OUTPERFORMS DESANTIS AGAINST BIDEN AND HARRIS. I will say again, it’s way too early for such polls, but it is certainly the opposite of what the corporate media has been pushing.
DEMOCRATS GETTING TIED TIGHTER AND TIGHTER TO THE FTX SCANDAL. Continue reading
What James Bond hath wrought! Among the many imitations of Ian Fleming’s 007 were American rip-offs like Derek Flint and Matt Helm, but often overlooked here in 2022 are Germany’s Kommissar X films. The series of novels began in 1959 and number at least SIX-HUNDRED TWENTY! You read that right. Truly, no man is Bert Island.
The Kommissar X (also known as Commissioner X) tales were similar in style to Germany’s own Jerry Cotton novels which began publication in 1954. The Jerry Cotton character even beat Kommissar X to the big screen, with professional Smug Prick George Nader starring as the federal agent in eight movies.
Kommissar X was played by Tony Kendall, with Brad Harris as his sidekick Tom Rowland.
KISS KISS, KILL KILL (1966) – Also released under the titles Hunt for the Unknown, Chasing the Unknown and Jagd auf Unbekannt, this was the first film appearance of Kommissar X, aka Private Investigator Joe Walker, and his colleague Police Captain Tom Rowland. Like James Bond and Jerry Cotton, Joe Walker had his own memorable theme music to accompany him as he kicked butt, bedded down with beautiful women and drove fancy sports cars.
Stylish villain Oberon (Nikola Popovic), called “O’Brien” in some dubs, is a mastermind who has accumulated a fortune in gold through dishonest means and wiped out his accomplices in order to nab their share of the loot, too. He also has plans to abduct a nuclear physicist, which gets Kommissar X mixed up in all this.
In Yugoslavia, our hero tangles with some of Oberon’s underlings and renews his acquaintance with Captain Tom Rowland, who is in the country to train police departments in state-of-the-art criminology. Ultimately, the pair trail Oberon to his island fortress, where they face the villain’s army of beautiful female soldiers as they try to recover the stolen gold AND the nuclear physicist. Continue reading
NAVY LOG (1955-1958) – Here’s an unusual segment of Balladeer’s Blog’s recurring Forgotten Television feature. Rather than review the entire series I will take a look at this program’s episodes regarding the often-overlooked Korean War. Most episodes of Navy Log featured half-hour dramatizations of real-life incidents from World War Two, so in keeping with my overall theme of things that slip through the cultural cracks, my focus here will be the few Korean War incidents dramatized on the show.
THE FROGMEN – Two U.S. ships are sunk in mined North Korean waters. To prevent the possibility of North Korea or China recovering classified information from those ships a pair of Navy Frogmen are let loose from a submarine to blow up the sunken vessels before that can happen.
OPERATION THREE-IN-ONE – When a Marine Corps unit is cut off by North Korean forces and is being whittled down, Army and Navy officers quickly improvise a rescue plan in hopes of saving the Marines.
THE POLLYWOG OF YOSU – Six Navy frogmen are sent in to surface behind North Korean lines and blow up a tunnel being used by the North to transport supplies to their troops. When a member of the unit is wounded by the explosion, he is not left behind, but is evacuated with the others at great risk to themselves.
LUNGER AT KUNSAN – The spectacular exploits of the commander and crew of a Navy Mine Sweeper near Kunsan, Korea. Continue reading