Monthly Archives: October 2011

A HALLOWEEN MEXI-MONSTER BESTIARY

Brainiac

Brainiac

Mexican horror films of the 1950’s and 1960’s deserve to be as well known as the Hollywood horror films from the 30’s and 40’s. Just as Universal Studios churned out a series of memorable movies featuring the likes of Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolfman and the Mummy, studios from south of the border went on to give the world equally outstanding creatures.

These horror films boasted Universal- style production values and beautiful black & white cinematography combined with uniquely Mexican twists on horror themes as well as more sensuality and lurid violence than Hollywood had dared to present. This list aims to introduce Mexi- Monsters to younger viewers who may not be familiar with them. I’m omitting generic monsters like the various vampires from Mexican horror films (including Fabian Forte, Cristina Ferrare and a descendant of Nostradamus) and the werewolf wrapped in mummy bandages from Face of the Screaming Werewolf.  

7. THE BRAINIAC (1962) – Many may be outraged at my inclusion of this film since it makes many lists (including mine) of the most laughably campy horror films ever made. I would argue that its thoroughly latin theme and brilliantly conceived (albeit cheesily presented) monster earn it a spot on this list.

There’s also the fact that the title creature (seen in the photo above left) symbolizes the Mexican chillers of its period as completely as Karloff’s Frankenstein Monster with the neck bolts and squared head represents the Universal monster movies of earlier decades. The Brainiac is a Continue reading

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NOTEWORTHY COLLEGE FOOTBALL RESULTS FROM OCTOBER 29TH

 SOUTHERN NAZARENE RULES THE WORLD – The NAIA’s 20th ranked SOUTHERN NAZARENE  UNIVERSITY CRIMSON STORM embraced the tradition of beating up on teams from supposedly higher divisions yesterday by taking it on the road and pummeling NCAA Division 2’s PANHANDLE STATE AGGIES 28-7. The Crimson Storm (love that name) improves to 7-2 for the year. Every week this season at least one NAIA team has defeated a team from D2 as well as taking down multiple teams from NCAA Division 3.

NUMBER ONE TAKES A FALL – In a collision of SCFA titans the top- ranked SADDLEBACK COLLEGE GAUCHOS fell on the road to the defending champs, the MT SAN ANTONIO COLLEGE MOUNTIES in a magnificent 38-34 gridiron masterpiece. The Mounties were themselves ranked number one earlier in the season before falling to the RIVERSIDE TIGERS, who look to move up from number 2 now that the Gauchos have fallen.  

NUMBER THREE TAKES A FALL – D2’s 3rd ranked BLOOMSBURG HUSKIES were stunned at home by the unranked C.W. POST PIONEERS. The final score was 24-21 in this game where Post proved they can indeed close out a big game after all. Congratulations to the Pioneers for persevering and notching the kind of signature win their program has been looking for for some time now. 

NUMBER ONE SURVIVES A SCARE … AGAIN – For the 2nd week in a row the NJCAA’s top- ranked BLINN BUCCANEERS, where Cam Newton played his college ball before transferring to Auburn, had to survive a very tight game. The Bucs were on the road against the CISCO COLLEGE WRANGLERS who gave the number 1 team almost more than they could handle in a 39-37 Instant Classic.

OREDIGGERS KICK BEAR BUTT IN BUTTE – As Balladeer’s Blog noted yesterday, the number 24 ROCKY MOUNTAIN COLLEGE BATTLIN’ BEARS from the NAIA have been up and down all season to the point where you never know which team will show up. Yesterday they wore their Mr Hyde faces for Halloween, and the homestanding MONTANA TECH OREDIGGERS trounced RMC by a score of 34-14. This was just the 2nd victory of the year for the struggling Orediggers who improve to 2-7.

TOP 25 UPSETS – NAIA – In addition to RMC falling the 9th ranked ST FRANCIS (IL) FIGHTING SAINTS suffered a road loss to the Continue reading

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCOREBOARDS FOR OCTOBER 29TH

 The NAIA’s 18th ranked Bethany Swedes (helmet at left) will host the 14th ranked Ottawa (KS) Braves today in a game with massive  KCAC implications. The Swedes come into this matchup at 7-1, the Braves at 6-2. Elsewhere in NAIA action, the number 22 Northwestern (IA) Red Raiders greet the 23rd ranked Dakota Wesleyan Tigers as they square off for the right to remain in the rankings. And speaking of trying to remain in the rankings, the up and down Rocky Mountain College Battlin’ Bears reentered the poll at 24 this week, and are on the road at the Montana Tech Orediggers. With Halloween drawing near will RMC show their Dr Jekyll or Mr Hyde personas? 

In NJCAA football the post- season will begin next week believe it or not, and today finds the 15th ranked Hutchinson Blue Dragons on the road against the number 17 Coffeyville Red Ravens. The way the season has played out, the two teams already know they will face each other in next week’s opening round  playoff matchup, so today’s rehearsal for that clash will decide which team has the home field advantage for that game. 

Naturally a few results are already in for this week from the games played Thursday and Friday night. Thursday saw THE Terry Bowden’s 5th ranked North Alabama Lions fall on the road to the unranked West Alabama Tigers 31-26. Last night the Washington and Lee Generals moved one step closer to their 2nd straight Old Dominion Athletic Conference title by demolishing the Catholic Cardinals 49-13. Since the football gods love drama, that means that next Saturday the Generals will take on the only other unbeaten ODAC team, the Hampden- Sydney Tigers, for the conference crown. And now, links to updating scoreboards in the divisions of college football covered by Balladeer’s Blog:

NAIA – http://www.victorysportsnetwork.com/sport/0/14.php

D3 – http://d3football.com/scoreboard/composite

D2 –  http://www.d2football.com/scores/

NJCAA – http://www.njcaa.org/sports_schedules.cfm?category=Schedules%2FScores&sid=11&divid=0&slid=5

SCFA – http://www.scfafootball.com/statistics/scoreboard.html

NCFA – http://www.cccaasports.org/football/men/

 

   

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THE TOP FOUR SILVER JOHN STORIES FOR HALLOWEEN

 Regular readers of Balladeer’s Blog will recognize Manly Wade Wellman’s Silver John from my Pulp Heroes page. Silver John, so- named because of the silver strings on his guitar and the silver coins he carried in his pockets, roamed the Appalachian Mountains decades ago combating dark supernatural menaces. On my Pulp Heroes page I’ve done a synopsis for each of the short stories featuring this neglected character, but this post will simply list the four tales most appropriate for Halloween.

4. THE LITTLE BLACK TRAIN – While performing with other musicians at a wealthy Southern Belle’s outdoor celebration Silver John finds himself trying to save his alluring but wicked hostess from losing her life to a ghostly train. That pitch- black train with coffin- shaped boxcars runs only at midnight on just one night a year to run down and take the life of a designated sinner … And she’s slated to be this year’s victim.

3. CAN THESE BONES LIVE? – Our wandering balladeer encounters an odd funeral procession of mountain folk burying an extraordinarily large skeleton they’ve Continue reading

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COOL FOOTBALL HELMET: GOLDEN WEST COLLEGE RUSTLERS

 Location: Huntington Beach, CA

Site: http://www.gwcathletics.com/ 

Comment: Rustlers is definitely a next- level cool nickname and those helmets are terrific. In fact, the team’s entire uniform is great, with green jerseys and gold pants like Oregon used to sport before they decided to change uniforms every week. GWC is still ranked and by the way, Michelle Continue reading

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A VERY BLAXPLOITATION HALLOWEEN

Blackenstein

Blackenstein

When it comes to the tasteless but enjoyably bad blaxploitation horror films of the 1970’s it seems like the lion’s share of the attention always goes to Blacula and its sequel, Scream, Blacula, Scream with a little attention left over for Ganja and Hess, since it features the African American hero from the original Night of the Living Dead in one of his few screen appearances.

In honor of the Halloween season Balladeer’s Blog will take a look at some of the neglected blaxploitation horror movies, all of which deserve to have a larger audience than just me and my fellow bad movie geeks. It’s in the spirit of my recent list of The Eleven Most Neglected Bad Movie  Classics For Halloween, but for this list I’ll go in descending order:

Blackenstein movie poster1. BLACKENSTEIN (1973) – This was one of the first flicks to try and cash in on the coattails of the surprise hit Blacula. A mad scientist named Dr Stein is conducting unspeakable experiments in human genetics. A Vietnam vet who has lost both arms and both legs in the war is Dr Stein’s next guinea pig. He restores the man’s limbs but Continue reading

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL POLLS: WEEK OF OCTOBER 24TH

 The Rocky Mountain College Battlin’ Bears have jumped back into the NAIA Top 25 for the 5th time this year. The up and down team moves back into the rankings at number 24 this week. The St Xavier Cougars remain in the top spot for the 7th straight week. In fact all of the Top 6 retained their relative position from last week’s poll. And now a look at the latest polls in the divisions of college football covered by Balladeer’s Blog:

NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) – 1. SXU COUGARS   …   2. MARIAN KNIGHTS   …   3. CC FIGHTING SAINTS (defending champs)   …   4. GEORGETOWN (KY) TIGERS   …   5. MNU PIONEERS   …   6. MORNINGSIDE MUSTANGS   …   7. MVC VIKINGS   …   8. WILLIAM PENN STATESMEN   …   9. Continue reading

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