Monthly Archives: October 2011




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.  

Brainiac poster

The Original Poster

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 sorceror who was burned at the stake in the 1600’s and who transferred his spirit into a passing comet as he died. Continue reading


Filed under Bad and weird movies, Halloween


 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


Filed under college football


 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:


D3 –

D2 –







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 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


Filed under Pulp Heroes


 Location: Huntington Beach, CA


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


Filed under Cool Helmets




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


Filed under Bad and weird movies, Blaxploitation, Halloween


 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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Laughing at bad movies is one of the greatest pleasures in life. Regular readers of Balladeer’s Blog are very familiar with my Bad Movie page where I focus on various film flops that I feel deserve larger audiences because of how dementedly enjoyable they are. Since it’s the Halloween Season this list will present eleven of the most neglected bad horror movie classics, many of which deserve Plan 9- sized cult followings. These are short takes. For my full-length reviews of these and other cinematic turkeys see my Bad Movie page.



11. THE LIFT (1983) – A killer elevator is the unique menace in this joyously absurd horror film from the Netherlands. A heroic elevator repairman tries to stop the bloody reign of terror of a sentient elevator which the movie’s ads described as “the perfect killing machine”. (?)

10. ATTACK OF THE BEAST CREATURES (1983) – The surviving passengers and crew of a sunken luxury liner find themselves on an uncharted island full of ponds and streams that dissolve human flesh. The island is home to the title creatures, who are Continue reading


Filed under Bad and weird movies


 SOUTHERN OREGON RULES THE WORLD – Another Saturday, another NAIA college football team takes down a higher division opponent! This week the SOUTHERN OREGON RAIDERS joined the other NAIA teams in bringing down an NCAA Division 2 team in a gripping 31-28 win over the SIMON FRASER CLAN (as in Scottish clan). Simon Fraser is one of the Canadian institutions that compete in American intercollegiate sports divisions. The Raiders trailed 21-3 at one point before turning the tables on the Clan. Every week this season at least one NAIA team has toppled a D2 or higher team.

NUMBER TWO TAKES A FALL – NCAA Division 2’s 2nd ranked ABILENE  CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY WILDCATS lost on the road to the number 13 MIDWESTERN STATE MUSTANGS in a mind-blowing 70- 28 manhandling. If anyone outside the MSU locker room says they saw this coming, they’re lying, trust me. A nice trivia note is that Abilene Christian is where the fathers of Colt/ Case McCoy and Jordan/ Jaxon Shipley played their college football … and yes, they too were roommates, little dreaming of the tradition they were starting.  

NUMBER ONE SURVIVES A SCARE – Meanwhile D2’s top-ranked DELTA STATE STATESMEN had to struggle to hold on at home against the 10th ranked VALDOSTA STATE BLAZERS in a tight 36-33 affair. The number 1 team in D3 had a fight on their hands yesterday, also, as the defending champs, the WHITEWATER WARHAWKS, survived a road tussle with the 20th ranked OSHKOSH TITANS by a score of 20-17. Continuing this theme the NJCAA’s top ranked BLINN COLLEGE BUCCANEERS, where Cam Newton played his college ball before transferring to Auburn, also had a tough road fight against the KILGORE RANGERS, but improved to 8-0 with a 52-45 win.

TOP 25 UPSETS – NAIA – The number 8 AZUSA PACIFIC COUGARS fell at the LINDENWOOD LIONS in a 38-31 Instant Classic   …   The 17th ranked CUMBERLAND BULLDOGS needed a last- minute field goal to do it, but they upset the number 14 BETHEL (TN) WILDCATS in an unforgettable 36-34 gridiron duel    …   And the unranked CUMBERLANDS PATRIOTS stunned the number 25 team, the SHORTER HAWKS, by a score of 35-10. Both teams now have identical 4-3 records.   

TOP 25 UPSETS – NCAA DIVISION 3 – Continue reading


Filed under college football


 The NAIA’s 5th ranked MidAmerica Nazarene Pioneers (helmet at left) will host the number 7 Benedictine Ravens today in a crucial matchup in the Heart of America Athletic Conference. The Pioneers are the defending HAAC champs but Benedictine currently tops the conference standings. MNU will be led by quarterback Sean “How Bad” Ransburg as they take on the Ravens’ revered defense, which is 2nd in the nation in scoring and 4th overall.

The battle for the Frontier Conference title may well be decided today as the CC Fighting Saints are Continue reading


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