Monthly Archives: December 2011

RANDY CLOWER: BALLADEER’S BLOG INTERVIEWS A MOVIE HOST LEGEND

Clower (right) with co-host Richard Malmos as “Film Vault Technicians First Class” on The Texas 27 Film Vault

Before MST3K there was THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT! Before Joel and Mike lovers of bad movies had Randy and Richard! Before Pearl there was Laurie Savino! Before Devil Dogs, Observers and Deep 13 there came Cellumites, giant rats and Level 31.

In the mid 1980’s The Texas 27 Film Vault was the show to watch on Saturday nights for wry mockery of Golden Turkeys preceded by episodes of vintage Republic Serials like Radar Men From The Moon and Canadian Mounties vs Atomic Invaders.    

The Texas 27 Film Vault is one of the great unsung Movie Host shows of the 1980’s and I was thrilled to get this exclusive interview with Randy Clower, co-star and co-creator of this legendary cult show from the Dallas/ Fort Worth area. “The Film Vault Guys” as they were often called by us fans, or “Vaulties”,  established the pattern that a few other Movie Hosts have since followed.

Clower, Richard Malmos and their friend Ken Miller put together a Public Access television show called The Trivia Guys and in a classic story of talent over budget the trio crafted the program with such care and detail it became a minor hit. The program had a very professional look for a Public Access production and its success prompted a PM Magazine feature on The Trivia Guys

Management at Dallas television station KDFI, Channel 27 ( the “27” in The Texas 27 Film Vault ) saw the PM Magazine feature and were impressed with the high- dollar look that Clower, Malmos and Miller had put together on a flyweight budget. They approached the trio about hosting a late-night B-Movie show since the Dallas/ Ft Worth area had been without its own home- grown version of that local tv staple since the days of Greg Bransom’s show Professor Cerberus and the Museum of Horrors.

Warming to the idea, the soon-to-be Film Vault Guys decided that vampires, mad scientists and creepy castles had been done ad nauseum in Movie Host shows by then and ingeniously went in a different direction.  Thus was born the Film Vault Corps, a fictional quasi- military organization that protected America’s schlock- culture heritage by safeguarding the bad, campy but loveable cinematic turkeys of the past. The men and women of the FVC carried out this task in various Film Vaults under every major city in the United States.

These vaults were Continue reading

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WAITING FOR THE END OF THE WORLD

According to the type of conspiracy kooks who think we never landed on the moon and that the 9-11 attacks were staged by the U.S. government the world has only one year to live. December 21st, 2012 is the latest date for the supposed “end of the world” and this type of irrational mania hasn’t been so widespread since the Y2K panic. In the year to come I’ll look at some of the colorful end of the world scenarios that enjoyed a vogue in the past.

In the 1850’s there was a widespread belief that Napoleon III was the Anti-Christ. It was explained that Continue reading

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NAIA COLLEGE BASKETBALL: COOL NAMES; CURRENT RANKINGS

 With the college football season over with in the divisions covered by Balladeer’s Blog it’s time to get caught up on basketball. For this first light-hearted dive into the 2011- 2012 basketball season I’ll cover the cool-named teams in the rankings and Continue reading

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CHRISTMAS CAROL- A-THON 2011: MR SCROOGE (1964)

Time for another post in Balladeer’s Blog’s annual orgy of entries on various versions of THE Christmas tale. The Charles Dickens classic has a certain  unquenchable charm that ensures it will continue to be adapted for at least another few hundred years. 

Mr Scrooge was originally broadcast on December 21st, 1964 by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. It runs just an hour and stars Cyril Ritchard as Ebenezer Scrooge and the very appropriately named Eric Christmas as Marley’s Ghost. As with the  Continue reading

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2011’s COLLEGE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONS

SXU Cougars QB Jimmy Coy, Offensive Player of the Game

 Sad to say, the college football playoffs and bowls for the divisions covered by Balladeer’s  Blog are all over now, except for some All-Star Games. The SXU Cougars won the NAIA football championship in the latest game of Saturday night, giving the Cougars and their head coach Mike Feminis their first national title. It’s not at all true that when Feminis hoisted the trophy over his head that he cried out “This one’s for Dianne!” (As in Zajdell, a Cougar of a different kind)

Anyway, to wrap up this year’s gridiron action here’s a final nod of recognition to the 2011 champions and the teams they played in their title matchups.

NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics ) – Champions – SAINT XAVIER UNIVERSITY COUGARS  Runners up – CC Fighting Saints

NCAA Division 2 – Champions – PITTSBURG (KS) STATE GORILLAS   Runners up – Wayne State Warriors 

NCAA Division 3 – Champions – WHITEWATER WARHAWKS (Threepeat)   Runners up – Mt Union Purple Raiders

NJCAA – Champions – EAST Continue reading

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KIM JONG IL IS STILL DEAD: A REPOST OF MY REVIEW OF HIS MONSTER MOVIE PULGASARI

North Korea’s demented dictator Kim Jong Il is dead. What better way to mark the passing of an animal who starved his own people, constantly threatened nuclear activity against other nations, had his secret police abduct countless people in the middle of the night and ran a barbaric prison system than by re- posting my review of that nutjob’s lone venture into the area of filmmaking. While Kim Jong Il and his buddy Hawkeye Pierce (rimshot) share cocktails in whatever hellish afterlife is shared by real- world wackos and fictional fools, let’s look once again at my 2010 review of Pulgasari, the only kaiju movie produced by a man who combined the insanity of Idi Amin with the paranoia of Josef Stalin.

PULGASARI (1985) – Category: Bad enough and with a classically weird premise but not fun-bad enough for my highest rating     North Korea’s thoroughly deranged dictator Kim Jong Il was responsible for this film and even gives himself a producer’s credit. It’s the least he could do for himself after having his underlings literally kidnap some South Korean  filmmakers  and  force them to  take part in this bizarre film venture. If you doubt me just use a search engine to find out about the making of this movie. He even made those unfortunate people rot in one of his prisons for four years before he finally got around to setting them to the task he had kidnapped them for in the first place.

It was all part of Krazy Kim’s desire to initiate North Korea’s entry into the Continue reading

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CHRISTMAS CAROL-A-THON 2011: SCROOGE’S ROCK & ROLL CHRISTMAS (1983)

 Time for another post in Balladeer’s Blog’s annual orgy of entries on various versions of THE Christmas tale. The Charles Dickens classic has a certain  unquenchable charm that ensures it will continue to be adapted for at least another few hundred years. 

Scrooge’s Rock & Roll Christmas grows on me more and more each time I watch it. It’s value as a version of A Christmas Carol is virtually nil, but it features some wonderful renditions of a variety of Yuletide songs along with some striking wintry scenery. Most sources list this Continue reading

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