Monthly Archives: November 2012


For this holiday week Balladeer’s Blog is taking a break from more mundane items like news and politics to focus on topics that are more fun. This time around I’m focusing on bad movies and hilariously lame educational shorts that have a specific Thanksgiving theme. As always my Bad Movie page contains full-length reviews of the films I’m offering a brief synopsis of here.

BLOOD FREAK (1972) – This movie is about a man who turns into a murderous monster with the head of a turkey after he eats a chemically treated gobbler at the turkey farm where he works. Blood Freak has been a cult classic for Thanksgiving for decades now, with many Movie Host shows of the late 70’s onward making a point of screening it at this time of year (including The Texas 27 Film Vault). The biker who turns into the blood-crazed turkey monster is Continue reading



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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!

I know the Continue reading


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Mad Marvin

Mad Marvin

Regular readers of Balladeer’s Blog are familiar with my fondness for bad movies and for movie host shows. The bad movie subculture and the realm of movie hosts have always walked hand in hand with many movie hosts even appearing in various schlock film classics during their careers. Here is a salute to some of the most influential figures who made hosting bad and/or weird movies the time-honored American folk art it is today.

7. MAD MARVIN (Real name: Terry Bennett)

Program: Shock Theatre

Run: 1957 – 1959

Home Base: Chicago

Comment: Long before Jerry Bishop’s more well-known host Svengoolie and his even more famous “son” played by Rich Koz, Mad Marvin brought late-night b-movie fun to the Windy City. Marvin was a mad beatnik and was described in contemporary accounts as ” a combination of Charles Addams, Ernie Kovacs and Jack Paar.” Bennett’s program was so popular in Chicago that celebrities like Continue reading


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NCCAA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP – The Victory Bowl is the signature gridiron event each year in the NCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association) with the winner being the national champion of the association. This year’s matchup was between the GREENVILLE COLLEGE PANTHERS (helmet at left) and the NORTHWESTERN (MN) COLLEGE EAGLES and was an Instant Classic. In overtime the Panthers emerged with a 28-27 victory. A missed extra point by the Eagles spelled the difference. Congratulations to Greenville College!

*****   NAIA PLAYOFFS   *****

UPSET IN GEORGETOWN – The NUMBER ONE TEAM in the nation, the undefeated GEORGETOWN (KY) TIGERS, suffered the upset of the First Round today at the hands of the BETHEL (TN) WILDCATS. Bethel defied all the odds and proved all the prognosticators wrong with a 45-44 victory over the Tigers in this undeniable Instant Classic.   ###   The SOUTHERN OREGON UNIVERSITY RAIDERS stormed into Davenport, IA to take on the ever-tough SAINT AMBROSE UNIVERSITY FIGHTING BEES and came away with an authoritative 45-28 upset win of their own.

BLOWOUTS – The ST XAVIER UNIVERSITY COUGARS (helmet at left), the defending champions of NAIA football,  breezed through their First Round matchup, mauling the WILLIAM PENN UNIVERSITY STATESMEN by a score of 31-0.   ###   The UNIVERSITY OF THE CUMBERLANDS PATRIOTS kicked around the MIDAMERICA NAZARENE UNIVERSITY PIONEERS to the tune of 42-24.   ###   … And the MISSOURI VALLEY COLLEGE VIKINGS plundered and pillaged the OTTAWA (KS) BRAVES  56-21.

CLOSE GAMES – The MORNINGSIDE MUSTANGS (helmet at left) had more of a fight on their hands than they anticipated from the MONTANA TECH OREDIGGERS. Morningside emerged with a tight 40-35 victory that may serve as a wakeup call.   ###   The ST FRANCIS (IN) COUGARS held on to win a 22-17 Instant Classic against the BAKER WILDCATS.   ###   … And the MARIAN UNIVERSITY KNIGHTS brought an end to the 2012 season for the NORTHWESTERN (IA) RED RAIDERS by a score of 42-32.   

*****   NCAA DIVISION 2 PLAYOFFS   *****

MARATHON GAME OF THE DAY – This First Round matchup in D2 went to THREE OVERTIMES before a victor emerged. The MISSOURI WESTERN GRIFFONS (helmet at left) withstood an invasion from the UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA AT DULUTH BULLDOGS, who won two D2 championships in recent years. The final score was Griffons  57, Bulldogs  55. Continue reading


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Balladeer’s Blog concludes its preview of postseason college football in the divisions covered here. The CCCAA Championship Game will be held December 8th, and here are the playoff games and Bowls we’ll be treated to along the way. The subdivisions of the CCCAA are the SCFA and NCFA with the winners of those subdivisions facing each other in the title game.

NATIONAL BOWL – November 17th – The MOUNT SAN ANTONIO COLLEGE MOUNTIES (helmet at left) are the defending champions of the SCFA but lost to CCSF in the CCCAA title game last year. The Mounties took the National Central Conference crown and in the National Bowl will take on the SADDLEBACK COLLEGE GAUCHOS, the champions of the National Southern Conference. This game is the first semifinal in the SCFA.

BEACH BOWL – November 17th – This Bowl serves as the second semifinal game in the SCFA for 2012. The BAKERSFIELD COLLEGE RENEGADES come in as the Wildcard Team and square off against the VENTURA COLLEGE PIRATES (helmet at left), champions of the National Northern Conference. Like the National Bowl this game will kick off at Continue reading


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BE YOUR OWN TRAFFIC POLICEMAN (1958) – I’ve been meaning to review more short subjects ever since I started writing Balladeer’s Blog in June of 2010. With all the other topics I cover I’ve only reviewed two short educational films so far: A Metric America, about how 1980’s America was going to be completely converted to the metric system, and The Energy Carol, a Canadian short about energy conservation adapted to fit the structure of A Christmas Carol

Both of those reviews can be found on my Bad Movie page, and I’ll be reviewing plenty more short subjects in the very near future. For today I’ll examine Be Your Own Traffic Policeman, an educational short about pedestrian safety. This little honey clocks in at barely 10 minutes and was produced by Portafilms, an outfit that was neither as prolific nor as enjoyably frantic as, say, Sid Davis or Dick Wayman. When Davis or Wayman clubbed you over the head with a message you were laughing far too much to mind. 

This traffic safety short is narrated and hosted by Officer Maxwell, known to all of us bad safety short fans from Helping Johnny Remember and Holiday From Rules. Officer Maxwell is accompanied by two children who mindlessly agree with everything he says, obviously fearing for their lives from the unintentionally sinister-seeming Maxwell. After all, at any Continue reading


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Balladeer’s Blog presents its look at the NJCAA’s postseason matchups for 2012. The top-ranked IOWA WESTERN REIVERS (logo at left) and the number 2 BUTLER (KS) GRIZZLIES square off for the championship in the Graphic Edge Bowl on December 2nd. The Reivers football program has only been around for 4 years and they are already appearing in the title game! The Grizzlies, on the other hand, are a traditional NJCAA football power and were in the championship game as recently as 2010, when they lost to the Navarro College Bulldogs. It’s the up-and- comers against the veterans for the NJCAA title! And now for the other Bowl matchups: 

CARRIER DOME BOWL – The 3rd ranked ASA COLLEGE AVENGERS (helmet at left) are also fairly new to the gridiron and are making their very first Bowl appearance in this inaugural event in Syracuse, NY. The opponents for the Avengers in this game will be the storied number 4 SNOW COLLEGE BADGERS, providing NJCAA fans with another “spunk vs experience” Bowl showdown. Look for this game on December 1st.

SALT CITY BOWL – The HUTCHINSON COLLEGE BLUE DRAGONS (helmet at left) are 3-time Salt City Bowl champions and come into this year’s matchup trying to make it 4 in a row. Their opponent this time around will be the IOWA CENTRAL TRITONS on December 1st. The Blue Dragons are making their 17th Bowl appearance overall, while the Tritons are appearing in Continue reading


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