Monthly Archives: December 2013

CHRISTMAS TURKEYS FROM BALLADEER’S BLOG

ELVESRegular readers of Balladeer’s Blog are very familiar with my Bad Movie page. Laughing at bad and weird movies is one of the great joys of life so I often post holiday-themed looks at cinematic turkeys around Halloween and Thanksgiving. The Yuletide season has its fair share of turkeys as well, so enjoy this examination of more Christmas season bombs than even Henry Kissinger ever dreamed of. In keeping with my blog’s overall theme I will exclude overexposed movies like Santa Claus Conquers the Martians and the Mexican film Santa Claus. Visit my Bad Movie page if you want full-length reviews of the following flicks.  

Christmas MartianTHE CHRISTMAS MARTIAN (1971) – This Canadian flick is dubbed into English from its orginal French so viewers get treated to the Old School bad movie fun of the actor’s lip movements rarely matching the words being said. An annoyingly whimsical and whacky Martian gets stuck in Canada at Christmas time. A young brother and sister help the alien visitor repair his Ed Wood- level spaceship and save him from suspicious Canadian authorities. Yes, it all seems … reminiscent … of the much-later movie E.T. but I’m sure that’s just a coincidence. (?) The Martian overdoes the zaniness factor to such a degree that even Charles Nelson Reilly would have told him to tone it down a little. He also wallows in a Canadian candy treat that looks a lot like Reese’s Pieces. Just sayin’.

SANTA AND THE ICE CREAM BUNNY (1972) – Ever want to see Santa Claus sweating so much that his red pants cling to his butt tightly enough for his crack and each buttock to stand out wide and proud? THIS is the movie for you! (And please stay away from children.) Santa’s sleigh crash-lands in Continue reading

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES IN THE NAIA, D2 AND D3: DECEMBER 20th AND 21st

* NAIA CHAMPIONSHIP *

HELMETGrand_View_IATHERE’S NO PLACE LIKE ROME FOR THE HOLIDAYS – Okay, this is the last year I’ll be able to use that lame title since next year the NAIA title game moves to Daytona, FL. The last NAIA Championship Game in Rome, GA was a clash between 2 undefeated teams – the GRAND VIEW UNIVERSITY VIKINGS and the UNIVERSITY OF THE CUMBERLANDS PATRIOTS. The game was Continue reading

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BALLADEER’S BLOG NAMED ONE OF THE TOP COLLEGE SPORTS BLOGS FOR 2013

puck1E-College Finder has named Balladeer’s Blog as one of the Top College Sports Blogs for 2013. Starting off with my basketball and hockey coverage in January through college baseball and my multi-award-winning football coverage it’s nice to get noticed! In 2012 Balladeer’s Blog’s American election coverage was recognized so it’s great marking back-to-back years being honored for different aspects of my blog’s coverage.

Thank you to the folks at ecollegefinder and to see the other blogs on the Continue reading

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DICKENS’ CHRISTMAS CAROL (1948) – CHRISTMAS CAROL-A-THON 2013 CONTINUES

Rufus Rose working on one of his handmade puppets.

Rufus Rose working on one of his handmade puppets.

Balladeer’s Blog’s Fourth Annual Christmas Carol-A-Thon continues! This version of the Dickens classic featured beautifully crafted marionettes as all of the characters. It’s a shame this baby was in black & white since the costumes for the marionettes could have really dazzled in color I’ll bet. It also makes you wonder why more puppet versions of the Yuletide tale weren’t mounted during the Golden Age of Television. 

ABC broadcast this holiday treat on December 24th, 1948 when televisions were still comparatively rare. Manipulation of marionettes is not easy but the legendary Rufus Rose Marionettes were the perfect choice for the task in that era. Rufus, best known as Howdy Doody’s off-camera operator directed this program along with his wife Margo.

Dickens’ Christmas Carol was an Continue reading

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POLITIFACT NAMES OBAMA’S OBAMACARE B.S. AS THE POLITICAL LIE OF THE YEAR

Then I saidWelcome back to Balladeer’s Blog, the only site on the web that equally criticizes BOTH Liberals and Conservatives. Little Barry Obama has been catching all kinds of grief over the many, many failures of his disastrous Obamacare and the pain that it has caused to so many people. Obama has told so many lies about his health coverage scam it’s hard to single one out but Politifact went for Continue reading

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2013 COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONS

It’s time for one last round of congratulations to this year’s college volleyball champions from the divisions covered by Balladeer’s Blog.

UT Brownsville OcelotsNAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics)

2013 Champions: UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS-BROWNSVILLE OCELOTS

Runners-up: Biola University Eagles

2012 Champions: Concordia (CA) Eagles

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Golden Bears Concordia St paulNCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) DIVISION 2

2013 Champions: CONCORDIA-SAINT PAUL GOLDEN BEARS

Runners-up: BYU-Hawaii Seasiders

2012 Champions: Continue reading

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1977): THE BBC VERSION

"Gee, your curtains smell terrific!"

“Gee, your curtains smell terrific!”

Christmas Carol-A-Thon 2013 continues here at Balladeer’s Blog! Time once again for an under-the-radar version of A Christmas Carol. This time it’s the 1977 BBC TV version starring Michael Hordern as Scrooge. Hordern was better known to some people as the voice of Paddington Bear way back when. There’s a lot of charm to this 58 minute version even though it’s got 70′s sitcom-style lighting and special effects that even the makers of the original Dr Who show could have looked down their noses at.

The dialogue is drawn directly from Dickens so it flows nicely and the segment with Continue reading

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M*E*T*A*L: THE MOST INTERESTING WOMAN IN THE WORLD

M*E*T*A*L, the Most Interesting Woman in the World

M*E*T*A*L, the Most Interesting Woman in the World

M*E*T*A*L Says: I DON’T ALWAYS READ BLOGS BUT WHEN I DO, I MAKE IT BALLADEER’S BLOG! STAY THIRSTY FOR KNOWLEDGE MY FRIENDS!

SHE tells shopping malls when it’s time to close … For her ALL doors open automatically … It’s NEVER Continue reading

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF RESULTS FROM DECEMBER 14th

* FRIDAY NIGHT DEC 13th *

Harding Bisons helmetTEXARKANA BOWL – This Bowl game in NCAA Division 2 was postponed from last Saturday due to inclement weather. The game was far from worth the wait from a competitive angle as the HARDING UNIVERSITY BISON had their way with the TEXAS A&M-COMMERCE LIONS. The Bison, who hail from the Great American Conference crushed and mangled the Lions, who play in the Lone Star Conference. The final score in this thoroughly one-sided affair was Harding 44  TAMC 3.

* NCAA DIVISION 2 SEMIFINALS *

Northwest Missouri BearcatsA TJAMPIONSHIP GAME APPEARANCE IN MEMORY OF TJEERDSMA? – For the first time since the era of their legendary coach Mel Tjeerdsma the NORTHWEST MISSOURI STATE BEARCATS are headed back to the D2 Championship Game, just in time for its final bow in Florence, AL. The Bearcats hosted the GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY LAKERS, another storied program and a frequent Championship Game opponent of Northwest Missouri State.

The Lakers led 6-0 after putting up 2 Field Goals but by the end of the 1st Quarter the Continue reading

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL AS READ BY DR FRANK BAXTER (1965)

Frank BaxterBalladeer’s Blog’s Christmas Carol-A-Thon for 2013 continues! This time around I’m examining a 1965 production from California PBS station KCET. The title may not sound action-packed and appealing but Dr Frank Baxter was to the 1950’s and 1960’s what Carl Sagan and The Reduced Shakespeare Company were to later decades.

Just as The Reduced Shakespeare Company made the works of the Bard of Avon more accessible and therefore more popular among non-Shakespeare fans Dr Baxter’s Shakespeare on TV series inspired younger generations to take an interest in the works of the great Elizabethan playwright. And like Carl Sagan’s series Cosmos made him a virtual rockstar of the scientific field Dr Baxter’s entertaining and educational Bell Laboratory Science Series of film shorts made him enormously popular among teachers and students in every school that used those shorts as classroom aids. The Bell Laboratory Science Series educational shorts were so effective and beloved they were still being used in the 70’s and 80’s.

This black & white hour-long holiday special features Baxter at a Continue reading

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