Monthly Archives: December 2014

SAMURAI FILMS: THE SON OF THE BLACK MASS SERIES

Raizo Ichikawa as the red-haired Samurai Kyoshiro Nemuri, the Son of the Black Mass.

Raizo Ichikawa as the red-haired Samurai Kyoshiro Nemuri, the Son of the Black Mass.

Balladeer’s Blog begins its examination of various Samurai films from Japan. In keeping with my blog’s overall theme I won’t be covering the uber-popular Samurai flicks like Yojimbo, The Seven Magnificent Samurai or the Musashi Miyamoto Trilogy. Regular readers who are familiar with my contempt for organized religion will not be at all surprised that I’ll be starting out with the Son of the Black Mass series of films starring Raizo Ichikawa, often called “the James Dean of Japan.”

In addition to the twelve Ichikawa movies I will also cover the two entries in the series made after Raizo’s untimely death from cancer. After that, to be a fully comprehensive look, I will also examine the original novels as well as the three Son of the Black Mass movies made in the 1950’s, even though they did not have the cinematic impact of the films starring Raizo Ichikawa.

Raizo Ichikawa headshotThe odd title of the movie series comes from the fact that the title character, former Samurai turned Ronin Kyoshiro Nemuri, is the child of a Japanese woman and the crazed Portugese Christian missionary who raped her. The insane missionary was dabbling in Satanism and Nemuri was conceived during a Black Mass ritual, hence the series title. The deadly swordsman inherited his hated father’s red hair and when a heavy rain washed out the black dye Nemuri was disguising it with, his exposure as a half-breed led to his shunning and his fallen status. Continue reading

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2014 COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONS

Here’s one last round of congratulations to the ladies who won the National Championships in volleyball for 2014 in the ELEVEN divisions covered here at Balladeer’s Blog.

Park PiratesBIGNAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics)

National Champions – PARK UNIVERSITY PIRATES 

Runners-Up – University of Texas at Brownsville Ocelots

2013 Champions – University of Texas at Brownsville Ocelots

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150_Trinity-ChristianNCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association) DIVISION ONE

National Champions – TRINITY CHRISTIAN COLLEGE TROLLS 

Runners-Up – Colorado Christian University Cougars

2013 Champions – Point Loma Nazarene University Sea Lions  Continue reading

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BAD MOVIES FOR THIS NEW YEAR’S EVE

Here at Balladeer’s Blog I’m very fond of cinematic turkeys that have seasonal tie-ins. Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas bombs have gotten ample attention from me, so permit me to follow those items up with this look at bad movies with a New Year’s Eve theme. As usual, full-length reviews of these films can be found on my Bad Movie page.

AKA Time Warp

AKA Time Warp

BLOODY NEW YEAR (1987) – Also released under the title Time Warp but it’s grisly enough for the more explicit title. A handful of British boaters who are fleeing a family of soccer hooligans (no, really) wind up on an island with a deserted hotel that’s been decorated for a New Year’s Eve party since the 1950’s. This Norman J Warren film stars nobody and borrows heavily from Sam Raimi’s original Evil Dead in terms of its imitation “Deadites” and its POV tracking shots. It also features a killer who emerges from a movie being watched, a monster who climbs out of a tablecloth, homicidal kitchen utensils, indoor snowfall, laughing shrubbery and living walls. All the chaos is being caused by hapless souls who have been trapped in limbo for decades and will do anything to get out or to drag others into their hellish undead existence with them.

Bloody New Year is a neglected bad movie classic that has all the Continue reading

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2014 COLLEGE SOCCER CHAMPIONS – MEN

One last round of congratulations for the soccer champions in the TEN divisions covered here at Balladeer’s Blog. Previously I covered the women’s champs for the year.

Davenport PanthersNAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics)

National Champions – DAVENPORT UNIVERSITY PANTHERS

Runners-Up – University of Texas at Brownsville Ocelots

2013 Champions – Martin Methodist College Red Hawks

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Lee FlamesNCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association) DIVISION ONE

National Champions – LEE UNIVERSITY FLAMES (Men and Women)

Runners-Up – Bethel College Pilots (Riverboat Pilots)

2013 Champions – Southern Wesleyan University Warriors  Continue reading

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YET ANOTHER MUSLIM-PERPETRATED ATROCITY

This should go without saying, but not to the enablers of Muslim violence.

This should go without saying, but not to the enablers of Muslim violence.

In Dijon France a Muslim shouting “Allahu Akbar” and claiming to be striking on behalf of Palestinians used his vehicle to run over eleven pedestrians last week. Add this to the mix of violent acts committed by practitioners of the blood-soaked faith founded by the child rapist named Muhammad.

I’m a non-believer but I’m not capable of the self-lobotomy that a lot of people perform on themselves to pretend that Islam is NOT the most intolerant and violent religion in the world at this particular point in history. Day after day Muslim fanatics prove that they are the 21st Century’s version of Nazis. Continue reading

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SEXY TEDDI BARRETT: BACK IN THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF EDWARD WOZNIAK’S MORDILLO BLUSH

Teddi Barrett as Edward Wozniak's Neo-Pulp heroine Dr Mordillo Blush, Parasexologist.

Teddi Barrett as Edward Wozniak’s Neo-Pulp heroine Dr Mordillo Blush, Parasexologist.

Balladeer's Blog

Balladeer’s Blog

Teddi Barrett, the Sexiest Woman in the World, is definitely a lady we can all look up to. This beautiful woman continues to model as Dr Mordillo Blush, Edward Wozniak’s Neo-Pulp heroine, in further sci-fi adventures, coming in early 2015!

FOR MORE OF TEDDI AND SUMMER CUMMINGS CLICK HERE:  Continue reading

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2014 COLLEGE SOCCER CHAMPIONS – WOMEN

One last round of congratulations to the 2014 champions in the NINE divisions covered here at Balladeer’s Blog.

lindsey wilson blue raidersNAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics)

National Champions – LINDSEY WILSON COLLEGE BLUE RAIDERS

Runners-Up – University of Northwestern Ohio Racers (2nd year as a program) 

2013 Champions – Concordia (OR) Cavaliers  

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Lee FlamesNCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association) DIVISION ONE

National Champions – LEE UNIVERSITY FLAMES 

Runners-Up – Grace College Lancers 

2013 Champions – Azusa Pacific University Cougars Continue reading

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PULP HERO G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES: STORIES EIGHTY-FIVE TO EIGHTY-SEVEN

This story introduced G-8's foe Dr Todini.

This story introduced G-8’s foe Dr Todini.

Balladeer’s Blog resumes its look at the neglected Pulp Hero G-8. This is a story-by- story look at the adventures of this World War One American fighter pilot who – along with his two wingmen the Battle Aces – took on various super-natural and super- scientific menaces thrown at the Allied Powers by the Central Powers of Germany, Austria- Hungary and the Ottoman Muslim Turks.

G-8 was created by Robert J Hogan in 1933 when World War One was still being called simply the World War or the Great War. Over the next eleven years Hogan wrote 110 stories featuring the adventures of G-8, the street-smart pug Nippy Weston and the brawny giant Bull Martin, his two Battle Aces.

Red Skies for the Squadrons of Satan85. RED SKIES FOR THE SQUADRONS OF SATAN (October 1940) – G-8’s foe Firehammer is back! It turns out the villain survived his previous encounter with our heroes and, once again operating out of his base on the Moselle River, has constructed a new and improved version of his lightning machine.

Firehammer’s lightning machines have no connection to the lightning cannons and handguns created by the German Dr Geinor in The Damned Will Fly Again, but you’d think Robert J Hogan would have just used Firehammer again in that story since Geinor was pretty unmemorable.  

This time Firehammer has combined his lightning weapon with the engine of a massive aircraft in such a way that the device powers the plane while simultaneously generating additional electricity. That additional electricity can be discharged as lightning against Allied planes or the helpless ground troops below. Continue reading

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONS FOR 2014

Here’s one final shout of congratulations to this year’s college football champions from the SEVEN divisions covered here at Balladeer’s Blog.

Southern Oregon RaidersNAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics)

National Champions – SOUTHERN OREGON UNIVERSITY RAIDERS

Runners-Up – Marian University Knights

2013 Champions – Grand View University Vikings

North Greenville helmet NEWNCCAA (National Christian College Athletic Association)

National Champions – NORTH GREENVILLE UNIVERSITY CRUSADERS

Runners-Up – Shorter University Hawks

2013 Champions – Azusa Pacific University Cougars Continue reading

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EBENEZER (1998): CHRISTMAS CAROL-A-THON 2014 CONCLUDES

EbenezerIt’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year since last Christmas Day! Christmas Carol-A-Thon 2014 comes to a close with the 1998 telefilm Ebenezer, the only non-porno version of the Dickens classic to feature a whorehouse! Well, as long as you don’t count whatever underhanded business Scrooge and Marley are running in the Alastair Sim version anyway. (I’m kidding!)

Previously Balladeer’s Blog has reviewed The Trail to Christmas, a version of A Christmas Carol adapted to the American West of the 1800’s. Ebenezer adapted the Dickens novel to the wild west of Canada in the 1800’s, which adds an extra layer of novelty to this production. Casting Jack Palance as Ebenezer Scrooge was the real strength of this adaptation!  

Palance’s Scrooge is a miserly and crooked saloon owner while Bob Cratchit (Albert Schultz) is his much-abused bartender. Rick Schroder (yes, Rick Schroder) portrays gun-slinging Sam Benson, a character unique to this version and Tiny Tim is played by Joshua Silberg. Continue reading

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