Before MST3K there was … The Texas 27 Film Vault! In the middle 1980’s, way down on Level 31 Randy Clower and Richard Malmos, machine-gun toting Film Vault Technicians First Class hosted this neglected cult show. Balladeer’s Blog continues its celebration of the program’s 30th anniversary year.
ORIGINAL BROADCAST DATE: Unknown but definitely before May of 1986. One of the old newspaper articles from early May of that year refers to Glen or Glenda as one of the movies having already been shown on The Texas 27 Film Vault. Anyone with more specific info feel free to contact me.
SERIAL: Unknown. Again, if you have info contact me via my FAQ page.
COMEDY SKETCHES: Unknown. We’ve exhausted the episodes where I DO know the date, serial and sketches. Contact me.
Glen or Glenda is so well-known I’m sure I don’t need to say much about it. It was Ed Wood’s infamous semi-autobiographical movie about his love of wearing women’s clothing. Incidentally – very incidentally in terms of footage – the movie also touched on the topic of sex-change operations because of the highly-publicized case of Christine Jorgensen.
Ed Wood wrote, directed and starred (as Daniel Davis) and many of his soon-to- be “regulars” came along, too, like Dolores Fuller, Conrad Brooks, Timothy Farrell, Lyle Talbot … and of course Bela Lugosi. Lugosi’s god-like character oversees the movie’s action from on-high while babbling some of Wood’s most notoriously inane and rambling dialogue. (“Pull da string!” “Puppy-Duck tails” “Bevare … Take Care.”)
The bulk of the film’s running time is spent with characters trying to make sense of the suicide of a troubled young transvestite. There are frequent detours into pop-psychology notions about gender roles and supposed “norms” for men and women. The difference between transvestites and transsexuals is briefly touched on as well. Since it was the 1980’s Randy and Richard could be very irreverent with their humor, so it’s a shame this episode has not survived.
The most memorable parts – aside from the usual fun from Bela being Bela, are:
a) the scene that forever changed the meaning of the expression “buffalo shot”
b) the hilariously overwrought ending with Glen’s girlfriend (Dolores Fuller) awkwardly handing her beau the angora top she was wearing
and c) the demented and surreal portions about a man being shamed for his fetishes while a figure dressed as Satan pops in and out of the footage. It’s like the “Devil” appearances in the movie Maniac.
In a way Glen or Glenda captures the silliness of Political Correctness or any other form of imposing societal taboos. When it came out (as it were) it was Politically Incorrect to openly discuss such matters or to imply that trannies deserved understanding. Today, similarly pompous and finger-wagging asses would consider it Politically Incorrect to ridicule the movie’s awfulness lest such humor be interpreted as irreverence to the “lifestyles” presented.
No matter what decade it is, people who think they are fit to limit what the rest of us talk about or laugh about are a bigger menace than the alleged “evils” they seek to censor.
IN THE NEAR FUTURE BALLADEER’S BLOG WILL PRESENT MORE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT MILESTONES.
Be here to share the Film Vault Corp’s mission of “safeguarding America’s schlock-culture heritage”.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFO ON THIS SHOW –https://glitternight.com/texas-27-film-vault/
© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.