The Washington Irving tale set in Sleepy Hollow gets transplanted to the American West, and instead of a Hessian soldier beheaded by a cannonball this Headless Horseman is Continue reading
Monthly Archives: July 2015
ALVERNO COLLEGE INFERNO
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Division: NCAA Division 3
Conference Affiliation: Northern Athletics Conference
Comment: There is absolutely no truth to the stories that Alverno’s teams used to be called The Disco Inferno and had a character in a Saturday Night Fever outfit as a mascot.
POSSE is a terrific western about a gang of African American gunfighters (plus the goofiest Baldwin brother) involved in an action-packed epic journey across the American west. The Frontierado holiday (which will be here Friday August 7th) is the perfect time of year to hunker down with this film while drinking a Cactus Jack or a Deuces Wild or two. I’ll review the recipes for those mixed drinks in a few days, for now we’ll focus on this movie on our countdown.
Posse stars Mario Van Peebles, who also directed, as Jesse Lee, the brooding, revenge-driven hero of the saga. He and all but one member of his gang, our titular posse, are soldiers fighting in Cuba during the Spanish-American War in 1898. A dangerous assault they carry out turns out to be Continue reading
Balladeer’s Blog resumes its examination of the macabre 1868 French language work The Songs of Maldoror.
THE FUTURE STRINGS OF FICTION
We are beginning the 6th and final Canto of The Songs of Maldoror. This 1st Stanza is an address to the reader from the author Isidore Ducasse. The self-titled Count de Lautreamont grandly warns the reader not to think that his attacks on humanity, God and even himself were the height of his plans. He boasts that the worst is yet to come in this final Canto. Continue reading
Frontierado is coming up on Friday, August 7th! In keeping with the seasonal feel, Balladeer’s Blog has been showcasing various neglected westerns. And when it comes to neglected it’s tough to top the tiny sub-genre of what is already a sub-genre: Spaghetti Westerns. I’m talking about Llama Westerns, the microscopic fraction of Italo-Westerns that deals with gunslingers in Peru shooting it out over Inca treasure instead of the usual gold or revenge.
If Indiana Jones used a gun exclusively and thrived on riddling his adversaries with bullets in slow motion while blood squibs burst open THAT would resemble these Llama Westerns.
LOST TREASURE OF THE INCAS (1964) – Alan Steel, best known for Peplums like the Hercules or Maciste movies, plays an often shirtless gambler/ gunfighter called Samson in this film. He and his gunslinging pal Alan Fox (Toni Sailer) nip a frame-up job in the bud, then get caught up in a violence-filled race for the untouched treasure of a lost Incan city in the Palladi Mountains of Peru. Continue reading
WESTERN CONFERENCE – 1. MINNESOTA LYNX (12-4) *** 2. PHOENIX MERCURY (9-7) 3. TULSA SHOCK (10-8) *** 4. SAN ANTONIO SILVER STARS (5-12) *** 5. SEATTLE STORM (5-13) *** 6. LOS ANGELES SPARKS (3-13) *** Continue reading
Frontierado is coming up Friday, August 7th!
SILVERADO (1985) – I’ve never made any secret about how Silverado is, to me, THE official movie of the Frontierado holiday. The film has all the high spirits and family appeal of Star Wars plus the well-choreographed action scenes of Raiders of the Lost Ark. On top of that Silverado features all the highly stylized gunplay of the best Spaghetti Westerns but NOT the mud, blood, sweat and brutality of that genre.
This movie is pure escapism and features the kind of preternaturally accurate gunslingers that I jokingly describe as “Jedi Knights in the Olllld West”. These guys (as well as most of the villains) can literally shoot the needles off a cactus, simultaneously draw and shoot with pin-point accuracy and can just “sense” when some low-down hombre might be pulling a gun on them, even with Continue reading
Here at Balladeer’s Blog I always make it clear that I don’t lump myself in with the groups called Liberals or Conservatives or Libertarians. American Liberals are the most touchy of the bunch and took offense at my latest characterization of them. One challenged me to describe American Liberals in just one sentence, so here goes: Continue reading
With the emphasis on superhero movies these days Balladeer’s Blog takes a look at another forgotten superhero – or in this case a pair of superheroes.
Career: Popular Comics # 60-71
Years Active: 1941-1942
Professor Warren, a man who suffered from the lack of a first name, and his son Dan Warren did superduty fighting criminals and Nazis. The Professor fully understood that super-powers don’t come without a certain risk, which is why he was happy to use his son Dan as a human guinea pig for his High Frequency Energy Builder.
Periodic sessions hooked up to this device – which so help me resembles nothing so much as an electric chair – provided the Prof’s son with “strength equal to a thousand horse-power”, or “enough to kill a hundred men.” Sometimes even more.
Adopting the aliases Professor Supermind and Supermind’s Son the team used the same division of labor employed by Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin (or Jake and the Fatman if you prefer): the Prof sat around in their home base or their invisible rocket-ship (Wonder Woman, eat your heart out!) doing the brain work while Dan went out in the field taking all the risks and getting all the lumps. Continue reading
Balladeer’s Blog continues its coverage of the world’s OLDEST team sport.
Mere weeks after winning the Waterbury Cup the storied WHITE BIRCH polo team won the Butler Handicap, clobbering AIRSTREAM by a score of 16-9 in the championship match. The Greenwich Polo Club was the scene of the action.
White Birch rode onto the polo grounds playing like a team possessed on both offense AND defense.
They swatted in 3 goals in the 1st Chukker, an amazing 5 in the 2nd Chukker and 2 more in the 3rd to head into Halftime with an intimidating 10-4 lead over their opponents from Airstream. Continue reading