Monthly Archives: January 2016

THE MACHINE TO KILL (1924): FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

machine to killGaston Leroux’s The Machine to Kill was written in NINETEEN TWENTY-FOUR. Many book sites list it as 1935, but that was just the year it was finally translated into English. It has also been published in English under the titles The Bloody Puppet and The Gory Puppet.

Personally I would use the title The Clockwork Dead Man or The Clockwork Killer because for modern readers The Machine to Kill sounds like a traditional science fiction tale and both variations of the “Puppet” title make it sound like it’s about a killer puppet.

In reality this neglected Gaston Leroux novel is a horror/sci fi hybrid about an android/ cyborg mix whose mechanized body has been outfitted with the brain, eyes and nervous system of a guillotined murderer. The robotic man – called Gabriel – was created by Dr Jacques Cotentin, who needed an absolutely fresh brain, hence having to settle for a just-executed criminal. Continue reading

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Filed under Halloween Season

PELE AND HI’IAKA: EPIC OF HAWAII PART THREE

HawaiianislandsBalladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the grand and exciting Hawaiian epic about the goddesses Pele and Hi’iaka.

PART THREE

The goddess Hi’ika set off for Kaua’i to retrieve and escort Pele’s chosen mate Prince Lohiau back to Pele’s home on Mount Kilauea. In some versions she is first granted some additional divine power by Pele to help her fight her way past the countless menaces that lay in her path.  Continue reading

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THE REVENANT (2015): MICRO-REVIEW

Man in the Wilderness

Save your time and money and see this film based on the same events.

THE REVENANT (2015) – Man vs nature movie that, ironically, is far less true-to-life than Man in the Wilderness, a 1971 film based on the same real-life events from the 1820s. ESPECIALLY THE ENDING. Yet the ’71 version didn’t go to the same bizarre levels of hype about its “authenticity” that The Revenant’s marketing does.

Richard Harris played the man left behind to die and John Huston had the role Tom Hardy plays in the newer version. Catch Man in the Wilderness from the comfort of your own home. The only entertainment in the DiCaprio film comes from wondering if he’ll ever say “Yer durn tootin'” in that ridiculous voice he uses in the movie.      Continue reading

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Filed under Bad and weird movies

FOUR BASIC TIPS FOR MAKING A SHORT FILM

The one and only John Montana has graciously provided Balladeer’s Blog with this article regarding independent film-making.

Four Basic Tips for Making a Short Film

Making a short film, or any film for that matter can be a lot of amazing fun. But most of the time, making a movie is very stressful and filled with problems. I recently made my most recent short film called HUNGRY. I had this idea for a short that came to me a couple of years before. A wicked, humorous, little piece on the greed that is rampant at Christmas. Here are the major issues that came up and what I learned from it for my next shoot. Continue reading

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DEMOCRATIC POLITICIAN SWORN IN FROM HIS JAIL CELL

Robert Battle

Robert Battle who possibly DID kill someone but his mindless supporters voted for him anyway.

For overseas readers who don’t understand why so many Americans seethe with contempt for the elected officials who think they’re fit to condescendingly lecture the rest of us, here is just the latest example.

East Chicago Councilman Robert Battle is being sworn in to his office FROM HIS JAIL CELL. Battle is in jail on homicide and drug charges.The story broke BEFORE the election, but political party zealots still elected him. Hilarious! Chicago has a nationwide reputation for political sleaze. My low opinion of Barack Obama began back when he was running for the party nomination and I researched his past.

Little Barry O outdid even Richard Nixon for sliminess and it was apparent early on. In the cesspool of Chicago politics however, Obama bubbled and gurgled his way to the surface. Plus the Chicago crookedness often infects other parts of Illinois, too. Not so long ago BACK TO BACK Illinois Governors wound up in prison.

Mascot with demo and repub heads

The symbol of the nonexistent Balladeer Political Party

No, I’m not kidding. The ever-increasing frequency of things like this example are why I never hesitate to label members of the Democratic and Republican Parties as members of rival gangs of white collar criminals. So many of them spend their political careers barely one step ahead of an indictment yet they often have the nerve to look down their noses at their constituents and call them bigots and worse. Continue reading

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Filed under LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES

COOL-NAMED TEAM: RAINY RIVER COLLEGE

Rainy River College VoyageursRAINY RIVER COLLEGE VOYAGEURS

Location: International Falls, MN

Conference Affiliation: Minnesota College Athletic Conference

Comment: The motto of this excellent institution is “Don’t just plan your future … begin your future!” Their secondary motto should be “Don’t call your sports teams something boring like Eagles, Tigers, Bulldogs or Wildcats … call them something cool like Voyageurs!” Regular readers of Balladeer’s Blog are familiar with the Continue reading

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RAGNAR THE TERRIER’S IDITAROD COUNTDOWN

RagnarRAGNAR: Hello peeps! Ragnar here! I’m not a Huskie but I play one on tv. The 2016 Iditarod is just 37 days away and as always my Uncle Balladeer’s Blog will be the forum for my Mom’s inimitable coverage complete with on-the-spot nicknames made up for all the competitors.

My Mommy (Rosemary to the rest of you) is a big fan of the Iditarod and she often writes profiles of the competitors. Continue reading

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