Before MST3K there was … The Texas 27 Film Vault!
Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of this neglected cult show from the mid-1980s. Thanks to my research through VERY old newspapers, interviews with Randy Clower and emails from fellow fans of T27FV here is another in a series where original broadcast dates of episodes can be determined.
Episode originally aired: Saturday April 6th, 1985 from 10:30pm to 1:00am.
Serial: Before the movie our machine-gun toting “Film Vault Technicians First Class” Randy Clower and Richard Malmos showed an episode of The Lost City, the legendarily campy and bizarre sci-fi serial from 1935.
Film Vault Lore: Thank you to my fellow T27FV fan Dolores for this episode’s date, the serial and for this quote about Ken Miller, who played “Tex” on the show: “I loved the random bits of madness added by the gung ho Tex each episode! He always reminded me of Robert Duvall’s character Kilgore from Apocalypse Now. My favorite catch-phrase from Tex was when he would say “Commies don’t watch bad movies!” the way Duvall said “Charley don’t surf!” in Apocalypse Now.”
The Movie: The Giant Claw is another of those staples of bad movie shows. It’s been presented by just about every Movie Host program at one time or another. Because of the film’s familiarity I will keep this review short.
Global UFO sightings turn out to be sightings of a gigantic (and ridiculous-looking) flying buzzard from outer space. As if that isn’t silly enough the destructive creature is also an ANTI-MATTER gigantic flying buzzard from outer space. We’ll just ignore the fact that NOTHING made of anti-matter could exist in a universe of matter without instant annihilation.
Eventually the movie’s Bland White Hero comes up with a way of destroying the interstellar menace and wins the love of the movie’s Bland White Woman, but that goes without saying for a 1950s schlocker. The real fun in this flick comes from the hilariously absurd shots of the giant buzzard chowing down on parachuting fighter pilots after destroying their aircraft, the giant buzzard attacking the U.N. building and other landmarks in a sort of “Western Kaiju” series of scenes and … well, absurd shots of the giant buzzard doing ANYTHING.
The poor actors in this mega-turkey seem oblivious to how laughable the special effects shots of the anti-matter buzzard were going to be. They give it their level best to make the creature sound truly terrifying and soul-scarring, but soon we get more shots of that ludicrous buzzard and the players all wind up looking even sillier.
For fans of old television trivia the monster looks even less threatening than the bird that would periodically drop down on Groucho Marx’s gameshow You Bet Your Life.
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/
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