October 31, 2022 · 7:30 am
LA ROSE DE FER (1973) – This film’s title was translated into English as The Iron Rose even though The Rose of Iron would be a more literal translation, but that’s just a tiny nitpick. La Rose de Fer was the fifth movie from Jean Rollin, whose horror productions can range from brilliant to So Bad They’re Good level.
The Iron Rose is possibly the greatest example of the “love it or hate it” nature of Rollin’s films. Personally, I love it and consider it one of his best works, but I can certainly understand why some viewers dismiss it as dull, pretentious and self-consciously artsy.
There IS a body count in The Iron Rose, but there is certainly no blood and gore. As our story begins, a beautiful woman (Francoise Pascal) lounges on the beach and regards an iron rose that has washed in with the tide. After tossing it aside she goes about her business, and before long is on a bicycling date with a young man (Hugues Quester).
Eventually the couple – listed as Le Femme and L’homme in the credits – end up taking a walk through one of those bizarrely scenic European graveyards which were tailor-made for this kind of atmospheric, artsy film. A creepy female clown and a sinister-seeming old woman are among the few other people our main characters encounter in the sprawling cemetery.
Viewers have had a few hints along the way that neither one of these young people are one hundred percent stable, but things soon go to the next level. Continue reading →
October 31, 2022 · 12:07 am
Welcome back to Independent Voter site Balladeer’s Blog, where I take shots at both major parties! As always, no matter who you vote for you’re welcome here. I’m coming to you once again from senile yet corrupt Joe Biden’s corporate fascist kleptocracy.
I’ll make my Halloween post a little later today.
JOE BIDEN LIES AGAIN, THIS TIME CLAIMING GAS WAS $5.00 PER GALLON WHEN HE TOOK OFFICE, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS ONLY $2.39 PER GALLON AT THAT TIME. Does Biden tell the truth about anything? The good news for Joe is that his supporters are never concerned with facts, just The Party’s talking points.
UNFIT JOE BIDEN STATES AMERICA HAS FIFTY-FOUR STATES INSTEAD OF FIFTY. Joe’s a walking, talking embarrassment.
AND YET ANOTHER BIG BALLOT-HARVESTING OPERATION GETS BUSTED BY AUTHORITIES. No matter how many dozens of stories come out about such electoral cheating, the corporate media STILL tries to insist there’s no evidence of any of it.
Here’s a reminder that wise words can come from almost any source: ” … (F)ree flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.” Continue reading →
October 30, 2022 · 10:02 am
KNOCKING OFF NUMBER THREE – In the NAIA the number 6 team in the nation – the BETHEL (TN) WILDCATS – traveled to face the 3rd ranked LINDSEY WILSON COLLEGE BLUE RAIDERS. A 7-7 tie at Halftime turned into a 21-13 Wildcats lead to end the 3rd Quarter. In the 4th Bethel U. held on for a 21-16 Upset of the Blue Raiders.
NUMBER SEVEN TAKES A FALL – Down in NCAA Division Three the 19th ranked SUSQUEHANNA UNIVERSITY RIVER HAWKS played host to the number 7 JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY BLUE JAYS. The River Hawks put the Blue Jays on Upset Alert at the midpoint with a 14-12 edge. Each team scored 12 points in the 2nd Half for a 26-24 Susquehanna victory.
DOWN GOES NUMBER NINE – Up in NCAA Division 2 the storied HILLSDALE COLLEGE CHARGERS welcomed the number 9 ASHLAND UNIVERSITY EAGLES. After a 7-7 1st Quarter tie the Chargers led 14-10 at the Half and then 22-20 in the 3rd Quarter before winning out by a final score of 36-20. Continue reading →
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October 29, 2022 · 1:26 am
For this weekend’s light-hearted, escapist superhero blog post we’ll do the DC characters called the Creature Commandos.
WEIRD WAR TALES Vol 1 #93 (November 1980)
Title: The Creature Commandos
Villains: Nazi soldiers
Synopsis: This story introduced Project M, a fictional 1942 War Department effort to unleash supernatural monsters upon the Axis armies. The members of these Creature Commandos:
*** Warren Griffith, an institutionalized teenager who irrationally thought he was a werewolf, so the scientists of Project M turned him into a real, biological man-wolf who could become his monstrous self at will.
*** Marine Private Elliot “Lucky” Taylor, who blew away much of his body by stepping on a land mine. Government scientists used patchwork body parts to reassemble him into a huge, yellow-skinned Frankenstein’s Monster figure.
*** Army Sergeant Vincent Velcro, who was given a choice of 30 years of hard labor for crippling a superior officer or being a human guinea pig for chemical injections derived from bat blood. The injections turned him into a science-spawned vampire.
*** Lieutenant Matthew Shrieve, Army Intelligence, a normal human placed in charge of the Creature Commandos.
In their first mission, the Commandos are sent into France to attack Castle Conquest, where the Nazis and French collaborators are designing android duplicates of high-level politicians from Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill on down. The plan is to use the nearly completed robots to replace the originals and surrender to the Axis Nations. Continue reading →
October 28, 2022 · 7:59 pm
Balladeer’s Blog’s recent looks at Eight Neglected Monsters for Halloween Season and Six More Neglected Monsters for Halloween Season were big hits with readers, so here are four more.
First Appearance: The Songs of Maldoror (1868)
Cryptid Category: Malevolent Unearthly Entity
Lore: Maldoror repeatedly lied about his nature and origins, casting doubt upon everything except the unspeakable vileness of … whatever he was. He/ It was possessed of greater than human strength, sadistic cunning and the ability to sprout tentacles, wings or other appendages from his shoulder blades.
This supernatural menace glided through the world with a serial killer’s mentality and viewed all other living things – even children and animals – as nothing but potential victims. Maldoror’s graphic violence against those he preyed upon was so disturbing that it would know no equal until the most depraved murderers of the 20th Century came along.
The monstrous entity encountered many other oddities like a hermaphrodite, a philosophical mad gravedigger, a large black tarantula, the Angel of the Lamp and others. Continue reading →
October 27, 2022 · 10:07 pm
THE RIDER OF THE SKULLS aka El Charro de las Calaveras (1965) – Halloween is fast approaching, so here is another seasonal post from Balladeer’s Blog. Regular readers know how much I enjoy the campy, so-bad-they’re-good horror films from Mexico. I reviewed several of them HERE years ago.
El Charro de las Calaveras was written and directed by Alfredo Salazar, brother of Abel Salazar, the Brainiac himself from that 1961 horror movie. This was Alfredo’s first turn in the director’s chair but he had written many, many Mexican horror flicks, including the original Aztec Mummy trilogy, Wrestling Women movies, you name it.
This particular movie is a textbook example of a fun-bad film. The Rider of the Skulls (Dagoberto Rodriguez) is a masked gunslinging hero in Old Mexico, clad all in black including a big sombrero but with drawings of skulls on his back and on each shoulder. Well, at first. The shoulder skulls change to one on each breast in the second act.
Our hero has been fighting the forces of evil ever since his parents were slain by criminals years earlier.
El Charro arrives in a nearly deserted town with a dilapidated cemetery in which assorted skulls lie around in piles. The masked hero encounters the first of three monsters he will fight in this flick – a ridiculous looking werewolf with a headpiece so large it makes him look like the mascot of a sports team. Continue reading →
October 26, 2022 · 10:33 pm
October 26, 2022 · 12:15 am
Halloween month continues at Balladeer’s Blog with another look at a Gothic horror tale that doesn’t get the attention it deserves.
KILLCROP THE CHANGELING (1828) – By Richard Thompson. Gothic horror stories always earn extra points from me if they spotlight a supernatural menace that is NOT a vampire or a ghost. This tale features a goblin child who changes places with a human child.
Killcrop the Changeling features the nearly forgotten version of goblin lore, which presented them as supernatural humanoid vermin who mystically inhabit old, uninhabited buildings. In this case the London building in question used to belong to an undertaker who also sold equipment for infants. The establishment was called Both Ends in reference to this cradle and grave specialization, NOT because it was a gay bar. Continue reading →
October 25, 2022 · 11:15 am
With less than a week to go in Halloween Month, Balladeer’s Blog takes a look at the controversial new icon of horror cinema: Art the Clown from the Terrifier series. If you’re tired of the endless reboots and retcons involving Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees, then check out the assorted films of Damien Leone’s depraved slasher.
I usually find killer clowns boring, but in my opinion Art is far more disturbing than Pennywise or other horror clowns. This “terrifying” character has gone from short films to an anthology movie to a pair of feature films, the second of which was released this year.
Leone first presented Art the Clown in his film short The 9th Circle in 2008. That film depicted the deranged, silent and sinister figure, played by Mike Giannelli, striking on Halloween night on behalf of a Satanic Cult.
Art’s second appearance came in 2011 in another Damien Leone horror short, titled Terrifier. Art, still portrayed by Mike Giannelli, struck with uncompromising violence and conveyed his vile, sadistic nature entirely through facial expressions and body acting since the slasher never speaks. Picture Freddy Krueger remaining as silent as Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees, and that’s Art. Continue reading →
October 24, 2022 · 4:42 am
Independent Voter site Balladeer’s Blog comes to you once again from Joe Biden’s corporate fascist kleptocracy.
The callousness of Joe Biden toward the pain and suffering his policies have caused to the working class and the poor makes the unfeeling monster’s ice cream photo ops into his version of a “Let them eat cake” moment.
And below is another reminder about the Biden Regime’s war on the same working class and poor people. Continue reading →