Category Archives: Bad and weird movies

MEAT LOAF: HOT PATOOTIE, BLESS MY SOUL

The singer Meat Loaf has passed away at age 74. While most sites are going with the expected musical salutes, Balladeer’s Blog is instead selecting the rock star’s iconic moment as “Eddie” in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It’s Hot Patootie, Bless My Soul.

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MR NO LEGS (1978)

mr no legsMR NO LEGS (1978) – Ted Vollrath, a Korean War veteran who lost his legs due to injuries he suffered during the conflict, became a multiple black belt in martial arts disciplines and established Martial Arts for the Handicapable Incorporated in 1971. In addition to appearing in a documentary titled Let Me Live In Your World he starred as a scene-stealing badass in Mr No Legs, which was also released under titles like Killers Die Hard, Pushers Die Hard, Dope Runners Die Hard and the much less descriptive Gun Fighter.   

Mr No Legs is nowhere near as outrageous as the Hong Kong kung fu movies Crippled Masters, Crippled Heroes and Crippled Avengers, nor is it as exploitative as those flicks. Vollrath plays Lou, the title character, whose wheelchair is equipped with built-in shotguns in the arm rests and Ninja stars connected to the wheels.

mr no legs titleLou himself is deadly in or out of his chair, as he is highly skilled with knives and handguns, but his most dangerous trait is the way he can use his muscular, toned body to kick the butts of all comers in unarmed combat. Lou’s status as the enforcer and hit man for a Tampa drug lord has earned him big money and a buxom blonde lady who sees to his various needs.

A real-life multiple amputee with a James Bond-gimmicked wheelchair and mastery of karate would be enough to ensure Mr No Legs a spot in Psychotronic movie Valhalla, but the film offers so much more.

Consider the following: Continue reading

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DEATH MACHINES (1976)

death machines

This poster bears absolutely NO resemblance to anything that’s actually in the movie.

DEATH MACHINES (1976) – Balladeer’s Blog’s old friend Ron Marchini is back! Just two years after sharing the screen with the Wizard of Odd Leo Fong in Murder in the Orient, Marchini produced this film in which he, Michael Chong and Joshua Johnson portrayed lobotomized living thralls who kill on command.

Paul Kyriazi directed and co-wrote Death Machines, a movie which has decent production values and always looks as if it’s a professional project, but is hilariously let down by the acting, writing, fight choreography and special effects.

Madame LeeOur story begins with the villainous Madame Lee (Mari Honjo), the Asian field boss of a criminal empire, observing a demonstration of her outfit’s new martial arts assassins in action. Ron Marchini IS White Death Machine, Michael Chong brings to life Asian Death Machine and Joshua Johnson wows as Black Death Machine. That’s exactly how our title trio are listed in the credits, by the way. Continue reading

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LEONARD NIMOY’S BOXING MOVIE: KID MONK BARONI (1952)

kid monk baroniKID MONK BARONI (1952) – It’s not Rocky, it’s Spocky! Leonard Nimoy made his film debut in this half-assed, cliche-filled and trope-ridden mess of a movie. Nimoy plays Paul Baroni aka Kid Monk Baroni, a street-fighting tough guy whose belligerence stems from his mild deformity and the scorn that it brings him.

nimoy fake noseIn lieu of prosthetic ears, Kid Monk Baroni finds Leonard sporting a prosthetic nose for a large part of the film, thus depicting the “ugliness” which drives his hostile urges. Paul Baroni has become a leader of sorts for his pack of juvenile delinquents called the Billy Goat Gang, an inferior imitation of Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall’s Bowery Boys/ Dead End Kids/ Little Tough Guys and all the other names they used over the years. Continue reading

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BLOODHOUNDS OF BROADWAY (1989) – A HAPPY NEW YEAR MOVIE REVIEW

bloodhounds of broadwayBLOODHOUNDS OF BROADWAY (1989) – Randy Quaid and Madonna as a romantic couple? Rutger Hauer as a pastiche of crime lord Arnold Rothstein? THE William S. Burroughs as a butler? Ethan “Neelix” Phillips as a wannabe gangster?

Yes, all that and more in this all but forgotten 1989 flop which deserved to be much better than it is and with work it could have become a New Year’s Eve viewing staple.

Bh on brFour Damon Runyon stories were blended into a 93 minute movie that was released to just one theater … missing a reel. PBS Playhouse gave this romantic comedy its widest exposure before it fell down the memory hole. As of this writing it has only 8 reviews at IMDb.   

Significantly, the film is set on December 31st of 1928, which was the last big New Year’s Eve bacchanalia of the Roaring Twenties but nobody knew it at the time. Before another year went by the Stock Market Crash would help usher in the Great Depression, making that 1928 New Year’s Eve blowout a figurative Mardi Gras before the austerity of Lent. The December 31st, 1929 celebrations were considerably subdued by comparison.

If you’re a Guys & Dolls fan, Mindy’s Restaurant is one of the settings for Bloodhounds of Broadway, just like in that much better known work based on Damon Runyon stories. At any rate, the four tales combined to form this rom-com are:    Continue reading

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HOORAY FOR SANTA CLAUS: SEVERAL VERSIONS

Mascot and guitar

Balladeer’s Blog

Yes, it’s the song from that notoriously bad movie Santa Claus Conquers The Martians. Long years ago The Christmas Martian supplanted this flick in my Bad Movie Lover heart but Hooray For Santa Claus is still a butt-kicking song.

Starting us off is the movie version of the song by the poor man’s Skitch Henderson – Milton De Lugg – and The Little Eskimos.

And here’s the version by Al “Green Hornet Theme” Hirt: Continue reading

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FUZZ (1972) – MOVIE REVIEW

fuzzFUZZ (1972) – This movie is still marketed as if it’s a vehicle for Burt Reynolds and Raquel Welch but in reality it’s an ensemble movie. And not a very good one. Fuzz is based on the 22nd book – of nearly 60 – in the 87th Precinct series of police novels by Ed McBain aka Evan Hunter. The books were set in the fictional city of Isola, but this movie is set in Boston.

The novel on which this film is based was published in 1968. The book series started in 1956 and had been tried as a television series titled 87th Precinct from 1961-1962. The novels were still being churned out by the original author into the 21st Century, with many characters retained throughout this long run.

fuzz posterObviously, the science and public image of law enforcement has gone through many, many changes over the decades. The movie Fuzz and its source novel reflect the stylish cynicism and gritty realism of police stories from the period.

The film also attempted to sprinkle in elements of irreverent humor and bawdy sexual hijinks, like it was trying to be F*U*Z*Z in the style of the movie version of M*A*S*H. Unfortunately, the finished product is disjointed and aimless. Let’s take a look at the cast of characters: Continue reading

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JAMES BATMAN (1966): A THANKSGIVING TURKEY

james batmanJAMES BATMAN (1966) – HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Balladeer’s Blog takes a Turkey Day look at a film from the Philippines. This movie teams up Batman, Robin and James Bond as they battle an evil organization called C.L.A.W. It’s another of the many unauthorized Batman movies from around the world. 

James Batman is in Tagalog with English subtitles and stars Filipino actor Dolphy as both Batman and James Bond, who is sometimes called James Wong in the subtitles and sometimes called James Hika. Dolphy also plays millionaire Dolpho, Batman’s secret identity (?). Robin, played by Boy Alano, is Batman’s brother. It’s that kind of movie.

Filipino Batman and RobinDolpho is in love with Shirley (Shirley Moreno), but she considers Dolpho boring and has the hots for Batman. Just as Shirley is oblivious to the fact that Dolpho really IS Batman, she has no idea that her sister (Bella Flores) is secretly the sultry costumed villainess called Black Rose.

Shirley and Bella’s father is the Chairman of the Free Nations, a quasi-United Nations outfit which is given five days to surrender to C.L.A.W. – a communist organization that desires world domination. Continue reading

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GLEN OR GLENDA (1953): ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

Glen or GlendaBefore MST3K there was … The Texas 27 Film Vault! In the middle 1980s, 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 this overlooked Movie Host program. 

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.  

COMEDY SKETCHES: Unknown. We’ve exhausted the episodes where I DO know the date, serial and sketches. 

THE MOVIE: Continue reading

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THE HOOKED GENERATION (1968): BAD MOVIE

hooked generationTHE HOOKED GENERATION (1968) – Directed and co-written by the one and only William Grefe. William is known to me and my fellow fans of bad movies for Florida-filmed cult turkeys like Sting of Death, Death Curse of Tartu, The Wild Rebels and Impulse, with William Shatner.

The Hooked Generation is horribly mistitled. That title makes it sound like one of the many over-the-top, heavy handed anti-drug movies of the past. Instead, the film is really about a sleazy, violent gang of small-time drug dealers who bite off more than they can chew when they try to move up in the crime world.

Mascot and guitar

Balladeer’s Blog

For a glib description, think of it as a “gangsters headed for a bad end” flick like Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney and Edward G Robinson used to appear in, but with a low-rent cast that is more like the type of overdone hippie/ counter-culture felons you’d see on 60s and 70s episodes of Hawaii Five-O. There’s plenty of violence, drug use and lurid appeal, though.   

The small-timers whose abilities don’t match their ambitions use their boat to make a clandestine pickup from their Cuban connections out at sea. Those connections are sailors from Castro’s navy who make side money dealing drugs in between the coasts of Florida and Cuba. Continue reading

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