Category Archives: Bad and weird movies


All-Martian Invasion all the time with a Four-Pack of ‘zines about War of the Worlds and similar Martian invasion themes of yesteryear. Link to buy is below.




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Death MasterTHE DEATHMASTER (1972) – In between his pair of movies as the vampire named Count Yorga the one and only Robert Quarry starred as a vampiric Charles Manson wannabe in this film. The Deathmaster starts out with a great bit that wouldn’t look out of place in a Jean Rollin horror flick from France: the huge, hulking Barbado (Le Sesne Hilton) plays eerie flute music, seemingly luring ashore a sea-tossed coffin. Naturally this casket holds our “Deathmaster” – a vampire called Khorda.

Unfortunately it’s all downhill from there unless you’re like me and you really enjoy bad movies. Khorda eschews the usual vampire shtick of being a suave ladies’ man. His approach is to dress like early 1970s hippies do and model his coiffure and facial hair after Charles Manson. The filmmakers even admitted that was indeed the look they were going for.

Khorda feeds on assorted Californians while spending his spare time gathering around him a collection of 1960s losers and retreads plus some biker gang members just for good measure. Our undead heavy becomes their guru, spouting the type of generic, faddish spiritual nonsense that is always a good way to sound deep while not really saying anything at all.     Continue reading

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Filed under Bad and weird movies, Halloween Season


Mascot FOUR original pics

Balladeer’s Blog

Balladeer’s Blog presents another edition of Give Them A Shoutout Before They’re Dead! Tommy Shaw’s solo career away from the band Styx has ignited countless passionate debates about his overall importance to the band and about Styx’s overall importance in rock and roll history.

But let’s put all that aside for now and give a shoutout to Tommy Shaw’s What If aka Remo’s Theme. This was, of course, the theme song for the movie Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins.

That movie kicked off the monumentally successful series of films about that American James Bond, the Destroyer himself: Remo Williams. Billions of dollars would follow as it seemed each pulse-pounding installment of Remo’s on-screen saga earned more money than the one that preceded it.

I’m being sarcastic, of course. Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins earned back about 14 million dollars off a FORTY MILLION DOLLAR BUDGET … and featured Joel Grey making Christopher Lee and Mickey Rooney feel MUCH better about their own renditions of Asian characters. 

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Filed under Bad and weird movies, opinion


Mascot new lookSupposedly they are remaking this 1970s Blaxploitation movie, at least according to Balladeer’s Blog readers who requested I review it. As it turns out I did review it in 2012, so here it is again.

For the link to that review – an article where I reviewed several other Blaxploitation films as well, click HERE  

402px-spook_who_sat_by_the_door_1973THE SPOOK WHO SAT BY THE DOOR (1973) – The title of this explosive film, based on the controversial novel by Sam Greenlee, plays on the old double meanings of the slang expression “spook”. While spook could be used as a derogatory term for a black person it could also refer to a secret agent.

The story’s hero, played by Lawrence Cook, is an African American working in the domestic offices of the Central Intelligence Agency. While outwardly an efficient and capable paper pusher he inwardly regards himself as an undercover operative for his own race, infiltrating the white intelligence establishment.

After  five years of learning all he can via secretly reading CIA operations files our protagonist, significantly named Dan Freeman, decides to launch a covert operation of his own to destroy the white power structure and elevate his people to positions of authority. Continue reading

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Filed under Bad and weird movies, Blaxploitation


Jet Benny ShowTHE JET BENNY SHOW (1986) – Buy this for the Star Wars fan in your life … but only if you strongly dislike the Star Wars fan in your life. Buy this for the Jack Benny fan in your life … but only if they’re too old and feeble to be capable of inflicting grievous bodily harm on you.

I was glad to finally see this video curiosity after having heard tantalizingly little about it over the years. It was not remotely worth the wait but it was good to see it and check it off my list, bird-watcher style, like I did with Ganjasaurus Rex years ago.

Yes, I know this overlong, under-entertaining Star Wars/ Jack Benny Show parody won a Kasdan Award in the 1980s but I think that winning that award says less about this project than does the fact that the people involved went on to do virtually nothing else afterward.

Jet Benny Show backRoger Evans directed The Jet Benny Show from a script by Mark Felch. Steve Norman stars as Jet Benny, a take-off on the real-life comedy legend Jack Benny. Norman does not do nearly as good a Jack Benny impression as we’re led to believe by the few positive remarks this pant-load of a film receives.

Steve’s rendition of Benny’s voice is reasonable but wouldn’t stand on its own without the aid of his more than reasonable facial resemblance to the late comedian. The mediocre nature of Norman’s imitation might not have stood out so much if he wasn’t expected to carry almost every moment of the 77 minute run time. Continue reading

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Ratings GameTHE RATINGS GAME (1984) – Danny DeVito directed and starred in this telefilm – now being re-released under the vague-to-the-point-of-meaningless title The Mogul, which was produced by Showtime back when they and HBO Films were emerging as a genuine creative force in original content.

That era saw HBO Films churn out many made-for-cable movies that reflected studio-level production values and often adapted fictional and non-fictional properties that neither networks nor Hollywood felt like tackling at the time.

Telefilms like And The Band Played On, Barbarians at the Gate, Gotti, Kissinger and Nixon plus many, many others received critical acclaim AND proved commercially successful when released on video or in syndication to – ironically – network television.  

Ratings Game bThe Ratings Game – written by Jim Mulholland and Michael Barrie – was a perfectly respectable satire on the network television ratings system but it has become unjustly forgotten. The change of title for its latest release seems like a desperate attempt to change the telefilm’s fortunes. 

Personally I really like The Ratings Game. It definitely qualifies as one for my list of Aristophanes Now productions, in this case because it captures the feel of the Parathespian Comedies from Attic Old Comedy. (But let’s face it, it would probably have been written by Strattis instead of Aristophanes.)

Part of the reason for this telefilm’s obscurity may be the way it satirized the flaws in the network ratings system. This flick was released when Nielsen and similar ratings outfits still often used a mere 1,100-1,200 participating homes to extrapolate the ratings numbers on which television programs lived or died.    Continue reading

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Filed under Bad and weird movies, Forgotten Television


Fantastic FiftiesFrom the U.K. it’s the latest issue of The Fantastic Fifties: Filmland’s Most Fabulous Decade.

The Spring 2018 edition is now available, featuring articles on Screen Goddesses of the 1950s, Alfred Hitchcock’s output for that decade, plus robots from Forbidden Planet, the neglected psychotronic flick Gog  and The Colossus of New York – which I like to call They Saved Ross Martin’s Brain.

There have been four regular issues and an Annual Special dedicated to Peplums. Each issue is approximately 64 pages and they sell for just shy of ten Pounds in the U.K. and around $15 for U.S. customers plus international shipping.

Here are the covers for the other four issues that are available PLUS the info for buying copies:  Continue reading


Filed under Bad and weird movies