Category Archives: Bad and weird movies

CHROME AND HOT LEATHER (1971): MOVIE REVIEW

chrome-and-hot-leatherCHROME AND HOT LEATHER (1971) THE one and only Marvin Gaye made his big-screen debut in this relentlessly absurd example of the bad biker films of the 1960s and 1970s.

When a Green Beret’s fiancee (played by THE Cheryl Ladd) is killed he and some of his service buddies pose as bikers to track down the motorcycle gang responsible for her death.

Words cannot describe how enjoyably awful this movie is from start to finish. Continue reading

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BOSTON’S 44th ANNUAL SCI-FI MARATHON: THE MOVIE LINE-UP

boston sci fi festivalFebruary 16th to 17th is when the 2019 Boston Sci-Fi Marathon will happen.

More info is below, but first a list of this year’s eleven movies:

SOURCE CODE (2011)

SUNSHINE (2007)

DR CYCLOPS (1940)

DESTINATION MOON (1950)

INNERSPACE (1987) Continue reading

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ELVIS MOVIES FOR JANUARY 8th

Mascot new lookJanuary 8th is the combined marking of Elvis Presley’s birthday and the Battle of New Orleans, in which General Andrew Jackson and French Pirate Jean Lafitte defeated the British in the final battle of the War of 1812.

In the past Balladeer’s Blog has observed this date with looks at the musical Rock ‘N’ Roll vs The Red Coats and with an article on the whole Orion/Elvis situation. This time I’m taking a quick look at some early Elvis movies.

love me tenderLOVE ME TENDER (1956) – Elvis was the latest reason that the saga of the Reno Gang/ Reno Brothers got distorted on the big screen. The need to turn the Reno story into a vehicle for Elvis Presley made this attempt the most unintentionally funny of them all.

Favorite Part: A scene between Elvis, playing Clint Reno, and Richard Egan, playing Vance Reno. Despite the fact that the long-missing Vance was given up for dead and Elvis married his mourning girlfriend in the meantime the Side-Burned One actually asks “What’s troublin’ you, Vance?”  That question has been a catch-phrase for me ever since I first saw this flick on late-night tv.

Favorite Weirdass Song: Let Me  Continue reading

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GENTLEMAN JEKYLL AND DRIVER HYDE (1950)

gentleman jekyll and driver hydeGENTLEMAN JEKYLL AND DRIVER HYDE (1950) – Educational short films are often hilarious snapshots of their era. Driver’s Ed shorts are especially vulnerable to seeming outdated given how quickly car designs can change in certain decades.

This particular item is Canadian-made, proving that the Badfilm aesthetic is unfazed by international borders. (Yet Time Zones fill it with a vague sense of unease. Go figure.)

At any rate Gentleman Jekyll and Driver Hyde obviously takes its cue from Stevenson’s story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. A pair of Canadian furniture movers – one tall and heavy, the other short and slender – bicker like a comedy team while discussing statistics which indicated that in 1950 a Canadian had a better chance of getting killed in a car accident than in a war.

Which I find to be a silly statistic. If it’s peacetime you probably have a better chance of dying from a piano dropping on your head than from a war. Wouldn’t it have been more ominous to say a person had a better chance of dying in a car accident than from heart disease or whatever physical ailment that a 1950 stat would indicate?

After some horrifically strained jokes “Laurel and Hardy, Eh” get to the meat of the matter: The way perfectly polite people can turn into figurative monsters when they get behind the wheel of a car. A kind, considerate man who just interacted with our two leads literally turns into a B-Movie monster thanks to editing and cheap makeup as he drives off.      Continue reading

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NEW YEAR’S EVE BAD MOVIE: TERROR TRAIN (1980) ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

Terror TrainBefore MST3K there was … The Texas 27 Film Vault!

Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of this neglected cult show from the mid-1980s. 

EPISODE ORIGINALLY BROADCAST: Saturday December 27th, 1986 from 10:30pm to 1:00am.

EXTRAS: Randy Clower and Richard Malmos, as machine-gun toting Film Vault Technicians First Class and members of the fictional Film Vault Corps (“the few, the proud, the sarcastic”) had two and a half hours to work with each week. Interviews with figures like Vincent Price, Forry Ackerman and others were featured and the movies being shown and mocked were often preceded by episodes of old Republic serials like Radar Men from the Moon and others. This episode featured Randy and Richard’s interview with Ben Johnson, whom they had interviewed at his ranch earlier in the year. Johnson also appeared in the episode’s film, Terror Train.

Mysterious Doctor SatanSERIAL: For this episode the movie was preceded by a chapter of Mysterious Doctor Satan in which a mad scientist called Dr Satan commanded a goofy robot and was opposed by a pulp-style hero called Copperhead.   

HOST SEGMENTS: The most memorable Host Segment  Randy and Richard did during this New Year’s-themed horror film was a bit where, as Midnight Dallas Time approached, they staged a countdown and then a raucous celebration of the arrival of … December 28th, 1986. Ken “Tex” Miller, Joe “The Hypnotic Eye” Riley and other Film Vault Corps members joined in the festivities in a great example of the wry humor of this pre-MST3K program.  

1a randy and richard

Randy (right) and Richard way down on Level 31 hosting The Texas 27 Film Vault

TERROR TRAIN (1980) – A New Year’s Eve slasher film set on a train carrying a load of partying passengers who plan to ring in the New Year in each time zone of the United States. As required by law at the time, Jamie Lee Curtis starred since it was a slasher flick with a seasonal theme. (Look under the Federal HalloweenHalloween II and Prom Night Act of 1980 if you don’t believe me)

A few years earlier Curtis and her college buddies played an initiation trick on a freshman by tricking him into bed with a female corpse. The guy had a nervous breakdown from the ugly near-necrophiliac experience (like sleeping with Barbra Streisand must feel) and is supposedly still in a mental hospital because of it. Continue reading

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RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER (2017) – GUILTY PLEASURE

Resident EvilHere at Balladeer’s Blog I’ve always had a soft spot for the Resident Evil movies. I’m not implying that they’re good by any means, but as guilty pleasures I consider them pretty watchable in a Spaghetti Western sense. You don’t expect logic or well-maintained continuity in the original Django or Sartana series any more than you do from the Stranger or Hallelujah flicks or any of the other lower-level pulp series of Italo-Westerns.

To me the six Resident Evil movies (2002 – 2017) can be viewed the same way – as unpretentious B-movies with a kind of relaxing sameness and stories that are so unchallenging you can chit-chat with friends or loved ones while they’re on.

Resident Evil ApocalypseSeventies chop-socky films are another example. You might watch them but you sure as hell can’t defend them from criticism.

Milla Jovovich’s Alice is, to me, the main reason to watch these films. She’s believable in the action scenes and deserves recognition for the way she kicks post-apocalyptic butt in SIX movies as the same character. No other leading female figure has matched that feat in THEATRICAL RELEASE, English-language films. Not Lara Croft and not even Ellen Ripley. Continue reading

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SONG FROM BLOODY NEW YEAR (1987) – RECIPE FOR ROMANCE

Balladeer’s Blog reviewed the hilariously bad New Year’s Eve horror film Bloody New Year several years ago. One of my favorite bits is the odd but quirkily enjoyable song that plays over the opening credits. Here is the group behind that song – Cry No More – with Recipe for Romance.

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