ALL THAT GLITTERS (1977) – With the syndicated late-night soap opera satire Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman becoming a cultural phenomenon in the 1970s, Norman Lear launched this oddball, self-consciously “adult” program which added a touch of parallel world sci-fi stories to the soapiness.
All That Glitters was a comedy set in a world where women were in charge and men filled workplace and societal roles filled by women in our world at the time. The humor in this show is painfully dated but the inversion of roles still gives it a certain strange watchability.
Want to see women running the business world and men serving as secretaries while getting ogled and sexually harassed? This show’s got it! Want to see a tuxedo-clad groom carrying flowers and walking down the aisle toward his intended bride? This show’s got it! Want to see some fairly kinky quasi-FemDom scenarios as the premise is taken to its logical conclusions? This show’s got it! Continue reading
SUPER PRESIDENT was an actual cartoon series from the 1960s that has virtually disappeared. It’s rare to catch a glimpse of this DePatie- Freleng show anywhere or even to find people who have heard of it outside of oddballs like me.
This cartoon was not intended for laughs, like it would be today. It honestly featured a superhero whose “secret identity” was being President of the United States. First off, there’s the absurd fun of the name AND the fact that calling yourself Super President instantly blows your cover anyway, unless you think people are dumb enough to not figure out what you’re the president OF. (The Teamsters Union? The National Egg Council?)
President James Norcross was our title superhero and like the Fantastic Four a half-dozen years earlier got his powers from a cosmic ray storm. He had super-strength, could fly via small rockets on his belt and as the topper could transform himself into any substance – steel, granite, water, electricity and on more than one occassion – “ozone”. (Ozone?)
Super President also had a nifty Omnicar that could drive, fly and serve as a submarine. The Omnicar was stashed in a secret room in the White House that served as SP’s version of the Batcave (How was this addition to the White House added without attracting attention and how much did it cost?). Continue reading
KID GLOVES (1951) – This joyously tasteless program from the early years of television featured children AGE THREE TO TWELVE beating each other’s brains out in boxing matches. No, I’m not joking.
In a slight concession (NOT “concussion”) to the tender ages of the combatants the matches were limited to just three rounds of 30 seconds each. Still plenty of time for head and facial injuries plus the loss of teeth. Continue reading
The New People was part of a brief and very odd experiment with television programs that ran just 45 minutes INCLUDING commercials.
These shows were always paired with a sister program that also ran 45 minutes total, thus the two back- to- back programs filled a total 90 minute block. In the case of The New People that sister show was The Music Scene.
The New People was sort of like “Lord of the Flies Meets the 60s Counterculture”. Continue reading
THE STRANGER – Given the current uproar over the disastrous Chibnall retcon, Balladeer’s Blog takes a look at the “brief shining moment” when Colin Baker was starring in what is often called a bootleg Doctor Who series. Less antagonistic interpretations call the BBV series a pastiche or a knowing “homage” to Doctor Who.
When The Stranger series of stories first came out it was a few years after the original run of Doctor Who was over. For the many Colin Baker fans who felt he got robbed of an opportunity to shine as the Doctor for reasons beyond his control, these episodes were basically just barely-concealed stories featuring Colin’s regeneration of the timelord from Gallifrey.
*** Colin Baker went from playing an enigmatic traveler in time and space known only as the Doctor to playing an enigmatic traveler in time and space known only as the Stranger.
*** The most popular companion of Baker’s Doctor was Peri Brown, played by Nicola Bryant. The Stranger’s companion was “Miss Brown,” played by Nicola Bryant.
*** The Doctor and his companions traveled in a time/space vehicle called the Tardis. The Stranger and his companions traveled in a never-seen vehicle coyly referred to as their “mode of transportation.” Continue reading
With the flood of unimaginative new television programs, especially on various cable channels, I’m often surprised that some of the most entertaining shows in history don’t have their very own following of people who know waaaaay too much about them.
As always here at Balladeer’s Blog I like to shine the spotlight on everything that is unjustly overlooked. Feel free to start holding conventions devoted to, and launching flame wars about, these six criminally neglected television programs.
6. CAPTAIN Z-RO – (1951-1960) Over a full decade before Great Britain’s ultimate cult show, Doctor Who, hit the airwaves this American show featured the titular Captain traveling in time and space with various sidekicks, including Jet, the young man pictured with Captain Z-Ro in the photo to the left.
In addition to adventures that saw the Captain dealing with a robot run amok in San Francisco and with a potentially fatal meteor collision, his “experiments in time and space” (the show’s oft-repeated tag line) found him helping out some of the exact same historical figures that Great Britain’s Time Lord from Gallifrey would go on to encounter, like Marco Polo, William the Conqueror and the Aztecs. As an added bonus Captain Z-Ro solved the mystery of the Great Pyramid itself! Continue reading
Randy (right) and Richard way down on Level 31 hosting The Texas 27 Film Vault
*** SADLY, I FORGOT TO NOTE THE FEBRUARY 9th ANNIVERSARY OF THIS SHOW THIS YEAR.
Sunday was the 35th Anniversary of the very first episode of The Texas 27 Film Vault from Saturday, February 9th of 1985. My psychotically obsessive research on the show has yielded a lot of info over the years but I have now worn out every source I could find.
Even the show’s co-host and co-creator Randy Clower has been bled dry of information on the show by me. Over the years other fans of the show – and a special shout-out goes to “the Cap’n” – have provided info here and there that often led me to concrete source material.
Anyway, here are some movies that we have general, varied reason to believe were shown on The Texas 27 Film Vault but I need original broadcast dates, info on comedy sketches or movie ticket give-aways, etc. Episodes aired for 2 and a half hours Saturday nights from 10:30pm to 1:00am in Texas and Oklahoma.
FIEND WITHOUT A FACE (1958)
The Film: “Thought Monsters” leech into atomic energy, then extract human brains and spinal columns to use as their corporeal forms. This is a Bad Movie Classic remembered largely because of the scenes where the flying brains, sporting antennae, attack their prey, with their spinal cord “tails” streaming along behind them.
Serial Episode: No idea, for now.
Reason for believing it was shown: Some of the Flying Brain Creatures are on the 1987 Texas 27 Film Vault poster. Continue reading