Category Archives: Movie Hosts

IT! THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE (1958) ON THE TEXAS TWENTY-SEVEN FILM VAULT

It! The Terror From Beyond Space

It! The Terror From Beyond Space

IN THE MIDDLE 1980s/ WAY DOWN ON LEVEL 31 …

Before MST3K there was The Texas 27 Film Vault! Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of this neglected cult show from the 1980s. Randy Clower and Richard Malmos, our machine-gun toting members of the Film Vault Corps (“the few, the proud, the sarcastic”) do their usual bit of showing and mocking an old serial then showing and mocking a bad movie.

Thanks to my interview with Randy Clower, the show’s co-creator and co-star and thanks to my research through VERY old newspapers plus emailed memories from other T27FV fans I’m taking a look at another episode of the show where an exact broadcast date can be determined.

ORIGINALLY BROADCAST: Saturday July 12th, 1986 from 10:30pm to 1:00am.

Atom Man vs SupermanSERIAL: Before the night’s movie Randy and Richard would often present old serials. In this episode of the show our “Film Vault Technicians First Class” showed an episode of the 1950 Columbia serial Atom Man vs Superman to be mockedKirk Alyn starred as Superman with Lyle Talbot as his archenemy Lex Luthor. Lex has his own secret identity in this serial – each episode he dons a lead mask and oversees the villainy as “Atom Man”.

This was one of the liveliest and most campily watchable serials of the 50s. Especially laughable are the bits when Superman “flies” – an effect achieved by switching from live footage of Kirk Alyn to INSERTED CARTOON FOOTAGE of Superman flying. Think of the ‘Toons in Roger Rabbit interacting with the live backgrounds and you have the idea.   

FILM VAULT LORE: This episode of The Texas 27 Film Vault was the first to come with a Viewer Discretion warning. Gore effects fans (And what T27FV fan WASN’T a gore effects fan?) were in Nirvana this night as Film Vault Corps member Joe “The Hypnotic Eye” Riley was given full reign for some of his most graphic effects work during the comedy sketches or Host Segments if you prefer. 

Howling!

Howling!

Direct from the Film Vault Corps Academy in Leadville, Colorado, the Academy’s Little Theater Group was touring Film Vaults across the country. Tonight they were performing on Level 31 of the Film Vault underneath Dallas, where the show was set. The Little Theater Group was reenacting scenes from famous alien monster movies and since It! The Terror From Beyond Space was a partial inspiration for the original Alien, the chest-burster scene was reenacted in darkly comic glory! (As if the chow in the Film Vault Commissary wasn’t unappetizing enough already!)

THE MOVIE: It! The Terror From Beyond Space is one of the consummate low-budget schlockers of the 1950s. It embodies the “so bad it’s good” aesthetic that so many Movie Host shows have always reveled in. In the far-off year 1973 (LMAO) a very fake-looking space-ship on an even more fake-looking matte-painting of a Martian landscape has come to rescue the sole survivor of the previous mission to the Red Planet. (So far it sounds almost like Queen of Blood, shown on T27FV in May of 1986 and reviewed previously) Continue reading

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THE GIANT CLAW (1957) ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

The Secret of the Bermuda Triangle Revealed

The Secret of the Bermuda Triangle Revealed

Before MST3K there was … The Texas 27 Film Vault!

Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of this neglected cult show from the mid-1980s. Thanks to my research through VERY old newspapers, interviews with Randy Clower and emails from fellow fans of T27FV here is another in a series where original broadcast dates of episodes can be determined.

Episode originally aired: Saturday April 6th, 1985 from 10:30pm to 1:00am. 

Serial: Before the movie our machine-gun toting “Film Vault Technicians First Class” Randy Clower and Richard Malmos showed an episode of The Lost City, the legendarily campy and bizarre sci-fi serial from 1935.

Film Vault Lore: Thank you to my fellow T27FV fan Dolores for this episode’s date, the serial and for this quote about Ken Miller, who played “Tex” on the show: “I loved the random bits of madness added by the gung ho Tex each episode! He always reminded me of Robert Duvall’s character Kilgore from Apocalypse Now. My favorite catch-phrase from Tex was when he would say “Commies don’t watch bad movies!” the way Duvall said “Charley don’t surf!” in Apocalypse Now.”  

The Movie: The Giant Claw is another of those staples of bad movie shows. It’s been presented by just about every Movie Host program at one time or another. Because of the film’s familiarity I will keep this review short. Continue reading

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TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT ANNIVERSARY AND A CALL TO THE FANS

1a randy and richard

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

Balladeer’s Blog’s fondness for the old Movie Host Shows of long ago has been well established. Today is the 33rd 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 faceFIEND 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.

Earth vs the Flying saucersEARTH VS THE FLYING SAUCERS (1956)

The Film: The title says it all for this fun but weird black & white time-waster.

Serial Episode: Flash Gordon Conquers The Universe.

Reason for believing it was shown: Tex (Ken Miller) announced it was to be the movie “Next time on The Texas 27 Film Vault” on one of the surviving episodes that I have. 

They saved hitler's brainTHEY SAVED HITLER’S BRAIN (1963/ 1968)

The Film: This movie is so infamous surely nobody needs any information from me at this late date.

Serial Episode: No idea, for now.

Reason for believing it was shown: It is mentioned by the hosts in some episodes AND appears on the 1987 T27FV poster.

Continue reading

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MARS NEEDS WOMEN & NIGHT FRIGHT ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

Tommy Kirk's Greatest Moment

Tommy Kirk’s Greatest Moment

IN THE MIDDLE 1980s/ WAY DOWN ON LEVEL 31 …

 Before MST3K there was The Texas 27 Film Vault! In Balladeer’s Blog’s latest look at this mid-1980s cult show from the Lone Star State I’ll examine “The Dallas Double-Feature” from May 10th, 1986.

My research through VERY old newspapers and other sources has uncovered several episodes where exact broadcast dates can be determined. 

THIS DOUBLE FEATURE FIRST BROADCAST: Saturday May 10th, 1986 from 10:30pm to 2:30am.

IF THE ONLY BAD MOVIE SHOW YOU KNOW IS MST3K THINK OF: Attack of the the (sic) Eye Creatures.

FILM VAULT LORE: Usually The Texas 27 Film Vault ran 2 1/2 hours, from 10:30pm to 1am, and would feature  machine-gun toting Randy Clower and Richard Malmos presenting (and mocking) episodes of old Republic serials followed by a cult movie. The previous Saturday night our “Film Vault Technicians First Class” showed the 12th and final episode of Radar Men from the Moon followed by the film Queen of Blood.  

The night of May 10th Randy, Richard, Tex, Joe “The Hypnotic Eye” Riley, Laurie Savino and the rest of the Film Vault Corps (“the few … the proud … the sarcastic”) presented a special called The Dallas Double Feature. The episode dispensed with a serial and showed (and mocked) two films made in Texas, one by Larry Buchanan and the other by Russ Marker. Also featured was an interview with good old Bill Thurman, a Buchanan regular who also appeared in the Russ Marker film Night Fright. Thurman was also promoting his latest film appearance, in the low-budget horror film Mountaintop Motel Massacre.   

MARS NEEDS WOMEN (1967) – Texas’ Larry Buchanan is known for Continue reading

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HALLOWEEN SONG: CASTLE OF SHOCK (1983)

The Halloween Holiday draws closer each day. Here’s a musical shoutout to the venerable old Movie Host Rich Koz, better known as Son of Svengoolie and later just plain Svengoolie. Sung to the tune of Castle of Love it’s Castle of Shock.

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MOONA LISA PICTURES COURTESY OF JOHN L.

Moona Lisa with JohnVery special thanks to reader John L. for providing Balladeer’s Blog with some new photos of Moona Lisa, one of the Movie Hostesses covered here.

I will add them to the Moona Lisa article I did in 2011 as well, but first here they are for all of us fans of Movie Host Shows to appreciate. John L himself sets the scene:

“They are from 1970 or 1971. A friend and I drove to the local KOGO TV station in San Diego, just off the 94 freeway, walked in and told the receptionist we were fans of Moona and asked if we could meet her. The next thing you know, a very pleasant and gracious Lisa Clark (in character), greeted us, gave us a tour of the studio and her Moon Base set, gave us an autograph and posed for pictures.”

Moona Lisa with skull

Moona Lisa (Lisa Clark) getting ready to watch and comment on the night’s movie double feature from her “private moon base.” Note the Earth below out the window.

Moona Lisa in stairwell

Moona Lisa in the stairwell leading to her set. Continue reading

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BILLY THE KID VS DRACULA AND FRONTIER MARSHAL

Frontierado is coming up on Friday, August 4th! Here’s a brief look at two films presented on The Texas 27 Film Vault that match the old west theme of this holiday season: Frontier Marshal and Billy the Kid vs Dracula.

A movie guaranteed to contain absolutely NO accurate information.

A movie guaranteed to contain absolutely NO accurate information.

FRONTIER MARSHAL (1939)

Original Broadcast Date: Saturday October 25th, 1986 from 10:30pm to 1:00am.

Serial: An episode of Mysterious Doctor Satan was shown before the movie. This 1940 serial presented the title villain trying to take over the world with a big, goofy robot while being opposed by a masked superhero called Copperhead.  

THE MOVIE: Frontier Marshal, directed by Allan Dwan, has a well-deserved reputation as the worst and weirdest cinematic depiction of the events leading up to the Gunfight at the OK Corral. Randolph Scott turns inhis usual bland performance as Wyatt Earp with Cesar Romero a very unlikely Doc.

As usual Doc steals the show from the hopelessly dull and straight-arrow Wyatt. Ward Bond shows up as a cowardly lawman, Lon Chaney, Jr, plays one of Curly Bill Brocius’ thugs and Balladeer’s Blog’s old friend John Carradine is the movie’s main villain … Carter. No, not Clanton or even McLaurey but “Carter”.

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

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

Here’s just some of the hilariously distorted bits from this Parallel Universe version of the events in Tombstsone, Arizona:

Doc Holliday’s name is Halliday for some reason and is pronounced “Hale-i-day”. Characters say “Hale-i-day” so many times that if you made it a drinking game you’d be dead of alcohol poisoning about half-way through.  

Doc Holliday, excuse me – Hale-i-day – drank only milk in the west until the woman he loved back in Georgia (his cousin in real life) showed up in Tombstone. Then he started drinking whiskey to escape the pain of seeing her again. Continue reading

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