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FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH: 1907 NOVEL

friday-the-thirteenth-novelFRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH (1907) – Written by Thomas William Lawson, a writer and stock manipulator who made a fortune from shady stock deals … in between advocating for cleaning up Wall Street to shut down those fleece jobs. The reforms Lawson campaigned for were taken up decades later when Franklin Roosevelt appointed future Supreme Court Justice William O Douglas to head the Securities Exchange Commission.

Coincidentally enough the overall feel of Friday the Thirteenth put me in mind of FDR’s cousin, Theodore Roosevelt. The novel did that with its New York setting, with the way the story takes place late in T.R.’s presidency and most especially with the way it dealt with ethics in the marketplace.  

lawson-cartoon-betterJim Randolph, one of the novel’s main characters, is in the T.R. mold: he may be a bloated rich pig but at least he’s a bloated rich pig with a sense of noblesse oblige. Jim shares Teddy Roosevelt’s disdain for the Trusts and for con men who use the stock market to rip off their clients.

It’s not as if Jim Randolph is as fiery as Teddy Forstmann was in his opposition to Leveraged Buy Outs during the 1980s, but like Forstmann he has a sense of what makes for a healthy economy and frowns upon the fly-by-night operators who thrive on irresponsible “frenzied finance” as Randolph calls it.   Continue reading

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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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EASTER SILENT FILM: LIFE AND PASSION OF JESUS CHRIST (1907)

Since today is BOTH Easter Sunday AND April Fool’s Day I figured people might think my usual Easter examinations of Apocryphal Gospels were just made-up April Fool’s Day pranks. Instead I went with this 1907 silent film about Jesus from the cradle to the crucifixion. 

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COLLEGE BASKETBALL: NCCAA AND NAIA DIVISION ONE TOURNEYS PLUS MORE

NCCAA DIV ONE

Bluefield Rambling Rams logoFINAL FOUR: FIRST BERTH – The 6th seeded BLUEFIELD COLLEGE RAMBLING RAMS went up against the 3 seeds – the MID-AMERICA CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY EVANGELS.

The Rambling Rams were feeling it and put the Evangels on Upset Alert at Halftime with their 35-31 lead. After the break Bluefield College intensified their efforts, limiting Mid-America Christian University to just 27 points while putting up 39 themselves. The final score was Rambling Rams 74  Evangels 58. Seventeen points from Jermiah (middle name “sic”) Jenkins led Bluefield. 

Emmanuel College Lions logoFINAL FOUR: SECOND BERTH – Up next the 2 seeds – the EMMANUEL COLLEGE LIONS – battled the 7th seeded COLLEGE OF THE OZARKS BOBCATS.

The 1st Half ended with the Lions clinging to a 39-34 edge. From there Emmanuel College kicked things up a notch on both sides of the ball, putting more and more distance between themselves and the Bobcats. In the end the Lions defeated the College of the Ozarks 80-63 led by Elijah Robinson’s 18 points. Continue reading

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NOVEMBER 2017’s BEST

Balladeer’s Blog’s Best of 2017 continues …

bellona-and-rennellNUMBER ONE – Two gods of Bellona and Rennell Islands – NGUATUPU’A AND TEPOUTU’UINGANGI – As part of my look at gods and goddesses from various Polynesian island groups.

CLICK HERE 

NUMBER TWO – THE NEW HUMANS (1909): ANCIENT SCIENCE FICTION – CLICK HERE 

Che Guevara 2NUMBER THREE – A look at how CHE GUEVARA AND GUY FAWKES came to symbolize the opposite of what they were in real life. CLICK HERE 

NUMBER FOUR – A political tell-all about a small part of the sleaze in American politics – DONNA BRAZILE’S BOOK ON HILLARY AND DNC CORRUPTION. CLICK HERE 

NUMBER FIVE – A look at yet another American Liberal like me driven away from the Left by their cowardly hypocrisy, pompous snobbery and hilarious pretentiousness. KERI SMITH – Just CLICK HERE

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BEST BLOG POSTS OF OCTOBER 2017

Balladeer’s Blog’s Best of 2017 continues …

Rappaccini's Daughter 2NUMBER ONE – BEATRICE THE POISON WOMAN – A Halloween Season look at the beautiful but deadly hybrid woman from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s horror story Rappaccini’s Daughter. CLICK HERE  

NUMBER TWO – LATEST DEMOCRAT ATROCITY ROUNDUP – They love to lecture the rest of us for hellish situations of their own making. CLICK HERE 

Frankenstein's Army 2NUMBER THREE – FRANKENSTEIN’S ARMY (2013) – A review of this look at a horror movie about a descendant of the original Dr Frankenstein. This Doctor F is reanimating custom-weaponized corpses for the Nazis during World War Two. CLICK HERE 

NUMBER FOUR – My review of ROBERT LUDLUM’S NUMBER ONE NOVEL – THE MATARESE CIRCLE. In this age of debates over globalism and the ugly influence of multi-national corporations on the political process The Matarese Circle is THE Ludlum novel to discover if you haven’t already. CLICK HERE 

Soul of Kol NikonNUMBER FIVE – THE SOUL OF KOL NIKON (1913) – My Halloween Season review of this neglected novel by female author Eleanor Farjeon. The story deals with a Changeling using his supernatural command of music to try to steal a soul for himself from a human victim. CLICK HERE 

NUMBER SIX – THE CENTENARIAN (1822) – My review of a Gothic Horror novel by Balzac himself. A Frenchman has lived for centuries through the supernatural abilities he has learned from the Rosicrucians. He serves as a veritable Puss In Boots for his descendants, using his powers to prey on anyone who gets in their way. CLICK HERE

Bourne IdentityNUMBER SEVEN – THE BOURNE IDENTITY – My review of ROBERT LUDLUM’S NUMBER TWO NOVEL, about amnesiac intelligence agent Jason Bourne. CLICK HERE  

NUMBER EIGHT – THE BLACK REAPER (1899) – My Halloween Season review of this Gothic Horror story about a black-garbed figure who springs from the corn fields, wielding a scythe to very deadly effect. CLICK HERE

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SEPTEMBER 2017’s BEST BLOG POSTS

More from Balladeer’s Blog’s Best of 2017 …

MantisNUMBER ONE – With superheroes practically taking over pop culture it should come as no surprise that my look at Marvel Comics’ character Mantis was a huge hit.

For the links to every chapter of my examination of the Celestial Madonna Saga during Mantis’ time with the Avengers – 1973-1975 – click HERE 

corporate fascist Mark Zuckerberg

CORPORATE FASCIST MARK “SKIPPY” ZUCKERBERG

 

 

NUMBER TWO – In second place for September was this look at the way Democrats are trying to use their corporate fascist allies to police everyone.

At all times. Everywhere. With draconian punishments for expressing opinions that Left-Wing Archie Bunkers disagree with.

For DEMOCRATS LOVE CORPORATE FASCISM just click right HERE 

Laura Palmer wrapped in plasticNUMBER THREE – David Lynch’s excellent Twin Peaks returned for 18 more episodes that continued the story from the original 1990-1991 series, the 1992 film Fire Walk With Me and 2014’s The Missing Pieces.

 

As a courtesy for potential fans of Twin Peaks who are put off by the way a lot of people claim it “makes no sense” I gave the most basic look at the horror/ sci fi concepts at play in the show. For TWIN PEAKS IN B-MOVIE TERMS click HERE  

Freedom of expression amnesty internationalNUMBER FOUR – The American Left has come to love censorship as much as the religious right always did.

Past works of art are examined to see if they “offend” the hypersensitive fascists of “the academic world” (LMAO).  

The blog post titled DEMOCRATS HATE ART AND LITERATURE covered that HERE

chancellor manuscript 2NUMBER FIVE – Balladeer’s Blog was examining various espionage novels by Robert Ludlum, the man behind the Jason Bourne books.

I reviewed his very relevant novel The Chancellor Manuscript, which dealt with J Edgar Hoover, the FBI and abuse of intelligence-gathering by BOTH the political right AND political left.   

To read ROBERT LUDLUM’S TOP SEVEN NOVELS: NUMBER FOUR click HERE  

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