Tag Archives: Bad Movies


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 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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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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Filed under Bad and weird movies, Forgotten Television, Movie Hosts


Drive In Of the DamnedBalladeer’s Blog’s love of old exploitation films is well known.

For everyone else who shares my enthusiasm a new ‘zine launched this month.

It’s titled Drive-In of the Damned: The Preservation of Exploitation. One of the features of this debut issue is a lost interview with Ted V Mikels, the man behind films like The Corpse Grinders, Astro-Zombies, The Doll Squad, Blood Orgy of the She-Devils and many more. 


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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


Filed under Bad and weird movies, Forgotten Television, Movie Hosts


Suburban SasquatchRecently I’ve gotten several requests to review Suburban Sasquatch, written and directed by Dave Wascavage.  I’ve watched some of Wascavage’s flicks in response to those requests and I began to suspect that he is one of the faux-badfilm figures out there.

I like films which are bad UN-intentionally. Suburban Sasquatch further convinced me that Wascavage and his team set out to artificially harness the kind of Midnight Movie notoriety that The Room had organically earned the previous year. The documentary on The Making of Suburban Sasquatch sealed it for me.

In that documentary Wascavage spouts what sound to me like intentionally absurd profundities about the obviously awful movie, and I get a vibe from his behavior that he’s just furthering the illusion that he was trying to make a serious film. Fakeness oozes from the screen, especially when the female costume designer straight-facedly talks about her excitement in working on “a Dave Wascavage film.”

So I won’t be reviewing any of the man’s movies. I’m not trying to dissuade other people from watching his low-budget efforts, though. By all means check them out if you’re so inclined, but I get no enjoyment out of being played like this. I like straight-up parodies of bad movies or failed film efforts which are truly bad but I can’t even force myself to sit through quasi-Andy Kaufman style put-ons. 

I’m not saying any of this in anger, it’s just my usual “Give me Troma or give me Ed Wood” philosophy. 


Filed under Bad and weird movies, opinion