It’s Friday the Thirteenth! In previous years Balladeer’s Blog has examined the 1907 novel Friday the Thirteenth, the odd horror/ arthouse film Friday the Thirteenth: The Orphan and the Texas 27 Film Vault presentation of Friday the Thirteenth Part 3D. This year I’ll take a look at some of the worst Jason Voorhees imitators and forerunners.
Movie: Horror House on Highway Five (1985)
Lore: Bartholomew wore a Richard Nixon mask while slicing and dicing his victims. He was a simple-minded man transformed into an unstoppable killer by a Nazi mad scientist … A Nazi mad scientist who, strangely enough, wore a yarmulke. With a swastika on it. (?)
FOR MY FULL-LENGTH REVIEW CLICK HERE
Movie: The Psychopath (1975)
Lore: Mister Rabbey was a child-minded nutcase who hosted a Mister Rogers-type kiddie show. When he discovers that some of the children he visits at the local hospital have been abused by their parents he sets out to kill those abusers. He kills by strangling one victim with his security blanket but also uses weapons like a baseball bat, garden shears and a lawnmower in his deadly crusade.
FOR MY FULL-LENGTH REVIEW CLICK HERE Continue reading
Frontierado is coming up on Friday, August 2nd! 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. Randy Clower and Richard Malmos were the hosts.
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.
Movie: Frontier Marshal is notorious as the LEAST historically accurate depiction of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Randolph Scott starred as Wyatt Earp with Cesar Romero as Doc Holliday. Nobody can pronounce Doc’s name right, plus he’s presented as a Medical Doctor instead of a dentist. Meanwhile Doc himself starts out the film drinking only milk. (?)
Randy (right) and Richard way down on Level 31 hosting The Texas 27 Film Vault
No Clantons or McClaurey’s are to be found anywhere, nor are Wyatt’s brothers. Doc is shown getting killed off BEFORE the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral even happens! To top it all off the famous gunfight takes place at night for no apparent reason and Wyatt’s only ally in the battle is a saloon girl who had a crush on Doc. Bad craziness all around in this little honey. Continue reading
Rutger Hauer has passed away. In the usual Balladeer’s Blog custom when an actor dies, here’s an affectionate look at one of Rutger’s most enjoyably bad movies.
PRECIOUS FIND (1996) – This is a hilariously bad attempt to do a science fiction version of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. That description makes this movie sound much, MUCH better than it really is.
In the far future a lunar colony called Moon City is the jumping-off point for prospectors who travel to various asteroids trying to strike “precious finds” in the form of valuable metals and precious stones. The Christmas background adds to the fun in this UN-intentional comedy.
Rutger Hauer, whose performances run the quality gamut from Lawrence Olivier to Nicolas Cage, is very firmly in Cage territory in this bomb. Hauer plays Armond Crille, a former prospector who has given up hard work for the more lucrative trade of fleecing bored prospectors at the card-playing tables. Continue reading
THE COMIC (1985) – Virtually every film buff today knows the tale of Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and Robert Tapert raising money from doctors, grocers and dentists in Michigan to finance their subsequent horror hit The Evil Dead.
Over in the U.K. Richard Driscoll raised money from Welsh miners and doctors to finance his very odd movie The Comic. Raimi and company went on to lucrative careers in the entertainment industry. Driscoll’s story did not have the same type of fairy-tale ending. Not even with an established figure like John Eyres helping out financially when Richard’s original funds ran out.
The Comic takes place “in another place and another time” according to one of the female characters. From appearances it’s a near-future police state in which fairly ambiguous laws are enforced by goose-stepping goons who wear their hair in ponytails. This film seems to be reaching for the heights achieved in cult films like Eraserhead and Café Flesh but falls so far short that it’s more like The Jar.
Writer/ director Driscoll also peppers in elements of MacBeth, Hamlet and King Lear but only succeeds in embodying the worst clichés of arthouse cinema. If this had been a latter-day student film or direct to video affair it would not deserve all the insults that reviewers throw its way. But if you’re cheeky enough to dump something like this on the theater-going public you’re just asking for a critical onslaught. Continue reading
THE RUINED BRUIN (1961) – Written and directed by THE John K McCarthy, The Ruined Bruin was another one of those late “nudie cuties” which would make modern audiences yawn and wince … But would no doubt REALLY excite Furries!
In the past Balladeer’s Blog has reviewed the closing years of the Nudie Cutie subgenre as it went through its final convulsions in the form of gimmicks, each one more absurd than the last. I’ve reviewed Nude on the Moon, The Naked Witch, Orgy of the Dead, Doctor Sex and others.
The Ruined Bruin features a bear – really a costumed man (Myron Griffin) – who escapes from the Los Angeles Zoo and, for no apparent reason than so this movie could be made, tries to romance assorted gorgeous half-nude ladies.
Despite their name the Nudie Cuties never featured full nudity. Toplessness and some butt-shots were all you got, with strategically and/or improbably placed branches, shrubs or rail fences covering pubic regions. Fans of Peter Sellers will remember the classic sendup of those nudie cuties that he worked into one of his Inspector Clouseau films.
The appeal of these movies is barely understood today, when you can find any visual stimulation you want with just a few clicks on your keyboard but decades ago Nudie Cuties really packed ’em in.
At any rate Buddy the Bear (Griffin) escapes from the zoo and, equipped with his Boris and Natasha-level Russian accent for his voice-over, takes in the sight of plenty of beautiful women. When the first one rejects his advances (and no, I don’t know why a bear is interested in human women any more than I know why cartoon mice characters often woo female cats away from their feline arch-enemies) Buddy tries to transform himself into a human male. Continue reading
THE GIRL IN THE KREMLIN (1957) – The tagline for this Golden Turkey should have been “STALIN’S BACK AND GABOR’S GOT HIM!” The world of Bad Movies is pretty thoroughly littered with hilariously lame films proceeding from the premise that Adolf Hitler survived his supposed death and plotted a Fourth Reich.
The Girl in the Kremlin gives equal time to Hitler’s equally insane but even more murderous contemporary Joseph Stalin.
Zsa Zsa Gabor – yes, Zsa Zsa Gabor – co-stars as TWINS in this movie which features Patty Duke Show regular William Schallert, so you can insert your own “Identical Zsa Zsas” song and joke here. (“They walk alike, they talk alike, they even get their heads shaved alike”)
And feel free to choose your preferred caption to the photo at right. Either: a) ONE … MILLION … RUBLES or b) Zsa Zsa Gabor IS Mrs Kojak, this fall on the CW!
Adding to the joyously tasteless atmosphere of this flick is the fact that the guy playing Stalin is named Maurice MANSON! The Marilyn Manson and shock-rocker Hitler “Where Are They Now” Stalin jokes pretty much write themselves.
THE STORY: The Girl in the Kremlin begins in March of 1953, when in real life the subhuman piece of filth Joseph Stalin died. In this movie we see Stalin have a plastic surgeon transform a hapless stooge into a lookalike of the mad Soviet Dictator. (They Saved Stalin’s Face!)
The lookalike is killed and presented for burial while Stalin – who passed the time during the surgery indulging his famous fetish for watching a woman suffer a forced head-shaving – undergoes plastic surgery of his own to disguise his features. The murderous scumbag then flees Russia with – we are told – HALF THE MONEY IN THE SOVIET TREASURY plus a few aides including Nurse Grisenko, one of the twins portrayed by Zsa Zsa Gabor herself. Continue reading
CHINATOWN CONNECTION (1990) – Forget it, Jake, it’s NOT Chinatown. Nor is it The French Connection. Nor The Chinese Connection. Hell, it’s not even Love Connection. What it IS is a late 80s buddy cop film released in 1990, complete with the “one white guy and one non-white guy” aspect. (48 Hours, Running Scared, Lethal Weapon, etc)
Forget it, Fall Guy fans, it’s NOT Lee Majors. It’s not even Lee Majors JUNIOR, technically, since he goes by Lee Majors II. Nor is it Bruce Lee backing him up but instead Bruce Ly, who is considered lame even by devoted Brucesploitation fans like me.
Lee the Second (it feels like the word “King” or “Pope” should be in front of that) stars as Detective Houston (Forget it, Lee Horsley fans, it’s NOT Matt Houston – OKAY, I’ll stop!). Warren Houston is your regulation Cop Who Plays By His Own Set of Rules and he has anger management issues to boot. Continue reading