2020 TEXAS GLADIATORS (1982) – HAPPY NEW YEAR! Balladeer’s Blog’s Weirdness at the End of the World welcomes in the year 2020 with a look at what Texas will be like in a few months. There are changes coming your way, Texans!
Actually, it’s not really Texas and there are NO gladiators in this film but at least it is now officially 2020!
When reviewing other post-apocalypse movies I’ve often made references to 2020 Texas Gladiators. The fact that I call it my favorite bad post-apocalypse movie has often prompted readers of Balladeer’s Blog to ask why I hadn’t reviewed it yet. The answer was always that I was saving it up for New Year’s Day of 2020.
Just because this is my favorite bad post-apocalypse film does NOT mean I consider it to be the worst one. That designation would be reserved for unwatchable trash like Empire of Ash III and the like.
2020 Texas Gladiators is my favorite bad entry in the genre because of how it defeats itself at every turn, because of its lame attempts to pretend it’s being filmed in America instead of Italy and because of how joyously tasteless it is. Tell the Hekawi tribe from F-Troop to move over! They’ve been replaced as the fakest-looking Native Americans in entertainment history by the post-apocalypse Indians in this flick, portrayed by obvious Italian extras!
Their black wigs with built-in headbands are one thing, their less than authentic vests are another thing, their Tonto way of speaking still another, but the POST-APOCALYPSE TEEPEES they live in will bring a smile to the lips of any true fan of really bad exploitation movies.
Taking things from the top, Al D’Amato directed 2020 Texas Gladiators under one of his countless aliases. For all I know he may have even directed a film using MY name. The following year Warrior of the Lost World, another Italian ripoff of Mad Max, would reuse this movie’s Nazi-esque uniforms and riot shields for the bad guys and many of this flick’s supporting cast. Hell, the largest vehicle in 2020TG even shows up as Mega-Weapon in that same movie. Continue reading
Balladeer’s Blog takes another look at some very strange movies from the cinematic hinterlands. Enjoy these four to help get over any post-Christmas blues.
INVASION OF THE BEE GIRLS (1973) – William “Big Bill” Smith from biker films and the old western series Laredo stars as a government agent investigating the mysterious deaths of scientists working on Top Secret projects.
Turns out a female mad scientist is creating a race of human/queen bee hybrids out of female subjects. These Bee Girls then go forth and slay their male targets by literally “loving” them to death. Continue reading
Terminator: Dark Fate is – as of this writing – on course to lose 120 million dollars due to its lackluster performance. (UPDATE: The projected loss has now been increased to 130 million dollars)
That lackluster performance is due to its many failings – chief among those the killing-off of John Connor in the first few minutes of the movie.
Reviewer Viv of Hey Viv fame passionately and brilliantly dismembered this pathetic excuse for filmmaking. Enjoy her review below and be sure to subscribe to her HERE
NO SURVIVORS PLEASE (1964) – This obscure black & white wonder from West Germany is one of the most memorably weird movies of its time. It’s not easy to describe what makes it so appealing. The fundamental story – aliens plan to wipe out all life on Earth – has been done too many times to count. Not even their method is all that unique – the ET’s project their consciousness into the bodies of freshly-dead human beings – which has been done in other movies.
No Survivors Please is certainly not cheap, either. The action takes place in various international locations, the actors were all reasonably big in Europe at the time and the production values are impressive. There are no laughable spaceships, no goofy-looking aliens and no lame monsters on the loose.
There’s just something about this film, though. While not colossally bad it still keeps you laughing the entire running time. A large part of the reason is the fact that the people who get possessed by the aliens often behave LESS weirdly than the supposedly “normal” people do.
We join the story with the aliens’ plot already pretty far along. They’ve been engineering the deaths of assorted scientists, politicians and military figures from around the world and then possessing their bodies. From there they manipulated global events to the degree that they are on the verge of secretly provoking a nuclear war that will annihilate all life on Earth. Continue reading
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