Before MST3K there was … The Texas 27 Film Vault! In the middle 1980’s, way down on Level 31 Randy Clower and Richard Malmos, machine-gun toting Film Vault Technicians First Class hosted this neglected cult show. Balladeer’s Blog continues its celebration of the program’s THIRTIETH anniversary year.
Welcome to a special Frontierado Season look at this neglected cult show! And remember, Frontierado is Friday August 7th!
ORIGINAL BROADCAST DATE: Saturday May 18th, 1985 from 10:30pm to 1:00am.
SERIAL: Before showing and mocking Billy the Kid vs Dracula our members of the Film Vault Corps (“the few, the proud, the sarcastic”) showed and mocked an episode of the Mascot Serial The Phantom Empire (1935).
In that classically campy serial Gene Autry played a singing cowboy who saves the world from an advanced underground civilization that comes complete with killer robots who wear cowboy hats.
FILM VAULT LORE: Special thanks to my fellow Vaultie “King Vita” for the date of this episode. He also passed along the info that he was already obsessed with western movies, serials and television shows by this point in the 1980’s.
The King recalls that he got all excited because he assumed the coincidental “all-western” theme of this episode of The Texas 27 Film Vault, along with the “Texas” part of the title, meant that every episode would focus exclusively on westerns. (Ken Miller’s recurring character Tex probably added to his mistaken impression.) Needless to say he learned he was wrong by the following episode but still fell in love with the show.
A behind the scenes photo of Laurie Savino, who held the rank of Mystery Clip Technician in the Film Vault Corps.
FILM VAULT CORPS: Here is another photo of Laurie Savino, whose rank in the fictional Film Vault Corps was “Mystery Clip Technician” for the trivia contests based on quick clips of movies previously shown by Randy and Richard.
Sometimes the prizes would be movie ticket give-aways sponsored by Channel 27 and other times would be items like the Randy and Richard action figures. Laurie was also featured on The Texas 27 Film Vault 3-D poster (another of the give-aways) and the occassional newspaper article about the program.
THE MOVIE: Billy the Kid vs Dracula is one of the most notorious Golden Turkeys of all time and was directed by the legendary William “One Shot” Beaudine. Beaudine got his nickname for his commitment to using just one take for each scene, no matter how good or bad. And by this point in his career – which reached back to the days of silent movies – there were a lot more bad takes than good. Continue reading