Tag Archives: Entertainment

MARIKAS (421 B.C.) – ANCIENT GREEK COMEDY

EupolisBalladeer’s Blog presents another look at an ancient Greek Comedy. This time around it’s one written by Eupolis who – along with Aristophanes and Cratinus – was one of the Big Three of Attic Old Comedy.

MARIKAS (c 421 B.C.) – This was the second comedy to emerge in the new subgenre of Attic Old Comedy called “the Demagogue Comedy”. Aristophanes led the way a few years earlier with The Knights, his comedy attacking the politician Cleon. The play Marikas finds Eupolis attacking the demagogue Hyperbolus, whose reputation for character assassination by way of overstatement lives on in our language by way of the word “hyperbole”.  

As with most ancient Greek comedies Marikas has survived only in fragmentary form. Those fragments, along with contemporary references in surviving works, provide what is known about the play. Marikas, the title character, was used by Eupolis to represent the politician Hyperbolus the same way Aristophanes had used the Paphlagonian to represent Cleon in The Knights.

The ancient Greek comedies made a point of breaking the fourth wall on a regular basis (despite the way so many people have convinced themselves that that is a “postmodern” development) and Marikas opened up with a character assuring the audience that the play they were about to see was NOT just a rehashing of The Knights. Continue reading

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INCREDIBLY STRANGE FILM SHOW (1988-1989)

incredibly-strange-film-showThe Incredibly Strange Film  Show and Son of the Incredibly Strange Film Show are must-see viewing for any fan of bad and weird movies. They were originally produced in England and weren’t shown here in the U.S. until the early 1990s when the Discovery Channel aired them.

This program’s fun, witty approach to the subject matter made a huge impact and helped inspire interest in bad movie culture. 

A large part of the charm of this show came from its wonderful host, Jonathan Ross, back in the days before he was in constant need of a haircut and a thorough shampooing. Even Ross’s lisp added somehow to the cultish atmosphere as he would welcome viewers to “this week’s instawwment of The Incwedibwy Stwange Fiwm Show”.

Rather than do a scattershot look at some of the staples of the bad movie subculture this program did an oeuvre by oeuvre examination of many of the legendary directors of cult movies. Ross’s off-kilter sense of humor and infectious playfulness were especially effective in the interview segments, which were anything but dry. Continue reading

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ELVIS PRESLEY: ROCK’N’ROLL VS THE REDCOATS

Elvis IS General Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans

Elvis IS General Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans

January 8th of each year always represents the general rift that separates American pop culture from alleged “high culture”. On the one hand it’s Elvis Presley’s birthday. On the other hand it’s also the anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans, in which General (and future President) Andrew Jackson teamed up with French pirate Jean Lafitte to hand the British their worst defeat in the War of 1812.

It’s not tough to guess which event gets more attention year in and year out, but cult director Eddie Wozniak took a break from the film world to write, produce and direct this musical comedy.

General Jackson as a one-man USO show for his battle-hardened troops

General Jackson as a one-man USO show for his battle-hardened troops

Rock’N’Roll vs the Redcoats is Wozniak’s hilarious but educational fusion of Elvis’ birthday with the martial anniversary. The musical comedy depicts the events of 1815 as they might have been depicted in an Elvis Presley movie with an actual Elvis impersonator in the lead role. So basically the star of Rock’N’Roll vs the Redcoats is a man playing Elvis Presley playing General Andrew Jackson. Continue reading

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MORE HILARIOUSLY WRONG PREDICTIONS FROM PSYCHICS

nuke-the-moonThe readers of Balladeer’s Blog have spoken! You enjoyed the first go-round of these nuggets so much I’m posting this second helping right now!

IRENE HUGHES – In 1978 she predicted:

— In 1980 Russia would land Cosmonauts on the moon to conduct nuclear weapons tests and international outrage over the incident would result in bloodshed.

— Specifically in January of 1980 San Francisco would suffer an earthquake even more severe than the 1906 earthquake that devastated the city.

jimmy-carter-and-michael-jackson— Jimmy Carter would get reelected with a black Vice Presidential candidate replacing Walter Mondale on the ticket.

— The next passing of Halley’s Comet in the 1980s would result in massive upheavals on Earth such as earthquakes, tsunamis and the outbreak of multiple wars.

— The U.S. President would die of natural causes in or near Russia in 1981. Continue reading

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CHRISTOPHER COFFIN: THEATER OF THRILLS RECONSTRUCTION BY O LYTLE HOOVER

christopher coffin

… … “Christopher Coffin”

Special thanks to O Lytle Hoover for contacting me and letting me know about this labor of love at his Youtube channel!

Christopher Coffin (Reed Farrell) hosted Theater of Thrills in Michigan in the 1960s. O Lytle Hoover DIRECTED that late-night Movie Host show and drew on his personal experience to “reconstruct” a Theater of Thrills episode at his Youtube Channel.

FOR MY ORIGINAL ARTICLE ON CHRISTOPHER COFFIN CLICK HERE 

FOR O LYTLE HOOVER’S VIDEO, SEE BELOW: Continue reading

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HILARIOUSLY INACCURATE PREDICTIONS FROM PSYCHICS

earth-explodingWith a new year underway – 2017 C.E. – Balladeer’s Blog takes a look at some past predictions by “psychics” (LMAO) that turned out to be wildly off the mark.

FREDERICK DAVIES – In 1978 he predicted:

— Jimmy Carter would get reelected.

— In the early 1980s sea research would result in a cure for various types of cancer.

— A manned landing on Mars would be made by 1985.

— By 1988 a third of all homes would be using solar energy for cooking and heating.

firebird-2015-ad— Private automobiles would be banned … by 1990.

— Also by 1990 life would be discovered on Jupiter and communication with another planet – possibly from beyond our solar system – would be achieved.

— Between 1999-2001 the origin of the UFO sightings around the world would be determined. Continue reading

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SCROOGE AND MARLEY (2012)

scrooge-marley-2012SCROOGE & MARLEY (2012) – MERRY CHRISTMAS! Balladeer’s Blog’s Christmas Carol-A-Thon for 2016 comes to a close with a look at this gay-oriented adaptation of the Dickens classic. It’s also a musical, but unfortunately the songs struck me as being as blah as most of Leslie Bricusse’s output in Scrooge (1970).

Previously I’ve examined Ebbie, which is a business-woman themed version of the story, John Grin’s Christmas and Christmas is Comin’ Uptown, which are black-themed versions of the story and even See Hear Presents A Christmas Carol, a sign-language and spoken version aimed at the hearing impaired. 

Scrooge & Marley is an openly and deliberately gay adaptation of the Dickens story. It often falls into the trap of using its gay narrative as a gimmick rather than a theme but that risk just goes with the territory when a creative team is locked into following a previously mapped-out storyline.  

The film is set in the fairly present day and opens up at Ebenezer Scrooge’s gay nightclub called Screws. I was hoping it would be called Screwed, to be reminiscent of the porno version of A Christmas Carol titled Ebenezer Screwed. At any rate Scrooge is, as usual, a tight-fisted (as it were) hand at the grindstone and treats his employees horribly. Hell, he even fires them if they tip delivery people out of their own pockets! Continue reading

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