Tag Archives: Entertainment

100 YEARS OF TIME TRAVEL IN MOVIES

Balladeer’s Blog once again presents a new infographic from Enlightened Digital. The previous one examined AI in movies. This time around it’s a look at 100 Years of Time Travel in Movies. Enjoy!Enlightened digital time travel

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Filed under Neglected History

THE FLYING DOCTORS (1986-1992): FORGOTTEN TELEVISION

Flying DoctorsTHE FLYING DOCTORS – Not to be confused with The Teleporting Accountants or The Swimming Chiropractors this was a terrific Australian television series about the Royal Flying Doctor Service. The show was based on the real-life Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, a brilliantly-conceived non-profit outfit that provided medical care – both emergency AND maintenance – for people who had no other access to doctors due to their locations in remote, lightly-populated portions of the Outback.  

With its winning blend of doctors, nurses, life-or-death drama and beautiful Australian scenery this series should have been a NATURAL for crossover success here in the United States. Unfortunately that old t.v. executive excuse always applied to this and other Aussie programming: the belief that the accents would be too heavy for stateside audiences to make out the dialogue. Continue reading

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ASK BALLADEER: DARK SHADOWS (1966-1971)

Dark ShadowsQUESTION: Recently you recapped the saga of Laura Collins the Phoenix from the old Gothic Soap Opera Dark Shadows (1966-1971). Do you plan to review any of the other story arcs from the show?

ANSWER: At this time I don’t but I would emphasize that the original series is always fun to watch for people who like horror, sci-fi and fantasy. Like early Doctor Who episodes, part of the charm comes from the unrefined, seat-of-their-pants, low budget nature of the 5 day a week Dark Shadows.

Even people who aren’t fans of the show seem aware that it featured a vampire, a witch, ghosts and a werewolf. There were also warlocks, a Dorian Gray figure, mad scientists, zombies, an artist whose works came to life because his canvases were made from enchanted wood, plus lots and lots of time travel.

In addition to the aforementioned Phoenix and other tales, Dark Shadows featured two other fun storylines which I’ll summarize briefly:

masc graveyard newThe Leviathan Cult: The supernatural Collins family clashed with what was basically an imitation Cult of Cthulhu. Dan Curtis (creator and guiding creative force behind Dark Shadows) made the undersea entity worshiped by the cult be Leviathan from the Bible. (“Try suing us NOW, Arkham House!” I’m kidding.) Other serpentine figures from world mythology were tied to the Leviathans, too, like Nagas. 

You know the drill: the Leviathans ruled the world long before the dawn of humanity and wanted to rule it again with the help of their human cultists. The thwarted Leviathans punished Barnabas Collins by returning the curse of the vampire upon him. (In a disastrous move that was up there with New Coke, the show’s creative team had actually had Barnabas cured for a while, but babes just didn’t go for the less-than-smoldering Jonathan Frid without his fangs.)

Even the witch Angelique had given up her evil pursuit of Barnabas for a time and had settled down with wealthy publisher Sky Rumson (Geoffrey Scott of First and Ten). When it turned out Sky was really one of the Leviathan worshipers, the heart-broken Angelique was once again free to stalk the re-fanged Barnabas. 

The second of the two storylines came by way of Mary Shelley – Continue reading

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Filed under Forgotten Television, Halloween Season

THE HISTORY OF TIME TRAVEL (2014)

The History of Time TravelTHE HISTORY OF TIME TRAVEL (2014) – This is not a bad movie, it’s simply a weird movie and I mean that in the best possible way. It’s a low-budget affair done as a faux documentary and since those have been done to death this film has not gotten the kind of attention it deserves.   

Writer and director Ricky Kennedy has managed to combine the fake documentary approach with well-established time travel motifs to tell a story that is so touching I was literally in tears at the end. I’m not going Kevin “The Kryer” Smith on you readers, I’m just saying that if you pay attention to the tale unfolding in this enjoyable but challenging movie you can’t help but feel very moved.

The emotional impact has caused me to elevate The History of Time Travel above my previous favorite time travel film, Primer. Just like Primer, this Ricky Kennedy creation requires a viewer’s full attention to be appreciated. If you’re not in the mood to devote as much focus to THOTT as you would to reading a book then save it for a time when you ARE in such a mood.

The movie begins as a seemingly straightforward documentary about a scientist who pioneered actual time travel but that’s just the narrative device for examining the way time travel would enable changes to “history” without the larger world even being aware of what changes have been made. And yes, I know plenty of time travel stories have addressed such issues but THOTT combines it with a powerful emotional punch that sets it apart. Continue reading

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Filed under Bad and weird movies, opinion

BRIE LARSON’S BUCKET LIST

Brie Larson

FIRST FEMALE ACTION STAR, LIKE, EVER, DUDE!

Even for a shallow and uninformed “entertainer” (LMAO), Brie Larson is hilariously pompous. She seems narcissistically oblivious to film history – even RECENT film history – and keeps making ridiculous statements that she is some sort of pioneer for having starred in the Captain Marvel movie.

Brie conveniently forgets that Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman beat Captain Marvel to theaters … and so did the Lara Croft, Tomb Raider films, Milla Jovovich’s Alice in the Resident Evil series of movies, the female action stars in Ultra Violet, Elektra, Underworld, Atomic Blonde, Aeon Flux, Kill Bill and so many others.

Quick and the DeadTo say nothing of Sigourney Weaver in the Alien movies and Pam Grier in Foxy Brown, Coffy, Sheba Baby and Friday Foster. And had Larson ever heard of La Femme Nikita?

Even more comical is the fact that she is still at it! What a buffoon! Anyway, here’s a mock Bucket List for the solipsistic Brie Larson:

*** BECOME THE FIRST WOMAN TO WIN AN OSCAR.

*** BECOME THE FIRST WOMAN ELECTED TO THE UNITED STATES SENATE.

xena*** BECOME THE FIRST FEMALE SECRETARY OF STATE IN AMERICAN HISTORY.

*** COURAGEOUSLY BECOME THE FIRST WOMAN TO DISCUSS HER POLITICAL OPINIONS IN AN INTERVIEW.

*** WISH SHE HAD HAD THE COURAGE TO LET A WOMAN OF COLOR STAR AS CAPTAIN MARVEL SINCE THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN MONICA RAMBEAU WAS THE FIRST FEMALE CAPTAIN MARVEL IN THE COMIC BOOKS … of the 1980s. Continue reading

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Filed under humor, opinion

MOVIE HOSTESS DRACULEENA AND MANY OTHER NEGLECTED HOSTS

DraculeenaHere at Balladeer’s Blog my fondness for the really old Movie Host/ Horror Host shows is well known.

Courtesy of Gary P here are some very old television listings for a neglected hostess called Draculeena. Her show debuted on October 28th, 1960 on KVAR in Phoenix, AZ.

Draculeena 2Gary has uncovered a wealth of info and clippings regarding this figure plus many more neglected Movie Hosts.

Find out about overlooked stars like Miss Nightmare, Iago, Timmy the Timid, DracuLinda, Satina, Dr Wolfgang Von Schrecklich and many more.

For all the details plus photos when available click Continue reading

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Filed under Bad and weird movies, Halloween Season, Movie Hosts

EMPIRE OF ASH WEDNESDAY: MOVIE REVIEW

After a terrific Fat Tuesday it’s time for Ash Wednesday … as in Empire of Ash, the awful series of post-apocalypse movies. From Canada! Brave the Canuckalypse with me! 

Empire of AshEMPIRE OF ASH (1988) – Also released as Maniac Warriors, this post-apocalypse movie is, as you would expect, another of the 1980s’ countless imitators of The Road Warrior. In Empire of Ash our year is 2050 and our main location is an American settlement called New Idaho, with Canadian forests passing for the post-holocaust world. All cities have become uninhabitable so survivalists scrape by in woodland communities.

The plague that destroyed civilization is a blood disease and it continues to be one of the biggest threats, along with the usual mutants and rampaging, gun-wielding gangs. There are some scattered scientists trying to come up with a cure for the blood disease but there are also evil sufferers of the disease who prey upon the unafflicted by consuming their blood and bone marrow to survive a little bit longer.

The disease-ridden have been organized into a bizarre religion and they consider the plague to be God’s vengeance, just like AIDS was being called by assorted zealots at this point in the 80s. The religion and government are run by a preacher called the Great Shepherd (Frank Wilson). Before draining the blood and marrow of “pure-bloods” they baptize them as human sacrifices.  Continue reading

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Filed under Bad and weird movies