Happy Anniversary to The Texas Twenty-Seven Film Vault, one of the pre-MST3K Movie Host shows. Yes it was Saturday night February 9th, 1985 that this program debuted in Dallas, Texas, in the same studio that would later be used for Joe Bob’s Drive-In. Here is an encore presentation of my EXCLUSIVE 2011 interview with Randy Clower, one of The Texas Twenty-Seven Film Vault‘s co-creators and co-hosts.
Clower (right) with co-host Richard Malmos as “Film Vault Technicians First Class” on The Texas 27 Film Vault
Before MST3K there was THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT! Before Joel and Mike lovers of bad movies had Randy and Richard! Before Pearl there was Laurie Savino! Before Devil Dogs, Observers and Deep 13 there came Cellumites, giant rats and Level 31.
In the mid 1980s The Texas 27 Film Vault was the show to watch on Saturday nights for wry mockery of Golden Turkeys preceded by episodes of vintage Republic Serials like Radar Men From The Moon and Canadian Mounties vs Atomic Invaders.
The Texas 27 Film Vault is one of the great unsung Movie Host shows of the 1980s and I was thrilled to get this exclusive interview with Randy Clower, co-star and co-creator of this legendary cult show from the Dallas/ Fort Worth area. “The Film Vault Guys” as they were often called by us fans, or “Vaulties”, established the pattern that a few other Movie Hosts have since followed. Continue reading
In the middle 1980s/
Way down on Level 31 …
Before MST3K there was … THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT!
Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of this neglected cult show from the mid-1980s.
EPISODE ORIGINALLY BROADCAST: Saturday March 30th, 1985 from 10:30pm to 1:00am.
SERIAL: Prior to showing and mocking the movie Randy Clower and Richard Malmos, the show’s machine-gun wielding “Film Vault Technicians First Class” showed an episode of the notoriously campy sci-fi serial The Lost City (1935). That serial featured a super-scientific city lost in the middle of the African jungle plus zombified “giant” African tribesmen, ray-guns, a slinky femme fatale and a tribe of pygmies. There’s also a Great White Hunter as the hero and a mad scientist whose inventions include a machine that turns black people into white people! And the “colorization” is considered a REWARD for tribesmen who serve the mad scientist well! All this plus BOTH William Boyds in one serial!
THE TUNNEL WITH THE MINIATURES OF MULTIPLE VAULT DOORS THAT OPENED AS THE POV CAMERA FILMED THEM.
FILM VAULT LORE: One eye-catching element of The Texas 27 Film Vault was the POV shot down a tunnel of various vault doors which would open in turn as the camera approached them. It’s another aspect of the show that had Vaulties feeling deja vu when MST3K debuted years later.
The shot was achieved through miniatures, of course, and Randy Clower was kind enough to provide me with the behind-the- scenes photo shown above.
THE MOVIE: Monster From Green Hell was one of the many, many “Big Bug” films of the 1950s. Most of those “bugs” on the loose were mutated to giant size by atomic radiation but in this flick it was cosmic radiation instead which was the culprit.
Two scientists at a desert testing lab featuring the WORST paintings masquerading as scenery outside a window in film history are launching rockets with various life forms aboard. They do that to test the effects of exposure to cosmic radiation on those life forms. Continue reading
In the middle 1980s/ Way down on Level 31 …
Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of this neglected cult show from the 1980s.
EPISODE ORIGINALLY BROADCAST: Saturday February 22nd, 1986 from 10:30pm to 1:00am.
SERIAL: Before showing and mocking the movie machine-gun toting Randy Clower and Richard Malmos, as members of the fictional Film Vault Corps (“the few, the proud, the sarcastic”) showed and mocked a chapter of the Republic Serial Radar Men from the Moon (1952).
FILM VAULT LORE: Our Film Vault Technicians First Class would pull the usual Movie Host duties like providing background info on the films and serials, and would also do comedy sketches centered around their fictional Film Vault Corps before and after commercials. They protected their duty station from menaces like giant rats, cellumites and other threats.
That duty station – Level 31 Core 27 of the Film Vault System was accessed via an industrial park behind KDFI Channel 27’s headquarters off Highway 183 near Dallas. The show was directed by Karl Newman, who often good-naturedly bemoaned Randy and Richard’s tendency to ad-lib. Sometimes in print interviews Newman would joke that if they used a script they would need far too many takes for Clower and Malmos to read their lines right, hence the ad-libbing.
THE MOVIE: Blood Beach (1980) was one of Continue reading
In the middle 1980s/ Way down on Level 31 …
Before MST3K there was The Texas 27 Film Vault! Balladeer’s Blog continues its celebration of this neglected cult show’s THIRTIETH anniversary.
On the Saturday before Christmas in 1985 our machine-gun toting Film Vault Technicians First Class presented Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, but since that flick has been shown by every single Movie Host show in history I opted to feature this 1986 holiday item instead.
EPISODE ORIGINALLY BROADCAST: Saturday December 20th, 1986 from 10:30pm to 1:00am.
SERIAL: Since this was a Christmas episode our heroes from the fictional Film Vault Corps (“the few, the proud, the sarcastic”) took a break from their pre-movie serial of the moment and instead showed and mocked a pair of short items with a Yuletide air. FIRST: Scrooge Loose, an 8 minute Gumby stop-motion animation treat from 1957. Gumby and his equine pal Pokey spot Ebenezer Scrooge escaping from Continue reading
Before MST3K there was … The Texas 27 Film Vault!
In the middle 1980s, 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.
ORIGINAL BROADCAST DATE: December 14th, 1985
SERIAL: Before showing and mocking the movie our members of the Film Vault Corps showed and mocked a chapter of Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940). In that serial Ming the Merciless unleashes a disease called the Purple Death on Earth, prompting Flash Gordon, Dale Arden and Dr Zarkov to fly to the planet Mongo to find a cure and defeat Ming for good.
HOST SEGMENTS: None have been unearthed for this episode yet. As always if any other fans of this show have any info they would like to share feel free to contact me at Thtcom15 at aol dot com
We’ve come a long way toward tentatively reconstructing a tiny bit of this show’s history over the past few years so hopefully more memories will be jogged.
MOVIE: This is the notoriously cheapjack and rushed adaptation of A Christmas Carol. Continue reading
Blood Freak (1972)
In the middle 1980s/ Way down on Level 31 …
Before MST3K there was The Texas 27 Film Vault! Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of this neglected cult show from the 1980s with another review of an episode where an original air date can be determined. This time around I’m taking a look at the show’s Thanksgiving episode from the Saturday night before Thanksgiving in 1985.
Randy and Richard showed and mocked Blood Freak, the notorious “Turkey Monster” movie that has been featured by virtually every Movie Host show except MST3K over the years. The Turkey Monster and the main character’s job at a turkey farm have made this a Thanksgiving Season favorite for lovers of bad movies.
EPISODE ORIGINALLY BROADCAST: Saturday November 23rd, 1985 from 10:30pm to 1:00am.
FILM VAULT LORE: Our machine-gun toting members of the fictional Film Vault Corps Randy Clower and Richard Malmos used to joke about how The Texas 27 Film Vault seemed to show every movie that had the word “blood” in the title. Previously I’ve reviewed the T27FV episodes featuring the movies Queen of Blood and Blood Beach but there are plenty more coming with sanguinous titles.
Thank you to my fellow T27FV fan Dolores for this quote about Ken Miller, who played “Tex” on the show and who, tragically, committed suicide in 1988: “I loved the random bits of madness added by the gung ho Tex each episode! He always reminded me of Robert Duvall’s character Kilgore from Apocalypse Now. My favorite catch-phrase from Tex was when he would say “Commies don’t watch bad movies!” the way Duvall said “Charley don’t surf!” in Apocalypse Now.”
SERIAL: Before showing and mocking the movie our Film Vault Technicians First Class showed and mocked a chapter of the 1940 serial Flash Gordon Conquers The Universe. Special thanks to my fellow Vaultie Channing for her providing the date and serial for this episode.
THE FILM: BLOOD FREAK (1972) – This movie is about a man who turns into a murderous monster with the head of a turkey after he eats a Continue reading
Randy Clower (right) with co-host Richard Malmos as “Film Vault Technicians First Class” on The Texas 27 Film Vault. They’re way down on Level 31. No, not Deep 13 – Level 31.
Randy Clower and Richard Malmos of The Texas 27 Film Vault (both lower right) featured in a Movie Host article with Stella from Saturday Night Dead and Elvira.
Regular readers of Balladeer’s Blog know The Texas 27 Film Vault was a great pre-MST3K bad movie show from the mid-1980’s. The hosts Randy Clower and Richard Malmos (also the co-creators of the program) were members of the fictional quasi-military outfit called the Film Vault Corps – “the few, the proud, the sarcastic”. Ken Miller, who played the gung-ho Kilgore-esque Tex on the show was also a co-creator. Tragically Miller commited suicide in 1988.
The Texas 27 Film Vault aired for 2 and 1/2 hours every Saturday night from 10:30pm to 1:00 am with Randy, Richard, Tex, Joe The Hypnotic Eye Riley and Laurie Savino the Mystery Clip Technician showing and mocking episodes of old Republic and Columbia serials before showing and mocking the night’s bad or campy movie.
Texas and Oklahoma loved this cult show and it’s rare for Longhorns and Sooners to agree on anything! Here’s a look at the Christmas and New Year’s themed episodes of The Texas 27 Film Vault!
TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT (1980)
Original Broadcast Date: December 28th, 1985
Serial: Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940)
Host Segments: A look at Christmas-themed horror films.
Movie: To All a Good Night features Jennifer Runyon AND Harry Reems of all people. A slasher in a Santa Claus costume kills several co-eds as well as the inept cops who come to protect them. High body count but many of the killings are lit too poorly to see clearly plus one character goes nuts and literally just does a ballet dance for the final 15 or so minutes of the movie. Alex Rebar of The Incredible Melting Man fame wrote the screenplay and The Last House on the Left‘s David Hess directed.