Tag Archives: forgotten television

FRIDAY THE 13th PART 3D (1982): ON THE TEXAS TWENTY-SEVEN FILM VAULT

Friday the 13th Part 3DBefore 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. 

ORIGINAL BROADCAST DATE: Saturday February 14th, 1987 from 10:30pm to 1:00am. 

SERIAL: None. The movie, Film Vault Corps comedy sketches and commercials filled up the entire two and a half hours this time.

FILM VAULT LORE: This episode marked the second time The Texas 27 Film Vault came with a warning about violent content. It was also at least the second time they riffed on a movie that was originally in 3-D. Randy and Richard did various jokes about wearing 3-D glasses and 3-D effects coming out of the screen at them as they watched the movie.

Randy and Richard firing their machine guns at giant rats, cellumites and other subterranean creatures.

Randy and Richard firing their machine guns on the T27FV 3D poster.

When you throw in the previous year’s “Mock 3D” interview with Ben Johnson and the 1987 release of The Texas 27 Film Vault‘s official 3-D poster you could say Randy, Richard, Ken “Tex” Miller, Joe Riley and Laurie Savino had a definite fondness for taking shots at the whole 3-D concept.  

 FOR A LOOK AT THE 3-D TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT POSTER (courtesy of Randy Clower) –https://glitternight.com/2013/03/18/movie-hosts-the-texas-27-film-vault-poster/  

THE MOVIE:

Friday the 13th Part 3-D was the most notoriously lame sequel in the Friday the 13th film series during the 1980s. Not only was it part of the laughable 1980s attempt to revive the 3-D craze of the 1950s but it’s also infamous for its DISCO VERSION of the iconic Friday the 13th theme. However it’s essential viewing for horror fans because it was the first time Jason Voorhees put on the hockey mask that is so closely associated with the character.    Continue reading

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IT! THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE (1958) ON THE TEXAS TWENTY-SEVEN FILM VAULT

It! The Terror From Beyond Space

It! The Terror From Beyond Space

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. Randy Clower and Richard Malmos, our machine-gun toting members of the Film Vault Corps (“the few, the proud, the sarcastic”) do their usual bit of showing and mocking an old serial then showing and mocking a bad movie.

Thanks to my interview with Randy Clower, the show’s co-creator and co-star and thanks to my research through VERY old newspapers plus emailed memories from other T27FV fans I’m taking a look at another episode of the show where an exact broadcast date can be determined.

ORIGINALLY BROADCAST: Saturday July 12th, 1986 from 10:30pm to 1:00am.

Atom Man vs SupermanSERIAL: Before the night’s movie Randy and Richard would often present old serials. In this episode of the show our “Film Vault Technicians First Class” showed an episode of the 1950 Columbia serial Atom Man vs Superman to be mockedKirk Alyn starred as Superman with Lyle Talbot as his archenemy Lex Luthor. Lex has his own secret identity in this serial – each episode he dons a lead mask and oversees the villainy as “Atom Man”.

This was one of the liveliest and most campily watchable serials of the 50s. Especially laughable are the bits when Superman “flies” – an effect achieved by switching from live footage of Kirk Alyn to INSERTED CARTOON FOOTAGE of Superman flying. Think of the ‘Toons in Roger Rabbit interacting with the live backgrounds and you have the idea.   

FILM VAULT LORE: This episode of The Texas 27 Film Vault was the first to come with a Viewer Discretion warning. Gore effects fans (And what T27FV fan WASN’T a gore effects fan?) were in Nirvana this night as Film Vault Corps member Joe “The Hypnotic Eye” Riley was given full reign for some of his most graphic effects work during the comedy sketches or Host Segments if you prefer. 

Howling!

Howling!

Direct from the Film Vault Corps Academy in Leadville, Colorado, the Academy’s Little Theater Group was touring Film Vaults across the country. Tonight they were performing on Level 31 of the Film Vault underneath Dallas, where the show was set. The Little Theater Group was reenacting scenes from famous alien monster movies and since It! The Terror From Beyond Space was a partial inspiration for the original Alien, the chest-burster scene was reenacted in darkly comic glory! (As if the chow in the Film Vault Commissary wasn’t unappetizing enough already!)

THE MOVIE: It! The Terror From Beyond Space is one of the consummate low-budget schlockers of the 1950s. It embodies the “so bad it’s good” aesthetic that so many Movie Host shows have always reveled in. In the far-off year 1973 (LMAO) a very fake-looking space-ship on an even more fake-looking matte-painting of a Martian landscape has come to rescue the sole survivor of the previous mission to the Red Planet. (So far it sounds almost like Queen of Blood, shown on T27FV in May of 1986 and reviewed previously) Continue reading

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THE NEW MONKEES (1987): FORGOTTEN TELEVISION

New MonkeesThe New Monkees are remembered as the most pointless re-launch of a band in history AND as one of the worst television shows in history. I’ve never listened to their one and only album so I can’t say if they make it a Hat Trick with one of the worst albums in history, too. 

The premise sounds like a comedy sketch from the glory days of SCTV but unfortunately this thoroughly bizarre attempt to recapture the flukish charm of the original Monkees was 100% real.

Here’s the debut episode of The New Monkees‘ 13 episode run in 1987. Everything you’ve heard is true: We get Rocky Horror Picture Show lips voiced by a black lady, a weird sci-fi mansion home for the title foursome, a built-in diner and their annoying butler, Manford.

The laugh track does NOT go off during the few things that seemed funny, like a couple of apparently ad-libbed jokes by the New Monkees during their screen test footage, but instead goes off during lame, obvious jokes that not even small children would laugh at. Continue reading

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THE RATINGS GAME (1984): MOVIE REVIEW

Ratings GameTHE RATINGS GAME (1984) – Danny DeVito directed and starred in this telefilm – now being re-released under the vague-to-the-point-of-meaningless title The Mogul, which was produced by Showtime back when they and HBO Films were emerging as a genuine creative force in original content.

That era saw HBO Films churn out many made-for-cable movies that reflected studio-level production values and often adapted fictional and non-fictional properties that neither networks nor Hollywood felt like tackling at the time.

Telefilms like And The Band Played On, Barbarians at the Gate, Gotti, Kissinger and Nixon plus many, many others received critical acclaim AND proved commercially successful when released on video or in syndication to – ironically – network television.  

Ratings Game bThe Ratings Game – written by Jim Mulholland and Michael Barrie – was a perfectly respectable satire on the network television ratings system but it has become unjustly forgotten. The change of title for its latest release seems like a desperate attempt to change the telefilm’s fortunes. 

Personally I really like The Ratings Game. It definitely qualifies as one for my list of Aristophanes Now productions, in this case because it captures the feel of the Parathespian Comedies from Attic Old Comedy. (But let’s face it, it would probably have been written by Strattis instead of Aristophanes.)

Part of the reason for this telefilm’s obscurity may be the way it satirized the flaws in the network ratings system. This flick was released when Nielsen and similar ratings outfits still often used a mere 1,100-1,200 participating homes to extrapolate the ratings numbers on which television programs lived or died.    Continue reading

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THE GIANT CLAW (1957) ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

The Secret of the Bermuda Triangle Revealed

The Secret of the Bermuda Triangle Revealed

Before MST3K there was … The Texas 27 Film Vault!

Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of this neglected cult show from the mid-1980s. Thanks to my research through VERY old newspapers, interviews with Randy Clower and emails from fellow fans of T27FV here is another in a series where original broadcast dates of episodes can be determined.

Episode originally aired: Saturday April 6th, 1985 from 10:30pm to 1:00am. 

Serial: Before the movie our machine-gun toting “Film Vault Technicians First Class” Randy Clower and Richard Malmos showed an episode of The Lost City, the legendarily campy and bizarre sci-fi serial from 1935.

Film Vault Lore: Thank you to my fellow T27FV fan Dolores for this episode’s date, the serial and for this quote about Ken Miller, who played “Tex” on the show: “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.”  

The Movie: The Giant Claw is another of those staples of bad movie shows. It’s been presented by just about every Movie Host program at one time or another. Because of the film’s familiarity I will keep this review short. Continue reading

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SUPER PRESIDENT’S FIRST CARTOON

Mascot new lookUsually on President’s Day Weekend Balladeer’s Blog reruns my review of the hilariously bad and weird 1960s superhero cartoon Super President.

For a change of pace I won’t repost that old review but will instead provide a look at the very first episode depicting President Norcross’ heroic antics as Super President. 

IF YOU DO WANT TO READ MY REVIEW OF THE SHOW CLICK HERE

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TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT ANNIVERSARY AND A CALL TO THE FANS

1a randy and richard

Randy (right) and Richard way down on Level 31 hosting The Texas 27 Film Vault

Balladeer’s Blog’s fondness for the old Movie Host Shows of long ago has been well established. Today is the 33rd Anniversary of the very first episode of The Texas 27 Film Vault from Saturday, February 9th of 1985. My psychotically obsessive research on the show has yielded a lot of info over the years but I have now worn out every source I could find.

Even the show’s co-host and co-creator Randy Clower has been bled dry of information on the show by me. Over the years other fans of the show – and a special shout-out goes to “the Cap’n” – have provided info here and there that often led me to concrete source material.

Anyway, here are some movies that we have general, varied reason to believe were shown on The Texas 27 Film Vault but I need original broadcast dates, info on comedy sketches or movie ticket give-aways, etc. Episodes aired for 2 and a half hours Saturday nights from 10:30pm to 1:00am in Texas and Oklahoma.

Fiend without a faceFIEND WITHOUT A FACE (1958)

The Film: “Thought Monsters” leech into atomic energy, then extract human brains and spinal columns to use as their corporeal forms. This is a Bad Movie Classic remembered largely because of the scenes where the flying brains, sporting antennae, attack their prey, with their spinal cord “tails” streaming along behind them.     

Serial Episode: No idea, for now.

Reason for believing it was shown: Some of the Flying Brain Creatures are on the 1987 Texas 27 Film Vault poster.

Earth vs the Flying saucersEARTH VS THE FLYING SAUCERS (1956)

The Film: The title says it all for this fun but weird black & white time-waster.

Serial Episode: Flash Gordon Conquers The Universe.

Reason for believing it was shown: Tex (Ken Miller) announced it was to be the movie “Next time on The Texas 27 Film Vault” on one of the surviving episodes that I have. 

They saved hitler's brainTHEY SAVED HITLER’S BRAIN (1963/ 1968)

The Film: This movie is so infamous surely nobody needs any information from me at this late date.

Serial Episode: No idea, for now.

Reason for believing it was shown: It is mentioned by the hosts in some episodes AND appears on the 1987 T27FV poster.

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