Tag Archives: Horror Hosts

HALLOWEEN SONG: CASTLE OF SHOCK (1983)

The Halloween Holiday draws closer each day. Here’s a musical shoutout to the venerable old Movie Host Rich Koz, better known as Son of Svengoolie and later just plain Svengoolie. Sung to the tune of Castle of Love it’s Castle of Shock.

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MOONA LISA PICTURES COURTESY OF JOHN L.

Moona Lisa with JohnVery special thanks to reader John L. for providing Balladeer’s Blog with some new photos of Moona Lisa, one of the Movie Hostesses covered here.

I will add them to the Moona Lisa article I did in 2011 as well, but first here they are for all of us fans of Movie Host Shows to appreciate. John L himself sets the scene:

“They are from 1970 or 1971. A friend and I drove to the local KOGO TV station in San Diego, just off the 94 freeway, walked in and told the receptionist we were fans of Moona and asked if we could meet her. The next thing you know, a very pleasant and gracious Lisa Clark (in character), greeted us, gave us a tour of the studio and her Moon Base set, gave us an autograph and posed for pictures.”

Moona Lisa with skull

Moona Lisa (Lisa Clark) getting ready to watch and comment on the night’s movie double feature from her “private moon base.” Note the Earth below out the window.

Moona Lisa in stairwell

Moona Lisa in the stairwell leading to her set. Continue reading

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SEVEN MOST INFLUENTIAL MOVIE HOSTS LEADING TO MST3K

Mad Marvin

Mad Marvin

Regular readers of Balladeer’s Blog are familiar with my fondness for bad movies and for movie host shows. 

Here is a salute to some of the most influential figures who made hosting bad and/or weird movies the time-honored American folk art it is today. This list features hosts who had crossover appeal into the culture at large or broke ground in the “so bad it’s good” element.

7. MAD MARVIN (Real name: Terry Bennett)

Program: Shock Theatre

Run: 1957 – 1959

Home Base: Chicago

Comment: Long before Jerry Bishop’s more well-known host Svengoolie and his even more famous “son” played by Rich Koz, Mad Marvin brought late-night b-movie fun to the Windy City. Marvin was a mad beatnik and was described in contemporary accounts as ” a combination of Charles Addams, Ernie Kovacs and Jack Paar.”

Bennett’s program was so popular in Chicago that celebrities like Sammy Davis, Jr, Jerry Lewis and Burt Lancaster made guest appearances. Terry’s wife Joy appeared on the show as “Dear”, and also joined him in co-hosting the Mad Marvin spin-off show The Shocktail Party.
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THE CRYBABY KILLER (1958) ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

Cry Baby Killer

Jack Nicholson’s Big-Screen Debut

In the middle 1980s/ Way down on Level 31 …

Before MST3K there was … The Texas 27 Film Vault!

EPISODE ORIGINALLY BROADCAST: Saturday June 15th, 1985 from 10:30pm to 1:00am.

SERIAL: Before showing and mocking The Crybaby Killer 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). 

Phantom EmpireIn 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: The movie ticket give-away this week was for Prizzi’s Honor.

THE MOVIE: Continue reading

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CHANGE OF HABIT (1969) ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT IN 1987

Change of Habit bBefore MST3K there was … The Texas 27 Film Vault!

EPISODE ORIGINALLY BROADCAST: Saturday January 10th, 1987 from 10:30pm to 1:00am.

EXTRAS: Special thanks to T27FV fan Dr Shock-the-Monkey for the date and other info about this episode. He stated this episode also featured appearances by various Elvis impersonators but he wasn’t sure if they were legit or put-ons since they were all of the “bloated stomach and very weird hair” type of Elvis look-a-likes. 

Elvis on BerleSERIAL : Due to the length of the movie this time there was not enough time before the film for Randy Clower and Richard Malmos, the machine-gun toting Film Vault Technicians First Class to show and mock a full episode of one of their pre-movie serials. Instead they showed the excerpt of Elvis Presley’s April 3rd, 1956 appearance on The Milton Berle Show before moving on to the night’s film.

THE MOVIE: Change of Habit is a movie that was practically MADE to be ridiculed. You’ve got Continue reading

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TERROR TRAIN (1980) ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

Terror Train

Terror Train: A New Year’s Eve Horror Film

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 December 27th, 1986 from 10:30pm to 1:00am.

EXTRAS: Randy Clower and Richard Malmos, as machine-gun toting Film Vault Technicians First Class and members of the fictional Film Vault Corps (“the few, the proud, the sarcastic”) had two and a half hours to work with each week. Interviews with figures like Vincent Price, Forry Ackerman and others were featured and the movies being shown and mocked were often preceded by episodes of old Republic serials like Radar Men from the Moon and others. 

This episode featured Randy and Richard’s interview with Ben Johnson, whom they had interviewed at his ranch earlier in the year. Johnson also appeared in the episode’s film, Terror Train.

Mysterious Doctor SatanSERIAL: For this episode the movie was preceded by a chapter of  Mysterious Doctor Satan

HOST SEGMENTS: The most memorable Host Segment  Randy and Richard did during this New Year’s-themed horror film was a bit where, as Midnight Dallas Time approached, they staged a countdown and then a raucous celebration of the arrival of … December 28th, 1986. Ken “Tex” Miller, Joe “The Hypnotic Eye” Riley and other Film Vault Corps members joined in the festivities in a great example of the wry humor of this pre-MST3K program.  

TERROR TRAIN (1980) – A New Year’s Eve slasher film set on a Continue reading

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SCROOGE LOOSE AND THE CINNAMON CINDER SHOW CHRISTMAS SPECIAL ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

Cinammon Cinder ShowIn 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.

scrooge looseSERIAL: 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

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