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: Saturday June 7th, 1986 from 10:30pm to 1:00am.
SERIAL: Before showing and mocking Invaders from Mars our members of the Film Vault Corps (“the few, the proud, the sarcastic”) showed and mocked an episode of the 1950 Columbia serial Atom Man vs Superman. Kirk 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 week Laurie Savino, who held the rank of Mystery Clip Technician in the Film Vault Corps once again presented Channel 27’s Movie Ticket Giveaway.
Correctly identifying the Mystery Clip this time around would win a few lucky viewers tickets to the upcoming release of the 1986 remake of Invaders from Mars, starring Karen Black.
HOST SEGMENTS/ COMEDY SKETCHES – One of the comedy bits Randy and Richard injected into the film this time involved Jimmy Hunt, who played David Maclean, the child hero of the movie.
Whenever Hunt would say something harmless like “Gee Whiz” the Film Vault Guys would bleep part of it to make it sound like the kid had said “Jesus” and was getting censored. And so it went throughout the movie. Little Jimmy – but, hilariously, NONE of the adults, would occassionally get bleeped misleadingly as if cursing like a sailor.
A word beginning with “sh” would be bleeped like Jimmy was saying “shit”, a word beginning with “f” would be bleeped like Jimmy was saying “fuck”, multi-syllable “m” words would be bleeped like he was saying “motherfucking”. It was like a more adult throwback to the old “Cleveland-style” of movie hosting, dating back to the legendary Ghoulardi (Ernie Anderson).
THE MOVIE: Invaders from Mars is a very fun-bad movie complete with cheap and unconvincing 1950s special effects, stiff and unbelievable characters and a groan-inducing finale. Some elderly critics praise this movie nostalgically and try to present it as a metaphor for anti-Communist paranoia, like the more-deserving Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Anybody who didn’t see this thing as a child in 1953 tends to view it more realistically: as a kitschy relic of its era, entertaining but hardly thought-provoking. Continue reading