Tommy Kirk’s Greatest Moment
IN THE MIDDLE 1980s/ WAY DOWN ON LEVEL 31 …
Before MST3K there was The Texas 27 Film Vault! In Balladeer’s Blog’s latest look at this mid-1980s cult show from the Lone Star State I’ll examine “The Dallas Double-Feature” from May 10th, 1986. My research through VERY old newspapers and other sources has uncovered several episodes where exact broadcast dates can be determined. This is the 4th review in that series.
THIS DOUBLE FEATURE FIRST BROADCAST: Saturday May 10th, 1986 from 10:30pm to 2:30am.
IF THE ONLY BAD MOVIE SHOW YOU KNOW IS MST3K THINK OF: Attack of the the (sic) Eye Creatures.
FILM VAULT LORE: Usually The Texas 27 Film Vault ran 2 1/2 hours, from 10:30pm to 1am, and would feature machine-gun toting Randy Clower and Richard Malmos presenting (and mocking) episodes of old Republic serials followed by a cult movie. The previous Saturday night our “Film Vault Technicians First Class” showed the 12th and final episode of Radar Men from the Moon followed by the film Queen of Blood.
The night of May 10th Randy, Richard, Tex, Joe “The Hypnotic Eye” Riley, Laurie Savino and the rest of the Film Vault Corps (“the few … the proud … the sarcastic”) presented a special called The Dallas Double Feature. The episode dispensed with a serial and showed (and mocked) two films made in Texas, one by Larry Buchanan and the other by Russ Marker. Also featured was an interview with good old Bill Thurman, a Buchanan regular who also appeared in the Russ Marker film Night Fright. Thurman was also promoting his latest film appearance, in the low-budget horror film Mountaintop Motel Massacre.
MARS NEEDS WOMEN (1967) – Texas’ Larry Buchanan is known for Continue reading
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 1980’s 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 1980’s 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.
Clower, Richard Malmos and their friend Ken Miller put together a Public Access television show called The Trivia Guys and in a classic story of talent over budget the trio crafted the program with such care and detail it became a minor hit. The program had a very professional look for a Public Access production and its success prompted a PM Magazine feature on The Trivia Guys.
Management at Dallas television station KDFI, Channel 27 ( the “27” in The Texas 27 Film Vault ) saw the PM Magazine feature and were impressed with the high- dollar look that Clower, Malmos and Miller had put together on a flyweight budget. They approached the trio about hosting a late-night B-Movie show since the Dallas/ Ft Worth area had been without its own home- grown version of that local tv staple since the days of Greg Bransom’s show Professor Cerberus and the Museum of Horrors.
Warming to the idea, the soon-to-be Film Vault Guys decided that vampires, mad scientists and creepy castles had been done ad nauseum in Movie Host shows by then and ingeniously went in a different direction. Thus was born the Film Vault Corps, a fictional quasi- military organization that protected America’s schlock- culture heritage by safeguarding the bad, campy but loveable cinematic turkeys of the past. The men and women of the FVC carried out this task in various Film Vaults under every major city in the United States.
These vaults were Continue reading