Tag Archives: Movie Host shows

DARK JUNGLE THEATER (2015-2016): MOVIE HOST SHOW

dark jungle theaterHere at Balladeer’s Blog my fascination with Movie Host shows of the past and present is pretty well established. I’ve written about such programs from the 1950s onward. Not long ago I covered “the Mexican MST3K” – A Platicar a su Casa, which has been translated into English as Let’s Talk at HomeDo Your Talking at Home and similar titles.

The Movie Host show being examined this time around is Dark Jungle Theater, which lasted for 2 seasons consisting of 26 episodes from March 15th, 2015 to January 8th, 2016. Dark Jungle Theater was hosted by Omaka Omegah as Princess Omaka, an African aristocrat who hosted and offered commentary on many jungle-themed movies and serials of the past.

princess omakaThis program was created, written and produced by Joel Stephens, famous for his many Movie Host programs that combine assorted old movies, cartoons and serials with the tradition of attractive female hosts introducing and commenting upon such superannuated programming. Similar Movie Host shows from Stephens include Frightmare Theater, Six Gun Theater, Mobster Theater, Your Afternoon Movie and others.

princess omaka againGetting back to Dark Jungle Theater, here is an overview:

SEASON ONE: Princess Omaka hosted 13 jungle-themed flicks with 12 of them preceded by 1 episode each from the old Republic serial Panther Girl of the Kongo (1955).

EPISODE 1 – Panther Girl of the Kongo, Chapter One: The Claw Monster – Phyllis Coates, famous for playing Lois Lane, was the titular Panther Girl, Jean Evans, who swung from vines, rode elephants and communicated with the animals in Tarzan style. This chapter finds her facing a giant crayfish monster. B-Movie regular Myron Healey co-stars. Continue reading

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FORGOTTEN TELEVISION: LET’S TALK AT HOME/ A PLATICAR A SU CASA

a platicar a su casaLET’S TALK AT HOME (2000s) – This cult program is often called “Mexico’s MST3K.” Its Spanish language title is A Platicar a su Casa, which has been translated into English as Let’s Talk at Home, Do Your Talking at Home and similar titles.

The premise of this Mexican Movie Host show borrows from Joel Hodgson’s 1988 creation Mystery Science Theater 3000, which took movie hosting to the logical next level by having the hosts make jokes about the bad film being shown even while it was playing, rather than limiting comments about the flick to before and after commercial breaks.

mexican movie hosts andres and trinoBalladeer’s Blog has written a great deal about earlier Movie Host shows, from 1950s efforts like Vampira, Mad Marvin and others on up through Moona Lisa and Ghoulardi in the 60s and 70s to 1980s programs like Elvira’s Movie Macabre, Texas 27 Film Vault, Laraine Newman’s Canned Film Festival, etc,

A Platicar a su Casa was shown on Mexico’s channel Ponchivision in the early 2000s. It’s been off the air for several years due to Ponchivision’s obscurity and budget issues, but the program has a devoted following to this very day with episodes popping up around the internet.

trino camachoandres bustamenteThe wisecracking hosts were Andres Bustamente and Trino Camacho, two legends in Mexican comedy. The jokes were what you would expect – shots at the poor quality and/or low budget of the films, their odd storylines plus some social and political commentary about life in Mexico. Continue reading

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LARAINE NEWMAN’S CANNED FILM FESTIVAL (1986)

ritzTHE CANNED FILM FESTIVAL STARRING LARAINE NEWMAN (1986) – Halloween Month continues at Balladeer’s Blog with this look at a neglected Movie Host show, since Movie Hosts/ Horror Hosts are as associated with Halloween as are monsters and cosplay.

In this post I won’t be covering the entire history of movie hosting and the “So Bad They’re Good” film subculture. For that, there are my many other blog posts covering movie hosting from Vampira and her contemporaries, through Moona Lisa, then Son of Svengoolie, Elvira, and programs like Saturday Night Dead, The Texas 27 Film Vault and MST3K

canned film festival castTHE SHOW: The Canned Film Festival Starring Laraine Newman. From June 21st to September 13th of 1986 this 90 minute syndicated program sponsored largely by Dr Pepper aired on Saturday nights in various time slots around the United States. Elvira’s show Movie Macabre had run from 1981 to 1986 and was winding down. The Texas 27 Film Vault, which had debuted on February 9th, 1985 was still on the air and would run for roughly two and a half years in Texas and Oklahoma.

Along came The Canned Film Festival, which, with a nationally known name like Laraine Newman attached to it, may well have been the reason that one of the attempted syndication deals for T27FV fell through. Be that as it may, Laraine Newman’s show would – like The Texas 27 Film Vault – show more than just lame horror and sci-fi films and would cover the whole spectrum of bad and/ or campy cinema of the past.

laraine as the usheretteTHE HOSTESS: Laraine Newman may be best known for Saturday Night Live and for her character actress work, but she had been a member of The Groundlings improvisational comedy troupe … As had Cassandra Peterson aka Elvira. Newman was also known as an aficionado of horror and fringe cinema. Continue reading

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TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT 3D POSTER (1987)

FILMVreducedRegular readers of Balladeer’s Blog are familiar with my fondness for Movie Host shows of the past and my EXCLUSIVE interview with Randy Clower of the mid-1980s program The Texas 27 Film Vault has proven to be a very popular item on this blog.

Randy and his cohost Richard Malmos, playing machine gun- packing Film Vault Technicians First Class, would show and mock bad and campy films from decades ago and were a huge hit when they were on the air. I feel they get neglected in this age of renewed interest in older Movie Host programs. 

The poster also sports features from some of the most popular bad movies Randy and Richard dissected on the program – features like flying brains from the movie Fiend Without A Face, a prop from the Bela Lugosi bomb Devil Bat, Hitler’s disembodied head from the enjoyably awful movie They Saved Hitler’s Brain, an invader from Earth vs the Flying Saucers and much more! Put on your 3D glasses and you can spot all of the hidden items including elements from Gorilla at Large, Just Imagine,  Frontier Marshal, the 1961 film The Mask and other T27FV fan favorites. Continue reading

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TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT ANNIVERSARY AND A CALL TO FANS

1a randy and richard

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

Today is the 34th 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.  Continue reading

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NEW YEAR’S EVE BAD MOVIE: TERROR TRAIN (1980) ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

Terror TrainBefore 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 in which a mad scientist called Dr Satan commanded a goofy robot and was opposed by a pulp-style hero called Copperhead.   

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.  

1a randy and richard

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

TERROR TRAIN (1980) – A New Year’s Eve slasher film set on a train carrying a load of partying passengers who plan to ring in the New Year in each time zone of the United States. As required by law at the time, Jamie Lee Curtis starred since it was a slasher flick with a seasonal theme. (Look under the Federal HalloweenHalloween II and Prom Night Act of 1980 if you don’t believe me)

A few years earlier Curtis and her college buddies played an initiation trick on a freshman by tricking him into bed with a female corpse. The guy had a nervous breakdown from the ugly near-necrophiliac experience (like sleeping with Barbra Streisand must feel) and is supposedly still in a mental hospital because of it. Continue reading

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CHRISTMAS CAROL-A-THON – SCROOGE (1935) ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

Scrooge 1935Balladeer’s Blog’s 9th Annual Christmas Carol-A-Thon continues!

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.

SCROOGE (1935)

ORIGINAL BROADCAST DATE: December 14th, 1985 to the best that can be determined.

Flash Gordon Conquers the UniverseSERIAL: 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 – see my About page for details.    

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:  Continue reading

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LOST MOONA LISA FOOTAGE HAS SURFACED

Moona Lisa with skullThank you to reader Peahix for letting me know about this. Moona Lisa aka Lisa Clark, one of the many Movie Hosts that Balladeer’s Blog has covered over the years, has often lacked the acclaim she deserves because of the scarcity of footage that still exists from her shows (Science Fiction Theater, Moona’s Midnight Madness, etc).

Long-time readers of Balladeer’s Blog will remember when I first contacted her years ago and many of you were very nice with your concern about her health issues. For newbies Moona Lisa’s hosting shtick was that she was a Moon Maiden who lived in her own private moonbase with a view of planet Earth outside her window.

Moona Lisa in stairwellShe would host bad and campy movies while vamping it up and offering wry commentary on the “so bad they’re good” flicks she would present. She had a 12-year run from the 1960s into the 1970s, putting her nicely in the middle between the reigns of Vampira and Elvira.

NOTE: THIS FOOTAGE IS IN U-MATIC VIDEO FORMAT TAPED ON A U-MATIC MACHINE. Those recorders were used from the late 1960s onward for several years. (Think of the one used in the William Shatner episode of Columbo.) The footage will need converted.

Moona Lisa posingI am tempted to buy it but as many of you know that would mean the footage would never get posted online. I can’t stand the thought of ever dealing with YouTube or similar sites because of their arbitrary way of frequently taking down videos over real or imaginary copyright issues.

Point being that if I buy the footage and convert it I will review it, but I won’t post it anywhere online. So, for those of you annoyed at the way I don’t post my episodes of The Texas 27 Film Vault or some of my obscure versions of A Christmas Carol here is your chance to get this footage or recommend it to someone you know who DOES have a YouTube channel.    

For more info see below. This Moona Lisa footage is being sold at this link: Continue reading

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SUPERNATURAL (1933): TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

Supernatural 1933Before 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 April 19th, 1986 from 10:30pm to 1:00am.

EXTRAS: This episode featured footage of our Film Vault Technicians First Class Randy and Richard’s promotional appearance at Six Flags Mall in nearby Arlington, TX. Supernatural 2

HOST SEGMENTS: One particular Host Segment featured one of the show’s behind-the- scenes people portraying Commando Cody complete with helmet and rocket pack. He was portraying the character because the Commando Cody serial Radar Men from the Moon was the current serial being shown before the movie each week on The Texas 27 Film Vault.

Since Randy Clower still outranked his co-host Richard Malmos (at least until a few episodes later) in the fictional Film Vault Corps (“The few, the proud, the sarcastic”) their relationship often featured the type of abusive “Host and Second Banana” dynamic like that between Dr Morgus and his lab assistant Chopsley or Zacherle and his wife My Dear or Dr Forester and TV’s Frank.  Radar Men from the Moon

At any rate this Host Segment featured “Commando Cody” befriending Randy and setting out with him for a night of partying on the town while the two leave Richard behind to do all the grub work in their barracks.

SERIAL: As noted above Radar Men from the Moon was the current serial being shown. This episode featured Chapter Ten titled Mass Execution.

THE MOVIE: 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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