In the middle 1980s/ Way down on Level 31 …
Before MST3K there was The Texas 27 Film Vault! Balladeer’s Blog takes a look at another film shown and mocked by Film Vault Technicians First Class Randy Clower and Richard Malmos.
ORIGINAL BROADCAST DATE: Saturday April 12th, 1986 from 10:30pm to 1:00am.
SERIAL: Radar Men from the Moon was the current serial being shown. This episode of The Texas 27 Film Vault featured Chapter Nine titled Battle in the Stratosphere. During the 12 week run of this serial one of the behind the scenes crew (no one remembers who at this point) would dress as Commando Cody, the hero of the serial, and occassionally interact with Randy and Richard during the comedy sketches.
FILM VAULT LORE: This was supposedly the favorite episode of the Film Vault Corp’s effects man Joe Riley, which is why he used the title The Hypnotic Eye for his post-T27FV television show, episodes of which are on Youtube.
COMEDY SKETCHES : This episode aired when Randy still “outranked” Richard in the Film Vault Corps and so their relationship often had the “Main Character and Abused Second Banana” vibe like with Zacherle and My Dear, or Dr Morgus and Chopsley or Dr Forester and TV’s Frank. (F-Troop fans might describe it as a “Sgt O’Rourke and Cpl Agarn vibe.”)
The Host Segments therefore featured Richard supposedly being subjected to the type of mutilation the hypnotized female victims in The Hypnotic Eye were inflicting on themselves. Joe Riley’s special effect of Richard’s hair being set on fire was as intentionally laughable as the effect in the movie itself.
THE MOVIE: Continue reading
Randy (right) and Richard way down on Level 31 hosting The Texas 27 Film Vault
*** SADLY, I FORGOT TO NOTE THE FEBRUARY 9th ANNIVERSARY OF THIS SHOW THIS YEAR.
Sunday was the 35th 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 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. Continue reading
Thank 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.
She 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.
I 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
Happy Anniversary to The Texas Twenty-Seven Film Vault, one of the pre-MST3K Movie Host shows. Yes it was Saturday night February 9th, 1985 that this program debuted in Dallas, Texas, in the same studio that would later be used for Joe Bob’s Drive-In. Here is an encore presentation of my EXCLUSIVE 2011 interview with Randy Clower, one of The Texas Twenty-Seven Film Vault‘s co-creators and co-hosts.
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 1980s 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 1980s 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. Continue reading
Randy Clower and Richard Malmos of The Texas 27 Film Vault (both lower right) featured in a Movie Host article with Stella from Saturday Night Dead and Elvira.
Regular readers of Balladeer’s Blog know The Texas 27 Film Vault was a great pre-MST3K bad movie show from the mid-1980’s. The hosts Randy Clower and Richard Malmos (also the co-creators of the program) were members of the fictional quasi-military outfit called the Film Vault Corps – “the few, the proud, the sarcastic”. Ken Miller, who played the gung-ho Kilgore-esque Tex on the show was also a co-creator. Tragically Miller commited suicide in 1988.
The Texas 27 Film Vault aired for 2 and 1/2 hours every Saturday night from 10:30pm to 1:00 am with Randy, Richard, Tex, Joe The Hypnotic Eye Riley and Laurie Savino the Mystery Clip Technician showing and mocking episodes of old Republic and Columbia serials before showing and mocking the night’s bad or campy movie.
Texas and Oklahoma loved this cult show and it’s rare for Longhorns and Sooners to agree on anything! Here’s a look at the Christmas and New Year’s themed episodes of The Texas 27 Film Vault!
TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT (1980)
Original Broadcast Date: December 28th, 1985
Serial: Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940)
Host Segments: A look at Christmas-themed horror films.
Movie: To All a Good Night features Jennifer Runyon AND Harry Reems of all people. A slasher in a Santa Claus costume kills several co-eds as well as the inept cops who come to protect them. High body count but many of the killings are lit too poorly to see clearly plus one character goes nuts and literally just does a ballet dance for the final 15 or so minutes of the movie. Alex Rebar of The Incredible Melting Man fame wrote the screenplay and The Last House on the Left‘s David Hess directed.
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.
Regular 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
High School Confidential
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, Richard Malmos, Ken “Tex” Miller and Joe “The Hypnotic Eye” Riley played machine-gun toting members of the fictional Film Vault Corps (“the few, the proud, the sarcastic”) who would show and mock bad and campy movies preceded by episodes of old Republic serials. They would also have comedic sci-fi adventures before and after commercial breaks.
ORIGINALLY BROADCAST: Saturday September 7th, 1985 from 10:30pm to 1:00am.
SERIAL: Before the movie our Film Vault Technicians First Class showed and mocked a chapter of Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940).
FILM VAULT LORE: Randy Clower at E-Gor’s site on Texas 27 Film Vault groupies: “We were a bit wild during that time and having a cult show on late at night opened a few doors around the Dallas area which we were all more than willing to go through and explore.”
THE MOVIE: High School Confidential has a well-deserved reputation as one of the campiest Juvenile Delinquency films of the 50s and 60s. Some of the fun comes from the hilariously heavy-handed anti-marijuana messages sprinkled throughout the Continue reading
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 mid-1980s.
EPISODE ORIGINALLY BROADCAST: Saturday March 30th, 1985 from 10:30pm to 1:00am.
SERIAL: Prior to showing and mocking the movie Randy Clower and Richard Malmos, the show’s machine-gun wielding “Film Vault Technicians First Class” showed an episode of the notoriously campy sci-fi serial The Lost City (1935). That serial featured a super-scientific city lost in the middle of the African jungle plus zombified “giant” African tribesmen, ray-guns, a slinky femme fatale and a tribe of pygmies. There’s also a Great White Hunter as the hero and a mad scientist whose inventions include a machine that turns black people into white people! And the “colorization” is considered a REWARD for tribesmen who serve the mad scientist well! All this plus BOTH William Boyds in one serial!
THE TUNNEL WITH THE MINIATURES OF MULTIPLE VAULT DOORS THAT OPENED AS THE POV CAMERA FILMED THEM.
FILM VAULT LORE: One eye-catching element of The Texas 27 Film Vault was the POV shot down a tunnel of various vault doors which would open in turn as the camera approached them. It’s another aspect of the show that had Vaulties feeling deja vu when MST3K debuted years later.
The shot was achieved through miniatures, of course, and Randy Clower was kind enough to provide me with the behind-the- scenes photo shown above.
THE MOVIE: Monster From Green Hell was one of the many, many “Big Bug” films of the 1950s. Most of those “bugs” on the loose were mutated to giant size by atomic radiation but in this flick it was cosmic radiation instead which was the culprit.
Two scientists at a desert testing lab featuring the WORST paintings masquerading as scenery outside a window in film history are launching rockets with various life forms aboard. They do that to test the effects of exposure to cosmic radiation on those life forms. Continue reading
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 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.
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. Continue reading