Tag Archives: Rifftrax

CHRISTMAS-TIME TURKEYS WITH THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

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.

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 nightTO 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.  

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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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HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL (1958): TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

High School Confidential

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

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MONSTER FROM GREEN HELL (1957): TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

monster from green hellIn 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.

Lost CitySERIAL: 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.

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.

Monster from Green Hell 3THE 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

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SUPERNATURAL (1933) ON THE TEXAS TWENTY-SEVEN 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.  Continue reading

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THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT DEBUTED 31 YEARS AGO

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

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

Yes, it was Saturday February 9th, 1985 when “Film Vault Technicians First Class” Randy Clower, Richard Malmos and Ken “Tex” Miller went on the air with the very first episode of the legendary cult show called The Texas 27 Film Vault! Years before MST3K this program featured the members of the fictional Film Vault Corps – “the few, the proud, the sarcastic” – showing and wryly mocking some of the worst – or at least campiest – movies ever made, often preceded by episodes of old Republic or Columbia Serials like Radar Men from the Moon, Atom Man vs Superman and many others!  

Texas 27 Film Vault posterFor the next few years Saturday nights in Texas and Oklahoma belonged to bad movies and serials, Film Vault Corps comedy sketches and interviews with figures like Vincent Price. At least for the 2 and 1/2 hours during which The Texas 27 Film Vault aired. Some of the other beloved figures from the program included Joe Riley (later famous for the cult tv show titled The Hypnotic Eye), Laurie Savino and Doug Bransom, the former Professor Cerberus himself!  

FV1985002Here’s Balladeer’s Blog’s look at that very first episode of The Texas 27 Film Vault, from way down on Level 31 in the Film Vault beneath Dallas, Texas. There was no serial that first night because the movie plus comedy sketches filled the entire running time. Below you’ll also find the link to my exclusive interview with Randy Clower.  

MOVIE TITLE: TRUNK TO CAIRO (1966)

If the only bad movie show you know is MST3K think of Continue reading

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THE CRYBABY KILLER (1958) ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

Cry Baby Killer

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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