Tag Archives: Rifftrax

TERROR TRAIN (1980) ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

Terror Train

Terror Train: A New Year’s Eve Horror Film

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 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

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.  

TERROR TRAIN (1980) – A New Year’s Eve slasher film set on a Continue reading

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SCROOGE LOOSE AND THE CINNAMON CINDER SHOW CHRISTMAS SPECIAL ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

Cinammon Cinder ShowIn the middle 1980s/ Way down on Level 31 …

Before MST3K there was The Texas 27 Film Vault! Balladeer’s Blog continues its celebration of this neglected cult show’s THIRTIETH anniversary.

On the Saturday before Christmas in 1985 our machine-gun toting Film Vault Technicians First Class presented Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, but since that flick has been shown by every single Movie Host show in history I opted to feature this 1986 holiday item instead.

EPISODE ORIGINALLY BROADCAST: Saturday December 20th, 1986 from 10:30pm to 1:00am.

scrooge looseSERIAL: Since this was a Christmas episode our heroes from the fictional Film Vault Corps (“the few, the proud, the sarcastic”) took a break from their pre-movie serial of the moment and instead showed and mocked a pair of short items with a Yuletide air. FIRST: Scrooge Loose, an 8 minute Gumby stop-motion animation treat from 1957. Gumby and his equine pal Pokey spot Ebenezer Scrooge escaping from Continue reading

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SCROOGE (1935) ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

Scrooge 1935Before 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.

Balladeer’s Blog continues its celebration of the program’s THIRTIETH  anniversary year.

SCROOGE (1935)

ORIGINAL BROADCAST DATE: December 14th, 1985

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 at Thtcom15 at aol dot com    

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: This is the notoriously cheapjack and rushed adaptation of A Christmas Carol. Continue reading

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THANKSGIVING TURKEYS ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

Randy Clower (right) with co-host Richard Malmos as "Film Vault Technicians First Class" on The Texas 27 Film Vault

Randy Clower (right) with co-host Richard Malmos as “Film Vault Technicians First Class” on The Texas 27 Film Vault. They’re way down on Level 31. No, not Deep 13 – Level 31.

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.

The Texas 27 Film Vault was a great pre-MST3K bad movie show from the mid-1980s. 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 Sooners and Longhorns to agree on anything! Here’s a look at some of the more memorable episodes from The Texas 27 Film Vault history.  

It! The terror from beyond space 2IT! THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE (1958)

Original Broadcast Date: July 12th, 1986

Serial: Atom Man vs Superman (1950) 

Host Segments: Most of the Host Segments in this episode centered around a touring troupe from the Film Vault Corps Academy in Leadville, Co. That troupe – the FVC Academy’s Little Theatre Group – was performing for Randy, Richard, Tex and the others. Joe Riley’s gore effects took center stage as the touring thespians presented comedic reenactments of classic scenes from movies about aliens, including the infamous chest-burster moment from Alien and an unappetizing moment from the 80s remake of The Thing

The gore in the Host Segments made this the first Texas 27 Film Vault episode to come with a “Viewer Discretion” warning. Their later presentation of the hilariously bad Friday the 13th Part 3 was another. 

Movie: It! The Terror From Beyond Space was a joyously bad black & white space travel film from the 1950s. A Martian monster has already wiped out all but one member of the first expedition to the Red Planet. Next up on the menu for this ET who sucks all moisture from his victims: the rescue expedition who belatedly arrive to save the crew of the preceding mission to Mars.   

Continue reading

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FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH PART 3-D (1982) ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

Friday the 13th Part 3DBefore MST3K there was … The Texas 27 Film Vault! In the middle 1980’s, 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 30th anniversary year.

ORIGINAL BROADCAST DATE: Saturday February 14th, 1987 from 10:30pm to 1:00am. 

SERIAL: None. The movie, Film Vault Corps comedy sketches and commercials filled up the entire two and a half hours this time.

FILM VAULT LORE: This episode marked the second time The Texas 27 Film Vault came with a warning about violent content. It was also at least the second time they riffed on a movie that was originally in 3-D. Randy and Richard did various jokes about wearing 3-D glasses and 3-D effects coming out of the screen at them as they watched the movie. Continue reading

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BLOOD OF DRACULA’S CASTLE (1969) ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

Blood of Dracula's Castle 1Before 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.

Balladeer’s Blog continues its celebration of the program’s THIRTIETH  anniversary year.

ORIGINAL BROADCAST DATE: Saturday November 2nd, 1985 from 10:30pm to 1:00am.

Halloween SafetySERIAL: Before showing and mocking the movie our members of the Film Vault Corps (“The few, the proud, the sarcastic”) usually showed and mocked chapters of old Republic or Columbia serials. For this episode a break was taken from Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe. Instead the 1977 Centron Educational short Halloween Safety was shown and mocked for its seasonal relevance.

Halloween Safety was eleven minutes long and is as much fun to riff on as such old shorts generally are. The killjoy Safety Czars at Centron do their best to drain as much fun from Trick or Treating as they can, although they never approach Sid Davis levels of paranoia.

The funniest part of the short is when the little girl is browbeaten by the narrator to change from her black witch costume (poor visibility for drivers) to an all-white witch’s costume, which, with the peaked hat and flowing robe makes her look like she’s auditioning for a role in The Littlest Klansman. Though the little black kid in whiteface is a close second.   

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

FILM VAULT LORE: Randy and Richard often joked that The Texas 27 Film Vault showed just about every movie with the word “blood” in the title. That’s nowhere near true, of course, but they did show a lot of them. Previously Balladeer’s Blog has reviewed Randy and Richard’s airing of Blood Freak, Queen of Blood and Blood Beach. There are a few more to come after this one, too, including Blood Orgy of the She Devils and the infamous bit where the local tv listings refused to run the title of the movie. (Hey, it was mid-1980’s Texas and Oklahoma.)

THE MOVIE: Blood of Dracula’s Castle was directed by Bad Movie icon Al Adamson and is a fun Monster Rally turkey for the Halloween time of year. The Texas 27 Film Vault also showed a few other Al Adamson anti-classics like Dracula vs Frankenstein and Vampire Men of the Lost Planet.     Continue reading

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THE SECRET OF DORIAN GRAY (1970) ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

Secret of Dorian GrayBefore 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.

Balladeer’s Blog continues its celebration of the program’s THIRTIETH  anniversary year.

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.

ORIGINAL BROADCAST DATE: Saturday January 24th, 1987 from 10:30pm to 1:00am.

SERIAL: None this week. The movie, commercials and Film Vault Corps comedy sketches took up the entire running time.

HOST SEGMENTS/ COMEDY SKETCHES: There is some disagreement among Texas 27 Film Vault Fans. One faction argues that this was the episode in which Randy Clower – interested in preserving his youth like the main character in the night’s movie – took the nonexistent chemical Multiquixiphiline (see my exclusive interview with Randy Clower). Continue reading

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GIANT FROM THE UNKNOWN (1958) ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

Giant from the UnknownBefore 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.

Balladeer’s Blog continues its celebration of the program’s THIRTIETH  anniversary year.

ORIGINAL BROADCAST DATE: Saturday June 8th, 1985 from 10:30pm to 1:00am.

Phantom EmpireSERIAL: Before showing and mocking Giant From the Unknown 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). 

In 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.

HOST SEGMENTS/ COMEDY SKETCHES: A handful of Texas 27 Film Vault fans have insisted this is the episode with the comedy sketch where Randy was dressed in a Conquistador outfit. That renowned sketch required a record number of takes since Randy and Richard had shown up for filming after “a very substantial Happy Hour” as Randy put it in my exclusive interview with him.

Giant from the Unknown 2The Conquistador outfit would tie in with the movie Giant From the Unknown so it is definitely possible that this was the week that sketch was performed. However Randy has repeatedly said the sketches did not necessarily always parallel the night’s movie, so we cannot yet be sure. Randy did not recall if the sketch was done for this movie or not. 

THE MOVIE: Giant From the Unknown has been loved by fans of bad movies for decades as the only 1950’s monster movie in which a giant Conquistador comes out of 500 years of suspended animation and goes on a killing spree in California. Hey, at least it was a change of pace from big bugs, aliens and Commies.   Continue reading

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INVADERS FROM MARS (1953) ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

Invaders from MarsBefore 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.

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.

Atom Man vs SupermanSERIAL: 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.

A behind the scenes photo of Laurie Savino, who held the rank of Mystery Clip Technician in the Film Vault Corps.

A behind the scenes photo of Laurie Savino, who held the rank of Mystery Clip Technician in the Film Vault Corps.

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.

That is one foul-mouthed little boy!

That is one foul-mouthed little boy!

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

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THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT: TWO FOR FRONTIERADO

Frontierado is coming up tomorrow, August 7th! Here’s a brief look at two films presented on The Texas 27 Film Vault that match the old west theme of this holiday season. Randy Clower and Richard Malmos were the hosts.

A movie guaranteed to contain absolutely NO accurate information.

A movie guaranteed to contain absolutely NO accurate information.

FRONTIER MARSHAL (1939)

Original Broadcast Date: Saturday October 25th, 1986 from 10:30pm to 1:00am.

Serial: An episode of Mysterious Doctor Satan was shown before the movie. This 1940 serial presented the title villain trying to take over the world with a big, goofy robot while being opposed by a masked superhero called Copperhead.  

Movie: Frontier Marshal is notorious as the LEAST historically accurate depiction of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Randolph Scott starred as Wyatt Earp with Cesar Romero as Doc Holliday. Nobody can pronounce Doc’s name right, plus he’s presented as a Medical Doctor instead of a dentist. Meanwhile Doc himself starts out the film drinking only milk. (?)

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

No Clantons or McClaurey’s are to be found anywhere, nor are Wyatt’s brothers. Doc is shown getting killed off BEFORE the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral even happens! To top it all off the famous gunfight takes place at night for no apparent reason and Wyatt’s only ally in the battle is a saloon girl who had a crush on Doc. Bad craziness all around in this little honey.   Continue reading

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