Tag Archives: Rifftrax

FROGS (1972) ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

Frogs (1972)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. Balladeer’s Blog continues its celebration of the program’s THIRTIETH  anniversary year.

ORIGINAL BROADCAST DATE: Saturday July 5th, 1986 from 10:30pm to 1:00am. 

Atom Man vs SupermanSERIAL: Before showing and mocking Frogs 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.  

FV1985002HOST SEGMENTS/COMEDY SKETCHES: Randy and Richard’s interview with Sam Elliott, conducted at Ben Johnson’s ranch, was shown. Elliott was also one of the stars of Frogs

THE MOVIE: Frogs was another low point in the career of Ray Milland, along with The Thing With Two Heads, shown previously on The Texas 27 Film Vault. Pollution was to cheap monster movies of the 70s what atomic radiation was to cheap monster movies of the 50s. In other words it was the catch-all explanation for anything and everything. In this movie’s case pollution, which Ray Milland’s corporations are heavily guilty of, is to blame for wild animals (NOT just frogs, despite the movie’s title) going berserk and viciously attacking human beings.    Continue reading

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BILLY THE KID VS DRACULA (1966) ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

Billy the Kid vs DraculaBefore 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 THIRTIETH  anniversary year.

Welcome to a special Frontierado Season look at this neglected cult show! And remember, Frontierado is Friday August 7th!

ORIGINAL BROADCAST DATE: Saturday May 18th, 1985 from 10:30pm to 1:00am. 

Phantom EmpireSERIAL: Before showing and mocking Billy the Kid vs Dracula 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.

FILM VAULT LORE: Special thanks to my fellow Vaultie “King Vita” for the date of this episode. He also passed along the info that he was already obsessed with western movies, serials and television shows by this point in the 1980’s.

The King recalls that he got all excited because he assumed the coincidental “all-western” theme of this episode of The Texas 27 Film Vault, along with the “Texas” part of the title, meant that every episode would focus exclusively on westerns. (Ken Miller’s recurring character Tex probably added to his mistaken impression.) Needless to say he learned he was wrong by the following episode but still fell in love with the show. 

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 CORPS: Here is another photo of Laurie Savino, whose rank in the fictional Film Vault Corps was “Mystery Clip Technician” for the trivia contests based on quick clips of movies previously shown by Randy and Richard.

Sometimes the prizes would be movie ticket give-aways sponsored by Channel 27 and other times would be items like the Randy and Richard action figures. Laurie was also featured on The Texas 27 Film Vault 3-D poster (another of the give-aways) and the occassional newspaper article about the program.   

THE MOVIE: Billy the Kid vs Dracula is one of the most notorious Golden Turkeys of all time and was directed by the legendary William “One Shot” Beaudine. Beaudine got his nickname for his commitment to using just one take for each scene, no matter how good or bad. And by this point in his career – which reached back to the days of silent movies – there were a lot more bad takes than good.  Continue reading

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GORILLA AT LARGE (1954) ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

Gorilla at LargeBefore 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 THIRTIETH  anniversary year.

ORIGINAL BROADCAST DATE: Saturday December 6th, 1986 from 10:30pm to 1:00am. 

Mysterious Doctor SatanSERIAL: Before presenting and mocking Gorilla at Large our machine-gun wielding Film Vault Technicians First Class presented and mocked an episode of Mysterious Doctor Satan, a Republic serial from 1940. The serial featured a mad scientist called Dr Satan trying to take over the world with a very, VERY goofy- looking robot while a pulp-style hero called the Copperhead tried to thwart his plans.  

FILM VAULT LORE: This time around the movie ticket give-away from Channel 27 (the “27” in The Texas 27 Film Vault) was for a chance to go see the 1986 release King Kong Lives.

Richard Malmos left) and Randy Clower relaxing between takes on the set of The Texas 27 Film Vault.

Richard Malmos (left) and Randy Clower relaxing between takes on the set of The Texas 27 Film Vault.

HOST SEGMENTS: Gorilla at Large was one of the 3-D films from the 1950’s, and those are always funny and campy as hell, especially in the scenes with objects unnecessarily coming at the camera. The fun Randy and Richard had riffing on 3-D glasses and the whole 3-D phenomenon of the 50’s (and its 80’s revival) seems to have kicked off with this episode. In later episodes we’d get their “3-D interview” with Ben Johnson, a showing of Friday the 13th Part 3-D and even The Texas 27 Film Vault 3-D poster drawn by THE Kerry Gammil. Gorilla at Large is one of the movies represented on that poster.   

Gorilla at Large 3THE MOVIE: Gorilla at Large provided a wealth of material for Randy and Richard to work with. Remember, their previous show had been The Trivia Guys and this film about a murderous gorilla at a circus was packed with opportunities for pop culture shoutouts. To cite just a few:

* George Barrows, the man in the gorilla suit as our title monster Goliath, was the same guy who wore the ape/robot outfit as Ro-Man in that staple of Bad Movie shows Robot Monster (previously shown on The Texas 27 Film Vault).    

* Cameron “Close the F****ing Door” Mitchell, veteran of High Chaparral, The Andersonville Trial and countless bad movies, starred as Joey Matthews, the circus’ barker.   Continue reading

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THE MAN WHO SAW TOMORROW (1981) ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

Man Who Saw TomorrowBefore 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 30th anniversary year.

ORIGINAL BROADCAST DATE: Saturday November 9th, 1985 from 10:30pm to 1:00am.

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

SERIAL: None. This time around the pre-movie offering was the 1953 short titled Nostradamus Says So.

HOST SEGMENTS: At one point Randy and Richard read aloud some ridiculously bizarre predictions made in tabloids by “psychics” of the time period.

THE MOVIE: The Man Who Saw Tomorrow was a hilariously melodramatic and irrational documentary playing along with the silly notion that the 16th Century “seer” Nostradamus’ vague and noncommital quatrains predicted major future events. Orson Welles, in his “anything for money” phase, narrated the film.

This movie was up there with the campy UFO and Bigfoot documentaries of the 1970s and 1980s. Welles, who has to hurriedly pluck his cigar from his mouth at one point so that he can be understood, seems on the verge of laughter most of the time. As usual in anything about Nostradamus meanings are forced into his centuries-old poems that make them seem like he was a “prophet” who foresaw the rise of Napoleon, World War Two, the John F Kennedy assassination and just about anything else that true-believers want to read into the man’s vague scribblings. Continue reading

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JUST IMAGINE (1930) ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

The world of 1980.

The world of 1980.

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. Balladeer’s Blog continues its celebration of the program’s 30th anniversary year.

ORIGINAL BROADCAST DATE: Saturday January 3rd, 1987 from 10:30pm to 1:00am. 

SERIAL: None. This week the movie, commercials and Host Segments filled the entire two and a half hour running time.

FILM VAULT LORE: Just Imagine is one of the movies referenced on The Texas 27 Film Vault 3-D poster from 1987. 

Just Imagine 1HOST SEGMENTS: At this point I have unearthed no info about this episode’s Host Segments/ Comedy Sketches. Any other fans of The Texas 27 Film Vault can contact me with their memories via my FAQ page. 

THE MOVIE: Just Imagine was one of those true oddities that The Texas 27 Film Vault’s format was perfect for. This uproariously campy sci-fi relic started with a comparison of life in America in 1880 and 1930, the year the movie was released. From there it provided a speculative tale about life 50 more years in the “future” of 1980. The lame special effects, failed predictions about the future, typically stiff acting for a 1930 effort and – worst of all – a few unbearable SONGS make this a true Bad Movie Classic deserving of a Plan 9– sized cult following.   Continue reading

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INVASION USA (1952) ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

iusa_main_header.gif (400×298) 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. Balladeer’s Blog continues its celebration of the program’s 30th anniversary year.

ORIGINAL BROADCAST DATE: Saturday September 28th, 1985 from 10:30pm to 1:00 am.

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.

FV1985002FILM VAULT LORE: Fellow Film Vault Fan Doctor X-Rae ( a lady, hence the spelling) informed me that this 1952 film was shown by our boys as part of a promotional give-away of tickets to the Chuck Norris movie Invasion USA which was hitting theaters back then. This would have been similar to the ticket give-away a month or so earlier to the 1985 Godzilla remake, for which Randy and Richard showed King Kong vs Godzilla

HOST SEGMENTS: Some potential dispute here. Dr X-Rae thinks that this was the episode that showed Randy and Richard seeming to quit the Film Vault Corps (“the few, the proud, the sarcastic”) and through an oddball series of events, winding up in front of a firing squad … and getting shot!

Invasion USA hedda hopperIt all turns out to be a dream – see my interview with Randy Clower for details. This would all tie in with the “it’s only a dream” style ending of Invasion USA (1952 version) but there’s no hard and fast rule that the Host Segments HAD to parallel the night’s movie. Randy himself is unable to help as he doesn’t recall either way. (I think I’ve drained the poor man’s mind of every shred of Texas 27 Film Vault memories at this point.) 

THE MOVIE: Continue reading

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FRIDAY THE 13th 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.

Randy and Richard firing their machine guns at giant rats, cellumites and other subterranean creatures.

Randy and Richard firing their machine guns on the T27FV 3D poster.

When you throw in the previous year’s “Mock 3D” interview with Ben Johnson and the 1987 release of The Texas 27 Film Vault‘s official 3-D poster you could say Randy, Richard, Ken “Tex” Miller, Joe Riley and Laurie Savino had a definite fondness for taking shots at the whole 3-D concept.  

 FOR A LOOK AT THE 3-D TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT POSTER (courtesy of Randy Clower) –https://glitternight.com/2013/03/18/movie-hosts-the-texas-27-film-vault-poster/  

THE MOVIE: Continue reading

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THE FOOD OF THE GODS (1976) ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

Food of the Gods 2Before 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: Sometime in 1985, possibly February or March. Still trying to narrow it down further so anyone who has information please contact me via my FAQ page. Some info points to this being the first episode in which Randy and Richard used their machine guns and “prop-pack” mini-copters to fight giant rats from deep in the Earth.

Given how central the giant rats would be going forward IF this can be verified it would make this a pretty pivotal episode of The Texas 27 Film Vault.

SERIAL: IF the February or March of 1985 date is correct – and that’s still up in the air – then the serial episode would definitely have been from The Lost City (1935).

Texas 27 Film Vault posterCOMEDY SKETCHES: The Film Vault Corps (“The few, the proud, the sarcastic”), led by Randy, Richard and Ken “Tex” Miller taking on the first of many packs of giant rats. The effects, models and dolls of the human figures would – for humor’s sake – have been INTENTIONALLY as cheesy as the kind Bert I Gordon used in The Food of the Gods and so many of his other “gigantic  monster” films.  

OTHER HOST SEGMENTS: A look at the many, MANY “size change” movies of Bert I Gordon, “Mister B.I.G.” himself. ( Amazing Colossal Man, Attack of the Puppet People, Earth vs  the Spider, Beginning of the End, War of the Colossal Beast, The Cyclops, Village of the Giants, Empire of the Ants, etc)  

THE MOVIE: Continue reading

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GLEN OR GLENDA (1953) ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

Glen or GlendaBefore 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: Unknown but definitely before May of 1986. One of the old newspaper articles from early May of that year refers to Glen or Glenda as one of the movies having already been shown on The Texas 27 Film Vault. Anyone with more specific info feel free to contact me.

SERIAL: Unknown. Again, if you have info contact me via my FAQ page.  

COMEDY SKETCHES: Unknown. We’ve exhausted the episodes where I DO know the date, serial and sketches. Contact me.

THE MOVIE: Continue reading

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THE HYPNOTIC EYE (1960) ON THE TEXAS 27 FILM VAULT

Hypnotic EyeIn the middle 1980s/ Way down on Level 31 …

Before MST3K there was The Texas 27 Film Vault! The 30th anniversary year of this neglected cult tv show continues with this 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. 

Radar Men from the MoonSERIAL: 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.

Texas 27 Film Vault posterCOMEDY 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

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