Twist Craze (film #25 on Teenage UFO Rock 'n' Roll Monster Show (Something Weird)). [Category: Sleaze & Outsider]

A rock & roll band and some twist dancers put on a show at a fancy nightclub. The band plays that kind of generic rock & roll that Joel and the bots tuned in on the all-teen dance radio station and the dancers are all straight out of The Horror of Party Beach. But even this watered-down rock & roll is a lot for the incredibly L7 audience to take. Eventually, though, they all get into the groove and start twistin' themselves, including a 300-pound woman, elderly folks, and a woman whose hips seem fused to her torso. My favorite, though, is a smoking guy in the back who they keep cutting back to, showing us how he's grooving to the music by snapping his fingers offbeat. If this doesn't get you on the dance floor, you're probably fortunate.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.

I've Got a Secret (track #1 on TV Game Shows, Vol. 1 (Hollywood's Attic, 1996)). [Category: Outtakes & Obscurities]

This mid-60s game show features a celebrity panel trying to guess the secrets of contestants with unusual achievements or qualities. This episode features a man who was once spanked by Lyndon Johnson (unfortunately, this is a lot less interesting than it sounds), a young man who won a prize for baking the world's largest cookie, and Jose Frerer with a quiz about animal sounds in other languages. The celebrity panel is mildly amusing in the way that only game show celebrity panels can be. The beginning was cut off of this show, so we only get to see the final moments of the first segment. Too bad, I really would have liked to see the panel struggle with that one.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.

Act One (film #15 in The Carol Burnett Shows section of TVParty). [Category: Outtakes & Obscurities]

This is a clip from act one of Carol Burnett’s special, “Eunice,” which portrays the history of a silly Southern family that had been featured in a popular series of sketches on Burnett’s variety show. In the clip, Phillip is leaving for New York to become a playwright, while Eunice obliviously talks about her unrealistic plans to become a movie star, and Mama tries in vain to get their father to come out of the bathroom. I remember those skits as being funny and fascinating, so it’s nice to see the little-known special archived here. This clip gives you an idea of the ridiculousness of this family and some of its appeal, as well.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.

Anti-AIDS Rant (film #2 in the TV Terrorists section of TVParty). [Category: News]

This very brief clip shows a group of AIDS activists who managed to get some of their chanting on the air during the opening of the “CBS Evening News.” Dan Rather stays cool and immediately goes to a commercial. It’s this kind of unscripted stuff I love to see, so kudos to TVParty for the whole TV Terrorists section.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.

Branding Calves (film #1 on Buckaroos in Paradise). [Category: Industrial]

This short film is part of a series made in the 1960s by a Nevada cattle rancher to document the ranching practices of the time. In this film, we see how calves are branded. It’s not nearly as upsetting as you might think, and it provides an interesting historical view of cattle ranching, ending with the wife bringing down a big meal for all the hands to eat.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.

The Astor Tramp (film #21 on Edison Film Archive). [Category: Early Film & TV]

A tramp hangs out in a rich lady’s bedroom until the lady comes home and gets a nasty surprise. After he is kicked out, he steals a newspaper from a paper boy. Jerk. He reads with delight a newspaper story about his antics, presaging the fondness of 20th-century criminals for courting the media. A slightly silly early comedy. An 1899 Edison film.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ***. Overall Rating: ***.

Malibu Mermaid (film #882 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Sleaze & Outsider]

A bikini-clad beauty sits in the surf and lets the water repeatedly pull her bikini top off. This is done to a bouncy soundtrack that any industrial film would be proud of. Another fairly standard vintage stag film.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ***. Overall Rating: **.

Alpha-Bits (film #5 in the Saturday Morning Commercials section of TVParty). [Category: Commercial]

Cute early 60s commercial urging kids to “spell your name with Alpha-Bits!” Has an innocence not found in commercials today, even those targeted at children.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.

Doubtful Dollars (film #455 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Public Service]

In this 40s government film, the head of a ring of counterfitters, who has an outrageously stereotyped gangster voice, passes a gives a bunch of phony money to his minions, who are only shown from the waist down. Then those same minions are shown from the waist up, blandly passing the fake dough in stores and other businesses, usually by buying something really cheap and paying for it with a big (and fake) bill. You keep expecting one of the store clerks to get wise, but they never do. Then a guy from the Secret Service tells us how to spot fake money, and we get to see a bit of interesting factory tour footage of dollar bills being made at the mint. Unfortunately, the film is incomplete. This film is quite campy and fun for the most part, though the part about spotting errors in fake money drags a bit.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.

Argentina

Argentina. Standard geography film about the South American country of Argentina. There’s some historical interest here as you get to see ...