Once Upon a Honeymoon (MST3K Episode #701: Night of the Blood Beast. Also in the Ephemeral section of Open Video Project. Also, film #4 on Our Secret Century, Vol. 1: The Rainbow Is Yours CD-ROM (Voyager). Also, film # 1049 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Inudstrial]

Songwriter Jeff hasn't been able to take his wife Mary on a honeymoon in over a year because of his workaholic boss, but now he finally has the chance. They're all packed and just getting ready to leave when, of course, the boss calls and tells Jeff that Sonya, the prima-donna backer of the musical Jeff just scored, wants a new tune to "The Wishing Song" right away. It looks like the honeymoon is over, but the day is saved by Jeff and Mary's incredibly swishy guardian angel, Wilbur, who arrives on the scene dressed in a powder blue monk's robe and Elton John-style white glasses, sprinkling glitter everywhere. But the film is not really even about honeymoons or wishing or angels or songwriting––it's about colored telephones. If that description elicits a "huh?" from you, the film itself will elicit an even bigger "huh?" It's truly amazing how many of these films have supernatural characters appear in order to help the main characters with their problems, and how weird those supernatural characters usually are. Great fun with good msting.

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

The Cuckoo Murder Case (film #11 on The Cartoons That Time Forgot: The Ub Iwerks Collection, Vol. 2 DVD (Image Entertainment, 1999). Also, film #1 on The Cartoons That Time Forgot, Volume 3: Things That Go Bump in the Night (Kino Video, 1993)). [Category: Hollywood]

In an old haunted house, a cuckoo in a cuckoo clock is mysteriously murdered, and it's up to detective Flip the Frog to solve the case. OK, I admit it, I love it when inanimate objects come to life in these cartoons, and in this one they do it in a big way, making it a favorite of mine. That's all, really, but that's enough.

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

Better Use of Leisure Time (in the Ephemeral section of Open Video Project. Also, film #209 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Educational]

In this campy Coronet film, Ken spends all his leisure time in his room moping about his friends all being busy, until he develops a hobby––visual and auditory hallucinations! The voice in his head tells him he's wasting his time, though, and his visual hallucinations all involve his parents 50 or 100 years ago working their butts off and expecting Ken to do so as well. Ken finally decides to trade his psychosis in for a more conventional hobby like photography (though photography of what he doesn't tell us). This film's ludicrous set-up makes it loads of fun and a good subject for msting. It also can be part of the wholesome hobby of film ephemera collecting.

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

Calamitous Elopement (film #4 on The Origins of Cinema, Volume 4: The Arrival of D. W. Griffith (Video Yesteryear, 1995)). [Category: Early Film & TV]

A couple's elopement provides a golden opportunity for a dorky guy to steal stuff from them. He even comes along on their honeymoon by hiding in a steamer trunk and at the first opportunity steals everything that isn't nailed down. Elopements were a trendy topic in early films and they usually come out pretty silly. This film is no exception. A 1908 D. W. Griffith film.

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

The Andy Griffith Show (film #1 in the Mayberry RIP section of TVParty). [Category: Outtakes & Obscurities]

An earlier version of the “Andy Griffith Show” theme, in black-and-white, and featuring a Sanka coffee promo at the end. The presence of the ad make this more of a blast from the past than the other version of the theme.

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

The Autogyro (film #5 in the 100 Years in the Air section of WPA Film Library). [Category: News]

Silent newsreel footage from the 20s of an autogyro, which is sort of a cross between a helicopter and an airplane––it has the big rotors on the top, but it has to take off and land like an airplane. We get to see it take off and land a few times, as well as some of the parties responsible for it. This has a bit of historical interest in that it was an unusual contraption, but that’s all.

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

Century of Progress Exposition: Wings of a Century (in the Ephemeral section of Open Video Project. Also, film #281 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Industrial]

Silent footage of the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago. This would have been better if it had had sound, but it does give you an idea of what it was like to attend a world’s fair back in their heyday. My favorite is the Sinclair display with the creaky mechanical dinosaurs.

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

Monster Mania (Goodtimes, 1991). [Category: Commercial]

One of the better collections of trailers from science fiction, horror and fantasy films. There's quite a wide selection here, including lots of 50's sci-fi, some classic horror, and several selections from both Ray Harryhausen and Val Lewton. This is a well-put-together, fun tape which gets 10 extra points for throwing in some drive-in ephemera as well.


  • The Return of the Fly will really "BUG" you!!
  • Gimmick Alert! A great piece of movie theater ephemera announces that free 2 for 1 passes will be given out to anyone who watches the advertised horror show in its entirety and leaves the theater unassisted. And the show is in "Hypnoscope"! "We dare you to live through this!"
  • Blast from the Cold War: "Do you know what a radioactive isotope is?" "No, but if it can be loaded, I can fire it!" (from the trailer of The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms).
  • Ray Harryhausen fans will want to check out a short film about the "Dynamation" process used in The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad. Find out how the amazing skeleton swordfight sequence was done.
  • The trailer from Invaders from Mars asserts that the biggest menace of the invading Martians is that they are pitting themselves against "mankind's dream to conquer the universe!" Remember, our imperialist goals are good.
  • This tape gets 10 extra points for including my all-time favorite snack bar promo: the "Lets All Go to the Lobby" jingle featuring the animated singing snacks! Go ahead and sing along...you remember how it goes.
  • And it gets another 5 points for capping it all off with a really strange "horrorific" snack bar promo advertising pizza, another one of my all-time favorites.
  • Msties, take note: contains the trailers of Revenge of the Creature, The Black Scorpion, and This Island Earth.

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

Amos ‘n’ Andy #1 (film #1 in the Amos ‘n’ Andy section of TVParty). [Category: Early Film & TV]

Short clip from the earliest version of the “Amos ‘n’ Andy” television show, featuring the Kingfish faking illness. This actually reminds me of some of the black sitcoms of the 70s, which perhaps says something about either them or “Amos ‘n’ Andy,” I can’t quite tell which.

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

Afternoons (film #26 in the 1967 section of TVParty). [Category: Commercial]

Cute animated promo for the afternoon line-up on NBC in 1967, featuring a housewife who says, “I think I’m in love with my tv!” It also features the 60s NBC peacock theme, which brought a bunch of childhood tv-watching memories back to me.

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

Sanders of the River (film #26 in the Black Culture section of Movieflix). [Category: Sleaze & Outsider]

This British film is essentially a celebration of imperialism. Sanders is a British civil servant in Nigeria who keeps peace among warring tribes by ruling with an iron fist. Paul Robeson plays a chief who gains power by sucking up to Sanders at every turn, while spending his spare time singing songs that owe more to American popular music than to African tribal music. Granted, Sanders is portrayed as a just leader who stops slave trading and war mongering, but the film seems to imply that this is because he is white and British. The natives are referred to many times as “black children” of the British overlords and they are portrayed as thoroughly unable to govern themselves. The politics of the film makes you want to throw up, but it does have many authentic scenes of African tribal dances and rituals, which gives it some historical interest. It’s incredibly slow-moving, though.

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

Chicken Little (film #28 on Disc 1 of Walt Disney on the Front Lines (Disney, 2004)). [Category: Military & Propaganda]

This wartime Disney toon tells the story of how Foxy Loxy used gossip and misinformation to fool all the poultry in the chicken yard into coming over for dinner (as the main course, of course). This has one of the darkest endings I’ve ever seen in a Disney toon, and that explains why they inserted an introduction to it by Leonard Maltin explaining how it was meant to be a wartime propaganda piece. This is an excellent example of such wartime propaganda incorporating itself into the mass media, giving this toon a great deal of historical value.

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

American Square Dancing

American Square Dancing. Rather dry educational film in which clean 40s teenagers demonstrate square dancing moves. I would have liked to ...