Blondie on a Budget Trailer (film #18 on SabuCat Movie Trailers). [Category: Commercial]

This trailer for a film in the 40s Blondie-and-Dagwood series is made way more annoying than it needs to be by a whiny-voiced narrator. Also, it gives away most of the plot. Still, the narration is bizarre and oblique, making this way weirder than your average trailer for a conventional comedy such as this. If ever there was a really bad trailer for a movie that wasn’t so bad, this is it.

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

Ain’t That Loving You, Baby (film #9 on Bedazzled. Also, film #8 in the Video section of Bedazzled). [Category: Sleaze & Outsider]

In this 60s TV clip, Glenn Campbell sings “Ain’t That Loving You, Baby.” This was back when he was a rock and roller, rather than the country star he would later be better known as. He really does rock out here, complete with backup singers and screaming teenyboppers. His guitar playing is impressive, though not helped at all by the dancers wielding prop guitars, though this only makes the clip more fun, reminding us that television, as well as other mainstream media of the time, just didn’t know how to deal with rock and roll.

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

Fireworks Recipe (film #16 in the Public Info. Films section of TVArk). [Category: Public Service]

70s British PSA urging parents to follow the Firework Code, a set of safety instructions available at fireworks dealers. This is straightforward and fairly effective at conveying its message, without resorting to sensationalistic depictions of injuries, like other PSAs of this type.

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

Apprentice (film #10 in the Action section of Brickfilms). [Category: Outtakes & Obscurities]

In medieval Legoland, an old man’s apprentice battles the apprentice of an evil king in order to rescue a kidnapped girl. This silent brickfilm is technically well done, but the story seems to be only a section of a larger work, which cuts down the interest level somewhat.

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

Hollywood Extra Girl (film #39 in the Documentary section of Movieflix). [Category: Hollywood]

This charming short tells the story of a female extra and how she is given her big chance by Cecil B. DeMille during the filming of The Crusades. Memorable scenes include hearing the thoughts of various extras and why they keep doing it even though their chances of stardom resemble a snowball’s chance in hell, and hearing DeMille bawl out the hairdresser for letting an extra through with one of the latest 1930s hairstyles. The film is both encouraging and discouraging of ordinary peoples’ dreams of stardom, which is par for the course for this sort of thing. There’s a real charm to this, though, and despite its romanticized view of Hollywood there’s still a somewhat realistic “behind the scenes” feel to the proceedings. This film typifies the sort of thing I like to see in the Hollywood category.

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

Apollo 8 – Go for TLI (film #3 on Open Source Movies). [Category: News]

This 1969 film documents the Apollo 8 mission, the first to orbit the moon. The story is well told, giving a fair amount of drama to the proceedings, and adding interesting little details, like the fact that the astronauts got to have turkey TV dinners for their Christmas meal, while the mission control staff ate burgers and chips at their desks. This mission would be overshadowed by Apollo 11, so it’s interesting to see it get its due as an amazing feat in itself.

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

The Battle of Supply (film #5 on Side A of Disc #2 of the War in Europe section of Combat Classics DVD Megapack (Mill Creek Entertainment, 2006)). [Category: Military & Propaganda]

This documentary covers the difficulties of shipping supplies to the front in the months after D-Day. It also covers the taking of Antwerp, Belgium, important to the Allies as a port city and thus a solution to the supply distribution problem. This is all told straightforwardly, with the help of some striking archival footage, as most of the films in this series. Military transportation buffs should enjoy the extensive scenes of trucks and of rebuilding European rail lines.

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

500,000 to One (film #21 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Industrial]

This film about insects starts with a dramatic scene of the end of the world, with the last surviving form of animal life being a bug. Cheery thought, isn’t it? The rest of the film gives us way more information than we want to know about insects, with lots of visuals of various kinds of bugs, some creepy and some beautiful. It tells us that human beings have altered the balance of nature in ways that affect insect populations, mostly creating overpopulation of pests. The solution to this is to wage all-out war on the insects we don’t like––after all, we can’t be expected to alter our routines any, can we? Lots of spraying of everything with chemicals is shown, but to the film’s credit, other types of insect control are also mentioned, such as traps, quarantine, biological warfare, importing predators, and the good old-fashioned flyswatter. Priceless moments include the animated apocalyptic opening scene, a 50s housewife rescuing her freshly-frosted cake from an overeager kid armed with a flyswatter, a big ugly 50s car pulling a trailer that sprays everything in sight with insecticide, a scary scene of an exterminator in a gas mask fumigating a house with cyanide (says so on the warning signs), and a scientist injecting larvae one at a time with a deadly insect disease. Still, at least lip-service is paid to the idea that the cure of the insect problem shouldn’t create new problems in the future, making this a slightly more enlightened film than most 50s films on this subject. And junior entomologists will enjoy all the footage of bugs.

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

Destruction: Fun or Dumb? (film #11 on AV Geeks). [Category: Educational]

This 70s anti-vandalism film is as strident as any 50s film, plus it has an incredibly dorky theme song and lots of bad acting to boot. They may leave it to the students to decide if destruction is fun or dumb, but as for the film itself, I pick the latter. Sometimes you just want to break something, you know?

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

Better Breakfasts USA

Better Breakfasts, USA. An early-60s school class takes a field trip to a TV station. But instead of learning about television production,...