The Bootleg Files: The Magic Christmas Tree

BOOTLEG FILES 752: “The Magic Christmas Tree” (1964 holiday season fiasco).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On public domain labels.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: No copyright on the film opens it to endless duping.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Who the hell would want to offer a 4K restored version of this thing?

Some crummy movies are so cluelessly terrible that they’ve earned the designation of being “so bad they’re good.” The 1964 atrocity “The Magic Christmas Tree” doesn’t fall into that genre. Instead, it needs to be shoved into the category of “so bad they’re terrible.”
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The Post (2017)

Steven Spielberg’s latest bad movie attempts to recapture the emotional drama surrounding the 1971 publication of the Pentagon Papers. One might imagine that the film would highlight the challenges and consequences faced by Daniel Ellsberg in ferrying the documents out of the realm of government classified restrictions, or the efforts of the New York Times in bringing these astonishing documents to the public. Instead, the crux of the film is curiously focused on the Washington Post, which was late to reporting the story but wound up picking up the publication of the Pentagon Papers’ contents after the Nixon White House threw temporary legal obstacles in the Times’ path.

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Robot Monster Lives!

Has there ever been a more bizarre creature than Ro-Man, the extraterrestrial robot that looks like a gorilla wearing a diving helmet? On this episode, we learn the story behind the making of “Robot Monster” and the life of its mysterious creator, Phil Tucker, with our guest Anders Runestad, author of the book “I Cannot, Yet I Must.” We also get to discuss Tucker’s work with Lenny Bruce on the equally bizarre “Dance Hall Racket” and the stories behind his lost films “Space Jockey” and “Pachuco.”

The episode can be heard here.

The Ten Worst Movies Ever Aired on TNT's Monstervision

“Monstervision” ran for five years here in the US on the TNT cable station late on Saturdays and Fridays. Often times you could find it at midnight, but often it would be on late in the night thanks to whatever sports game or special TNT decided to air that night. Joe Bob Briggs is one of the last gasps of great cable television where he migrated from The Movie Channel to TNT to hose “Monstervision” for many years. During that time, he hosted many movies of the cult variety, and some mainstream stuff, mostly due to TNT’s demands. Though the show was called “Monstervision” Briggs was pretty much obligated to air movies like “Love Potion No. 9,” and “Twins” while Briggs was able to mostly air his kind of movies like “Shaft,” “From Beyond,” and “The Return of the Living Dead.” Throughout the span of the series, Monstervision aired some truly terrible movies that could only be appreciated with commercial breaks for the sake of the audiences sanity. And Briggs’. These are ten of the worst movies ever aired on Monstervision.

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