How did we get here?....
The Past, Present, and Future of Dumpsterpiece Theatre...as gathered by the Princess
Dumpsterpiece Theatre is a showcase for B-movies, rare short films and cartoons hosted by film historian "Junkyard John" Roberts, and his pals.
It all began in early 1994. John Roberts had the idea for a 2-hour b-movie show called Dumpsterpiece Theatre, a take-off of Masterpiece Theatre. He was writing for the Valley Press when we thought of the name. The people from KPAL-TV in Palmdale approached John to host a different classic film each week, live on their station. John looked at their available film library, and told them that he had plenty more films at home that he could show.
John contacted his friend Dean Matherly, who had just escaped the LA earthquake of January 94. Dean built a rat puppet with 20 dollars of supplies, and Alphonso the Rat was born. Together, in May of 1994, they began doing live shows on KPAL-TV on Friday nights at midnight.
The first several episodes were also hosted by a good friend of ours, Michael Berryman, who you may know from such films as The Hills Have Eyes, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, Weird Science, and more! John, Michael, and Dean, (and Bill as Stu the Carrot) had a great time bringing bad films to a receptive audience.
The show was a fixture at KPAL-TV 38 from the time of its' debut in May of 1994 to the end of its' run in May of 1997, where it aired live every week for three uninterrupted years.
The show has enjoyed a modest cult following, mainly due to the memorable antics of puppet co-hosts Alphonso T. Rat and Stu the Carrot (operated and performed by Dean Matherly and William Blair). Together, the trio of lunatics bounced bad jokes and taste-stretching humor to the limits before the days of the TV ratings system.
Hundreds of viewers signed up for our weekly emails and quarterly newsletter, "the junkmail"... many folks request films... of course, we don't have the budget to show "good" films...
Among the many B-movie atrocities that graced the Dumpsterpiece airwaves were: Killers from Space, The Little Shop of Horrors, The Brain that Wouldn't Die, Gorgo, Invasion of the Blood Farmers, War of the Satellites, Hillbillys in a Haunted House, and many more.
Here's an image from the 1995 Memorial Day/War is Hell episode.
Most of this episode was broadcast in black and white...
John and the boys discover they don't call it a "fox-hole" for nothing.
We have made several public appearances.
Twice, in 1996, we were guests
We rode in the Acton Fourth of July parade,
crashed the Lancaster Poppy Festival,
had a great time at the AV Fair,
and we won "third place for small floats" in the 1996 Antelope Valley Fair Parade!
We always meet friendly fans
from all over the Antelope Valley
after a four year hiatus
With this incarnation of Dumpsterpiece Theatre (which has, incidentally, retained many members of their original crew), host Junkyard John hopes to go beyond the standard format of presenting bad cinema by including a showcase for local bands.
The show's March 9th season premiere featured a music video by Jet Drive-In; a free-form avante guarde score for the 1934 film "The Mascot" by Dzong and Industrial Espionage (D.I.E.); as well as theme song and incidental music by "The DumpTV Orchestra."
Besides the horrible movies, this season we've featured the music of many Antelope Valley bands such as "Scarred for Life," "Made of Meat," "andy asteriod" and a live appearance from the celtic band "Silent Planet"
The new theme song and other incidental music are performed by the Dumptv Orchestra. For a few weeks, we had the orchestra LIVE in the studio, which was great fun, but the neighbors living near the TV station complained, (live rock music at midnight... you know...) so we had to curb the live music, but most of music you hear during episodes of Dumpsterpiece Theatre is created & performed by our own cast and crew.
If you have
a local band, and are interested in
We've been mentioned in the local paper a few times over the years...
we got this write-up in the Valley Press March
Our seasons so far
You can now enjoy Dumpsterpiece Theatre online for years to come.
With over 20 years of film research and 9 years of publication to his credit (including The Antelope Valley Press and Fangoria Magazine), host Roberts' future plans for the show rest upon just how entertaining he and his able crew can make bad films and their weird history.
"Most of the time, the trick is to let the badness of a film speak for itself---and then make fun of it..." says Roberts.
Which is precisely what the force behind Dumpsterpiece Theatre intends to do.
write us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We'd love to hear from you!
thanks to the cities of Lancaster, Palmdale, Acton, Quartz Hill, Pearblossom, Lake Los Angeles, and Littlerock for all your support!