What has become a yearly ritual, whenever a new season of The Walking Dead inches closer to it’s premiere AMC and the folks running the show shoot a series of webisodes telling the story of a group of survivors outside of the show’s main cast. These individuals never come into contact with Rick and his band of survivors, but they do come across similar places that we’ve seen in past episodes.
The first webisode series was the 6-parter “Torn Apart” arrived just prior to Season 2 and told of the origins of the so-callled “Bicycle Girl” zombie Rick comes across soon after waking up from his coma. Then we had the 4-parter “Cold Storage” preceding Season 3’s premiere. Now we have the 3-parter “The Oath” which extends each webisode and deals with a surviving couple whose camp have been overrun by a swarm the night before.
“The Oath” stars Ashley Bell (The Last Exorcism) as Karina with Wyatt Russell (Cowboys & Aliens) playing Paul. The duo races to find medical help in the early months of the zombie apocalypse and they soon come across an abandoned hospital that should be familiar to fans of the show from the very beginning. We even see the origin of the barricaded door in the hospital with the ominous warning to keep any passer-by away.
While the webisodes themselves have been hit-or-miss when it comes to the casts performances they do fill in some backstory on the fringes of the main show. With “The Oath” we see that the Governor and Michonne may not be the only ones to have found a way to use the zombies as a sort of mascot/camouflage.
Overall, “The Oath” was a nice webisode with some average acting from the cast. The teleplay by Luke Passmore was actually quite good and series executive producer Greg Nicotero does a good job directing the whole affair. Some sequences turn out to be very tense and scary. Maybe it’s the nature of the webisode itself that the acting could be uneven, but it was still a good little story that should help whet the appetite of the fans who have been waiting a year for Season 4 to start.
Along with starting each day of October with a horror film here at the Shattered Lens, we’re going to end each day with a horror-themed television show.
While I had previously caught a few episodes of the Twilight Zone during one of the annual holiday marathons on SyFy, I didn’t truly appreciate the show until I first exchanged e-mails with my friend in Australia, Mark. Among other things, Mark expressed a very eloquent appreciation for The Twilight Zone and that inspired me to watch quite a few episodes that have been uploaded to YouTube. Along with being an essential piece of television history, the best episodes of the Twilight Zone remain watchable and entertaining 50 years after they were first broadcast.
Considering the esteemed place that the Twilight Zone continues to occupy in American culture, it seems appropriate to feature it during Horror Month here at the Shattered Lens.
The episode below is called The Jungle and it first aired on December 1st, 1961. It was written by Charles Beaumont and directed by William Claxton. John Dehner plays an engineer who, having recently returned from overseeing a project in Africa, foolishly believes that he’ll be safe from a tribal curse just because he’s in New York. This is an effectively creepy 23 minutes of television and the ending is a classic.
Here we are once again with the wonderful month of October. This means the place gets an extra dosage of horror in everything we can think of. For my first horror-themed post I shall go with the latest “AMV of the Day” and this time it’s an aptly titled video: “Bloody Ayase”.
This particular AMV takes the cute, romantic comedy series, Oreimo, and subverts it by way of clever editing, song choice and some additions like blood splatters to turn it into an obsessed crush. This video actually does a great job in showing the anime personality type called yandere. It’s the obsessed and mentally unhinged lover or ex-lover who doesn’t want to let go and will kill anyone, even the target of their affection, if it means keeping them away from others.
The only thing this video doesn’t have is a pot of boiling water with a rabbit inside.
Traditionally, October is a very special month here at the Shattered Lens. October is the month that we devote the majority of our attention to the horror genre. This month, along with all of the reviews that you’ve come to expect from the Shattered Lens, I will also be attempting to share a horror movie a day with all of our wonderful readers.
Let’s start things off with an odd little B-movie from 1946, Strangler Of The Swamp, a story of love, revenge, and ghosts. A group of swamp men hanged an innocent man. Now, the ghost of that man is having his revenge by strangling the descendents of the people who killed him. One of those descendents is Chris Sanders (played by future director Blake Edwards) who just happens to be in love with Maria (Rosemary La Planche), the granddaughter of the vengeful ghost.
Clocking in at little less than an hour, Strangler Of The Swamp tells a familiar story but it’s still worth watching. Charles Middleton is effective as the strangler and the German-born director Frank Wisbar deals with the restrictions imposed by a minsicule budget by emphasizing the film’s expressionistic atmosphere. While it would be a mistake to call Strangler Of The Swamp a lost masterpiece (as some critics have done), it’s still an interesting example of low-budget, B-filmmaking.