Lisa’s Week In Review: 9/24/18 — 9/30/18

As you should be able to tell from looking below, I devoted most of this week to getting ready for this year’s annual Horrorthon on both Through the Shattered Lens and Horror Critic.

Let’s make October the greatest month ever!

Movies I Watched:

  1. The Amazing Mr. X (1948)
  2. Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey (2018)
  3. The Beyond (1981)
  4. Cannibal Apocalypse (1980)
  5. City of the Living Dead (1980)
  6. Conrad & Michelle: If Words Could Kill (2018)
  7. Don’t Look Now (1973)
  8. Get Out (2017)
  9. Healed By Grace (2012)
  10. Hellmaster (1992)
  11. Hereditary (2018)
  12. The House By The Cemetery (1981)
  13. House of Dark Shadows (1970)
  14. House of Exorcism (1975)
  15. I, Madman (1989)
  16. The Investigator (2013)
  17. Isle of Dogs (2018)
  18. Last Girl Standing (2015)
  19. The Last Shark (1981)
  20. Let’s Scare Jessica To Death (1971)
  21. Lisa and the Devil (1974)
  22. The Living Dead Girl (1982)
  23. Nadja (1994)
  24. Near Dark (1987)
  25. Night of Dark Shadows (1971)
  26. Plague of the Zombies (1966)
  27. Poltergeist (1982)
  28. The Psychic (1977)
  29. Psychic Killer (1975)
  30. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  31. Ratman (1988)
  32. Torso (1973)
  33. Vampire Circus (1972)
  34. Zombie Lake (1981)

Television Shows I Watched:

  1. 9-11
  2. American Horror Story
  3. Better Call Saul
  4. Big Brother 20
  5. The Blue Planet
  6. Charlie’s Angels
  7. Dancing With The Stars
  8. The Deuce
  9. Doctor Phil
  10. Face the Truth
  11. Fear The Walking Dead
  12. Hell’s Kitchen 18
  13. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
  14. King of the Hill
  15. Magnum, P.I.
  16. Manifest
  17. New Amsterdam
  18. Night Gallery
  19. The Purge
  20. Saved By The Bell
  21. South Park
  22. Survivor 37
  23. The Twilight Zone
  24. Yellowstone
  25. You
  26. Young Sheldon

Books I Read:

  1. The Beast Within (1981) by Edward Levy
  2. The Children (1982) by Charles Robertson
  3. Haunted Hearts (2011) by Corrine Davis
  4. A Manhattan Ghost Story (1984) by T.M. Wright
  5. The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World (2018) by Sarah Weinman

Music To Which I Listened:

  1. Arcade Fire
  2. Avril Lavigne
  3. Calvin Harris
  4. DJ Judaa
  5. IC3PEAK
  6. Jakalope
  7. Jake Bugg
  8. Jorja Smith
  9. Kero Kero Bonito
  10. Lady Gaga
  11. Lala Lala
  12. Lana Del Rey
  13. Madness
  14. Marissa Nadler
  15. Muse
  16. The Ting Tings
  17. Toby Driver

Links From Last Week:

  1. From my sister’s photography site: Creek 2, Creek 3, Rock, Fence, Trees, Houses, and Spinning!
  2. From my music site: Arcade Fire, Jorja Smith, Kero Kero Bonito, Lana Del Rey, IC3PEAK, Jake Bugg, and another one from Jake Bugg!
  3. For Reality TV Chat Blog, I took a look at the first episode of Survivor!
  4. The 20th season of Big Brother came to an end this week, as did my annual summer gig of writing about the show for the Big Brother Blog.
  5. On Horror Critic, I reviewed The Amazing Mr. X!
  6. Gary Loggins announces Halloween Havoc!
  7. Television shows I’ve binged across 2018
  8. As Pretty As A Perfect Painting
  9. Mystery solved? Identity of Courbet’s 19th-century nude revealed
  10. Roman Polanski’s first movie of the #MeToo Era will be called J’Accuse.
  11. Lindsay Lohan Punched In The Face … After Accusing Couple of Trafficking their Kids
  12. Bill Cosby’s Downfall the Result of Small Decisions and Big Culture Shift
  13. Hollywood star Steven Seagal eyes gubernatorial seat in Russia’s Far East
  14. In Conversation: David Lynch, the director as painter, festival impresario and ant collaborator
  15. Rose McGowan apologizes to Asia Argento

Links From The Site:

  1. Erin profiled H.R. Van Dongen and shared the following artwork: Love Sailor, My Enemy My Wife, Lust On The Yacht, Conduct Unbecoming, You’ve Got It Coming, Coming Up Fast, and Handle With Fear.
  2. Gary paid tribute to Gary Kurtz and Marty Balin and reviewed The Cheyenne Social Club, Strangers on a Train, and Theater of Blood!
  3. Jeff shared music videos for Our House, Crockett’s Theme, the Miami Vice Theme, Smuggler’s Blues, Life’s What You Make It, Broken Wings, and Michael Caine.  He also shared his weekly trailer round-up!
  4. I shared the trailer for Creed II and told you about the 7th Annual Horrorthon!  I also reviewed Conrad & Michelle: If Words Could Kill. and Believe Me!
  5. Ryan reviewed Monkey Chef, Let’s Not Meet, and the Faith Community!  He also shared his weekly reading round-up!

Want to see what I did last week?  Click here!

Have a great October!

Lifetime Film Review: Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey (dir by Jim Donovan)

In 1984, Lisa McVey was seventeen years old and working at a doughnut shop in Florida.  When she wasn’t working, she was having to deal with her dysfunctional home life, including regular sexual abuse at the hands of a relative.  One night, after ending her shift at work, Lisa hopped on her bicycle and rode off.  At the time, she was fully intending to kill herself.  Instead, she found herself being chased and eventually abducted by a man in a car.  That man was Bobby Joe Long and, though Lisa didn’t know it at the time, he has already killed at least ten other women in the Tampa Bay area.

After kidnapping her, Long held Lisa prisoner for 26 hours.  Keeping her bound and blindfolded, Long raped her repeatedly and planned to kill her.  Lisa, however, managed to talk him out of it.  By her own admission, she used the same techniques that she had previously used to survive the years of abuse that she suffered when she was a child.  She promised him that she wouldn’t tell anyone what had happened.  She told him that she understood that he wasn’t a bad guy and that she would even be his friend if he just let her go.

And that’s just what Bobby Joe Long did.  He set her free.  Lisa ran for home, not realizing that her family had reported her missing and that the police were looking for her.  However, once Lisa reached her house, she discovered that neither her family nor the cops believed her.  They assumed that she had run off with a boy and, when things didn’t work out, she came home and made up the kidnapping story to get out of trouble.  The more Lisa tried to explain, the more the police doubted her….

That’s the story that was told in tonight’s Lifetime premiere, Believe Me: The Abduction of Lisa McVey.  Usually, I tend to take a humorous (some would say “snarky”) approach when reviewing Lifetime films but that really wouldn’t be appropriate with this film.  My friend, the writer Trevor Wells, compared this film to Cleveland Abduction and he’s absolutely right.  Much like Cleveland Abduction, Believe Me tells the true story of one strong and underestimated woman who survived the worst experience possible and who, against all odds, managed to create light in the darkness.  It’s not a pleasant film to watch but it is an inspiring one, one that offers up strength to any woman who has ever had to fight to be believed.

Katie Douglas gives a strong and empathetic performance as Lisa McVey.  While the film doesn’t shy away from showing both what she experienced and her struggle with PTSD afterward, it also showcases the strength that helped her to survive both her Hellish childhood and Bobby Joe Long.  It’s that same strength that caused her to never stop demanding that both the police and her family believe her.

Thanks to Lisa McVey, Bobby Joe Long was eventually captured.  He’s currently sitting on Florida’s death row.  As for Lisa, she is now a school resource officer and a motivational speaker.

Cleaning Out The DVR: Conrad & Michelle: If Words Could Kill (dir by Stephen Tolkin)

I recorded Conrad & Michelle off of Lifetime on September 23rd.

In 2014, 18 year-old Conrad Roy committed suicide in Massachusetts, poisoning himself with carbon monoxide fumes while sitting in his truck.

Conrad was an outstanding athlete and a good student but he has also struggled with social anxiety and depression and had reportedly often insisted to various therapists that he wanted to die.  Some reports stated that Conrad had attempted suicide at least once before, with an attempted drug overdose when he was 17.  Any suicide, regardless of the circumstances, is a tragedy but making Conrad’s story all the more disturbing was that, minutes before his death, he was texting with an acquaintance named Michelle Carter.  Supposedly, a few years earlier, Michelle had talked Conrad out of a suicide attempt.  This time, however, she insisted that he grow through with it.  Even when he texted her that he was scared and that he had gotten out of his truck, Michelle texted back that he needed to get back in truck and go through with what he was planning.

After Conrad’s death, Michelle reportedly used the tragedy to generate as much attention for herself as possible.  She described herself as being Conrad’s girlfriend and his soulmate.  At the same time, Conrad’s friends and family said that Conrad had only met Michelle face-to-face a handful of times and that their relationship was almost entirely conducted online.  Some friends went as far as to say that they had never even heard Conrad mention Michelle’s name and that Conrad had actually been doing better before Michelle started sending him text messages in which she goaded him into committing suicide.

When Michelle was arrested and put on trial, it made national headlines.  Attorneys for the defense argued that Conrad had a history of suicidal behavior and that he was ultimately responsible for his own actions.  The prosecution, on the other hand, argued that Michelle was a narcissist who heartlessly manipulated a vulnerable acquaintance.  In the end, Michelle’s was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.  Specifically, she was convicted because of the text in which she told Conrad to get back in the truck.  In August of 2017, she was sentenced to serve 30 months in prison.

Given the sensational nature of the case and the fact that the trial made national headlines, it’s not particularly shocking that Lifetime would make a movie about it.  Starring Bella Thorne as Michelle and Austin P. McKenzie as Conrad, Conrad & Michelle does a good job of presenting the basic facts of the case.  We watch as Michelle and Conrad first meet while on vacation on Florida and then we follow along as both of them spend the next few years texting each other, taking different psychiatric medications, and attending various therapy groups.  Conrad struggles with his depression while Michelle deals with, among other things, an eating disorder.  After Conrad’s death, we watch as Michelle awkwardly forces herself into the lives of his friends and family.

Some people will probably complain that the film never solidly takes a side as to whether or not Michelle was truly responsible for Conrad’s suicide.  Though we see Michelle texting Conrad to get back in the truck, the film leaves it ambiguous as to whether it was specifically Michelle’s text that caused Conrad to follow through with his suicide.  Still, after Conrad’s suicide, the film leaves no doubt that Michelle relished her new-found fame and her status as a self-declared tragic heroine.  (After learning that Conrad’s suicide note was addressed to her, Michelle brags to her friends that Conrad didn’t write a note to anyone else.  Later, when Michelle sets up a charity softball game in Conrad’s memory, she breathlessly reminds everyone that it was her idea and worries that someone else might try to take credit.)  Bella Thorne does an excellent job in these scenes, playing Michelle as an unstable narcissist who is incapable of understanding why no one else is as excited for her as she is.  In these scenes, Michelle’s monstrous selfishness is revealed and Thorne gives a chilling performance.

Like the story that inspired it, Conrad & Michelle is a sad and disturbing movie and one that I would recommend catching the next time that it’s on.

It’s Almost Time For The Shattered Lens’s 7th Annual Horrorthon!

Put on your dancing shoes because, in just a few hours, it will be the first day of October!

If things have been a little bit more quiet than usual here at the Shattered Lens Bunker, it’s because we’ve been busy getting ready for our 7th Annual Horrorthon!  That’s right, this is the time of year when the Shattered Lens devotes itself to my favorite genre …. horror!

This is my favorite time of year!

This year, among other things, I’ll be showcasing Italian horror!  The tricks and the treats begin in just another few hours!  So, sit back, have some popcorn, and get ready for the greatest 31 days of the year!

Weekly Trailer Round-Up: Dark Phoenix, Holmes & Watson, Bumblee, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindenwald, They Shall Not Grow Old

The biggest trailer that dropped this week was the trailer for Creed II, which Lisa shared on Wednesday.  Here’s the best of the rest.

The X-Men franchise has seen so,e impressive highs (First Class, Days of Future Past) and some astounding lows (Last Stand, Apocalypse).  Hopefully, the upcoming Dark Phoenix will be another high.  Based on one of the comic’s best known storylines, Dark Phoenix would seem to have all the ingredients for success with the only question mark being first time director Simon Kinberg.  Dark Phoenix will be released on February 14th.

Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are together again as Holmes & Watson.  Holmes & Watson will be released on November 9th, just in time to help you laugh away your Election Day blues.

Everyone’s favorite transformer gets a brand new trailer for his upcoming solo project, Bumblebee.  Bumblebee will be released this Christmas.

For those who have still not gotten over the conclusion of the Harry Potter films, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will be coming for your money on November 16th.

Finally, we have the trailer for Peter Jackson’s upcoming documentary, They Shall Not Grow Old.  Jackson has taken footage that was actually shot during World War I, colorized it, and added sound, in order to let modern audiences experience, for themselves, the infamous War to End All Wars.  They Shall Not Grow Old will be released on October 16th in the UK.

Music Video of the Day: Michael Caine by Madness (1984, directed by ????)

From the minute that I read Lisa Marie’s review of The Island two weeks ago, I knew that I wanted to highlight this video from Madness.

As you can tell from the title, the song is a tribute to Michael Caine and his status as a British cultural icon.  The video is based on The IPCRESS File, the best known of the five films in which Caine played Harry Palmer.  Harry was the working class equivalent of James Bond.  Bond was a glamorous bachelor who slept with beautiful women and traveled the world.  Harry, on the other hand, lived alone in a shabby flat, wore glasses, and never got paid what he deserved.

That actually is Michael Caine repeating his name for the song’s hook.  When the band first approached him, Caine turned them down because he had never heard of them.  Only after his daughter told him how popular Madness was did Caine change his mind.  The sample of Caine repeating his own name was meant as a tribute to a scene in The IPCRESS File, in which Harry Palmer resisted a brainwashing attempt by repeating his own name.

Michael Caine spent 8 weeks on the British charts, peaking at number 11.

Weekly Reading Round-Up : 09/23/2018 – 09/29/2018, Cole Johnson

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

On deck for this week’s Round-Up column we’ve got a quartet of self-published minis from astonishingly literate cartoonist Cole Johnson, who has staked out his own unique metaphorical patch of turf quickly and is plowing it for all it’s worth. As is the case with John Porcellino, the deceptively minimalist style Johnson utilizes conveys a tremendous amount of information and, more importantly, feeling with as little fuss and muss as possible, consequently allowing his lean illustrations to pack more emotional “wallop” per line than he should, by all rights, be able to convey. Each of these books (three of which are in full color, and it’s gotta be said that Johnson is also a superb colorist) collects a series of thematically-similar short strips which seep into the consciousness of the reader with a heady mix of subtlety and inevitability, and reading all four at once, as I did, definitely has…

View original post 589 more words

Outrageous Fortune: Vincent Price in THEATER OF BLOOD (United Artists 1973)

cracked rear viewer

Vincent Price  traded in Edgar Allan Poe for William Shakespeare (and American-International for United Artists) in THEATER OF BLOOD, playing an actor’s dream role: Price not only gets to perform the Bard of Avon’s works onscreen, he gets to kill off all his critics! As you would imagine, Price has a field day with the part, serving up deliciously thick slices of ham with relish as he murders an all-star cast of British thespians in this fiendishly ingenious screenplay concocted  by Anthony Greville-Bell and directed with style by Douglas Hickox.

Edward Lionheart felt so slighted by both scathing criticism and once again being stiffed at the prestigious Critics’ Circle award, he broke up their little soiree by doing a swan dive into London’s mighty Thames. His body was never found, and everyone assumed they had seen Lionheart’s final performance, but unbeknownst to all he was fished out of the river…

View original post 535 more words