Lisa’s Week In Review: 10/8/18 — 10/14/18


Fall and winter are coming….

The second week of horrorthon comes to a close and I think it’s going pretty well this year!  We’ve got two and a half more weeks to go and then it’ll be the first of three great holidays, Halloween!

As for me, I have a cold so I’m a little bit out-of-it right now.  It’s been raining raining the entire weekend and apparently, we’re about get hit by another storm, one that should last for a few days.  There’s also a cold front coming in so I guess fall has finally arrived!

Here’s what I did this week:

Movies I Watched:

  1. Account Rendered (1957)
  2. Aenigma (1987)
  3. Bay of Blood (1971)
  4. Boyfriend’s Deceit (2018)
  5. The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
  6. The Curse of the Werewolf (1961)
  7. Cucuy, the Boogeyman (2018)
  8. The Devil’s Bride (1968)
  9. Dracula, Prince of Darkness (1966)
  10. Eyes of a Stranger (1981)
  11. The Front Page (1931)
  12. The Girl in the Bathtub (2018)
  13. Happy Death Day (2017)
  14. His Girl Friday (1940)
  15. The Horror of Dracula (1958)
  16. I Married A Monster From Outer Space (1958)
  17. Karma (2018)
  18. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
  19. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy Revenge (1985)
  20. Q (1982)
  21. Terror in the Woods (2018)
  22. Terror Train (1980)
  23. Wishmaster (1997)

Television Shows I Watched:

  1. American Horror Story
  2. The American Music Awards
  3. Better Call Saul
  4. Beyond Reasonable Doubt
  5. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
  6. Charmed
  7. Dancing With The Stars
  8. Degrassi
  9. The Deuce
  10. Doctor Phil
  11. Face the Truth
  12. Friends
  13. Ghost Whisperer
  14. The Good Place
  15. The Haunting of Hill House
  16. How It Really Happened
  17. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
  18. King of the Hill
  19. Kolchak: The Night Stalker
  20. Manifest
  21. Night Gallery
  22. One Step Beyond
  23. Parking Wars
  24. The Romanoffs
  25. Seinfeld
  26. Shipping Wars
  27. South Park
  28. Survivor 37
  29. Young Sheldon
  30. You
  31. The Walking Dead
  32. ZNation

Books I read

  1. The Improbable Wendell Willkie (2018) by David Levering Lewis
  2. ‘Salem’s Lot (1975) by Stephen King

Music To Which I Listened

  1. Adam Rickfors
  2. Adi Ulmansky
  3. Avicii
  4. Big Data
  5. Britney Spears
  6. Charli XCX
  7. DJ Snake
  8. The Chemical Brothers
  9. Goblin
  10. Jakalope
  11. Kedr Livanskiy
  12. The Killers
  13. Mani Blu
  14. Moana
  15. Thom Yorke
  16. twenty one pilots

Links From Last Week

  1. On her photography site, Erin shared: Empty, Looking Up In the City, Possessed Ducks, Stop, Casper, Neighborhood, and Witch!
  2. On Horror Critic, I reviewed Cry of the Werewolf and the First Power!
  3. For Reality TV Chat, I reviewed the latest episode of Survivor!
  4. On my music site, I shared music from Thom Yorke, Britney Spears, Adam Rickfors, Avicii, Adi Ulmansky, Charli XCX, and Kedr Livanskiy!
  5. From Witchlike: Resurrection Mary
  6. Venice Italy’s Legendary Hidden Bookstore! Climb The Books At Libreria Acqua Alta! Explore Undiscovered Venice!
  7. At the Ferguson Theater, Derrick Ferguson reviews City of the Dead (aka Horror Hotel)!

Links From The Site

(It’s been another busy October week on the Shattered Lens!)

  1. Case reviewed First Man, the first episode of the Haunting of Hill House, Battleground, Cycle of the Werewolf, episode one of Creeped Out, and Star Trek The Next Generation: Mirror Broken and Through the Mirror!
  2. Erin shared some ghostly covers and the following artwork: Dead & Buried, Dr. Cyclops, The Spider, The She-Creature, The Undead, 13 Frightened Girls, and The Satanic Rites of Dracula!
  3. Gary reviewed Dracula’s Daughter, Son of Frankenstein, Tower of London, Black Friday, The Mummy’s Hand, The Vampire Bat, Horror Island, and The Mad Doctor of Market Street.  He also visited Lizzie Borden’s House!
  4. Jeff reviewed Graveyard Shift, Savages, Pray for the Wildcats, Winter Kill, Death Spa, Dr. Giggles, and Dark Night of the Scarecrow!  He also shared the weekly trailer round-up!
  5. Ryan reviewed The Social Discipline Reader, Fenix, and Lara Croft Was My Family!  He also shared his Weekly Reading Round-Up!
  6. Arleigh profiled artist Ben Templesmith, shared the trailers for Pet Sematary and Glass, shared a scene that he loved from The Beyond, and reviewed One For The Road!
  7. I was busy.  I reviewed Near Dark, Happy Death Day, City of the Living Dead, The Beyond, Dead Man’s Kiss, The Children, Q, I Madman, Eyes of Laura Mars, The House By The Cemetery, Baal, Nocturne, Wishmaster, Aenigma, ‘Salem’s Lot, Eyes of a Stranger, I Married A Monster From Outer Space, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Bay of Blood, Crystal Lake Memories, Last Girl Standing, and Terror Train!  I shared the following things to watch: Possum Kingdom, Night Slaves, The Captain’s Guests, Theme From Suspiria, The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake, The Haunting, Demon, Haunts of the Very Rich, Signal Received, Opera, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The Ripper, Kiss Me Dracula, Nosferatu, The Zombie, Buio Omega, Indestructible Man, They Have Been, They Are, They Will Be, The Curse, The Hound of the Baskervilles, and the Vampire.  I shared scenes that I love from Halloween, Friday the 13th, Haxan, Carrie, Pieces, and The Changeling.  Finally, I used 4 Shots From 4 Films to pay tribute to Canadian Horror, Collegiate Slasher Films, Lucio Fulci, Mind-Bending Films, Silent Horror, Nightmare of Elm Street, and Railroad Horror!

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

Have a great week, everyone!  Be sure to buys lots of candy ahead of time so you’re not that house that’s forced to give out nutrition bars on Halloween.  Seriously, kids hate that!  Just look at this one here:

Kolchak: The Night Stalker 1.4 “The Vampire” (dir by Don Weis)


On tonight’s episode of Kolchak….

Kolchak is on assignment in Los Angeles and he’s shocked to discover that the town is turning into a city of vampires!  This episode is a sequel to the made-for-TV movie that first introduced to Carl Kolchak to the world.  Not only does this episode feature a vampire but it also features the great character actor, William Daniels.  William Daniels is one of those actors who plays astonishment quite well so his scenes with Kolchak are a lot of fun.

This episode originally aired on October 4th, 1974.

Enjoy!

Bubba’s Revenge: Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981, directed by Frank De Felitta)


Dude, this movie.

Charles Durning plays Otis P. Hazelrigg, a postman in a small town who has an unhealthy interest in a ten year-old girl named Marylee (Tanya Crowe).  When Marylee is mauled and nearly killed by a dog, Otis decides that she was attacked by Bubba Ritter (Larry Drake), a mentally challenged man who has the mind of a child.  With Otis and his redneck friends looking to lynch him, Bubba’s mother disguises him as a scarecrow and tells him to stand out in a field and not move.  When Otis and his friends discover Bubba hiding, they all shoot him until he’s dead.  Otis puts a pitchfork in Bubba’s hands and tells the police that Bubba was attacking them and they didn’t have any choice but to shoot him.

Otis thinks that he’s gotten away with murder but he’s wrong.  After Marylee sings a song in the same field where Bubba was killed, Otis’s friends start dying.  One is suffocated in a grain silo.  Another falls into a thresher.  Before each one dies, they report seeing a scarecrow on their property.  Otis thinks that Bubba’s mother is behind the murders but what if Bubba has actually come back to life?

Dark Night of the Scarecrow will mess up your mind, give you bad dreams, and leave you with a lifelong phobia o scarecrows.  It’s that scary.  I remember that they used to frequently show this movie on TV when I was  growing up and even the commercials were scary.  (The part of the movie that always messed with me were the shots of Bubba’s frightened eyes darting around underneath the scarecrow mask.)  Scarecrows are naturally creepy and the movie’s atmosphere is unsettling but the most frightening thing about Dark Night of the Scarecrow is Otis and the redneck lynch mob that he puts together.  Otis is a thoroughly loathsome character and Charles Durning goes all out playing him.  Otis is a civil servant, which gives him some prestige in the town but he uses that prestige to bully Bubba and harass Marylee.  His concern with Marylee especially feels wrong and the movie does not shy away from the subtext of his interest.  The scarecrow might frighten you but you will absolutely loathe Otis and everyone who follows him.

Dark Night of the Scarecrow was made for television but it’s just as good as any theatrical release.   It is also might be the first movie to feature a killer scarecrow.  Several have been made in the years since but Dark Night of the Scarecrow was the first and it’s still the best.

Horror Scenes That I Love: Dr. Loomis Explains Michael Myers in the original Halloween


Now, this is good acting!

In this scene from the original Halloween, Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) attempts, as best he can, to explain the unexplainable.  I’ve always felt that Pleasence’s performance in the first film is extremely underrated.  People always tend to concentrate on the scenes where he gets angry and yells or the later films where an obviously fragile Pleasence was clearly doing the best he could with poorly written material.  But, to me, the heart of Pleasence’s performance (and the film itself) is to be found in this beautifully delivered and haunting monologue.

In this scene, we see that Dr. Loomis is himself a victim of Michael Myers.  Spending the last fifteen years with Michael has left Loomis shaken and obviously doubting everything that he once believed.  Whenever I watch both Halloween and its sequel, I always feel very bad for Dr. Loomis.  Not only did he have to spend 15 years with a soulless psychopath but, once Michael escapes, he has to deal with everyone blaming him for it.  Dr. Loomis was literally the only person who saw Michael for what he was.

Halloween Havoc!: THE MAD DOCTOR OF MARKET STREET (Universal 1942)


cracked rear viewer

The natives are getting restless… and you will too, while watching THE MAD DOCTOR OF MARKET STREET, which feels a lot longer than its 61 minute running time. The film does have a few saving graces, mainly the great Lionel Atwill as a mad scientist experimenting with bringing people back from the dead, and is an early endeavor for future film noir auteur Joseph H. Lewis . But the extremely lame script by Al Martin, whose inexplicably long career included the Lewis-directed Bela Lugosi vehicle INVISIBLE GHOST, manages to sink this shocker despite Atwill’s and Lewis’s best efforts.

Dr. Ralph Benson offers a man $1000 to let him put the man in a “catatonic state”, and revive him later. Benson has mad dreams about conquering death and disease with his untried (and definitely not FDA approved) methods. When the man doesn’t return home the next day, his wife calls the…

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4 Shots From 4 Train-Set Horror Films: Horror Express, Terror Train, The Midnight Meat Train, Howl


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking.

Earlier today, I reviewed Terror Train, a horror film set on a train.  There’s actually be quite a few horror films set on trains.  In fact, there’s been so many that’s it’s the topic of today’s 4 Shots from 4 Films!

4 Shots From 4 Train-Set Horror Films

Horror Express (1972, dir by Eugenio Martin)

Terror Train (1980, dir by Roger Spottiswoode)

The Midnight Meat Train (2008, dir by Ryuhei Kitamura)

Howl (2015, dir by Paul Hyett)

 

Horror Film Review: Terror Train (dir by Roger Spottiswoode)


Wow.  Fraternities are mean!

How else do you explain the prank that begins the 1980 slasher film, Terror Train?  At a party, awkward pledge Kenny (Derek MacKinnon) is told that Alana Maxwell (Jamie Lee Curtis) is waiting for him in an upstairs bedroom and she totally wants to have sex with him!  Poor Kenny.  Really, he should have been able to figure that this was a prank but I guess he’s just naive.  Anyway, he goes upstairs, strips down to his underwear, and listens as Alana says, “Don’t be shy …. kiss me!”

Kenny thinks that Alana is waiting for him in the bed but actually, she’s hiding behind a curtain.  So, what’s in the bed?  Well, as Kenny soon discovers, it’s a limbless corpse!  Oh, those wacky pre-med students!  Under the direction of Doc (Hart Bochner), they’ve stolen a cadaver from the medical school and they’ve used it to play the joke of the century!  Everyone bursts into the room, laughing.

Ha ha!  Funny joke, right?

Well, not to Kenny.  Kenny totally freaks out and starts spinning around and gets all wrapped up in the sheets.  Needless to say, Kenny does not get laid that night.

In fact, Kenny ends up losing his mind.  And that’s unfortunate but, as they say, life goes on.  Three years later, the pranksters are all due to graduate so they’re going to throw a costume party on a train!  The conductor (Ben Johnson) watches as these rich, costumed college kids get on his train and you can just tell that he’s thinking, “There better not be no funny business.”  He need not worry!  Alana is on the train and she still feels so bad over what happened to Kenny that you can be sure that there won’t be any pranks during this graduation party!

Unfortunately for everyone else, Kenny’s decided to get on the train as well.  While his former classmates are smoking weed, getting drunk, dancing to the best disco music of 1980, and taunting a magician (David Copperfield), Kenny is killing people and stealing their costumes.

Kenny’s first victim actually dies before the train leaves.  When he comes staggering up to everyone with a sword sticking out of him, everyone assumes that it’s just another joke.  Nope!  Turns out the sword is real but everyone’s too busy boarding to notice as the guy collapses to the ground and is promptly dragged underneath the train.  In a scene that always makes me cringe, the train slowly crushes him as it starts to move forward.  I mean, seriously …. Agck!

So, now Kenny is wandering around the train, dressed like Grouch Marx and killing people.  It takes people a while to notice because we’re not exactly dealing with the smartest group of college graduates.  And, once they do realize …. well, what are they going to do?  They’re stuck on a train in the middle of nowhere!  Even if they do get off the train, it’s snowing and below freezing outside!  I mean, it’s almost as bad as Minnesota in January out there….

Of the many slasher films that Jamie Lee Curtis appeared in after Halloween, Terror Train is definitely the best.  After making his directorial debut here, Roger Spottiswoode went on to become one of the busiest directors in Hollywood and you can tell why when you watch this movie.  Spottiswoode’s makes great and atmospheric use of the train and Kenny’s habit of constantly changing his costume keeps you guessing just where he might be at any given time.  Even more importantly, Spottiswoode takes the time to develop the characters so that they become more than just cardboard victims.  Jamie Lee Curtis, Hart Bochner, Sandee Curris, and Timothy Webber all give excellent performance as the objects of Kenny’s wrath while old veteran Ben Johnson brings some gravitas to the film as the wise conductor.

(My only objection is that the worst of the pranksters is named Doc, which happens to be the name of our cat.  And let me just say that Doc the cat would never pull as cruel a prank as Doc the medical student.)

As we all know, Jamie Lee Curtis will be returning to the horror genre later this month.  She’ll be playing Laurie Strode in David Gordon Green’s Halloween remake or reboot or sequel or whatever it is.  Famously, Curtis refused to appear in horror films for several years, saying that she didn’t want to be typecast.  That was understandable on her part and, as much as I love horror movies, it was probably a smart career move.  That said, the slasher films that Curtis appeared are some of the best of the genre.  Halloween, Terror Train, and even Prom Night are all classics of their kind.  Terror Train is a suspense masterpiece, perfect for any cold and snowy night when you want to scream a little.