Hi, everyone. If today’s horrorthon seemed to be missing some of the usual contributions, that’s because today has been a crazy day. It’s been raining in Dallas since last Friday and it’s supposed to continue to do so for the next week. This morning, the storms brought lightning and that lighting struck a building and set it on fire. The building’s roof proceeded to collapse. That building belonged to AT&T and it’s destruction let to what those of us in Dallas have christened the Great ATT Outage of 2018.
Basically, for the past 11 hours, the Texas Bureau of the Shattered Lens has had no internet access! So, I’m sorry to say that I was not able to write and post all of the reviews that I wanted to post today. I’ll have to play catch up later this week. I do want to say thank you to Gary, Jeff, and Case for their contributions today! It’s nice to know that you can depend on your partners in crime!
Fortunately, things are back up and running once again. And just in time for me to share the fifth episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker. In this one, our favorite nervous reporter deals with a — you guessed it! — a werewolf! This episode originally aired on November 1st, 1974.
The Ledge by Stephen King is a masterclass in realistic suspense. I’ve never been forced by a mom boss to circumnavigate a highrise with crazy gusts, but I believe that it would be like this story.
Stan Norris is an Ex-Con now Tennis Pro who is love with a mobster – Cressner’s wife. Stan is a parolee and fell for the mobster’s wife and helped her escape to they could run off together. Unfortunately, Cressner captures Stan and says that he put heroin in Stan’s trunk. He can either go back to prison or circumnavigate a ledge around his high rise. If he succeeds, he gets Cressner’s wife, Twenty-Grand, and freedom. If he fails, he’ll be a pain for the street cleaners.
There’s a reason I joined a land based military branch; heights are not great. Stan does not have these qualms. He agrees and faces freezing wind and a diseased pigeon who starts pecking at his right ankle….yuck. Pigeons are nasty. Side note: they are totally unprotected in any city and state. Therefore, if you’re hungry, feel encouraged to take one out and braise it!
He manages to get around the building and back inside, but Cressner is waiting for him and slightly broke the deal.
The story reads like an anecdote or almost a confession. I highly recommend reading the story or listening to the John Glover audiobook performance.
Sometimes films are done poorly. Sometimes films stay true to the source material. Sometimes they are just kinda fun.
This adaptation of Stephen King’s- “Strawberry Spring” is just kinda neat. I was looking for Strawberry Spring images online for my post and here this was. It’s a High School student film of Strawberry Spring. It’s just straight up fun. All of his friends are obviously in the film and the director did a pretty good job.
The story of Strawberry Spring is that a serial killer slasher is on the loose at a New England liberal arts school in the 60s. The narrator is more than unreliable; he is a possible suspect. The Strawberry Spring refers to a false spring that occurs in New England similar to a blackberry winter where warm weather occurs and then a severe nor’easter hits. The book makes a point that a mist appears before the murders and that the mist itself is likely sapient who infects the narrator, causing him to kill. The campus is terrorized by a series of murders and then when the Strawberry Spring ceases, so do the murders.
This student film tries to dramatize the story and although there a bit of overused fog machine sequences, it deserves a lot of credit. There was obviously a lot of effort put in and I give a tip of the hat to these young artists.
You can watch it here and if you have 15 minutes to definitely check it out!!!
The success of Universal’s SON OF FRANKENSTEIN meant a sequel was inevitable, and the studio trotted out GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN three years later. Horror stalwarts Bela Lugosi (as the broken-necked Ygor) and Lionel Atwill (although in a decidedly different role than the previous film) were back, but for the first time it wasn’t Boris Karloff under Jack Pierce’s monster makeup. Instead, Lon Chaney Jr., fresh off his triumph as THE WOLF MAN , stepped into those big asphalter’s boots as The Monster. But while SON OF was an ‘A’ budget production, GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN begins The Monster’s journey into ‘B’ territory.
Old Ygor is still alive and well, “playing his weird harp” at deserted Castle Frankenstein. The villagers (including Dwight Frye! ) are in an uproar (as villagers are wont to do), complaining “the curse of Frankenstein” has left them in poverty, and storm the castle to blow it up…
The Psycho Cop is Officer Joe Vickers (Robert R. Schaffer), who upholds the law with the help of Satan and the occult. When he overhears two office mates talking about a party that they’re going to be throwing for a friend, Officer Vickers decides to stop by and dispense a little Hellish justice. After killing the security guard, the Psycho Cop spends the rest of the money stalking white-collar workers and strippers. He’s an efficient killer with a police-related pun for nearly every occasion but he meets his match when he goes after an accountant. As much as he tries, Psycho Cop cannot catch the accountant. He can catch security guards. He can catch strippers. He can catch low-level executives. But an accountant? That’s just a bridge too far.
Psycho Cop seems like he should be a good horror villain and, for the first half of the movie, he seems like he’s unstoppable. But then he easily gets outwitted by both the nerdiest of the office workers and an accountant and you end up losing respect for him. The idea of a demonic policeman will always have possibilities but Psycho Cop Returns never reaches the heights of Maniac Cop or even Kevin Bacon’s crazed sheriff in Cop Car. For everything that you could do with the character of a policeman who is in league with the devil, Psycho Cop Returns just turns him into a one-liner spouting maniac. Robert R. Schaffer does okay as the title character and he has the right look to play a psycho cop but he’s still no Robert Z’Dar.
As you can tell from the title, this is a sequel. I haven’t seen the first Psycho Cop so I don’t know if it does a better job at exploiting the whole killer cop angle. Psycho Cop Returns has potential and a sense of humor but, ultimately, there’s little to distinguish it from the countless other manic-on-the loose films that went straight to video in the 90s.
Well, we are halfway through October and, traditionally, that’s when all of us in the Shattered Lens Bunker gather in front of the television in Arleigh’s penthouse suite, eat popcorn, drink diet coke, and gossip about whoever has the day off.
Of course, after we do that, I duck back into my office and I watch the classic 1962 film, Carnival of Souls!
Reportedly, David Lynch is a huge fan of Carnival of Souls and, when you watch the film, it’s easy to see why. The film follows a somewhat odd woman (played, in her one and only starring role, by Candace Hilligoss) who, after a car accident, is haunted by visions of ghostly figures. This dream-like film was independently produced and distributed. At the time, it didn’t get much attention but it has since been recognized as a classic and very influential horror film.
This was director Herk Harvey’s only feature film. Before and after making this film, he specialized in making educational and industrial shorts, the type of films that encouraged students not to cheat on tests and employees not to take their jobs for granted. Harvey also appears in this film, playing “The Man” who haunts Hilligoss as she travels across the country.