Lisa’s Week In Review: 10/7/19 — 10/13/19

This hasn’t been an easy week.  Gary left us far too soon and it’s still hard for me to believe that we’re not going to be reading any more of his reviews.  All of us here at the Shattered Lens — writers and readers — are going to miss him.  If you want to pay tribute to Gary, head over to the Cracked Rearviewer and check out his reviews.  Gary not only loved movies but he loved to share the love with his readers, as well.

Here’s what I watched, read, and listened to this week:

Films I Watched:

  1. Banana Splits (2019)
  2. The Beyond (1981)
  3. Breakthrough (2019)
  4. Broken Ghost (2019)
  5. Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker (1981)
  6. The College Admissions Scandal (2019)
  7. Dementia 13 (1963)
  8. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019)
  9. Flashdance (1983)
  10. House of the Dead (2003)
  11. Killer Contractor (2019)
  12. Knock Knock (2015)
  13. Last Stop On The Night Train (1975)
  14. Living Space (2018)
  15. Nosferatu in Venice (1988)
  16. Nosferatu, the Vampyre (1979)
  17. One Hour Photo (2002)
  18. Psycho II (1982)
  19. Psycho III (1986)
  20. Queen of Outer Space (1958)
  21. Satan’s School For Girls (1973)
  22. Sinister Seduction (2018)
  23. Starship Invasions (1977)
  24. A Virgin Among The Living Dead (1971)
  25. X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019)

Television Shows I Watched:

  1. 9-1-1
  2. American Horror Story: 1984
  3. Beverly Hills 90210
  4. Dancing With The Stars
  5. The Deuce
  6. Dr. Phil
  7. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
  8. Mr. Robot
  9. Nancy Drew
  10. Saved By The Bell
  11. South Park
  12. Survivor 39
  13. The Terror
  14. The Veil
  15. The Voice

Books I Read:

  1. The Hell Candidate (1980) by Graham Masterton
  2. The Mall (1992) by Richie Tankersley Cusick

Music To Which I Listened:

  1. Apex Twins
  2. Bauhaus
  3. The Chemical Brothers
  4. Chromatics
  5. The Crystal Method
  6. Emma Bunton
  7. Goblin
  8. Great Big Sea
  10. Hilary Duff
  11. Jackalope
  12. John Carpenter
  13. Kaskade
  14. Kelly Clarkson
  15. Marilyn Manson
  16. Muse
  17. Mushroomhead
  18. Nine Inch Nails
  19. Primal Scream
  20. Robbie Williams
  21. Spice Girls
  22. Tina Arena

Links From Last Week:

  1. Media Horrified By Lack Of Violence At Joker Screenings
  2. Jennifer Aniston’s Mom on ‘Friends’ Inspired Her Work With St. Jude Children’s Hospital
  3. One of America’s biggest gaming companies is acting as China’s censor
  4. The Toxic Avenger Ruined My Life.

News From Last Week:

  1. ‘South Park’ Scrubbed From Chinese Internet After Critical Episode
  2. ‘South Park’ Mocks NBA’s China Apology, ‘We Too Love Money More Than Freedom’
  3. Denis Lawson To Reprise His Role As Wedge Antilles In Rise Of Skywalker
  4. “Be kind’: Ellen DeGeneres says backlash for sitting with George W. Bush is out of bounds
  5. City announces crackdown on fake tour operators a day after Alec Baldwin got scammed
  6. New Allegation Surfaces That Matt Lauer Raped NBC Colleague in His Hotel Room at Sochi Olympics
  7. Jennifer Aniston says Marvel movies are diminishing the film industry
  8. ‘South Park’ Leans Into China Censorship Controversy: “Fuck the Chinese Government!”
  9. Francis Ford Coppola is One Step Closer to Making His Passion Project ‘Megalopolis’
  10. Notorious ‘South Park’ China Episode Screened on the Streets of Hong Kong
  11. HBO Has Ordered a “Maniac Cop” TV Series from Nicolas Winding Refn!
  12. Robert Forster, who starred in Jackie Brown and Twin Peaks, dies at 78
  13. Gary S. Loggins, 1958 — 2019

Links From The Site:

  1. On Monday, I shared a music video from Marilyn Manson, The Haunting of Helen Walker, a scene from The Changeling, and an episode of The Veil.  I reviewed Let Us Live!, The Prodigy, Last Stop on the Night Train, Haunted Heartland, and The Yesterday Machine. I paid tribute to the year 1980And I wrote about my friend Gary.
  2. On Tuesday, I shared a music video from Mushroomhead, Dementia 13, Responsibility, a scene from Horror of Dracula, and an episode of The Veil. I paid tribute to the year 1981.  I reviewed Harper Island.
  3. On Wednesday, I shared a music video from Primal Scream, Nosferatu, a scene from Conjuring 2, and an episode of the Veil.  I reviewed Escape Room, A Virgin Among the Living Dead, The Hell Candidate, and Broken Ghost.  I paid tribute to the year 1984.
  4. On Thursday, I shared a music video from HEALTH, Robot Monster, a scene from Take Shelter, and the Veil.  I reviewed Knock Knock and Book of the Dead.  I wrote about 6 Haunted Locations That Deserve A Movie Of Their Very Own.  I paid tribute to the year 1986.
  5. On Friday, I shared a music video from Robbie Williams, The Giant Gila Monster, a scene from Young Frankenstein, and an episode of The Veil.  I reviewed El Camino. I paid tribute to 1987.
  6. On Saturday, I shared a music video from Marilyn Manson, Plan 9 From Outer Space, a scene from El Camino, and an episode of the Veil.  I reviewed One Hour Photo, Nosferatu, Fevre Dream, and Living Space.  I paid tribute to 1988.
  7. On Sunday, I shared a music video from Kaskade, The Screaming Woman, a scene from Troll 2, and an episode of The Veil.  I reviewed Butcher Baker Nightmare Maker, Nosferatu in Venice, and The Mall.  I paid tribute to 1989.
  8. Case reviewed Constantine, My Favorite Thing is Monsters, Jerusalem’s Lot, Creepshow, Quitters Inc., I Am The Doorway, and The Mangler!
  9. Erin shared the corrupting covers of Tales From The Crypt and Place of Shadows, The Tower Room, Engraved in Evil, Shadow of Evil, A Gathering of Moondust, Nurse on Nightmare Island, and Dying Embers!
  10. Jeff reviewed Mystery House Possessed, Class of 1999 Part II, The Haunted House of Hideous Horrors, Eve of Destruction, Ghost Town, Saturn 3, An Act of Murder, American Satan, 16 Ways To Kill A Vampire at McDonalds, Deadly Companion, Your Dog Has Been Abducted By Aliens, Witchtrap, 1-2-3, and Hidden Obsession!
  11. Ryan shared his weekly reading round-up and reviewed For Real, Birthday, and This No Place To Stay!

More From Us:

  1. Ryan has a patreon!  Please consider subscribing!
  2. At Days Without Incident, Leonard shared: Farewell Gary and Come To Me by Brad Fiedel!
  3. On her photography site, Erin shared: In the Backyard, White Rock In The Shadows, Fungi, Cottonwood, Red, Hanging Out, and Just A Dark Street!
  4. At Pop Politics, Jeff shared Prime Minister Bercow, Goodybe Gary, Will There Ever Be A Decent Dark Phoenix Film?, and Finally Some Good News!
  5. For Horror Critic, I reviewed House of the Dead, Dementia 13, Insidious, Queen of Outer Space, Starship Invasions, Queen of Blood, and Satan’s School For Girls!
  6. On my dream journal, I shared Last Night’s True-To-Life Cat Dream, Spellbound, and Last Night’s Construction Dream!
  7. For Reality TV Chat Blog, I recapped the latest episode of Survivor!
  8. At SyFyDesigns, I shared: Monday Thoughts, Depression, and Today is a New Day….
  9. On my music site, I shared music from The Crystal Method, Kelly Clarkson, Muse, Hilary Duff, Emma Bunton, Avril Lavigne, and Daft Punk!

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

As we start this week, I want to say something to all of you: Thank you, everyone, for reading!  I love this site.  I love our contributors.  And I love our readers.  Your comments and your likes mean a lot to me.  They’ve given me strength when I’ve needed it and they’ve also helped to make me a more confident writer.  My hope is that you’ve discovered at least one thing that you’ve truly enjoyed as a result of visiting the site.  That’s what we’re here for.  Stay safe out there and let’s make this a good October.

Horror On TV: The Veil Episode 11 “Jack the Ripper” (dir by David MacDonald)

For our final episode of The Veil, we have a look at one of the most infamous real world monsters of all time, Jack the Ripper.

In this atmospheric episode, a London clairvoyant (Niall MacGinnis) is haunted by visions of the Whitechapel murders.  Unfortunately, his attempts to help the police only leads to them treating him like a suspect!  Each episode of The Veil was usually described as being “based on a true story.”  In this case, it’s actually true.  A medium named Robert Lees — renamed Walter in this episode — actually did go to the police with claims that he had seen the murders and could identify the killer.

This is the only episode of The Veil in which Boris Karloff acts only as host.  That’s because this episode was not originally made for the series.  Instead, it was intended for an unrelated British anthology show.  The producers of the Veil later bought the episode and tacked on an introduction by Boris Karloff.  Of course, because The Veil itself never actually aired on television as a result of the production company running into financial problems, Jack the Ripper never aired in the U.S.  It was, however, later included in an anthology film that was put together using four episodes of The Veil.

Enjoy!  That’s it for The Veil.  Tomorrow, we start a whole new series!

The Mangler, Story Review by Case Wright


Sometimes you just can’t win! You need to make a few bucks and you take a job at a cleaners, but the laundry press is possessed by a demon and starts killing everyone and the Christmas party is BYOB. This is the premise of The Mangler.  This laundry press gets exposed to a bunch of different bloods – animal and virgin human, which summons a demon to possess the laundry press. The laundry machine goes a killing spree, but my collars have never looked crisper!  I always liked this story because it’s so awesomely bad. It’s really corny and silly, but unintentionally so.  It would be great as a Rifftrax.

As I was reading, I couldn’t help thinking, Self, it really is EASY to summon demons in Maine.  It makes you wonder why anyone visits or lives there?  Sure, the fall foliage is nice, but you’re always knee deep in clowns, werewolves, vampires, large rats, ghosts, creepy college students, aliens, more ghosts, the devil (kinda), cultists, creepy rednecks, slime beasts, and pederasts.  I’ve been to A LOT of Maine and I will attest that the above villains are truly a nuisance and they are all close talkers!

The Mangler is a fun read because it turns into a quick-paced detective story.  The cops Hunton and Jackson become ghost busters and try to get the demon out of the machine. I know it’s a short story, but they really embrace the whole – it’s a demon laundry machine really fast.  There’s no time where people are like, What? This is stupid! Really stupid!  It starts getting really goofy when the machine chases its victims down a gnaws them to death.

At the end, I know it’s not supposed to be a comedy, but it chases the cops around and eats one of them.  It’s just kinda silly.  Of course, this story is really needed as unintentional comic relief because some of the other stories are just so depressing in Night Shift like “The Last Rung on the Ladder” ….ughhh- best cure for a happy thought.  Really, if you think you’re a bad sibling, read “The Last Rung on the Ladder” and you’ll feel waaaaay better about yourself.

The Mangler is not his best story- it’s actually really dumb, but it reads like a fun bad movie.  It’s the Sharknado 1 of Stephen King if not ALL literature. In short, it IS entertaining. You have a big iron up to no good and two incompetent policemen trying to save the day.  It needs a SYFY run desperately! Happy Horrorthon!

From The Cinemax Vault: Hidden Obsession (1993, directed by John Stewart)

Hidden Obsession comes to us from the glorious days of late night 90s Cinemax. 

Ellen Carlyle (Heather Thomas) is a TV anchorwoman who is looking forward to taking some time off.  The only problem is that everyone — from a crazed homeless man to an escaped convict that she helped put behind bars — wants to kill her.  She assumes that she’ll be safe if she just spends her vacation in a remote cabin in the mountains.  Fortunately, she’s got Deputy Ben Scanlon to look after her and keep her company in bed.  Unfortunately, Deputy Scanlon is played by Jan-Michael Vincent and Jan-Michael Vincent in a 90s direct-to-video flick is always bad news.  Ellen’s cameraman (Nick Celozzi) discovers that Scanlon is not really who he says he is but will he be able to warn Ellen in time?

By the standards of late night Cinemax, Hidden Obsession is tame.  Ellen Carlye is a role that Shannon Tweed could have worked wonders with but instead, television actress Heather Thomas gives a flat, listless, and usually clothed performance in the starring role.  Fortunately, this movie was made just before Jan-Michael Vincent started his final decline so, even though it is obvious that he had seen better days by the time he got around to playing Ben Scanlon, Vincent is still capable of giving a halfway decent performance.  Vincent throws himself into playing the psycho and he shows that, if not for the liquor and the drugs, he could have had a long and decent career as a B-movie villain.  Imagine if Vincent had been sober enough for Quentin Tarantino to give him the opportunities that he gave to Robert Forster and Michael Parks.  Unfortunately, it was not to be.

“Love hurts!” Ellen says.  It would be easy to say that this film hurts too but it’s really not memorable enough to be so bad that it’s good.  Like Witchtrap and Deadly Compansion, this film’s main appeal is to nostalgia.  These are the type of films that not only used to show up on late night Cinemax but which also lined the walls of your local Blockbuster.  These are movies of a bygone era.  Watch while you still can.

Game Review: 1-2-3… (2000, Chris Mudd)

click to enlarge

20 years after it was first released, 1-2-3…. is a game that is still infamous among members of the Interactive Fiction Community for its awkward use of NPCs.  At certain points in the game, you are a serial killer and, at other points of the game, you’re the detective who has been assigned to investigate the killer’s crimes.  If you’re the detective, you’re going to have to gather clues and interact with the coroner and Sgt. Fitzgerald.

Ask the wrong question and their response will be something along the lines of “Wouldn’t you rather ask me about the victim?”

click to enlarge


After you ask all the right questions, the NPC will abruptly stop talking or responding to you.  In other words, this is not like an old Infocom game where you can have something close to resembling a conversation with the people you meet.  Instead, each character has a few pieces of information to share and, once they’ve shared, that’s it.  Most Interactive Fiction games are designed to allow you to feel as if you are the one controlling the flow of the story.  1-2-3… leaves you on the outside looking in as the game moves forward to it inevitable conclusion.

Despite it’s unfortunate reputation and the terrible social interactions, the descriptive passages in 1-2-3… are often well-written  The details are often vivid and I laughed whenever I tried to go in the wrong direction and the game blamed my confusion on a hangover.  Due to the graphic descriptions of the killer’s crimes, this is not a game for everyone but, at the same time, it’s not as bad as you may have heard.

It can be downloaded from here.

Horror Book Review: The Mall by Richie Tankersley Cusick

The Mall was first published in 1992 and really, it’s a story that could only have taken place in the early 90s.  Why is that?  Well, there’s a couple of reasons:

First off, it not only takes place in a mall but it also takes place during a time when everyone’s life revolved around the mall.  You can’t just order stuff online in this book.  Nope, you have to physically walk from store to store.  Sometimes, you even have to ride an elevator.  If you suggested to anyone in this book that they should just order something off of Amazon, they’d probably complain about having the pay the international shipping.

Secondly, this is a book in which characters regularly find themselves in situations where 1) there’s no escape and 2) there’s no one around to call for help.  Today, of course, anyone who gets stuck on an elevator can just call the cops on their phone.  By that some token, if you’ve got some weird stalker constantly calling you, you can just block him.  But, in the world of The Mall, there’s no way to block (or trace) a caller who uses a pay phone.  And, if you’re stuck on an elevator …. well, you’re just stuck there until your stalker decides to toss a dead body in there with you.

Anyway, this is one of those books that opens with a prologue in which a stalker stares at the object of his lust and spends a lot of time thinking about how she will eventually be his, though only when the circumstances are just right.  Apparently, because he’s obsessed with a teenage girl who works at the mall, the stalker spends a lot of time pretending to be a mannequin which …. agck!  I mean, c’mon, that is definitely a creepy image.

Trish Somerfeld works at the mall, with her best friend Nita.  Trish is employed at …. I kid you not, Muffin Madness.  Nita works at a clothing store called The Latest Trend (no seriously).  Nita is a little bit creeped out by the fact that another girl who worked at the mall recently disappeared.  The rumor is that the girl was murdered though it’s possible that she might just be out of town.  Trish, on the other hand, is disturbed by the fact that she keeps getting calls from someone who has a “womanish voice” and who says things like, “I’m eating your muffin right now.”  The stalker soon becomes known as the — *ahem* — Muffin Man.

Who is the Muffin Man?  Could he possibly be the cute guy who is always hanging out the mall and seems to be particularly interested in Trish?  (I mean, he winked at her!)  His name is Storm Reynolds and …. what?  THAT IS TOO HIS NAME!  DO YOU THINK I’D MAKE UP A NAME LIKE THAT!?

Where was I?  Oh yeah.  So anyway, Trish is totally being stalked and she knows it but, at the same time, she doesn’t really do much about it.  Even when she comes across a dead body with an ice pick in its head, she declines to let anyone know because she doesn’t want to get one of the mall security guards in trouble.  Anyway, Trish eventually is forced to deal with her stalker and the revelation of his identity is not really that much of a surprise.

It’s a dumb book but it’s also a fun book, largely because Richie Tankersley Cusick takes so much delight in describing life in the mall.  Because it’s a book that was written for 90s teenagers, the lead character can get away with doing a lot of dumb stuff and, as dense as Trish might be, at least she has two good friends, Nita and her twin sister, Imogene, who have always got her back.  Storm Reynolds is a bit of a jerk and you cringe when he’s set up as a love interest but, at the same time, his name is Storm so I always giggled whenever anyone talked about him.

Plus, how can you not enjoy a book where the main villain is known as the Muffin Man?  Seriously….

As far I know, Lifetime never did a film version of The Mall.  That’s a missed opportunity on their part, if you ask me.

International Horror Film Review: Nosferatu in Venice (dir by Augusto Caminito, Klaus Kinski, Luigi Cozzi, Mario Ciaino, and possibly others)

Nosferatu the vampyre is back!  Well, maybe.  It’s complicated,

This Italian production from 1988 was originally envisioned as being a semi-official sequel to Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu, which was itself a remake of F.W. Murnau’s silent classic.  The idea was that Klaus Kinski would reprise his role and this time, his feral version of Dracula would haunt Venice.  Kinski agreed, initially, to reprise his role.  However, after arriving on the set, Kinski lived up to his infamous reputation for being difficult.  He announced that he would, under no circumstances, don the famous make-up that he wore in Nosferatu.  And while Kinski was undoubtedly a good actor who was capable of giving performances that kept him employed despite reportedly being insane, Nosferatu without the makeup is not really Nosferatu.  He’s just another vampire.

Still, Kinski was a big enough star that he got his way about the makeup.  He also attempted to get his way during the first day of filming, when he refused to take any direction from director Mario Ciaino.  When Ciaino attempted to figure out why Kinski was being so difficult, Kinski declared that he had been promised, by producer Augusto Caminito, that he would be allowed to direct the film.  This led to Mario Ciaino quitting during the first day of production.  Producer Caminito took over as a director, though apparently Kinski did end up directing several of his own scenes.  Reportedly, other scenes were directed by Luigi Cozzi.

However, Kinski didn’t stop with getting the director replaced.  He also demanded that nearly the entire cast be replaced as well.  Kinski, in fact, was such a terror on the set that it was common for members of the crew to refuse to work with him, which perhaps explains why Kinski seems to spend so much of this film wandering around Venice by himself.

As for the film itself — well, yes, it’s exactly as big of a mess as it sounds like it would be.  Kinski plays a vampire who may or may not be Dracula.  Actually, very few of the traditional vampire rules seem to apply to him.  He wanders around in the daylight.  He looks at his reflection in a mirror.  He does, however, drink a lot of blood so I guess some things never change.  Because he refused to wear the vampire makeup or shave his head, Kinski spends the entire film looking like the aging lead singer of a 70s prog rock band.  At the same time, it must be said that Kinski actually does give a fairly good performance.  He’s a vampire who is desperate to find someone pure of heart who can end his ennui-stricken life.  Kinski’s screen presence is undeniably powerful and he looks appropriately miserable.

Christopher Plummer has the Van Helsing role and Donald Pleasence plays a priest who always seems to be somewhat nervous.  (In other words, a typical role for Donald Pleasence.)  Plummer is in Venice because, back in the 18th century, it was the last place that Kinski’s vampire was seen.  This leads to several confusing flashbacks, all of which are somewhat randomly sprinkled throughout the film.

There’s not really any story beyond Kinski walking around with a stricken-look on his face but, oddly, the film kind of works. Despite all of the directors who worked on it, the film is often visually stunning.  I think it’s the power of Venice.  No other city has quite the same atmosphere as Venice and it turns out to be the perfect location for a film about an ennui-stricken vampire.

(I know that when I visited Venice the summer after I graduated high school, I often found myself thinking about vampires.  That’s just the type of city it is.)

Anyway, the film will be best appreciated by Italian horror enthusiasts and Kinski completists.  Others will probably be bored out of their mind.  If you just want to see a good horror film set in Venice, I recommend Don’t Look Now.

4 Shots From 4 Films: The Church, I Madman, Vampire’s Kiss, Warlock

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!

This October, we’re using 4 Shots From 4 Films to look at some of the best years that horror has to offer!

4 Shots From 4 1989 Horror Films:

The Church (1989, dir by Michele Soavi)

I, Madman (1989, dir by Tibor Takacs)

Vampire’s Kiss (1989, dir by Robert Bierman)

Warlock (1989, dir by Steve Miner)

Horror Film Review: Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker (by William Asher)

This is an unexpectedly odd psychological thriller from 1981.

Okay, well, actually, I guess the technical term for this film would be “slasher” because it does feature a dark secret from the past and a series of gruesome murders and some 20-something teenagers getting naked.  That said, calling this movie a slasher brings to mind thoughts of Friday the 13th and Halloween and, as much as I’ve defended those films in the past, it’s hard to compare them to a film like Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker.  Nor is the film comparable to more giallo-influenced slashers that came out in the late 70s and the early 80s.  The identity of the murderer is revealed too early for that.

The murderer is Cheryl Roberts (Susan Tyrrell), who may seem like a perfectly normal suburban widow but who has some bad habits.  For instance, when she’s sexually rejected by television repairman Phil Brody (Caskey Swaim), she reacts by grabbing a knife and stabbing him to death in the kitchen.  When the police arrive, she says that he attempted to rape her.  When it’s later revealed to her that Phil was gay and in a committed relationship with the local high school basketball coach, she snaps that “Homosexuals are very sick people!”  Cheryl goes on to murder several more people, all because she views them as a threat to her relationship with her nephew, Billy (Jimmy McNichol).

Billy is a senior in high school.  His parents died in a mysterious car crash when he was an infant and he’s been raised by his aunt Cheryl.  Billy has an opportunity to go away to college on a basketball scholarship but Cheryl isn’t happy about that.  Cheryl never wants Billy to leave and she’s not above drugging his milk to make sure that he has a bad game while the college scouts are watching.  Cheryl is also not happy that Billy has a girlfriend, Julia (Julia Duffy).  When she finds out that Billy and Julie are sexually active, Cheryl’s response is to trap Julia in the basement.

Aunt Cheryl is not Billy’s only problem.  There’s also Detective Joe Carlson (Bo Svenson).  Carlson has been assigned to investigate the murder of Phil and he quickly becomes fixated on the fact that Phil was gay and that he was in a relationship with Billy’s coach, Tom Landers (Steve Eastin).  Despite all of the evidence that Cheryl’s killing people left and right, Carlson becomes obsessed with proving that Billy’s gay and that he murdered Phil as the result of a love triangle.  It quickly becomes clear that Carlson, who brags about his own military service, is incapable of going for more than five minutes without accusing someone of being gay.  (Of course, Carlson never says “gay.” Instead, he uses a slur that begins with the letter F and he uses it a lot.)

What sets this film apart from other horror films of the era is that the rampant homophobia is not played for laughs or for shock value.  Traditionally, being gay in a 1980s horror film meant that the character was either going to be held up as an object of ridicule or, in many cases, turn out to be the murderer.  Instead, in Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker, the gay characters are literally the only fully sympathetic people in the entire film.  Instead, the film’s villains are homophobes like Carlson, Cheryl, and Eddie (Bill Paxton!), a bully who gives Billy a hard time over his friendship with the coach.  As many people as Cheryl kills over the course of the film, the bigger monster is Carlson, who is so determined to indulge his prejudices that he’s blind to everything that’s happening in front of him.

It makes for an unexpectedly thoughtful slasher film.  Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker has its flaws, to be sure.  I wish, for instance, that Julia and Billy weren’t such bland characters.  (They’re well-acted but neither is written with much depth.)  There’s some pacing issues as well.  But overall, this is an unexpectedly good thriller which features two horrifyingly plausible performances from Susan Tyrrell and Bo Svenson.