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.