On tonight’s episode of horror on TV, we have an episode of Baywatch Nights that originally aired on February 9th, 1997. In this one, two 900 year-old Vikings are causing chaos in Los Angeles! Who can stop them?
David Hasselhoff, of course!
William (Charles Solomon) is still trying to hide from his heritage as a warlock. He refuses to discuss his family with his girlfriend, Charlotte (Lisa Toothman) and instead tries to concentrate on helping underprivileged people who have run afoul of the legal system. His latest client, a teenager named Rubin Carter (Ahmad Reese), claims that he didn’t commit the murder that he’s been accused of. William is determined to make sure that Rubin gets a fair trial, despite the machinations of the ruthless DA, Vivian Hill (Nicole Lauren). William has found a way to be useful to society without having to use his magical powers.
However, events are conspiring to force William to embrace his warlock heritage. Louis (Dominic Luciana) is hitting the bar scene and picking up women so he can give them the “kiss of death” and transfer their lifeforce to his girlfriend, Roxy (Lena Hall). After Louis arranges to befriend William, he focuses his attentions on Charlotte. In order to save his girlfriend, William is going to have use the same powers that he’s spent years trying to deny.
Particularly when compared to some of the films that would come after it, Witchcraft III isn’t bad. William’s motivations for hiding from his past actually make sense and Louis is an enjoyably cheesy villain. The film features William getting advice from a witch doctor, which introduces the idea that there’s all sorts of different magic in the world. It’s an intriguing idea, or at least it is when compared with what usually passes for a deep thought in a Witchcraft movie. That’s the whole key to enjoying Witchcraft III. Don’t compare it to a real movie. Compare it to the other Witchcraft films.
I like the idea of a warlock lawyer. It seems like it could have been a good TV show. Instead, it would just be a part of horror’s longest-running franchise. Witchcraft III was enough of a direct-to-video success that Witchcraft IV soon followed.
This TWINE game is an entrant in the 2020 Interactive Fiction Competition. Because it’s October, I’m currently concentrating on only playing the horror and fantasy-based entries but I hope to have played and reviewed all of the entries by November 29th.
In this game, you are Lightbearer, Garden City’s greatest hero. And you are also Promethium, Garden City’s most nefarious villain. You play both roles in this unusual text adventure. When Lightbearer finally defeats Promethium, it might mean that she’ll have to leave Garden City and, for a lot of reasons, she’s not ready to uproot her family and make that move. So, Lightbearer and Promethium make a deal. Lightbearer will let Promethium go free on the condition that they continue to have regular “staged” battles. Lightbearer and Promethium meet regularly at a coffeeshop to choreograph their fights ahead of time. Depending on the choices that the player makes, the hero and the villain can bond over their unexpected similarities or, as the title suggests, trying to trust your enemy can be a complete disaster.
I enjoyed this game. It took me by surprise and both Lightbearer and Promethium were interesting and well-written characters. This game explored why a hero needs a villain and vice versa and the story led to some very unexpected places. It’s not a short game but it is a rewarding one. It’s well worth the time required to play it.
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’ve been using 4 Shots From 4 Films to pay tribute to some of our favorite horror directors! Today, in honor of Canadian Thanksgiving, we recognize the talents of the one and only David Cronenberg!
4 Shots From 4 Films
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a film that I’ve shared four times previously on the Shattered Lens. The first time was in 2011 and then I shared it again in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019! Well, you know what? I’m sharing it again because it’s a classic, it’s Halloween, and everyone should see it! (And let’s face it — it’s entirely possible that some of the people reading this post right now didn’t even know this site existed in any of those previous years. Why should they be deprived of Caligari just because they only now arrived?)
Released in 1920, the German film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is one of those films that we’ve all heard about but far too few of us have actually seen. Like most silent films, it requires some patience and a willingess to adapt to the narrative convictions of an earlier time. However, for those of us who love horror cinema, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari remains required viewing. Not only did it introduce the concept of the twist ending (M. Night Shyamalan owes his career to this film) but it also helped to introduce German expressionism to the cinematic world.
My initial reaction to The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari was that it simply wasn’t that scary. It was certainly interesting to watch and I was happy that I was finally experiencing this film that I had previously only read about. However, the film itself was obviously primitive and it was difficult for my mind (which takes CGI for granted) to adjust to watching a silent film. I didn’t regret watching the film but I’d be lying (much like a first-year film student) if I said that I truly appreciated it after my first viewing.
But you know what? Despite my dismissive initial reaction, the film stayed with me. Whereas most modern films fade from the memory about 30 minutes after the end credits,The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari has stuck with me and the night after I watched it, I even had a nightmare in which Dr. Caligari was trying to break into my apartment. Yes, Dr. Caligari looked a little bit silly staring through my bedroom window but it still caused me to wake up with my heart about to explode out of my chest.
In short, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari passes the most important test that a horror film can pass. It sticks with you even after it’s over.
For the curious with an open mind to watch with, here is Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari!
Whatever it takes
I know I can make it through….
Oh wait a minute, this isn’t the Degrassi theme song. Sad to say but there has never been an official music video released for the Degrassi theme song. If there had been, I would definitely be sharing it today for Canadian Thanksgiving.
Still, this Imagine Dragons song isn’t bad and the video features a lot of fire and destruction, which fits in with our horror theme this month. So, I’ll take it.