Horror TV Review: The Walking Dead 11.7 “Promises Broken” (dir by Sharat Raju)


It’s been such a busy week that it was only about an hour ago that I was finally able to sit down and actually watch last Saturday’s episode of The Walking Dead.  

As I watched Promises Broken, I found myself asking one question over and over again.  Can Maggie and Negan just kiss already?  Seriously, it’s totally obvious that Maggie and Negan are in love.  Even if the writers didn’t necessarily plan for them to be in love, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Lauren Cohan definitely have the right chemistry for some Maggie/Negan action.  And I know some people are going to say that it’ll never happen because of what happened in the past but listen …. Glenn’s been dead for a long time.  Because of the time jump, he’s been dead even longer on the series than he has been in reality.  The world of the Walking Dead is a different place and traditional periods of mourning no longer hold much currency.  It’s time to move on.

This week, Negan did convince Maggie to stop plotting to kill him.  That was definitely a step forward.  Then he taught her how to wear a whisperer’s mask.  Awwwwww!  But then he said that he should have killed Rick’s entire party when he had the chance and that …. well, that was awkward.  I know I’ve been critical of the way the show has used Negan in the past but, this season, he’s gotten on my nerves a lot less and Jeffrey Dean Morgan finally seems to have a handle on the character.

As for the Reapers …. eh, who cares.  Pope sent Daryl and Leah on a scouting mission.  They came across a family of survivors.  They didn’t kill the survivors like they were supposed to.  Pope will probably be pissed off but Pope’s always pissed off so who cares?  The Reapers are like totally squaresville.  Real melvin.

Meanwhile, in the Commonwealth …. well, listen, I just love the Commonwealth!  There’s just something so brilliant about this gated, suburban community just sitting there in the middle of the zombie apocalypse.  So far, this season’s best scenes have been set in the Commonwealth and that continued to be true this week.  In the latest episode, Eugene and the Gang had to do community service by killing walkers.  Unfortunately, this led to Eugene and Stephanie interrupting a date between Sebastian Milton and his girlfriend, Kayla.  Sebastian, who is basically the preppy from Hell, got mad about the interruption.  Words were exchanged  Eugene punched Sebastian.  Uh-oh!  Sebastian is the son of Governor Milton!  Eugene ended up getting thrown in jail, where he was informed that he was going to stay imprisoned unless he gave up the location of Alexandria.  Is it is possible that all of this was just a set up to get Eugene to turn snitch?  Bravo, Commonwealth, bravo!

Interestingly enough, Sebastian Milton played a small but key role in the final few issues of The Walking Dead comic book.  After Rick (who was still around in the comic book) took over the Commonwealth and started to form an alliance with the recently deposed Governor Milton, a jealous Sebastian ended up killing him.  On the TV show, of course, Carl is dead and Rick is believed dead.  Unless the show is going to go super dark and kill off either Judith or Rick, Jr., there are no members of the Grimes family for Sebatian to kill.  In theory, who would Sebastian kill?  Ezekiel, with his leadership experience and his messianic tendencies, seem the most likely to take power in the Commonwealth so he might want to watch his back.

Next week is the finale of the first half of season 11.  So far, season 11 has been a bit uneven but it’s started to pick some momentum with the previous few episodes.  Hopefully, that momentum will continue to build and season 11 will give this show the conclusion that it deserves.

Horror On TV: Friday the 13th: The Series 1.13 “The Baron’s Bride” (dir by Bradford May)


On tonight’s episode of Friday the 13th: The Series, Micki and Ryan go back to Victorian-era London and deal with a vampire.

Who doesn’t like a good vampire story?

This episode originally aired on February 20th, 1988.

“Rubes”, Film Review, By Case Wright


What if OK GO went psycho? This short explores that premise. The protagonists Milton and Paul are much like OK GO, talented, yet a tiny bit pompous. Although OK GO hasn’t murdered anyone…yet, I’m sure that if they did start a life of murderin’ that they would murder like this.

Milton and Paul have just been laid before getting tenure. This fact made me like them less because I despise professors. I’m sure that some are not lazy, sanctimonious, garbage-people, but they must be in hiding or retired because even this week, one of my professors just didn’t show up for class- Just didn’t feel like it. I assuming his thoughts were as follows: Too bad, so sad lowly students – I’m going to roll around in my unearned money now like the thief that I am…. or something like that.

Try getting these holier than thou gasbags held to account and it will take you a year to get your money back and this wasn’t a For Profit school either- NO NO NO…These were public schools; so, take that taxpayer. In my case, it was Uncle Sam’s money that I demanded back because a calculus professor didn’t show up for the entire quarter for either of his classes; yet, he still expected to be and WAS paid. For me, hearing that two professors got fired in this film, made me wonder if I was watching fantasy and if a dragon would appear any minute. I swore heavily in an earlier draft, but I held back for you.

These two professors were fired and decided to kidnap those whom fired them and kill them using Rube Goldberg machines. My main critique is not the jokes or writing- those were fine; overall, the short was entertaining. No, my problem was that they didn’t spend enough time making the Rube Goldberg machine complex enough. Try harder, but then again, perhaps that lent some realism to the film because there is nothing lazier or worse than a college professor. We could put them on the same Herpes-Infected-Horny-Racoon-Island (HIHRI) where I’d like to put all of the sanctimonious politicians. Now, that is a platform we can all get behind!

Pod People (a.k.a. Extra Terrestrial Visitor) (1983, directed by Juan Piquer Simon)


“Trumpy, you can do stupid things!”

Everyone knows about Trumpy, the snorkel-nosed alien with telekinetic powers who befriend a lonely boy and a really bad band while his mother killed people in the forest.  He was one of the stars of Pod People, which was famously lampooned by Mystery Science Theater 3000 in 1991.  It became one of MST 3K’s most beloved episodes.  Audiences loved the the attempts to by Joel and the Bots the decipher the song that the band is first seen performing.  Was it Idiot Control Now or Tires Are Ready To Roll Now?  They also loved Trumpy showing off his cool but ultimately useless powers.  But why was Trumpy so good but Trumpy’s mom was so evil?

The reason is because Trumpy wasn’t originally supposed to be in the movie.  Originally, the movie was just going to be about Trumpy’s mom killing poachers and stalking the band when their van broke down in the woods.  But then a little movie called E.T. became a worldwide hit and the film’s backers decided that the movie needed a cute alien.  Director Juan Piquer Simon, best known for the relentless gore fest that was Pieces, created Trumpy and had him befriend a child.  The film became the only killer alien film made for a family audience.  Families came for the cuteness of Trumpy and stayed for the scenes of Trumpy’s mom stalking a woman while she took a shower.

Weird, weird film.  Have you ever tried to watch Pod People without Joel and the Bots to help you make you way through it?  It’s not recommended but it can be done.  A non-MST 3K version has been released on DVD under the film’s original title (Extra Terrestrial Visitor) but the movie is really boring without anyone making jokes.  You can make your own jokes, I guess.  You probably will.

No, Pod People is a film to watch with the Satellite of Love crew.  With them, it’s a classic.

The Hole of Death: A Personal Story For October


The past two and a half months have been difficult. My mind has been elsewhere. Our loyal readers deserve to know why. Can you handle the horror of the Hole of Death?

It all started at the end of July when the dishwasher here at the house appeared to be leaking water. Not wanting to have a flooded kitchen and feeling that it was perhaps time for a new dishwasher anyways, Erin and I went down to Lowe’s and bought a new one. The day after we purchased it, the deliveryman showed up to drop off our purchase, remove our old dishwasher, and install the new one. Yay!

Except, of course, there was a problem. There’s always a problem, right? When he took out our old dishwasher, he noticed that there was mold behind it. He announced to us that, legally, he could not install our new dishwasher until we got rid of all that mold. I looked in the open space under the kitchen countertop where the dishwasher had once sat. There was definitely some mold on the back wall, the result of the leak that had caused us to get a new dishwasher in the first place. It didn’t look like a lot of mold but, as an asthmatic, I still knew that it could be a problem for me.

When Erin asked him what we could do about the mold, he listed several steps and each one sounded more difficult and time consuming than the last. Later, when my sister and I discussed things, we would both agree that he went out of his way to make mold removal sound like the most complicated process in the world. With every step he listed — from drying out the hole to spraying bleach in the hole to scraping away at the mold — he made it sound like something that two mere homeowners like us would never be able to handle. After he finished explaining all the steps, he then said, “Or you can call these people and they’ll do it for you.” He gave us a phone number. And then he left, taking the old diswasher with him and leaving us with essentially a big empty space under our kitchen counter.

As you can imagine, I was not happy about either the mold or the empty space. But what especially angered me was the dismissive attitude of the deliveryman. His condescending tone did not sit well with me. Later, Erin and I would agree that he went out of his way to make us feel stupid so that we would call the number that he gave us.

And yes, we did call that number. The person on the other end said that he would come out to look at our kitchen in four days. Four days? I wondered. Weren’t we all supposed to be dead from the mold by then?

When he did show up, he was a very good salesman. He took one look at the hole — which Erin and I had christened the Hole of Death — and he announced that we definitely needed to hire him and his company to not only take care of the mold but that we also needed to let him remove every fixture in the kitchen so that he could make sure that there wasn’t any other mold in the house. He told us that, because our house was old, we also needed to hire him to check for and remove any asbestos. We needed to hire him to do a lot but, of course, he couldn’t tell us how much it would cost. He would need to bring in some associates to take a closer look and then he could give us an estimate.

While he was giving his spiel, I noticed that there was fresh water in The Hole of Death. That meant, of course, that there was still a leak and the dishwasher had not been the source. When I mentioned this, the Salesman was very quick to tell me not to call a plumber. He was insistent that only he and his crew were qualified to rip up the kitchen and find the leak. In fact, he told us, there were probably several leaks. He wouldn’t know for sure until the entire kitchen was ripped apart.

The Salesman left but promised to return the following week. When he did, he brought another man with him. They both looked in the Hole and agreed that we should not call a plumber and that we needed to hire them to rip up the entire kitchen. In fact, they would probably need to not only rip up the kitchen but perhaps the nearby bathroom as well. The floor would probably have to be replaced. They informed us that, before they could start working, they would need someone to come in and test the air to make sure it wasn’t toxic. They gave us yet another number to call. As they left, they again assured us that it would be a waste of time and money to call a plumber. When I asked them how high they thought the estimate would be, the Salesman smiled and reminded us that we had homeowner’s insurance.

These meetings raised a few red flags. I couldn’t help but notice that, despite the fact that the mold was apparently going to kill us in a matter of days, no one seemed to be in a hurry to do much much about it. Instead, every meeting and conversation ended with Erin and I being told to call someone else and to have them come out. And, of course, everyone who came out would need to be paid money for their services. Instead of actually doing anything about the mold, it seemed like everyone who came out just wanted to scare us, as if they had decided that we were easy marks. These men seemed to talk a lot without really saying anything. They kept telling horror stories about how mold could kill us but they never told us to leave the house or to stay out of the kitchen. The biggest red flag was their insistence that only they could find and stop the leak and that they could only do that after we had paid them to rip apart our kitchen. If the mold was due to the leak and the mold was going to kill us by the end of the month, shouldn’t the leak have been a bigger concern?

Finally, I did what I probably should have done before doing anything else. I called a plumber. I mean, even if he showed up and said, “I can’t do anything,” I figured that would still be more helpful than just ignoring the leak. Fortunately, he didn’t say that he couldn’t do anything. Instead, he got underneath the sink, found a loose pipe, and took care of it. It took him about twenty minutes. He was calm, courteous, professional, and everything that the other men hadn’t been. He even mopped up the water, for us. By the next morning, the Hole of Death was dry.

I called up the Salesman and told him that we had called a plumber and he had taken care of the leak. The Salesman was not happy with me, snapping that he had told us to wait so that an expert could take a look at it. He said that it was good that we had gotten one leak taken care of but there were probably others. After I pointed out that the Hole of Death was completely dry — which would indicate the leak had been stopped — he told me that I was not an expert on things. He also said that he’d soon have an estimate ready but he needed to drop by the house sometime next week.

I was about ready to tell the Salesman to fuck off but Erin insisted that we go ahead and get the air tested, just to make sure were weren’t in a toxic environment. The man who came out to do the air test was in his 70s and, to my relief, turned out to be almost as nice as the plumber. By nice, I mean that he didn’t talk down to us and he didn’t try to scare us. Instead, he did his test and then he told us to be careful because “a lot of people in this business will try to take advantage of you because they’ll assume girls won’t know any better.” While I would have preferred to have been called a woman instead of a girl, I have to admit that I was actually happy to hear him say that because it meant that someone who didn’t seem to have an ulterior motive had confirmed what Erin and I suspected was happening.

The next day, the Tester called us and told us that air was not toxic. It wasn’t good to have mold in the house, obviously. But it wasn’t going to kill anyone.

The Salesman came by the following week, with two more experts. They took a look at the hole and nodded when we said that it wasn’t toxic. When I mentioned that there hadn’t been any other leaks, they kind of smirked. They said they would email us an estimate. They left.

By now, we were into September. Having gotten tired of worrying about Doc wandering into the hole of death, we had put a trashbag over the hole. It kept the cat out but it just looked so trashy. It was driving me crazy that we had a perfectly good dishwasher in the garage and big ugly bag in the kitchen. Whenever I considered the fact that a trashbag was now a part of our kitchen decor, I wondered how long we had until a car showed up in our front yard, sitting on cinder blocks.

Finally, 10 days after his previous visit, the Salesman sent us his estimate. He wanted $15,000 to remove all the cabinets and take care of any mold that they found. I emailed them back and asked if that estimate included the cost of then rebuilding our kitchen. No, it did not. In fact, the Salesman and his crew would not be rebuilding our kitchen but they would give us a number to call for another company that would come out and give us an estimate and it would probably all be done by December, unless of course they found something else that needed to be fixed….

And this point, my sister announced that she was through with this. Working with Jeff (who, I should add, distrusted the Salesman from the start and who spent this entire ordeal offering to clean up the mold for us), she took a crash course on mold removal. They went down to Home Depot, bought some gloves and goggles and spray bottles. Using a combination of vinegar and water, they spent a few hours spraying and scrubbing and, soon, the mold was gone. At most, it cost about $50 to remove the mold themselves.

And today, finally — we got our dishwasher installed! Yay! I threw away the trashbag that had been covering the now-filled Hole of Death. I have never been happier to get rid of anything. As for the Salesman and his friends, they can get their kickbacks from someone else.

So, why am I telling you this? Because I feel I owe you, our readers, an explanation for where my mind has been during the past few months. You deserve to know why I haven’t reviewed as many movie as usual. You deserve to know why I have occasionally been distracted the point of not noticing glaring typos. (In my defense, I always correct them as soon as I do catch them.) I love writing for this site and I love our October horrorthon the most of all. And, for the past two months, my mind has been elsewhere.

But now, my mind is back here.

And now, I’ve got movies to watch and review and to write about.

Enjoy the rest of October, everyone! It’s going to be great month!

Scenes That I Love: Adam Driver Has Read The Script in The Dead Don’t Die


Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die is a film that has definitely grown on me. When I first watched it, I thought it was intriguing but perhaps a bit too cutesy and enamored with itself. However, I’ve subsequently come to realize that, actually, Jarmusch finds just the perfect tone for his look at our zombie-saturated culture.

In the scenes below, Bill Murray, Chloe Sevigny, and the wonderful Adam Driver all deal with the inevitability of doom that comes with being a character in a zombie film.

 

4 Shots From 4 Curtis Harrington Films


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

Today, we pay tribute to experimental surrealist and horror director, Curtis Harrington!  It’s time for….

4 Shots from 4 Curtis Harrington Films

Night Tide (1961, dir by Curtis Harrington, DP: Vilis Lapenieks)

Queen of Blood (1966, dir by Curtis Harrington, DP: Vilis Lapenieks)

The Killing Kind (1973, dir by Curtis Harrington, DP: Mario Tosi)

The Dead Don’t Die (1975, dir by Curtis Harrington DP: James Crabe)

Horror on the Lens: Teenagers From Outer Space (dir by Tom Graeff)


Can Earth survive an invason of teenagers?

Watch today’s Horror on the Lens and find out! From 1959, it’s Teenagers From Outer Space! In this film, a bunch of teenage-looking aliens come to Earth so that they can raise lobsters. Things don’t really go as planned, of course. The teens have ray-guns that can transform anyone intto a perfectly preserved skeleton. It’s sad to think that they could come up with the technology to power their ray-guns and to pilot their spaceshiip but not to raise lobsters on their own planet.

It’s a damn shame.

Anyway, I hope you’re ready to cry because it’s time for …. TEENAGERS FROM OUTER SPACE!

Music Video of the Day: Come What May by Lani Hall and Herb Alpert (1980, directed by ????)


On August 1st, 1981, MTV premiered. Over the course of 24 hours, 166 unique music videos were played on MTV. Yes, there was a time when the M actually did stand for music.

The Pretenders video for Kid was followed by a re-showing of Iron Maiden’s video for Wrathchild.  The Iron Maiden video was then followed by the 74th video to makes it MTV debut on that day, the video for Lani Hall and Herb Alpert’s Come What May.  That Iron Maiden was followed by Lani Hall and Herb Alpert is a perfect example of how random MTV’s first day was.  It’s also a reminder that, in 1981, there weren’t as many music videos to choose from as today.  Some musicians made them.  Most didn’t.  MTV went with what they had and, on that first day, it did lead to some interesting juxtapositions.

This video is probably one of the lesser known to appear on MTV.  Lani and Herb, though, are still married and still making wonderful music together.

Enjoy!

The First Videos Shown on MTV:

  1. Video Killed the Radio Star by the Buggles
  2. You Better Run by Pat Benatar
  3. She Won’t Dance With Me by Rod Stewart
  4. You Better You Bet By The Who
  5. Little Suzi’s On The Up by PH.D
  6. We Don’t Talk Anymore by Cliff Richard
  7. Brass in Pocket by Pretenders
  8. Time Heals by Todd Rundgren
  9. Take It On The Run by REO Speedwagon
  10. Rockin’ in Paradise by Styx
  11. When Things Go Wrong by Robin Lane & The Chartbusters
  12. History Never Repeats by Split Enz
  13. Hold On Loosely by .38 Special
  14. Just Between You And Me by April Wine
  15. Sailing by Rod Stewart
  16. Iron Maiden by Iron Maiden
  17. Keep On Loving You by REO Speedwagon
  18. Better Than Blue by Michael Johnson
  19. Message of Love by The Pretenders
  20. Mr. Briefcase by Lee Ritenour
  21. Double Life by The Cars
  22. In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins
  23. Looking for Clues by Robert Palmer
  24. Too Late by Shoes
  25. Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around by Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  26. Do Ya Think I’m Sexy by Rod Stewart
  27. Surface Tension by Rupert Hine
  28. One Step Ahead by Split Enz
  29. Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty
  30. I’m Gonna Follow You by Pat Benatar
  31. Savannah Nights by Tom Johnston
  32. Lucille by Rockestra
  33. The Best of Times by Styx
  34. Vengeance by Carly Simon
  35. Wrathchild by Iron Maiden
  36. I Wanna Be a Lifeguard by Blotto
  37. Passion by Rod Stewart
  38. Oliver’s Army by Elvis Costello
  39. Don’t Let Me Go by REO Speedwagon
  40. Remote Control and Illegal by The Silencers
  41. Angel of the Morning by Juice Newton
  42. Little Sister by Rockpile with Robert Plant
  43. Hold On To The Night by Bootcamp
  44. Dreamin’ by Cliff Richard
  45. Is It You? by Lee Ritenour 
  46. Tusk by Fleetwood Mac
  47. He Can’t Love You by Michael Stanley Band
  48. Tough Guys by REO Speedwagon
  49. Rapture by Blondie
  50. Don’t Let Go The Coat by The Who
  51. Ain’t Love A Bitch by Rod Stewart
  52. Talk of the Town by The Pretenders
  53. Can’t Happen Here by Rainbow
  54. Thank You For Being A Friend by Andrew Gold
  55. Bring It All Home by Gerry Rafferty
  56. Sign of the Gypsy Queen by April Wine
  57. The Man With The Child In His Eyes by Kate Bush
  58. All Night Long by Raindow
  59. Boys Keep Swinging by David Bowie
  60. Rat Race by The Specials
  61. Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads
  62. Victim by Bootcamp
  63. Tonight’s the Night (Gonna be Alright) by Rod Stewart
  64. Cruel to be Kind by Nick Lowe
  65. A Little In Love by Cliff Richard
  66. Wild-Eyed Southern Boys by 38 Special
  67. Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush
  68. Celebrate The Bullet by The Selecter
  69. More Than I Can Say by Leo Sayer
  70. A Message To You, Rudy by The Specials
  71. Heart of Glass by Blondie
  72. Oh God, I Wish I Was Home Tonight by Rod Stewart
  73. Kid by The Pretenders