Horror on TV: Friday the 13th: The Series 2.11 “The Sweetest Sting” (dir by David Winning)

Tonight, for our horror on the lens, we have the eleventh episode of the 2nd season of Friday the 13th: The Series!

In this episode, a beekeeper (Art Hindle) uses killer bees to take out his enemies! AGCK! I have to admit that I am a little bit scared of bees, mostly because I’ve never been stung by one. There’s a part of me that will always be worried that I might be allergic to them. Plus, I think it’s kind of depressing that bees spend their whole life looking for someone to sting and then they die as a result. I feel bad for the bees, even as I fear them.

This episode originally aired on January 21st, 1989.

Spirits (1990, directed by Fred Olen Ray)

In this sex-filled take on The Haunting of Hill House, Robert Quarry leads a group of researchers to a haunted house. Amy Goldwyn (Brinke Stevens) is the smart psychic who knows the house isn’t safe but who still gets possessed by a demon and ends up hammering a nail through her palm. Beth (Kathrin Lautner) is the self-described “bitch” who has a lesbian past because this is a direct-to-video 90s film. Harry (Oliver Darrow) is the cocky womanizer who gets seduced by a succubus. The house is haunted by the spirit of a fallen priest and his demonic nuns. Only another priest, Father Anthony Vicci (Erik Estrada!), can save the researchers but that holy water that he’s carrying around is only going to work if he regains his faith and seeks forgiveness for his past sins.

As far as I know, Spirits is only available on VHS. So, if you do watch it, you’re going to need a VCR that works. Considering how easily an old VCR can break down and how it’s nearly impossible to get them repaired, you’re going to need to realize that Spirits could very well be the last tape you ever watch on the old machine. Do you want to take the risk? I took the risk and, for what it is, Spirits is not that bad. It’s a Fred Olen Ray films and it’s got Brinke Stevens and Michelle Bauer in it so you know what you’re going to get. Still, after I finished it, I realized that, if Spirits had been the last thing I ever watched on that old VCR, I would have been pissed. If my VCR is going to break, I’d rather it break while I was watching a tape full of hours of Must See TV from 1996.

Spirits has a few things to recommend it. Brinke Stevens was one of the best of the direct-to-video scream queens and she actually does give a “real” performance as Amy. The sight of Erik Estrada, playing a tortured a priest as if he was a character on a particularly racy telenovela, was certainly entertaining. Finally, there was Count Yorga himself, Robert Quarry, as the main ghost hunter. Otherwise, Spirits is a typical direct-to-video Fed Olen Ray film, with cheesy music, terrible special effects, and laughable dialogue. There’s a lot of nudity, of course but you can find the same amount of nudity in films that you can safely watch on DVD or Blu-ray. If you’re going to risk the VCR, the movie is going to need to have more to offer.

IF Comp Review: The Daughter (2021, Giovanni Rubino)

The Daughter is an entrant in 2021 Interactive Fiction competition.  Browse and experience all of the games by clicking here.

The time is the distant future. In a world where everyone is practically immortal, there’s been a death. A girl, who were told is the first daughter to have been born in thousands of year, has been found at the bottom of a cliff. Did she commit suicide or was she pushed? You take the role of Agura. You’re investigating but, because you live in utopia, you don’t have much experience investigating crimes. You listen to what the ancient ones used to call a podcast. The name of it is Serial.

This was a strange one. Like a lot of Twine-designed works of Interactive Fiction, it’s more of a short story with choices than an actual game. It’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure book. With the exception of choosing your prononus, the choices you make don’t make that much of a difference in the story’s that told. Clicking on a choice will often lead to a large bulk of writing, detailing the future world but not really moving the investigation forward. The game ends up abruptly without really seeming to come to a conclusion.

I suspect that the author’s intentions may have been satirical but it’s hard to say. I’m not sure what to make of The Daughter but I did appreciate the effort that it went to describe it’s futuristic society. I just wish there had been more for me, as the one in charge of interacting, to do in this work of interactive fiction.

Play The Daughter.

Scenes that I Love: Peter Cushing In Shock Waves

Shock Waves (1977, dir by Ken Wiederhorn)

Today’s scene that I love comes from one of the most underrated zombie films of the 70s, Shock Waves.

In this film, Nazi zombies have emerged off the coast of an island. When a group of stranded tourists explore the island, they come across Peter Cushing, who explains to them just what exactly is going on. Cushing totally steals this scene. It’s always interesting to me that Cushing could convincingly play such depraved characters when, in real life, he was supposedly a very gentle and somewhat shy man. In fact, if you listen to the commentary track that was recorded for Shock Waves’s video release, everyone who worked on the film talks about what a joy Peter Cushing was off-screen.

Here is Peter Cushing in Shock Waves:

6 Shots From 6 Pete Cushing Films

4 or more Shots from 4 or more 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!

Today, the Shattered Lens pays tribute to Peter Cushing, one of the great actors and horror stars of the previous century.  By most accounts, an old-fashioned gentleman who enjoyed gardening and a little painting, Peter Cushing went from the stage to films to television and back again and, along the way, appeared in some of the most popular and beloved films ever made.  He was often cast as a rival to Christopher Lee.  In real life, the two men were the closest of friends.

Here are….

6 Shots From 6 Peter Cushing Films

Hamlet (1948, dir by Laurence Olivier, DP: Desmond Dickinson)

The Curse of Frankenstein (1957, dir by Terence Fisher, DP: Jack Asher)

Horror of Dracula (1958, dir by Terence Fisher, DP: Jack Asher)

Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965, dir by Gordon Flemyng, DP: Jack Wilcox)

Shock Waves (1977, dir by Ken Weiderhorn, DP: Reuben Trane)

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977, dir by George Lucas, DP: Gilbert Talyor)

Horror On The Lens: I Was A Teenage Frankenstein (dir by Herbert L. Strock)

From 1957, it’s I Was A Teenage Frankenstein!

This film was produced as a direct result of the box office success of I Was A Teenage Werewolf.  Just as in Teenage Werewolf, Whit Bissell plays a mad scientist who makes the mistake of trying to play God.  (He also makes the mistake of keeping an alligator in his lap but that’s another story.)  The end result …. Teenage Frankenstein!

The makeup on the Teenage Frankenstein is probably the best thing about this film.  If nothing else, this film features a monster who actually looks like he was stitched together in a lab.

Enjoy and please be sure to read my review of this film at Horror Critic!

Music Video of the Day: You’re In My Heart by Rod Stewart (1978, directed by Bruce Gowers and Mike Mansfield)

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 88th video to premiere on MTV was the video for Rod Stewart’s You’re In My Heart.  It’s Rod singing in a restaurant.  This was one of 11 Rod Stewart videos to be shown on MTV’s first day of broadcast.


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
  74. Come What May by Lani Hall & Herb Alpert
  75. I Got You by Split Enz
  76. Sister Disco by The Who
  77. Fashion by David Bowie
  78. Love Stinks by J. Geils Band
  79. Johnny and Mary by Robert Palmer
  80. Tomorrow by Shoes
  81. Prime Time by The Tubes
  82. Cruel You by Shoes
  83. Calling All Girls by Hilly Michaels
  84. I Was Only Joking by Rod Stewart
  85. Let’s Go by The Cars
  86. Do You Remember Rock’N’Roll Radio by The Ramones
  87. Ridin’ The Storm Out by REO Speedwagon