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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.