The Raiders (1963, directed by Herschel Daughtery)

In the years immediately following the Civil War, seven Texas cattleman, led by Col. John McElroy (Brian Keith), try to drive their cattle into Missouri.  The terrains proves treacherous and the local Pawnees refuse to allow the cattlemen to pass through their land without paying a hefty fee for the right.  McElroy and his followers go to Fort Hays and demands that the local railroad magnate, Huntingon Lawford (Addison Richards), extend his line into Texas.  When both Lawford and martinet Calvary officer Capt. Benton (Alfred Ryder) refuse to help, McElroy and his man start sabotaging the railroad’s western expansion.

This brings them into conflict with Wild Bill Hickok (Robert Culp), Buffalo Bill Cody (Jim McMullan), and Calamity Jane (Judi Meredith), all of whom are working for the railroad!  Hickok is an old friend of McElroy’s and Cody is sympathetic to McElroy’s cause but will they be able to broker a peace between the two sides?  When Captain Benton plans to lure McElroy into a trap where he and his friends will fired on with a Gatling gun, it’s up to Cody and Hickok to try to prevent a massacre.

The Raiders starts out as a downbeat look at a cattle drive in the years when America was still trying to rebuild from the devastation of the Civil War.  Brian Keith was one of those actors who was always ideally cast in westerns and war movies and he’s convincing as the tough but fair-minded McElroy.  If the film had just been about McElroy, it would have been a good B-western.  Instead, it brings heavily fictionalized versions of Wild Bill Hickock, Buffalo Bill Cody, and Calamity Jane into the story.  Robert Culp, Jim McMullan, and especially Judi Meredith all overact in their roles and a lot of time is wasted on subplots like Calamity Janes being in love with Wild Bill and Buffalo Bill trying to prove himself to the older man.

The Raiders started out as a made-for-TV movie and it appears that it was a pilot for a proposed TV show about Calamity Jane and the Bills.  (Brian Keith is even listed in the credits as being a “special guest star.”)  When the pilot wasn’t picked up, the film was given a theatrical release but The Raiders still has the flat look and unimaginative editing of a television show.  No matter how authentic Brian Keith’s performance might be, he can’t make up for the fact that the majority of the film was clearly shot on a studio backlot.

Game Review: Brave Bear (2021, John Evans)

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

In Brave Bear, you are a teddy bear.  In the tradition of Toy Story, you can walk and communicate with all of the other toys and devices in the house.  The game is short and simple.  You are walking around the house.  In each room, there is a dark phantom (each representing things like insecurity and depression) that you must defeat in order to continue on your way.  Some of the phantoms you can defeat on your own because you’re a brave bear.  Others are going to require you to make friends and get help from the other toys in the house.

It’s a cute game, ideal for it you’re looking for something that you can play quickly.  There are puzzles and puzzles are traditionally my downfall but, for once, I was able to solve most of them on my own.  And if you do find yourself stuck, there’s a walk-through.  It’s a simple game but who doesn’t like a brave bear?

Play Brave Bear.

The Pulp Art of Jack Rickard

by Jack Rickard

A graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology, Jack Rickard was most famous for his work in the advertising industry and his later work for MAD Magazine.  However, in between working on ads and working for MAD, Rickard also did the covers for several pulp magazines and paperback publishers.  Below is a small sampling of Jack Rickard’s pulp artwork.  I particularly like his cover for The Pagans.

A Blast From The Past: One Step Beyond 3.15 “The Last Round” (dir by John Newland)

In honor of what would have been Charles Bronson’s 100th birthday, today’s blast from the past is an episode of the old 1960s anthology series, One Step Beyond. The gimmick with this show was that every story was said to be based on fact, no matter how outlandish or improbable the story may be.

In this episode from 1961, Charles Bronson stars as Yank Dawson, an aging boxer who finds himself in haunted auditorium in England during World War II. Bronson was 39 years old when he starred as Yank Dawson and he gives a good performance. The role makes good use of both Bronson’s imposing physicality and also the smoldering anger that would eventually make Bronson a star in both Europe and, later, the United States.

The episode below first aired on January 10th, 1961.

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Charles Bronson Birthday Edition

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 is the 100th anniversary of the birth of an actor who is very popular here at the Shattered Lens, Charles Bronson!  In honor of the momentous occasion, we now pay tribute to the one and only Bronson with….

4 Shots From 4 Charles Bronson Films

Death Wish (1974, dir by Michael Winner, DP: Arthur Ormitz)

Mr. Majestyk (1974, dir by Richard Fleischer DP: Richard Kline)

Breakheart Pass (1975, dir by Tom Gries, DP: Lucien Ballard)

10 To Midnight (1983, dir by J. Lee Thompson, DP: Adam Greenberg)

Music Video of the Day: (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Undertanding by Elvis Costello and the Attractions (1979, directed by Chuck Statler)

On August 1st, 1981, MTV premiered. Over the course of 24 hours, 116 unique music videos were played on MTV.  Yes, there was a time when the M actually did stand for music.

The 99th video to premiere on MTV was the video for Elvis Costello’s cover of (What’s So Funny Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding.  The song was originally written by Nick Lowe and performed by Lowe with his band, Benny Schwartz.  Though the original version didn’t chart, Costello’s cover became one of his first big hits.  It’s one of the songs that’s still most associated with Costello.  Interestingly, on a day that was dominated by repeated airings of videos from Rod Stewart and REO Speedwagon, the video for Costello’s biggest hit was only aired once.

The video was directed by Chuck Statler, who was responsible for many of Costello’s early videos.


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
  88. You’re In My Heart by Rod Stewart
  89. So Long by Fischer Z
  90. I Don’t Want To Know by Robin Lane and the Chartbusters
  91. Go Back Home Again by Andrew Gold
  92. Time For Me To Fly by REO Speedwagon
  93. Rough Boys by Pete Townshend
  94. Dangrous Type by The Cars
  95. Turn It On Again by Genesis
  96. We’re So Close by Carly Simon
  97. Kid Blue by Louise Goffin
  98. Vienna by Ultravox