October Positivity: God’s Club (dir by Jared Cohn)

In the 2015 film, God’s Club, Stephen Baldwin stars as Michael Evens.

Michael is a teacher at the local high school.  His wife is also a teacher and it is quickly established that she is quite a bit more religious than her husband.  In fact, she’s the sponsor of the after-school Christian club.  This club is very controversial because God’s Club is one of those films that takes place in a community where everyone is not only an atheist but also a total jerk about it.  It’s like everyone learned how to be an atheist by watching Richard Dawkins YouTube videos.  At a school board meeting, parents shout about separation of church and state and warn that they are not going to sit by while their children are brainwashed.  Principal Max Graves (Corbin Bernsen, giving the film’s best performance as the sole voice of reason at the high school) explains that no one is being forced to attend the club.  Michael, for his part, remains quiet.  Later, as they’re driving home, Michael and his wife are in a serious accident.  Michael survives.  His wife asks him to pray with her and then promptly dies.

Weeks later, a guilt-stricken Michael returns to school.  It turns out that most of the students are just as jerky as their parents.  When Michael opens his class with a moment of silence for his dead wife, one of his students reports him for praying in class. This leads to the parents demanding that Michael be fired.  Spencer Rivers (played by Lorenzo Lamas) is especially adamant that Michael should not be allowed to teach and he even goes so far as to insult the memory of Michael’s dead wife.  Making things even more tense is Michael’s decision to restart God’s Club himself.  Needless to say, this leads to even more controversy but it also gives Michael a chance to make peace with both himself and his guilt over his wife’s death.

Christian teachers being persecuted by atheist parents and mindless government enforcers is a recurring theme when it comes to faith-based films.  Perhaps the best-known example of this is God’s Not Dead 2, in which Ray Wise literally cackles with delight as he thinks about ruining Melissa Joan Hart’s life.  (“We are going to prove that God is dead,” Wise explains to his legal team, none of whom point out that it would be smarter to just settle the case and move on.)  The debate over whether or not religion should be allowed in schools is a legitimate one but films like God’s Club (and God’s Not Dead 2) tend to approach the subject in such a melodramatic that it’s difficult to really pay much attention to their arguments.  It’s not enough that the parents in God’s Club are perhaps being a little bit paranoid in their belief that their children are going to be preached to.  Instead, the parents are portrayed as being so evil that they can’t even show the least bit of kindness to a man who has just lost his wife in a sudden tragedy.  One thing that all of these films have in common is that they take place in world in which there are no polite atheists.

Stephen Baldwin, who is usually the only lively thing about the films in which appears, gives a rather stilted performance as Michael.  According to the film’s IMDb page, Baldwin was dealing with some health issues while filming God’s Club and perhaps that’s why he seems to be so disinterested in the film.  Baldwin seems to be just as depressed when his wife is alive as he is after the car accident.  At the end of the film, everyone seems to be excited about God’s Club except for him.  It’s hard not to think that maybe Michael would be better off just retiring and maybe moving to Florida.  By the end of the film, he’s earned some time on the beach.

Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 10/24/22 — 10/30/22

Happy Halloween!

Films I Watched:

  1. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
  2. Angel Heart (1987)
  3. Baron Blood (1972)
  4. Brother Enemy (1981)
  5. Burnt Offerings (1976)
  6. Carnival of Souls (1962)
  7. Cyborg Cop 2 (1994)
  8. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
  9. Face In The Mirror (1978)
  10. The Falling (1987)
  11. Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man (1943)
  12. Full Moon High (1981)
  13. The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)
  14. The Good Nurse (2022)
  15. The Healing (1983)
  16. House of Dracula (1945)
  17. House of Frankenstein (1944)
  18. Jack the Ripper (1976)
  19. Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
  20. The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry (2008)
  21. Son of Dracula (1943)
  22. Thin Ice (1988)
  23. The Werewolf and the Yeti (1975)
  24. The Wolf Man (1941)

Television Shows I Watched:

  1. Abbott Elementary
  2. The Amazing Race
  3. Atlanta
  4. Hell’s Kitchen
  5. Highway to Heaven
  6. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
  7. It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
  8. Law & Order
  9. Law & Order: SVU
  10. The New Wave Theater
  11. Night Flight
  12. Real Love Boat
  13. Survivor
  14. Toy Story of Terror

Books I Read:

  1. The Confession (1996) by R.L. Stine
  2. The Fire Game (1991) by R.L. Stine
  3. Night Games (1996) by R.L. Stine
  4. Runaway (1997) by R.L. Stine
  5. Truth or Dare (1995) by R.L. Stine

Music To Which I Listened:

  1. Adi Ulmansky
  2. Bauhaus
  3. Blondie
  4. Britney Spears
  5. The Chemical Brothers
  6. David Bowie
  7. Dexys Midnight Runners
  8. Duran Duan
  9. ELO
  10. Goblin
  11. The Heavy
  12. The Human League
  13. Imagine Dragons
  14. INXS
  15. John Carpenter
  16. Kid Rock
  17. Kim Wilde
  18. Lynard Skynard
  19. Madness
  20. Moby
  21. Nina Simone
  22. Nine Inch Nails
  23. Peter Schilling 
  24. Phil Collins
  25. Rita Coolidge
  26. Saint Motel
  27. Talking Heads
  28. Taylor Swift
  29. The Vampire Sound Incorporation
  30. Yvonne Elliman


  1. Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
  2. 6 Horrific Trailers For October 24, 2022
  3. 6 Horrific Trailers For October 30, 2022

Live Tweets:

  1. Cyborg Cop 2
  2. Edward Scissorhands
  3. Angel Heart
  4. Full Moon High
  5. Burnt Offerings
  6. The Falling
  7. Carnival of Souls

Horror on the Lens:

  1. Little Shop of Horrors
  2. The Terror
  3. Dementia 13
  4. Messiah of Evil
  5. Last Man On Earth
  6. The House on Haunted Hill
  7. Carnival of Souls

Horror on TV:

  1. Tales From The Crypt 3.7 “The Reluctant Vampire”
  2. Tales From The Crypt 4.8 “The Showdown”
  3. Tales From the Crypt 4.11 “Split Personality”
  4. Tales From The Crypt 5.7 “House of Horror”
  5. Tales From the Crypt 6.11 “You, Murderer”
  6. Halloween is Grinch Night
  7. The Halloween That Almost Wasn’t
  8. Highway to Heaven 4.5 “I Was A Middle-Aged Werewolf”

4 Shots From Horror History:

  1. 2008 — 2010
  2. 2011 — 2012
  3. 2013 — 2014
  4. 2015 — 2016
  5. 2017
  6. 2018
  7. 2019

Horror Scenes That I Love:

  1. Black Swan
  2. Cabin in the Woods
  3. Under the Skin
  4. The Neon Demon
  5. Twin Peaks: The Return
  6. A Quiet Place
  7. The Dead Don’t Die

Erin’s Count Down To Halloween:

  1. 6 Days
  2. 5 Days
  3. 4 Days
  4. 3 Days
  5. 2 Days
  6. 1 Day

Awards Season:

  1. 2022 Gotham Nominations
  2. Lisa Marie’s Oscar Predictions for October

News From Last Week:

  1. Animator Jules Bass Dies at 87
  2. Musician Jerry Lee Lewis Dies at 87
  3. Actor Leslie Jordan dies at 67
  4. DC Shocker: James Gunn, Peter Safran to Lead Film, TV and Animation Division 
  5. Matthew Perry exited ‘Don’t Look Up’ after heart stopped for five minutes

Links From Last Week:

  1. The World’s Common Tater’s Week in Books, Movies, and TV 10/28/22
  2. Finger Cookies! Spider Cheeseballs! The WILDEST Halloween Treats You Can Make!

Links From The Site:

  1. Doc shared a Halloween message!
  2. Leonard shared the trailer for the new Ant-Man and Wasp movie!
  3. Erin shared Bats, House of the Wolfman, Werewolf, Lovecraft’s Nightmare, Witch, Darkness Falls, and Skull!
  4. Erin shared the Pulp Covers of Boris Vallejo, Pulp Witchery, and the Covers of True Weird!
  5. Erin on baseball: The Phillies Win Game One and The Astros Win Game Two!
  6. Jeff shared music videos from Alice Cooper, Brother Cane, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Danzig, Pet Shop Boys, and Guns N Roses!
  7. Jeff played The Twine Fishing Simulator, Power MT, and Europop Vampire! 
  8. Jeff took a look at presidential elections involving The Mummy, Frankenstein’s Monster, and Dracula!
  9. Jeff reviewed Iceman, Jack-O, LA AIDS Jabber, Rush Week, Claws, and The Falling!
  10. Jeff wrote about Dark Shadows and Tomb of Dracula!
  11. I reviewed Another Perfect Stranger, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, Baron Blood, The Day Time Ended, Nikki and the Perfect Stranger, Queen of Outer Space, Flesh Feast, Face in the Mirror, Prophecy, I Was A Teenage Werewolf, I Was A Teenage Frankenstein, How To Make A Monster, The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry, The Lawnmower Man, The Good Nurse, Brother Enemy, The Healing, Thin Ice, House of Dark Shadows, Night of Dark Shadows, Jack the Ripper, Boris Karloff: The Man Behind The Monster, The Haunting of Helen Walker, The Mermaid, Teen Wolf, Attack of the Puppet People, The Werewolf and the Yeti, Teenage Caveman, Angel Heart, Anna To The Infinite Power, Plan 9 From Outer Space, Planet Dune, Invitation to Hell, and Sinister Squad!
  12. I reviewed Laird Cregar, The Confession, The Scandalous History of the Roman Emperors, Night Games, Spooky Texas, Truth or Dare, The Fire Game, and Runaway!
  13. I reviewed Hang Time, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, City Guys, One World, and California Dreams!
  14. I shared my week in television and an AMV of the Day!

More From Us:

  1. At her photography site, Erin shared Limbs, Ghostly Vintage, Point of View, Shadow, Hanging Around, Dark Place At Sunset, and fog!
  2. Jeff wrote about the UK, California, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Twitter, New York, and the Marvel Universe!
  3. I reviewed The Amazing Race and Survivor!
  4. For Horror Critic, I reviewed Dracula’s Daughter, Son of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Ghost of Frankenstein, Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man, and Son of Dracula!
  5. At my music site, I shared Bauhaus, John Carpenter, The Heavy, Nina Simone, Nine Inch Nails, Goblin, and Harry Manfredini!
  6. At my online dream journal, I shared Last Night’s Comedy Club Dream, Last Night’s Drug Shipment Dream, Last Night’s Library Dream, Last Night’s Trying To Leave For Work Dream, Last Night’s Snow Dream, Last Night’s Shopping Dream, and Last Night’s Mr. Sandman Dream!

Want to see what I did last week?  Click here!


Bonus Horror on TV: Highway to Heaven 4.5 “I Was A Middle-Aged Werewolf” (dir by Michael Landon)

Because it’s nearly Halloween, here’s a special bonus television episode!

After I reviewed I Was A Teenage Werewolf, this episode was recommended to me by Mark, one of our regular readers in Australia.  Highway to Heaven was a TV show about an angel and a human who traveled across the country and helped people out.  It aired for 5 seasons in the 80s and it’s pretty much achieved immortality via syndication and streaming.  It starred Michael Landon who also starred in I Was A Teenage Werewolf.  As you call from this episode, he obviously had sense of humor about his early film career.

This originally aired on October 28th, 1987.  The series was a bit silly but this episode is kind of fun.

Happy Halloween!

Horror On TV: The Halloween That Almost Wasn’t (dir by Bruce Bilson)

Oh no!  Halloween might be canceled because people just aren’t scared of the old monsters!  Dracula (Judd Hirsch) calls all of the classic creatures to a meeting in his castle (where they all happen to be freeloading) and give them an ultimatum.  Be more scary!  It turns out to be easier said than done.

This originally aired in 1979 but, for people of a certain age, it achieved a certain immortality thanks to regular airings on the Disney Channel.  It’s a cute show.  It might seem a little bit corny today but that’s a large part of its appeal.  It’s a reminder of a more innocent time.

Warren the Werewolf, by the way, was named after Warren “Werewolves of London” Zevon.

Great Moments in Comic Book History #31: Tomb of Dracula #43

In Tomb of Dracula #43 (April, 1976), a reporter named Paul Butterworth discovered the existence of not only Dracula but also the people (like Blade, Frank Drake, and Rachel Van Helsing) who were trying to stop his reign of terror.

Paul thought it would make a good story but he knew he needed proof so, when he met Dracula, he was sure to take a few photographs.  The joke was on Paul because vampires can’t be photographed!  When Paul’s editor sees the blank photos, he demotes Paul to doing the helpful hints column.

Not a bad story.  Tomb of Dracula was always at its best when it brought in “normal” characters and allowed them to interact with Dracula and the vampire hunters.  Paul Butterworth never made another appearance but he was still a part of the series’ overall mythology.

However, the thing that made this issue great was the cover.  Illustrated by Bernie Wrightson, this cover may not have much to do with the story but it perfectly captures the feel of Tomb of Dracula.

Previous Great Moments In Comic Book History:

  1. Winchester Before Winchester: Swamp Thing Vol. 2 #45 “Ghost Dance” 
  2. The Avengers Appear on David Letterman
  3. Crisis on Campus
  4. “Even in Death”
  5. The Debut of Man-Wolf in Amazing Spider-Man
  6. Spider-Man Meets The Monster Maker
  7. Conan The Barbarian Visits Times Square
  8. Dracula Joins The Marvel Universe
  9. The Death of Dr. Druid
  10. To All A Good Night
  11. Zombie!
  12. The First Appearance of Ghost Rider
  13. The First Appearance of Werewolf By Night
  14. Captain America Punches Hitler
  15. Spider-Man No More!
  16. Alex Ross Captures Galactus
  17. Spider-Man And The Dallas Cowboys Battle The Circus of Crime
  18. Goliath Towers Over New York
  19. NFL SuperPro is Here!
  20. Kickers Inc. Comes To The World Outside Your Window
  21. Captain America For President
  22. Alex Ross Captures Spider-Man
  23. J. Jonah Jameson Is Elected Mayor of New York City
  24. Captain America Quits
  25. Spider-Man Meets The Fantastic Four
  26. Spider-Man Teams Up With Batman For The Last Time
  27. The Skrulls Are Here
  28. Iron Man Meets Thanos and Drax The Destroyer
  29. A Vampire Stalks The Night
  30. Swamp Thing Makes His First Cover Appearance

Great Moments In Television History #27: The Final Scene of Dark Shadows

After five years of enthralling audiences with the story of Barnabas Collins and his family, Dark Shadows came to an end on April 2nd, 1971.  By this point, the show itself had tried to return to its gothic roots by setting its latest storyline in 1841.  During the show’s final episodes, Jonathan Frid played not Barnabas but instead, Bramwell Collins.  Unfortunately, this didn’t help the show’s once strong ratings and ABC abruptly canceled Dark Shadows in 1971.

When the show ended, it did so in typical tongue-in-cheek fashion.  With Bramwell and his love, Catharine Harridge, preparing to leave Collinsport, news suddenly came that there had been a vampire attack!

Or was it?

Previous Moments In Television History:

  1. Planet of the Apes The TV Series
  2. Lonely Water
  3. Ghostwatch Traumatizes The UK
  4. Frasier Meets The Candidate
  5. The Autons Terrify The UK
  6. Freedom’s Last Stand
  7. Bing Crosby and David Bowie Share A Duet
  8. Apaches Traumatizes the UK
  9. Doctor Who Begins Its 100th Serial
  10. First Night 2013 With Jamie Kennedy
  11. Elvis Sings With Sinatra
  12. NBC Airs Their First Football Game
  13. The A-Team Premieres
  14. The Birth of Dr. Johnny Fever
  15. The Second NFL Pro Bowl Is Broadcast
  16. Maude Flanders Gets Hit By A T-Shirt Cannon
  17. Charles Rocket Nearly Ends SNL
  18. Frank Sinatra Wins An Oscar
  19. CHiPs Skates With The Stars
  20. Eisenhower In Color
  21. The Origin of Spider-Man
  22. Steve Martin’s Saturday Night Live Holiday Wish List
  23. Barnabas Collins Is Freed From His Coffin
  24. Siskel and Ebert Recommend Horror Films
  25. Vincent Price Meets The Muppets
  26. Siskel and Ebert Discuss Horror

TSL’s Horror Grindhouse: Sinister Squad (dir by Jeremy Inman)

A group of cultists who worship Death are threatening to destroy the world so a mysterious operative named Alice (Christina Licciardi) assembles a group of fairy tale villains and heroes to help defeat them. Unfortunately, getting The Big Bad Wolf, Goldilocks, the Mad Hatter, Bluebeard, and a host of others to work together isn’t as easy as it should be.  Complicating things is the evil Rumpelstiltskin (Johnny Rey Diaz), who is imprisoned with a mask over his face to keep him from convincing anyone to say his name.  Just as he is responsible for smashing the magic mirror that unleashed Death and his evil followers on the world, he also might be the only one who can stop the cult.  But at what price?

I watched the 2016 film, Sinister Squad, last night.  I have to admit that I had a pretty difficult time following the plot.  Produced by the Asylum, Sinister Squad is a sequel to Avengers Grimm.  Avengers Grimm was a mockbuster of The Avengers, in which all of the heroes were fairly tale characters.  Sinister Squad is a mockbuster of Suicide Squad, in which a group of fairy tale villains are recruited to save the world.  Avengers Grimm was a surprisingly fun movie but Sinister Squad gets bogged down by its own low budget, with nearly the entire film taking place in one location.  It’s kind of hard to make an epic action film when you can’t afford more than one set.

That set is a warehouse, where the members of the Sinister Squad are imprisoned.  It’s also where Alice is storing Death’s scythe.  Death wants his scythe back so he sends his followers to retrieve it and it leads to a bit of a one-sided battle.  Indeed, none of the members of the Sinister Squad seem to be that effective when it comes to defending the world and it’s hard not to feel that Alice should have made more of an effort to recruit some of Death’s followers.  Probably the most impressive of Death’s acolytes is Bluebeard (Trae Ireland), who can throw knives in slow motion and steal the souls of those he kills.  (He calls them his “wives” because he’s Bluebeard.)  Still, as impressive a bad guy as Bluebeard might be, it’s hard not to wonder why he’s there because it’s not as if Bluebeard is a fairy tale character.  It seems like a waste to have Goldilocks face off against Bluebeard as opposed to three bears.

As I said, the plot of this one is not always easy to follow.  If you haven’t seen Avengers Grimm, you’ll be totally lost.  I have seen Avengers Grimm and I still wasn’t always sure what everyone in Sinister Squad was going on about.  On the plus side, some of the costumes are nicely done.  Bluebeard was properly intimidating.  I sympathized with the Big Bad Wolf, who was apparently just misunderstood.  I respected Alice and her refusal to surrender.  For the most part, though, Sinister Squad was more underwhelming than sinister.

The Falling (1986, directed by Deran Serafian)

After a piece of the Skylab space station crashes into rural Spain, first the cows and then the wolves are infected by a cosmic virus that turns them into cannibalistic monsters.  Soon, the virus spreads to a nearby town and the villagers also start to transform into mindless flesheaters.  While NASA tries to contain the virus and keep the rest of the world from finding out, three American college students drive their RV into the village.  Damon (Dennis Christopher), Michael (Martin Hewitt), and Samantha (Lynn-Holly Johnson) soon find themselves fighting for survival as they are pursued by both the mutants and the government.  Working with a helpful scientist, they try to recover an antidote before it is too late.

Also released under the title Alien Predator, The Falling deserves a lot of  credit for knowing exactly what it is.  It’s a low budget, B-movie and it doesn’t try to convince us that it’s anything else.  As soon as I saw the red buggy that was hooked up to the book of the RV, I knew that this was going to be good.  Eventually, Michael gets in the dune buggy and gets chased around the village by the flesheaters and the movie starts to feel like an extended episode of Starsky and Hutch.  The three leads are likable, even if they are also too old to be believable college students.  Christopher makes jokes and tries to sound like James Cagney, Hewitt does a Rod Serling impersonation, and Lynn-Holly Johnson looks good while screaming.  People who watch movies like this for the gore will appreciate the exploding head scene.  All in all, The Falling is an enjoyable “bad” movie.

Dracula vs. Jimmy Carter: Who Would Win?

Earlier this week, I used the President Elect simulator to discover who would win if Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, and The Mummy ran against each other in the 2024 presidential election.  Dracula won easily.  The Monster carried D.C. and that’s it.

Then, I decided to see what would have happened in Frankenstein’s Monster had run against Richard Nixon in 1960.  Nixon won easily.  Even though the Monster received more votes against Nixon than he did against Dracula, he was still only able to carry two states in the Deep South, Georgia and Mississippi.

Today, I decided to see how Dracula would have done against Jimmy Carter in 1976.  I set up the simulation with the same economic and world conditions that Carter, Gerald Ford, and third party candidate Eugene McCarthy were debating in 1976.  The only difference is that I substituted Dracula for Gerald Ford.  No longer would Ford carry the stain of pardoning Nixon.  Now, it would be Dracula.  Again, I gave Dracula high score for his speaking ability, his personal magnetism, and his ability to stay cool under pressure.  I also made sure that Dracula’s campaign platform represented his authoritarian politics.

In the end, Dracula’s platform didn’t matter.  Watergate didn’t matter.  The economy didn’t matter.  Dracula wiped the floor with both Carter and McCarthy.  Carter challenged Dracula to one debate.  Dracula blew him out of the water.  In real life, Carter narrowly defeated Ford after Ford lost their debates.  In the simulation, Dracula dominated the election.

On election night, Carter got one piece of good news when he won the District of Columbia.

However, that would be all that Carter would win.  Dracula won the next state and never looked back.

Carter was strangely competitive in Rhode Island, only losing the state by a few thousand votes.  As for the rest of the states:

Sorry, Jimmy.  The people have spoken.