Lisa’s Week In Review: 10/28/19 — 11/3/19


Reset your clocks

Between the end of this year’s Horrorthon and the changing of the clocks on Saturday night, I’m exhausted.  So, I apologize for not even attempting to be witty before presenting this week’s list of things.

Films I Watched:

  1. Angel On My Shoulder (1946)
  2. Black Sabbath (1963)
  3. The Brady Bunch Movie (1995)
  4. The Craft (1996)
  5. Dead Night (2018)
  6. Get Over It (2001)
  7. Goke, Body Snatcher From Hell (1968)
  8. Halloween (1978)
  9. The Hitcher II: I’ll Be Waiting (2003)
  10. I Walked With A Zombie (1943)
  11. The King (2019)
  12. The Living Skeleton (1968)
  13. My Teacher, My Obsession (2018)
  14. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
  15. Quigley Down Under (1990)
  16. Vampire Over London (1952)
  17. Vampire’s Kiss (1989)
  18. Your Family or Your Life (2019)

Television Shows I Watched:

  1. 9-1-1
  2. Dancing With The Stars
  3. Fear Thy Neighbor
  4. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
  5. Mrs. Fletcher
  6. Saved By The Bell
  7. Silicon Valley
  8. South Park
  9. Survivor 39
  10. The Voice

Books That I Read:

  1. Horror Hotel (1983) by Hilary Milton
  2. Nightmare Store (1982) by Hilary Milton

Music To Which I Listened:

  1. All Saints
  2. Big Data
  3. The Burning Hell
  4. Coldplay
  5. Crud
  6. Daemonia
  7. Goblin
  8. Haim
  9. Jakalope
  10. John Carpenter
  11. Lana del Rey
  12. Luna
  13. M4Sonic
  14. Rob Cantor
  15. Saint Motel
  16. Shakira
  17. Taking Back Sunday
  18. Thom Yorke
  19. Zeds dead

Links From Last Week:

  1. My Saturday of Books
  2. The Women Who Helped Build Hollywood
  3. A Little Tribute To Gary Loggins From The Cracked Rear Viewer Film Site

News From Last Week:

  1. Jordan Peele feels uncomfortable with fans dressing up as the Tethered from ‘Us’
  2. Black turtleneck shortage linked to Elizabeth Holmes Halloween costumes

Links From The Site:

  1. Leonard reviewed Doctor Sleep!
  2. Doc has a special Halloween message for all of our readers!
  3. Case reviewed The Last Halloween, The Bloody Ballad of Squirt Roberts, Night of the Slasher, the Halloween reboot, and an episode of Titans!
  4. Erin shared vintage Halloween postcards and The Covers of Adventures Into The Unknown!  She also wrote about the World Series and shared Image of Evil, To The Dark Tower, Strangers In The Night, The Rest Is Silence, The Big Binge, Frisco Dame, and She Killed In Cuffs.  She counted down the days til Halloween: 3, 2, 1, 0.  She wished everyone a happy Halloween and celebrated the end of the day!
  5. Jeff reviewed the debut of Man-Wolf, Night Trap, Bloody Wednesday, Lonely Water, Heavy Rain, Tale of the Vampire, Beyond: Two Souls, Absolution, the time Spider-Man met the Monster Maker, Ghost Watch, Detroit: Become Human, and The Good Son!
  6. Ryan reviewed The Ghost In The Darkness, One Winter Night, Malarkey, Rooftop Stew, and This Never Happened, along with sharing his weekly reading round-up!
  7. Because it was Halloween and all, I posted too much stuff to list here.  Feel free to search the sight and take a look though!

More From Us:

  1. At Days Without Incident, Leonard shared I Ain’t Superstitious!
  2. For Horror Critic, I reviewed The Craft and I Walked With A Zombie!
  3. For SyFyDesigns, I wrote Halloween Approaches!
  4. At my music site, I shared songs from Goblin, Luna, John Carpenter, Daemonia, Taking Back Sunday, Lana del Rey, and Coldplay!
  5. For the Reality TV Chat Blog, I reviewed the latest episode of Survivor!
  6. At Pop Politics, Jeff shared The UK Is Having A General Election, Beto’s Out, and Do Something With Your Clocks Tonight!
  7. On her photography site, Erin shared Dark Places, Signs of Life, Crowd, Winter Is Coming, Wall Snow, Morning At The Creek, and Isolated.
  8. Ryan has a Patreon! Please consider subscribing!

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

AMV Of The Day: Shatter Me (Vampire Knight)


As we enter November, here’s one last horror-related AMV before starting the first weekend of a new month.

Anime: Vampire Knight

Song: Shatter Me by Lindsey Stirling

Creator: Vincent AMV’s

Past AMVs of the Day

Another Halloween Has Come and Gone…


Another Halloween has come and gone and with it, another Horrorthon.  Thank you to everyone who read and commented this month!  We hope you have had a wonderful October and that you’re November brings you much to be thankful for!

And remember, just because you didn’t see the Great Pumpkin this year, doesn’t mean that he won’t be there for you next October.  I think Linus can explain it best:

To all of our readers and from all of your friends at the Shattered Lens, thank you.

Horror on TV: The Twilight Zone 3.24 “To Serve Man” (dir by Richard L. Bare)


“It’s a cookbook!”

During the month of October, we like to share classic episodes of horror-themed television.  That was easier to do when we first started doing our annual October horrorthon here at the Shattered Lens because every single episode of the original, black-and-white Twilight Zone was available on YouTube.  Sadly, that’s no longer the case.  In fact, there is exactly one episode of the original Twilight Zone on YouTube.

Fortunately, that episode is a classic.  In 1962’s To Serve Man, an alien (Richard Kiel) comes to Earth and invites people to return to his home planet with him.  He leaves behind a book.  When everyone learns that the title of the book is To Serve Man, they excitedly decide that the book must be an instruction manual on how to help mankind.  The truth, as we learn in the episode’s classic finale, is something a little bit different.

Here’s the episode!  Watch it before YouTube yanks it down.

(This episode originally aired on October 2nd, 1962.  It was directed by Richard L. Bare from a script by Rod Serling.  It was based on a short story by Damon Knight.)

Enjoy!

Here’s The Trailer For The Witcher!


To be honest, I had my doubt about this project but the trailer actually looks kind of good.

The Witcher, which is based the series of books by Andrzej Sapkowski, tells the story of Geralt of Rivia, who hunts monsters at a time and in a land where it can often be difficult to tell the difference between who is truly a monster and who is not.  Heny Cavill will be playing Geralt in the series and Adrzej Sapkowsi swill serve as a creative consultant.

So, let’s hope for the best when The Witcher drops on Netflix on December 20th!

Here’s the trailer.

Jamie Lee Curtis Tweets A First Look At Halloween Kills!


Well, everyone, Halloween will soon be over for this year but we’ve got 2020 to look forward to!  That’s one good thing about Halloween.  It may have to end but it always returns, resurrected like an angry ghost or vampire.

Or like Michael Myers!

Yes, that’s right.  Michael is returning next year, in a sequel to David Gordon Green’s Halloween.  David Gordon Green’s Halloween, of course, should not be mistaken for Rob Zombie’s Halloween or any other Halloween that came out after the original.  I swear to God, it’s so hard to keep all of these continuities straight.

Anyway, Halloween Kills is coming out next year and everyone’s really excited, even though Halloween Kills is a TERRIBLE title.  Today, in honor of the holiday, Jamie Lee Curtis tweeted out some first-look footage of the film.  And, because we love all of you and like to share, here it is!

To be honest, there’s not much there so it’s hard to say for sure what to make of this footage.  I will say that this is still far superior to the teaser they released for the next Bond film.

Mac Attack: The Good Son (1993, directed by Joseph Ruben)


“Hey, Mark, don’t fuck with me,” 12 year-old Henry (Macaulay Culkin) says to his cousin Mark (Elijah Wood) in The Good Son‘s signature scene.  But fuck with him Mark does because Mark knows that evil exists and that Henry’s evil.  Henry killed his brother and he tries to kill his sister, Connie (Quinn Culkin), by throwing her onto thin ice.  When Mark, whose mother has recently died, decides that Henry’s mother, Susan (Wendy Crewson), is going to be his new mom, Henry gets jealous and tells Mark that he would rather kill Susan than allow her to have another son.  Eventually, Mark and Henry both end up dangling from a cliff with Susan holding onto them.  Susan has to decide who to save, her evil son or the distant relation that she barely knows.  She makes her choice and the camera lingers on the corpse of the less fortunate child on the rocks below.  For most mothers, it probably wouldn’t even be a difficult decision.  Of course you would save your own child!  But Susan has to think about it.  Maybe she can see the future and knows that Elijah Wood has the Lord of the Rings to look forward to while Macaulay is destined for something much different.

The Good Son caused a lot of controversy when it came out in 1993, not because it was about a murderous child but because that murderous child was played by the then-biggest star in America.  How would people who loved watching Macaulay seriously injure two burglars react to watching Macaulay kill people?  The movie actually did well at the box office but it also revealed that the Macaulay Culkin was a limited actor.  Elijah Wood was a good actor but Mark still comes across like a little creep.  Trying to steal his cousin’s mother?  What did he think was going to happen?

Finally, The Good Son was written by Ian McEwan, of all people.  In McEwan’s defense, he only wrote the first draft and that was long before Macaulay Culkin was miscast as Henry.  Apparnetly, Macaulay’s father and manager, Kit Culkin, demanded that his son be cast as a psycho murderer before he would allow Maccaulay to appear in Home Alone 2.  I guess Kit thought making his son look evil would be a good career movie.  If only someone had been willing to say, “Hey, Kit Culkin, don’t fuck with the movie.”

Game Review: Detroit: Become Human (2018, Quantic Dream)


Detroit: Become Human takes place in a Detroit of the near future.

Androids, built, programmed, and sold by CyberLife, have become so common place that almost everyone seems to own one.  The androids do everything from domestic work to hard labor to even dangerous security work.  Because they are viewed as just being machines, they have no rights in American society and they are often blamed for stealing jobs from hardworking humans.  Androids have become a luxury that few humans can do without.  Some try to treat their android laborers with respect while other humans are abusively cruel, secure in the knowledge that a damaged android can easily be replaced with a newer model.

Detroit: Become Human is game about three androids, all of whom the player will control at different points in the game.  Two of the androids, Markus and Kara, turn deviant and develop their own free will.  Markus ends up discovering the android community of Jericho and, depending on decisions made by the player, can end up leading either a peaceful or violent revolution against the human race.  Kara is an abused housekeeper android who, after escaping her owner, runs away with a young girl named Alice and attempts to reach Canada, where there are no laws limiting the rights of androids.  On her journey, Kara discovers a mad scientist who tortures androids, a deserted amusement park that is populated exclusively by androids waiting for their humans to return, and eventually the future’s version of the Underground Railroad.

Lastly, Connor is an android who has been designed by CyberLife to track down and destroy deviants.  Connor is assigned to work with police Lt. Hank Anderson to discover why so many androids have been turning on their owners.  Much like Heavy Rain‘s Norman Jayden, Connor is an outsider who has been assigned to aide the establishment.  Just as Norman sought refuge in a VR world, Connor finds himself summoned to an ever-changing zen garden where he is asked questions by his superior and it is up to the player to decide if Connor should tell the truth or lie.  Like Norman, Connor eventually has to decide which side he is on.  How Connor’s story progresses depends on the decisions made by the player.  Choose one path and Connor and Hank can become unlikely allies and Connor might even end up going deviant himself.  Choose another path and Connor might remain a loyal servant of CyberLife to the very end.  It may sound like an easy choice to make but nothing concerning Connor is ever that simple.

Of all the games that I’ve recently played, Detroit: Become Human is tied with Spider-Man for my favorite.  Like Quantic Dream’s previous games, Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls, Detroit: Become Human tells a sprawling story where nearly every single decision that you make effects what happens in the game.  Like those previous two games, there are no do-overs.  If Markus or Kara dies during one of their chapters, the game continues without them.  (Connor, on the other hand, is just rebuilt by CyberLife and sent back into the field.)  Because the game follows three distinct (but connected) storylines, it is estimated to have over 40 possible endings, which makes it a game that very much rewards being replayed and experimented with.

Detroit: Become Human takes the storytelling and the gameplay concepts introduced in Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls and it improves on both of them.  Unlike the uncertain voice acting of Heavy Rain, Detroit: Become Human features characters played by actors like Clancy Brown, Lance Henriksen, Minka Kelly, and Jesse Williams, all of whom do an excellent job of bringing their characters to life.  The game’s recreation of Detroit and the surrounding area is visually rich and detailed and, unlike Beyond: Two Souls, Detroit: Become Human does not get bogged down in quick time events.  Detroit: Big Human is a game that rewards observant and intelligent players who want to do more than just push buttons while they’re playing a game.

Of course, this is a Quantic Dream game so don’t expect any of Detroit: Become Human‘s political subtext to be subtle.  When t comes to dealing with issues, this game is even more heavy-handed than Beyond: Two Souls.  There’s barely a good human to be found in this game’s version of Detroit.  The best of them is Clancy Brown’s Hank who manages to hate everyone, human and android, equally.  (Of course, who Hank or anyone else in the film ultimately turns out to be, depends on the choices that you make during the game.)  The most interesting of the human characters, though, is Carl Manfred, the artist played Lance Henriksen.  Carl tries to teach Markus how to be human and it’s a confrontation between Carl and his real son (who is jealous of Carl’s relationship with Markus) that leads to Markus setting off on his own.  If Carl dies during the confrontation, he remains an inspiration to Markus and his revolution.  If Carl survives, his later reaction to Markus will depend on what the player has chosen to have Markus do over the course of the game.  Is Carl as benevolent as he seems or was his earlier kindness to Markus just his way of assuaging his own guilt over essentially being a slave owner?  The answer depends on how you play the game.

In the end, it’s the sheer number of possible endings that truly sets this game apart.  This is especially true of Kara.  I haven’t discovered all of the endings yet but, from those that I have reached, Kara’s story always seems to get either the best or the darkest possible conclusion.  Markus, meanwhile, can either be an android of peace or an android of war.  After everything that he is forced to endure over the course of the game, it’s difficult not to go for war every time.  As for Connor, it’s all up to you.  Ultimately, everything is up to you.

I look forward to replaying Detroit: Become Human and seeing what other endings this game has to offer.  And I look forward to seeing what will come next from Quantic Dream.

Book Review: Hollywood Rat Race by Ed Wood, Jr.


Are you a teenager in the late 50s or the early 60s?

Are you planning on running off to Hollywood to become a star?

Do you need someone to tell you what to expect once you find yourself on the Boulevard of Broken Dreams?

Hollywood’s most successful director — the one and only Ed Wood, Jr. — is here to help!

Okay, maybe I’m going a little bit overboard with the hyperbole here.  Though Ed Wood is today best known for being played by Johnny Depp in a Tim Burton film, he was not just a movie character!  Nor was just a filmmaker!  Ed Wood was also an author.  When Wood didn’t have the money to make a movie, he would write a book.  In fact, it’s speculated that Wood actually made more money writing books than he did making movies.

Unfortunately, the majority of these books have been lost to time.  The ones that survive are generally either sex manuals or pulpy novels about hitmen who love to wear angora.  However, Hollywood Rat Race was Wood’s attempt to write, in the first person, about the industry and the city that he both loved and hated.  Hollywood Rat Race is Wood’s warts-and-all look at the film industry.  It’s his guide for how to make it in Hollywood.

What is Wood’s advice?

Be physically attractive.  Do whatever the director tells you to do.  Don’t be shocked when an executive chases you around a desk.  Sleep your way to the top if you have to but just be aware that no one will respect you once you get old.  Wood presents Hollywood as being a cold and unfeeling place but, at the same time, he also describe working in movies and television as the greatest career that anyone could hope for.  Wood will often start a chapter on a cautionary note but his enthusiasm for Hollywood always wins out in the end.  Reading the book, you realize that Wood loved the business too much to reject it, even if it did often reject him.

Hollywood Rat Race is not, despite what is claimed on the book’s back cover, a memoir.  Not really.  Yes, Wood does mention that he was friends with Bela Lugosi.  And he does talk about how Tom Tyler came out of retirement to appear in Plan 9 From Outer Space.  He mentions thar another member of his stock company didn’t complain about being attacked by an octopus in Bride of the Monster.  But those looking for juicy behind-the-scenes stories will be disappointed.  Instead, the book gives the impression that every experience Wood ever had with an actor or a film was a positive one.  Rather touchingly, it’s kind of easy to see Hollywood Rat Race as representing the Hollywood that Ed Wood dreamed of, as opposed to the Hollywood where Wood eventually went broke and drank himself to death.

Hollywood Rat Race was not published in Wood’s lifetime.  He wrote it shortly after the release of Plan 9 but the book was not published until after Tim Burton’s film reignited interest in Wood in 1994.  It’s a good book for all of he Wood completists out there.

And, before anyone asks, yes — he does recommend wearing an angora sweater to your next audition.