Monday Live Tweet Alert: Join Us For The Amazing Spider-Man and O Brother, Where Art Thou!


As some of our regular readers undoubtedly know, I am involved in hosting a few weekly live tweets on twitter.  I host #FridayNightFlix every Friday, I co-host #ScarySocial on Saturday, and I am one of the five hosts of #MondayActionMovie!  Every week, we get together.  We watch a movie.  We tweet our way through it.

Tonight, for #MondayActionMovie, the film will be 1977’s The Amazing Spider-Man!  Selected and hosted by me, this super hero film features Nicholas Hammond as Spider-Man, swinging through the 70s and battling thought controlling criminals!  The movie starts at 8 pm et!  Here’s the playlist!

Following #MondayActionMovie, Brad and Sierra will be hosting the #MondayMuggers live tweet.  We will be watching Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker in 2000’s O Brother, Where Art Thou?!  This film is available on Prime!

It should make for a night of fun viewing and I invite all of you to join in.  If you want to join the live tweets, just hop onto twitter, start the Spider-Man playlist  at 8 pm et, and use the #MondayActionMovie hashtag!  Then, at 10 pm et, start O Brother Where Art Thou, and use the #MondayMuggers hashtag!  The live tweet community is a friendly group and welcoming of newcomers so don’t be shy.    

Hope to see you there!

Monday Live Tweet Alert: Join Us For In Hot Pursuit and Rush Hour 2!


As some of our regular readers undoubtedly know, I am involved in hosting a few weekly live tweets on twitter.  I host #FridayNightFlix every Friday, I co-host #ScarySocial on Saturday, and I am one of the five hosts of #MondayActionMovie!  Every week, we get together.  We watch a movie.  We tweet our way through it.

Tonight, for #MondayActionMovie, the film will be 1977’s In Hot Pursuit!  Selected and hosted by me, this Southern drive-in epic features drug smugglers, an airplane, a helicopter, and an RV!  It also features a cast made up of a combination of real-life cops and hippied!  The movie starts at 8 pm et!  Here’s the playlist!

 

Following #MondayActionMovie, Brad and Sierra will be hosting the #MondayMuggers live tweet.  We will be watching Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker in 2001’s Rush Hour 2!  This film is available on Netflix and HBOMax!

 

It should make for a night of fun viewing and I invite all of you to join in.  If you want to join the live tweets, just hop onto twitter, start the In Hot Pursuit playlist  at 8 pm et, and use the #MondayActionMovie hashtag!  Then, at 10 pm et, start Rush Hour 2, and use the #MondayMuggers hashtag!  The live tweet community is a friendly group and welcoming of newcomers so don’t be shy.    

Hope to see you there!

Another Halloween Has Come and Gone


Another Halloween has come and gone and with it, another Horrorthon.  We hope you have had a wonderful October and that your 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.

AMV of the Day: This Is Halloween (RWBY)


With Horrorthon coming to a close for the year, it’s time for one last AMV of the Day.

Anime: RWBY

Song: This is Halloween (performed by Marilyn Manson)

Creator: Primordial Paper (please subscribe to this creator’s channel)

Past AMVs of the Day

Horror Film Review: Night of the Comet (dir by Thom Eberhardt)


The 1984 film, Night of the Comet, begins with the end.

The end of the world, that is!

When the Earth passes through the tail of a comet, the end result is that the majority of the world’s population is reduced to red dust.  Those who are exposed to the comet but not turned immediately into dust face an even worse fate.  They are transformed into mindless zombies.  Fortunately, 18 year-old Reggie (Catherine Mary Stewart) and her 16 year-old sister, Sam (Kelli Maroney), both managed to avoid getting exposed.  Sam was in a steel shed, hiding from their abusive stepmother.  Reggie was in a theater projection room with her boyfriend.  When Reggie and Sam wake up in the morning to discover that they are two of the few people left alive on the planet, they do what anyone would do.

They go to the mall!

Which is probably the same thing that me and my sisters would have done if we had found ourselves in a similar situation.  That’s one reason why Night of the Comet holds up so well.  It’s one of the few films to be honest about how most people would probably react to the end of the world.  Instead of giving a big dramatic monologue or having a breakdown or getting into a fight about who is to blame and what it all means, Reggie and Sam try to have a little fun.  Of course, they also grab some guns while they’re at the mall.  They’re not stupid.  They know the situation is grim and they need to be prepared.  But still, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t try on all the clothes that they previously would not have been able to afford.  And why shouldn’t they treat the mall as their own personal playground?  They’re young and they’ve survived the end of the world.  They deserve to enjoy themselves.

Of course, just because Reggie and Sam survived, that doesn’t mean the world is a safe place.  Along with the zombies, there’s also a crazed group of former stockboys who now view the mall as being their own personal kingdom.  And then there’s the scientists, who claim that they’re benevolent but who are actually looking for healthy specimens on which they  can experiment.

Night of the Comet is a terrifically fun horror movie, a real treat for anyone who has ever imagined what they would do if they were among the last people on Earth.  Catherine Mary Stewart, Kelli Maroney, and Robert Beltran (who plays another survivor) brings a lot of energy to their likable roles while Mary Woronov and Geoffrey Lewis are properly menacing as the two main scientists.  The zombies, with their crazed eyes and their decaying faces, are genuinely frightening.  Director Thom Eberhardt wisely doesn’t overuse the zombies.  Indeed, the whole point of the film is that the world is now nearly empty of people, whether they’re zombies or not.  But because the zombies aren’t present all of the time, it makes it easy to forget about them and it also makes all the more frightening when they suddenly show up.

Night of the Comet is an enjoyable mix of horror and comedy, one that holds up well nearly 40 years after it was first released.

Bonus Horror On TV: Highway to Heaven 2.5 “The Devil and Jonathan Smith” (dir by Michael Landon)


On this, the final day of our annual Horrorthon, we offer you a final, bonus Horror on TV entry.

In this episode of Highway to Heaven, angel Jonathan Smith (Michael Landon) tries to defeat the devil for the soul of his friend Mark (Victor French).  This episode, a true Halloween episode, originally aired on October 30th, 1985, and it features guest turns from Anthony Zerbe and the great Michael Berryman.

Happy Halloween!

The Shattered Lens Live Tweets Halloween


Happy Halloween!

Horror On TV: The Real Ghostbusters 1.8 “When Halloween Was Forever”


Halloween forever?

That sounds like a great idea to me!

It also sounds like a great idea to the Spirit of Halloween.  After escaping from a prison that’s been holding it for centuries, the Spirit attempts to stop time and it’s up to the “real” Ghostbusters to stop him!

Until I started to search YouTube for Halloween specials, I had no idea that the original Ghostbusters film was also turned into a cartoon, though I guess it makes sense.  Just judging from this episode, it seems like the cartoon did a pretty good job of capturing the feel of the movie.  I’m not really sure what to make of Egon’s hair but whatever.  This is a fun little episode and I hope you all enjoy it.

Happy Halloween!

Horror on the Lens: Killers From Space (dir by W. Lee Wilder)


This is the one with the googly-eyed aliens.

Killers From Space was released in 1954 and, in many ways, it’s typical of the sci-fi B-movies that were released at the time. A nuclear scientist (Peter Graves) crashes the airplane that he’s flying. Everyone thinks that he’s dead but, a day later, he shows up at the army base. He says he can’t remember anything about the crash but once he’s put under hypnosis, he remembers being abducted by a bunch of aliens. No one believes his story but Graves knows what happened and he’s determined to thwart the aliens before they can sap away all of Earth’s energy. And by Earth, I mean America because this film is from 1954 and every character in the movie understands that there’s only one nation that matters!

With a running time of only 70 minutes, it’s a standard alien invasion flick. It’s perhaps a bit distinguished by the presence of Peter Graves, who handles his role with dignity.  Graves was one of those actors who could deliver even the most ludicrous dialogue with a certain amount of gravitas and the film certainly gives him plenty of chances to do just that.  Graves has the perfect deep, resonant establishment voice.  Just the sound of it makes the viewer think of America.  As such, there’s something undeniably fun about him deploying that voice for a film about an invasion of googly-eyed aliens.  And the film is also somewhat notorious for being one of the many B-movie to be directed by Lee Wilder, the brother of Billy Wilder.  Billy Wilder not only perfected the modern comedy but he also made some of the most important film noirs ever made.  He was a master of every genre and someone who inspired countless filmmakers.  He directed witty masterpieces like Double Indemnity and Sunset Boulevard and The Apartment.  Billy Wilder made the first major film about alcoholism, The Lost Weekend. Billy Wilder won Oscars and competed at Cannes. Lee Wilder made movies like Killers From Space.  The Cannes elitists never invited Lee Wilder to their festival and, watching his films, one gets the feeling that it was the festival’s lost.  Ironically, both directors made films that continue to intrigue viewers, though for very different reasons.  Billy Wilder gave us an amoral Hollywood screenwriter narrating a film from beyond the grave.  Lee Wilder gave us googly-eyed aliens.  And true film lovers love both of them for their entertaining contributions to world cinema.

With all that in mind, the main thing that people remember about Killers From Outer Space are the aliens and …. well, who can blame them? Seriously, look at them!

I mean, obviously they’re just big googly eyes and half the time, they don’t even fit correctly. You can probably buy eyes like that for yourself if you really wanted to. But still, the image of those big eyed aliens is undeniably creepy! You may quickly forget most of what happens in Killers From Space. It’s not that memorable of a film, to be honest. But you will never forget those eyes!

The TSL’s Horror Grindhouse: Survival of the Dead (dir by George Romero)


Sitting off the coast of Delaware, Plum Island seems like the perfect place to live. The people are friendly. The town is small and quaint but definitely inviting. There are plenty of horses, for those who like to ride. The island’s one mailman is a welcome sight, dropping off mail everyday and giving everyone a friendly wave.

The only problem with Plum Island is that, as pretty as it may be, it is also the home to two feuding Irish families. Patrick O’Flynn (Kenneth Welsh) and Seamus Muldoon (Richard Fitzpatrick) have been enemies for as long as anyone can remember. Their feud has gone on for so long that its doubtful anyone even know what started it all. The two families have an uneasy peace up until the breakout of the zombie apocalypse. The O’Flynns want to kill every zombie that shows up on the island. The Muldoons, on the other hand, want to keep the zombies as pets and workers until a cure for their condition can be found. Eventually, Patrick O’Flynn turns out to be so reckless in his mission to destroy the undead that he’s exiled from the island. Even his own daughter, Janet (Kathleen Munroe), supports sending Patrick off to the mainland.

However, no sooner has Patrick been exiled then he hooks up with a bunch of AWOL National Guardsmen, who are weary of spending the rest of their days chasing the undead. Patrick leads them back to Plum Island, hoping to use them to destroy the the Muldoons forever.

Released in 2010, Survival of the Dead is both the final entry in George Romero’s Dead films (which started way back in 1968 with the classic Night of the Living Dead) and it was also Romero’s last completed film as a director. (Romero died in 2017, while in pre-production on a film called Road of the Dead.) Unfortunately, Survival of the Dead was not warmly greeted by critics or audiences, many of whom felt that Romero was simply rehashing concepts that he had already fully explored in the previous Dead films.

To a certain extent, those critics have a point. There are a lot of flaws with Romero’s final film, from the obviously low budget to the inconsistent performances. (Welsh, Fitzpatrick, and Munroe are all well-cast and give good performances but the National Guardsmen are all forgettable at best.) At the same time, there’s enough weird moments in Survival of the Dead to make it watchable. Plum Island is a memorably surreal location. The undead of Plum Island continue to exhibit the same behavior in death that they did in life. The mailman still tries to deliver mail. Another zombie continues to ride her horse across the island. It’s only when they sense the living amongst them that they turn deadly. As with all of Romero’s Dead films, the living dead may be dangerous and relentless but the truly scary characters in the film are the living humans who, even in the middle of the end of the world, cannot set aside their differences long enough to work together. The film’s final shot, which suggests that it takes more than death to end a blood feud, is so striking that it makes up for a lot of the weaker moments that came before it.

In the end, the most interesting thing about Survival of the Dead is that it’s more of a western than a traditional horror movie, featuring two warring families fighting on horseback and battling to control the land. Romero often said that he felt trapped by his reputation as a horror filmmaker and that he was actually interested in all genres of film. With Survival of the Dead, Romero finally got to make a Western. The end result is uneven but still has enough interesting moments to make it worth watching.