Horror on TV: FreakyLinks 1.13 “The Final Word” (dir by David Straiton)


Well, Halloween is nearly over and so is Horrorthon.  Here’s is our final episode of televised horror for 2020.  It’s also the final episode of FreakyLinks!

In this episode, Ethan Embry and the team try to prove that a murder was actually a supernatural occurrence.  Their efforts are recorded for a true crime television show.  The mockumentary approach is reminiscent of The Blair With Project, which was done by the same people who were behind FreakyLinks.  So, there you go!

It’s too bad that there was never a Baywatch Nights/FreakyLinks cross-over.

Oh well.  This episode aired on June 22nd, 2001 and it brought to an end the story of Derek Barnes.  Enjoy the show, everyone!  Happy Halloween!

Dracula Part 3, Review by Case Wright (The spoilers you deserve!)


Happy Horrorthon! Part 3!!! Drac is back…..ALRIGHT!!!! So, I decided to break this up and give Part 3 its very own post! Dracula needs to face his inner-self and see what makes him tick and fear. Dracula is in the 21st century in an underground secret lab because…why not?! It kept the story fresh and there’s nothing fresher than seeing a private industry emulate bloated government spending.

He’s not there as long as you’d think because Drac got lawyered up and he fed on Agatha’s descendent, BUT she has cancer and it is poisonous to Old Drac. This creates a good plot twist and has a great payoff at the story’s end. This episode tries to plug in the ideas from the book into this modern twist. However, it wasn’t flawless; the Renfield character never really worked for me because the actor kept playing it for comic relief and thought he was in a Benny Hill sketch. Nina played it well. She represented the Information Age: the veneer of sophistication, but really it is just narcissism with an iPhone.

Nina gets into Drac and claims to not fear age or death, but that’s easy to say when you’re young, hot, and everyone wants to get into your britches. Then, once she got turned into a vampire and was burned into a horrible crisp, she couldn’t get staked fast enough! Nina does do more than just become the world’s greatest Roomba achievement; Nina allows Drac to have a mental breakthrough.

Even though Nina was not really as intrepid about death as she claimed, her purported fearlessness attracted Drac for a reason and Agatha 2.0 was going to find out why! Drac is a Veteran. He wanted to die in battle with honor, but he wasn’t able to do so. His continued existence is his shame. Instead of dying in battle, he feared death, forcing him to live as a monster coward. Therefore, his final act of forgiving himself was to drink the poisoned blood of Agatha 2.0.

Her blood, her love, her life, gave Dracula what he needed- Death. Dracula gave Agatha what she needed: to touch the mystical and, by doing so, she touched the face of God. See, I told you it was a love story.

Dracula Part 2 (Netflix), Review by Case Wright


Happy Horrorthon! Dracula is saaaaaaailing, sailing takes me away to where I’ve always heard it could be and he’s eating every one the boaaaat. This episode was almost a bottle episode. Dracula REALLY wants to go to England. I love meat pies too; I can relate! Drac spends the episode eating …. EVERYONE!!! Dracula, Food does not equal love!

Mmmmm Talking Fudge!!!

I enjoyed the episode, but it was kinda rediculous. Dracula was eating everyone and NO ONE really suspected him until the end? Really? Nah, couldn’t be the weird Eastern European guy whose cabin smells like rotting flesh. Really, just look at the guy! No suspicions?!

Dramatization:

SEE WHAT I MEAN!!!!

There are some interesting people on board, but really I just felt like they were kind of a distraction from the much more Frost/Nixon style debate between Dracula and Agatha. Their dialogue was masterful. It pulled you in and it was SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY – Enlightenment Vs Reason! We’ll sell you the whole seat, but you’ll only need the EDGE!!!!

It turns out that Agatha is Dinner. When Agatha awakens, she and the remaining snacks manage to blow up the ship and Dracula is off the coast of England. He’s next to a hole, a hole, a hole at the bottom of the sea! When he wakes, he walks ashore and it’s MODERN DAY with helicopters! I didn’t see that coming, but why not? This was fun!

Horror on TV: FreakyLinks 1.11 “Live Fast Die You” (dir by David Barrett)


On tonight’s episode of FreakyLinks, Ethan Embry and the crew investigate real-life adrenaline vampires!  Agck!

This episode features appearances from Jeffrey Combs, Dennis Christopher, Paige Moss, and everyone’s favorite, Eric Baflour!

This episode originally aired on June 1st, 2001.

Dracula (Netflix) Review By Case Wright


Happy Horrorthon fellow travelers. It’s been a awhile. I’ve been struggling with engineering classes and it’s been hard to set time aside for this essential part of my life. How does this relate to Dracula? Dracula at its core is an unrequited love story. It drips with sanguine hopes and failed dreams (pun intended). Really, we’ve all that relationship that we really wanted, but it was always doomed, doomed, doomed.

I got to enjoy this mini-series the best way possible: a live tweet with the TSL staff. Back to Dracula, this series was originally broadcast on the BBC. It took Dracula from the past to the present. I have read most of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It’s kinda boring, which is why the first episode was uneven in terms of excitement because it held close to the book, which was b o r i n g. Part I established Dracula at home. As in the book, he wanted to see the World, meet new and interesting people in England, and eat them.

To whet his appetite and get waaaaay younger, he decided to feast on a lawyer- Jonathan Harker. This Dracula gets all the memories and knowledge from the people he feeds on, which begs the question: Why travel anywhere? Just hang out at a train station and snack on people. Come on, Drac! I did like how the first episode set up the Courtly Love Interest – Agatha Van Helsing; she’s a Nun with ice water in her veins.

Sister Agatha (Van Helsing) gets a visitor at her convent – Jonathan Harker. He looks dead…well undead. He even has a fly crawl across his eyeball without him noticing. Flies buzzing and crawling about eyeballs is a big theme in this mini-series; you just have to get used to it.

Jonathan describes meeting the Count under the presumption of a land holding trans… sorry I dozed off there. The book was a lot like that too. It would have exciting moments and then BAM… Back to the real estate transactions! As Jonathan stays at the Count’s castle, the Count gets younger and he gets older. His lifeforce is drained away. In fact, all of his memories get drained away as well to the Count after one feeding ah ah ah and then two feedings ah ah ah.. Jonathan appears to succumb to the Count and feel nothing, but his resignation is all an act. DUN DUN DUN!

Jonathan is searching for a way out of the castle and it works….kinda. I mean he ends up at a convent and we learn that he’s undead and under the power of Dracula. This is gleaned from Sister Agatha who relentlessly interrogates …well everyone. I wish she were my best friend. She attracts a lot of monsters, but nobody’s perfect.

Unfortunately, Dracula can sense Jonathan and he has pursued him to the convent. This is where Dracula meets the true love of his life Sister Agatha. She’s fearless, smart, and scientific; the opposite of everyone else whom Dracula encounters. Agatha is a force of reason like Dracula is a force of nature. He represents feudalism and magic, she enlightenment and technocratic future. She is what he aspires to be, but cannot. She hopes that in solving the mystery of Dracula she will understand the mystical and develop her elusive affinity with God.

Of course, by getting close to understand Dracula, Agatha inadvertently allows Dracula to enter the convent and eat everyone, including……her and he does it by wearing a dead man’s face. That was awesome! Gotta see it again!

Two and three will post tomorrow!!!!

Great Moments In Television History: Freedom’s Last Stand


I have recently started rewatching Hill Street Blues on Hulu and there are two things I can say for sure about the characters who appeared on this seminal cop show.

Anyone who thinks that anything in the world can be defined as simply being all-good or all-bad is due for a rude awakening.

Anyone who spends any time with Detective Mick Belker is destined to die on a sidewalk.

Unfortunately, Captain Freedom made both of those mistakes.

Played by Dennis Dugan, Captain Freedom appeared on four episodes during the second season of Hill Street Blues.  He was a goofy and friendly man who dressed in a red lycra suit with green shorts and Chuck Taylor running shoes.  He believed that he had super powers and would jump in front of muggers and shout, “Stop this criminal act, or I shall be forced to use violence!”

As always happened whenever an eccentric appeared on the show, he spent three episodes annoying Bruce Weitz’s Detective Belker, a streetwise detective who always looked filthy and who often growled at criminals.  Belker told Captain Freedom to stop following him and to stop trying to help.  Captain Freedom said that it was his duty to protect Belker and keep the city safe.

During Freedom’s Last Stand, the 11th episode of the second season of Hill Street Blues (aired on January 28th, 1982), Captain Freedom’s dedication to keeping the city safe got him killed.  In the middle of a dramatic shoot out between robbers and some of the Hill’s best cops, Captain Freedom jumped on top of a car and shouted, “Stop this criminal act!”  The shocked robber responded by shooting Captain Freedom in the chest.

The show pulled out all the stops for the death of Captain Freedom.  Not only did he get shot in slow motion, but he even got a monologue before finally dying of his wounds.  He gave Belker his gloves, explaining that all of his powers were stored in the gloves.  Belker sobbed as the Captain went on to become the first of many Belker acquaintances to die on a sidewalk.

After his death, Captain Freedom was never mentioned again and Dennis Dugan went to become a comedy director but the character made an undeniable impact.  He only appeared in four episodes but Captain Freedom is better remembered than some of the show’s regulars.  Few people can tell you who Ken Olin played for three seasons (Det. Harry Garibaldi) but anyone who has binged through the early seasons of Hill Street Blues remembers Captain Freedom.  He was someone to whom everyone can relate.  Who doesn’t want to be a super hero?  Who doesn’t want to stop evil doers and make the streets safe again?  His death was the show’s loss of innocence.  If even the likable and funny Captain Freedom can die, than anyone can die.

This Halloween, pour one out for Captain Freedom, the man who tried to make his costume a reality.  Evildoers beware!

Don’t try this at home.

Previous Great 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

Horror on TV: Freakylinks 1.7 “Still I Rise” (dir by Joe Napolitano)


For tonight’s episode of Freakylinks, we have a little something called Still I Rise.  It has a zombie theme to it.  Towards the end of the episode, Ethan Embry goes a little crazy.  (Far crazier then he went on Rex Manning Day….)

(C’mon, you know I was going to have to work in a reference to Rex Manning Day eventually.)

This episode originally aired on January 12th, 2001.  And you can watch it below!

Horror On TV: FreakyLinks 1.5 “Desert Squid! Myth or Legend?” (dir by Scott Lautanen)


On tonight’s episode of FreakyLinks, Derek and the team head down to New Mexico to investigate reports of a tentacle-bearing desert creature!  If not for the tentacles, I would say it was probably a chupacabra. Seriously, if you ever see a chupacabra coming at you, run!

(A friend of mine in college was nicknamed Chupacabra, mostly because he was kind of …. odd.)

This episode originally aired on November 3rd, 2000!

Enjoy!

Great Moments In Television History: The Autons Terrify The UK


In 1971, for the entire month of January, children across the UK were terrified of the Autons.

That was because Doctor Who began its eighth season with a four-part story called The Terror of the Autons.  Previously seen in Spearhead From Space, the Autons were plastic aliens who could disguise themselves as anything.  That mannequin in the store?  It might be an Auton.  That strange looking man handing out flowers?  Might be an Auton.  Your favorite plastic doll?  It might be an Auton waiting to kill you in your sleep.

In this case, the Autons had returned to Earth because of the machinations of the Doctor’s greatest foe, The Master.  This serial featured the first appearance of The Master, with the Roger Delgado playing the role and becoming the series’s most popular villain since the Daleks.  (This serial also featured the first appearance of Katy Manning as Jo Grant, who went on to become popular for entirely different reasons.) But as evil as The Master was, it was the Autons who reportedly kept viewers awake at night.  Even after The Doctor (played, at that time, by Jon Pertwee) defeated them for a second time, you could never be sure whether that mannequin was harmless or if it was an Auton stalking you whenever your back was turned.

For modern viewers, it can seem strange to hear that people were ever scared by Doctor Who.  But the Autons are an exception.  The Autons are actually creepy.

The Master doesn’t seem to be too scared of them, though.

The Terror of the Autons would go on to be the first episode of Doctor Who to be cited in the House of Lords, when it was listed as a recent programme that might have a dangerous effect on the minds of the people watching.  But who knows?  Was that Lord Beaverbrook or was it…?

Previous Great 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