Titans, S2 Ep 2&3, “Rose” “Ghosts” Review by Case Wright


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Halloween is over and now it’s time for all good persons to rally together and watch Titans! This season is following a tried and true method of bringing the gang back together, but they are emotionally apart and will hopefully return together.  This season’s Big Bad is Deathstroke (Esai Morales) and it’s AWESOME!

“Rose” is about well Rose who is in peril.  She’s missing an eye and is getting chased by the police.  Dick intervenes and takes her in for some reason, but it turns out Rose is Deathstroke’s daughter…Dun Dun Dun!!!! She also has a lot of snark, which the show needs more of.  It also has Jason Todd as a budding superhero looking for acceptance by Dick Grayson as he tries to fit into the Titans.  I’m glad that Curran Walters is a series regular, BUT I feel like his talent and his character is being wasted; he should be on his own show and have him evolve into the anti-hero- Red Hood.

Where’s the rest of our heroes? Hank and Dawn are out in Wyoming trying to go straight by running a horse riding camp for addicts.  Apparently, their need to fight crime was feeding Hank’s addiction.  But, is Dawn hanging up the cape and spandex???? NOPE! She’s out beating meth cookers within an inch of their lives! Yes, she’s returned to badassery.  Their utopia crashes down when their car explodes.  Why did the car go boom?  Deathstroke sprung Doctor Light from prison. He can manipulate energy and blow things up.

This episode dovetails perfectly into Ghosts- Episode 3.  The old Titans- Donna, Hank, and Dawn are back at the HQ and learn that Doctor Light is on the loose, Deathstroke is after them, Dick is harboring Deathstroke’s daughter, and the sushi he fed them came from a gas station.  Basically, everything is terrible and Dick is so busy trying to be a Dad that he forgot that he had to also be an angry badass.  Who is Doctor Light?  He’s a Mad Max looking supervillain who according to the comics is a serial sex offender and murderer.

The old gang tries to find Doctor Light and excludes any of the New Titans from the fight. Why? Because Dick’s trying to protect them and do things differently from Batman, but he didn’t bother to tell the New Titans that the last time they tangled with Deathstroke, it was a disaster. They hint at the disaster that they keep teasing at, forcing us to guess how terrible it was.

There is a secondary story of Starfire being pulled back home to be Queen.  Honestly, I hate this subplot.  She brings so much to the show and this subplot feels like a sidelining to me.

While Dick is trying to be a TV Dad, Jason is determined to prove himself.  He and Beast Boy go after Doctor Light and they find him, but IT’S A TRAP!!!! Jason gives a good fight, but is captured by Deathstroke!!!! OH NO!

These episodes fit together well and act as a great vehicle to ramp up the tension and suspense.  The cast is really bringing it again this season and Esai Morales was born to play this role.  He encapsulates the quiet rage and evil brilliantly!

 

 

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.

Great Moments In Television History: Ghostwatch Traumatizes The UK


On this date, twenty-seven years ago, children across the UK were scarred for life.

It was on Halloween night that the BBC aired a live call-in discussion show called Ghostwatch.  Recognizable BBC reporters like Craig Charles and Sarah Greene were seen investigating a reputedly haunted house and playing Halloween pranks on each other.  In the studio, host Michael Parkinson interviewed an expert on the paranormal and invited viewers to call in tell their own stories of the supernatural.  Many people called throughout the show, telling stories about how they had been haunted by a malevolent spirit called Pipes.  Even as Parkinson laughed off the stories, strange things started to happen in the house and the studio.  A mirror fell off the wall and landed on a member of the crew.  The calls into the show started to get increasingly desperate as the callers said that they were being attacked by Pipes at that very moment!  The show’s paranormal expert said that the show was acting as a “national seance” and soon poltergeists would be attacking ever home in the UK!  Suddenly, viewers saw something inside the haunted house grab Sarah Greene and drag her off camera!  Inside the studio, the lights exploded and everyone fled, except for Michael Parkinson.  After saying he wasn’t sure if anyone was still out there who could hear him, Parkinson suddenly started to recite a nonsense rhyme.  But his voice was different and viewers realized that Parkinson had been possessed by Pipes!  “Fee fi fo fum!” Parkinson threateningly intoned before the picture finally went dead.

Ghostwatch, of course, was an enormous prank.  Though it was presented as being a live broadcast, the whole thing had actually been filmed a few weeks before.  Even though Michael Parkinson gave out the BBC’s actual number when he asked viewers to call in with their ghost stories, viewers who called during the airing of Ghostwatch heard a message telling them that the show was fictional.  (Unfortunately, so many people tried to call during the show that most callers got a busy signal instead.)  Michael Parkinson, Craig Charles, and Sarah Greene were all recognizable, real-life BBC news personalities but none of them were actually attacked by ghosts or possessed on Halloween night.

Just try telling that to the children who watched Ghostwatch.  Some were reportedly so traumatized by the show that they were still having nightmares weeks after it aired.  Despite the fact that Ghostwatch had aired as a part of Screen One, many were convinced that they had just seen Sarah Greene killed by a ghost and Michael Parkinson possessed by Pipes.  Even though Sarah Greene made an appearance on Children’s BBC to assure young viewers that she had not been killed (despite that ghost dragging her under the cupboard while the entire nation watched), many were not convinced.  What if Sarah Greene had become possessed just like Michael Parkinson?

Always eager for a chance to condemn the BBC, the British press had a field day condemning Ghostwatch.  The BBC responded by placing a 10-year ban on the show.  Ghostwatch would not be released on video until 2002 and it has never again aired on the BBC.  You can watch it on Shudder, though … if you dare!

Previous Great Moments In Television History:

  1. Planet of the Apes The TV Series
  2. Lonely Water

Horror on TV: Halloween Is Grinch Night (dir by Gerard Baldwin)


So, we all know that the Grinch once tried to steal to Christmas and then his heart grew a few sizes but did you know that apparently, the Grinch also tried to steal Halloween?

Until a few days ago, I did not.  I was going through YouTube, searching for horror films that I could share here on the Shattered Lens, and guess what I came across?

A TV special from 1977 entitled Halloween is Grinch Night!

Unlike How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Halloween is Grinch Night apparently never became a holiday classic.  Perhaps that’s because Halloween is Grinch Night is not exactly the most heart-warming of holiday specials.  Whereas How The Grinch Stole Christmas tells us about how the Grinch learned the true meaning of Christmas, Halloween is Grinch Night gives us a Grinch who has no redeeming features.  There is no hope for this Grinch.  This Grinch will steal your soul and probably drink your blood.  This Grinch is pure Grinchy evil.

This is the Grinch of our nightmares.

Check out Halloween is Grinch Night below and hope the Grinch doesn’t capture you this Halloween…

Horror On TV: The Great Bear Scare (dir by Hal Mason)


I came across this old cartoon on YouTube.  Apparently, it aired in October of 1983.

It’s about bears living in Bearbank.  Halloween is approaching and they’re worried about getting invaded by the monsters who live on Monster Mountain.  Well, that makes sense.  My question is why would you buy a house near a location called Monster Mountain?  And really, shouldn’t the monsters be in the houses and the bears in the mountains?  This cartoon is weird.

Anyway, the bears are getting ready to feel the city but little Ted E. Bear sets out to confront his fears!  Woo hoo!

I don’t know.  It’s from 1983.  That was a strange year, I guess.

Enjoy!