Great Moments In Television History: Apaches Traumatizes The UK

From the end of World War II to 2007, the UK’s Central Office of Information used to produced Public Information Films (known as PIFs), which would often air on television during children’s programming.  These were the British equivalent of the “More You Know” PSAs that appear on American television.  A typical PIF would deal with a safety issue, warning children to be careful crossing the street or while visiting a farm or when thinking of sticking a fork into an electrical socket.

One of the most notorious PIFs was first broadcast in February of 1977 and aired for several years after that. Apaches traumatized an entire generation of British children while teaching them about what not to do while visiting a farm. Danny tells the story of how six young children played “Apaches” on a nearby farm and how things did not turn out well for any of them. What made this PIF more traumatic than similar PIFs was the nonchalant reactions of both the children and the adults. Each farm accident is followed by a clinical clearing away of that children’s possessions and then the child is forgotten about. It doesn’t occur to anyone to do anything to make the farms safer.

Still, this PIF probably kept a lot of children safe while also inspiring many nightmares. Director John MacKenzie went on to direct Bob Hoskins and Helen Mirren in The Long Good Friday, which is considered to be one of the finest British crime films ever made.

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
  6. Freedom’s Last Stand
  7. Bing Crosby and David Bowie Share A Duet

Horror on TV: Friday the 13th: The Series 2.16 “Scarlet Cinema” (dir by David Winning)

Tonight, for our horror on the lens, we have the sixteenth episode of the 2nd season of Friday the 13th: The Series!

In this episode, a werewolf-obsessed film student brings his favorite movie monster to life! Needless to say, it’s not a good idea. This episode ends with a clever little twist. Remember it if you ever have a problem with a werewolf in your life.

This episode originally aired on February 25th, 1989.

Horror on TV: Friday the 13th: The Series 2.15 “Better Off Dead” (dir by Armand Mastroianni)

Tonight, for our horror on the lens, we have the fifteenth episode of the 2nd season of Friday the 13th: The Series!

In this episode, a doctor uses a cursed syringe (agck!) to withdraw pieces of another person’s soul that he can give them to his daughter, who is extremely violent. Unfortunately, this usually lead to bad things for soul donors. This episode was directed by Armand Mastroianni, who also directed the classic 1980 slasher film, He Knows Your Alone. That was Tom Hanks’s first film so, without Armand Mastroianni, who knows who would have ended up starring in Captain Phillips?

This episode originally aired on February 18th, 1989.

Congratulations to the Astros and the Braves!

Congratulations to the Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros for finally giving the world what it truly needs this year, an all-Southern World Series!  It’s the Southeast vs. the Deep South as Houston tries to beat Atlanta and win their second World Series title.  Meanwhile, for the Braves, this is their 1st World Series appearance since 1999.

I have to cheer for the Astros because they’re from my homestate but I won’t blame anyone who is cheering for Atlanta!  I think either team could win.  With Game 5 scheduled for October 31st, the Series might even be decided on Halloween!

The Great Pumpkin has been good to us this year!

Congratulations to both teams and good luck next week!

And who knows?  Maybe next year, my Rangers will finally get it together.  Things have to turn around sometime, right?

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 10/17/21 — 10/23/21

Here’s a few thoughts on what I watched this week!

(How’s that for a detailed intro?)

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

This week, yet another attempt to smuggle the British airmen out of France failed.  As usual, the plan was too complicated to succeed and the British airmen themselves remained cheerfully oblivious to the danger that they’re putting everyone else into.  (“I say,” one of them said after missing his chance to get smuggled out on a fish truck, “When’s the next fish truck?”)  This episode’s highlight was Crabtree getting to speak perfect English to all of the British airmen who had gathered in Rene’s Cafe before then switching back to his usual mangled French to speak with Rene.  Episodes of Allo Allo are not particularly easy to describe but they almost always make me laugh.

The Bachelorette (Tuesday Night, ABC)

I don’t know.  Going straight from one season of the Bachelorette to Bachelor in Paradise to another season of the Bachelorette is a little bit too much.  It works better when there’s some downtime between the seasons.  I have to admit that I was pretty bored with the premiere of the new season.  I mean, the first episode wasn’t even over and already, I was having to listen to all of that crap about whether or not the men were there for “the right reasons.”  The whole thing with Ryan getting kicked off the show felt very staged and pre-planned and Michelle seems like she’ll be canceling a lot of cocktail parties to get right to kicking people off the show.  I think I’ve just been oversturated with this dumb show for the past few months.

Baywatch (Friday Afternoon, H&I)

H&I has changed up their schedule.  Instead of daily showing of Baywatch, they now air a five-hour block on Fridays.  I watched two episodes.  They were both from the 2nd season and I remembered them both from when I binged the show a few months ago.  The first episode featured Eddie trying to clear his name after being accused of assaulting a teenager.  The 2nd was yet another episode where a mysterious woman stayed with Mitch while someone with a gun hunted for her.  This seemed to happen quite frequently to Mitch but he never commented on either the strangeness or the familiarity of it all.

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

I watched three episodes on Sunday while working on my Cry Macho review.  The Brady kids were so self-centered that Alice quit.  Greg conspired to make Marcia the head cheerleader.  Marcia fell in love with a much older dentist and decided she was too mature to go on a date with a classmate.  The Bradys were the worst.

Court Cam (Wednesday Evening, A&E)

I watched two episodes when I got home from work on Wednesday.  One episode featured a loser who was arrested several times for pretending to be a traffic cop.  Maybe he wanted to get on Parking Wars.  Regardless of his motivation, everyone he stopped could tell he wasn’t a cop and no one treated him with the respect that he very loudly demanded.  That was kind of fun to watch.

Day of the Dead (Friday Night, SyFy)

I finally watched last week’s premiere on Thursday and I reviewed it for the site.

Fear the Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

I reviewed the season premiere here!

Friday the 13th: The Series (YouTube)

Once Horrorthon is over and I have the time, I’m going to go back and binge this entire series.

Hunter (Weekday Mornings, ZLiving)

 I watched two episodes of this surprisingly violent 80s cop show on Friday.  I was also working at the time so the show mostly served as background noise.  (I find having the TV on helps me to focus, oddly enough.)  From what I did see, it seemed like an awful lot of people ended up getting shot. In fact, Hunter’s main personality trait appears to be that he’ll shoot anyone.  (The second episode featured Hunter blowing away a psycho motorcyclist played by Don Swayze.)  One thing I will say about the show, though, is that I love the propulsive music that plays over the opening credits.

King of the Hill (Weekday Afternoons, FXX)

I watched two episodes of Tuesday.  In the first one, Bobby became a peer counselor and quickly started to abuse his position.  This is actually one of my favorite episodes, even though Bobby definitely owed Stacy an apology.  The highlight of the episode was Stacy singing, “I’m your Stacy in a bottle.”  The second episode featured Hank visiting the Platter Ranch in Montana and discovering that Henry Winkler was refusing to allow the ranchers to herd their cattle across his land.  Yes, that Henry Winkler.

The Office (Saturday afternoon, Comedy Central)

I watched some classic episodes from season 5.  Dwight and Michael conducted corporate espionage against Prince Family Paper.  Pam and Michael hit the lecture circuit.  Stanley had a heart attack.  Michael’s golden ticket promotion blew up in his face.  I always say that this show started to go downhill after the third season but Season 5 was actually pretty good.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

This week’s episode was actually kind of charming, as it featured Granville dancing in the rain while holding a mop.  For a second, it seemed like Granville might be something other than incredibly depressed. It didn’t last long but it was still good to see him vaguely smile.  Of course, once the rain stopped, it was time to go back to plotting Arkwright’s death.

Saved By The Bell (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

I watched two episodes on Sunday morning.  The first one featured Zack launching a hostile takeover of the student store and then secretly photographing all of the girls for a calendar.  That was kind of icky but at least Kelly got a modeling career out of it.  She even went to Paris, something that was never mentioned in subsequent episodes.  This was followed by the infamous Running Zack episode, in which Zack learned he was Native American and Jessie demanded that Lisa forgive her for being from a family of slave traders.  The important thing is that Zack was able to compete at the track meet.  So cringey!

Silk Stalkings (Weekday Afternoons, ZLiving)

Agck!  Where are Chris and Rita!?  It’s been over a month since I last caught any episodes of this 90s cop show.  I watched two episodes on Friday and Rob Estes and Mitzi Kapture were gone!  Apparently, they left the show and were replaced by two other cops who had the exact same backstory as Chris and Rita.  What a coincidence!  Anyway, the show still featured the same mix of murder, sex, and attractive people getting undressed but these new detectives just didn’t have the same chemistry.

That said, both of Friday’s episodes were enjoyably sordid, featuring a lot of sem-clad, attractive rich people doing a lot of very bad things.  It was fun!  I may have to start binging this show.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about the latest episode of Survivor here!

Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

This week’s episode was a bit by-the-numbers.  Even Chris Hardwick seemed to be struggling to pretend to be interested in either Fear the Walking Dead or Walking Dead: World Beyond, which was odd since both of those shows were fairly good this week.

Walking Dead: The World Beyond (Sunday Night, AMC)

This week’s episode was actually pretty good.  It still feels like Christopher Pike’s The Walking Dead (or maybe Saved By The Dead) but this week’s episode actually did a good job of capturing the contrast between wanting to be a teenager while, at the same time, having to survive in a world that leaves you with little time to actually grow up.

Horror on TV: Friday the 13th: The Series 2.14 “Face of Evil” (dir by William Fruet)

Tonight, for our horror on the lens, we have the fourteenth episode of the 2nd season of Friday the 13th: The Series!

In this episode is a sequel to the Vanity’s Mirror episode from season 1. The gold compact is back and this time, an aging model is using its power to maintain her youth. Unfortunately, there’s a price for looking young and that price is …. can you guess it? ….. murder!

This episode originally aired on February 11th, 1989.

Creepshow, “Time Out”, “The Things in Oakwood’s Past”

Maybe I’m getting cantankerous, but my tolerance for incompetence is at a nadir. Not to say that these were the worst stories I’ve seen, but they were up there. Maybe making a horror series is a way to pass the time? The budgets must be REALLY small. For example, look at this guy’s truly FAKE beard:

Santa as a Pederast

It looks like if Party City fell on hard times or Santa Claus became a Ginger Pederast. That is a CREEPY beard and that’s not what they were going for, but it’s what they got.

The B-Story didn’t even have live action! It was just animated!

Not to say that big budget studios don’t cut corners. Netflix can’t afford lights. I’m assuming that’s the case because every show looks like it was filmed with a Key Chain Maglite. EG:

The above is from a Netflix show called Midnight Mass and I guess that they heard Chairman Mao’s saying, “It’s always darkest, just before it goes completely black” and just leaned in. I can’t tell what’s going on here. I guess these….Three?? guys are in a canoe or maybe that’s just a really big raccoon in flannel on the end there. Who knows? It could be a raccoon; I’ve seen raccoons in Texas as big as Labrador Retrievers and they’re really organized too! I saw one raccoon with a hat and clipboard directing 8 enormous raccoons and these were just ordinary suburban raccoons! Could imagine what these mutant raccoons could do with some funding?!

Anywho, back to this aggressively mediocre program – Creepshow. It’s created by Greg Nicotero who also created The Walking Dead, which was just ok on it’s best day! I’m glad to see that Greg is consistent. Don’t let success go to your head- aim low. Greg, thanks for delivering another Center of Mass performance review! As Casey Kasem’s mediocre brother – Chad Kasem would say, “Keep reaching for the remote, but keep your ass on the couch.”

These two episodes were both varying degrees of stupid. The first episode was about Tim and his magical armoire. Really. Instead of the wardrobe showing where the wild things were, it was more of a desk that caused time to do stupid things. He would go into the magical closet and time would zoom by for him, but slow down for everyone on the outside of the closet. This is general relativity in reverse because the writer fell asleep in basic physics. If Tim did go into a black hole or whatever, time would slow down for him, but not for the folks outside of the closet. Tim should’ve returned and everyone would be way older, but nope. He never seemed to grasp that he was aging A LOT every time he went into the closet. Shocker, he dies- *eyeroll* I cared not!

The second story was like if an 8th grader got a very small budget to make an 18 minute scary cartoon. The town of Oakwood is about to celebrate is bi-centennial and they decide to open a really scary looking box to celebrate. It looked haunted and gross. This is the box that everyone thought it would be great to open:

I won’t write that everyone dies….most do though. If you’re bored and really want to watch something that’s the equivalent of a day old room temperature Chick-Fil-A sandwich, this is for you!

Horror TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead 7.1 “The Beacon” (dir by Michael E. Stratazemis)

Reviewing Fear The Walking Dead’s seventh and final season is going to be difficult for me.

You have to understand that I’ve only seen a few episodes of Fear The Walking Dead. I watched the first two or three episodes of the first season. Then I got bored. I tried to watch the second season. I got bored. I was determined to watch the third season but I changed my mind halfway through the season premiere. Again, I got bored Seasons 4, 5, and 6, I didn’t even try. I was exhausted with zombies and, even more importantly, I was exhausted with the world of The Walking Dead.

But I am going to try to watch season 7 because it’s the final season. With both The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead reaching their conclusions, a pop cultural era is coming to an end. And so, despite not having the slightest idea what’s going on or who the majority of the characters, I’m going to attempt to watch and review Fear The Walking Dead.

Fear the Walking Dead‘s seventh season premiered last Sunday. I only got around to watching it today because I may be determined but I’m not particularly enthusiastic. “What,” I asked myself, “can this show possibly provide me with that The Walking Dead and countless other zombie films haven’t?”

As if to answer my question, Fear the Walking Dead opened with several atomic warheads exploding. Certainly, there have been other zombie films that have opened with nuclear bombs going off. Fear the Walking Dead, though, may be the first television show to do so at the start of its seventh season. On the one hand, the people incinerated did not return as walkers. However, those who died of radiation poisoning did. Seriously, that’s a terrifying through. Radiation poisoning is a bad enough way to die without spending the entire time knowing that, once you do die, you’re going to return as a zombie.

The majority of the show’s regular cast did not appear in the first episode, which was fine with me since I don’t really don’t know who any of them are. Instead, the episode centered around Strand (Colman Domingo), a regular character who had kind of set himself up as a warlord over the radioactive landscape and Will (Gus Halper), a wanderer who was eventually picked up by Strand’s men. At first, Strand had little use for Will but then Strand discovered that Will knew Alicia. I, of course, don’t know Alicia but this is all stuff for which I’ll have a better understanding after a few episodes. What’s important is that it was obvious that Alicia was important to Strand.

Fortunately, I didn’t really need to understand all of the backstory in order to enjoy this episode. The Beacon, as the premiere was entitled, was a visual triumph, with the nuclear hellscape becoming as important of a character as either Strand or Will. The inevitable battle between Will, Strand, and a group of walkers was also nicely handled, with the shadowy walkers emerging from a dark mist in a style that brought to mind John Carpenter’s The Fog. In this episode, the walkers were frightening in a way that they rarely were in the recent episodes of The Walking Dead.

As for Strand and Will, Domingo and Halper did a good job playing opposite each other. They’re both intriguing characters. Unfortunately, the script was full of clunky dialogue, which seems to be an issue on all of the shows that make up The Walking Dead universe. Still, the episode was visually impressive and well-acted so I’m going to continue to watch the final season of Fear The Walking Dead and, after a few more episodes, I will hopefully actually know what’s going on.

Horror on TV: Friday the 13th: The Series 2.11 “The Sweetest Sting” (dir by David Winning)

Tonight, for our horror on the lens, we have the eleventh episode of the 2nd season of Friday the 13th: The Series!

In this episode, a beekeeper (Art Hindle) uses killer bees to take out his enemies! AGCK! I have to admit that I am a little bit scared of bees, mostly because I’ve never been stung by one. There’s a part of me that will always be worried that I might be allergic to them. Plus, I think it’s kind of depressing that bees spend their whole life looking for someone to sting and then they die as a result. I feel bad for the bees, even as I fear them.

This episode originally aired on January 21st, 1989.

Horror on TV: Friday the 13th: The Series 2.6 “Master of Disguise” (dir by Tom McLoughlin)

Tonight, for our horror on the lens, we have the sixth episode of the 2nd season of Friday the 13th: The Series!

In this episode, an actor uses a makeup case that was once owned by John Wilkes Booth to improve his looks! Unfortunately, the makeup is fueled by murder! This episode features horror and romance. Prepare to shed a tear for poor Micki. This episode also features a shout out to the great Boris Karloff.

This episode was directed by Tom McLouhlin, who also directed Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives!

This episode originally aired on November 11th, 1988.