4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Stephen King Edition


4 Or More Shots From 4 Or More Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking!

Today, the Shattered Lens wishes a happy birthday to Mr. Stephen King!

In others words, it’s time for….

4 Shots from 4 Stephen King Films

Creepshow (1982, dir by George Romero, written by Stephen King, DP: Michael Gornick)

Maximum Overdrive (1986, dir by Stephen King, written by Stephen King, DP: Armando Nannuzzi)

Sleepwalkers (1992, dir by Mick Garris, written by Stephen King, DP: Rodney Charters)

The Stand (1994, dir by Mick Garris, written by Stephen King, DP: Edward J. Pei)

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 5/29/22 — 6/4/22


Let’s check out the butcher’s bill for this week:

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

Having returned from England, Rene was named the editor of the town newspaper.  He was expected to just publish propaganda.  Michelle was excited to have access to a printing press.  The latest plan to get the Airmen back to Britain is to make a raft out of telephone poles.  We’ll see how that goes.

Barry (Sunday Night, HBO)

Between Fuches somehow surviving getting shot at point blank range, Vanessa Bayer making silly noises as she explained what she thought Sally could bring to a show about Medusa living in SoHo, and that amazingly highway dirt bike chase, this week’s episode of Barry was one of the best overall episodes of the year so far.  Who would have thought Bill Hader would be so good at directing action?

Creepshow (Shudder)

I finished up season 3 of Creepshow this week.  What a wonderfully macabre show!  It’s just as ghoulish as American Horror Story without being so annoying self-impressed.

Full House (Sunday Evening, MeTV)

Much like Rene on Allo Allo, DJ become editor of the school newspaper!  Kimmie Gibbler wanted to report on sports.  It led to a big fight but things worked out in the end.  Meanwhile, Joey tried to direct a commercial with Danny and Rebecca.  It led to a big fight but things worked out in the end.  Did I already say that?  Anyway, it was indeed a very full house.

Maid (Netflix)

At ten episodes, this miniseries was a bit on the long side but it was still a very good show.  Margaret Qualley played an aspiring writer who, having left her abusive husband, finds work as a maid while trying to move forward with her life and her daughter.  Qualley gave a great performance in the lead role and the show dealt with serious issues without ever descending into melodrama.

Norm McDonald: Nothing Special (Netflix)

In his final comedy special, Norm McDonald talked about …. well, he actually spent a lot of time talking about death.  He was undeniably funny, an older comedian who could talk about how the world was changing without coming across as being either mean-spirited or performatively woke.  What was interesting about this special (which was recorded in his home studio, in one take) was watching how McDonald would seemingly just stumble from point to point while still always bringing everything together in the end in a way that revealed the fierce intelligence that hid beneath the “average guy who likes to drink beer” persona.  At first, I thought he was just rambling but then I noticed that he kept returning to his love of the color yellow.

The final 30 minutes of the special were made up of David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Molly Shannon, Dave Chapelle, Adam Sandler, and David Spade talking about Norm and his special.  The roundtable was mostly interesting just for the obvious the affection that everyone involved had for Norm McDonald.  It was sweet to witness.

Pistol (Hulu)

I really enjoyed Danny Boyle’s six-episode miniseries about The Sex Pistols and, needless to say, I related to Sidney Chandler’s Chryssie Hynde.  I have no doubt that the miniseries offers a bit of a romanticized view of how things went down (that’s kind of Boyle’s thing) but it was well-acted, well-shot, and compulsively watchable.  The first four episode were the strongest.  The final two got a bit bogged down with Sid’s heroin addiction but the same can be probably be said of the band itself.  All in all, though, this was a good and respectful miniseries.  I know that Johnny Rotten is not a huge fan of the show and I can kind of understand why because, as I said earlier, it does tend to romanticize things.  But, as played by Anson Boon, Johnny is always one of the most compelling characters in the show.

Saved By The Bell (Peacock)

I watched the second and final season of Peacock’s Saved By The Bell revival on Friday.  This was actually a really good and clever comedy and it’s kind of a shame that it didn’t last longer.  Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley Lauren were both a lot of fun to watch as they not only parodied their SBTB past but, at the same time, managed to make Jessie and Slater into actual human beings.  It was nicely done.

BEAT VALLEY!

We Own This City (Monday Night, HBO)

The finale of We Own This City aired on Monday.  As I watched the first half of the finale, I came dangerously close to writing the show off as just being an example of how heavy-handed David Simon can be when he doesn’t have an equally strong collaborator to work with.  However, I stuck with it and I’m glad I did.  The final 30 minutes, in which we watched the crooked cops get sentenced to prison while also learning that it all ultimately made no difference as far as Baltimore’s culture of corruption was concerned, were undeniably powerful.  The final flashback, to Jon Bernthal pumping up the cops about doing their job, was sad because it represented the failure of the cops to live up to their oath but it was also frightening because it perfectly captured the “warrior cop” mentality.

I have to give special mention to Jamie Hector, playing an otherwise honest homicide detective who was driven to suicide by the possibility of losing his job because he was on the periphery of corruption.  It took me a few episodes to get used to Hector (best-remembered as psycho drug lord Marlo Stanfield on The Wire) in a sympathetic role but he truly delivered an outstanding performance in the final episode.

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 5/22/22 — 5/28/22


We’ve been up in Arkansas for most of this week so I haven’t watched much television.  Interestingly enough, I have watched quite a few films and written quite a few reviews.  I guess there’s probably a lesson to be learned there.

I have to be honest.  As much as I want to get caught up on all of the miniseries and shows that I didn’t get a chance to see over the past few months, it’s difficult to get started.  It doesn’t help that even the miniseries that sound interesting are still way too long.  I saw a show that I was interested in watching on Netflix but then I checked and I discovered that it’s 10 episodes long, each episode is over 60 minutes, and the first episode deals with the main character’s grandparents.  It’s hard for me to justify spending 11 to 12 hours on a show that doesn’t even start with the main storyline.  During the pandemic, streaming services could get away with that sort of thing because there were no other options.  Today, there are other options, assuming you don’t live in one of those crazy lockdown states up north.

Anyway, here are a few thoughts on what I did watch this week:

1883 (Paramount Plus)

This western miniseries serves as a prequel to Yellowstone, a very popular show that I have yet to really watch.  Sam Elliott plays Shea Brennan, an aging and suicidal cowboy who helps to lead a group of German settlers across the frontier.  Along for the ride are the Duttons (played by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill) and their teenage daughter, Elsa (Isabel May).  It’s a long journey, full of tragedy and violence.  Many people die, some from gunshot and some just from accidentally run over by a wagon.  Elsa narrates.  Shea finds something to live for.  The Duttons eventually settle in the land that will serve as the setting of Yellowstone.  

Each episode of 1883 was sponsored by a store that sells tractor supplies and that pretty much tells you who the target audience was for the show.  For all the graphic violence, sex, and precision F-bombs, 1883 is a fairly old-fashioned western.  That said, it was all very well-done and well-acted.  Isabel May was the cast standout while Sam Elliott showed that, regardless of how you may feel about his Power of the Dog opinions, he’s still one of the most authentic western actors around.  1883 was long but, even over 10 episodes, there weren’t any slow spots and even potentially distracting cameos from Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Hanks didn’t take away from the show’s narrative momentum.

On a personal note, I liked 1883‘s portrayal of Fort Worth as being the most lawless town in Texas.

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

Having stowed away on the airplane that was meant to pick up the British airmen, Edith and Rene found themselves in the UK!  They also discovered that Captain Geering (last seen 3 seasons ago) was now working for the British.  Edith and Rene received medals for Chuchhill and then, to Rene’s consternation, they were promptly sent back to France.  They arrived just in time to keep Momma and LeClerc from performing their new cabaret number.  

By Allo Allo standards, this episode was actually fairly coherent.

American Idol (Monday Night, ABC)

Though I kind of lost interest in this season after Hollywood week, I did tune in to see Noah Thompson win the season on Monday.  To be honest, Noah seems like he’s destined to be one of the forgotten winners of American Idol but I was still happy to see that he beat the annoyingly quirky Leah Marlene and the annoyingly monikered Huntergirl.

Barry (Sunday Night, HBO)

While this week’s episode didn’t feature anything quite as brilliant as last week’s customer service conversation, it was still a very good episode.  Gene’s dinner with Joe Mantegna was cringe comedy at its best.  Meanwhile, Sally’s show was canceled despite its RT score.  At first, I was a bit worried she would take Barry back but fortunately, Barry ruined the moment and she get kicked him out again.

Better Call Saul (Monday Night, AMC)

Poor Howard!  I’ve seen enough of this show and Breaking Bad to know that Howard was probably going to die at some point but I was still upset to see it happen.  Patrick Fabian was terrific in the role.  Hopefully, the Emmy voters will remember Fabian this year.  If nothing else, he’s come a long way since he played Prof. Lasky on Saved By The Bell: The College Years.

Creepshow (Shudder)

On Friday, I watched the third episode of season 3.  A tech billionaire destroyed the wrong painting.  A prisoner took revenge after his pet spider was killed.  It was all enjoyably macabre.  Those killer spiders were especially creepy!  Agck!

Dynasty (Friday Night, The CW)

All the scheming and the plotting and the melodramatic dialogue continued this week.  To be honest, I was a bit out of it on Friday because I had strained my back earlier in the day so I’ll probably have to rewatch Friday’s episode.  I just know I’m going to miss Dynasty when it’s gone.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

Maryanne won.  I was happy that Maryanne won.  I know some people are saying that she only won because she was likable but Maryanne did engineer the Omar blindside so I think she earned her right to claim victory.  That said, I am getting a little bit tired of people riding their immunity idols all the way to the end of the game.  The show needs to put a time limit on those idols.  Anyway, I wrote about the finale for the Reality TV Chat Blog!

We Own This City (Monday Night, HBO)

This week’s episode was a bit heavy-handed but that’s what most of us have to come to expect from David Simon’s recent work.  We Own This City works when it’s dealing with the corrupt cops but it comes to a halt whenever the focus shifts to the DOJ investigators.  Treat Williams’s cameo as a reform-minded police academy instructor was embarrassingly over-written and felt out-of-place.  That said, the good still outweighs the bad when it comes to this show.  It may be uneven but, at its best, it’s still a thought-provoking look at the warrior cop mentality and how systemic corruption can destroy a city.

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television: 5/15/22 — 5/21/22


We’ve been up at Lake Texoma for most of this week and, because I’m supposed to be relaxing, I didn’t take my usual detailed notes about what I watched this week so I apologize if this latest recap seems a bit …. well, skimpy.  Trust me, though, I needed the break and the chance to recharge.

Anyway, here’s what I remember about what I watched this week:

A Very British Scandal (Prime)

This three-episode miniseries told the true story of the scandalous divorce of two aristocrats, who were played by Paul Bettany and Claire Foy.  It was all enjoyably sordid and neither one of the two characters were likable enough for you to feel bad about their lives getting turned upside down.  If you’re into melodrama with a British accent, you should enjoy A Very British Scandal.  If nothing else, the clothes and the furniture were to die for and the miniseries served as a nice reminded that having a title didn’t necessarily mean someone was rich.  Paul Bettany’s character may been a Duke but he still had to marry for money.  In fact, he had to do it three times.

Allo Allo (PBS, Sunday Night)

I watched four episodes of Allo Allo on Sunday so I am happy to say that I am now caught up with the show.  Despite Michelle’s efforts, the plan to send the British airmen out of France in a hot air balloon fizzled.  A few episodes later, she decided to disguise the airmen as monks so that they could sneak past the Germans and board a secret flight to Germany.  However, Rene decided to hop on the plane himself.  He was hoping to escape with Yvette, just to find that Edith had misinterpreted his plans and …. well, look, I can’t really explain it all.  What’s important is that  Rene and Edith are now flying to the UK.

Atlanta (Thursday Night, FX)

The finale of this odd but intriguing season finally allowed Zazie Beetz a chance to shine as we discovered what Val has been doing in Europe while everything else has been going on.  Come for the biting social commentary and surreal satire, stay for the Alexander Skarsgard cameo!

Barry (Sunday Night, HBO)

Barry blew up a house!  And then Sally dumped Barry, which she probably should have done a lot earlier.  At least Gene’s career is looking up.

Better Call Saul (Monday Night, AMC)

Jimmy and Kim continued to plot against Howard.  The show is moving at its own deliberate pace but when you’ve got a cast this good, you can take all the time that you want.  That said, I love Patrick Fabian’s performance as Howard so I hope he’ll be around just a little bit longer.

Beyond the Edge (Wednesday Night, CBS)

This vaguely silly but entertaining show came to an end this week.  Colton Underwood won this season!  Yay!  I’m just happy all the celebrities survived.

The Brady Bunch (Sunday Morning, MeTV)

The theme of last Sunday’s Brady Bunch bloc was that Jan sucks.  First, Jan thought she won an essay contest, just to discover that a mistake has been made while tabulating the scores.  Then, Jan ended up stealing a bicycle because she needed glasses.  That’s the same way I got my new car, by the way.  Poor Jan!  I hear it’s not easy being the middle sister.  Fortunately, I’m the youngest Bowman sister so I’ve never had to worry about it.

Court Cam (Monday Night, A&E)

I watched one or two episodes.  If I sound unsure, it’s because all of the episodes of Court Cam tend to blend together.  Once you’ve seen one judge yelling at an incompetent lawyer, you’ve seen them all.  Still, I do have to admit that I kind of enjoy this show.  It’s always fun to watch people in authority make stupid mistakes.

Creepshow (Shudder)

On Thursday, I finally watched the first two episodes of the third season of Shudder’s horror anthology and I enjoyed both of them.  Creepshow is the show that American Horror Story pretends to be.

The Curse of Degrassi (YouTube)

I watched this old favorite on Saturday night.  Read my review here!

Full House (Sunday Afternoon, MeTV)

DJ went to the school dance but, when her date got caught drinking, Uncle Jesse blamed her!  Not surprising, DJ was pissed off.  And she should have been!  Seriously, DJ never gets to have any fun.  MeTV showed three other episodes, none of which I really remember.

The Last Drive-In (Friday Night, Shudder)

What better way to watch Nosferatu than with Joe Bob Briggs?  Technically, I do think that Joe Bob goes on for a bit too long during his host segments but I really don’t mind.  Joe Bob may pretend to be a redneck who tells dad jokes but, as he showed while discussing the career of Werner Herzog, he truly loves cinema and, even more importantly, he knows his stuff.

Law & Order (Thursday Night, NBC)

When an off-duty cop is killed, Nolan Price has to deal with pressure from both the NYPD and community as he prosecutes the defendant.  This episode was typical of the Law & Order revival — compelling but heavy-handed.  Is Sam ever going to get to do anything other than gaze adoringly at Nolan?  The fact that, after several episodes, we still know nothing about her character, her background, or her opinions is a bit annoying.  The episode ended with the defendant acquitted on one count and convicted on another and the entire city still angry.  It was all appropriately bleak.  Also, Mariska Hargitay made a cameo appearance and basically came across like she couldn’t wait to get back to SVU.

The Love Boat (Sunday Evening, MeTV)

Gopher taught everyone on the boat how to perform CPR.  Good going, Gopher!

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about the latest episode of Survivor here!

We Own This City (Monday Night, HBO)

This week’s episode of We Own This City dealt with the Freddie Gray uprising.  It made for compelling viewing and Jon Bernthal and Josh Charles continued to give good performances as two men who epitomized everything that people dislike about cops.  Still, I wish the timeline was a bit less jumbled and the scenes with the Justice Department investigators continue to be a bit of a slog.  Overall, though, this is a worthwhile show.  Just don’t watch it with the expectation that it’s going to be the second coming of The Wire.

Creepshow, S1, Ep3, All Hallow’s Eve, The Man in the Suitcase, Review By Case Wright


Creepshow.jpg

Happy Horrorthon! I’m am once again reviewing Creepshow.  It is officially a true Guilty Pleasure, but come on, aren’t those all of our go to pleasures anyway? To the uninitiated, Creepshow is a GOOD horror anthology series, but really it’s a showcase for short-films.  How? It’s broken down into two stories and neither of them are over 23 minutes.  Aside from giving writers like Christopher Buehlman his big break (before this he’d only written skits for Renaissance Faires….really), they are the short short brought to life.

Many of Stephen King’s short stories are made into movies, but they are always lengthened into something (usually better) than their original quick-paced short story.  Creepshow keeps that fast pace…mostly.  Well, they keep it for the second story.  The second story is always the better story and moves at the quick pace that you’d expect in a short story.  Even at 22 minutes, the first story tends to drag.

All Hallow’s Eve follows 5 youths trick or treating in a terrified neighborhood.  It was obvious to anyone with a pulse that these kids were dead and out to cause trouble.  Turns out that during a vigorous D&D session in their treehouse, some bullies from the neighborhood thought it would be funny to set it on fire, with the D&D nerds in it.  As you do.  Well, their door gets stuck and they all die.  So, they haunt the neighborhood setting fire to one bully each Halloween until they are all briquettes.

The acting in story A is ….ok.  Story A is a bit slow-paced, which is really hard to do in 20 minutes, but here we are.  I still watched it and so should you.  It’s not like 2 Sentence Horror we are talking about, which is garbage wrapped in rotten bacon.

Story 2 was The Man in the Suitcase, which could’ve worked as a twilight zone episode.  Justin is a loser stoner who is dumped by his girlfriend and used by his roommate.  He is arriving home after visiting his family and he gets a carry-on from the airport and it’s not his stuff that’s inside; it’s a Middle-Eastern man bent so he can fit into the carry-on.  It turns out the Man wants to leave the suitcase, but every time Justin tries to move him, it causes the Man pain, which in turn causes the Man to spit out a gold coin.

Well, Justin isn’t sure what to do, but Justin’s roommate and his ex-girlfriend do and they all decide to torture the man in the suitcase so that he’ll spit out loads of gold.  The torture gets pretty gross, but Justin eventually has a change of heart and tries to free the Man, but his girlfriend and roommate want to keep the gold so she tries to kill Justin with a wrench, which is just lying about.  I won’t spoil what happens next because this was a lot of fun and really makes Shutter worth my subscription fee.

This story really had some good pacing.  Yes, it was predictable and very over the top, but that is just the Creepshow way.

Again, relax and enjoy!

 

Creepshow, S1 Ep2,Bad Wolf Down/The Finger, Review by Case Wright, Spoilers, but worth it!


Creepshow.jpg

Happy Halloween Havoc!!!! Is it enough for horror to just be fun and even funny?  YES! American Werewolf in London or anything by John Landis really proves that. Creepshow on Shudder is all about just sitting back and having some gory fun. This show is so wonderfully over the top that the 90s have returned. Let’s all put away our black turtle necks and put on some Hammerpants and watch some great horror.

Bad Wolf Down is a werewolves in World War II story…Really! It was a lot of fun.  Then, when I saw Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator) playing a Nazi, I realized this show is THE AWESOMENESS! An american platoon gets trapped behind enemy lines and takes refuge in an abandoned police station.  They find a woman in the jail who is a french werewolf. This seems relevant because they really spend a lot of time translating.

The Head Nazi (Jeffrey Combs) finds the american platoon and will wipe them out, but the platoon gets the french werewolf to turn them into werewolves and they go and kill a bunch of Nazis.  That’s it…Really!

The Finger is your lonely guy adopts a self-regenerating-human-eating-Alien story.  I know…I know ..  another one?! Clark Wilson (DJ Qualls) is a twice divorced down and out guy who has nothing going for him- until he finds a finger.  The finger looks alien and when he spills beer on it, it re-generates into a medium-sized alien and becomes his pet.  He calls the alien Bob.  Bob becomes Clark’s best friend and as any best friend would do, Bob eats all of Clark’s enemies.  He also brings back body parts from the kill like my old cat did.  Sidenote: I had a cat who used to bring me squirrel heads.  He’d line them on my porch.  Bob is like that.  The police eventually arrest Clark for the murders, but Bob might break him out.

The finger is told by Clark in real-time narration, which really adds to the comedy. He looks dead into the camera, talking directly to us. Also, it’s especially fun watching DJ Qualls hang out with a bro-alien- Brolien. If you wanna chill, watch this!!!!

16 Trailers In Honor of George Romero


One year ago today, George Romero passed away.  In honor of his memory, here’s a very special edition of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Grindhouse and Exploitation Film trailers!

In tribute George Romero, here are the trailers for every film Romero directed.  Enjoy!

  1. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

2. There’s Always Vanilla (1971)

3. Season of the Witch (1973)

4. The Crazies (1973)

5. Martin (1978)

6. Dawn of the Dead (1978)

7. Knightriders (1981)

8. Creepshow (1982)

9. Day of the Dead (1985)

10. Monkey Shines (1988)

11. Two Evil Eyes (1990)

12. The Dark Half (1993)

13. Bruiser (2000)

14. Land of the Dead (2005)

15. Diary of the Dead (2007)

16. Survival of the Dead (2009)

Rest in peace, George Romero.