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 2.11 “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.

Cleaning Out The DVR Yet Again #6: Who Killed My Husband? (dir by David Winning)

(Lisa recently discovered that she only has about 8 hours of space left on her DVR!  It turns out that she’s been recording movies from July and she just hasn’t gotten around to watching and reviewing them yet.  So, once again, Lisa is cleaning out her DVR!  She is going to try to watch and review 52 movies by Thanksgiving, November 24th!  Will she make it?  Keep checking the site to find out!)


I recorded Who Killed My Husband off of the Lifetime Movie Network on October 16th.

Who Killed My Husband opens with Detective Douglas Howell (Jim Thorburn) on top of the world!  He’s recently married a fellow detective, Sophie (Andrea Bowen).  He’s got a teenage daughter named Chloe (Yasmeene Ball) and Chloe may have extremely severe asthma and she may be having a hard time adjusting to her new stepmother but everything’s going to be okay, right?  After all, it’s her birthday!  All Doug has to do is drive out to the local bakery and pick up her birthday cake!

Doug’s life is so perfect that I’m surprised that he doesn’t have a personalized license plates that read, “Live4Eva.”  Because, seriously, when everything’s going this perfect, there’s no way that some sudden tragedy could occur, right?

Well, if that was the case, there wouldn’t be many Lifetime movies.  And, just because of this movie’s title, we already know what’s going to happen to Doug before he even steps into that bakery…

Doug picks up his cake but then he notices that a mysterious man in a hoodie is loitering inside the bakery.  “Hey,” Doug says, “this place is closed.”  (That’s not an exact quote and no, I’m not going to rewatch the damn film just to get the exact quote.  It’s close enough.)  The man turns around, draws a gun, and shoots Doug!


Anyway, Sophie spends a while on desk duty but eventually, her brother — who also happens to be her boss — gives her an undercover assignment.  Apparently, someone is embezzling money from the local cybertech company.  Sophie’s given a job at the company and she’s also given an office!  Fortunately, everyone who works at the company is always having incriminating conversations right outside her office.  That should make it easy to solve the case.  Except…

That’s right, there’s a twist!  First off, the owner of the company is mysteriously blown up and his wife doesn’t seem to care.  Sophie finds herself attracted to a coworker but wonders if she can trust him.  Then, when she’s climbing a wall as a part of team-building exercise, she nearly plunges to her death!  There’s more than just embezzlement going on at this company and somehow, it’s related to her husband’s death.

Does that sound complicated?  It really isn’t.  This is pretty much a typical Lifetime film and you’ll be able to guess who the bad guy is pretty easily.  Probably the most interesting thing about the mystery subplot is that it gives us a chance to view Lifetime’s version of what it’s like to work for Google.  You thought that the companies portrayed in Silicon Valley were cut throat?  Just check out Who Killed My Husband!

I did, however, like the film’s other subplot.  After her father’s death, Chloe resents her mother and Sophie struggles to connect with her stepdaughter.  Chloe is taken seriously ill during the investigation and Sophie has to balance solving the mystery with taking care of her daughter.  That was sweet.  I have asthma and I was a rebellious teenager so I related to Chloe.

Otherwise, this was pretty much a typical and kind of forgettable little Lifetime film.  If you enjoy Lifetime films, this is a pleasant little time waster.  If you’re not into Lifetime movies, Who Killed My Husband probably won’t change your mind.

What Lisa Watched Last Night #154: Where’s My Baby? (dir by David Winning)

On Sunday night, I turned over to the Lifetime Movie Network and I watched Where’s My Baby?

Lochlyn Munro, the patron saint of Canadian-produced Lifetime melodrama and co-star of Where's My Baby?

Lochlyn Munro, the patron saint of Canadian-produced Lifetime melodrama and co-star of Where’s My Baby?

Why Was I Watching It?

Oh, why not?

Sorry, I’m trying to come a funny and/or interesting reason why I decided to watch Where’s My Baby? but the main answer is that it was on the Lifetime Movie Network and there was nothing else on.  Game of Thrones is on break.  Veep is on break.  There’s no killer zombies on AMC and I can’t watch Preacher because I resent its inaccurate portrayal of my home state.

So, with all that in mind, I figured why not see what was premiering on LMN!

What Was It About?

Marissa Davis (Nicole de Boer) wakes up after having spent the past five years in a coma.  She has no memory of how she came to be in that coma but she’s still happy to be awake.  She’s especially happy to discover that her best friend, Heather (Gina Holden), is married to Congressman Cal Ward (Lochlyn Munro).  Cal seems like a nice guy but he’s running for the Senate and talking about how much he believes in traditional values and we all know that, in a Lifetime movie, anyone who talks about values is eventually going to turn out to be a huge hypocrite.

Marissa is disturbed to discover that 1) she was the victim of a mysterious hit and run and that 2) she has a C-section scar.  Her mother (Iris Quinn) finally tells her that she was pregnant when she was hit by the car.  Her mother also assures her that the baby was delivered stillborn.

Meanwhile, Heather and Cal have a 5 year-old daughter!  What a coincidence!  And the baby appears to have the same hereditary kidney disorder that runs in Marissa’s family.  What could that possibly mean?  And, for that matter, why is a mysterious doctor suddenly so obsessed with removing Marissa’s kidney?

What Worked?

Oh my God, I so love these insane Lifetime movies.  Where’s My Baby is shameless fun, the type of movie that you simply cannot stop watching once it has begun.  The movie starts out crazy and it just keeps going from there!

Add to that, there’s a general rule when it comes to Lifetime films.  If Lochlyn Munro is in it, the film cannot be bad.  Lochlyn Munro has appeared in so many Lifetime films that, to some of us, he’s become the patron saint of the network.

What Did Not Work?

It all worked.  When a film is that insanely over the top, there’s no way that it can’t work.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

To be honest, there really weren’t any “Oh my God!  Just like me!” moments.  I’ve never suffered from amnesia.  As anyone who has ever gotten on my bad side can tell you, I never forget.


Lessons Learned

If you wake up with amnesia, don’t take anyone’s word for what happened while you were asleep.  Investigate for yourself.  Seriously, that’s a lesson to live by.

Hallmark Review: Unleashing Mr. Darcy (2016, dir. David Winning)


I was very disappointed in Unleashing Mr. Darcy. It was nothing like Hercules Unchained (1959) and it’s not based on the recently restored version of Jane Austen’s classic about prejudice against the undead. Instead the movie has a Hallmark Christian Grey, a woman who doesn’t seem to know how schools or dogs work, and overall is a film that could have been condensed into something shorter.

The movie begins in a classroom and we meet a teacher named Elizabeth Scott (Cindy Busby). After assigning the students their homework and dismissing class, she is approached by a parent who doesn’t like that she isn’t letting his son pass so he can play sports. You know, the standard stuff. However, I believe this is the first time I have seen the parent actually whip out cash and try to pay off the teacher on the spot.


Of course she turns down the money and he throws a hissy fit before storming off.

We go home with Elizabeth and find that she owns a cocker spaniel. I don’t recall if it’s now or later, but she will actually say that one of the things she likes about dogs is that they don’t manipulate you. I get the feeling screenwriter Teena Booth has never owned a dog in her life. I have owned dogs all my life and if there is one thing they are masters of, it’s manipulating you. If they want something from you then they will make sure you are going to give it to them. I mean where do you think the phrase “puppy dog eyes” comes from. Minor thing, but being a lifelong dog owner, I found it very funny.

Now Elizabeth goes to pay a visit to her sister Jenna played by Tammy Gillis who is looking good after being rescued by The Postables in Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Impossible Dream. She takes her cocker along with her. Little personal side note. My first dog was a Cocker Spaniel named Jenny. That was 6 dogs ago so it’s been awhile. Despite having their fair share of flaws, dogs really are wonderful.

When I review Hallmark movies I often point out goofs or the interesting ways they fake computers and cellphones. I could mention that the shot on the iPad she now uses is very likely just a screenshot they took on a computer and imported onto the iPad, but that’s not what is notable here to me.


I wanna know what happened to this poor iPad. Look at that home button all turned at a weird angle. This thing looks like it took a brutal beating before being used in the movie. I would love to know the story behind this.

Anyways, the process to let her go from the school begins. She seems genuinely surprised that the school would automatically side with the father and the mother who is on the school board. This is what I meant when I said she doesn’t seem to know how schools work. I remember when a friend of mine’s son got in trouble because apparently his school project looked too phallic to them. She shouldn’t have been shocked at all that she was going to be let go. Of course it works out for the best because she now gets to take her dog to a dog show.

This is as good a time as any to point out that actress Cindy Busby might just be able to give Rachel Boston a run for her money in the funny facial expressions department on Hallmark.


Can we see Mr. Darcy (Ryan Paevey) now?


Actor Ryan Paevey really is a high point of this film. Seriously, the best comparison, in recent memory, I can make is to the character of Christian Grey from Fifty Shades Of Grey (2015). Just without the dark past and he doesn’t attach women to leashes and then judge them or anything. He’s rich and judges dogs. He is slightly aloof, but never really off putting. Confident, but not full of himself. He’s also quite attractive. He still feels like a real person though. Long story shot, I think Ryan Paevey did a really good job with the character.

She now is officially let go by the school and accusations that she tried to bribe the guy have even been raised. Now she decides to move to New York City to take up a job offer to be a handler in dog shows. Of course not to be outdone by Busby, Paevey shows that he too can make interesting faces.


She runs into him almost instantly when she steps out of the cab and we meet his dog.

In short order she is swept up into this upper crust family. She actually finds allies on almost every side except from the aunt and the woman she wants her nephew to marry.


I’m just going to refer to them as Prejudice and Prejudice, Jr. We also meet his kid sister named Zara who is played by Sarah Desjardins.


She’s grown since I saw her in Kiss At Pine Lake. She is an ally too and we will find out that after he and his sister lost their parents, he took care of her.

What follows is the typical story of a normal person introduced into a rich family who has already had plans for one of the younger family members. It plays out in the papers too.


And yes, the filler text they put in is still humorous to look at.

We keep getting to know Mr. Darcy better and she moves closer and closer to him. He’s very much his own man despite what Prejudice and Prejudice, Jr. would like to believe. In the end, it comes down to a party. The evil ones make a scene so he kisses her on the spot to make sure she, and those two understand where his feelings lie. Even Elizabeth’s sister notices that the kiss wasn’t just to brush off Prejudice and Prejudice, Jr.

This is when the movie takes an odd turn. Instead of her getting that, she seems to think she was just used. Then her sister overhears Mr. Darcy talking to a male member of the family. This is what they say.

Henry: Donny, I gotta tell you, that kiss that you laid on Jenna’s sister, that was the highlight of the night, my friend.
Mr. Darcy: Oh, the kiss…the kiss was to…the kiss was to shut Aunt Violet up.
Henry: The kiss was because you like the girl.
Mr. Darcy: Why would I like Elizabeth
Henry: [chuckling] Oh, why?
Mr. Darcy: Why would I like Elizabeth Scott? She’s over proud.
Henry: Beautiful
Mr. Darcy: and crass
Henry: intelligent, kills it in a ball gown. Brings you trophies, all those kinds of things.
Mr. Darcy: Yeah, yeah, all those—
Henry: You are absolutely fascinated by her, that’s a fact.
Mr. Darcy: [laughs]
Henry: Admit it.
Mr. Darcy: Mmm-hmm
Henry: [sighing]

The whole conversation is said with Henry speaking in a tone that says you know you like her, just admit it already.

Now the sister runs back to Elizabeth and has just flipped out. Elizabeth immediately flips out too and storms off in a cab. She tells him to not pretend Jenna misunderstood him even though it’s clear as day to anyone who isn’t nuts that she did. He then says he said some unflattering things. When? He tells her right out his feelings for her, but since he says “I’ve decided we belong together” that some how is even more reason to act like a nut job saying “you don’t get to decide who I belong with!” She will even tell her friend he had the nerve to tell her he’s in love with her. Oh, dear God! To give you an idea how crazy this all plays out, take a look at the beginning of The Cinema Snob review of My Baby Is Black! (1961) where he shows the trailer.

I know that Hallmark loves a last minute romantic speed bump, but this is ridiculous and baseless.

She gets an offer to come back and teach because they figured out the accusations were ridiculous and disproven when Mr. Darcy put some pressure on the people driving her out of a job. She turns them down, as she should. She quickly comes around, and they kiss at a dog show while the dog stares right into the camera.


You may or may not have noticed my review was somewhat sparse. It’s not just that I don’t feel well, but that the movie feels like that. It could have been tightened up into something shorter. It always seems to be under the impression that there is a grander plot line playing out with richer characters than are actually presented onscreen. Honestly, I don’t think I can recommend this one. It’s an okay 90 minutes or so, but it really isn’t worth your time.

Hallmark Review: The Magic Stocking (2015, dir. David Winning)


And by the “Township of Gilford”, they mean Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, Canada, which based on the Street View on Google Maps looks like a beautiful place to live. The sign normally says Waterfront Commons Park. I know this because they left this shot in the movie and the town square is distinctive as well as the physical centerpiece of the film.


Also, there is a British Columbia license plate later, but let’s introduce our leading lady named Lindsey Monroe played by none other than Bridget Regan.


You know, Fiona from The Leisure Class.


In this alternate universe she has a daughter from a previous marriage. That marriage came to an end because her husband died. I swear Hallmark movies kill more parents than any other movies I know about. The deal is that the mayor named Fred (Fred Henderson) wants her to work with Scott Terrell (Victor Webster) to restore the township’s historic gazebo.


Scott is an odd duck. He insists that the gazebo be restored to the exact way it used to be, complete with period accurate Christmas lights, and it was even built by his grandfather, but he doesn’t have a picture of it himself because it’s convenient for the plot. Seriously, once he tells you why he is so stubborn about having a historical reference for the gazebo you keep asking yourself why he doesn’t have one already. I mean he even promised his grandfather about the gazebo. Yet, he will harass Lindsey about finding an accurate picture of how the gazebo used to look. He eventually does find it, but it’s a bit ridiculous up till then and feels like Lindsey is playing a point and click adventure looking for the item she needs to complete his quest.

Well, anyways, we have two more people. We already mentioned the daughter…


and she wants a dog for Christmas, but instead, some random lady sells her a stocking. A magic stocking you might say. Enough of her though cause we now have Grandma Donna (Iris Quinn).


She has shown up for Christmas with a tree in tow. What’s hilarious here is that they bothered to make sure her car has a Florida license plate and bumper sticker.


Yet, there’s also this shot of a British Columbia license plate on Scott’s car.


I’m not sure what’s up with that cause I don’t really remember any specific references to say this is supposed to take place in the US. However, it’s Hallmark, so I think it’s a fair assumption they want you to believe this is the US.

Once Donna shows up then you quickly stumble across the high point of this movie. It’s not Lindsey and Scott. It’s not the little girl and her stocking that delivers plot useful items when the camera cuts. It’s not even restoring the gazebo. It’s watching Fred and Donna together.


Almost the instant she shows up, Mayor Fred knocks on the door to hit on her apparently having bought every flower at the shop for her. Really, I could and basically will just stop here and say this. The movie has the stocking delivering things from beyond, presumedly from the dead husband, to cheer up Lindsey and ultimately get the daughter a dog. Lindsey and Scott spend time together so they can end up together. The gazebo does get restored and they even get period specific Christmas lights for it. All the while we sit waiting for the scenes with Fred and Donna. They play well off each other. They aren’t wasted older actors like you see in some of these Hallmark movies. They are fun and full of life. They took what seriously is a rather dull and paint by numbers heart strings Hallmark movie and took it up a notch. I could watch a whole movie with just actors Fred Henderson and Iris Quinn together. If you’re already the Hallmark type, and you know who you are, then put up with the lackluster stuff for their scenes.

I guess there’s only a couple of other things to mention. Pay close attention to the conversation the daughter has with the mother about the dead father having wanted to get her a dog. I say this because otherwise the conversation between Lindsey and Donna at the end of the movie about the dog will leave you scratching your head thinking the daughter already knew what they say she doesn’t. I certainly was wondering and had to look back at my screenshots to figure out the subtle detail I missed.

Also, there’s a part where Donna leaves at night to go out with Fred, then we get a daytime scene with Lindsey followed by a night time scene where Donna returns from her date. Not sure if that’s a mistake or not. You’d think something simple like looking at the windows in the house when she leaves would tell you but…


some of the windows say night and the others say day, but when she returns…


those same daytime windows tell you night and in between is an unmistakable daytime scene.

Oh, well. Who cares? Donna seems to have had a really good time.


This may be called Magic Stocking and there are other plot elements here, but you are watching this for the chemistry between actors Fred Henderson and Iris Quinn. Just know that going in.

What Lisa Watched Last Night #146: A Fatal Obsession (dir by James Camali)

Last night, I watched the premiere of A Fatal Obsession on the Lifetime Movie Network!

ER in FO

Why Was I Watching It?

So, for the past month, Lifetime has exclusively been showing holiday movies.  And don’t get me wrong — I love the holidays, I enjoy holiday movies, and I’m certainly not complaining.  I can understand why Lifetime has made the programming choice that they have and, during this week, keep an eye out for my reviews of all of those Lifetime Christmas movies.  But, at the same time, I have been missing the melodrama that made Lifetime famous.  So, when I saw that the Lifetime Movie Network would be premiering a movie that had nothing to do with Santa Claus, I simply had to watch!

What Was It About?

Michael Ryan (Eric Roberts) is a horror author who is not just famous for giving his readers nightmares.  He’s also famous for being a recovering alcoholic.  Except, he’s not really in recovery.  Instead, he’s still drinking, he’s still violent, and he’s still dangerous abusive.  When his wife, photographer Christie (Tracy Nelson), and teenage daughter, Miri (Remington Moses) finally leave him, Michael spirals into madness.  Soon, Michael has vanished and Christie’s best friend turns up dead.

Could Michael still be out there, trying to track down his wife and daughter?  He could be.  Then again, Christie and Miri have met a lot of other strange characters since starting their new life.  Their neighbors, Ben (George Saunders) and his sullen son, Kyle (Colin Chase), seem to be a little bit off.  And then, of course, there’s Harrison (David Winning), the aspiring actor who has hired Christie to take his headshots….

What Worked?

Oh my God, this is one of the most melodramatic, over-the-top, implausible films that I’ve ever seen so, of course, I had to love it.  Improbable plot twists?  Gloating villains?  Forbidden love?  Questionable life choices?  This film had it all and thank the television Gods for that!

I also really liked the look of the film.  The snowy and overcast images were wonderfully chilly and atmospheric, giving the entire movie a dream-like atmosphere.

And, on top of all that, you had Eric Roberts doing his Eric Roberts thing.  Roberts is such an eccentric actor that he’s always interesting to watch, regardless of the role.  And he actually did a pretty good job, creating a frighteningly plausible portrait of a serial abuser.

What Did Not Work?

It all worked.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

Naturally, I related to the character of Meri, the intelligent but rebellious daughter who was struggling to deal with all the ugliness around her.  Remington Moses did a good job and was believable in her struggle to deal with her family’s legacy of abuse.

Lessons Learned

Just because your paranoid, that doesn’t mean that people aren’t out to get you.