Lisa’s Week In Review: 10/28/19 — 11/3/19


Reset your clocks

Between the end of this year’s Horrorthon and the changing of the clocks on Saturday night, I’m exhausted.  So, I apologize for not even attempting to be witty before presenting this week’s list of things.

Films I Watched:

  1. Angel On My Shoulder (1946)
  2. Black Sabbath (1963)
  3. The Brady Bunch Movie (1995)
  4. The Craft (1996)
  5. Dead Night (2018)
  6. Get Over It (2001)
  7. Goke, Body Snatcher From Hell (1968)
  8. Halloween (1978)
  9. The Hitcher II: I’ll Be Waiting (2003)
  10. I Walked With A Zombie (1943)
  11. The King (2019)
  12. The Living Skeleton (1968)
  13. My Teacher, My Obsession (2018)
  14. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
  15. Quigley Down Under (1990)
  16. Vampire Over London (1952)
  17. Vampire’s Kiss (1989)
  18. Your Family or Your Life (2019)

Television Shows I Watched:

  1. 9-1-1
  2. Dancing With The Stars
  3. Fear Thy Neighbor
  4. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
  5. Mrs. Fletcher
  6. Saved By The Bell
  7. Silicon Valley
  8. South Park
  9. Survivor 39
  10. The Voice

Books That I Read:

  1. Horror Hotel (1983) by Hilary Milton
  2. Nightmare Store (1982) by Hilary Milton

Music To Which I Listened:

  1. All Saints
  2. Big Data
  3. The Burning Hell
  4. Coldplay
  5. Crud
  6. Daemonia
  7. Goblin
  8. Haim
  9. Jakalope
  10. John Carpenter
  11. Lana del Rey
  12. Luna
  13. M4Sonic
  14. Rob Cantor
  15. Saint Motel
  16. Shakira
  17. Taking Back Sunday
  18. Thom Yorke
  19. Zeds dead

Links From Last Week:

  1. My Saturday of Books
  2. The Women Who Helped Build Hollywood
  3. A Little Tribute To Gary Loggins From The Cracked Rear Viewer Film Site

News From Last Week:

  1. Jordan Peele feels uncomfortable with fans dressing up as the Tethered from ‘Us’
  2. Black turtleneck shortage linked to Elizabeth Holmes Halloween costumes

Links From The Site:

  1. Leonard reviewed Doctor Sleep!
  2. Doc has a special Halloween message for all of our readers!
  3. Case reviewed The Last Halloween, The Bloody Ballad of Squirt Roberts, Night of the Slasher, the Halloween reboot, and an episode of Titans!
  4. Erin shared vintage Halloween postcards and The Covers of Adventures Into The Unknown!  She also wrote about the World Series and shared Image of Evil, To The Dark Tower, Strangers In The Night, The Rest Is Silence, The Big Binge, Frisco Dame, and She Killed In Cuffs.  She counted down the days til Halloween: 3, 2, 1, 0.  She wished everyone a happy Halloween and celebrated the end of the day!
  5. Jeff reviewed the debut of Man-Wolf, Night Trap, Bloody Wednesday, Lonely Water, Heavy Rain, Tale of the Vampire, Beyond: Two Souls, Absolution, the time Spider-Man met the Monster Maker, Ghost Watch, Detroit: Become Human, and The Good Son!
  6. Ryan reviewed The Ghost In The Darkness, One Winter Night, Malarkey, Rooftop Stew, and This Never Happened, along with sharing his weekly reading round-up!
  7. Because it was Halloween and all, I posted too much stuff to list here.  Feel free to search the sight and take a look though!

More From Us:

  1. At Days Without Incident, Leonard shared I Ain’t Superstitious!
  2. For Horror Critic, I reviewed The Craft and I Walked With A Zombie!
  3. For SyFyDesigns, I wrote Halloween Approaches!
  4. At my music site, I shared songs from Goblin, Luna, John Carpenter, Daemonia, Taking Back Sunday, Lana del Rey, and Coldplay!
  5. For the Reality TV Chat Blog, I reviewed the latest episode of Survivor!
  6. At Pop Politics, Jeff shared The UK Is Having A General Election, Beto’s Out, and Do Something With Your Clocks Tonight!
  7. On her photography site, Erin shared Dark Places, Signs of Life, Crowd, Winter Is Coming, Wall Snow, Morning At The Creek, and Isolated.
  8. Ryan has a Patreon! Please consider subscribing!

Want to see what I did last week?  Click here!

AMV Of The Day: Shatter Me (Vampire Knight)


As we enter November, here’s one last horror-related AMV before starting the first weekend of a new month.

Anime: Vampire Knight

Song: Shatter Me by Lindsey Stirling

Creator: Vincent AMV’s

Past AMVs of the Day

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.

Jamie Lee Curtis Tweets A First Look At Halloween Kills!


Well, everyone, Halloween will soon be over for this year but we’ve got 2020 to look forward to!  That’s one good thing about Halloween.  It may have to end but it always returns, resurrected like an angry ghost or vampire.

Or like Michael Myers!

Yes, that’s right.  Michael is returning next year, in a sequel to David Gordon Green’s Halloween.  David Gordon Green’s Halloween, of course, should not be mistaken for Rob Zombie’s Halloween or any other Halloween that came out after the original.  I swear to God, it’s so hard to keep all of these continuities straight.

Anyway, Halloween Kills is coming out next year and everyone’s really excited, even though Halloween Kills is a TERRIBLE title.  Today, in honor of the holiday, Jamie Lee Curtis tweeted out some first-look footage of the film.  And, because we love all of you and like to share, here it is!

To be honest, there’s not much there so it’s hard to say for sure what to make of this footage.  I will say that this is still far superior to the teaser they released for the next Bond film.

International Horror Film Review: Haxan (dir by Benjamin Christensen)


It’s always interesting to watch Haxan with someone who has never seen it before.

Because this Swedish film was made in 1920 and released in 1922, it’s a silent film.  Because it’s sold as being a documentary, it can be a bit of a hard sell among people who 1) hate to read subtitles and 2) instantly recoil at the idea of watching anything might be a educational.  Even the fact that the film is subtitled “Witchcraft Through The Ages” might not be enough to get some people to set aside their prejudices.

So, what you do is you beg.  You offer to give them popcorn and a Coke if they watch the movie.  You stretch out on the couch, arch an eyebrow and suggest that there might be another reward waiting for them at the end of the film.  You do whatever you have to do and you get them to watch.

Now admittedly, the first part of Haxan does come across as being a bit slow.  The intertitles, which explain that this film was made to examine witchcraft throughout the ages, can come across as being a bit dry.  The numerous scenes about how people used to think that the universe revolved around the Earth and that stars were merely lights hanging in the sky goes on for quite some time.  Personally, I like these scenes.  I enjoy the fact that director Benjamin Christensen actually uses a pointer, as if he’s a lecturer at a university.  But they’re not for everyone.

But here’s the thing, skeptical viewers: KEEP WATCHING!

Because eventually, the film moves on from discussing ancient and medieval astronomy and it starts to discussing why people used to believe in witches and how witchcraft used to be punished and suddenly …. OH MY GOD, IS THAT THE DEVIL BURSTING UP OUT OF NOWHERE!?  Yes, it is.  And yes, that woman is buying a love potion and that monk has become possessed and that witch is flying through the air!

Haxan is an interestingly constructed film.  At the start of the film, it proudly declares itself to be the work of a skeptic.  Haxan is a film that, in its own scholarly way, ridicules superstition.  Those who once believed in witchcraft are compared to those who once believed that the world was flat and that the stars revolved around the Earth.  And yet, the film’s greatest moments are the ones that feature scenes of witches and the devil.  I don’t think this is accidental.  Instead, I think that Benjamin Christensen understood what D.W. Griffith, Ceceil B. DeMille, and Roger Corman understood.  Audiences may want to pat themselves on the back for being pure or rational or whatever but, at the same time, they also want that taste of sin and the indulgence of superstition.  Haxan makes the argument for science but not before indulging in some old time religion.

And it’s a lot of fun.  Haxan is such a visually striking film with it’s taunting devils and its flying witches that one can hardly be shocked that it was initially banned in many countries and, even when it was released, it was often in a heavily censored form.  Watching the film, you can also understand why it influenced future horror directors.  The images are frequently the stuff of nightmares and the fact that the images are silent just makes them all the more ominous.

Haxan is definitely a film that every horror fan needs to see.  Luckily, there’s a Criterion edition for that!  Oh Criterion.  What would we do without you?

Horror Film Review: Cujo (dir by Lewis Teague)


Cujo is a such a depressing movie that I can barely stand to watch it.

Cujo, of course, is the 1983 film adaptation of the book by Stephen King.  The book is about a dog that not only gets bit by a rabid bat but also gets possessed by the spirit of Frank Dodd, the serial killer who played a major role in The Dead Zone.  The film abandons the subplot about Frank Dodd and, instead, it just deals with a rabid dog that kills a lot of people and who eventually traps Donna Trentonn (Dee Wallace) and her young son, Tad (Danny Pintauro), is a car for several days.

I have to admit that I’m really not the sort of person who should be watching a film like Cujo in the first place.  When I was growing up, I was terrified of dogs.  According to my family, I was bitten by one when I was just three years old, not that I have any memory of that actually happening.  So, up until I was 18, I couldn’t handle being around them.  Whenever I would walk home from school, I would run across the street if I heard a dog barking at me from behind a fence.  If I was out with my family and I saw a dog approaching, I would hide behind the nearest big person.

I did have one good experience with a big dog when I was about ten years old.  My family was up at the lake and this big, black dog started following us around and it was so friendly that I couldn’t help but relax around it.  My mom was like, “See, Lisa Marie, not all dogs are bad.”  We went to get lunch, leaving the dog behind.  When we returned, the dog was there.  He was excited to see my mom.  He was excited to my aunt.  He was excited to see my sisters.  Then, he took one look at me and started to growl.  I was frozen in fear, just standing there as the dog slowly stood up.  My mom immediately stood in front of me, trying to block the dog’s view while I ran back to car.  Of course, that didn’t work.  The dog started barking and then took off running after me.  His owners then showed up and grabbed the dog just as it was about to lunge at me and then they didn’t even bother to apologize!  Instead, they told some story about how some other girl had thrown a rock at the dog and, as a result, the dog always growled at “little girls.”  They acted like it was no big deal.  (My aunt later told me that she had to grab my mom’s hand to keep her from slapping the dog’s owner when they tried to blame me for what happened.)  For months afterwards, I had nightmares about that dog.

Fortunately, enough time has passed that I’m no longer petrified in fear of dogs though they still make pretty damn nervous.  That said, Cujo, with its growling and killer dog, is exactly the type of film that’s designed to prey on my deepest fears.  And yes, the movie does scare me but I have to admit that I don’t really care much about the people who get killed by Cujo.  Instead …. I feel bad for Cujo.  Yes, even though Cujo scares me to death and I’m not a dog person in general, this movie depresses me specifically because of what happens to the dog.

When we first see him, Cujo is happily chasing a rabbit.  When he gets bitten by a rabid bat, he whimpers a little and I have to say that it breaks my heart to hear it.  I mean, Cujo is just such a cute dog!  And, to be honest, he seems like the type of big dog who maybe could have convinced me that not all dogs are bad.  (There’s a part of me that really wishes that I could relax and love dogs as much as everyone else does.)  But then he gets bitten by that bat and poor Cujo!  Rabies is a terrible disease.

Cujo is a good, straight-forward horror film, one that gets the job done without all of the padding and blather that you sometimes have to deal with when it comes to Stephen King film adaptations.   (Thankfully, nobody casually talks about Shawshank Prison or taking a trip to Derry or any of that other nonsense that seems to come up in most King films.)  Dee Wallace gives a good performance as Donna Trenton, who is trapped in the car and desperate to save her child.  King has said that he felt Wallace deserved an Oscar nomination for her performance and he’s probably right

But my God, I just cannot watch this movie without crying afterwards.  I just feel so bad for that dog.

4 Shots From 4 Films: Escape Room, Happy Death Day 2U, Midsommar, Us


4 Shots From 4 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!

This October, we’re using 4 Shots From 4 Films to look at some of the best years that horror has to offer!

4 Shots From 4 2019 Films

Escape Room (2019, dir by Adam Robitel)

Happy Death Day 2U (2019, dir by Christopher Landon)

Midsommar (2019, dir by Ari Aster)

Us (2019, dir by Jordan Peele)

 

 

Horror on the Lens: Night of the Living Dead (dir by George Romero)


Happy Halloween everyone!

Well, as another horrorthon draws to a close, it’s time for another Shattered Lens tradition!  Every Halloween, we share one of the greatest and most iconic horror films ever made.  For your Halloween enjoyment, here is George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead!

(Be sure to read Arleigh’s equally famous review!)