AMV of the Day: Monster (Various)

And with Halloween and the annual horrorthon nearly completed, how about one last AMV for the month of October?

Anime: Another, Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu, Tokyo Ghoul, School Days, Ib Witch House and Mad Father, Shiki, Elfen Lied, Hell Girl. Umineko No Naku Koro Ni, Corpse Party, Happy Sugar Life, Gakkou Gurashi ,Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni, The Promised Neverland, Mononoke

Song: Monster (Meg and Dia)

Creator: グリッチュ

(As always, please consider subscribing to this creator’s YouTube channel!)

Past AMVs of the Day

A Bonus Horror Scene That I Love: Conal Cochran’s Speech From Halloween III

With horrorthon coming to a close for another year, I figured why not allow Conal Cochran to get in a word or two.

This is from Halloween III: Season of the Witch.  Playing Conal Cochran, of course, is the great Dan O’Herlihy.

We hope you’ve all had a wonderful Halloween.

Horror on TV: Friday the 13th: The Series 2.26 “Coven of Darkness” (dir by George Bloomfield)

Well, with Horrorthon coming to a close, it’s time to share one final episode of Friday the 13th: The Series. Coven of Witches is the final episode of the second season. The third season would see John D. LeMay leave the show and Steven Monarque taking his place as Robey’s main co-star. So, this is perhaps the last classic episode of Friday the 13th: The Series.

I’ve really enjoyed sharing this series here on the Shattered Lens. In November, I’m going to sit down and the binge the entire show. Every episode is on YouTube, for anyone else who may want to catch up on it.

This episode originally aired on June 17th, 1989.

The TSL’s Grindhouse: Satan’s School For Girls (dir by David Lowell Rich)

Have you ever wanted to enroll in a private school so that you could investigate a murder and maybe uncover some sort of occult conspiracy?  Sure, we all have!  Well, don’t worry …. there’s a place for you!  Welcome to Salem Academy, an exclusive all-girl’s college where students learn all the basic subjects, along with taking courses in art and human sacrifice!

Salem Academy is overseen by the feared and intimidating Mrs. Williams (Jo Van Fleet), who keeps a close eye on her students and tries to make sure that they aren’t distracted or corrupted by any outside influences. However, not even Mrs. Williams can keep Martha Sayers (Terry Lumley) from fleeing the school and going to her sister’s house in Los Angeles. When Martha’s sister, Elizabeth (Pamela Franklin), returns home, she discovers that Martha has been hanged. The police say that it was suicide. Elizabeth believes that it’s something else.

So, Elizabeth does what any vengeance-seeking sister would do. Using an assumed name, she enrolls in Salem Academy herself. She meets and befriends three other students (played by Kate Jackson, Jamie Smith Jackson, and Cheryl Ladd). She gets to know two rather suspicious teachers, Prof. Delacroix (Lloyd Bochner) and Dr. Clampett (Roy Thinnes). She also manages to raise the concerns of Mrs. Williams, who doesn’t like the fact that the new girl keeps asking so many questions about why so many students at Salem Academy have died recently.

Still, Elizabeth continues to investigate. Perhaps the secret can be found in a mysterious painting that she comes across, one that appears to be of Martha? Perhaps the teachers and the students know more than they’re telling. But who can Elizabeth trust?

A made-for-television film from 1973, Satan’s School For Girls is frequently as silly as its name.  Fortunately, the film, which was produced by Aaron Spelling and directed David Lowell Rich, seems to understand just how ludicrous it is and it totally embraces both the melodrama and the silliness of its plot. This film is totally product of the time in which it was made, from the dialogue to the hairstyles to the fashions to the ending that you’ll see coming from a mile away. At the same time, that’s also why this film is a lot of fun. It’s such a product of its time that it doubles as a time capsule. Do you want to go back to 1973? Well, go over to YouTube and watch Satan’s School For Girls.  After you’ve watched it, step outside and ask anyone who the president is and they’ll probably say, “Richard Nixon.”  And if you ask them who they’re favorite Brady is, they’ll look at you like your crazy because everyone know that Marcia is the best Brady.  If you even have to ask, it’s obvious that you don’t really watch the show.  After that, you should probably try to find a way to get back to 2021 before you change the future or something.  You know how tricky time travel can be.

As for Satan’s School for Girls, it’s just a really fun movie so check it out and be sure not to be late for class!

What Lisa Marie Watched Tonight: The Love Boat 2.7 “Ship of Ghouls” (dir by Roger Duchovny)

Today, after I finished up Halloween, I switched over to MeTV and I watched a Halloween episode of that very 70s series, The Love Boat!

Why Was I Watching It?

A special Halloween episode of the silliest television series ever!?  And one featuring Vincent Price as an illusionist!?  How couldn’t I watch?

What Was It About?

For the ship’s Halloween cruise, the Amazing Alozno (Vincent Price) has been hired to do his act.  He’s quite the illusionist.  Through a combination of hypnotism and magic, he transforms the ship into a magical wonderland where people turn into donkeys and the pool briefly appears to be a giant ice cream sundae.  But will Alonzo also be able to conjure up love or will he continue to ignore his devoted fiancée and instead, only worry about keeping his fans happy?

Meanwhile, a model (Barbara Anderson) who is recovering from a serious car accident has absolutely no use for illusion.  She just wants to stay in her cabin but her friend, who also happens to be the cruise director, demands that she enjoy the cruise.

What Worked?

Vincent Price as an illusionist!?  Hell yeah!  Okay, the illusions were kind of dumb and never really made sense and the show never actually explained how he could turn Gopher and Doc into donkeys but …. well, isn’t the silliness kind of the point?  The important thing is that he was Vincent Price and he appeared to be having time of his life.  Good for him!

Barbara Anderson actually gave a pretty good dramatic performance as the model.  Admittedly, it did feel a little strange to have this extremely dramatic story playing out beside scenes of Vincent Price turning people into donkeys and transforming the ship’s pool into a giant ice cream sundae but again, I guess that was kind of the appeal of the show.  It’s all weird and somehow, it works.

The boat, incidentally, looked really nice.  I’m going to take a cruise now.

What Did Not Work?

On the Love Boat, everything works!

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

I could relate to the model and before anyone rolls their eyes, allow me to explain.  When I was 19, I was in a pretty serious car accident.  The car that I was in flipped over and I basically ended up upside down in the driver’s seat, surrounded by broken glass.  Later, I was told that, when people saw the damage the car, they assumed that I had to have died.  Instead, I only got a few scrapes, bruises, and cuts.  I ended up with two permanent scars — a small one on my hand and then another one on the side of my neck.  And for years, I was so self-conscious of that scar on my neck, even though it faded quickly and I now realize it was barely noticeable.  I obsessed on it, though, both because I disliked having it and also because it reminded me of a traumatic event.  All the angst and worrying that I did about it seems kind of silly now.

Lessons Learned

Love won’t have to hurt anymore.  It’s an open smile on a friendly shore.

Afraid of the Dark (1991, directed by Mark Peploe)

Lucas (Ben Keyworth) is an 11-year-old boy who lives in London and who enjoys watching the neighborhood through his telescope.  Because Lucas’s mother is blind, Lucas is concerned that there is a serial killer who is going around and attacking blind women.  Lucas is determined to help his father (James Fox), an inspector with Scotland Yard, capture the killer.  Lucas starts to sneak out of the house, visiting cemeteries and spying on the same blind women that the killer is stalking.  Investigating on his own, Lucas discovers who the killer might be.

Or does he?

Outside of the imaginary world where he spends most of his time, Lucas is a shy boy and his father is not a detective but instead a florist.  While Lucas’s mother actually is blind, Lucas himself is starting to lose his eyesight as well.  Lucas is scheduled to undergo an experimental surgery.  He’s due to go under the knife, just as surely as the victims of the serial killer that he thinks he’s hunting.  Meanwhile, his mother is pregnant and the increasingly unstable Lucas is both obsessed with his older stepsister and jealous of all the attention that his new baby sister is already getting.

Afraid of the Dark is a British psychological thriller that deserves to be better known.  Intelligently written and directed Mark Peploe, it’s both a poignant and a frightening look at a child who, due to being forced to deal with something that few others can understand, has retreated so far into his own imaginary world (where he can be the hero) that he can no longer tell what is real and what isn’t.  Lucas is both frightening and sympathetic and the movie will keep viewers guessing as to what is real and what isn’t.  James Fox and Fanny Ardant are perfectly cast as Lucas’s parents and David Thewlis, Paul McGann, and Robert Stephens all make an impression as the men who Lucas investigates in his search for the serial killer.  Tense, intelligent, and surprising, Afraid of the Dark is a film that is worth discovering.

Game Review: we, the remainder (2021, Charm Cochran)

we, the reminder is an entrant in 2021 Interactive Fiction competition.  Browse and experience all of the games by clicking here.

Something has happened. Everyone that you ever knew, including your mother, vanished nearly a month ago. They went up into the air. You are alone in a dilapidated apartment building, confined to a wheelchair and running out of food. Through the living room window, you can see what appears to be a dead body on the street below. Go out into the hallway and you’ll discover the elevator is broken. The stairs are going to be a struggle to get down on your own. But it’s either that or starve to death. If you make it down the stairs, the world outside is a dangerous place and bad memories of your life in a religious cult are triggered. If you can find food, you’ll then be able to solve the mystery of where everyone has gone.

we, the remainder is a vividly written, horror and religious-themed Twine game, one that features a fair number of puzzles and which can be unforgiving if you don’t quickly figure out how to find food. (As I’ve said, puzzles are always my downfall when it comes to IF so I starved to death a few times.) Once you eat, though, the game is a rewarding exploration of a surreal but intriguing world. Play it, solve the mysteries, and be sure to keep a Bible nearby because having a working knowledge of the Book of Revelations will definitely help you out.

Play we, the remainder.

Horror Scenes That I Love: The Finale of Dawn of the Dead

For our final horror scene that I love of the 2021 Horrorthon, how about the ending of George Romero’s 1978 masterpiece, Dawn of the Dead?

Keep an eye out Tom Savini, going over that railing.

Horror Film Review: War of the Colossal Beast (dir by Bert I. Gordon)

Look who’s back! He’s big. He’s bald. He’s now missing a bit of his face and an eye. He doesn’t look too good but still…. it’s Glenn Manning!

When we last saw Lt. Col. Glenn Manning in 1957’s The Amazing Colossal Man, he had grown to become a giant as the result of getting caught up in a nuclear blast. He had also gone totally mad and, after attempting to destroy America’s greatest city (Las Vegas, if you had to ask), he promptly fell off the Boulder Dam. Everyone assumed he was dead.

They assumed wrong.

1958’s War of the Colossal Beast (which came out a year after The Amazing Colossal Man) opens with the discovery that Glenn is still alive and he’s still wandering around in the desert. Of course, as the title suggests, he’s no longer a man. Now, he’s a crazed beast! Not only is he missing an eye and several teeth but he can no longer speak in intelligible words. Whatever bit of mind he had left when he went over the side of Boulder Dam, he lost it all when he landed.

That’s not to say that the beast that was once Glenn doesn’t have memories. In fact, a good deal of this film’s 69 minute run time is made up of flashbacks to The Amazing Colossal Man. It’s just that Glenn can’t figure out what those flashbacks mean. Perhaps it’s because Glenn is now played by an actor named Dean Parkin while the flashbacks all feature a totally different actor in the role.

Anyway, Glenn is once again captured by the army and once again, he manages to escape. This time, Glenn leaves Vegas alone and instead attacks Los Angeles and Hollywood. Spare the film industry, Glenn! It’s up to the army and Glenn’s sister to once again try to convince Glenn to stop ripping the city apart. Of course, they could just try to convince him to fall off another dam….

Like the first film, War of the Colossal Beast was directed by Bert I. Gordon. War of the Colossal Beast isn’t as much fun of The Amazing Colossal Man, largely because Glenn can no longer speak so, other than in the flashbacks to the first film, we don’t get any tortured monologues about the unfairness of it all. That said, the Colossal Beast make-up is actually pretty effective and I’m sure many kids in the 50s had nightmares about having to escape from a one-eyed giant.

War of the Colossal Beast will be best appreciated by people who have seen the first film and who are looking for some sort of closure to Glenn’s tragic growth spurt. God knows that when I first watched The Amazing Colossal Man, I went outside after it was over and I shook my hands at the sky and I shouted, “DAMN YOU! I NEED MORE GLENN!” The main lesson of these films is that you should never try to rescue anyone in the desert. If Glenn hadn’t tried to save that pilot who crashed in the nuclear testing site, Vegas and Hollywood would never have been destroyed. It’s something to think about.

Horror Film Review: The Amazing Colossal Man (dir by Bert I. Gordon)

First released in 1957 and beloved by B-movie lovers ever since, The Amazing Colossal Man tells the story of Lt Col. Glenn Manning (Glenn Langan). It also tells the story of a country where bigger is automatically considered to be better but what happens when bigger leads to insanity?

In Nevada to observe the testing of America’s first plutonium bomb, Glenn panics when he sees that a small commercial plane has crashed in the test area. Glenn runs out to rescue the pilot and, not surprisingly, he ends up getting caught up in the bomb’s nuclear blast. Though he survives the initial explosion, he’s suffered severe burns and he’s not expected to live.

However, survive he does! Glenn Manning may now be totally bald but he still recovers from the burns. The only problem is that Glenn is growing now. He keeps getting bigger and bigger until eventually …. he’s colossal!

Unfortunately, becoming a giant doesn’t do much for Glenn’s overall mood. The film is rather unclear on what Glenn was like before he got dosed with radiation but afterwards, he’s kind of a jerk. He’s bitter about being so big. He’s upset that he has to live in a tent out in the middle of the desert. He resents being told that everything’s going to be okay. Worst of all, he’s reduced to wearing a really giant diaper which …. well, I don’t even what to think about it!

Eventually, Glenn gets so annoyed that he goes on a rampage, heading for Las Vegas! Realizing that America’s greatest city is in danger of being destroyed and that all the work of Bugsy Siegel will be wasted unless something can be done to stop Glenn, the military goes into action. While Glenn’s former friends try to inject him with a giant hypodermic needle (and seriously, the scene where a group of them charge at him with the needle simply has to be seen to be believed), the military tries to destroy him. As for Glenn, he just wants to visit the Boulder Dam….

As I watched the film, I couldn’t help but compare The Amazing Colossal Man to The Incredible Shrinking Man. One featured a man who became so big that he couldn’t be ignored. He got so big that he almost had no choice but to destroy everything smaller than him. Meanwhile, society had to conspire to keep him out of sight and to eventually destroy him before the rest of the world realized how small they were in comparison. Meanwhile, in The Incredible Shrinking Man, a man becomes so small that he’s forgotten and eventually, he vanishes from our world but, at the same time, he discovers a new existence and a new state of enlightenment? Is it perhaps better to be forgotten and unseen than to be known? Glenn Manning would probably think so.

Setting aside the quest for deeper meaning, The Amazing Colossal Man is pretty silly but it’s also undeniably enjoyable. It was directed by Bert I. Gordon (who was nicknamed Mr. Big because of the number of films that he made about giants) and there’s something undeniably charming about the sight of the giant Glenn towering over Vegas. Admittedly, if you’re looking for a film that realistically and sensitively explores what it would be like to be a mad giant, this isn’t the film for you. However, if you’re just looking for a short and silly movie with a giant bald man ripping up downtown Las Vegas, The Amazing Colossal Man is just what you need!