Horror on TV: The Curse of Degrassi (dir by Stefan Brogren)


This is a special episode of my favorite TV show of all, Degrassi!  Originally airing on October 28th, 2008, The Curse of Degrassi features Degrassi’s main mean girl, Holy J Sinclair (Charlotte Arnold), getting possessed by the vengeful spirit of deceased school shooter, Rick Murray (Ephraim Ellis).  Chaos follows!  Fortunately, Spinner (Shane Kippel) is around to save the day.  As any true Degrassi fan can tell you, only Spinner has a chance against the forces of the undead.

What I like about this episode is that, in the best tradition of Degrassi, it goes there.  Holly J does get possessed.  Just about the entire cast end up dying horribly.  Spinner has to battle the undead spirit of Rick Murray and he has to do it without the help of Drake.  And, as far as we know, this episode is canon.  So, yes, Rick Murray’s ghost actually does haunt Degrassi Community School and yes, only Spinner can save us all.

Go Spinner!

Enjoy!

Horror on TV: The Curse of Degrassi (dir by Stefan Brogren)


Can you believe that Halloween and Horrorthon are both nearly over!?  I’ve got tears in my mismatched eyes.

Originally, I was planning on posting the final episode of Kolchak tonight but I miscounted and, to make a long story short, I ran out of episodes of Kolchak before I ran out of days in October!

So, for our final Horror on TV of the 2018 Horrorthon, I’m going to share an old favorite of mine, The Curse of Degrassi!

Originally airing on October 28th, 2008, The Curse of Degrassi features Degrassi’s main mean girl, Holy J Sinclair (Charlotte Arnold), getting possessed by the vengeful spirit of deceased school shooter, Rick Murray (Ephraim Ellis).  Chaos follows!  Fortunately, Spinner (Shane Kippel) is around to save the day.  As any true Degrassi fan can tell you, only Spinner has a chance against the forces of the undead.

Enjoy!

Music Video of the Day: I’m Upset by Drake (2018, dir by Karena Evans)


We’re not even halfway through 2018 yet and I’m already prepared to declare that today’s music video of the day is the best of the year!  Now, you’ll notice that I didn’t say that it’s the best song of the year but really, the song’s not that important.  What’s important is that, with this video, Drake and director Karena Evans gives us the Degrassi reunion that we’ve all been waiting for!

(Okay, maybe not everyone.  Apparently, some people aren’t as obsessed with Degrassi as the rest of us are.  But you know what?  I love Degrassi.  I’ve got almost the entire series on DVD and I’ve watched and rewatched every episode so many times that I can quote most of them from memory.)

Before he found superstardom as Drake, Aubrey Graham was best known (by people like me) for playing Jimmy Brooks.  When Degrassi first started, Jimmy was something of a random jock.  He got into fights.  He played basketball.  He dated Ashley Kerwin and dumped her after she took ecstasy and ended up making out with Sean.  He dated Hazel until she graduated.  He dated Ashley again until she betrayed him to get a recording contract.  And, of course, he ended up in a wheelchair after a mean-spirited prank led to Rick Murray shooting him in the back.  Jimmy eventually left Toronto for Amsterdam and possibly law school but, as we see in this video, he’s back and so are all of our old favorites.

Admittedly, before this video, there was a previous Degrassi reunion.  Back in 2016, the 500th episode of Degrassi featured a class reunion and several old characters did return.  Unfortunately, everyone’s favorites — like Paige, Spinner, Marco, and Emma — didn’t get much screen time.  Instead, Mo — who really shouldn’t have even been at the reunion since it had only been a year since he graduated — got most of the screen time and seriously, who ever cared about Mo?  Meanwhile, beloved graduates like Ellie, Craig, and Manny didn’t even show up.  In short, the official Degrassi reunion was a huge disappointment!

Fortunately, this video does a better job of bringing back almost all of our favorites.  I guess that’s the power of Drake.  True, it’s hard not to be disappointed that Sean Cameron, Joy Hogart, Alex, J.T. Yorke, Johnny DiMarco, and Bruce the Moose didn’t show up.  (If you ever had any doubt that Degrassi was a Canadian show, just consider the fact that a major supporting character was named Bruce The Moose.)  But check out who did return!

First off, here’s Spinner (Shane Kippel)!

Seriously, it’s not a Degrassi reunion if Spinner isn’t there.  Despite the fact that Degrassi was a four-year school, Spinner was enrolled for seven seasons.  Okay, so Spinner wasn’t that good of a student but so what?  He was the heart and soul of Degrassi!  Not only was he the drummer for Toronto’s greatest band, Downtown Sasquatch, but he was also Jimmy’s best friend, except for that time when Jimmy was angry over Spinner’s part in the prank that led to Jimmy getting shot in the back.  (Fortunately, they made up.)  I’ve seen some people online wondering why Spinner spends so much of this video throwing up.  My theory is that it’s an homage to the seventh season episode, Pass the Dutchie.  That’s the episode where Spinner, while undergoing chemotherapy, throws up on his English teacher.

(That episode also features one of the greatest lines in Degrassi history, when a stoned Spinner realizes that he’s about to fail English for the third time and exclaims, “What kind of idiot fails his own language three times!?”)

Four of my favorites all showed up together.  Getting out of the stylish white car: Paige (Lauren Collins), Ellie (Stacey Farber), Marco (Adamo Ruggiero), and Craig (Jake Epstein).  I always related to Ellie, largely because we both had red hair and always wore black to school.  I also always felt bad that Craig and Ellie could never quite seem to make things works romantically, though Ellie and Sean were actually a better couple.  But I’m just kind of rambling now…

Hey, it’s Terri (Christina Schmidt) and Hazel (Andrea Lewis)!  Terri was on the first three seasons of Degrassi, until she was put into a coma by her abusive boyfriend, Rick Murray.  (This was the same Rick who would later shoot Jimmy in the back.)  Hazel was Jimmy’s girlfriend, until she eventually realized that Jimmy was actually in love with Ellie.  It’s probably not a coincidence that Drake is rapping about his ex at the same time that Hazel shows up.

Then the teachers show up!  Ms. Kwan (Linlyn Lue) was the tyrannical English teacher who was driven to tears when Jimmy and Spinner egged her car.  As for Archie “Snake” Simpson (Stefan Brogren), he’s been the one constant over the course of all the different versions of Degrassi.  He started out as a student on Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High.  In School’s Out, he was the first character to say “fuck” on Canadian television.  Finally, Mr. Simpson taught the school’s media immersion class and eventually became principal of the school.

About halfway through the video, we learn that Mr. Simpson buys his drugs from Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith).

A longtime fan of the Degrassi franchise, Kevin Smith appeared as himself during season 4 and 5 and also in the second Degrassi movie, Degrassi Goes Hollywood.  Smith came to Degrassi to shoot his latest movie, Jay and Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh?  Of course, he brought Mewes with him.  While Kevin Smith did end up contributing to the break-up of Caitlin and Joey, he also helped to track down Craig, who was having a manic episode and living on the streets at the time.  Later, Smith would return to Degrassi to encourage Paige to take a chance with Alex and to also help launch the acting career of Manny Santos (Cassie Steele).

Speaking of Manny, she returns for Drake’s reunion and, appropriately enough, she’s seen hanging out with Emma (Miriam McDonald).  Interestingly, in Degrassi Takes Manhattan, Emma ended up marrying Spinner in a plot twist that caused thousands of Degrassi fans (like me) to roll their eyes in unison.  (Seriously, Emma and Spinner barely spoke to each other for 9 seasons and then they suddenly got married.)  In this video, Spinner and Emma don’t even seem to acknowledge each other.  Maybe they got divorced.

Among the other former Degrassi cast members to make an appearance: Melissa McIntyre (a.k.a. the one and only Ashley Kerwin), Nina Dobrev (who played teen mom-turned-super model Mia), A.J. Saudin (a.k.a. Simpson’s autistic godson, Connor), Sarah Barrable-Tishauer (a.k.a., class President Liberty Van Zandt), Jake Goldsbie (a.k.a. adorable nerd Toby Isaacs), Marc Donato and Dalmar Abuzeid (a.k.a. dorky friends Derek and Danny), and Paula Brancati (who played Jane, the girl who Spinner probably should have married.)

And then there’s Rick Murray (Ephraim Ellis).  Despite the fact that Rick was reported to have died shortly after shooting Jimmy, he still showed up for the reunion.  Of course, not everyone was happy to see him:

So, for those of you keeping track: Jimmy regained his ability walk, Emma and Spinner are divorced, Rick Murray apparently didn’t die after all, and J.T. Yorke is still dead.  Poor J.T.

(Then again, if Rick’s still alive then you have to wonder how his ghost was able to possess Holy J in The Curse of Degrassi.  Maybe I’m overthinking this.  Anyway…)

Enjoy!

Greatest video of 2018, have no doubt

A Blast From The Past: Degrassi of the Dead


Well, Halloween and this year’s horrorthon are both nearly over.

Since I started things off with The Curse of Degrassi, it only seems appropriate for me to end my part of it with Degrassi of the Dead!  This 10 minute film takes a non-canonical look at what would happen to everyone’s favorite Canadian high school if there was a zombie apocalypse!

(By the way, I know what you’re thinking but this was actually made in 2007, long before the premiere of The Walking Dead.)

Enjoy watching Drake turn into a zombie!

Horror on TV: The Curse of Degrassi (dir by Stefan Brogren)


Can you believe it?  The first day of Horrorthon is nearly over!  I’ve got tears in my mismatched eyes.

You may remember, from previous horrorthons, that I like to end each day in October by sharing a classic example of televised horror.  Much as with the the horror movies that I share at the start of each day, it should be remembered that I’m a bit at the whim of YouTube here.  If YouTube decides to yank down a video after I share it on this site, there’s nothing that I can do about it.  That’s why I encourage everyone to watch these now!  Don’t wait until 2024.  Who knows if YouTube will even still be a thing in 2024?

Anyway, let’s start things off with The Curse of Degrassi!

This is a special episode of my favorite TV show of all, Degrassi!  Originally airing on October 28th, 2008, The Curse of Degrassi features Degrassi’s main mean girl, Holy J Sinclair (Charlotte Arnold), getting possessed by the vengeful spirit of deceased school shooter, Rick Murray (Ephraim Ellis).  Chaos follows!  Fortunately, Spinner (Shane Kippel) is around to save the day.  As any true Degrassi fan can tell you, only Spinner has a chance against the forces of the undead.

Enjoy!

(Before anyone asks, yes, I did share this same episode last October.  What can I say?  I really like Degrassi and forcing people to watch my favorite Canadian obsession is a bit of a tradition around here.  We’re all about tradition here at the Shattered Lens.)

Horror on TV: The Curse of Degrassi (dir by Stefan Brogren)


Well, can you believe it?  Halloween is nearly over!  In just four more hours, it will be midnight on the West Coast and October will officially be ended and so will our annual horrorthon.  Thank you to everyone who contributed and read and commented this year!  Y’all make all the hard work more than worth it!

Well, here’s our final excursion into the world of televised horror.  Ready for it?  I’m getting a little teary-eyed.

This is a special episode of my favorite TV show of all, Degrassi!  Originally aired on October 28th, 2008, The Curse of Degrassi features Degrassi’s main mean girl, Holy J Sinclair (Charlotte Arnold), getting possessed by the vengeful spirit of deceased school shooter, Rick Murray (Ephraim Ellis).  Chaos follows!

Happy Halloween and Enjoy!

Love you!

Back to School Part II #45: The Final (dir by Joey Stewart)


the_final

As we continue with this series of Back to School reviews (only 11 left to go!), we now go from Degrassi to something much, much darker.  A horror thriller from 2010, The Final takes a look at what happens when a bunch of teenage outcasts decide to get revenge on the students who have spent the past few years tormenting them.

And let’s just say that revenge is not pretty.

One day, a bunch of affluent high school students all receive an invitation to a costume party that will be held at an isolated and long-deserted mansion.  These students are your typical collection of jocks and cheerleaders.  They’re popular but they’re not exactly smart, which may explain why they all show up for the party and drink from a punch bowl that’s been laced with a drug.  Everyone falls unconscious and, when they wake up, they discover that they have all been chained together.

Among the prisoners is one uninvited guest.  Kurtis (Jascha Washington) is one of the popular kids but he wasn’t invited to the party.  Why?  Well, as we see at the beginning of the film, Kurtis is literally the only nice guy at the entire school.  He’s the only popular kid who is willing to treat the school’s “outcasts” with kindness.

And, as you’ve probably guessed already, the outcasts are the ones who set up the party.  As they announce to their prisoners, they are going to spend the rest of the night torturing them.  They’re not planning on killing anyone.  Instead, they just want to ruin everyone’s perfect future.  They didn’t want to torture Kurtis but then he decided to come to the party.

Seriously, what can you do?

The rest of the film is basically a combination of nonstop torture and talk.  The prisoners spend a lot of time begging and screaming.  Significantly, they don’t do much apologizing.  In fact, a few of them continue to try to act like bullies even though they’re in chains.  As for the outcasts, their leader proves to be surprisingly talkative.  In fact, there were a few times when I really wanted him to shut up.  Why are movie torturers always so verbose?

That said, it quickly becomes obvious that some of the outcasts are more enthusiastic than others.  And their leader, Dane, is quickly revealed to be so crazy that he’s just as willing to kill his friends as he is to torture his bullies.  Dane is played by an actor named Marc Donato.  Interestingly enough, before making The Final, Donato was best known for playing a bully on Degrassi.  And before getting his role on Degrassi, Donato had a tiny but important role as a bullied child in a terrible film called Pay It Forward.  So, when it comes cinematic bullying, Donato has seen every possible angle.

The Final is really an unpleasant film, though I imagine it was meant to make the audience uncomfortable.  I love horror films but I tend to get bored pretty quickly with films where the majority of the running time is taken up with people being tortured.  There’s only so many times you can listen to someone scream in pain before you tune out.  That said, The Final is also a well-made and atmospherically creepy film and all the popular kids are so unlikable that you really don’t mind seeing them lose limbs and get disfigured.  Considering that we’re still hearing daily stories about children being bullied to the point of suicide, maybe The Final should be required viewing in certain classrooms.