Belatedly, here’s the trailer for Friday the 13th: Vengeance


Did y’all know that there’s a new Friday the 13th film coming out?

Well, kind of.

Friday the 13th: Vengeance is a crowdfunded fan-made film that takes place 30 years after the conclusion of Friday the 13th: Jason Lives!  It features C.J. Graham, who previously played Jason in Jason Lives, as Elias Voorhees, the father of everyone’s favorite hockey mask-wearing, Oedipal complex-having zombie.  When Elias returns to Camp Crystal Lake, people start dying once again.  After Tommy Jarvis goes missing, his daughter launches an investigation of her own.

This film is currently in post-production and, if nothing else, it’ll probably be better than the Friday the 13th reboot that was released a few years ago.  This trailer was released a while ago but, given the date, today seems like an appropriate time to share it here on the Shattered Lens!

You can read more about this project over at Movies and Mania!

 

4 Shots From 4 Films: Special Friday The 13th Edition


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 is all about letting the visuals do the talking.

Admittedly, the Friday the 13th films aren’t exactly known for being the most visually impressive horror films ever made.  That’s especially true of the first 8 films, which were all shot on a low budget and in a hurry.  That said, today is Friday the 13th and there’s no way that I, as a lover of the horror genre, couldn’t use the 4 Shots format to pay a little bit of tribute to one of the most successful and influential horror franchises of all time.

So, with that in mind, here are….

4 Shots From 4 Friday the 13th Films

Friday the 13th (1980, dir by Sean S. Cunningham)

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984, dir by Joseph Zito)

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986, dir by Tom McLoughlin)

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989, dir by Rob Hedden)

Back in 2012, I reviewed every single film in the Friday the 13th film franchise!  It was a lot of fun!

My Friday the 13th reviews:

Happy Friday the 13th everyone!

Here’s The Trailer For Midway


Earlier today, the first trailer for Midway was released.  Based on the famous World War II battle, Midway will be in theaters on November 8th.  Judging from the trailer, it would appear that this adaptation has more in common with Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbor than Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk.

Of course, we shouldn’t be too surprised by that.  Midway is the latest film from Roland Emmerich and that’ll probably mean a lot of action, not a lot of character development, and maybe a half-assed debate about whether or not Shakespeare wrote Hamlet.  (I have to admit that I have never forgiven Emmerich for Anonymous, a film that not only promoted a silly conspiracy theory but which also accused Shakespeare of murdering Christopher Marlowe.)  Of course, Midway could still be a good film, even if it is a typical Emmerich production.  Sometimes, you just want to spend a few hours watching stuff blow up.

Midway does have a big cast: Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Luke Evans, Aaron Eckhart, Nick Jonas, Mandy Moore, Dennis Quaid, Darren Criss and Woody Harrelson.  I don’t know if I’d say that was an intriguing cast, if just because Woody Harrelson and Dennis Quaid appear to be legally required to appear in ensemble war films like this.  Still, it’ll be interesting to see if Midway can do for Nick Jonas what Dunkirk did for Harry Styles.

Here’s the trailer:

Here’s The Final Trailer For Doctor Sleep


I’m a little bit late in posting this but I’m happy to correct that oversight now.

Doctor Sleep is a film that I’m very much looking forward to seeing.  Doctor Sleep is a sequel to Stephen King’s The Shining and it’ll be interesting to see which version of The Shining that director Mike Flanagan will decide to honor with this film, King’s original novel or Stanley Kubrick’s far superior film version.  Kubrick’s film is one of the best horror movies ever made but Stephen King has always been very vocal in his dislike for it.

(Personally, I think a lot of King’s distaste for the film comes down to jealousy over the way that Kubrick improved on King’s original story.  Whereas The Shining is a good book that sometimes gets bogged down with King’s usual shtick, Kubrick’s film is a pop horror masterpiece.)

Judging from the just-released final trailer for Doctor Sleep, it looks like director Mike Flanagan will be building on Kubrick’s vision as opposed to King’s.  As you can probably already guess, that’s fine by me.  Flanagan is one of the best horror directors working right now and Ewan McGregor would appear to be perfectly cast in the role of grown-up Danny Torrance.

Doctor Sleep will be playing in theaters on November 8th.  (That’s the day before my birthday so I have a feeling I know what my free movie at the Alamo Drafthouse is going to be.)  Here’s the final trailer!

Lifetime Film Review: My Evil Stepdad (dir by Stacia Crawford)


AGCK!

As you can tell from looking at the picture above, the stepdad in My Evil Stepdad is even more evil and pervy and shady than the usual Lifetime evil stepdad.  Lifetime, of course, has a long and proud tradition of airing films about dangerous stepparents.  They all usually seem to follow the same basic plot.  A widow (and it’s almost always a widow as opposed to someone who has just gone through a divorce) meets a seemingly charming man who quickly marries her.  Her daughter is suspicious of her new stepfather.  Around the halfway mark, the stepfather commits a murder, just in case we were still entertaining any doubts about whether or not he’s a really bad guy.  Eventually, the daughter does a Google search and discovers that her new stepfather has either changed his name or is lying about some other important detail from his past.  Eventually, the stepfather is either killed or taken off to prison, the widow realizes that there’s nothing wrong with being single, and the daughter is proven correct.  The most important thing, of course, is that everything returns to normal at the end of the film.

In My Evil Stepdad, the widow is Tracy (played by Jennifer Lafluer).  Tracy has still not fully gotten over the death of her husband and, while she’s open to dating again, she has a strong aversion to Tinder and almost anything else that came into existence after 2011.  Her daughter is Ashley (Addy Stafford), who has inherited her father’s love of photography and who is looking forward to attending college in the fall.  And then, finally, the evil stepdad of the title is Jared (Chris Johnson), who seems to be nice and trustworthy and whose claim that he’s started a wind chime business is kind of charming as long as you don’t think about it too much.

When Jared comes across an online dating profile that Ashley set up for Tracy, he quickly manages to make his way into Tracy’s life.  Of course, he gets a little bit of help from Ashley who, unfortunately, doesn’t realize that he’s totally evil until after he’s already married Tracy.  It’s after the wedding that Jared starts to push Ashley out of her mother’s life.  Not only does he pressure her to take out a student loan to help pay for college but he also takes over her photography studio, changing the locks and turning it into his mancave.  Even worse, he tells Ashley that if she needs any money, she’ll have to ask him for it.  He even says that he will be her “sugar daddy.”  Like seriously, ewwww!

While all of this is going on, Tracy continues to defend Jared even as everyone else in her life tells her that he’s kind of a jerk.  Of course, every since the wedding, Tracy has been feeling ill.  Hmmmm …. could Jared possible have something to do with that?

In many ways, My Evil Stepdad is a standard evil stepparent film but it manages to go through all of the expected paces with a certain panache.  Director Stacia Crawford keeps the action moving at a nice pace and Abby Stafford and Jennifer Lafluer are believable as daughter-and-mother.  Chris Johnson is wonderfully sleazy in the role of Jared and the film also features a good comedic turn from Belmont Cameli in the role of Ashley’s best friend.  If you like Lifetime films, you’ll enjoy My Evil Stepdad.

Lifetime Film Review: The Wrong Cheerleader (dir by David DeCoteau)


“You messed with the wrong cheerleader!” Vivica A. Fox announced towards the end of Lifetime’s The Wrong Cheerleader.

“Hell yeah, he did!” I shouted back at the television.

Now, one reason why I yelled that response is because Vivica A. Fox is a totally badass.  She has appeared in almost every installment of Lifetime’s “Wrong” franchise and she always plays a no-nonsense authority figure that no one in their right mind would want to mess with.  When Vivica A. Fox gives you advice, you better listen.  And when she gets mad at you, you better run because she does not mess around!

The other reason I cheered was because she was telling off one of the most unsympathetic and evil abusers to ever appear in a Lifetime film.  After spending two hours watching this guy gaslight and threaten his girlfriend, I was ready for Vivica to show up and verbally kick his ass and she did not disappoint.

Fox plays Coach Flynn in The Wrong Cheerleader.  She’s the cheerleading coach at the local high school and it’s a job that she takes very seriously.  As she explains to a new recruit, being a part of the squad means that you’re a part of a family.  When a prospective cheerleader says that she understands what Flynn means, the Coach tells her that she won’t be capable of understanding until she actually experiences it for herself.  And I’m just going to say that I probably would have been scared to death of Coach Flynn in high school because she would have taken one look at me and probably told me to drop the attitude, stop showing so much skin, and behave like a responsible young lady.  And I probably would have done it too because, seriously, you don’t want Coach Flynn mad at you.

Coach Flynn is concerned about her newest cheerleader, Becky (Cristine Prosperi).  Becky is dating Rob (David Meza) and, from the minute he first shows up at school, it’ obvious that Rob has issues.  Along with having a violent temper, Rob is a relentless manipulator, the type of guy who tells Becky that everything he does wrong is because of how much he loves her.  When he gets into a fight, he tells Becky that it was because he was defending her and that it’s actually her fault because she was wearing her cheerleading uniform.  If Becky so much as looks in the direction of another guy, Rob loses his temper.  Rob, of course, has a hundred excuses for his behavior, most of them having to do with his dysfunctional family life.  Everyone can see through Rob.  Everyone, it seems, but Becky.

If you’re looking for an expose into the sordid world of high school cheerleading, you’ll probably be disappointed with The Wrong Cheerleader.  To be honest, Coach Flynn could have been a soccer coach and Becky a goalie without changing the film’s plot.  (Though “You messed with the wrong goalie!,” doesn’t have as much of a ring to it as “You messed with the wrong cheerleader!”)  But no matter.  The film does a pretty good job of revealing the techniques that an abuser will use to maintain control over the woman that he’s abusing.  Anyone who has ever been in a toxic relationship will recognize exactly what Rob is doing.  The film also makes the very important point that if you do witness abuse, you need to say something.  Just shrugging away the problem or hoping that things will somehow get better is not a solution.

For those of us who remember her as the always quirky Imogen on Degrassi, it’s interesting to see Cristine Prosperi playing a far more conventional character in this film but she does a good job in the role and she still looks young enough to pass for a high school student.  (The same could not be said of some of her classmates.)  David Meza does a good job playing up his character’s manipulative nature and, of course, Vivica A. Fox is a total badass as Coach Flynn.

The Wrong Cheerleader isn’t quite as over-the-top as most Lifetime cheerleading films but it has a good and heartfelt message and that’s definitely worth something.

Lifetime Film Review: Identity Theft Of A Cheerleader (dir by Christie Will Wolf)


Poor Vicky Patterson!

All she wants is …. well, actually she wants a lot but none of it is really too much to ask.  Vicky (pictured above and played by Maiara Walsh) wants to grow up to lead a successful life, like the life led by her wealthy and demanding mother (Gail O’Grady).  She wants to be one of the popular girls at school.  She wants to date a star athlete and she wants to be the girl who throws the legendary party that all of her classmates will be talking about for years after they graduate.  She wants to be the captain of her high school’s cheerleading squad.  Not the co-captain or anything like that.  No, she wants to be the captain.

The only problem is that Vicky is 31 years old and she dropped out of high school a long time ago.  In fact, she dropped out after it became obvious that she would never make the squad, the popular girls would never accept her, and she’d never be able to make her mother happy.  So, now, Vicky is working in a dead-end job at an outlet store and supporting her good-for-nothing boyfriend, Darren (Matty Finochio).  When Vicky talks about going back to night school and maybe even trying to earn a degree, her mother informs her that she’s too old to have any hope of successfully breaking into any worthwhile industry.  In short, Vicky’s life is pretty much over.

However, Caitlyn’s life has just begun!  Caitlyn is what Vicky starts calling herself after she steals the identity of one of her co-workers.  As Caitlyn, Vicky enrolls herself at the local high school.  She tells all of her new classmates that she’s 18 years old and that she and her mom have just moved to town.  As Caitlyn, Vicky finally makes the cheerleading squad and gets to experience the life about which she’s spent the past decade dreaming.  Suddenly, she’s hanging out with the popular crowd.  She’s got an athletic boyfriend.  She’s got a future to which she can actually look forward!

Of course, there are some problems.  No solution is ever perfect.  For one thing, Darren wants to know why his girlfriend is suddenly dressing like a teenager and spending so much time out of the apartment.  For another thing, another girl is named captain of the squad so Vicky has to arrange for her to break her ankle.  (Vegetable oil has so many uses.)  There’s also the fact that one of her fellow cheerleaders, Heather (Karis Cameron), is suspicious that Vicky may not be who she claims to be.  This is a Lifetime film, so you can probably guess that this is going to lead to murder and attempted murder.  But seriously, what else could Vicky do?  Go back to working at Big Lots?

In the long and proud history of Lifetime cheerleading films, Identity Theft Of A Cheerleader is perhaps the best yet.  I don’t say this lightly because there’s been some great Lifetime cheerleading films.  But what sets Identity Theft Of A Cheerleader apart from all the others is the wonderfully unhinged — yet, at times, oddly sympathetic — performance of Maiara Walsh.  As played by Walsh, Vicky is both dangerous and relatable.  I don’t think there’s anyone alive who hasn’t, at some point, wished for a chance to relive a year from their past and make some different choices, if just for the opportunity to see what would happen.  Identity Theft Of A Cheerleader embraces the melodrama as all good Lifetime film should but, at the same time, it also taps into a very real human emotion.  Who hasn’t asked “What if?”

Despite the rather unwieldy title, Identity Theft Of A Cheerleader is an entertaining and undeniably enjoyable Lifetime film.  Director Christie Will Wolf and screenwriter  Barbara Kymlicka craft a fun melodrama that’s rooted just enough in reality to stick with you even after the final cheer.