Horror TV Show Review: Day Of The Dead 1.1 “The Thing In The Hole” (dir by Steven Kostanski)

First off, you may be looking at this review and thinking, “Someone’s a little late.”

Yes, I am.  Thank you for pointing that out.  I’m sure you’ve never had a busy week either.

That said, despite the fact that you shouldn’t have pointed it out, it is true that Day of the Dead premiered last Friday and it was only today that I finally got around to watching it on the DVR.  That wasn’t necessarily intentional on my part.  I just haven’t had a chance to sit down and really watch it or any other shows until tonight.  In fact, ever since I first saw the commercials for the show on SyFy, I’ve been looking forward to watching it.  Even though it looked like yet another Walking Dead rip-off, the fact that it was on SyFy held some promise as SyFy’s shows usually move quickly and feature lots of carnage.  If AMC always seems as if it’s trying too hard to turn its zombie franchise into a prestige factory, SyFy promises the opposite approach.

The show is named after George Romero’s Day of the Dead, which featured a group of survivors trying to ride out the zombie apocalypse in an underground bunker.  While the first episode did feature zombies and an anti-fracking plotline that felt like it could have come from one of Romero’s later films, it otherwise didn’t have much in common with Romero’s classic shocker.  The zombie apocalypse did start about halfway through the episode and apparently the show is going to focus on a group of people trying to survive the end of the world but, during the first episode, there was no bunker.  There was no Dr. Logan.  No one shouted “Choke on them” while his intestines were being devoured.  There was, however, some underground scenes due to the whole fracing subplot and there is a sinister character named Rhodes so I imagine we’ll be heading for some sort of underground bunker soon.  I guess we’ll find out over the course of the next few episodes.

After opening with an exciting flashforward the featured plenty of undead chaos, the first episode focused on election day in the town of Mawinhaken.  Mayor Paula Bowman (Miranda Frigon) is concerned about getting reelected but the election is brought to halt when the dead suddenly rise up from their graves and start eating all of the voters.  I got the feeling that we were meant to dislike Mayor Bowman because she’s an ambitious politician who has apparently put her career before her family but, as far as I’m concerned, Mayor Bowman was the best character on the show.  No sooner have the dead arisen than she’s running around with a gun and blowing them away while saying stuff like, “Second amendment, motherfucker!”  Hell yeah!  Plus, she has a great name.  Mayor Bowman has a nice ring to it….

(But if I was mayor, would I still have time to watch and review Lifetime films?  That’s the question.)

As for the rest of the characters …. well, there’s a lot of them.  Hopefully, a few of them will get eaten during the next episode because, otherwise, it’s going to be a struggle to keep everyone straight.  I did like Keenan Tracy, who played Cam McDermott, the son of a police detective who mows lawns to bring in extra money.  The scene where he mowed over the dead as they rose from their graves was a highlight of the episode.  Otherwise, the characters felt a bit interchangeable.  The only woman working on the fracking crew is former special forces.  The mortuary assistant is sarcastic.  There’s two bullies who like to give Cam a hard time.  They all made just enough of an impression that I can remember that they’re on the show but I’d by lying if I said any of them jumped out at me the way that Mayor Bowman and Lawnmower Cam did.

Anyway, it was a good enough first episode.  The action moved quickly and the zombies were gruesome without being quite as icky as the decaying corpses that pop up on The Walking Dead.  So far, the Day of the Dead zombies appear to move faster than the Walking Dead zombies and that’s definitely an improvement.  It’s probably debatable whether or not, at this point, there’s anything new that can be done with whole zombie apocalypse thing but I’ll definitely give Day of the Dead a chance to show me what it has in mind.

Horror on TV: Friday the 13th: The Series 2.4 “Tails I Live, Heads You Die” (dir by Mark Sobel)

Tonight, for our horror on the lens, we have the fourth episode of the 2nd season of Friday the 13th: The Series!

Colin Fox plays a Satanist who plans to use a magic coin to summon the dead and take over the world! Can Micki and Ryan stop him and his cult?

This episode originally aired on October 21st, 1988! It was apparently as close as the 2nd season of Friday the 13th got to doing a Halloween show as the next episode wouldn’t air until November 4th.

Horror on TV: Friday the 13th: The Series 2.3 “And Now The News” (dir by Bruce Pittman)

Tonight, for our horror on the lens, we have the third episode of the 2nd season of Friday the 13th: The Series!

Kate Trotter plays a psychiatrist who, due to a cursed radio, is capable of helping even the most troubled of her patients! Unfortunately, for everyone that she helps, someone else has to die!

This episode originally aired on October 14th, 1988.

Horror on TV: Friday the 13th: The Series 1.26 “Bottle of Dreams” (dir by Mac Bradden)

Tonight’s episode of Friday the 13th: The Series is the finale of the first season.  When the spirit of Uncle Lewis (R.G. Armstrong) attempts to re-enter the world of the living, it leads to Micki and Ryan reliving some of their worst memories.

The episode originally aired on July 25th, 1988.

Lisa Marie’s Week In Television — 10/10/21 — 10/16/21

I didn’t watch much TV this week.  I’ve kind of made the decision to hold off on a lot of shows until after October so no Dancing With The Stars or The Voice for now.

Here’s what little I did watch:

Allo Allo (Sunday Night, PBS)

With the Gestapo looking to arrest Rene, Rene was forced to disguise himself by wearing a putty nose.  Yes, the nose did get smashed.  Yes, Rene did try to smoke a cigar.  Yes, the nose did catch on fire.  Rene, being the bravest man in France, ripped those nose off and threw it out the cafe, where it promptly exploded.  It was an interesting episode.

Bar Rescue (Weekday Mornings, Paramount Network)

I watched two episodes on Monday morning.  Judging from all the yelling and the scowling, apparently there is no more important job in America than being a good bar owner.

Friday the 13th: The Series (Yahoo)

I’m still having fun watching and sharing this series on the Shattered Lens!

Gabby Petito: ID Special Report (Wednesday Night, ID)

This didn’t really reveal anything about the case that I didn’t already know.  John Walsh showed up to say that he thinks Brian Laundrie is still alive.  I agree but, at the same time, I’m not sure if sending Dog the Bounty Hunter after him is the best way to eventually capture him.  So many people are using the Petito case to build up or reboot their own brand that I fear that Gabby herself is getting forgotten in the rush.  My heart breaks for her and her family.

The Office (Thursday Night, Comedy Central)

It watched an episode on Thursday.  It was from the final season.  Andy got out his guitar and started singing.  It was cringe city.

Open All Hours (Sunday Night, PBS)

Help I’m Being Held Prisoner, Granville painted on the store window.  No one came to his aid.  This is the darkest British sitcom that I’ve ever seen.

Parking Wars (Weekday Mornings, A&E)

A&E’s tribute to fascism continues to be must-viewing for anyone who wants to understand how authoritarianism took root in the United States.  I watched a few episodes on Monday morning while I was straightening up around the house.  There was one terrifying parking cop in general, who kept complaining about people making excuses but who, at the same time, seemed to feel that she was a victim just because people didn’t appreciate getting ticketed.  Giving out tickets to the guilty is one thing.  Whining because people aren’t kissing your ass in response is another.

Survivor (Wednesday Night, CBS)

I wrote about this week’s episode here.

Talking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

In the past, I was often bored with The Walking Dead but charmed with Talking Dead.  This season, I’ve pretty much had the opposite reaction.  Every good episode of The Walking Dead is followed by a boring Talking Dead.  It doesn’t help that Talking Dead also has to hype up stuff like World Beyond.  It’s been a long time since that night that Chris Hardwicke shed a tear while discussing the death of Herschel.  (We miss you, Scott Wilson!)

The Walking Dead (Sunday Night, AMC)

I wrote about this week’s episode here!

Walking Dead: World Beyond (Sunday Night, AMC)

Eh, who cares?  I set the DVR for it.  I watched it.  It didn’t interest me.  It feels too much like Walking Dead fanfic, to be honest.  I guess I’ll give it another chance next Sunday but, so far, this show just is not holding my interest at all.  It’s like the CSI: Cyber of The Walking Dead franchise.

Horror on TV: Friday the 13th: The Series 1.24 “Pipe Dreams” (dir by Zale Dalen)

On tonight’s episode of Friday the 13th: The Series, Ryan discovers that his own father has been using a cursed pipe to get ahead in business!

This episode originally aired on July 16th, 1988.  Ryan’s father is well-played by Michael Constantine, a familiar character actor (he was the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding) who passed away on August 31st of this year.

Horror on TV: Friday the 13th: The Series 1.23 “Badge of Honor” (dir by Michelle Manning)

On tonight’s episode of Friday the 13th, Val Avery plays an angry cop who uses an antique sheriff’s badge to get revenge on the mobster who put his wife in a coma.  The mobster is played by David Proval, who later played RIchie Aprile during the second season of The Sopranos.  (You might remember Janice shooting him in the chest.)

This episode was directed by Michelle Mannings who, while working as an executive at Paramount, produced both Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club!

This episode originally aired on July 9th, 1988.


Horror on TV: Friday the 13th The Series 1.21 “Double Exposure” (dir by Neill Fearnley)

How did anchorman Winston Knight (played by Gary Frank) manage to commit a murder while, at the same time, appearing on a live news broadcast!? How can anyone be two places at once? Could a cursed antique camera have something to do with it?

Ryan and Micki are on the case in tonight’s episode of Friday the 13th: The Series!

This episode originally aired on May 21st, 1988!

Horror on TV: Friday the 13th: The Series 1.20 “The Quilt of Hathor: The Awakening”

On tonight’s episode of Friday the 13th: The Series, Ryan’s attempt to live as a member of a cult leads to him being framed by the group’s leader!

This is the second part of the story started in yesterday’s episode.  It originally aired on May 14th, 1988.

Horror on TV: Friday the 13th: The Series 1.19 “The Quilt of Hathor” (dir by Timothy Bond)

On tonight’s episode of Friday the 13th: The Series, it appears that Ryan might be tempted to abandon searching for haunted antique when the quest to find a cursed quilt leads him to a religious cult that has rejected “modern” society.

Honestly, at this point, a religious cult that has rejected social media could probably win over a lot of adherents.  However, I think things are a bit more sinister in this case.

Tonight’s episode first aired on May 7th, 1988.  Fear not the “To be continued” ending!  We’ll have the second part of this story tomorrow night!