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Drive-In Dust Offs: Bad Dreams (1988)

Cults and their leaders have always equally repulsed, fascinated, and terrified me. The repulsion and terror are obvious markers for any sane person, but some would rather not have it in their lives at all, thank you very much. This is also a lucid and healthy response. But in horror we look for the cathartic in the carnal; and while Bad Dreams (1988) spends a great deal of effort mining a very similar vein as A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987), it succeeds in carving out its own modest slice in the late ‘80s landscape.

Released stateside in April by Twentieth Century Fox, Bad Dreams made back its $4 million dollar budget opening weekend, but petered out after it pulled in just over $9 million total. A profit, yes, but not the big numbers they were hoping for based on what they thought was a foolproof Elm Street format. Oh, and
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La Law: The NBC Legal Series Debuted 30 Years Ago (9/15/86)

Hop into TV Series Finale's time machine and travel back to Monday, September 15, 1986. When L.A. Law first premiered on NBC, thirty years ago, today, viewers met the Los Angeles-based lawyers and staff of McKenzie, Brackman, Chaney and Kuzak. The legal drama series threaded its oddball humor throughout storylines featuring hot topics of the 1980s and '90s, including sexual harassment, gay rights, HIV, capital punishment, and abortion.L.A. Law's large ensemble cast included: Richard Dysart, Alan Rachins, Corbin Bernsen, Jill Eikenberry, Michael Tucker, Susan Ruttan, Harry Hamlin, Susan Dey, Jimmy Smits, Michele Greene, Blair Underwood, Larry Drake, and Sheila Kelly. Read More…
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Review: Bad Dreams and Visiting Hours (Double Feature Blu-ray)

The good ol’ horror-loving folks at Scream! Factory recently gave us a double dose of hospital-themed terror in high definition with their Bad Dreams/Visiting Hours Blu-ray, which features the two cult classics as well as a handful of new bonus features. Par for the course, Scream’s presentation of the material is yet another home run, making it a must-own for fans or even the uninitiated.

First up on the hospital horror double feature is Bad Dreams, which follows a young woman named Cynthia (Jennifer Rubin) who awakens from a 13-year coma the sole survivor of a religious cult that burned together in a suicide pact orchestrated by an enigmatic leader named Harris (Richard Lynch). Harris believed true spiritual unity awaited his followers if they all died together, but of course with Cynthia surviving, that leaves her leader with some unfinished business. Soon, the young woman begins to fear
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Ten Asylum Movie Cliches and the Movies That Did Them Best

This week American Horror Story returned (to record-shattering numbers) for a new season of insanity - set, appropriately enough, in a sanitarium for the criminally insane. Insane asylums have been hotbeds of movie drama for decades, and bring with them their own set of tropes, cliches, and plot devices. We've compiled a few of our favorite asylum fixtures here, and the film that we feel did each the best.

Best Hallucinations: A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

You gotta give it to Freddy and Co. for pulling out all the stops in this truly twisted and beloved postmodern slasher classic. Philip's puppet death and the Zha Zha Gabor and Dick Cavett cameos make this one tops for pure Wtf? hallucinatory imagery.

Best "Welcome to the Asylum" Speech: Twelve Monkeys

If I ever get committed to a mental institution, I want Brad Pitt to be my orientation advisor. This
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Episode Recap: CSI: NY - 1.03: "American Dreamers"

  • PopStar
A tourist on a tour bus finds a dressed up skeleton. First on the scene is Stella (Melina Kanakaredes) with lame joke in tow and Mac (Gary Sinise). Stella "How long was that soda?" That was meant to be funny. Mac on the other hand comments it's a "new take on a bitch ride to hell." Wouldn't expect to hear something like that from Mac. Stella thinks perhaps it's an urban legend or a joke shop gag to scare tourists and the skeleton was probably bought from a store. Mac has to describe to her the difference between store bought and an actual skeleton and she's come across how many skeletons during her career that she can't tell the difference. A store bought skeleton would be bleached, have drill marks when assembled. This is brown with no such marks. Mac: "This is a joke I'm not laughing. These bones are real.
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Episode Recap: Castle - 1.08: "Ghosts"

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Castle (Nathan Fillion), Beckett (Stana Katic) and the rest of the team play Texas Hold 'Em, so Beckett finally took up the offer to play poker, thought she didn't want to earlier. So what made her change her mind. Martha (Susan Sullivan) has to interfere as usual and tells everyone that when Castle blinks too much it means he's got a lousy hand. When he taps his fingers, it means he's bluffing and he "might have the nuts." Castle asks Beckett if she isn't afraid of a little action and lets her win. A woman is drowned in motor oil and Ryan (Seamus Dever) comments: "murder never sleeps." That'd be straight out of a book then. Castle is excited and Beckett thinks he's like a kid at Christmas. Ryan: "...with a dead body under the tree." How crude was that comment. Murder is nothing to laugh about. Castle believes the
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Corbin Bernsen forms indie outfit

Corbin Bernsen forms indie outfit
Corbin Bernsen has formed Team Cherokee Prods. to make independent films for targeted audiences.

First up for Cherokee will be the feature film "Rust," a co-production in association with Kipling Film Prods. and Mission Pictures. Bernsen wrote the faith-based feature and will direct and star as well.

Production is set to begin next month in Kipling, Saskatchewan. The rural farming community of about 1,100 also put up most of the financing.

Meanwhile, Bernsen has brokered a deal with Electric Light Films to re-release the film "Carpool Guy," starring Anthony Geary, Rick Hearst, Jeanne Cooper and Bernsen, who directed and co-wrote that film as well.

Most recently, Bernsen directed and starred in the film noir thriller "Donna on Demand" with "L.A. Law" co-star Susan Ruttan. The film premiered at the Temecula Film Festival in October and will be released this year.

The company just completed postproduction on the horror film "Dead Air,
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Sigourney Weaver delivers an Emmy-worthy performance on Lifetime

Sigourney Weaver has been making the talk show circuit this week to promote her Lifetime movie, Prayers for Bobby.

Wait — Sigourney Weaver in a Lifetime movie? Was Melissa Gilbert unavailable?

True, the fact that Weaver’s TV movie debut is on Lifetime made me cringe a little. Not because I don’t like Lifetime — I’ve spent my share of rainy Sunday afternoons glued to the Lifetime Movie Channel for reasons I can’t explain. But the usual my-husband-beats-me-so-i-killed-him-and-got-amnesia-and-married-the-brother-i-never-knew-i-had formula just doesn’t seem to fit our favorite alien fighter.

Weaver, however, isn’t concerned about where the movie airs. “Wherever these compelling stories are told,” she said, “I’ll be glad to work.”

Compelling, the story definitely is. In Prayers for Bobby, Weaver plays Mary Griffith, a devout fundamentalist Christian who believes that her gay son Bobby (Ryan Kelley) can, with God’s help, overcome his gaiety sin.

At age 20, Bobby commits suicide,
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Answered Prayer: “Prayers For Bobby” is a Groundbreaking Gay TV Movie

It’s an admittedly gripping story: a conservative Christian woman refuses to accept her gay teenage son, hounding him to “change” to the point where he commits suicide. But then, overcome by the realization of what she has done, the woman educates herself, renounces her previous anti-gay beliefs, and becomes a crusader for Glbt youth and gay rights.

Perhaps it’s not surprising that the real-life story of Mary Griffith of Walnut Creek, California, has now become Prayers for Bobby, a TV movie starring Sigourney Weaver airing on Lifetime later this month.

And yet, as extraordinary as the story is, it was anything but an easy sell.

“Making movies is hard enough,” says Daniel Sladek, one of the film’s executive producers. “But when you have a movie about teen suicide, a woman questioning her faith, and gay rights, that’s a hot potato.”

The finished film is not your typical TV movie.
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First pics and preview of Sigourney Weaver in "Prayers for Bobby"

Ryan Kelley and Scott Bailey in Prayers for Bobby

(Photo: Ben Mark Holzberg/Lifetime)

We've been anticipating the upcoming Lifetime movie Prayers for Bobby with cautious optimism ... on the one hand, the format is a frequent punchline to jokes that usually have "has-been" or "Meredith Baxter Birney" somewhere in the setup. But on the other, the material and the talent involved are far above par.

Sigourney Weaver stars in and also produced the film, which is based on the true story of Mary Griffith, a woman whose son Bobby killed himself after his parents would not accept him as gay, and who went on to become a crusader for gay rights herself.

After the jump we've got a slew of production stills from the movie as well as the first preview, and from all accounts it looks like our optimism will pay off when the movie airs on January 24th.
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L.A. Law: Was Blair Underwood's Character Based on Barack Obama?

Now that the presidential election is over, it's time to put to rest one of the campaign's stranger urban legends. Was Blair Underwood's L.A. Law character based on a young Barack Obama?

L.A. Law debuted on September 15, 1986. The NBC series was created by prolific Steven Bochco (Hill Street Blues) and gave a big break to David E. Kelley, the talented writer who later created legal shows like Ally McBeal, The Practice, and Boston Legal. In its day, L.A. Law was a cornerstone of NBC's mega-successful Thursday night line-up. Following a group of lawyers at a Los Angeles law firm, the series showcases actors like Corbin Bernsen, Jill Eikenberry, Alan Rachins, Michael Tucker, Richard Dysart, Larry Drake, Susan Ruttan, Susan Dey, Jimmy Smits, Harry Hamlin, Michele Greene, John Spencer, Sheila Kelley, and Amanda Donohoe.

Blair Underwood joined the show's cast in season two as a young hotshot black attorney named Jonathan Rollins.
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