REVIEW: BABYLON 5: A CALL TO ARMS

Babylon 5: A Call to Arms (1999)

 

Starring

Bruce Boxleitner (Supergirl)
Jerry Doyle (Open House)
Jeff Conaway (Grease)
Carrie Dobro (A Marine Story)
Peter Woodward (Dystopia)
Tony Todd (Candyman)
Tracy Scoggins (Highlander: The Series)
Tony Maggio (Bad Influence)
Michael Harris (Suture)
Scott MacDonald (Jack Frost)
Marjean Holden (Hostage)

Babylon-5-Thirdspace-Loony-LytaThis made for TV movie was actually made to set the stage for a Babylon 5 spin off series, CRUSADE. In this movie, a huge showdown with the evil minions of the Shadows (the Drakh) is about to occur with the Earth. However, no one is aware of this and the only clues to the impending holocaust are weird dreams and visions that are experienced by Sheridan and two others who he has never met. One is the captain of an Earthforce ship, the other is an annoying and difficult to like alien named Dureena. Dureena is a thief “with an attitude” (quite the cliché) and I never warmed to her character in this movie or on the nine episodes she was in on the show CRUSADE. In addition to these characters, Galen (a reappearing character on CRUSADE) also makes his first appearance. Unlike Dureena, his character did improve over time–so the idiots producing CRUSADE decided to take him off the show. In fact, after this excellent movie with an excellent premise, it seemed like TNT (who produced the series) did everything they could do to kill it, such as moving the show about, alienating the head writer and not bothering to publicize it. It’s a shame–in seeing this movie, you have a good idea of what COULD have been had the series continued receiving network support.Howling0403Overall, this movie is quite watchable and exciting, but many of the familiar characters (Delenn, Londo, Vir, others) are absent. Plus I don’t know if I am being too picky, but during the big battle with the Drakh, things seemed to really drag and take forever–this part could have been tightened up a bit and would have resulted in a higher score.

REVIEW: BABYLON 5: RIVER OF SOULS

Babylon 5: The River of Souls (1998)

Starring

Jerry Doyle (Open House)
Tracy Scoggins (Highlander: The Series)
Richard Biggs (Strong Medicine)
Jeff Conaway (Grease)
Ian McShane (Hercules)
Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now)
Jeff Doucette (Doctor Dolittle)
Joel Brooks (Six Feet Under)
Nikki Ziering (American Pie 3)

Tracy Scoggins in Babylon 5 (1993)There are many reasons why this standalone Babylon 5 “episode” put out by Turner the year after Babylon 5 ended it’s “five year mission” is the absolute best of the entire series and standalone “films “and other related Babylon 5 spinoffs, Martin Sheen is of course being the best reason, the reappearance of Michael Garibaldi is another. Other interesting things appear like Ian McShane as a thoroughly unstable scientist, and of course the best reason, Tracy Scroggins as a Lockley Hologram with less clothes on.Tracy Scoggins and Richard Biggs in Babylon 5: The River of Souls (1998)What this particular “episode” of Babylon 5 has got going for it, and this is something that has been part of Babylon 5 for a long time, is that we have a very dark and mysterious story intertwined with high comedic elements, and they work together here as well as they did during the series in general. This is just a point that I diffidently need to remind the other so-called Babylon 5 fans here, that comedy plus dark elements were part of the structure of the series from the very beginning, including “The Gathering”. And of course, after a disturbing “grave robbing” seen that involved McShane, we get into the comedy elements before we realize something else is not quite right: there is a “holobrothel” on Babylon 5, however, these are not at all like the holosuites owned by Quark on Deep Space Nine, which I am pretty sure that this is a reference and homage to in the first place- because of the fact that this holobrothel appears to be put together by scotch tape and paper clips, whereas in Deep Space nine they used cutlery and a metal ladle as conductive elements.Tracy Scoggins in Babylon 5: The River of Souls (1998)So we have this almost high comedy routine between Lockley and the crooked brothel owner “Jacob Mayhew” played by Joel Brooks, and even a triangle of sorts at that when you add in the antics of ambulance chasing lawyer “James Riley” played by Stuart Pankin, which is traditional comedy of the variety that we used to have in the 1930s pre-code films, and don’t forget the involvement of Zack (Grease’s Jeff Conway, rip). With this circus in place, in steps Dr. Robert Bryson (McShane), Who was being paid by Garibaldi’s former boss to look for eternal life, and you think he is going to add more comedy into this farce but instead he has something that used to belong to a race that we have only seen twice before: the Soul Hunters.Martin Sheen Tracy Scoggins River of SoulsThe only soul Hunter we had ever met previously was the one who was after Delenn- in the very second episode of the Babylon 5 series played by William Morgan Sheppard, an actor eccentric enough to portray that particular soul hunters instability. And it is surprising to find out that the soul hunter portrayed by Martin Sheen is not at all unstable. In fact he is a “young” soul hunter, he is very idealistic about the work that he does and he defends what the soul hunters do to Lockley in a very reasonable manner, although she has good arguments as to why souls should not be trapped and kept in dark whisper galleries. Many of the things that we previously knew about soul hunters were actually shown in this episode, including the violation of one of their sanctuaries for souls. So on one hand we have this farce including a holographic brothel and it’s faulty wiring and the owners scummy lawyer, and then we have this quite marvelous tale of the soul hunters and the fact that they may have made a certain prideful mistake.
515627What I liked mostly about this particular Babylon 5 “movie” is that it happens after the events of the television series and so there are no appearances by President Sheridan or Delenn, or Gkar and Londo, this is just life on Babylon 5 after the events of the series, life goes on, even though we know that there are Drakk milling about the galaxy waiting to pounce on Earth with one of the shadow Planet killers- which happens in another one of these made for TV by Turner Babylon 5 movies.

REVIEW: BABYLON 5 – SEASON 5

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Starring

Bruce Boxleitner (Supergirl)
Jerry Doyle (Open House)
Mira Furlan (Lost)
Richard Biggs (Strong Medicine)
Bill Mumy (Lost In Space)
Tracy Scoggins (Highlander: The Series)
Stephen Furst (Animal House)
Jeff Conaway (Grease)
Patricia Tallman (Dead Air)
Andreas Katsulas (The Fugitive)
Peter Jurasik (Tron)

Bruce Boxleitner, Mira Furlan, and Tracy Scoggins in Babylon 5 (1993)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Robin Atkin Downes (The Conjuring 2)
Kim Strauss (Million Dollar Baby)
Walter Koenig (Star Trek)
Penn Jillette (Sabrina: TTW)
Teller (The Big Bang Theory)
Fabiana Udenio (Austin Powers)
Julie Caitlin Brown (All My Children)
Marshall R. Teague (Road House)
Reggie Lee (The Dark Knight Rises)
Carl Ciarfalio (THe Fantastic Four)
Robin Sachs (Buffy: TVS)
Ian Ogilvy (We Still Kill The Old Way)
Marjorie Monaghan (Andromeda)
Claudia Christian (9-1-1)
Ardwight Chamberlain (Swiss Family Robinson)

Tracy Scoggins in Babylon 5 (1993)I’m a huge fan of Babylon 5. When B5 was originally airing, I’d tape each episode and watch it at least twice before the next one aired. I’d check out the Lurker’s Guide, puzzle over the “unanswered questions,” and eagerly await how the story would unfold. With that in mind, it’s difficult for me to approach reviewing Season 5. Fans of the show are familiar with the trials and tribulations that series creator J. Michael Straczynski went through first just to get B5 produced at all, and then to get it through its planned 5-year run. At one point, all concerned thought that the show would be forced to end prematurely, and so Season 4 wraps up a lot of the major story lines and provides a final episode with a nice sense of closure.But there was a Season 5, after all. So how is it? When I first saw the Season 5 episodes, I hated them. Hated them, I say, with a passion. This was not the Babylon 5 I knew and loved, but a travesty of it. In fact, I bailed out on it, unwilling to see my favorite series going through the motions like that. So I had my misgivings when it came to reviewing the set… was it really as horrible as I remembered? In truth, no.Babylon 5 (1993)Season 5 isn’t the Babylon 5 it used to be, for a number of reasons. The new captain is adequate at best; some of the recurring characters no longer ring quite true (the new camaraderie between Londo and G’Kar is simply inconsistent with their history); and after the Shadow War, the Earth civil war, and the culmination of the Narn-Centauri conflict, there doesn’t seem to be as much dramatic energy in the remaining story arcs. But it’s not terrible, with one notable exception.Robin Atkin Downes and Jack Hannibal in Babylon 5 (1993)What’s that exception? Well, there’s one particular episode, “Day of the Dead,” that manages to strike all the worst notes of the entire series. There are two story lines in this episode: one deals with a mysterious “Day of the Dead” celebration that has some strange effects on the members of the crew; the other involves the comedy team of “Rebo and Zooty” (played by Penn and Teller). The latter storyline is entirely comedic… and as I’ve had occasion to remark on in past reviews, comedy is the one thing that Babylon 5 has never, ever handled well. Whenever B5 tries to go for deliberate laughs, it falls on its face, creating scenes that are painfully bad, especially in contrast to the excellent drama of the rest of the show. Here we get that at its worst. It’s hard to explain how one episode could have such a negative effect on my perception of the entire season, but the truth is, it really is awful; frankly, I recommend skipping over it entirely.Once we leave aside truly awful episodes like “Day of the Dead” (and its close counterpart, the contrived “A View from the Gallery”), Season 5 is revealed to be reasonably entertaining after all. It does take a relatively long while to get going in the right direction, but when it does get moving, the content isn’t bad. Not as good as the earlier seasons, but not bad.Peter Jurasik and Andreas Katsulas in Babylon 5 (1993)One thing that’s quite clear is that Season 5 was targeted toward a viewing audience who had not seen any of the previous seasons. There are many episodes that are patently designed to fill in background information, like “The Corps Is Mother, the Corps Is Father” (clearly intended to inform the new viewer about the Psi Corps), and the scripts are full of “As you know, Bob”-style references to back-story from the previous seasons, like Garibaldi’s alcoholism. This isn’t a glaring flaw, per se, but it does reduce the amount of time that the story can spend on moving forward and building on the past, which has always been one of B5’s great strengths.Walter Koenig, Dana Barron, and Reggie Lee in Babylon 5 (1993)Overall, Season 5 has a distinctly more episodic feel than earlier seasons. In fact, in many ways it feels similar to Season 1, except that the stories aren’t as good, and there’s none of the feeling that the foundation is being laid for great things later in the series. Quite a few episodes are self-contained “emergency of the week” stories, like “No Compromises,” “Learning Curve,” and even “Meditations on the Abyss.” Taken in the larger context of science fiction television, these are solid episodes; it’s just that in the context of B5’s brilliant larger story arcs, they’re disappointing.Martin East, Bill Mumy, and Richard Yniguez in Babylon 5 (1993)Fortunately, two larger story arcs are developed in Season 5. First of all, the “telepath situation” takes center stage, as a group of rogue telepaths led by an idealistic and charismatic leader named Byron form a colony on the station. In a well-handled part of this story, Lyta Alexander finds that her past experiences on Babylon 5 give her a great deal of sympathy for Byron’s cause. Much of this story arc is handled in the first part of the season, with episodes like “Strange Relations,” “Secrets of the Soul,” “In the Kingdom of the Blind,” “A Tragedy of Telepaths,” and “Phoenix Rising,” but the general tension between telepaths and “mundanes” continues to escalate throughout the season.Bruce Boxleitner in Babylon 5 (1993)One of the strengths of Season 5 is its nuanced portrayal of the telepaths, particularly focusing on their strong sense of community identity. Their passionate belief in their own identity as special, rare, even “chosen” people raises the question of the delicate balance between individuality and conformity. Should they try to fit in? What place do they really have in the “mundane” world? Is their sense of isolation and discrimination real, or a product of their own disdain for normals? Is the Psi Corps really wrong, or does it serve an essential purpose in regulating telepaths and protecting normals? Psi Cop Alfred Bester (Walter Koenig), one of my favorite secondary characters, gets a lot of screen time in Season 5, and puts it to great use: he’s always been much more than a clear-cut “bad guy,” and here we see even more how he’s a real human being who may be more in the right than the B5 crew want to admit.Tracy Scoggins in Babylon 5 (1993)The other key story arc involves the new Alliance coming under a great deal of stress, as an unknown enemy continues to attack ships from a variety of Alliance worlds, creating discord and a growing discontent with Sheridan and Delenn’s handling of the situation. At the same time, strange things are afoot on Centauri Prime, as Londo, now the emperor-elect, discovers that there are deadly forces operating behind the scenes. This latter part of the story is particularly interesting, as it builds on the foreshadowing of earlier seasons.Peter Jurasik in Babylon 5 (1993)While the pacing of the overall season is slower than other seasons, and the tension doesn’t get cranked up like it was in comparable parts of Season 3 or Season 4, the last eight episodes of the season finally leave behind the “stand-alone episode” feel of the early part of the season, and moves into a continuing development of the main story threads that have been introduced and developed in Season 5. It’s worth sticking around for.

REVIEW: BABYLON 5 – THIRDSPACE

Babylon 5: Thirdspace (1998)

Starring

Bruce Boxleitner (Supergirl)
Claudia Christian (9-1-1)
Mira Furlan (Lost)
Richard Biggs (Strong Medicine)
Jeff Conaway (Jawvreaker)
Stephen Furst (Magic Kid)
Patricia Tallman (Night of The Living Dead)
Clyde Kusatsu (Boird on a Wire)
Shari Belafonte (The Player)
William Sanderson (Blade Runner)
Judson Mills (Walker, Texas Ranger)

Claudia Christian and Stephen Furst in Babylon 5: Thirdspace (1998)An enormous artifact is discovered in hyperspace and is towed to Babylon 5 for investigation. The xenoarchaeology corporation Interplanetary Expeditions sends a representative, Dr. Elizabeth Trent, to take control of the artifact’s examination. The artifact begins to influence the dreams of many inhabitants of Babylon 5, eventually controlling many of them during their waking hours as well. These thralls, led by Deuce, first demand that the excavation be accelerated, and then become increasingly violent towards the rest of the Babylon 5 population. Dr. Trent conjectures that the artifact is a Jumpgate that takes one neither to normal space nor to hyperspace but to a “third” space (hence the movie’s title). With the reluctant support of her colleague, they order the device to be turned on, without notifying Captain Sheridan.Howling0403Sheridan and Delenn visit Lyta Alexander, who, transmitting a “race memory”, explains that the gate was built by the Vorlons a million years ago with a purpose that cannot be expressed in human terms except as an attempt to make contact with the gods. The Vorlons discovered that Thirdspace is a parallel universe inhabited by a violent, telepathic alien species even older and more powerful than the Vorlons that is bent on exterminating all life other than their own. Long ago, the Thirdspace aliens telepathically converted a small army of Vorlons to fight and die for them. The ensuing battle ended in a stalemate; the non-thrall Vorlons shut down the gate, but the remaining Vorlon thralls prevented the artifact’s destruction by sending it into hyperspace where it was lost but preserved (in hopes that it might one day be reawakened). Lyta then telepathically informs Captain Sheridan how to deactivate the gate.Babylon-5-Thirdspace-Loony-LytaWhen the device is finally reactivated, the Thirdspace aliens stream out from the portal in small fighters and begin a devastating assault on Babylon 5, obliterating large cruisers with little effort. The Thirdspace fleet is highly advanced and the single-occupant fighters possess deflector shield technology, making them extremely hard to destroy. The violent behavior of the individuals under the artifact’s control is intended to disrupt the station’s defenses. The struggle is ended when Sheridan uses a thermonuclear device to destroy the artifact just as the first wave of Thirdspace heavy warships begins to emerge. Once the artifact is destroyed, the telepathic influence stops and the station returns to normal. Trent, shaken by the way in which the artifact affected her, turns over her final report and goes on an indefinite hiatus. Sheridan and the others conceal the true nature of the artifact from those who ask questions and confidently assure themselves that the incident is unlikely to occur again. In private, Lyta broods with the knowledge that the artifact was only one of many mistakes the Vorlons have made. The central theme of Thirdspace is hubris. The artifact was created because of the Vorlons’ belief that they were equal in power to the gods, a reference to the biblical story of the Tower of Babel.Howling0403“Thirdspace” doesn’t pretend to be anything other than light (or maybe dark is a better word) adventure, and it works fine on that basis. Admittedly, I have a weakness for “humanity finds a really old alien artifact out there and tries to figure out what it’s for” stories. Such stories are often disappointing because we never find out what it’s for; in “Thirdspace”, we do find out, and then everyone rather wishes they hadn’t.

REVIEW: BABYLON 5 – SEASON 4

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Starring

Bruce Boxleitner (Supergirl)
Claudia Christian (9-1-1)
Jerry Doyle (Open House)
Mira Furlan (Lost)
Richard Biggs (Strong Medicine)
Bill Mumy (Lost In Space)
Jason Carter (The Duel)
Stephen Furst (Animal House)
Jeff Conaway (Grease)
Patricia Tallman (Dead Air)
Andreas Katsulas (The Fugitive)
Peter Jurasik (Tron)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Anthony De Longis (Masters of The Universe)
Ardwight Chamberlain (Swiss Family Robinson)
Kris Iyer (Two and a Half Men)
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)
Mark Bramhall (Alias)
Kim Strauss (Million Dollar Baby)
Walter Koenig (Star Trek)
Henry Darrow (The Hitcher)
Andrew Craig (Conan The Adventurer)
Robin Atkin Downes (The Conjuring 2)
Marjorie Monaghan (Andromeda)
Clayton Landey (Sully)
Tim Choate (Blow Out)
Richard Steven Horvitz (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Batmas: TAS)
Marcia Mitzman Gaven (Small Soldiers)
Richard Gant (Rocky V)
Bruce Gray (Cube 2)
Carolyn Seymour (Congo)
Rance Howard (Small Soldiers)
Alastair Duncan (The Batman)
Eric Pierpoint (Alien Nation)

Wayne Alexander in Babylon 5 (1993)“It was the year of fire… the year of destruction… the year we took back what was ours. It was the year of rebirth… the year of great sadness… the year of pain… and the year of joy. It was a new age. It was the end of history. It was the year everything changed. The year is 2261. The place: Babylon 5.” For viewers who have been following Babylon 5 from its first season (and with its fantastic continuous storyline, that’s the way to watch B5), the opening voiceover for the credits of Season 4 is extraordinarily stirring. And the fact that the voiceover in the opening credits is shared among the cast highlights the fact that Babylon 5 has a true ensemble cast, with many different characters and story threads interwoven into one dramatic tapestry. In Season 4, appropriately titled “No Surrender, No Retreat,” many of these storylines come to an explosive climax, leaving other parts of the story to take on a larger role in the rest of Season 4.Jeff Conaway and Mira Furlan in Babylon 5 (1993)Season 3 left us at a critical point in B5, in several plot threads. Sheridan, drawn by his own personal demons as well as the need to defeat the Shadows, has gone to Z’ha’dum… and vanished. So too has Mr. Garibaldi. Babylon 5 has seceded from Earthgov, and now stands nearly alone in the fight against the Shadows. Only the Rangers, with Marcus as their representative on B5, and the Minbari, with their gift of the White Star, seem ready and willing to help. Londo Mollari seems to have turned his back on the potential for redemption, while G’Kar has had a philosophical revelation of his own.Jerry Doyle in Babylon 5 (1993)The beauty of Babylon 5, as viewers well know, is that each episode touches on several plot threads, developing them bit by bit as the season progresses. When a plot thread comes to a climax in a particular episode, it’s all the more effective because it has been painstakingly foreshadowed and developed up to that point. Take an episode like “Whatever Happened to Mr. Garibaldi?”, which weaves together several crucial story threads involving the fates of Sheridan, Garibaldi, and G’Kar and takes each of them to a new level.Babylon 5 (1993)Since the different plot threads of B5 develop over the course of many episodes, the result when one of them comes to the boiling point is extremely powerful. The story involving Ambassador Mollari is a case in point. In the first three episodes of the season, we see Londo and Vir drawn deeper and deeper in to back-stabbing Centauri politics and the deal-making behind the throne of the Emperor. Then, as G’Kar becomes drawn into this portion of the story, we get some of the episodes that have stayed most firmly in my mind: “Falling Toward Apotheosis,” “The Long Night,” and “Into the Fire.” While the story involving Sheridan, Delenn, and the station is perhaps more explosive, I think a good case could be made for the Centauri-Narn plot thread of Season 4 as the most dramatically effective and powerful of the season (and perhaps even of the series as a whole).Bruce Boxleitner and Mira Furlan in Babylon 5 (1993)The pacing of Season 4 is a bit odd, and for good reason. As Season 4 got underway, there was no assurance that it would be renewed for a fifth season, which would have really thrown a monkey wrench in the works, as B5 was envisioned as a five-year story arc from the very beginning. Babylon 5’s creator, J. Michael Straczynski, dealt with this by bringing many of the show’s main story arcs to a conclusion in Season 4, so that the story would have been (at least mostly) completed even if it didn’t get a fifth season. As it happened, B5 had a fifth year after all, but we can still see the effects: both Season 4 and 5 developed differently than was originally planned.Walter Koenig in Babylon 5 (1993)Most notably we see the effects of the “fast-forwarding” in the treatment of the conflict with the Shadows. The Shadow War, which has been developing over the course of two full seasons, is wrapped up in the first quarter of Season 4. Certainly those six episodes are fantastic, with a tremendous punch and intensity; this is the part of Season 4 that’s most memorable. Still, the ending in “Into the Fire” does feel a bit abrupt, though I won’t elaborate on that: I don’t want to give anything away for those (lucky!) viewers who are watching Babylon 5 for the first time.Babylon 5 (1993)After that, Babylon 5 shifts gears and focuses on the Mars situation and Babylon 5’s relationship with Earth, which remains decidedly shaky. There are some excellent stories here, but I’d be lying if I said they weren’t a bit of a letdown after the intensity of the Shadow-Vorlon conflict and its revelations, and the explosive events on Centauri Prime.Mira Furlan in Babylon 5 (1993)Fortunately, some plot threads that have been on the sidelines for much of the series now start being developed and then mature into gripping stories of their own. The Mars Colony has been a background story element throughout the first three seasons of B5: the rebellion there has on several occasions influenced events on B5, but it hasn’t been a prime concern. Now, in “Atonement,” Marcus and Dr. Franklin are sent to Mars, beginning a story line there that will develop through three following episodes as a main story, and continue to be significant in episodes further down the line as well. Garibaldi (always one of my favorite characters) develops in a new direction in episodes like “Conflicts of Interest,” and the suave and very dangerous Psi Cop, Bester, has a key role to play as well… The result is another of the most exciting episodes of Season 4, “The Face of the Enemy.”Bill Mumy in Babylon 5 (1993)The closing episodes of Season 4 bring us back to the conflict between Earth and Babylon . “No Surrender, No Retreat” is one of the best late-season episodes, ratcheting up the tension in the conflict between Earth and Babylon 5; “Between the Darkness and the Light,” “Endgame,” and “Rising Star” set up a miniature story arc and resolve it fairly quickly. Again, these are well-done episodes, but they’re in the shadow of better episodes, and with the fairly rapid development (unlike the more evenly paced Mars story thread) there’s not as much opportunity for the development of dramatic tension.imagesThe finale of Season 4, “The Deconstruction of Falling Stars,” is a peculiar episode: it’s a “retrospective” of Babylon 5’s history from 100, 500, 1,000, and 1,000,000 years in the future. As such, it effectively wraps up the Babylon 5 story and foreshadows (one could say “spoils”) many of the events in Season 5. It also provides a very definitive stopping point for Babylon 5 viewers: Season 5 is essentially an “extra” season, as all the most powerful story threads that we’ve been following have been wrapped up, most of them very effectively indeed. The one remaining thread that Season 4 leaves unfinished is, interestingly, the one story thread that has been a constant in one way or another from the very first season: the telepath situation.

REVIEW: BABYLON 5 – SEASON 3

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Starring

Bruce Boxleitner (Supergirl)
Claudia Christian (9-1-1)
Jerry Doyle (Open House)
Mira Furlan (Lost)
Richard Biggs (Strong Medicine)
Bill Mumy (Lost In Space)
Jason Carter (The Duel)
Stephen Furst (Animal House)
Jeff Conaway (Grease)
Andreas Katsulas (The Fugitive)
Peter Jurasik (Tron)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Tucker Smallwood (Space: Above & Beyond)
Ardwight Chamberlain (Swiss Family Robinson)
Patrick Kilpatrick (Minority Report)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Mortal Kombat)
Stephen Macht (Graveyard Shift)
Marshall R. Teague (Armageddon)
Anne Betancourt (Mission Impossible III)
Brad Dourif (Child’s Play)
Patricia Tallman (Dead Air)
James Black (Out of Sight)
Walter Koenig (Star Trek)
Kim Strauss (Million Dollar Baby)
Vaughn Armstrong (Star Trek: Enterprise)
Merrin Dungey (Alais)
Majel Barrett (Star Trek)
Lewis Arquette (Little Nicky)
Rance Howard (Small Soldiers)
Phil Morris (Smallville)
Bruce McGill (Timecop)
James Parks (The Hateful Eight)
Michael O’Hare (The Promise)
Time Winters (Sneakers)
Tim Choate (Blow Out)
William Morgan Sheppard (Transformers)
Melissa Gilbert (Little House on the Prairie)
Erica Gimpel (God Friended Me)
Robin Sachs (Buffy: TVS)
Robert Englund (A Nightmare On Elm Street)
Thom Barry (Cold Case)
Erick Avari (Stargate)
Mel Winkler (Coach Carter)
Jeff Corey (Beneath The POTA)

Jerry Doyle in Babylon 5 (1993)Nothing encapsulates the power of the epic science fiction series Babylon 5 better than its voiceover for the credits. In Season 3 it is Commander Ivanova who speaks: “The Babylon Project was our last, best hope for peace. It failed. But in the Year of the Shadow War, it became something greater: our last, best hope… for victory.”Bruce Boxleitner in Babylon 5 (1993)Setting the traditional episodic format of television science fiction on its head, the five-year continuous story arc of Babylon 5 built up a fascinating and captivating story through Season 1 and Season 2. The Narn and Centauri at each others’ throats… the lurking danger of the Shadows… the growing darkness in the Earth government… the unrest on the Mars colony… all these elements have been building up and sending off sparks. The question has been, what is going to blow first? It’s for good reason that the season as a whole is titled “Point of No Return.” There is no reset button on Babylon 5… and actions taken in the past are having the most dramatic of consequences.Mira Furlan and Andreas Katsulas in Babylon 5 (1993)Season 3 packs the most punch of any season of Babylon 5 so far… and that’s saying a lot, given the series’ strong start in Season 1 and escalating drama and tension in Season 2. In Season 3, several story lines come to the forefront, with events that have been picking up steam now coming to an explosive level. The political conflict back on Earth has resulted in increasing social repression even on the station, as we see in the appearance of the Night Watch organization; a string of tense episodes like “Messages from Earth,” “Point of No Return,” and “Severed Dreams” shift that story line into high gear. At the same time, the war with the Shadows goes from being a vaguely disturbing threat to a terrifying reality, in episodes like “Interludes and Examinations,” the two-part “War Without End” that picks up on certain mysterious events from Season 1, and, of course, the season finale “Shadow Dancing” and “Z’ha’dum.” It’s a clear sign that Straczynski’s techniques of foreshadowing and careful buildup are effective, when just the title of the final episode is chilling…Bruce Boxleitner in Babylon 5 (1993)The focus may be on the Shadows and the troubles on Earth, but in the background, other storylines continue to develop. The Narn-Centauri war continues to build up pressure, with late-season episodes like “And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place” leaving us eager for Season 4. The continuing thread concerning the telepaths also finds its place into Season 3’s episodes; in addition to the return of Lyta Alexander, we also see Psi Cop Bester (Walter Koenig) once again.Richard Biggs and Jason Carter in Babylon 5 (1993)For this season, all 22 episodes were written by series creator J. Michael Straczynski: with so many plot threads being developed, along with others being foreshadowed for the future, this was the only way to manage all the material properly. Given the impressively high quality of the episodes throughout Season 3, this was an excellent decision on the part of the series creator.Bruce Boxleitner, Claudia Christian, and Jerry Doyle in Babylon 5 (1993)Of course, not every single episode is up to Babylon 5’s high standard: Season 3 does include “Grey 17 Is Missing,” with a lamentable monster called a Zarg making an appearance. Straczynski himself has commented (as quoted in the Lurker’s Guide to B5) that “I just have this constant desire to go to everyone’s house and personally apologize…” Once you see the Zarg, you’ll see why. But even in this episode, the other storyline interwoven with the Zarg storyline is handled satisfactorily, and as a whole it merely serves to underline just how good the rest of the episodes are.Andreas Katsulas in Babylon 5 (1993)On a more individual level, Babylon 5 continues to develop its characters very effectively: these are not static personalities, but real, changing people. I’ve always considered the duo of the Centauri ambassador Londo Mollari (Peter Jurasik) and his nemesis, the Narn ambassador G’Kar (Andreas Katsulas) as being the characters with perhaps the most depth in the series, and this is borne out as we see them each traveling his (perhaps foreordained) path. Another instance of character development is Dr. Franklin; while earlier seasons hinted at tensions beneath his professional demeanor, it’s here that those tensions finally come to the boiling point, as we see in episodes like “Walkabout.” The cast of “main characters” is slightly fluid, with various figures naturally moving into the limelight or out of it as the overall story arcs dictate: in Season 3, the characters of Zack Allen, the down-to-earth security officer, and Mr. Morden, the very shady “associate” of Ambassador Mollari, are brought more into the action. In Season 3, we are also introduced to several new characters who will prove to be important contributors to the story as it develops: Lyta Alexander (Patricia Tallman), who is not exactly new (having appeared in the pilot), and one of my favorite secondary characters, Marcus Cole (Jason Carter).Season 3’s powerful storylines draw extensively on the material presented in the first two seasons, both in plot and in character development, so for maximum enjoyment, viewers who are new to Babylon 5 should start with Season 1 or at most Season 2. But whatever you do, don’t miss out completely! Babylon 5 is the cream of the crop of science fiction television. If you thought Season 2 was exciting… Season 3 is even better.

 

REVIEW: BABYLON 5 – SEASON 2

Untitled

Starring

Bruce Boxleitner (Supergirl)
Claudia Christian (9-1-1)
Jerry Doyle (Open House)
Mira Furlan (Lost)
Richard Biggs (Strong Medicine)
Andrea Thompson (24)
Stephen Furst (Animal House)
Bill Mumy (Lost In Space)
Robert Rusler (A Nightmare on Elm Street 2)
Mary Kay Adams (Guiding Light)
Andreas Katsulas (The Fugitive)
Peter Jurasik (Tron)

Bruce Boxleitner in Babylon 5 (1993)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Robin Sachs (Buffy: TVS)
Robert Foxworth (Transformers)
Kim Strauss (ER)
Beth Toussaint (Red Eye)
Michael Ansara (The Message)
Russ Tamblyn (The Haunting)
Dwight Schultz (The A-Team)
Adrienne Barbeau (Swamp Thing)
Jessica Walter (Archer)
Jeff Conaway (Grease)
Keith Szarabajka (The Dark Knight)
Lois Nettleton (Centennial)
Jane Carr (Legends of Tomorrw)
Carel Struycken (The Addams Family)
Walter Koenig (Star Trek)
Fredric Lehne (Lost)
Malachi Throne (Catch Me If You Can)
Michael O’Hare (C.H.U.D.)
Ardwight Chamberlain (Swiss Family Robinson)
Paul Winfield (The Terminator)
Ryan Cutrona (Hot Shots!)
Ken Foree (The Devil’s Rejects)
Jsu Garcia (A Nightmare On Elm Street)
Marshall R. Teague (Road House)
Paul Williams (Battle For The POTA)
Glenn Morshower (Supergirl)
Ian Abercrombie (Army of Darkness)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
Julie Caitlin Brown (All My Children)
Kim Zimmer (Body Heat)
Alex Hyde-White (The Fantastic Four)
Carmen Argenziano (Stargate SG.1)
Andrew Craig (Conan The Adventurer)
Patricia Tallman (Dead Air)
William Morgan Sheppard (Transformers)
Roy Dotrice (Hellboy 2)

Bruce Boxleitner, Claudia Christian, and Jerry Doyle in Babylon 5 (1993)“It was the dawn of the Third Age of Mankind… the year the great war came upon us all.” This evocative phrase, in the new opening credits voiceover for the second season of Babylon 5, captures the anticipation, suspense, and drama that are waiting for us as we embark upon a season appropriately, and ominously, named “The Coming of Shadows.”Stephen Furst in Babylon 5 (1993)As I commented in my review of Season 1, what makes Babylon 5 really stand out is its storytelling. Creator and main writer J. Michael Straczynski is telling one story, planned from the beginning to develop over the course of five years; within that larger story are interconnecting story arcs that span several seasons. As a result, Babylon 5 has the richness, depth, power, and complexity of a great novel; it’s not like anything else on television.Bruce Boxleitner and Mira Furlan in Babylon 5 (1993)If you’re used to “reset button” style television shows in which everything must return to the status quo at the end of the episode – for instance, however much I love Star Trek, that series is a prime example – then Babylon 5 offers quite a shock in this respect, especially now that the plot is really developing in Season 2. Each episode is a piece of the larger story, and it moves that larger story along; the events in an episode matter in the larger sense. That means that in any given episode, major events can happen: events that will shape the course of the season, or dramatically affect a character, or shed new light on any number of mysteries.Bruce Boxleitner and Claudia Christian in Babylon 5 (1993)From the large-scale plot to the pacing of the individual episodes, Babylon 5 is an extremely well-conceived and well-written show. What’s more, it’s an intelligent and challenging one. Viewers are richly rewarded for paying attention and thinking about what’s going on: what happened last week, or last season, may very well turn out to be of utmost importance as the plot develops. Season 2 starts out with an excellent reminder of this, when the events of a first-season episode turn out to be crucial in Dr. Franklin’s attempt to save Garibaldi’s life.While Season 1 set the stage, introduced the players, and got a few seemingly small events rolling, it’s now, in Season 2, that things really get explosive. Season 2 jumps into a tangled weave of plot threads from the very beginning, clearly showing that we’re in for quite a ride. Since Babylon 5 is so intensely plot-driven, I’m taking pains here to avoid spoilers. If you are watching the show for the first time, you absolutely, positively do not want to have any of the fantastic plot developments spoiled for you… and if you’re watching it for a second (or third, or fourth…) time, then a few hints will be enough to whet your appetite for seeing the episodes again.Bruce Boxleitner in Babylon 5 (1993)Commander Sinclair has been mysteriously removed from his command of Babylon 5, and sent to Minbar as an ambassador; indeed, strange things are afoot with the Minbari, as Ambassador Delenn embarks on a perilous transformation in accordance with prophecy, and the Minbari reveal something that they have previously kept hidden from the humans… though they aren’t telling the whole story. A new commander, Captain Sheridan (Bruce Boxleitner) takes command, but with a past that’s shadowed by personal grief as well as by his infamy among the Minbari, who call him “Star-Killer.” Is he a pawn in some larger political game? Will he be able to continue Babylon 5’s mission?Bruce Boxleitner, Claudia Christian, and Jerry Doyle in Babylon 5 (1993)Then there’s the issue of Earth President Santiago’s death, which may have been foul play at the hands of a conspiracy… but just how deep does that conspiracy go, and who can the Babylon 5 crew really trust? The Centauri ambassador Londo Mollari is on the ascendance after the destruction of the Narn colony in Season 1… but it seems that Londo’s relationship with the mysterious Mr. Morden is far from finished. In fact, the events of Season 1 have only served to increase the tension in the bitter rivalry between the Narn and Centauri empires. We also get developing threads about the Psi Corps and the Mars colony tied in, with the return of the Psi Cop Bester (Walter Koenig) as well as the telepath Lyta Alexander. And in the background, we learn of the appearance of strange ships, ships that G’Kar has a theory about…Bruce Boxleitner, Mira Furlan, and Bill Mumy in Babylon 5 (1993)I haven’t mentioned any specific episode titles so far, in part because the story threads are so interwoven that it’s difficult to pick out individual episodes to discuss and in part because it’s hard to talk about specific episodes without spoilers. Season 2 has 22 episodes, and they’re all good ones; even the more “ordinary” episodes are very entertaining stories in their own right, and serve to lay the groundwork for later high-tension episodes, both in terms of plot developments and in terms of pacing and theme. I’ll point out a few highlights, and leave you to find out exactly why they’re so important.Stephen Furst and Bill Mumy in Babylon 5 (1993)“The Coming of Shadows” should tell you from its title alone that it’s a momentous episode… and trust me, it is. “All Alone in the Night” likewise moves forward into deeply dramatic territory, involving Sheridan as well as Delenn. Then there’s “In the Shadow of Z’ha’dum”… let’s just say that you’ll be seeing more of Mr. Morden. “A Spider in the Web” and “A Race Through Dark Places” showcase interesting developments among the Psi Corps. “The Long, Twilight Struggle” brings certain events of the Narn-Centauri struggle to a head. And “The Fall of Night” will have you biting your nails for Season 3.

 

REVIEW: FREDDY’S NIGHTMARES – SEASON 1 & 2

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MAIN CAST

Robert Englund (Wishmaster)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Lar Park-Lincoln (Friday The 13th – Part VII)
Yvette Nipar (Robocop: The Series)
Lori Petty (Tank Girl)
Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU)
Shiri Appleby (Roswell)
Joyce Hyser (The Flash 90s)
Sarah Buxton (Little Children)
George Lazenby (Winter Break)
Andrew Prine (V)
Jeremy Roberts (Hercules: TLJ)
Brad Pitt (Fight Club)
Bill Moseley (Army of Darkness)
Jeffrey Combs (Gotham)
Eva LaRue (CSI: Miami)
Dick Miller (Gremlins)
Jeff Conaway (Babylon 5)
Charles Cyphers (Halloween)
Anne Lockhart (Battlestar Galactica)
Kyle Chandler (Supoer 8)
Tracey Walter (Batman)
Jeff Yagher (V)
Marc Alaimo (Star Trek: DS9)
Sherman Howard (Superboy)
Christine Belford (Wonder Woman TV)
Sandahl Bergman (Conan The Barbarian)
Clifton Collins Jr. (Westworld)
Morris Chestnut (Kick-Ass 2)
Penny Johnson Jerald (Star Trek: DS9)
Raymond Cruz (My Name Is Earl)
Paul Ben-Victor (Daredevil)
Ellen Albertini Dow (Wedding Crashers)
Brett Cullen (Joker)
Tamara Glynn (Halloween 5)
Leland Crooke (Angel)
Timothy Bottoms (The Paper Chase)
David Kaufman (Superman: TAS)
Dick Gautier (Transformers)
Wings Hauser (Rubber)
Richard Eden (Robocop: The Series)
Robert F. Lyons (Death Wish II)
Fabiana Udenio (Austin Powers)
Clayton Landey (Sully)
Tim Russ (Star Trek: Voyager)

MV5BNTIzODY4NjMtZGE0NC00NTI1LWE1OTktYjNkZjkzZGNhMDA2XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzQ1NjgzOTA@._V1_Based on the popular horror series, Freddy’s Nightmares was a Tales From The Crypt style anthology/spin off which focused on a series of events that people would find themselves in when they went to sleep from embarrassing situations to terrifying blood curdling nightmares, which they sometimes did not wake up from.Image result for FREDDY'S NIGHTMARESThe master behind all these nightmares was none other than Freddy himself, who would narrate every now & then throughout the episodes, an interesting theme & idea the series had which lifted it up above many similar anthologies, was to basically have two episodes in one, in which the the survivor of the first half of the episode would meet his or her death in the second half, usually friends or family members of the characters that have died in the first half. While other episodes featured characters from another episode popping up in others (most of which met their demises in the follow up episodes).

MV5BYmQ0MThmZGItYzhkOC00ZTIzLTliZWMtN2VjNWZjMTIwZmMzXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzQ1NjgzOTA@._V1_Despite his many brief pop up appearances, Freddy was the main focus of a few episodes such as The pilot episode No More Mr. Nice Guy(Directed by Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s own Tobe Hooper!! & my personal favorite out of all the ones Freddy was in) which was a prequel set before the original Nightmare on elm Street,  where Freddy due to an unjust law system was set free after murdering a series of  little children, outraged, the parents decide to take the law into their own hands including a police officer, who’s twin daughters were on the verge of death when he saved them & arrested Freddy. Burned alive in his boiler room, he returned as a badly burned boogeyman to kill & torture some of those responsible for his execution, this episode was very entertaining bringing back the creepy nightmarish monster of the original, rather than the jokey character he later became in parts 3 & up. It’s second half, Sisters Keeper was also pretty decent, other episodes Freddy appeared in were, Freddys Tricks & Treats, Safe Sex, Photo Finish, Dreams Come True, It’s My Party & You’ll Die If I Want You Too!Image result for FREDDY'S NIGHTMARESThe last episode I mentioned which was both scary & hilarious when Freddy decides to attend his class reunion, killing off all of his graduating class including the pretty girl who stood him up & best of all we even got to see Freddy’s nerdish pal from high school!. Another great thing about the series was it’s many familiar acting faces such as Brad Pitt, Dick Miller, and many others.  All in all if you ever get a chance to view the episodes, I do recommend them. A lot of them weren’t great, but unlike Friday The 13th: The Series, at least this had the character from the movies in them & connected to the movies, rather than being in name only, with the humorous Freddy character actually playing better on the small screen than he did on the big screen & a few episodes were actually better than many of the Nightmare sequels!

REVIEW: ALIEN INTRUDER

 

CAST
Maxwell Caulfield (Grease 2)
Tracy Scoggins (Babylon 5)
Billy Dee Williams (Star Wars)
Gary Roberts (Die Hard)
Jeff Conaway (Jawbreaker)
Michael Delano (Ocean’s Eleven
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Welcome to the grim future. The year is 2022. Aboard the U.S.S. Holly in outer space, mild mannered crew member Borman (Jeff Conaway) has apparently gone berserk. For no logical reason, Borman has callously slaughtered his own men…

Back on Planet Earth, Commander Skyler (Billy Dee Williams) has recently received a desperate call for help. The call has requested that a rescue mission must be dispatched into outer space to find any survivors of the massacre aboard the U.S.S. Holly. So Skyler decides to arbitrarily select four losers to accompany him on this rescue mission. Nick (Maxwell Caulfield) is an intransigent navigator who has almost instigated a space mutiny once… DJ (Richard Cody) is a computer hacker charged with embezzlement. Lloyd (Gary Roberts) is a woman-loving mechanic. Peter (Stephen Davies) is an expert at engineering.MV5BMDRkYjMxYzYtYjNhZC00MGVmLTg5Y2YtNTFlYTU3MmFjMWNhXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTEwNDYyNzk@._V1_As a reward for their hard work and services, the crew members of the U.S.S. Presley are allowed to relax and indulge in their own lovely gratification. The convicts are allowed a chance to vicariously live out their own pleasures via virtual reality. Now, meet Ariel. She is every man’s dream. She wants to become your playmate. An alien virus, cleverly disguising herself as a femme fatale named Ariel (Tracy Soggins) has decided to enter each individual program…and turn these people’s greatest fantasies into their worst nightmares. Ironically, these petty prisoners and thugs may become entrapped in their own fantasies… Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the daydreaming space travelers, Ariel is intent on luring them to their ultimate doom by forcing one of the crew members to navigate towards the forbidden “G-Sector.” While these travelers are distracted by their own illusions, Ariel revels in seducing each victim as she appears in each virtual reality simulation. As a result, tension is created among the crew members themselves…
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ALIEN INTRUDER has a unique premise, even if it is derivative of probably every other science-fiction thriller ever made. Every science-fiction cliché ever manifested exists in this potboiler. It features lots of erotic love scenes, interpolated with sporadically violent action sequences. There are lots of gung-ho action in this flick. Along the way, the viewer is treated to a collection of beautiful women!  The performances in this movie are deadpan with Conaway acting way over-the-top as a psycho on the loose. Billy Dee Williams seems to know how to have fun here as for the rest of the cast. Tracy Soggins is cute in this movie, especially when she plays mind games with the male cast. It is a joy to watch everyone acting paranoid in this movie. ALIEN INTRUDER is sort of predictable because the viewer is always one step ahead of the characters. For example, we all know that Ariel will make herself an obligatory part of each of the space convict’s dreams. It is just a matter of when she will show up which adds to part of the fun. It’s a decent but tedious sci-fi film. There is enough sex, violence, and eye candy to appease connoisseurs of sleaze, but this film has immensely restricted appeal. Despite this movie’s flaws, it is still admissible. The film does move relatively fast enough.

 

REVIEW: JAWBREAKER

CAST
Rose McGowan (Planet Terror)
Rebecca Gayheart (Urban Legend)
Julie Benz (No Ordinary Family)
Judy Greer (Jurassic World)
Chad Christ (Gattaca)
Ethan Erickson (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Tatyana Ali (Kiss The Girls)
Charlotte Ayanna (Training Day)
Jeff Conaway (Babylon 5)
William Katt (Super)
P.J. Soles (Halloween)
Marilyn Manson (Sons of Anarchy)
Carol Kane (Gotham)
Pam Grier (Jackie Brown)
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The “Flawless Four” are the most beautiful and popular girls in Reagan High School in Los Angeles. The clique consists of Courtney Shayne (Rose McGowan), Marcie Fox (Julie Benz), Julie Freeman (Rebecca Gayheart), and Elizabeth Purr (Charlotte Ayanna), the “Princess Di of Reagan High.” Of the four, only Liz is genuinely kind-hearted to everybody regardless of their social rankings and loved by the entire school; Julie was popular because of her beauty and being best friends with Liz, while cold-blooded queen bee Courtney and her airheaded right-hand girl, Marcie, demanded respect through terror. Courtney, Marcie, and Julie decide to play a mindless prank on Liz the morning of her 17th birthday, by performing a fake kidnapping. They surprise Liz in bed, bind her with ropes, and Courtney rams a jawbreaker into her mouth to gag her, before sealing her mouth with duct tape. The girls then lock Liz in the trunk of a car and drive off, actually planning to take her to a restaurant for breakfast. Upon opening the trunk, however, they are greeted with the grisly sight of Liz dead, having choked on the jawbreaker.
Julie wants to go to the police, but Courtney forbids her. Courtney calls the school pretending to be Liz’s mother and tells them Liz is ill and cannot attend school, then the three go to school as though nothing had happened. When Principal Sherwood (Carol Kane) sends school outcast and ardent admirer of Liz, Fern Mayo (Judy Greer), to deliver Liz’s homework at the end of the day, she stumbles upon the three girls and Liz’s mangled body. Out of jealousy, Courtney fabricates an elaborate story that Liz died at the hands of a rapist, and plots to tarnish Liz’s good reputation by spreading false rumors that she was actually a rebellious, promiscuous girl, who drank and did drugs and was not the perfect angel she made herself out to be.
Fern, who had hero-worshipped Liz, attempts to flee the house. The girls catch her and Courtney buys her silence by accepting her into the clique, telling her to take Liz’s place, despite Julie’s protests. Courtney and Marcie give Fern a makeover, transforming her from plain and awkward to elegant and beautiful. The transformation is so complete, Courtney introduces Fern as the beautiful exchange student “Vylette”.
Julie, overwhelmed by guilt at her part in Liz’s death, breaks away from the clique, only to be tormented by her former friends, and as her popularity dissolves, she becomes a new target for abuse and contempt throughout the school. Her only real friend during this time is her boyfriend and drama student, Zack. As Vylette’s popularity soars, Julie watches in silence as Courtney spins an endless web of lies to cover up the murder and maintain her popularity. Julie threatens to go to the police and tell them the truth, but Courtney retorts that she, Marcie, and now Vylette will claim Julie killed Liz if she attempts to expose them. To her disgust, Julie learns that, after they had returned Liz’s corpse to her house, Courtney went out that same night and seduced a stranger (Marilyn Manson) at a sleazy bar and had sex with him in Liz’s bed, making it seem as though he had raped Liz.
Vylette becomes intoxicated with her new-found popularity, which has eclipsed Courtney’s own. Courtney orders Vylette to learn her place, but Vylette vows that if Courtney does not watch her step, then she will reveal the truth behind Liz’s death. In response, Courtney and Marcie post enlarged yearbook photos of Fern Mayo all over the school with the message “Who is Vylette” written on them, revealing Vylette’s true identity and leaving her humiliated by the entire school. Julie takes pity on Fern and forgives her for being corrupted by Courtney.
Feeling no remorse for the lives she has destroyed, the heartless Courtney attends the senior prom with jock Dane Sanders (Ethan Erickson), Julie is at home going through a bag of Liz’s belongings that were given to her. Upon finding a recordable greeting card she was fiddling with when Courtney was faking Liz’s death scene, Julie discovers it has recorded Courtney’s admission to the killing. Armed with this evidence, Julie, Fern and Zack hurry to the prom.
When Dane and Courtney are announced as Prom King and Queen, Zack sneaks backstage and broadcasts the card’s message over the sound system. Disgusted, Dane quickly abandons Courtney while Marcie hides under a table. Horrified that her scheme has unraveled, Courtney tearfully races for the exit as the rest of the furious students pelt her with corsages and call her a murderer. Julie snaps a picture of her former friend’s anguished face to immortalize the occasion. As Courtney’s photo ends up in the yearbook, the film closes with one of Fern Mayo’s quotes to Detective Vera Cruz: “This is high school, Detective Cruz. What is a friend, anyway?”
A sweet and sour brightly packaged look at youth-filled America where the ugly resonates just as strongly underneath, where fitting into something horrible is everything to survive high school, and that certainly is true of much of America. A great dark comedy not to be missed.