Saturday, February 26, 2022

freakboy on film: PANDEMONIUM (1982)


The Fourth So Bad It's Good Blogathon, hosted by Rebecca of TAKING UP ROOM.  , February 26-28, 2022

This post is part of The Fourth So Bad It's Good Blogathon, hosted by Rebecca of TAKING UP ROOM.  Be sure to check out the other wonderfully wacky and weird posts! 🤓 

Pandemonium blu-ray

Welcome to Bambi’s Summer Cheerleading Camp! 

A building with a lopsided sign reading, Bambi’s Summer Cheerleading Camp!


You will be trained to be a leader who cheers on the same field where local football hero Blue Grange (Tab Hunter) won the big game and where a group of snotty cheerleaders were skewered to death.  You will also have access to a state of the art gymnasium where exploding pom-poms and other unusual accidents have claimed the lives of numerous cheerleaders over the years.  Yes, the campus, with its endless opportunities and colorful history, will be your ideal home away from home.

Several cheerleaders and vegetable props on a skewer


You will train alongside Bambi (Candice Azzara), a professional cheerleader who refuses to close the camp despite its history of death and dismemberment.  

Bambi showing off her cheerleading skills

The inside of your megaphone will be cleaned and your body parts will be swept up by Pepe (David L. Lander), the maintenance man.  If you need to place a curse, shatter a mirror or simply require some extra fog, call upon Pepe’s spooky mother Salt (Izabella Telezynska).  

Pepe and Salt

As a bonus, prepare yourself for culinary delights from a world-renowned French chef.  


Once you’ve settled in and have changed into your sharp outfit, you will meet your fellow cheerleaders-in-training.  There’s Carrie, uh, that should be…Candy (Carol Kane), an innocent girl with a fanatical mother  (Eileen Brennan) and the power of telekinesis.  There’s Mandy (Teri Landrum), the perfect, dental-obsessed blond from a ready-for-television family.  There’s Sandy (Debralee Scott), a vainglorious young woman whose superficiality is matched only by her sarcasm.  There’s Andy (Miles Chapin) and Randy (Marc McClure), a couple of oversexed young men so prevalent in the 1980’s.  Oh, there’s also Glenn…Glenn Dandy (Judge Reinhold), who may be one of the only examples of a dumb male blond you will ever meet. 

The students relaxing after cheerleading practice


After a hard day of training to become a cheerleader and not being murdered, you may visit nearby attractions.  Warden June (Eve Arden) will happily give you a tour of the local prison and introduce you to new and interesting friends to become pen-pals with once the summer is over.  

Warden June is all tied up

Dr, Fuller (Gary Allen) offers shock and other cutting edge treatments at the asylum if the stress of becoming a cheerleader proves too much for you.

However you choose to spend your free time, remember curfew is at 10 p.m. sharp. 


If you’re worried a convict from the prison or an asylum inmate has escaped, just call the local law enforcement.  Sgt. Reginald Cooper (Tom Smothers), a Canadian Mountie transplanted to the U.S. is here to serve and protect with the help of his steady steed Bob and a somewhat unhinged sidekick Johnson (Paul Reubens). 

Sgt. Cooper watches as Johnson and Bob the horse yell at each other.


Writers Jaime Barton Klein & Richard Whitley and Director Alfred Sole will keep your time at Bambi’s Summer Cheerleading Camp moving at a steady pace.  They provide visual and very quotable verbal humor to entertain and amuse.  Not a single drop of blood is seen but they make sure a couple of deaths will somewhat disturb you even as you laugh. 

The cast really throw themselves into their roles, especially the women.  Candice Azzara, Carol Kane, Debralee Scott and Teri Landrum create fun and memorable characters.  Even in smaller roles, Eve Arden and Eileen Brennan really shine hilariously bright.  Though I must add that Paul Reubens steals every scene, especially when dealing with Johnson’s contentious relationship with Bob the horse.    

Candy’s mom tries to convince her daughter to come home
I didn’t raise you to be a cheerleader.


Deep down, I know this horror spoof is not a good movie.  The script is ridiculous.  The budget is low.  The acting probably didn’t win any awards.  However, I love PANDEMONIUM!  I watched it a lot on HBO when I was a kid and its delusional mayhem may have seriously influenced my sense of humor.  So, much like MYRA BRECKINRIDGE, my previous So Bad It’s Good contribution, I hesitate to call PANDEMONIUM bad.  

Pandemonium, alternate blu-ray cover

So, grab what dandy candy that’s handy and sit back for a nutty film that is definitely not for everyone.  


You can  find PANDEMONIUM on You Tube (which is where I got most of the low quality screenshots) and on  Vinegar Syndrome blu-ray.

Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind words. 

Freak Out, 


P.S. my blog serial is coming to an end in a few days, so now is a good time to catch-up or to see what you’ve been missing…

Haunting sturgeons, by john L. Harmon

Tuesday, February 22, 2022


Previously in this blog serial...

(Click here to read Chapter Twenty-Five

Now the HAUNTING continues...


Haunting Sturgeons, chapter 26, by john L. Harmon

    I am gazing into the crisp morning sky.  An endless electric blue unfolds before my eyes as silence fills my ears.  I want to lose myself in this color, dissolve into its tranquility.  Create a world apart from the one I know, apart from the last ten years.  A world where  Sturgeons was never destroyed, where my family exists in a perfect moment. 

    My parents are standing together on our old front porch, healthy and fully aware.  They look at us with such happiness, so proud of their sons.  Tommy is alive, ten years older, but still youthful.  He is standing with Tracy at his side, each with an arm around the other.  I am standing with all of them, but I am not alone.  Eddie steps up from behind, wrapping me in a warm, comforting embrace.  

    Like my mother, I could stay in this fantasy forever, forgetting everything else.  Forget the shadow of Stickler Hill and what brought me here.  Forget the echoing thunder of a gunshot and what it means.  It would be so easy, but I can’t ignore what’s happening.  A steady voice suddenly calling out.  A warm dampness spreading over me.  A weight being removed from my body.  

    I lift my head, blue turning to a dark pool of red.  There is no fleeting moment of panic.  No frantic search for a wound.  I am strangely calm, even as I notice my father’s gun still clutched in my blood-soaked hands.  Releasing the weapon, it slides to the ground as I sit up.  The voice calls out again, strong and clear.

    “Hang in there, help is on the way.”

    Benjamin Straker is kneeling on the ground, wearing a black t-shirt.  His blue flannel is wadded up and pressed against the chest of Clyde Woodhouse.  The injured man is lying on his back, his body convulsing.  I take in the blood he has already lost and I understand.  There is no going back to my perfect fantasy.  No going back to Eddie.  There is only now and what I’ve done. 

    This is not what I want.  For all my resentment and anger, I chose to stop, to not pull the trigger.  What I want to do is say that I’m sorry.  Explain that it was an accident.  Swear that I didn’t want to hurt anyone, but I choke with every attempt.  I know anything I say would sound empty and pointless, so it’s for the best.  My words will not take away the bullet or stop the bleeding.  

    Getting to my feet, I watch helplessly at the pain I’ve caused.  Straker’s expression is grave but determined, as if he believes his shirt will be enough to save a life.  I hope it is, but I see Clyde has become pale and motionless, crimson seeping from beneath the blue flannel.  Tears begin to fall from Straker’s eyes and I turn away, looking down at the gun resting in the grass and then at the blood on my hands. 

    My world suddenly contracts and I realize there is no one left.  My mother is lost in her mind, so she’ll never know what happened.  Eddie will certainly be done with me after he hears of this and I can’t trust his dad any longer.  I am alone and there is nothing I can do.  Nothing I can do but wait.  Wait for the authorities to arrive.  Wait to be escorted off Stickler Hill.  Wait for my new reality to begin.  


The HAUNTING concludes in the…



Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind words! 

Freak Out, 



My books & blogs…

Tuesday, February 15, 2022


Previously in this blog serial...

(Click here to read Chapter Twenty-Four

Now the HAUNTING continues...


Haunting Sturgeons, chapter 25, by john L. Harmon

    I am placing pressure on the trigger, its metal warm from my touch.  This is it.  This is the moment I have been preparing for since my father’s funeral.  The moment I finally release the last ten years.  My mother’s tears, my father’s rage and my brother’s final breath all narrowed into a single bullet.  A bullet that I will fire into the man who failed to protect us.  Fury swells up inside me, ready to destroy everyone in its path. 

    Straker will feel the pain of my father as the bullet hits between his pale brown eyes.  A spray of blood will shower me as his body crumples to the ground.  His life will fade away, nourishing the grass and the nearby trees with justice.  I will leave him here to haunt these woods, like Tommy was left, becoming just a memory. 

    Sam will say his late husband’s name, sitting on the edge of a bed in their empty home.  His hands will clutch a memorial folder as tears begin to fall again.  He will crawl onto the bed and hold a pillow close, trying to detect a lingering scent of the one who is gone.  Sam will sob into the pillow, heavy tears of despair, like my mother after losing Tommy.  

    Eddie will wake up alone, finding my letter on the nightstand.  He will sit on the edge of the motel bed, clutching my words.  Confusion will be extreme for Eddie, like mine after Tommy’s disappearance, until he hears of the body found on Stickler Hill.  Then maybe he will try to understand why I left.  Maybe Eddie will hear more from his father and be able to forgive me one day. 

    I feel the fury cresting, Straker standing motionless in front of me.  We are both waiting for this one-sided standoff to end.  One shot and done.  He will be dead, the consequence of his inaction ten years ago.  Then I’ll walk away and…I don’t know.  Hide myself from the world?  Take my own life?  How would that be fair?  Even with my letter, Eddie will always have more questions than answers.  Straker’s husband will always carry a profound sense of loss.  A loss I will have caused.  The enormity of what I’m about to do fully hits me and I can’t.  I can’t inflict the same pain that my parents experienced, the same pain I continue to feel.  Fury breaks, crashing and draining away as I remove my finger from the trigger. 

    There is something in Straker’s eyes as I begin slowly lowering my father’s gun.  Did he suspect I wasn’t going to shoot?  Was he hoping I would?  A bellowing voice interrupts my thoughts and I freeze, the gun pointing at Straker’s chest.  I look towards the commotion, barely comprehending the sight.  

    A short, stocky man is running up Stickler Hill.  His dirty blond hair shines in the sunlight, his eyes wide in panic or fear.  It takes me a moment to recognize that Clyde Woodhouse, my childhood police crush, is charging at me.  It seems like slow motion as he jumps forward, shoving me to the ground.  He is pinning me down and I instinctively struggle against his strength.  I free one hand and begin pushing him as he grabs for my father’s gun in the other.  Like impetuous children fighting over a toy, we wrestle for the deadly weapon.  I jerk my other arm free, somehow getting it twisted between us, which gives him opportunity.

    Clyde Woodhouse is wrenching the gun from my hand, a look of fierce determination in his hazel eyes.  Either out of survival or an unwillingness to part with my father’s final possession, I stop pushing to reinforce my grip with both hands.  Then I feel it, a sudden lurch, like a quick punch to my gut. Then I hear it, the severe crack of a gunshot ripping through my ears, gradually reverberating into silence. 


The HAUNTING continues in… 

Chapter 26


Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind words! 

Freak Out, 



Please feel free to click around my ridiculously named online home… 🏠

The JLH Collective .  The books and blogs of John L. Harmon

Tuesday, February 8, 2022


 Previously in this blog serial...

(Click here to read Chapter Twenty-Three

Now the HAUNTING continues...


Haunting sturgeons, chapter 24, by john L. Harmon

    I am staring down the barrel of my father’s gun into the eyes of Benjamin Straker.  They are brown, but pale, as if time has faded the color.  He is older than I remember, maybe in his upper 30’s now, but still unmistakably him.  His expression is calm, like he doesn’t care that I hold his life in my hands.  Then again, he has been expecting me.  He had time to prepare for this moment because someone obviously told him I’ve been asking questions around town. 

    All the places I stopped and all the people who saw me in Sturgeons flash through my mind.  Sheriff Leslie Johns and any nosy resident as I drove through the streets.  The manager and other lonely guests of the Teeter-Totter Motel.  Valerie Danforth and her loyal customers at Gordon’s Bar.  Ms. Minch and the annoying staff of The Golden Dusk.  Simon Hollis and other watchful eyes in the library.  Christine Abernathy-Woodhouse and that rude clerk at VDV Pharmacy.  I can’t even consider Eddie, but there is his father.  Did Harold Newcastle betray me?

    “Who warned you I was coming?” I throw out the question, gripping the gun tighter. 

    “Nobody,” Straker quickly answers.  “I’ve been expecting a survivor to seek me out.  If not you, then someone else.”  He looks out over the town, rattling off a list of names.

    A survivor?  Is that who I am?  My family fell like a series of dominos set in motion ten years ago, so I guess he’s right.  I’m the last one standing.  A last survivor here to end this.  I take a step closer and fire the question, spit flying from my mouth. 

    “Why didn’t you stop it?” 

    “We didn’t know what was going on or who was responsible until it was too late.”  Straker lowers his head, giving it a slight shake.  “Even after, we didn’t really know anything.” 

    “Bullshit!” I shout.  “I read your stupid book!  You said a crazy guy in these woods unleashed a swarm of cybernetic bugs to destroy the town.” 

    He looks at me, surprise flickering across his face.  “That’s what Eugene Raymond Stickler claimed he was doing.  He called them his collection, but we never found out what they were exactly.” 

    I keep the gun aimed at Straker, his steady demeanor working my nerve, intensifying my anger.  “What the hell are you talking about?”

    “Clyde, Christine, Sam and I could see the destruction from up here, but we never got the chance to closely examine Stickler’s collection.  By the time we left this hill, a military convoy had cordoned off the town.”  He catches his breath, his expression turning solemn.  “We were taken into custody and interrogated.” 

    “Lies,” I growl, stepping even closer to him.  “Lies to cover your ass.  You let it happen.  You let my brother die and the rest of Sturgeons with him.” 

    Benjamin Straker locks eyes with me, the rebuilt town far below us.  “I did what I could, but it wasn’t enough.  Too many lives were destroyed because I failed.”  He takes a step closer to my father’s gun, standing less than six feet away.  “No matter how many times my husband says otherwise, I feel deep in my bones that it is my fault.  So, go ahead and pull the trigger, Jimmy.  I know Sam is sick and tired of being jolted awake by my night terrors over all that happened.  Shooting me will put us both out of our misery.” 


The HAUNTING continues in…

Chapter 25

Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind words! 

Freak Out, 



I changed the profile pic and added a video to my Amazon Author Page…📼 

Guess I haven’t given up…


Tuesday, February 1, 2022

HAUNTING STURGEONS: Chapter Twenty-Three

Previously in this blog serial...

(Click here to read Chapter Twenty-Two

Now the HAUNTING continues...


Haunting Sturgeons, chapter 23, by john L. Harmon

    I am walking among the trees, hazy shafts of light slicing down between branches.  Bird calls echo from above as unseen animals scurry under foliage with my every step.  The noise conjures up childhood fears of ghosts and demons lurking in every shadow.  I have to remind myself that Stickler Woods is only haunted by what happened ten years ago, what happened in Sturgeons and to Tommy..

    I imagine my brother continuing to lead me through the woods, staying several feet ahead.  There are questions I wish I could ask him.  Questions that I have asked him many times over the years.  Where exactly did you die?  What was your last thought?  Why didn’t you and Tracy go somewhere else?  Any answers disappeared with Tommy in these woods, along with so much else. 

    Sunlight pours down as I step into a clearing.  A large dead spot stretches out before me.  No grass or trees, no signs of life at all.  Even the birds seem to be staying away.  The ground has been torn up and leveled, like something was removed or buried.  I can’t help but think of the end of Straker’s book.  The psychopath’s mansion exploded and burned as the town was destroyed.  If this is where the dilapidated structure once stood, then the lawman is near.

    I imagine Tommy standing among the trees at the other end of the clearing.  He seems to be waiting for me as I cross the desolate area, feeling exposed in the morning sun.  I don’t want to be seen until I’m ready, so I feel relief as I reach my brother.  Tommy’s expression is grave as he tilts his head and looks up to his right.  I follow his gaze and plainly see what I already know.  I am at the foot of Stickler Hill.  

    Turning back to face Tommy, I find him gone.  My brother has traveled with me these last couple of days, finally leading me here.  Now I need to see this through on my own, but he will remain in my memories.  Tommy laughing as we speed through the streets of Sturgeons.  Skipping stones and talking with him at Lake Pontoon.  Tommy patiently teaching me card games at the dining room table.  So many good times to remember and cherish on another day.

    I turn and begin to ascend Stickler Hill at a steady pace, painful memories fueling my momentum.  My father yanking me away from Eddie.  My parents telling me that Tommy is gone.  My mother gazing off at nothing in her room.  Blood everywhere as I find my father dead in his recliner.  I pause halfway up, the trees thinning around me, and I see him.  I see the lawman standing on top of the world.

    He looks like a statue watching over the rebuilt town, which pisses me off.  I continue my ascent, fury pushing me forward.  Where was he when my brother disappeared?  Where was he when the entire town went to hell?  I picture him striding past my family’s car.  A beige-clad lawman walking with confidence, but not stopping to help us, to help anyone.  He didn’t give a shit then, so why is he bothering with Sturgeons now? 

    As I reach the top, I see the beige of the lawman is long gone as he gazes down at the town.  He is partially turned away from me, dressed in black jeans and a dark blue flannel shirt hanging loose.  Standing twelve feet away from him, I focus on his short brown hair greying at the temple and raise my father’s gun.


    He slowly faces me, speaking in an even tone, “I’ve been expecting you, Jimmy Schroder.”  


The HAUNTING continues in…



Thank you for reading or listening to my half-blind words! 

Freak Out, 



Click the pic ⤵️ for more words from this indie author…

Multiple images of me