What Are the 39 Steps?: The 39 Steps (1935)

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Beautiful, mysterious woman pursued by gunmen. Sounds like a spy story. That’s exactly what it is.

This is another one of Alfred Hitchcock’s little known gems, and celebrating its 80th anniversary. I know many of you might be wondering why I chose this film and Jamaica Inn instead of The Birds or Vertigo. I don’t know, I guess I just feel like everyone talks about those films, and no one talks about Hitchcock’s earlier works, which were also fantastic. Maybe not as stylized as he didn’t have money and the technology wasn’t as great; but they are good stories with amazing suspense.

Suspense have to know

So the film is based on a book of the same name by John Buchan. It has been remade in 1959, 1978, and more recently in 2008. I have only seen Hitchcock’s and the 2008 version, but so far this is my favorite.

love it

I first became aware of this film when I bought a DVD for a dollar at Wal-Mart that had 4 Alfred Hitchcock films: Easy Virtue, Sabotage, The 39 Steps, and Jamaica Inn. As I was watching the film, the DVD froze right in the middle, making me unable to know how the film ended.

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Now if you have never had this happen to you in the middle of a Hitchcock film then you are lucky that you don’t know how excruciatingly painful it is to be stopped in the middle. How does it end???? I was going crazy, until my mom told me that she might have a VHS copy of it. I searched every inch of our film cases, until I found it. Watching it and loving it.

Finally something GOOD!

One thing I really like about this film, is that it is one of Hitchcock’s earliest films to have the theme of an ordinary person, caught up in extraordinary circumstances.

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I’m not sure if it is the first as I haven’t seen all of his silent films. They are hard to get copies of.  So let’s get started on the prelude to SaboteurNorth by Northwest, The Man Who Knew Too Much and all those other great regular joes getting a most irregular experience with The 39 Steps. 

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This film was made in Britain, so the opening is very different, not the usual Hollywood or FBI warning type things you see.

The music hall has a special guest today, Mr. Memory a man who knows everything as he commits to memory 50 facts a day. Richard Hannay has decided to come and watch the program with countless others, as it is a full house tonight. And of course, lots of hecklers, as this isn’t a super high class program, we have working and middle class attending. People are questioning Mr. Memory, but the program stalls when some drunks start brawling and create a hoopla. Two shots ring out and everyone flees.

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A woman runs into Hannay and he helps get her out of the building. She asks to come home with.

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Richard is a bit wary, but agrees.

The two go to his apartment, his temporary one as he is not permanent here. He just came from Canada but travels all over Canada, England, Scotland, and Ireland for his job.

When they get inside Hannay notices that the girl starts acting strangely. She will stand away from windows and close to the walls. She asks him to move a mirror around, and to close the curtains on the windows. The phone rings and she pleads him not to answer as she is sure “they” are calling for her.

weird

He gives her a drink which she gulps down, clearly frightened about something. She is ready to give him an explanation, but not until they move to the more secure kitchen instead, of which she closes the curtains.

The phone rings again, Hannay compiling to her wishes, but finding the whole thing strange. Even more when she asks for something to eat.

Weird

Weird

She tells him to call her Annabella Smith, it is not her real name, as she changes it wherever she goes. Hannay starts cooking her some eggs, when they hear a thump of the stove being turned on, which frightens Annabella. Hannay assumes it is because of the gunshots they heard earlier, but she tells him she was the one who fired the shots.

Say What

Annabella tells then there were two men there that wanted to kill her. Hannay doesn’t believe her.

Richard Hannay: Beautiful, mysterious woman pursued by gunmen. Sounds like a spy story.

Annabella Smith: That’s exactly what it is.

Annabella tells him everything; she is a secret agent with no country, helping whatever one she chooses. She is here to help England, not because she loves the country but because they pay well. There is an agent that is trying to get vital information on England’s defense out of the country and she is here to stop it.

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Richard doesn’t believe her at all. She then tells him to look down in the street. When he does he sees a man waiting by the light post looking up trying to see into the apartment!

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Hannay believes Annabella is telling the truth. Annabella is scared and knows that Hannay is now stuck in this mess. That is when she decides to give him her secret.

Annabella Smith: Have you ever heard of the 39 Steps?

Richard Hannay: No. What’s that, a pub?

With that smart aleck reply, Annabella decides to tell him no more, it is all up to her she is the only one who can stop them. Hannay asks her why she doesn’t tell the police, but she points out that they will have the same response he did. She also warns him about how clever the spies are, especially the head agent.

Richard Hannay: Who is he and what is his name?

Annabella Smith: He has a thousand names can look like anyone, only thing he cannot hide is a missing finger.

Richard offers Annabella his bed while he takes he couch. She tells him the only other thing she needs is passage to Scotland, there is a man there who can help her. Richard asks if the 39 Steps are in Scotland, and she tells him they can talk more about it tomorrow.

Majorly

Majorly

No, no, no, no, no, no, no. If you have important info you do not wait until later, you give it now. Whenever people say they will save it for later, they die, and then the others have to try and figure out what they meant.

Every time!

Every time!

That night Anna wakes him up screaming throwing a paper at him. And then she’s dead!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the phone keeps ringing, Hannay wants to answer but doesn’t . He looks out the window and sees the man still waiting outside. He hears everything Anna said in his head again, these men will stop at nothing.

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He grabs the paper from her dead hand and sees it is a map of Scotland, with an area circled. There is only one thing for Hannay to do, get himself to Scotland.

Hannay takes off the next morning, wearing his hat low to hide identity. He waits in the lobby, running into the milkman. He asks to buy his clothes, saying that he is truing to get away from murderer and spy, but the milkman doesn’t believe him. He then tells him that he spent the night with a married woman, and her brother and husband are waiting to beat him up. They milkman feels sorry for him, and they trade clothes, with Hannay running off to the train The Flying Scotsman, heading to Scotland.

Hannay shares a compartment with three guys. One buys a newspaper when they stop at a station. They read that a woman was murdered in West End near the BBC. There is a picture of the owner of that flat. Luckily, in the picture, Hannay has his hat on low, so it is hard to recognize him.

tellyouthetruthidon'tknowTwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

Richard walks out of the compartment and heads over to the policeman, thinking about turning himself in, as he didn’t do it he should be proved innocent. Right? Wrong! He hears the police to another person say that the evidence they have is enough to hang the man. Hannay decides to forget that, he wants to live.

He goes back to the train but the spy’s henchmen have caught up with him. He runs into another compartment with a woman, stopping to kiss her. The men pass them by.

He tells her he is in need of help, and that these spies are after him. He asks her to lie and say they are together. But when the men come back, she gives him up.

How rude

They question him, are you Hannay and he says no.

Just then the porter comes in and I just love this scene here so much:

Porter: Are you coming in for tea, Sir?

Richard Hannay: I’ll be right along

Instead of going out the regular door, he then goes right through the exiting door even though the train is still going. Afterwards, he crosses into another compartment and runs down the hall. A great scene done by the master. You have to watch it.

He runs through the dining car, stopping at the pet and luggage, with the henchmen close behind. The engine masters are angry as the henchmen pulled the chain to make the train stop, sure that Hannay jumped out. And he did. He is hiding on the bridge barely hanging on waiting for them to all leave.

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The train leaves, reducing Hannay to be to walking about Scotland. He reaches he circled area and stops at a country house, in the area.  He pretends to be looking for work and asks about newcomers to the area, being told of an Englishmen in town.

As night is coming he asks to stay, paying for food and lodging. There is a young girl at the home, and he thinks it is the old man’s daughter, but she is actually his wife.

clueless mybad oops

He sits at the table while she cooks dinner.

The wife is from Glasgow and tells him about how nice it is, and you can clearly she misses it. Hannay tells her that he has never been there but London, Montreal, and more. She wnts to know more about London and he answers her questions.

He asks to read the paper, and sees another article on him.

Later during dinner, while the husband is praying, his wife looks at the paper. She figures it out and makes a face to Hannay, then the two then stare at each other. Her husband is a bit worried that they might have done something, so he makes up an excuse and goes outside watching them through the window.

He's creepin' in your windows. He's starin' at your people.

He’s creepin’ in your windows. He’s starin’ at your people.

That night, the wife hears something, getting up and waking Hannay so he can flee. As she is getting him out, the husband gets up. He thought those looks were about getting it on, and he thinks they are trying to get together now. Although Hannay is fully dressed, but you know how jealousy blinds

Hannay tries to explain, but the wife urges him to leave. He says the police are after him and is willing to pay for the man for silence. He agrees to this, telling his wife to put Hannay in the barn. The wife knows the husband will betray him, so she gives Hannay her husband’s dark  coat and Hannay thanks her, running off.

Along came a spider morgan freeman running

The men walk across the moor searching for Hannay. They are having to crawl through the hills and rocks, running like in Invasion of the Body SnatchersAlthough Hannay has to cross gushing streams and rivers.

Hannay flees to the Englishmen’s house, Professor Jordan, asking to come in saying he is from Annabella Smith. He goes in, and when the men later reach the house and ask the maid if Hannay has come by, she tells them there has been no one for half an hour. She lied to help him? Maybe this really is the guy Annabella wanted to see.

Then again I could be wrong.

Then again I could be wrong.

So Annabella’s name gains him access to the house. Professor Jordan in charge asks him to wait a bit as they are celebrating his daughter’s birthday. He introduces Hannay to his wife. Hannay is then introduced to all these movers and shakers in that area of Scotland. Professor Jordan tells him to look at the view, where they see the men searching the river for Hannay.

h party beaks up and the professor locks them in the room. Hannay tells him that Annabella was murdered that is why he came. Professor Jordan asks him why he came to see him, and Hannay tells him how Annabella was coming to warn him about the foreign agent.

Professor Jordan: Did she tell you what he looked ike?

Richard Hannay: There wasn’t time. She did tell me he was missing a finger.

Professor Jordan: Which hand?

Richard Hannay: [holds up left hand] this one I think.

Professor Jordan: Are you sure she didn’t mean this one? [holds up right hand and reveals he is missing his pinky finger.]

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Too bad for Hannay, the professor has been playing him since the beginning. The professor decides tat the only thing to do is kill Hannay. He lives in Scotland as a respected citizen, he can’t have him there starting rumors or saying things against him. Besides he has his information on the defense of England and needs to get it out of the country. He tries to get Hannay to commit suicide, as it is much tidier, butHannay says no so the professor shoots him in the heart.

WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTTTTT????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

And this was where my DVD died. Is that it? Is he dead???!!!! How could they do that???? Is that all there is????????

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

In the next scene we see out country couple. The husband is searchiung for his hymn book but can’t find it. It was last in his overcoat. Turns out that it stopped a bullet for Hannay.

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Hannay goes to the sheriff telling him everything. The Sheriff eagerly listens and says he will happily help him.

Finally something GOOD!

Finally something GOOD!

Turns out all a lie, the Sheriff just playing him until the henchmen, who he believes agents of the government, come to get him. He tells the sherif to call Scotland Yard in London. but he won’t as they men will be taking him there. Yeah right, they are going to kill him. Hannay manages to get away, breaking through a window and joining a Scotland parade to hide. He then quickly ducks into an assembly hall. They are waiting for their speaker who is running late and assume it is him.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

He sits on the stage he is thrust on. They introduce the professor they are waiting for, and Hanny finds himself on stage.

Richard Hannay: Ladies and gentleman I apologize for my hesitation in rising just now, but to tell you the simple truth I’d entirely failed while listening to the chairman’s flattering description of the next speaker to realize that he was talking about me.

He has no idea what he is supposed to be talking on, and as he is talking, He looks into the crowd and spots the women he used earlier on the train.

He starts asking the crowd what they want to talk about. He grabs onto the topic of the “idle rich” and starts ranting about what he has been through carefully hiding it between political speech.

Richard Hannay: I know what it is to feel lonely and helpless and to have the whole world against me, and those are things that no men or women ought to feel.

It starts a huge momentum as everyone is cheering and wanting to shake his hand, helping him sneak out, but then he is grabbed by the henchmen, lead by the girl.

He asks the girl to help him, telling London the information. The two guys look at each other and decide it is better to be safe than sorry, telling the girl, Pamela, she has to come with them.

They drive to the “police station”, passing it as they are going to another one 40 miles away. We know they aren’t, something Hannay tries to get Pamela to understand that they are taking them to the spy, Professor Jordan, to kill him. They have to stop the car as a huge flock of sheep are in the way. They handcuff Hannay and the girl together, as they go to move the sheep.

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As soon as they are gone, Hannay gets out of there dragging the girl with him. They hide under a bridge, Hannay forcing her to be quiet until the men pass. Lucky it is a foggy night, as the two run through the moors. The girl tries to escape, but Hannay keeps pulling her along.

The two’s dialogue is just amazingly hilarious as they constantly bicker and fight.  Hannay is angry as he has not only told her three times of his innocence, but the men clearly taking them 40 miles “to the police station” and going the wrong way should prove his innocence. But she won’t listen. As she insists he is a murderer Hannay decides to use that to get her to do what he says.

They find an inn, and go inside. Hannay tells the innkeeper that they are man and wife, and he asks for a room and supper. He tells Pamela he has a gun, his finger in his pocket,  which gets her to sign the book for them. She tries to get her away, but he keeps pushing her on with him. Hannay also tells the innkeeper they are a runaway couple, with people after them. People used to elope to Scotland all the time, so the innkeeper doesn’t find it strange but romantic.

Hannay tells Pamela she should take her skirt off as it being wet could make her sick. She refuses, but takes her stockings off, and as they go over to the fireplace, Hannay hangs them up for her.

She doesn’t want to lie on the bed, but Hannay makes her as he is tired, and where he goes she goes. As I said before their conversation are hilarious. He starts making up lies about killing as she thinks he is a murderer. But you can tell they aren’t true as he is being sarcastic. The film is worth watching for the amazing dialogue. I wish I could get a copy of that scene to place here.

I love it

The two go to sleep. The professor/spy leader prepares to move out, and try to take care of this Hannay problem.

Meanwhile, the Pamela has woken up.

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She tries to use the nail file to pick at the lock but when that doesn’t work, squeezes her wrist out, rubbing it raw. She sneaks away and starts downstairs.

She sees the men who she was in the car with and plans to go to them, but overhears them talking on the phone and realizes Hannay is telling the truth about everything, They question the innkeeper about the couple, and before he can answer, his wife comes down and chases them all out.

The girl heads upstairs, feeling sorry for being so mean and cruel to him, when he’s been given a rough break. She goes to the couch and goes to sleep.

The next morning, Hannay finds himself free of the  girl. He is freaked, but sees her on the couch. He asked her why she didn’t leave and she tells him everything she overheard. Hannay starts putting everything together, and is angry that the men didn’t stay the night but left right away. The two rush over to the London Palladium, where the men said they would pick up the “package”.

In London, Pamela goes o Scotland Yard to tell them all the information from Annabella. They don’t really believe it and ask for Mr. Hannay, but she won’t tell him.

No thank youhowaboutno

She rushes out to the Palladium to find Hannay, Scotland Yard detectives behind her. They shut the Palladium down  as they are truing to catch Hannay once and for all.

Through binoculars Hannay sees that the professor is there. Hannay isn’t sure what to do, when he is joined by Pamela. When he hears the tune he has been whistling everywhere. It’s Mr. Memory!

That's it!

That’s it!

He must be the package they are after and want to get rid off. Scotland Yard finds Hannay, arresting him, when he shouts out “What are the 39 Steps? As Mr. Memory answers, the professor shoots him.

The professor tries to flee, but he didn’t know that all the exits were blocked. Hannay asks Mr. Memory about the information, and he reveals that it was a huge job to memorize, plans to build a new ship. After talking a little about them, he dies, and it is all over for Hannay. He is cleared and able to go on his way, now with Pamela in the picture.

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What a great film. And very under appreciated. You should watch it and love it, as it is amazing.

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To start Horrorfest IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It Has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

For the previous post, go to A Modern Mummy: Under Wraps (1997)

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For more Alfred Hitchcock films, go to That Place…There’s Queer Things Goes on in There: Jamaica Inn (1939)

For more films based on books, go to They’re Here Already! You’re Next!: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

A Modern Mummy: Under Wraps (1997)

Under Wraps

What should we call him? How about ‘Mummy’?

So last June I I did the 30 Day Challenge: Disney Edition. Everyday I posted something on my favorite Disney character, prince, princess, song, villain, etc. (If you want to read more, go here.)

One of my posts I talked about the different DCOMs, Disney Channel Original Movies, that I loved watching growing up. I decided that a few I would wait to talk about until October, making them a part of Horrorfest III.

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By the time October rolled around, I had already planned out Horrorfest III and there was so many movies I wanted to do, that I just couldn’t fit this one in. I decided to do it the next year.

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And then this year I had all planned out and instead of doing this film, I really wanted to do The Mummy (1999). However, life got in the way and I was very far behind in my postings. I decided The Mummy (1999) was just going to have to wait until next year. And as I wanted a mummy film, Under Wraps would be the perfect substitute.

Under Wraps

 So it is a silly film that takes a lot from the film The Mummy (1932) but gives it a comedic twist.

Look familiar?

There are three twelve year old kids-Gilbert, Marshall, and Amy. One of their neighbors died and like the kids in Stand By Me they want to check it out.

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I know it makes no sense to me either.

Anyways, there they discover a sarcophagus and a mummy in the dead guy’s house.

He's getting emaciated

That same night it is the right time in thousands of years in which the moon is aligned perfectly…

attack Wolf Boy Meets World

And brings the mummy back to life.

Look familiar?

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At first the kids are freaked out, but then discover that he is friendly and name him Harold. They have all kinds of fun with him, all over the town. A Mummy in modern times.

They eventually find out that they have to put him back in his sarcophagus by midnight on Halloween or else he will die.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

The kids want to put him back but they can’t. You see it turns out that neighbor wasn’t really dead, but just faking it so he could skimp out on taxes.

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It turns out that the neighbor, Mr. Kubat, is a real villian, complete with the evil henchmen. He sends them out to look for the mummy in order to sell him.

Besides Kubat, they also have to worry about Harold’s fiancé, as he wants to bring her to life as well.

Boris Karloff and Zita Johann in 'The Mummy'

A cute film that is definitely worth the view.

Check it out for yourself!

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under-wraps

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To start Horrorfest IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It Has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

For the previous post, go to They’re Here Already! You’re Next!: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)halloween banner

For more on mummies, go to Eternal Punishment for Anyone Who Opens This Casket: The Mummy (1932)

For more DCOMs, go to When Horror Doesn’t Stay on the Screen: Phantom of the Megaplex (2000)

For more Disney, go to Who’s Afraid of Cory Wolf?: Boy Meets World (1994)

For more horror-comedies, go to I’m the Chosen One. And I Choose to Be Shopping: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)

They’re Here Already! You’re Next!: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

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They’re here already! You’re next! You’re next, You’re next…!

One day my family and I were driving home from somewhere, and my mom pointed to a house  on our street and said how much she hated going by it. I asked her why, and she said the big pods on their tree made her think of the film, Invasion of the Body Snatchers and how the pod people came for everyone.

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I had no idea what she was talking about as I had never seen the film before.

Really?

Hmm….

A couple of years later, I was at a yard sale (the same one where I found The Stepford Wives (1975), and I spotted this film. The whole conversation about the pod people and our neighbor’s tree came rushing back to me and I knew I needed to buy this film and watch it.

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So first let me say, with a name like Invasion of the Body Snatchers how can you go wrong? I mean seriously, I love this movie. I watch it every year around this particular holiday. It is an amazing cinematic piece.

keanu Whoa

It is based on the book The Body Snatchers and  has been remade twice, once in 1978 and again as The Invasion in 2008. It has also been parodied countless times, for instance in Archie’s Weird Mysteries: Attack of the Killer Spuds.

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This film is a horror and sci-fi film, ranked #9 on the American Film Institute’s list of the 10 greatest films in the genre “Sci-Fi” in June 2008.

There are also numerous studies into it’s portrayal of women’s and men’s roles in the 1950s (of which I am going to ignore because I think a lot of what people write about on this is stupid) and the prevalent McCarthyism. Yes, it is time for a little history.

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So two years ago when I reviewed The Crucible, I discussed a little bit on how Rather Miller took a historical subject and tried to show the negative effects McCarthyism had. How it created witch hunts and caused people to turn in friends to save themselves from losing everything; causing us to side and relate more to the accused witches then those who were “righteous” (the ministers and good townsfolk/Joe McCarthy). Invasion of the Body Snatchers is the flip side of that. In this it show how something can sneak into a town (Communism) and destroy everything we hold dear with its atheism, value of group over individual, etc.

Now enough with that, let’s watch the film!

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I love the opening creepy music with the credits. I know I have said it in nearly every post, but truth is, I just can’t say that enough.  These old movies really knew how to set atmosphere.

Creepy!

Creepy!

So we open with cars speeding all over and a man screaming.

invasionofbodysnatchersyellingscreamingyou'renext

We hear a siren as the cops pick up a man they believe to be a real loon. , a siren call the doctor as they believe they’ve found a real looney. The man says he is Dr. Miles J. Bennell,Kevin McCarthy, a doctor from Santa Mira, CA.

Dr. Miles J. Bennell: I AM NOT INSANE!

[guards grab him]

Dr. Hill: Let him go!

Dr. Miles J. Bennell: Listen, Doctor, now you must listen to me, you must understand me, I’m a doctor too, I am not insane! I am NOT insane!

We then have a flashback as Dr. Miles is prepared to share his story.

Dr. Miles J. Bennell: Well, it started, for me it started last Thursday, in response to an urgent message from my nurse I’d hurried home from a medical convention I’d been attending. At first glance, everything looked the same, it wasn’t, something evil had taken possession of the town.

His nurse Sally picks him up at the station and relays to him how so many patients have been coming in, they won’t say what is bothering them, but were all willing to forgo seeing another doctor, instead waiting on him to return.

Weird

Weird

Becky Driscoll, Dr. Miles old high school and college sweetheart is one of the people who came to see him. Miles is surprised she is here as she married five years ago and moved to England with her husband, never visiting. He is also pleased as he still is interested in her. what she doing back?

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

As they are driving to the office, they almost hit a little boy. It is Jimmy Grimaldi, who would rather risk getting hit by a car than face whatever he is running from. When they stop him, his mom says it is because he is afraid of school. He must really be afraid if he’s running in traffic to get away.

Dr. Miles doesn’t think much of it. He heads on to his office and when he gets there he and Nurse Sally  discover that there are six canceled appointments. Nurse Sally finds this so strange as they were begging to be seen.

weird

Nurse Sally feel bad for calling him when it seems he is no longer needed. Dr. Miles looks outside  the window and sees Santa Mira the same as usual.

Becky Driscoll, Dr. Miles’ old sweetheart, comes to see him. She is calling on him for help with her cousin Wilma. She doesn’t believe her uncle is really her uncle. Becky visited him and sees no difference, but Wilma insists he is not the same man.

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Dr. Miles finds it odd, but is actually more interested in Becky and what has been going on in her life. Becky has recently returned home after a stint in Reno. Surprisingly, Miles was there not to long ago himself. And back then, Reno was code for  D-I-V-O-R-C-E.  Becky left her husband, for reasons unexplained. Miles lost his wife due to him being a very busy, doctor.

Miles runs into little Jimmy as he is walking home. This time he is with his grandma who reveals that Jimmy’s mother was lying earlier. Jimmy isn’t afraid of school, but his mom. He says she isn’t the same person.

Grandma Grimaldi: School isn’t what upsets him, it’s my daughter-in-law. He’s got the craziest idea she isn’t his mother.

Jimmy Grimaldi: [in hysterics] She isn’t! She isn’t! Don’t let her get me!

Dr. Miles doesn’t think much of it. Kids always have stages where they are running from home or hate their parents. He gives a sedative, and tells the grandma to keep him for the night.

Majorly

Majorly

Yes, present day Dr. Miles is mentally kicking himself for not realizing the sings and seeing that things were not right.

While he doesn’t think it is too serious, Dr. Miles decides to investigate Wilma’s case, He sees and speaks to Ira, completely certain that it is Ira. But Wilma still isn’t convinced it is him. He acts like Ira, looks like Ira, knows everything about Ira and her, but there is something missing. Almost like the love between them is gone.

suspicious Hmm

Wilma is afraid she is going crazy, but Dr. Miles calms her down. He wants her to see a psychiatrist, not because she is insane, but because there might be a deeper issue here. you aren’t.

When he leaves, Dr. Miles finds everything very odd. Sick people wanting to see me, suddenly “well” , little boy saying his mom isn’t his mom; and a niece saying  her uncle not uncle.

Hmm...

Hmm…

That night Becky and Miles make plans for dinner. When walking into the restaurant, they bump into two other doctors in the parking lot. One a psychiatrist, Dr. Dan ‘Danny’ Kauffman. He shares what is going on, and Dr. Danny says that the whole town is experiencing the same type of “mass hysteria”. Miles finds this strange, what could be causing a whole town to act that way?

suspicious Hmm

 They go in for dinner, but there is no one in the restaurant. It used to be packed out everyday, but now no one is going out. Strange. Before they can eat, Jack Belicec calls saying it is an emergency.

When he gets there, Jack and wife Teddy aren’t sick. Why would they call?

Jack Belicec: Will you be able to quit being a doctor for a while?

Dr. Miles J. Bennell: Why?

Jack Belicec: I don’t want you to call the police right away.

They go in side. I love this scene. The way it is shot, the way it is set up in lighting, the actors, oooh it is a favorite of mine.

Miles looks on the table Pulls sheet off dun dun dun aaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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He studies the body on the table.

Dr. Miles J. Bennell: Who is he?

Jack Belicec: I have no idea.

There is no face really, it’s as if they have all the parts but no details, no lines, no character, bland, no fingerprints, as if he is not completed. Like a dummy or a mannequin.

Jack Belicec: Like it is waiting for the final face to be stamped on

Teddy Belicec: But who’s face?! Who’s Face?!!! [After she’s had a drink] Who’s face Miles?

Dr. Miles J. Bennell: I don’t know.

Teddy Belicec: How tall would you say he is?

Dr. Miles J. Bennell: About 5’10.

Teddy Belicec: And how much does he weigh?

Dr. Miles J. Bennell: 140 lbs

Teddy Belicec: Jack’s 5’10 and weighs 140 lbs.

Jack is startled by this and cuts his hand on a glass. Jack thinks it is nonsense to believe that thing wants to be him, but Teddy is freaked out and scared.

Becky wants to call the police, but Miles doesn’t as he doesn’t know what to say. He wonders if it is connected to everything else weird that has been going on, what the psychologist called mass hysteria.

suspicious Hmm

Jack stays up to watch what this guy will do, deciding to call the police if nothing happens, and if something does, call Miles.

Miles takes Becky home. He hides it from her as doesn’t want to worry her, but he is scared.

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Mass hysteria does not explain that  body.

He drops Becky off and goes in for the kiss, when Becky’s dad comes up the stairs. Why is he in the basement so late at night? He says doing things in his shop, but that’s kind of unusual.

Weird

Weird

Jack falls asleep when keeping vigil and Teddy goes over to look at the body. It now looks just like Jack, even down to the scratch. It starts to move and she freaks out, both running out to see Miles.

Run Away

They then call Dr. Danny. When he answers the phone he seems really reluctant to come. It’s so weird as if the doctor was calling in the night, for something, you know it has to be serious. Miles is about to make coffee when Jack asks if Becky is okay.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

Miles passes his open basement and knows. He doesn’t know how or why, but he knows something was going on in Becky’s basement, her dad is somehow involved, and he must save her!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Miles rushes over and breaks into the house. He goes around the basement, and finds a body that looks like Becky!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

He creeps upstairs, searching for her room. He tries to wake her up, but she is in too deep of sleep so he carries her out the door.

At Miles’ house they talk to Dr. Danny, but he doesn’t believe them. He needs to see one of the “bodies”. They go back to Jack’s house, but find nothing. Only a blood spot. Danny keeps going on about how rational everything could be. A person killed, no fingerprints because took them off with acid, etc. Miles angry that he is not listening! IT IS NOT A REGULAR BODY!!!!!

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They all head over to Becky’s house, and sneak down in the basement, but there is nothing there. Dr. Danny thinks it is all in their minds

The cops come, as Becky’s dad called them. He yells at them for not reporting a body. They try to to tell him it was a different body, but he shuts them up saying he’s just seen it. And then goes on to describe the body, using everything that Dr. Danny said.

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Now that is really odd. How did he know that was the body they found? And how did he know exactly what the psychologist said to explain the strangeness of the body. It is as if the two are connected or reading from the same script. Very odd, very, very, very odd indeed.

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They all go home convinced that it is nothing after all. The next day, Becky is making breakfast when they hear a big thumping in the basement. It is the gas man.

Becky and Miles are growing closer together, but interrupted by Jack and Teddy who had also stayed the night. Jack and Teddy ask to stay for a few more days as they are both still a bit freaked.

Miles is walking to his office when he is stopped by Wilma. She says not to worry as she is completely recovered from whatever she thought was going on with her uncle Ira. She woke up this morning completely fine. He tells her to call Becky at his house and relay the good news.

When he gets to his office he has another surprise, in the reception room little Jimmy is with his mother, happy and well.

Dr. Miles J. Bennell: [voice-over narration] But driving home I had a lot of questions and no answers. How could Jimmy and Wilma be so normal now. Surely I had done nothing to cure them. Maybe they wanted me to feel secure but why?

suspicious Hmm

Miles comes home to a BBQ. They are trying to grill steaks but the grill won’t light right so Miles goes into the greenhouse to get something. There we see the pods!!!!!!!!! They are cracking open and reveal bodies inside!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He goes back to put the gas lighter away and sees them!!!!!!!! He starts creaming for Jack, and all come over. They start looking at them when Miles, being a doctor he has an analytical mind, starts theorizing that they must be from another place, another planet. They copy people and then terminate the original.

Jack want to destroy them all but Miles stops him, as there is no danger right away. Teddy points out, the body didn’t change until Jack fell asleep.

That’s right, the original Nightmare on Elm Street, warning you don’t fall asleep.

Are alien pod people scarier then him? I'd have to say yes.

Are alien pod people scarier then him? I’d have to say yes.

Teddy asks if there is any difference between orginal and copy. There is as the emotions aren’t quite right. Jimmy’s mother, Wilma’s Uncle, Becky’s dad….

Miles believes they can stop it. They just need to make some calls and them check every building and person in Santa Mira. But that’s when Miles realizes, it is too late for Santa Mira. He thinks about the way the police acted, Danny the psychologist….they are all a part of it.

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He goes to the operator and tries to call the FBI in Los Angeles, but the switchboard tells him they are not answering. In fact, all Los Angeles circuits are dead. They try Sacramento, but all are busy. They will call him back.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

They got to the telephone operators!!!

Miles makes a new plan. He wants Jack and Teddy to head out of town and get help. He has to stay because they will call back, and if he isn’t there, they will end up blocking the roads. Jack doesn’t want to leave, but Miles urges him on, that he is their only hope.

Becky stay with Miles, waiting by the phone as Miles destroys the pods. After that,  Miles realizing they can’t wait around, they need to get out of there too. He stops to get gas, and tries to call on a pay phone, when he sees the gas operator putting something in his trunk!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pods! He’s in on it too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They drive a little, stop, and then toss them out, Miles lighting them up with a flare. He continues to see his Nurse Sally. But it is too late, she has been turned. The police chief is also there, waiting.

Miles and Becky take off, with a APB put out on them and everyone on the look out for Miles and Becky. They are the only normal ones left in the whole town!!!!!!

Miles and Becky drop the car off in a used car lot, and run to his office.

bodysnatchers 1956 runaway

There they take some drugs to stay awake as they wait for Jack and Teddy to save them all. The phone keeps ringing in his office, as the two are waiting. But they don’t answer as they know it is the town looking for them.

The next morning they see everyone out in about in the town, being “normal”, but it is 7:30 in the morning. Way too much activity for this early. They see that the cops have been waiting for the bus to arrive, taking any newcomers away to pod them up.

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Trucks come in, all farm family trucks, the ones who closed down their stalls and such. They stopped growing real food and are growing pods, preparing to take them to the surrounding towns. An INVASION!!!!

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Miles, I cant wait any longer preparing to help. Becky doesn’t want him to go, and as two are arguing, the door handle is twisting!!!!

They hear Jack, and open it to let him in, he being followed by the psychologist. Too late, as he was captured and has been turned too. Everyone has been except Miles & Becky. They tell him not to fight it but, join them.

Star Wars Dark side power Darth vader

Dr. Dan ‘Danny’ Kauffman: Love, desire, ambition, faith – without them, life’s so simple, believe me.

Dr. Miles J. Bennell: I don’t want any part of it.

Dr. Dan ‘Danny’ Kauffman: You’re forgetting something, Miles.

Dr. Miles J. Bennell: What’s that?

Dr. Dan ‘Danny’ Kauffman: You have no choice.

They lock them up in a room with the pods in the others, waiting until they finally fall asleep. Miles grabs a knife, but quickly throws that idea away as he is not enough to go against three. Becky is prepared to help, two against three; but Miles has come up with a new plan. He locks one door, and then goes around, surprising them and stabbing them with needles full of drugs. When the third one comes in, the cop, Becky takes him down.

They try to sneak out the back door, but it padlocked. They go out the front, pretending to be emotionless zombies.

Night of the living dead zombie

However, Becky ends up giving it away, when she sees a dog almost get hit by a car.

So a lot of people go on about how this film is supposedly saying that because Becky is a woman she isn’t capable of being able to pull of this emotionless act and ruins their cover, unlike Miles because he is a “man.” Well I don’t think that is true at all. These people are forgetting Miles is a Doctor. He is someone who has to deal with death a lot, so he has the ability to compartmentalize, and withhold his feelings. Becky is unable to, not because she is “the weaker sex” or because she is “how a woman is supposed to be in the ’50s”; but because she hasn’t had that training. She hasn’t had to face death or stressful situations like Dr. Miles, so she doesn’t have that cuplability to push down everything.

The police officer is suspicious of Becky’s behavior and investigate’s Miles office. When he finds the men there, he turns on the alarm. And the whole town chases after Miles and Becky.

night of the living dead

Miles and Becky are trying to run to the highway, having to hike to it. Poor Becky, she’s wearing heels. That has got to be so tough, and it;s not like you can take them off, being shoeless would be way worse.

bodysnatchers 1956 runaway

Becky is so tired, that Miles has to carry her to a mine shaft, where they will wait a bit. They find some loose floorboards, and hide underneath them until the townsfolk have passed over.

These two are dirty, sweaty, stinky, and look crazy. Becky and Miles are so tired, using water to stay awake.  Then they hear something outside.

hear that?

The town is playing a soft, beautiful lullaby, trying to get them to fall asleep.

Miles leaves Becky to investigate the song. NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! Don’t leave her!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Becky is so tired, trying not to fall asleep. Miles spots the music coming from a truck carrying pods. He goes back to Becky.

He finds Becky tired, eyes closed!!! He tries carryoing her, but falls. They are on the ground, he kisses her when…dun dun dun….

Dr. Miles J. Bennell: I’ve been afraid a lot of times in my life, but I didn’t know the real meaning of fear until… until I had kissed Becky.

I love that line so much. It makes me laugh, while the same time making me very afraid.

i'mscared

Becky is a pod person and screams out to all the others to come.

So I’m going to stop for a second and go off on two separate thoughts.

How Did Becky Become a Pod Person if She Wasn’t Near a Pod?

This has always bothered me. I have thought on it, and thought on it, and thought on it, and I finally think I have figured it all out. So Becky has had four attempted pod people forms made of her. The first we see was in the basement of her house when Miles comes over to investigate. When he calls the psychologist, and they realize he is on to them, they destroy it. Better to destroy it then have Miles find it and leave or do something else that poses a threat to them. The second time is when they put the pods in Miles’ greenhouse. But that form didn’t last as Miles destroyed it with the pitchfork. The third attempted form was the ones they put in Miles’ trunk but he destroyed those with the flare. Now the fourth was when they caught the two in Miles’ office. When Becky and Miles are taking out the three guards they don’t destroy the pods. That means there are a Miles and Becky form just waiting for the two to fall asleep and take their brain. So when Becky falls asleep in the cave, the Becky pod is created.

Now the pod body form doesn’t come to life and kill the original like we’ve been imagining. It is much scarier, as it is transferred over into that body, leaving everything the same but the mind. Almost like a parasite taking over the host.

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now to the second thing, people always say that because Becky is a woman she of course is the weaker one that gives in to sleep. I of course want to bring everyone back to the fact that Miles is a doctor! Why do you think Jack was unable to overcome it? Because he is writer and isn’t used to the stressful scenes that Miles has had to deal with. He is the only doctor for a small town, so you know there has to be days he doesn’t sleep, when he is called all over. He is just better trained becuse of his occupation. It isn’t because he is a “man”.

Anyways, back to the film. Miles keeps running, as fast as he can to warn others. He finally reaches the highway. The pod people stopping as they  know no one will believe him.

Like that's happen

Miles runs around trying to warn everyone about what is happening, and of course no one stops.

invasionofbodysnatchersyellingscreamingyou'renext

Dr. Miles J. Bennell: They’re here already! You’re next! You’re next, You’re next…!

And as he sounds crazy, he gets carted off to the police where the psychiatrist is trying to figure out whether he should take him to the insane asylum or not.

Now THIS IS THE SCARIEST THING about this film. I mean take a minute and stop and think about this. Imagine if your school was taken over and filled with pod people, your work, you home, your street, your town, your suburb, your city, etc. And YOU KNEW IT and YOU were the ONLY ONE LEFT. Where could you go that someone wold believe you? Nowhere. Everyone would think you are crazy, and of course it is only a matter of time until you crash, fall asleep, and become a pod person yourself. That is if they don’t inject you with a sedative first.

This was were the director originally wanted to end the film. The studio didn’t like it though. Now I love the film how it is but I do think it would have been pretty cool to end it here.

So they think they Miles is crazy and are preparing to lock him up. Just before they do that, a man comes in who was injured in a car accident. He might not make it as it took forever to get him out from under some weird seed pods. Dr. Hill comes running out, where was the truck coming from? Santa Mira. Dr. Hill realizes that Miles is telling the truth and gets the police and the FBI after it. The credits end on Miles who is thinking, hoping it might be over and he can go to sleep.

I love that movie. It is so awesome. If you haven’t watched it, do so. The cinematography and story is just amazing.

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1956InvasionoftheBodySnatchers

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To start Horrorfest IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It Has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

For the previous post, go to A Book Considered Too Dangerous to Keep: The Magician’s Nephew, Midsomer Murders (2008)halloween banner

For more on aliens, go to A Giant Metal Man: The Iron Giant (1995)

For more on things that look like you, but aren’t you, go to They’ll Be Somebody With My Name…But She Won’t Be Me!: The Stepford Wives (1975)

A Book Considered Too Dangerous to Keep: The Magician’s Nephew, Midsomer Murders (2008)

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He lists some well-known Medieval texts. Then the page is torn. The next page is missing. He saw a man burned at the stake, along with a book…a book considered too dangerous to keep. 

So this year it has been hard selecting TV episodes. I had quite a few I was going to cover, trying to decided between Grimm and Supernatural, but then I thought I have already choosen an episoide from both those TV shows. It is time to select one from a show I haven’t covered yet. So I settled on Midsomer Murders.

Midsomer Murders is a Britsh TV series based off a book series of the same name. How their Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI) teams works is that they have a county in which they travel all over investigating, similar to the Sheriff’s department. Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) is head of the Midsomer unit and is extremely intelligent and excellent at his job. The series is still ongoing, but I stopped watching after Tom Barnaby retired.

How each episode works is someone is murdered, of course. Tom and his assistant, (in this episode Tom has currently been working with his third assistant, Ben Jones, and who I think is the best of the bunch) and they go around meeting different people and we are told their back stories. Typically more than one person dies, with Barnaby & Jones figuring out who the killer is, connecting every dot, and solving the crime.

So Halloween night is approaching. Everyone is getting ready, including a coven of witches who are currently bringing another woman into the fold.

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)allofthemwitches

As part of the ceremony, people around the woman entering hold an knife, arrow, axe, and sword. They also call up demons to their Temple of Thoth.

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The next day, the coven leader, Ernest Balliol is watching an interview of Aloysius Wilmington on his new book. Back in the ’70s, Aloysius was a leader of The Temple of Thoth and claimed to have The Book of Thoth. He lead a huge group of witches and warlocks. However, in his new book he claims everything was a lie. He took a bunch of different ancient religions, cut and paste them, and combined it with drugs, sex & rock ‘n roll.

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He also goes on to call everyone who has ever followed him to be a gullible and stupid idiot.

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Ernest is incensed, telling his wife Estelle he will never be able to get over what Aloysius says,at least not until he is dead.

dun-dun-duuuun

Meanwhile, someone has taken poison off of poison dart frogs, broken into the community hall and tampered with a magic box. Who would do this and why?

suspicious Hmm

Aloysius’ nephew Simon, has been working in the library on Aloysius’ estate. Everything will eventually go to him, so he is in charge of deciding which books need to be fixed and which need to be rid of. There are all kinds of books from Wilmingtons through the ages, along with strange ones that Aloysius bought in his youth.

What Aloysius doesn’t know, is that Simon is looking for the famed Book of Thoth.

SmellbookGilmoreGirls

He needs it to pay back a debt to Hugo Cartwright. Simon used to work for Hugo’s antique bookshop, but stole money to feed his drug habit. Now he is clean, but Hugo is blackmailing him to steal books from his uncle for him to sell, telling him the only way to make his tab clear, is if he can find the book.

And he’s not the only one who wants it. Ernest also is after the book desiring it to make him more powerful, so he has his daughter Isolde romance Simon, and convince him to hand it over. She too wants the book, but for a different reason. She wants to use it for her mentally unstable mother, who is convinced that she is possessed by demons. So far, Simon has yet to find it, but the pressure is definitely on.

The next day, Ernest decides to confront Aloysius  about what he said on TV. Aloysius  continues stating that Ernest is an idiot.

StoplisteningtoYouBigBangTheory

And Ernest becomes so angry he charges at Aloysius’ car, breaking the open door.

Meanwhile, it turns out that the girl who was just brought in the coven is Christine, the caretaker of Isolde and her brother Tristan’s mother Rosemary. As I have said before Rosemary is completely mad, believing that she is possessed with demons. She went through the coven ceremony over thirty years ago and it completely took her over the edge, haunting her. Christine only “joined” the coven so she could see what the ceremony was like, and better understand what ails Rosemary.

IUnderstandSomelieithot

Christine is in love with Tristan, but he only focuses on his mother and job as a lawyer.

That day is the day for the magic show, the one the Midsomer Magic Circle puts on every year. The members are Aloysius, Hugo, Jean Wildacre, Anton Thorneycraft, and Felicity Brand. They are doing a wonderful job when it is time for the assistant to go into the Cabinet of Death!.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

While Aloysius is getting everything set up, Jean tells Hugo she knows what he and Simon are doing. He tells her to watch out, poking her big nose in everything will get her into trouble one day.

Jean goes in, and they close the cabinet. When Aloysius goes to open it up, he finds her dead.

Tom and Ben are on the case.

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They investigate and discover that the blades have been tampered with. Instead of retreating back, someone stuffed them with wood so they would stay out, killing Jean. But that wouldn’t have been enough to kill her, so they run a tox screen and discover she was killed from the poison of the poison dart frogs.

They also find the hilt of a knife in the cabinet.

rosemary'sbabyknife

No one knows why someone would murder Jean, everyone seems to love her. When they question about the cabinet, everyone tells them they performed it three times, and nothing went wrong.

Tom goes to Aloysius and ask him abut the knife hilt they found. He tells them it is a ceremonial knife. He gives Barnaby a book, detailing the other objects used: an arrow, sword, and axe.

midsomermurdersbookweapons

Meanwhile, Ben has been questioning the rest of the Magic Circle, and discovered that Anton and Felicity did not go to the bar with the others after rehearsal, like they told him they did. When they put a little pressure on them, it turns out that the two love Gilbert and Sullivan, meeting secretly (as Anton’s wife would be very upset) to sing show tunes together.

whatdoyouthinkTwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

They aren’t murderers.

The next day, Isolde is doing inventory when she notices certain ceremonial things are missing. Her father tells her not to worry and sends her after Simon, to put some pressure on him to get that book.

Meanwhile, while Aloysius is at church, Hugo decides to head to the Wilmington estate and threaten Simon. Simon wants to stop everything, but Hugo tells him that not only will he reveal everything to Aloysius, but also tell the police that he had motive to kill Jean.

Hugo storms out and doesn’t realize he is being watched by Isolde. That night he receives three ceremonial arrows. He’s next!

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The next day, Tom and Ben head over to the magic shop. Ernest doesn’t want to give them any records, stating he is a priest and they should be confidential. He calls Tristian who tells him he has to comply, giving the records needed and showing them to be little help. The only orders for the knife have been online, and no place near Midsomer, a dead end.

Simon has urgently been searching when he’s found a manuscript. It isn’t the book, but may lead to it.

Simon Wilmington: The writer was a monk, working for the Inquisition in the 16th century. Hw was in charge of books that the Catholic Church had prohibited. 

Isolde Balliol: Books about magic?

Simon Wilmington: He lists some Medieval texts. Then the page is torn. The next page is missing. He saw a man burned at the stake, along with a book, before he wrote this. A book considered too dangerous to keep. 

Later Isolde goes to see Hugo, and warns him to stay far away from the book.

Tom has been reading book Aloysius gave him, and sees that Aloysius spent time in South America, living with the Native Americans and learning their ways of capturing the poison dart frogs. Could he be the murderer?

whatdoyouthinkTwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

That night Hugo is walking home after drinking in the pub. He trips in the alley, falling on glass and bleeding.

#2

#2

They find Hugo’s body, same poison as Jean.

Meanwhile, Simon finds a book in which the pages feel strange. When he opens up the page, he finds three pages hidden inside. They are pieces of the New Testament William Tyndale printed.

keanu Whoa

What a find! Aloysius is pleased, but Isolde most certainly won’t be.

That night, Aloysius is thinking about everything that has happened, with the murders and ceremonial items left behind. He figures out that it is involving the ritual that he made up, the initiation one.

Aloysius Wilmington: It was one of those daft Temple of Thoth ceremonies that I’d invented. Part of the initiation ritual. North is the knife, South is the arrow, West is the axe, and East was the sword.

It turns out that they were all there the night Mrs. Balliol was initiated. Jean had the knife and Hugo the arrow. He has more, so Tom plans to go over to his place the next day. Too bad the killer has something else in mind.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

Yes, that night Aloysius  hears a noise outside. Thinking it is Simon, he goes out, spots an axe on the ground and is murdered.

#2

#3

Tom and Ben go there and find his notes, trying to piece it together.

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Jean was north and had the knife during the ritual, that is why there was a knife found at the scene. Hugo was south which was the arrow, West was the axe and where Aloysius was. E must me Mrs. Balloil, but why was she out of the circle? And who is “R”?

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

They question Simon and he reveals the book stealing. He tells them he never killed anyone and about the new book he found.

Anton goes to Tom and reveals that he saw someone the night Hugo was murdered. He saw Isolde there. Did she kill him? She did threaten him.

suspicious Hmm

They try to find her, but she is not home. They hurry to see Simon.

Isolde has confronted Simon. She is yelling at him for keeping the book from her. She slept with someone she doesn’t even like for nothing. Simon yells at her that the book doesn’t exist. He shows her the Tyndale manuscript and she becomes enraged that all her work and killing Hugo was over a BIBLE! She throws it in the fire. Simon tries to get it, but Isolde grabs the fireplace poker and starts beating him, she is arrested by Ben and Tom just in time.

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Back at Tristian’s. His mother is being taken away, to be locked up once more. He is very upset, nothing Christine can say or do will make him feel better.

Tom and Ben have started to question Isolde.

Being questioned police Annex - Tierney, Gene (Laura)_03

She claims to have used magic to kill Hugo, but did nothing to the others. Ben goes to the house to check her room, making her father Ernest angry as he goes for Tristan’s help. There Ben finds nothing, but a picture of her and a poison dart frog. He brings it back and they find out that on her trip to South America, Tristan accompanied her. She also reveals that Estelle is her step-mother and she was after the book to heal her mother, Rosemary.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

So that means Rosemary is “R”, then who is E? Isolde tells them her father Ernest. And if Isolde isn’t killing them, that leaves only one other to avenge their mother…Tristan. And where did Ernest go, the last one needed to be killed? To see Tristan.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

They rush over to try and save him.

Ernest has gone to see Tristan who has knocked him out with a shovel. He tied him up and placed him in the backyard, cutting shallow cuts for the frogs to stick their poison in. Before he can do it, in comes Ben and Tom, Ben knocking him down; and accidentally into the frog’s glass cages. Tristian is killed by the very thing he has been using for justice.

The next night is Halloween, and Ernest has seen how Thoth has torn apart his family, turning his back on the coven and leaving.

Tom and Joyce are throwing the party, Tom trying to have a happy Halloween amid all this craziness.

Happy Halloween jack-o-lantern

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To start Horrorfest IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It Has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

For the previous post, go to There’ll Be Somebody With My Name…But She Won’t Be Me!: The Stepford Wives (1975)

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For more on Midsomer Murders, go to Please Excuse My Dear Fan Lady

For more on witches, go to What Have You Done to Him?: Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

For more mysteries, go to There are Thirteen Chairs at the Table…And That’s Unlucky: Mystery of the 13th Guest (1943)

For more books turned into TV series, go to A Haunting We Will Go: The Hardy Boy and Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977)

There’ll Be Somebody With My Name…But She Won’t Be Me!: The Stepford Wives (1975)

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I won’t be here when you get back, don’t you see? It’s going to happen before then. Don’t ask me to explain it, I just know. There’ll be somebody with my name, and she’ll cook and clean like crazy, but she won’t take pictures, and she won’t be me! She’ll – she’ll, she’ll be like one of those the robots in Disneyland.

So first, happy 40th anniversary! February 12, 1975 brought this great film to us.

So one day I was spending the night at my friend’s house, and her grandmother had a massive movie collection, although nothing made past the ’90s. We were trying to figure out what to watch, when she chose The Stepford Wives (2005). I thought it was funny, and even bought it for myself when it was on sale for $5 at Wal-Mart.

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Then I was at a yard sale, where a friend who has a monster horror/mystery film collection was selling all the VHS he had just bought DVDs of. I saw The Stepford Wives (2004) and was shocked. There was another version of the film?

Say What

I bought it; along with Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), The Wolf Man (1941), Rebecca (1940), The Phantom of the Opera (1943), North by Northwest (1959), House on Haunted Hill (1950), Family Plot (1976), Lifeboat (1944), The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), Notorious (1946), and The Night of the Hunter (1955).  I really cleaned him out.

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Then one day, I decided to watch The Stepford Wives (1975). And I LOVED it! I thought it was sooooo much better than the remake, in fact I never even watch the 2005 version anymore. I really should just donate it to the library or thrift store.

So this film was based on a novel, in fact written by the same man who wrote Rosemary’s Baby, Ira Levin. Funny that I should review both films the same year. I didn’t even realize they were by the same person until right now.

Anyways, on with the review.

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The film starts out with Janna Eberheart (Katherine Ross) saying good-bye to her apartment they have been living in in the city.

Sadface Batman

She doesn’t want to leave, but moving to the suburbs will be better for her two young kids.

Now Katherine Ross is extremely beautiful, and her husband is only so-so. How did he score such a ringer? Not  to be mean, but he looks old and is balding, and looks like the type to get a beer gut.

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They are unpacking their stuff when a beautifully coiffed woman comes over with a casserole, Carol Van Sant. She walks and talks a bit weird, almost unearthly in grace.

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Later Walter is walking the dog and tells his neighbor, she cooks as good as looks.

Men

Men

So it turns out that Joanna definitely did not want to move. It was all her husband’s idea. He thinks it is safe, secure, and there is more room for the kids and Joanna to have dark room for her photography. Joanna is still not pleased.

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The next day Joanna’s kids take the bus to school. All the other kids are too perfect and not rowdy at all. Weird.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Now that the kids are gone, what is the city girl gonna do? She has tea, clearly bored.

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She does get interviewed by neighborhood lady, who writes the women’s magazine. We found out that Walter Eberheart, her husband, is a lawyer; while is an inspiring photgrapher. The thing she misses most about New York? The noise.

The next day she goes to return the casserole dish to neighbor, when she sees a guy come up from behind and start feeling her up and kissing her. It is mid morning! Is that her husband? And what is he doing here instead of at work? Weird.

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That night Walter tells Joanna how he has met the other Stepford commuters. They invite him to Men’s Association. It has only one rule, men only. Joanna is not pleased.

Men

Men

We see that their relationships actually are having some problems that have been happening for a while.

Joanna Eberheart: You pretend we decide on things, but you have already decided on everything. You ask me if I want to move out of city, and I find you have already been looking. You ask me if I like this house place and I find that you have already made a down payment. You ask me about the men’s association and you have already joined. Why even bother to ask me at all.

When they go out grocery shopping, it seeems as if all the other women are more in control of their kids, have planned out their list better, being perfect; while  JOanna harried and forgetful.

Carol coming out of market, and gets into a car crash. She is taken by the ambulance, and keeps repeating herself over and over as if stuck on something.

Joanna Eberhart: [ambulance drives off] We may be new here, but isn’t Stepford Hospital that way?

Walter Eberhart: Oh, no, no, no, you’re wrong… No, no, you’re *not* wrong, the ambulance went *that* way, didn’t it?

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

That night Joanna wakes up in bed alone, and hears something downstairs. It is Walter in front of the fire, as he just got back from mens association. He is upset and drinking. What’s going on? Why is he so sad and upset? What did the men do?

suspicious Hmm

The next day Bobbie Markowe (Paula Prentiss) comes to see her after reading about her in the lady’s paper. You notice she is the only other woman wearing pants as well.

Bobbie is like Joanna. She moved her from New York, not her decision but her husbands. She isn’t perfectly coiffed and doesn’t have a spic and span house. She is normal and the two quickly become friends.

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That night Joanna is working in her dark room developing pictures. Walter calls and tells her the meeting will be at their house, in 20 mins. That’s really short notice to be given, what if the house was a mess? But i suppose those guys think a house should always be perfect.

After Walter gets off the phone, Dale, leader of the men;s association tells him he recognizes that Walter is not altogether sure, telling him not to worry the change is for the better.

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So while Joanna is pouring teas and coffees, Dale is watching her, he likes seeing women in domestic settings.

Joanna Eberhart: Why do they call you Diz?

Dale Coba: Because I used to work at Disneyland.

Joanna Eberhart: No, really.

Dale Coba: That’s really. Don’t you believe me?

Joanna Eberhart: No.

Dale Coba: Why not?

Joanna Eberhart: You don’t look like someone who enjoys making other people happy.

Joanna sit in on the meeting, One guy draws Joanna, as the rest of the men talk about charity events they could do. The men are absolutely boring and horrible at planning and deciding on something. She goes to check on the kids to get out of there.

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

They all stop talking as soon as she leaves. Hmm…interesting.

When she comes back, the meeting breaks up and the guy gives her the drawing of her.

Ike Mazzard: [Handing drawing to Joanna] In case you’re wondering what I’ve been doing.

Joanna Eberhart: You’re not the Ike Mazzard are you?

Ike Mazzard: I’m afraid so.

Joanna Eberhart: Walter tell him, I’m just awful on names. You’ll have to forgive me. I used to gawk at all those girls in those magazines. You blighted my adolescence, you know that?

Walter Eberhart: [Grinning] I thought I benighted your adolescence.

Joanna doesn’t like the men, as she thinks they are boring. The women, besides Bobbie, are not friendly and also don’t seem to think that much beyond how they look or how to cook. She thinks her husband is acting weird by hanging with these people.

Dale give a barbecue, and Joanna and Bobbie dress casual; Joanna in a nice sundress and Bobbie in pants. However, all the other women are dressed SUPER fancy in long dresses. Joanna and Bobbie feel really out of place, but can’t quite put their finger on why exactly.

Joanna Eberheart: It’s all so dazzling, so why don’t I like it. I like it but I don’t like it. Does that make sense?

Carol starts talking to them, but keeps repeating herself. Something is not right with her. Is she drunk? Or is it something else?

Really?

The next day Carol comes and apologizes to Joanna and Bobbie. She explains that she used to be an alcoholic, one of the reasons why they moved out of the city, and the reason why I was acting weird last night. I had started drinking again. Her husband made her come apologize to the newcomers, didn’t want to frighten them off.

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So strange to Bobbie and Joanna. Both ladies did women’s liberation in New York and decide they need to start something here in Stepford. They start inviting women, but they don’t really care and don’t want to. One too busy ironing, one too busy baking, another shopping, etc.

The last person they see is Charmaine. She is relatively new, only been here a little bit longer than Bobbie. She heard that the girls wanted to start meeting, and wants to join as she has had a hard time connecting. She used to play tennis with one girl, but now she is far too busy cooking and cleaning.

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One of the men wants to do a speech experiment with her. Needs to know every place you have ever lived, and you have to read off a vocab list he made up. Joanna won’t do it, unless the wives come to her meeting.

Joanna Eberhart: I’m very busy…just like your wife. Bobby and I tried to involve her in one of our projects, but she had too much ironing. Maybe you could convince her. Kit Sundersen, too. If they could find the time for me… I could find it for you.

Claude Axhelm: Isn’t this uh… kind of blackmail, Joanna?

Joanna Eberhart: It’s what made this country great, Claude.

They have the Women’s Liberation meeting, but the other wives don’t seem really into it. Joanna starts by saying she thinks walter cares more about law than her. Charmaine says that she doesn’t think her husband ever loved her, but only married her because she looked right. After that emotional piece, one of the wives says she didn’t bake any thing yesteday  because she didn’t finish cleaning. Then all the “other wives” start talking about products they use, sounding like a commercial.

So weird.

Joanna goes out for a walk with her dog, when she is gone men come over and looking at room and all her stuff. They leave after their observations.

The next day, Bobbie and Joanna run into an older woman who tells them about a new family coming to Stepford, a black family. She says it doesn’t surprise her as Stepford is the most liberal place. Bobbie and Joanna are surprised and find out they used to have a ton of women’s groups, including a huge Women’s Liberation. What happened?

They go see Carol, who they discovered was the leader of the Women’s Liberation in Stepford. She tells them it died out because the women got bored.

Joanna Eberheart: Is it enough?

Carol Van Sant: It is enough for me, maybe not for you.

Joanna goes to New York to show some photographs to a gallery, but the owner turns her down. When she returns, she discovers that her dog is gone. She and Bobbie start driving around looking for him when they see Charmaine’s Tennis courts being destroyed!

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They go see her and she is dressed like other wives and acting like them. She only cares about making her husband happy. Fired the maid and wants to do all the cooking and cleaning herself. She’s letting her husband get the heated swimming pool that he always wanted.

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Both are freaking out about this. Bobbie is convinced that they must be poisoning the water or something. She wants to take a sample and give it to a trustworthy chemist, but doesn’t now any. Joanna does, and when they give it to him; there is nothing in the water.

Bobbie is scared.

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She wants to leave, and is planning on asking Dave tonight to move. She doesn’t want to become one of those women.

Creepy!

Creepy!

Joanna wants to leave, but Walter doesn’t. After a bit of pleading, he gives in. But is it too late to move?

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They start looking in different areas together. Dave, Bobbie’s husband is mad about house hunting. He was so upset that he almost canceled their annual trip to plaza. Bobbie has Joanna take care of her kids.

The kids are crazy and loud, and Walter hates it. Joanna takes tons of photos while kids are playing. Joanna is working in the dark room making Walter have to care for the kids. He wants Joanna to take over as he is tired and can’t think of anything else to do. Joanna tells him too bad, she deals with it every day.

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Joanna goes to New York to get a gallery owner to look at them, thinks they are amazing.

Double double yay

Joanna goes to tell Bobbie about gallery accepting her work, but Bobbie doesn’t even care. She just wants to discuss clothes, looks, cleaning, all about taking care of Dave.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

They’ve gotten to her, and she is no longer the same.

Joanna tries to tell Walter what is going on, but he doesn’t understand and won’t listen. He just keeps telling her that she is crazy!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Joanna is going to leave, and planning on it today. Walter stops her, telling her they will move, but only if she sees someone. He tries to get her to see one in town, but she refuses. She wants to find her own person and someone far from Stepford.

Getting out of here

Getting out of here

Joanna visits a doctor far way, but is afraid to tell doctor the real reason why she wants to leave Stepford. Ater four months Charmain changed. After four months Bobbie chnged. And four months is how long Joanna has been in Stepford. She’s afraid that whatever changed them will change her as well.

Joanna Eberhart: I won’t be here when you get back, don’t you see? It’s going to happen before then. Don’t ask me to explain it, I just know. There’ll be somebody with my name, and she’ll cook and clean like crazy, but she won’t take pictures, and she won’t be me! She’ll – she’ll, she’ll be like one of those the robots in Disneyland.

Dr. Fancher: Alright, now listen. I’ll give you a prescription which you have filled, then you gather up your children and you GET THE HELL AWAY! Don’t tell your husband, don’t tell anyone, just go, wherever you feel safe. Now, do you have family?

Joanna Eberhart: They’re dead.

Dr. Fancher: Well, just drive, and stop some place. Then in a few days – I’ll be back on the 10th – you ring me, I’ll come to you, and we’ll sort this thing out. Now how does that sound?

Joanna comes home and plans to do just that. She goes upstairs looking for kids, but they are not here.

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Joanna wants to know where they are, but Walter won’t tell her. He tries to get her to go upstairs and lie down, grabbing her.

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They fight and Joanna breaks away, going upstairs and locking herself in. Oh no, just like in Rosemary’s Baby! But it didn’t save her!

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The phone starts blinking, and Joanna can see that he is talking to someone. While he is on it, she sneaks out of the house and heads off to Bobbies to look for her kids. But when she gets there, they aren’t there.

After she short circuts Bobbie, she heads back home. When she gets there, she smacks him in the head with a fireplace poker, demanding to know where her children are.

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He mutters “association” and Joanna decides to head out there. When she gets there she hears her children’s voices calling, follows the sound and it turns out to just be a recording. It was all a ploy to get Joanna there.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Joanna Eberheart: Why change the women?

Dale Coba: Because we can we make them perfect.

 But Joanna won’t just go down, she still has a lot of fight in her and takes off running. She gets lost in the hallways and opens a door to her bedroom.

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Camera slowly pans…………..tension building…………dun dun dun dun dun….and we see:

Her!!!! Brushing her hair with her black demon eyes. Robot Joanna. Body even more perfect. Probably one of the creepiest moments in any horror film, of all time there.

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Next day all in supermarket, talking to each other.

And we end seeing that new family in town, fighting the same way everyone else did previously. They are next on list.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

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So after watching this a second time, there are a few things I have noticed and wanted to bring light to now that the “real” review is over.

1)The Husband was the one who wanted to move. So I wonder, did Walter know ahead of time that the town was like that? Is that why he choose Stepford out of any other suburb?

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2) The clothes are great with the differences. Joanna and Bobbie are the only ones “in” with current fashion. They wear jeans, crop tops, no bras, and show lots of skin with their mini skirts and shorts. Originally the directors wanted the robot women to be “playboy bunnies”, but I think it was better having them in nice, lacy dresses. It definitely shows an extreme difference between the “fixed” women and those “still in need of alterations”. Plus the women in those dresses, defintely is a throwback to not the ’50s, like most assume: but the turn of the century. I mean look at those clothes, throwback to a time when women really had no rights. Or at least that is my views on the whole thing.

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To start Horrorfest IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It Has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

For the previous post, go to Because I Am Mad, I Hate You. Because I Am Mad, I Have Betrayed You: Gaslight (1944)

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For more on evil robots, go to We’re Mad Scientists. We’re Monsters: Avengers, Age of Ultron (2015)

For more by Ira Levin, go to What Have You Done to Him?: Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

For more husbands that are more than what they seem, go to She Cries in the Night: The Screaming Skull (1958)