I Want To Believe You, But I Have To Be Sure. I Can’t Stop Until I’m Certain That He’s Dead: Halloween II (1981)

He’s dead. You saw it. I saw a man in a mask. It was him. I want to believe you, but I have to be sure. I can’t stop until I’m certain that he’s dead.

Happy Halloween Everyone!

As I mentioned in my Leprechaun post, back in 2017, as that year had a Friday the 13th in October I had an idea to review the sequels to different slasher films in on the Fridays, with of course Friday the 13th Part II, being reviewed on the actual Friday the 13th. Unfortunately, I never finished that Horrorfest or the films I had planned to review as I had some technological difficulties with my computer and the app wasn’t fully developed.

Instead I planned to review the two remaining films later, in hopes of trying to do it again the next time there was a Friday the 13th in October, 2023. In 2017, 2023 felt like it was forever away, but of course now it is next year. As Halloween II is the last of the slasher films I need to review before next year, I thought why not end on it? I especially feel it is full circle as my first year of blogging I ended on Halloween and now my 10th year of blogging I’m reviewing Halloween II.

Oh well…

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this film, all I remember is the “twist revelation”.

The film starts off with the end of Halloween. We see the last 10 minutes of the previous film when Michael Myers takes off and Laurie and Dr. Loomis are together. The best part of this opening is the music, John Carpenter really knew how to make something that sounded creepy!

Laurie gets sent to the hospital to be looked after her fight while Dr. Loomis is crazily searching for Michael Myers. He of course is busy killing, as several people hadn’t heard the news yet and haven’t taken any extra precautions.

At one point Dr. Loomis sees a man dressed up similar to Michael Myers, although from our viewpoint it is most definitely not him as the guy is smaller and the face mask not quite the same. He ends up getting chased by the Dr and Sheriff’s deputy, but while chase hit by another car and catches on fire. It happens so quickly I’m not sure why that happened.

So does that mean that the outfit he wears is an actual Halloween costume that can be easily purchased like in Scream? I thought it was one that Myers made himself?

One of the EMTs recognizes Laurie and gives her extra attention in the hospital. I know we should trust the EMTs but I’ve seen so many horror movies I don’t trust people, and I’m suspicious.

The police think that the case is over and that Michael has been killed, but Dr. Loomis is not so sure. He keeps saying he shot him six times and it did nothing. I know in the previous film he was supposed to bet he embodiment of the “boogeyman”, but in this he is actually of this Earth as we found in the end twist; so does that mean he sold his soul to the devil ? Or is he the Antichrist? Why does death not affect him?

Hmmm…

This film the pacing is a little slow. In the previous film they build up the characters so we knew them and there was an emotional reaction when they were murdered. With this film we have a double barreled cat and mouse, Michael hunting and being hunted, but it die strong the same. I think because none of these characters do we really know enough to care about except Laurie.

Laurie is recuperating in the hospital when one of the nurses has a side remark that they are having trouble with the phone, oh no! It’s Michael!!!! He must be at the hospital.

The security guard goes to check it out and of course is killed. It isn’t really as surprising or as suspenseful as it was in the previous film. When the security guard is talking to the nurse in the radio while investigating, behind her in the window it looks like Michael Myers is waiting and watching. At first I thought it was him, but I think it was just a trick of the light. It would have been creepier if he was watching her.

I think that’s the issue. Michael is just running around while in the previous film he was watching and looking and that added to the tenseness and creepiness of the film. No one enjoys being stalked. In this we haven’t really seen him.

The police are busy as already tonight is Halloween and they have to worry about drunks, mischief makers, and the like; now they are searching for a serial killer, trying to talk down riots, and having to work with after tragedy hysteria.

The cops are pretty certain the man killed by car and fire was Michael Myers, even though Dr. Loomis insists it is not him. The deputy starts taking Loomis a little more seriously when some boys are searching for their friend who never made jr friend, a friend who is similar to the dead body found.

Hmm…

Meanwhile, Laurie is sleeping when some repressed memories resurface. She is adopted and her adopted mother wouldn’t tell her anything about her real parents.

Meanwhile a nurse and the gross EMT (not the one into Laurie but the one who talks bad about women) decide to sneak off to the therapy room to have sex. Michael sneaks in and ups the temperature. When the gross EMT goes to check it, Michael kills him. I actually like how they did this scene as we can hardly see it through the glass doors and there is no sound other than the thermal pools. He kills the girl too.

It turns out that Michael broke into the school and left a message. He’s after his sister, planning to kill her. But who is his sister? Did he kill her already or is he planning on killing her?

The EMT into Laurie goes to check on her and finds her in a cationic state. He calls a nurse and after she checks her she goes searching for the Dr. But it’s too late, he’s already dead! And the nurse is next. Nurse…did they ever say her name?

I mean I knelt that we don’t have a lot of time to introduce the characters as so much is happening in one night, Halloween, it would be nice if their was as I don’t know who and if these people are and by not knowing them their deaths little affect me.

Michael goes after Laurie, but when he tries to kill end her he find the bed full of pillows. It turns out that Laurie must of had a premonition or something as she escaped her room just in time.

Hospital staff can’t find her, but we the viewer know she is alive and hiding. The EMT and a nurse talk about what to do next and when their separate we see they were staining in front of a doctor’s screen, one where Michael was hiding behind. Michael kills the EMT before he can leave the hospital.

The nurse tries to leave but the car is dead. She plans to take Karen’s car but it has a flat tire. With nothing else to do, she goes back to the hospital where she finds Laurie, but is murdered.

Now it is Laurie versus Michael Round 2: New Location. Laurie tried to get away, squeezing through a window, up an elevator, and out the hospital. But is it enough?

Dr. Loomis has been recalled as they don’t want to get involved with the legalities. On the way out of town the person entrusted to ensure Loomis leaves let slip there was a secret file on Myers and it turns out Laurie is his sister! Loomis uses his gun to force them to go to the hospital to try and save Laurie.

Back with Laurie, Jimmy the EMT is alive? I thought he was killed? He tries to start the car. It can’t and dies? Passes out? I’m not sure which but he lands on the horn and gives away their position. Laurie gets out of the car but her adrenaline is going and she is weak and tired from the night. She see Dr. Loomis arrive and calls out to him, but he doesn’t see her. Instead she tries to get back into the hospital as Michael is after her again.

Dr. Loomis shoots again and seems to knock him out, but he’s not dead. Do you think he sacrificed his sister and parents’ lives in order to be immortal or unlikable? And that’s why he needs to kill Laurie?

Hmmm…

Before when he was just an entity of evil I could see him being unlikable as evil never dies, but as a person with a family how come he can’t be killed?

Michael takes out the marshal and once again hunts Loomis and Laurie. Michael stand Loomis and tries to get Laurie but she shoots him in the face and this wounds him. Maybe tang is why he wants her dead, maybe his deal won’t he devil was that only those who share his blood can defeat him, home wanting to remove all those people?

Blinded by blood, Dr. Loomis uses this to gain some time by opening up ether and other aerosols. He tells Laurie to leave and then blows everything up. But Michael isn’t dead, you can’t really kill him…

He’s out there somewhere…

So that end another Horrorfest!!! I hope you all enjoyed it!

I hope you all have a fantastic and safe Halloween!

For more on Halloween, go to Everyone’s Entitled to One Good Scare: Halloween (1978)

For more John Carpenter, go to There’s Something in the Fog!: The Fog (1980)

For more Jamie Lee Curtis, go to It’s a Weird Case from the Start. A Case With a Hole in the Center: Knives Out (2019)

For more serial killers, go to X Marks the Murder, Part I: Diagnosis Murder (1996)

For more sequels, go to On Me Next Thousandth Birthday, I’ll Stalk Your Fairest Offspring and Claim Her As Me Bride!: Leprechaun 2 (1994)

Miguel, I Give You My Blessing, To Go Home And…Never Forget How Much Your Family Cares For You.: Coco (2017)

Miguel, I give you my blessing, to go home and…never play music again. [Mamá Imelda looks at Héctor and smiles]…And never forget how much your family cares for you.

I’m going to start with just letting out my true feelings, I don’t like the movie Coco (2017).

I know, I know so many love it, but I don’t. It all started back in 2013, when Disney wanted to make a Dia de Los Muertos film and tried to copyright the name.

Yep, they wanted to trademark both “Día de los Muertos” and “Day of the Dead,” as they wanted to own it so they would control “such themed merchandise as fruit preserves, fruit-based snacks, toys, games, clothing, footwear, backpacks, clocks and jewelry.” They apologized saying it was an “oversight” and a “misunderstanding”.

Yeah right, I don’t believe it for one second. There is no way they would have ever tried that with Christmas, in my opinion they were just trying to pull a fast one and found themselves called out by the Latino community. Being Latina myself, I was extremely offended at this and while it has died down I still haven’t forgiven the heads of Disney who attempted that.

Seriously!

In 2014, an adorable film come out called The Book of Life, that I adored as it had a cute story, wonderful animation, and incorporated different Latin American folklore and culture; (although it did summarize it and make changes so it was more palatable to American audiences that ranged from those who know the history of Dia de Los Muertos and those who have zero knowledge or assume it is Mexican Halloween).

The story of The Book of Life is that La Muerte/La Catrina is the ruler of the Land of the Remembered and her husband Xibalba is the ruler of the Land of the Forgotten. The film’s premise is that as long as the dead are remembered by the people who live on Earth they will stay in the “Land of the Remembered” and if there is nobody alive to remember them they will go to the “Land of the Forgotten”; a terrible place no one wants to go. Not surprisingly, Xibalba does not like living there and he and La Muerte make a deal; there is a love triangle between Joaquin, Manolo, and Maria and whoever’s chosen victor wins Maria’s heart will also win the Land of the Remembered. La Muerte supports Manolo and Xibalba supports Joaquin. Fast forward to when they are adults and Joaquin has become a war hero, while Manolo wants to be a musician, something his father doesn’t approve of as he comes from a long line of bullfighters. The two try to woo Maria and Manolo is the clear winner. This upsets Xilbalbe and he tricks Manolo into killing himself to save Maria (who wasn’t really dead) sending him to the afterlife, winning the bet. Manolo reunits with his family, eventually baring his soul with his father and getting the family blessing to be a musician, outwits Xilbalbe, and defeats the terrible bandit while reuniting with Maria. I loved it.

When Coco came out three years later I wasn’t interested. I know “they said” they were sorry for their “blunder” and sent a team to Mexico to study Mexican culture in order to make a better film, I was still very hesitant that they would follow through. Eventually I did watch it as my niece wanted to see it and after watching Coco, I did not like it.

First of all the storyline was nothing new for an “original film” as I felt they copied The Book of Life. There were too many similarities for it to be accidental: like the being remembered you have a fun party in the afterlife while if you are forgotten you are gone forever, the way they made the afterlife a big party (extremely similar), the whole central theme about the youngest family member wanting to pursue music opposed to the family business (BOL bullfighting while C cobbling), the meeting the family in the afterlife and mending fences, not supposed to be dead an in the afterlife, etc.

And they combined all those components with Up, as it was the same story of our main character idolizing a person only to meet them and discover that he was actually a terrible person.

The other thing that really annoyed me was the “music is evil” plot with Miguel’s great-great grandma and grandma banning it from all family members. Music is such a huge part of Latino culture, that the way Miguel’s family barred it like a Latino Footloose town was odd and in my mind impossible. Its such a strong part of the Latino identity. I felt this story point was better done in The Book of Life, as the family wasn’t opposed to any music, but just did not want to break family tradition.

To me this just felt like Disney was not really giving it their all but just trying their best to make money off the holiday and Latino culture.

The only thing that I felt was actually well done with the film was the music. I like that they used traditional songs and actual mariachi songs. While I don’t care for the film, I am always down to listen to the soundtrack.

I know I am probably the only dissenter to this film, but I won’t apologize for how I feel. That’s what I think of it. If you enjoyed it that’s great.

For more on Dia de Los Muertos, go to Feliz Día de Muertos: Celebrando con Mi Ofrenda de Jane Austen

For more animated films, go to Zombie Pirates and Werecats: Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998)

For more Disney reviews, go to Mysteries & Meddling Kids: Austin & Ally (2015)

X Marks the Murder, Part II: Diagnosis Murder (1996)

As I mentioned yesterday, Diagnosis Murder was one of my absolute favorite TV shows growing up. The TV show follows Dr. Mark Sloane (Dick Van Dyke), the super intelligent doctor at Community General Hospital in Los Angeles, CA, who always loved mysteries and wanted to be a detective, achieving this dream by helping his police detective son, Steve (played by his real son Barry Van Dyke). The two are rounded out by Dr. Amanda Bentley (Victoria Rowell), the medical examiner; and Dr. Jesse Travis (played by Charlie Schlatter), my second favorite character. Dr. Jesse is the sweet, handsome, and adorable resident at Community General, and later head of the Emergency Room.

With each episode there would be a case that Steve was on, with him bringing in his dad and subsequently the rest of the team; although sometimes Mark would have suspicions about something and bring Steve into it. Either way it was one awesome show that balanced mystery, medicine, and crime.

Mystery, you say?

Which brings us to today’s episode. So yesterday I reviewed part one where we have discovered that they found the Casanova Killer, but it turns out one of his victims was actually not his. Before they could question him further, he was murdered by his cell mate. When they tried to investigate the cellmate he turned out to be murdered as well.

This episode focuses on our team trying to discover who the killer of Dusty is. As it was a perfect copy of the original serial killer it can only be someone who is on the inside.

Hmm…

This is a great episode, if you had watched the previous episode and paid attention to all the characters, especially the side ones it is easy to figure it out. I don’t want to give it away, as you can watch it free on PLUTO TV.

The episode is stolen by Kurt Fuller as Medical Examiner Dr. Albert. In the previous episode Mark excused his strange and odd behavior as just not being socially adept and having a lot of personal problems.

Everyone else sees it as more and as the episode continues, you can tell he is definitely 100% unhinged.

For more on Diagnosis Murder, go to X Marks the Murder, Part I: Diagnosis Murder (1996)

For more mysteries, go to The One Thing About A Murder Case Is- If You Just Let People Talk Long Enough, Sooner Or Later, Somebody Will Spill the Beans.: Shadow of the Thin Man (1941)

For more mystery TV shows, go to Murder in High C: Murder She Wrote (1995)

For more serial killers, go to What If the Man You Married Wasn’t Who You Thought He Was?: Flower of Evil (2020)

For more Kurt Fuller, go to Is Lassiter Crazy or Has He Discovered a Criminal Case in a Recovery Hospital?: Psych 2, Lassie Come Home (2020)

X Marks the Murder, Part I: Diagnosis Murder (1996)

Diagnosis Murder was one of my absolute favorite TV shows growing up. It came on every Thursday night on PAX and it was the only time that my parents would let me stay up past my bedtime on a school night.

Dr. Mark Sloane (Dick Van Dyke) is the super intelligent doctor at Community General Hospital in Los Angeles, CA. He always loved mysteries and wanted to be a detective, achieving this dream by helping his police detective son, Steve (played by his real son Barry Van Dyke). The two are rounded out by Dr. Amanda Bentley (Victoria Rowell), the medical examiner; and Jack Stewart (Scott Baio); guy from a crime family turning from that life and making something of himself. Jack ended up leaving to go to Denver, and they brought in the character Jesse Travis (played by Charlie Schlatter), my second favorite character. Jesse is the sweet, handsome, and adorable resident at Community General, and later head of the Emergency Room.

With each episode their would be a case that Steve was on, with him bringing in his dad and subsequently the rest of the team; although sometimes Mark would have suspicions about something and being Steve into it. Either way it was one awesome show that balanced mystery, medicine, and crime.

Mystery, you say?

Which brings us to today’s episode. Now I really struggled choosing just one as I have so many favorite episodes, in fact I originally wanted to review one last year but couldn’t decide so I shelved it until this year. After a lot of deliberating and going back and forth I finally settled on this two parter.

This episode is the fourth episode in season four. So far this season we have had a cop kill his partner “accidentally” only for it to turn out to be the widow who had been pulling the strings; the staff at Community General had to battle a smallpox strain, and outsmart a Tonya Harding-like killer.

This episode has special guest star, John Schneider (from the Dukes of Hazard), as a serial killer obsessed with Mark Sloan. We start the episode off with him preparing ritual: lighting candles, dressing the victim in lingerie, everything looking romantic-and calling Dr. Sloan to battle him. I can’t remember if this is the first time, but it most definitely will not be the last time a killer/criminal decides they want to go head to head with Dr. Sloan. He just attracts all the crazies.

Steve has been appointed in charge of the task force to discover the identity of the serial killer. Of course they hope that if Steve is in charge they can assist in the solving of the case.

There is a “B story” about Norman the hospital administrator, but is really boring and not really my time reviewing.

Steve heads to the latest victim of the “Casanova Killer” and finds everything to be the same as the prior three cases, even down to the Xs cut into the feet and no sexual contact. Also coming there is medical examiner, Dr. Albert Blank, played by Kurt Fuller. Yes you may recognize him as coroner Woody Strode in Psych. To be honest the way he acts, it is basically the same character although instead of silly/sweet/creepy/awkward he’s just creepy/awkward.

Back at the house Steve asks Mark to join him as he needs the best on his side. He, Mark, and Amanda start discussing the case. They share the info that has not been shared to the public, along with the fact that the victim had called Community General the night she passed, but there isn’t any record of her calling and someone talking to her.

Hmm…

When our Serial Killer finds out Mark is on the case, he is ecstatic-that’s exactly what he wants.

Later Mark and Albert meet up to discuss the case. Albert is super awkward, but a little upset that Mark no longer works with him, picking Amanda over him. Mark senses the disgruntlement and tries to smooth things over. Albert reveals that he has no money and his marriage is kaput. His wife sounds exactly like the wife of Woody in Psych. I think the Psych writers just copied the character but made him warmer.

Defense attorney Andrew King approaches them and tries to snoop for info. He really lays on the flattery for Albert which makes me very suspicious. I totally believe Albert would turn over information for more compliments.

Mark goes over the notes but finds them hard to unravel. He decides to give them to Amanda and have her take a second look. While at home perusing the case files he gets a call from the killer who is more than eager to share how pleased he is to have Dr. Sloan’s attention. This dude is extra crazy. I mean we already knew he was out of his mind as he’s a serial murderer, but his level of obsession with Dr. Sloan makes him double the crazy.

You are crazy

We see our serial killer working at the gas station, ouch the prices on this gas makes me hurt as they are sooooo cheap. I wish I could pay that today in California as currently has I like 5.69 a gallon.

I digress, he works at a gas station/car repair/car detail shop. It appears that as he’s handsome it’s easy for him to charm the women and make them feel comfortable. When patrons pay with a credit card he uses the excuse of needing to see ID (remember when you had to do that with every purchase?), to write down the personal info and select his victims.

Amanda comes to get gas and forgot her purse. The attendant/serial killer is intrigued when he hears that Amanda is a friend of Mark’s. Uh oh.

Later Amanda does another examination of the recent murder and discovers a fiber in the eyelash of the victim. Very interesting, and hopefully a clue to track down the killer.

Jesse is looking into the past crimes that Mark has solved while Amanda tracked down the recent credit card purchase to see if the victims intersected. No dice.

Unbeknownst to then, our killer is watching them and calls Mark taunting him. Steve tries to track the call, but our killer is too smart for them and has been calling from a pay phone. Our killer is angry that Mark hasn’t made more of an effort to find him and decides to up the ante. Oh…not good.

Our killer goes hunting for his next victim, finally letting us know his name is Michael Dern. He does increase it, killing two women in one night.

The next day they discover that the fiber on the eyelash was cotton soaked in baby oil. It appears either the women are taking their make up off, or he does it. Either way this case has gotten creepier.

SUPER creeped

Mark heads to get gas for his car and it turns out that he goes to the station Michael our serial killer works out. The two are friends it be way you have your favorite checker and we see why Michael is so obsessed as he feels Mark ignores his intelligence and looks down on him/slash he appears to be the only one who can match him in “smarts”. He gives Mark a car cover, recommending it as someone he uses; an obvious clue to the viewer-he’s trying to help Mark find him.

Steve gets to the cases and is upset that there are two, while Albert is just his usually weird self. Later that evening Albert meets with Amanda to give her the info, and it seems like defense attorney Andrew and Dr. Albert are no longer friends. Interesting…hmm.

Hmm…

Amanda brings the notes to Mark’s house where they go over the autopsy report and discover that all the six victims seem to be the same but they do not appear to intersect with each other-except the first five did go to the same gas stations; victim six is an outlier. But it can’t be a copycat right? None of the info was shared with anyone except those few on the case.

Meanwhile, Amanda visits the gas station Michael works at again, and this time uses her credit card. Michael takes down the info along with her vanity plate, Dr. AL (AL for Amanda [Bentley]Livingston, Amanda was married for a brief while).

You’re next! You’re next, You’re next…!

That evening Steve and Mark are trying to figure out why a woman would allow a stranger into their house when they get the idea of a serviceman of repairman being behind it. Just as they come to that realization, they receive another call from Michael who threatens to kill Dr. Al; Michael means Amanda while Mark thinks he is referring to Dr. Al Blank. Mark is confused, but insults Michael in order to keep him on the line and trade where he calls from.

Amanda is home alone as her husband and son are out of town for a little while when Michael comes knocking by claiming to have her credit card. However, unlike the other women she doesn’t let him in but checks her purse and intends to call the police, stopped by Michael who snuck into the house.

They track the call to the gas/service station where they find out Michael is the one behind it all. While there Mark discovers that Michael set up a system where every car being repaired or detailed on is referred to by their license plate. Good thing too a they are able to save Amanda instead of wasting their time going to Dr. Albert’s.

While prepping his ritual Michael complains to Amanda about how Mark never pays attention to him. He sounds like those girls/guys who believe they like someone (when they really didn’t) and get all weird/angry when the person doesn’t like them back.

Amanda tries to prolong him and we end up discovering that he hates women because of his abusive mother who tortured him. It turns out she died six months ago, and that is exactly what started the killing-his trigger.

All are celebrating over their arrest of Michael when their receive a call he wants to talk to Mark. Mark reluctantly goes down there and hears Michael talk about his victims. He also shares a really important tidbit, that he did not kill the sixth victim. That’s why she doesn’t match the others with the overlap of the gas station. Uh oh, that means not only do they have a copycat it has to be someone who was involved in the case as the murder was identical to the others. At best one of the people on the task force is a mole/shared the information with someone.

But the worst and far more likely, one of the members of the task force is a killer.

Before they could question Michael more, he’s murdered. They try to speak to the guy’s sharing the cell with him, one has disappeared as he made bail without making a call. Very suspicious but the case is “over” as everyone wants to believe Michael did it and it’s case closed.

Steve doesn’t like this and puts himself on the case of finding Michael’s murderer. He discovers that the guy who killed Michael is also dead. It is clear that Micheal didn’t kill the 6th victim. But if it wasn’t Michael who killed her, and tried to frame him?

Hmmm…

For more mysteries, go to The One Thing About A Murder Case Is- If You Just Let People Talk Long Enough, Sooner Or Later, Somebody Will Spill the Beans.: Shadow of the Thin Man (1941)

For more mystery TV shows, go to Murder in High C: Murder She Wrote (1995)

For more serial killers, go to What If the Man You Married Wasn’t Who You Thought He Was?: Flower of Evil (2020)

For more Kurt Fuller, go to Is Lassiter Crazy or Has He Discovered a Criminal Case in a Recovery Hospital?: Psych 2, Lassie Come Home (2020)

The One Thing About A Murder Case Is- If You Just Let People Talk Long Enough, Sooner Or Later, Somebody Will Spill the Beans.: Shadow of the Thin Man (1941)

The one thing about a murder case is -if you just let people talk long enough, sooner or later, somebody will spill the beans. Well, somebody has.

It’s time for another Thin Man Thursday!

As I have said before, I LOOOOVE The Thin Manseries! The characters, the pacing, the mystery, everything is amazing. It’s a perfect blend of mystery, comedy, drama, and film noir. While the third film was okay, the fourth one was back to amazing and is one of my favorites.

This also has Donna Reed in it before she was a big star.

Unlike the other films in the series, you can watch this one on YouTube for free.

The Charles have left New York and returned to their home in San Francisco. We start off the film with Nick and Nick Jr. going on a walk and stopping in the park where Nick is supposed to be reading little Nick a story. He’s reading to him, but instead of a kids book, it is the odds for the racetrack. That Nick!

I really like that Nicky was shown in the films and that the Charles family were able to have a child and still investigate. It seems like a lot of shows/movies won’t let their crime solvers do that unless they want that character’s story to be all about the fight between work and family. Plus little Nicky is absolutely adorable.

Nick has racing on the mind more than ever as they are headed to the racetrack. While on the way Nick gets pulled over for speeding, but when the cop discovers that it’s Nick Charles the detective, he’s so excited be still gives Nick a ticket, but he also escorts them to the track (siren on).

They are soon caught up in a police and ambulance motorcade as they are also headed to the track. When the Charleses get there, it turns out a jockey was murdered, and not just any jockey, one who had been accused of throwing a race only the day before, and a witness in a gambling syndicate case.

Hmm…suspicious

Also arriving on the scene is our old pal Lt. Abrams from After the Thin Man. I really liked Lt. Abrams so I’m glad they brought him back. Another character who will be central to our plot is newspaperman Paul Clarke (Barry Nelson), a thorn in Abrams side and a friend of Nick.

Lt. Abrams tries to get Nick on in the investigation, but again Nick refuses. The only way he ever gets involved is if a friend is in trouble.

Later that evening, Major Jason I. Sculley and Paul come to Nick and beg him to take on the case, but as always he is still uninterested. While Nick is stubborn, he is loyal. He will constantly refuse unless he needs to lend a friend a hand.

Nick tries to use Nora as an excuse as to why he can’t help, he needs to take her out places. (To be honest I think Nick just wants to do his own thing whether it is stay home and relax or go out and go to places he wants to go to, he’s kind of over being the world’s greatest detective).

However, this backfired as Nora wants to go out to a wrestling match and Paul happily offers his press badge to them.

They go to the fight and tensions are high. Something is going down with the gambling syndicate owner. Newspaperman Whitey seems to be too familiar with Stephens, the gambling syndicate owner, he also is interested in the gangster’s girl. But his interest isn’t in her, but the money she owes him.

Hmm…

As it always tends to happen, whenever Nick is out he always runs into people he used to know, (more often people he sent to prison), and they all love him. It’s hilarious how many friends he has, often “unsavory” people in comparison to the ones Nora is friends with. L

Link Stephens, arena owner and head of gambling syndicate has missed most of the bout as he has had some “serious business”. His secretary is Molly (Donna Reed), who also happens to be the girlfriend of Paul. While Molly gets ready to leave, Whitey comes by and tries to get with Molly, who staunchly refuses. She goes to leave, but doubles back to listen to then talk. Whitey has been helping Link by keeping him clean in the papers and trying to cover up/avert suspicion. However, it sounds like he wants more than his usual cut and is trying to intimidate Link.

Whitey tries to get money, $10,000 out of Link who asks him to come back later (not good). Not only is he trying to get that money, the money from Link’s girl, but he also borrowed $8000 form “Rainbow” Benny. Why does he need so much money?

Molly goes to meet Paul for supper and the two talk about her job and his story. Paul feels so frustrated that he hasn’t had a break in it and takes Molly’s keys intent on searching Link’s office for solid proof. When he’s there he searches for things, Whitey comes upon him, he gets knocked out.

When he wakes up the police have come as someone discovered Whitey’s dead body and Paul is the one they are looking at for murder.

Nick gets on the case to help his friend, and like all the mysteries the twist is one you wouldn’t suspect.

For more on The Thin Man, go to He Comes Here to New York and, Bing, There’s a Murder. He Goes Back to the West Coast…Bing, There’s Another Murder. He Comes Back Here, Meets This Lois MacFay and…Bing – Bing – Bing! There’s Another Murder: Another Thin Man (1939)

For more mysteries, go to Who Is Selene, Why Was She Involved With a Gunrunner, and Will Gus Get Married Before the Baby Comes?: Psych 3, This is Gus (2021)

For more film noir, go to Pick Us Up Another Thin Man, Will Ya Nick?: After the Thin Man (1936)

For more detectives, go to Is Lassiter Crazy or Has He Discovered a Criminal Case in a Recovery Hospital?: Psych 2, Lassie Come Home (2020)