Something’s Out There and It’s Killing People! And If It’s Monsters, Nobody’s Going to Do a Thing About it Except Us!: The Monster Squad (1987)

Something’s out there and it’s killing people! And if it’s monsters, nobody’s going to do a thing about it except us!

I first saw this film on a Nostalgia Critic review and thought it sounded absolutely hilarious. When I saw that it was on Amazon, I had to watch it. Then I made my mom watch it with me, then my sister, and then my friends.

If you are a fan of the classic monster films: Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Mummy, and The Creature from the Black Lagoon, then you will love this! This film brings them all together in a wonderful way,

The film starts off in Europe with Van Helsing trying to seal the monsters into limbo for life, but failing. Instead the spell just makes the monsters pause their hauntings and sleep with all the villagers and Van Helsing being trapped in limbo instead.

Time goes by and we are in a small town in the USA. There we have two boys who are always getting into trouble as instead of paying attention in class they draw monsters. The two kids, (they have names but are never really used so I am going to call them Leader and Sidekick), are in charge of the monster club. The monster club also has their friend who is really young, Baby, and another friend who they call Fat Kid who’s name is actually Horace.

Then there is a new guy who wants to join the club, the Cool guy. He has a leather jacket, smokes cigarettes, has long dark hair. My friend pointed out that he actually looks a lot like Nick from Jimmy Neutron. He doesn’t seem like the type of guy who would be interested in a monster club, but he passes every test. The Leader does not want him to join, but the rest of the team do and he’s on the squad. Cool kid turns out to also be interested in spying on Sidekick’s sister, who lives next door to the clubhouse, and always changes in front of her open, blinds up window. They always do this in movies and it makes zero sense!

Meanwhile, the monsters have arrived. Dracula was having himself and Frankenstein’s monster flown over, but a pilot was too curious and when he realized what they were, he dumped the coffins. Dracula searches for his friend and while doing so wakes up the Mummy, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and the Wolf Man.

The Leader’s father is a police officer and he is having issues with his wife. She wants him to be home more, but he has to work. He starts investigating the “stolen” mummy and gets called away with someone claiming they are a werwolf. The Wolf man freaks out and is killed at the police station…or is he? Only silver can kill a werewolf, so he resurrects and transforms, taking off to join his monster club.

Sorry!

The leader’s mom bought a Van Helsing book in German a yard sale for his son. She leaves it for him; along with a note that a Dr. Acula wants to buy the book. The Leader has to write it out a few times like he thinks it is an anagram and I’m like it is SO OBVIOUS! What kind of Monster Squad leader are you?

It’s super obvious!

There is a man who lives down the way that speaks German and all the kids like to say he is a spy or monster. The squad go over to have him read the book and find out what it says and he tells them it is a spell to seal monsters away forever. All you need is a virgin to read out the words. Aw, so that must have been where they went wrong in the beginning.

They try to figure out what to do next and where to find a virgin, because even though the spell didn’t say it they assume it has to be a girl, when they are all virgins (maybe not Rudy he is a little older), when the Leader’s sister comes over and wants to join the club again. The boys are all no girls allowed, but then she shows that she has Frankenstein’s monster. They all sit in the treehouse trying to decide what to do next when Frankenstein’s monster acts just as pervy as the boys, looking at sidekick’s sister and takes a picture of her.

The squad finds out that the monsters are hiding out in an old abandoned house, down the street. It turns out that Dracula is there because he is looking for the amulet he needs to have the monsters walk the Earth forever. The squad tries to go in and manage to swipe the amulet, but now the real fight will begin as they have only so much time to complete the spell and seal the monsters away forever.

So the monster experts: the Leader and Sidekick do nothing to try and find a way to stop the monsters. Their only plan of attack is to just talk a lot. The real star of this was the cool guy who makes wooden stakes, melts silver for bullets, steals an archery set from the school to shoot down the vampire brides, etc. He’s really awesome as in the grand battle he takes monsters down left and right.

Horace is also really cool as he has been bullied and hurt, but when push comes to shove he takes out the Creature. It is such a great scene as his previous bullies tell him great job fat kid, and he tells them not to call him that.

E.J.: Hey Fat Kid! Good job.

Horace: My name’s not fat kid. [cocks shotgun] It’s Horace!

After an epic battle, the kids save the day. This is a really fun and great movie that I highly recommend. You should definitely give it a watch.

For more monster filled films or tv shows, go to Munster Masquerade: The Munsters (1966)

For more Dracula, go to The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula, Part I: The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977)

For more on Frankenstein’s monster, go to We’ve Seen Dracula, the Wolf Man, and Frankenstein’s Monster: Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

For more on the mummy, go to Welcome to a New World of Gods and Monsters: The Mummy (2017)

For more on The Wolf Man, go to Beast or Man: The Wolfman (2010)

For more on The Creature from the Black Lagoon, go to There Are Many Strange Legends in the Amazon: The Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954)

For more ‘80s films, go to I Just Killed My Best Friend. And Your Worst Enemy. Same Difference.: Heathers (1988)

I Just Killed My Best Friend. And Your Worst Enemy. Same Difference.: Heathers (1988)

I just killed my best friend.

And your worst enemy.

Same difference.

This is a movie I love but I also have a hard time watching it as I am Veronica. I too was swayed by a crazy guy who tried to kill me. Luckily for both of us, we survived.

Heathers is a film that to be honest is weird to summarize. If you tried to give a synopsis to someone who has never seen it you would sound crazy. You like a film where they end up killing people and making it look like suicide? And it is a comedy? It is definitely odd, but like Mean Girls there is just something about it that pulls you in. The writing is great, the characters understandable and so relatable in its teen angst.

This film also deals with a lot of harsh issues and is not for everyone. It covers suicide, abuse, bullying, shooting, etc. if any of those things might be a trigger for you, it would be best not to watch this film.

Although, now as an adult watching this film I’m like Veronica you are a junior, why are you freaking out? You only have two years left in school and then you can go any where and do anything you want! Her family is rich and if her dad puts up with her calling him an idiot every day I’m sure he will pay for whatever she wants to do whether it is college, seeing the world, or moving to the City and trying to make it on her own doing whatever. I mean if she was poor, wasn’t the best student, or was stuck in her place, I would be more sympathetic.

The other thing I love about this film are the clothes, the ‘80s really could go over the top. I love that these girls are always wearing blazers, giant hats, ostentatious outfits, bright clothes- Veronica even wears a monocle. This juxtaposition of wealth and color with the sad dark themes of suicide works so well in ways I don’t fully understand. There’s just something about Heathers.

The film starts off with this crazy dream sequence, the three Heathers playing croquet, and Veronica (Winona Ryder) is buried up to her neck. She’s unable to move but finds herself at the will of the Heathers. She talks to them, being sarcastic and making cutting comments, but no change occurs as the Heathers ignore her words and she is still stuck in the same place.

“Heather McNamara: It’s your turn Heather.

Heather Chandler: No, Heather, it’s Heather’s turn. Heather?

Heather Duke: Sorry Heather

As I’m sure you can tell, the symbolism runs deep. The Heathers run the school with Heather Chandler (Kim Walker) as the Queen Bee, Heather McNamara (Lisanne Falk) as her yes-man, and Heather Duke (Shannon Doherty) is treated better than the rest of the school, but still the one Heather C. likes to kick around.

Veronica is in a weird place, as she’s not the doormat Heather D. is, but she’s also not as cemented in the group either. She’s still very much an individual, not a minion like the other two Heathers, but at the same time still goes along with all they do-even though she may voice a concern or complain about their activities-she still does it. Just like in her dream.

The film starts off with Veronica noticing the new boy in school, J.D. (Christian Slater). He’s got the bad boy look down pat, long hair, and wearing a trench coat. Very cool and the type of guy every girl falls for at least once in their life.

He’s a bad boy

They ask him the question of the day which is “what would you do if you won 5 million dollars but only have one day left on Earth because Aliens are going to destroy it?” He gives a pretentious answer, but Veronica eats it up.

Christian Slater has stated that his performance was heavily inspired by Jack Nicholson and I believe it as he is creepy! But he also is much better looking than Jack Nicholson and does that eyebrow thing we all love.

Oh, wow…

Veronica’s fallen for him, but gets dragged away by Heather as J.D. is not their crowd. Two football players Ram and Kurt don’t like him trying to move up into another stratosphere and run over to try and bully him. J.D. listens to their insults and pulls a gun out and shoots them.

Later, the girls are talking about the events and all the Heathers think J.D. is insane! But Veronica-poor Veronica is blinded by her crush on the bad boy defends him as “it was just a joke and blanks”.

Veronica no!!! NO NO NO! This is a big red flag, but Veronica doesn’t see it. Poor, dumb, in love, Veronica. Not only has her crush on J.D. blinded her from this scary, crazy event that has happened, but she actually likes what J.D. did. She never liked Ram and Kurt and thinks they should be taken down a leg or two. In her mind J.D. isn’t insane, but a vigilante, a Robin Hood against high social hierarchy.

This makes me so sad as this kind of thing happened all the time with women, and men. They meet someone who exhibits insane and dangerous behavior, but in their mind they make excuses, they reinvent it so it’s then staid go up against something, maybe “protecting” someone or something. But all it is, is a red flag that should be warning you to stay away-but so often it just draws people in.

Veronica is going with Heather C. to a Remington Frat Party, but on the way there they stop at the connivence store, where Veronica runs into J.D. She zooms in on him as she is fascinated by how different he is and wants to be with him. Veronica is an interesting character as she becomes “different people” depending on who she is around. With Heather she’s the popular girl with a slightly better moral code than the others-with J.D. she can rebel, be wild, and free.

J.D.: Is your life perfect?

Veronica Sawyer: I’m on my way to a party at Remington University… No, my life’s not perfect. I don’t really like my friends.

J.D.: I… I don’t really like your friends either.

Veronica Sawyer: Well, it’s just like – they’re people I work with, and our job is being popular and shit.

J.D.: Maybe it’s time to take a vacation.

Now I understand what Veronica is going through, high school can feel like a tremendous pile of crap while you are going through it, but at the same time I’m like Veronica it isn’t your job. You only have a year and a couples months left and then you can do whatever you want. Try not to take it so seriously.

I also love the outfit Veronica wears in this scene. I would love to own it.

The two separate with Veronica going off with Heather to the party. There none have a nice time as Heather C. Is pressured into things she doesn’t want to do to keep up with the college crowd and Veronica’s date only cares about sleeping with her and doesn’t like the word no. Veronica spends the rest of the night getting drunk and then throws up in the alley. Heather C. yells at Veronica, with Veronica finally standing up to her. Heather declares everything is over for Veronica.

That night Veronica gets out her monocle and really let’s her feelings fly in her journal-she especially shares all about her hatred of Heather.


Veronica Sawyer: [writing in diary] Betty Finn was a true friend and I sold her out for a bunch of Swatch dogs and Diet Coke heads. Killing Heather would be like offing the wicked witch of the west… wait east. West!

Veronica is interrupted by her musings when J.D. climbs through her window. I’m like Veronica, here is another red flag. You didn’t ask him over, he searched out where you lived, waited for you to come home, and climbed through your window without permission. Like it would be one thing if he got her attention or had asked her address or phone number-but he never did. It doesn’t matter how many times I watch this, I’m always like Veronica no! Even though I know what will happen next.

The two play strip croquet and Veronica confides in J. D. about her hatred of Heather. Veronica was really just trying to vent, but too bad she doesn’t realize her newly acquired boyfriend is a psycho!

The next day Veronica and J. D. break into Heather C.’s house as Veronica plans on making her a fake hangover cure and getting her semi-revenge. J. D. pours draino into a cup, but Veronica ignores him as she thinks it is just a joke-Veronica this is like the fourth red flag!

Veronica makes an orange juice and milk mixture and the two hawk some loogies into it. Afterwards, J.D. tricks Veronica into taking the draino one by kissing her. Everyone says it is an accident, but I think it was done on purpose. It is such a weird time to kiss her so to me it seems like a distraction, but then again he is a freak. He does almost warn her, but changes his mind so it could have be an accident turned into an opportunity. Either way they go into Heather’s room and basically double dog dare her to drink it, she does, and dies.

Veronica is freaked out and doesn’t know what to do, and says these iconic lines (one of my favorite parts)

Veronica Sawyer: I just killed my best friend.

J.D.: And your worst enemy.

Veronica Sawyer: Same difference.

Now Veronica is unsure what to do and wants to call the police, but J. D. convinces her to hide it by writing a suicide note. She’s so upset that she goes along with him. Again, another red flag Veronica.

The suicide note is an sensation. School shuts down for the cheerleader, they have a funeral service, and everyone talks about how lovely the note was, how Heather had such a poetic soul.

Veronica is amazed at how this whole thing has turned Heather into more of a “goddess” at school as all are worshiping her. At first she laughs about it, but then the worshipfulness starts getting to her. Later, she meets J. D.’s father and he and his father’s relationship is weird. Even more so when he shares how his mother died, she stayed in a building that his father was going to demo, committing suicide. The way his dad is I’m not so sure it was suicide, I’m thinking it might have been murder! Or it might have been the only way she could be free of him.

What is even more upsetting with Heather gone, Veronica hoped life would be better but Heather C. is still everywhere and Heather D. has stepped up to take her place. That always happens, Queen Bs are like Hydras, cut off the head and there will always be one to take their place.

After the funeral, Heather M. asks Veronica to help her out as she needs someone to go on a double date with her as she is going out with football player, Ram. Veronica insists that she is dating J. D. and she doesn’t want to go out as the guys will just want to tip cows. Heather continues to beg and Veronica agrees only to have a horrible night as the boys get drunk, tip cows, and when Kurt tries to make a move Heather goes off with J. D. (who just happened to show up another red flag). Kurt collapses drunk in a field and in the background you can see Ram date rape Heather. I forgot how disturbing this film can be.

The next day Kurt and Ram spread a story about Veronica that she was with both of them and this makes Veronica and J. D. furious. J. D. wants to get revenge and decides to use some German guns that use “blanks”. He asks if she she knows German, she says no, and then he gives the guns a German name, words which mean he is lying. Veronica is so mad at the guys for spreading lies she goes along with his plan to “kill” them, thinking she is using blanks. I’m like Veronica no! Another red flag, but J. D. is kryptonite to her common sense as he can tell she wants to be a cool, rebellious, person of action-and totally plays into it. Plus he is hot. Unfortunately, attractiveness can really blind you to faults.

The next morning Veronica is happy and giddy to play their prank. She watches as J.D. pulls out all the evidence to make it looks as if they were gay lovers who decided to commit suicide. Again, it is so easy to be like Veronica how can you not see what is happening-but J. D. has really manipulated her. They go to commit their act, Veronica having the guys strip, before they “rip her clothes off”, and when they are in their underwear, they shoot. Ram dies with a bullet in the head, while Veronica misses Kurt. J. D. yells at her and shepherds Kurt back to their suicide circle and Veronica shoots him. They finish setting up their little scene and take off as they hear police, jumping in the car and pretending that they were out there making out.

They go to school and this is one of my favorite parts when Veronica has seen what is happening and realizes she doesn’t want this life. She didn’t really want anyone dead she was just being dramatic and upset, but she’s no killer. The two argue with her going did not (meaning she did not want them to die) and J. D. saying did too. The remaining Heathers see her and think they are just having an argument about their relationship.

She should not have gotten involved with him.

Everyone in school finds out about the football players and their note. All are shocked and the two become martyrs for the lgbtq+ cause. Again Veronica is amazed at how such horrible people could have their whole personality changed by death and an eloquent suicide note.

Heather M. is having a really hard time-she’s a follower and her leader killed herself. She poured her sorrows into this new relationship with Ram, who raped her, and then it turns out he’s gay? And he killed himself?! She’s really lost and confused and traumatized-poor girl.

Meanwhile, J. D. has some plans and blackmails Heather D. with fat camp pics of her and Martha “Dumptruck” Dunnstock to get people to sign a petition for Big Fun to come and play at the school their hit song “Teenage Suicide (Don’t Do It!)”. Heather goes along with it, lying about everything in order to get people to sign it. But what is he planning?

Veronica decides it is time to cut all the toxic people out of her life. She dumps J. D., fights with Heather D. over her wanting to wear Heather C.’s scrunchies and take over Heather’s spot, and tries to rekindle her old best friendship with Betty Finn, a real true friend she traded for the Heathers. The two go to play croquet, but the happy afternoon is ruined by Heather D.

Heather D. shares that Martha tried to kill herself only to fail when she didn’t get hit running into traffic. Heather D. makes fun of Martha trying to be cool and failing again. Heather D. and Veronica fight, with Veronica slapping Heather for her cruel words.

Veronica and Heather make up and again we see Veronica has a way out of this, but she doesn’t take it. Instead she goes along with Heather D. as they listen to a radio program Hot Probs, and listen as Heather M. calls in and complains about her perfect life. Poor Heather, she is just trying to figure out what is going on. The next day all the kids in school are making fun of her, and she starts thinking about committing suicide. Veronica notices her leaving class and goes out saving her.

“Veronica Sawyer: If you were happy every day of your life, you wouldn’t be a human being. You’d be a game show host.”

Veronica starts to unravel at the chaos she has created. Heather D. rules the school, J. D. tells her parents that she is planning on killing herself (laying the foundation to kill her and hide it as suicide), she finds a hanging doll in her room (courtesy of J. D. and she is full of strange nightmares that highlight the guilt she feels over the killings. Like Veronica should try and seek out help about J.D. or get a restraining order. He won’t give up until she is dead.

After she has a nightmare about J. D., she decides it is time to take control of her life. She pretends to kill herself, hanging so that when J. D. visits that night he reveals his whole plan to blow up the school. The next day Veronica finds him and takes him out, this is such an awesome scene. A fantastic scene!

Veronica Sawyer: You know what I want? [shoots J.D] Cool guys like you out of my life.

After the bomb goes off and kills J. D. we have a smoking Veronica who comes in for the 1-2 punch; first she takes out Heather being the new Queen B, and then she invites Martha to be her friend.

Veronica Sawyer: Hey, Martha. My date for the prom kinda flaked out on me. I was wondering, If you weren’t doing anything that night, maybe we could rent some new releases and pop some popcorn.

Martha ‘Dumptruck’ Dunnstock: I’d like that.

Veronica Sawyer: Yeah. Me too

Such a great ending to this film. It’s weird as it has seriously dark moments, comedic moments, is very sad, but also extremely enjoyable. It’s just one of those films.

We threw a Heathers themed croquet party where we served spaghetti with lots of oregano (Veronica’s favorite). Two dressed as Heather Chandler (red Heather), one as Heather Duke (green Heather), one person came as J.D., and I was Veronica, because I am Veronica.

Looks pretty close, right?

Also our Facebook cover

So with today’s topic, as J. D. is a horrible person and October being national domestic violence awareness month, I felt compelled to share this.

I Am a Survivor of Domestic Violence and I Know Help is Out There:

Are you being abused?

It’s abuse when someone who should care about you does or says things that hurt you or make you feel afraid, helpless or worthless. Here are only a few examples:

  • Slapping, hitting, punching, choking, grabbing, shoving, kicking you or your kids, your pets
  • Threatening you, your kids, friends, family or pets
  • Hitting, kicking, slamming walls, doors, furniture, possessions
  • Forcing you to have sex
  • Calling you names, swearing at you, yelling
  • Controlling all the money, even money you earn
  • Blaming you or your kids for everything
  • Putting you down, making you feel like nothing you do is ever good enough
  • Treating you like a servant or slave
  • Controlling where you go, what you do, what you wear
  • Controlling who you see, who you talk to
  • Humiliating you in front of other people
  • Refusing to let you leave the relationship

It can also look like the below cycle

If you are in danger call 911, a local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.

For more Winona Ryder films, go to Once, There Was Even a Man Who Had Scissors for Hands: Edward Scissorhands (1990)

For more horror comedies, go to Dirty Deals, Murder, Mob Goons, and a Kidnapping: Men at Work (1990)

For more ‘80s films, go to Father Knows Best: The Stepfather (1987)

Goofy Ghosts and a Treasure Hunt: Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers (1987)

Goofy Ghosts and a Treasure Hunt

So every year I review an animated film, and here we are with Scooby-Doo and the Boo Brothers.

This was the first of three Shaggy, Scooby, and Scrappy stand alone films. It followed The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo which featured a smaller number of the Scooby crew with Daphne, Shaggy, Scooby-Doo, and Scrappy-Doo.

This however, is my least favorite of all the Scooby-Doo films. It was followed by Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School and Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf (both of which I think are far superior). Really the reason I don’t like this is because of the second half of the title, the Boo Brothers. The Boo Brothers are fashioned after The Three Stooges, and while I liked them (espechially as a kid), I don’t like the Boo Brothers.

So annoying

I also remember there being this weird girl that bothers Shaggy.

So annoying

I do remember there being a pretty good treasure hunt that involved all these riddles to find where the treasure was hidden. I really enjoyed that part and I wish they had included more of it-or just featured it and cut out the Boo Brothers.

Shaggy’s uncle, Colonel Beauregard has passed away and left his house and all his belongings to Shaggy. Shaggy, Scooby, and Scrappy head down to the South.

They run into Sheriff Rufus Buzby who warns them of a curse on the property, and leaves when he gets a call about a derailed circus train and an ape that got out. Of course Scooby and Shaggy are scared but Scrappy urges them on.

When they do get to the property they are attacked by a headless horseman, ghost wolf, and ghost colonel.

Ghosts are bad, but the one that’s cursed,
Is the Headless Horseman; he’s the worst!

They also meet the creepy manservant Farquard who lets them know that there is a fortune buried on the estate.

This sounds so familiar…

Hmmm…

A distant relative leaving someone their spooky house, a creepy housekeeper/butler, buried treasure somewhere on the large estate, an escaped “creature” chasing them on the property…

This is The Cat and the Canary!

This is basically the same film except they threw in the three stooges ghostbrothers.

Shaggy wants to leave but can’t as his truck is stuck in mud, so they have to spend the night there. To get rid of the ghosts they call some ghostbusters, (not the Ghostbusters). Why didn’t he just call a tow truck?

Seriously

Surprise, surprise they are the most annoying things ever. This movie isn’t that bad, it’s just the Boo Brothers are really annoying and dumb. The film would be better without them.

Basically they stink at their job and just do a lot of dumb things that are supposed to be funny.

Ugh…

Sadie Mae Scroggins comes calling and falls for Shaggy, and her brother threatens him as the Scroggins and Beauregards (Shaggy’s uncle) have a terrible feud.

The guys are starving, as always, and do what they always love to do, eat. They make a sandwich and bite into a clue.

Dear Shaggy, knowing your appetite I thought this would be the best place to hide this message and this jewel. It’s only one of many in my fortune, which I hid to keep them away from my enemies. To find the next clue to their hiding place, go outside. Then look for the part of the house with its knee out.

This leads them to the Chimney where they find a diamond. This is the interesting part of the film.

You’re nearer the family jewels than before. A broken key unlocks the next door. – Piano

Look for a relative who is quite old, whose face cannot look, and whose hands cannot hold. – Grandfather Clock

There is no pendulum in this clock. So, what does it lack besides a tock? – Attic

For the next clue, don’t look any higher. Think what you are when you’re not the buyer. – Cellar

The next clue you seek is large and flat. It’s the kind of stone you use as a hat. – Colonel Beauregard’s headstone in cemetery

You’re nearing the end of this obstacle course, so if you go buggy, you won’t need a horse. – Barn

To get to the bottom of things is the trick. Think how you’re feeling when you are not sick. – Well

At the end of this tunnel, are many more pearls but on the way, many more perils. – Basement

There’s no mystery about this clue. Inside Bear Cave, the jewels are in plain view.- Bear Cave

Go to a place that covers the tide. To find the last clue, just “pier” inside. – Boathouse

As they continue the Boo Brothers have crazy antics that don’t help at all, the gorilla keeps coming, the Scroggins are driving Shaggy crazy, and multiple ghosts are attacking them,

They go to the last place and find the final clue.

No more riddles, here ends the chase. The treasure’s in the fireplace. – Fireplace

They go for the treasure but the Ghost holds them at gunpoint, the real ghosts finally come in handy-all are saved and unmask the ghost to be the Sheriff-who is unmasked as the Sherif’s twin brother who wanted the money.

Shaggy decides to give the mansion to the Boo Brothers, give the money to orphans, and takes off. His next plan is to be a gym teacher at a girl’s school, but you know Shaggy-he doesn’t always pay attention.

So yeah, it was okay. I liked half of it, but the Boo Brothers killed it for me.

For more Scooby-Doo, go to  To All the Ghouls I’ve Loved Before: The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo (1985)

For more ’80s films, go to Holy Smokes! Your Mom’s a Werewolf!: My Mom’s a Werewolf (1989)

For more animated films, go to In the Spa House of the Spirits: Spirited Away (2001)

For more hidden treasure, go to Trapped in a Mansion in the Middle of Nowhere with a Psycho: The Cat and the Canary (1939)

For more ghosts, go to A Psychic Arrives and a Ghost Haunts the Ship: High Seas Season Two (2019)

Elizabeth-Obstinate Headstrong Girl: Part II, Other Eras

Elizabeth: Obstinate Headstrong Girl edited by Christina Boyd

So first of all-let me apologize.

I have been calling this book by the wrong title this WHOLE time. This book is ELIZABETH: Obstinate Headstrong Girl. Like I don’t how I missed that. I mean “Elizabeth” is in huge giant letters.

I will be fixing that in the other post. I…I don’t have any words…

I don’t know what to say…

So moving on from my faux pas:

Hurry!

Elizabeth Bennet

Whether or not she is you favorite character or Austen heroine: we all love her. After all, who can resist her wit and confidence?

Now some people may think, hasn’t there been enough written about her? What else could be said? Does she need an anthology? Well I think Meg Ryan answers that question perfectly:

Yes, Elizabeth is a fantastic and complex character and Christina Boyd, Elizabeth Adams, Karen M. Cox, J. Marie Croft, Amy D’Orazio, Leigh Dreyer, Jenetta James, Christina Morland, Beau North, and Joana Starnes have written 10 different stories on her.

In the last post, I reviewed the five stories that are set in the Regency time period; whether before the novel, after the novel, or taking a new path from some point in the story. They were five amazing and different stories that really captured the spirit of Elizabeth and the theme of “obstinate headstrong girl”-I  think Jane Austen would be proud.

This post is going to be on the five stories that are set in different time periods. Usually I review this from the farthest back in time to the most recent, but we are switching it up a bit. This time we are starting with the most recent time period and working our way backwards as I promised Christina Boyd that her story would be last. So without further intro, buckle up in your delorean:

Because here we go:

 

The Last Blind Date by Leigh Dreyer

Circa: Present Day

Elizabeth is a grad student at University of Oklahoma, waitressing at Bennets to put herself through college. Others who work there are her best friends Jane and Charlotte.

Friendship goals!

And an odd guy, Bill Collins also works there. Collins keeps asking her out but Elizabeth turns him down each time.

For the thousandth time

But she is going on a date tonight. Her best friend Jane and her boyfriend Charles have set Elizabeth up on another blind date.

Change Highbury to college.

This time it is with Will Darcy, CEO of Pember Oil and Charles’ best friend from boarding school. Elizabeth fought it, but finally agreed to go on this date, her final blind date (especially as they are seeing her favorite football team.)

Ugh. This is the last one.

The day comes and Elizabeth has no idea what yo wear so of course:

While they get her ready, Elizabeth’s friends encourage her to be not so obstinate and headstrong that she lets her preconceived notions paint a picture of who the guy is when they haven’t even met. Already by looking at his photo and hearing about his business Elizabeth has assumed he is a player, workaholic, emotionally stunted, a jerk, etc.

Here friends remind her of some other quick judgments she has made in the past about men.

After they leave, Elizabeth straightens up her house and takes out the garbage. While doing so-she overhears her date complaining about the blind date. Elizabeth is mad, understandable, but at the same time-weren’t you just doing that with your friends a little while ago?

Darcy comes to her door and he has a slight stutter. At first I thought maybe it was surprise, but after I realized it was a stutter and of course this popped in my head:

I mean Mr. Darcy + Colin Firth + Stutter = The King’s Speech. I’m I the only one? Anyways, Elizabeth is surprised that Darcy isn’t as awful as she thought he was, and is trying to be angry with him still-but has a hard time as they have prime seats for football, and Elizabeth is a giant football fan! Plus Darcy knows zero about football and isn’t intimidated in having her tell him what it is all about.

The two begin to talk, and football is a game where something can happen and turn the whole game in an instant. Will Darcy and Elizabeth come out a team? Or will their misunderstandings cause further issues?

Hmmm…

So I like that this book was set with Elizabeth in college as I haven’t read too many Pride and Prejudice retellings set in college. Usually Elizabeth and Darcy are in high school or out of college. This was a new view.

The other thing I thought was interesting was to have Darcy have a speech impediment. It is one author’s interpretation of the story but I think that adds to his quiet stoicism, although in this he isn’t so broody-it turns out that he is actually shy and used to not saying much.

It was a cute story and they were very cute together. Darcy is so bashful and sweet.

Resistive Currents by Karen M. Cox

Circa: 1980

I love the ’80s-film, music, clothes. When I was reading this I was trying to imagine them in full ’80s clothes. And you know what that means-’80s cosplay of Elizabeth Bennet is a go!

Beth Bennet is studying engineering at Fordyce University, and you know that’s a hard field-especially in 1980…especially for a woman.

Yes, Elizabeth has to deal with a lot of crap from guys mostly as she has to work harder to prove herself.

The story starts off with Beth on break and attending a funeral for her great grandmother, Elizabeth Alton Gardiner. There they see other family members and Beth’s father tries to show off Beth’s accomplishments to everyone. It’s nice that he is proud of her, but at the same time it is upsetting. Is she going to be living her life for that? Or will she be able to do her own thing? That really resonated with me, and I think it will with other readers.

I think this is an extremely on point mark as well-as I think we can all agree that Mr. and Mrs. Bennet are not the best example of a good marriage or good parenting. Most people talk about how Elizabeth and her father are close-he finds her the only one worth talking to- but at the same time while his sarcasm isn’t turned on her like the other children, it doesn’t mean everything was perfect between them.

Grandma Alice tells Elizabeth about her mom, Beth’s great grandma (who passed), and how she had traveled West and was a teacher at the turn of the 20th century. She shares a little about how Great Grandma met Great Grandpa and at first couldn’t stand him, but in the end love came softly and they fell for each other.

“It pays to judge slowly, sweet girl. You mark my words.’ Out of respect Beth didn’t disagree, but in her soul-in her very being-she knew Beth Bennet’s first impressions were d*** near infallible.”

Back at school, Beth is relaxing with coffee and a good book at the local coffee shop when she looks up and sees a very handsome guy. They share a few words, and she hopes to run into him again, but doesn’t. Darn!

Beth meets up with her friends-Charlotte [Lucas], Charles [Bingley], and Rene- they talk about class and how much they really dislikes her cranky professor Dr. De Bourgh [Lady Catherine]. It seems like things have just gotten worse as they have a new T.A. who seems to be just as difficult.

Beth is waiting outside for Lab with the new T.A. and overhears Dr. De Bourgh talking about her. The Dr. calls her an “obstinate headstrong girl”. The T.A. tells Dr. De Bourgh that he thinks an ECE education is really difficult to take if he is just looking for her MRS degree or wanting to please her dad. To make it worse-she sees it was the hot guy from the coffee shop.

Beth is angry and hurt! Although, in his defense-T.A. Darcy didn’t say anything horrible about her, he actually seemed to be defending her. If anything that ire should be pointed at Dr. De Bourgh. Beth begins to fume and believes Darcy is going to treat her like every other misogynist guy does, but instead of making fun of her-he seems to ignore her. He never calls on her or looks at her.

Beth waits as long as she can, and then she meets with Darcy and let’s him have it. I really liked this exchange between them as it was funny with all the misunderstandings and twists but how Cox laid it out.

Things get better as Darcy listens to what she said and starts calling on her. In fact, everything is great until Elizabeth gets sick and faints in class right over Thanksgiving break, Darcy takes her to the hospital and stays with her-but as her family can’t come right away and all her friends are not answering their landlines or out of town, the only one who can take care of her is Darcy. Will this time together cause something to bloom? Or will they continue to clash?

Hmmm…

This is technically a double story as in this as Beth reads the diary of her great-grandma Elizabeth Alton Gardiner from 1906. Elizabeth Altonlost her family and is alone. She worked hard to get a teaching degree and applied for the position in Colorado under the name of  E.M. Alton. She knew they probably would’t want a woman (typically settled Western towns wanted women as teachers or in the town so this must not be a very settled place.) She hopes that when she gets there, they will keep hr because the needs is so high.

She meets Sheriff Gardiner-who wants her to go back home, as he doesn’t think she should be here. But Elizabeth is angry and determined to stay. Later, she visits with Jane and Dr. Bingley and overhears the sheriff and the Doctor talking about her, the sheriff saying that it is going to be extra work for him to protect a single woman living alone.

With a greeting like that, Elizabeth is set dead against the man. What can be done to change her mind?

Hmm…

All the interactions between Beth and Darcy were so refreshing and spot on. They were just so darn adorable together, I just loved every minute of it.

So romantic!

I love Pride and Prejudice, I love the ’80s, and I love the Old West-so this one was an obvious winner for me as it blended all these themes I loved.

For more by Karen M. Cox, go to “A Nominal Mistress” from Rational Creatures: Catherine Morland, Eleanor Tilney, & Lady Susan

Love in the Limelight by Beau North

Circa: 1930s

So I love movies, especially old movies: you may or not have noticed.

I watch them, I read about them, I just love them.

So when I saw that this was 1930s Hollywood inspired story of Pride and Prejudice I was super excited.

Elizabeth Bennet is a theater actor who landed a huge Hollywood role! How did this all happen? Well that’s the story Caroline Conway, reporter, is after. Elizabeth Bennet is a smart girl and doesn’t want to talk to her, but has to. Of course, she won’t give her the real story…but we get to read it… A year earlier, Elizabeth was ending her seven years time in London. She loves the city and is sad to leave, but leave she must. After getting her heart broken and money stolen, the only thing she can do is go to stay with her sister Jane in California.

All her money is gone, jewelry gone-the only things shs had left was some clothes, a few photographs, and a handful of cards from a mysterious admirer. Reading them always made her feel better, now more than ever.

On the boat she spots Gigi Duvall, former child star who has been transitioning into a full-fledged actress. She had had trouble in Hollywood making the jump and decided to try out in London, where she did well. But now Gigi seems to be fighting with a handsome men. Ugh Elizabeth is so over men-all are big dump brutes or dopes.

She watches as Gigi accuses the man of not caring about her, only money and he promising to start over.

Ugh.

They all say that.

The couple move on their way and Elizabeth goes back to mourning leaving her beloved city. Now in California, Jane and Elizabeth are running lines for the new picture, The Headstrong Girl, as Jane is trying out for the main lead. That night they are going to a party and Jane is eager to get to Charles Bingley as she wants to impress him and get the part.

Elizabeth goes to help be her wingwoman, but she isn’t really needed as Charles has no eyes for anyone else than Jane.

Elizabeth finds herself bored and pushed in and steps outside where she runs into Gigi Duvall. The two talk and enjoy each other’s company when they are interrupted by the man on the boat, William Darcy head of Pemberley Pictures. Darcy and Gigi argue and Elizabeth gets mad seeing him bully Gigi. Who cares that he is the head of the studio. She let’s it rip at him-which surprises both Gigi and Darcy.

Darcy threatens her not being able to work in Hollywood, unless she apologizes, and Elizabeth doesn’t care. When he brings up her sister, Elizabeth apologizes in gritted teeth, after he leaves she vows to one day make him pay!

Elizabeth tells her sister about the party and meeting Mr Darcy, and hearing him and Bingley talk about her. But she doesn’t share that Mr. Darcy isn’t planning on hiring Jane. He thinks she isn’t right for the picture and as Charles has a thing for her, the gossip eags will say she slept with him to get the part, and he will not have is company dragged through the mud. Elizabeth is angry, but what can she do now. Nothing-powerful men suck! She never wants to see him again. Of course Jane asks Elizabeth to come with her to her audition, and as all good sisters she does. There she just has to run into Mr. Darcy-today is not her day, week, month, or year.

They have a exchange and Darcy mentions that he has heard of her and seen her perform in London-leaving Elizabeth stunned. He then tries to get her to audition, but she refuses. She doesn’t want to be in pictures, she’s just here as support. And she would never steal a part away from her sister.

Later, Elizabeth and Jane are talking about Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth finds herself very puzzled. Who is this man? The night before and with Gigi he was a beast and now in the studio-kind, charming, funny?

Who is this guy?

That evening they get a call from their uncle and agent Edward Gardiner. Jane didn’t get the part but she does have a part in the new Cagney film-but only IF Elizabeth signs a contract to be the lead in The Headstrong Girl. Apparently, Darcy wanted to sign her after seeing her perform the year before but didn’t for some reason. OH NO, NO WAY is Elizabeth doing that. Never!

But then Gardiner lays down the amount of money she will be getting, the guilt of her mother and sisters struggling on the apple farm, Jane’s chance at being a star, etc; and of course she says yes.

Ugh!

Elizabeth starts production and actually finds herself enjoying it. Charles is a great director, her costar Rollo Fitz is fun and friendly, Cat-Darcy’s personal assistant and cousin is eccentric and kind,-the only one she doesn’t like is Darcy.

Ugh, he may be “gallant” and “charming” to others but she knews he was a jerk the moment she saw him on the boat. Maybe he acted nice in the studio, but that must have been a weak moment as she is still upset and blames him for blackmailing her into this rile. NO siree she will never, ever like him.

One day on set Darcy wants to talk to her. He gas seen the papers and how she and Rollo have been going out (they are just friends). He wants her to end it (and this kind of thing happened a lot with studios back then) and Elizabeth of course flat out refuses to. The two exchange witty banter and almost…kiss? What?! NO! No, no, no she IS NOT interested in him.

They go to an after party for the Academy Awards at Darcy’s home, Ashwood Manor. Things are going good until Darcy asks her to speak to him in his library. Which Darcy will she get the jerk demanding things? Or…the one that makes her blood boil not in anger but passion? Actually neither. He compliments her, her acting, and offers her a contract.

Huh?

Elizabeth is furious! That’s what he wants to talk about-not them? Not about them being together?!!!! OMGoodness I laughed so hard!!! I love the screwball comedies if the 1930s-Cary Grant and Irene Dunne, Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable, Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, William Powell and Carole Lombard, Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell-and this made me think of them so much. I wish this was a real movie. I could see Cary Grant as Mr. Darcy and Irene Dunne or Rosalind Russell as Elizabeth shouting at him.

Elizabeth realizes that she likes him, both give into their feelings-but are interrupted by Cat relaying that “George” has been seen trying to get into the house. Oh drat, blasted Wickham!

Darcy and Cat leave to deal with it and protect Gigi, Darcy asking Elizabeth to wait for him. After they are gone our plot takes a swerve as it appears George has been hiding in the library the whole time! And George isn’t just Gorge-but Buster! The louse who stole Elizabeth’s money, jewels, and broke her heart.

Gigi and Darcy return and revelations are dropped right and left, I don’t know if anyone can survive the things coming out this night. But as with every good picture we need a storm before we can end on a perfectly lovely note. This was fantastic! If I had money I would turn it into a movie. And that ending with Mr. Darcy and his attempts to woo women-priceless!!

I also love how when North describes the picture they are filming a lot of the descriptions bring to mind Pride and Prejudice (1940). The gowns, the hair, the archery. I don’t know if she did that on purpose (I hope she did) but I love it either way.

For more by Beau North, go to The Colonel

The House Party by Jenetta James

Circa: Fall 1913- Early 1914 (No mention of WWI)

Do you like Downton Abbey?

Have you ever wished for a Jane Austen Downton Abbey fusion?

By God, yes!

Well then here you go! Jenetta James’ story takes place roughly 1913-1914 England (my guess based on an event she mentions that happened in 1913 and no talk of WWI) in an old manor house, Netherfield Park-just like Downton Abbey!

Yay!!!

Jane and Elizabeth have been invited to join in on the hunt and the weekend house party. It looks to be a grand affair and Elizabeth notices a handsome man-handsome but stern.

Look at that guy…

They go to their rooms and get ready for the evening, discussing Mr. Charles Bingley, who only has eyes for Jane, and on the way downstairs meet a friendly girl with a lisp, Mary King, visiting from Northampshire and feeling a little lost and alone. Elizabeth immediately befriends her.

Jane and Mary go off with Charles and Elizabeth finds herself alone. Not for long as she is entered into conversation with Caroline Bingley and the stern man-Mr. Darcy. Mr. Darcy seems friendly enough but Caroline keeps changing the conversation and starts talking bad about Elizabeth’s sisters, you know how she rolls:

The Bennet girls are trying to get votes for women, being leaders in their community’s women’s suffrage movement.

Elizabeth continues this conversation believing:

“Give votes to women. Then there would be fairness all around and no broken post office windows.”

Mr. Darcy disagrees  saying that such a sentiment is “unlikely” and Elizabeth is incensed. How dare he.

Now truth be told I was thinking the same thing? How on earth can he rebound from this? But after reading their exchange a few times I was like you got me good James. I see what you did.

Wow!

Elizabeth and Darcy part ways-Elizabeth continuing to be furious, but at dinner she doesn’t help but notice that Caroline sits Darcy next to her. And it kind of makes her upset. But why should she feel this way? He’s a jerk.

She’s seated next to George Wickham, writer, working on his first novel. They talk and he shares about how Darcy is a jerk and an antiquarian-he;s living in the past and can’t stand the modern age. Wickham shares more on how Darcy treated him, and Elizabeth decides not to give this jerk another thought. The next day is the hunt, with Elizabeth being one of the few ladies who is riding.

George saddles up next to her and they talk about horses and races and he shares he was there the day Emily Davison threw herself on the tracks to raise awareness for votes for women. Elizabeth shares how she felt saddened by her sacrifice but admires her bravery to fight for what she believes in. She wants to know how George feels, but they are interrupted…but she is sure such a good man would be. He’s not going to be like Mr. Darcy…

They ride out and Elizabeth loses track of George and later she realizes she hasn’t seen him for a while. She searches for him and finds that he has fallen off his horse, his face bleeding, and arm hurt. Darcy comes upon him and at first she is glad for his assistance, but when he wants her to return to he hunt-ugh all she can think is what a horrid man. She refuses to go and he rides off for help. But weirdly-he should have been more concerned with George’s heath but seemed solely focused on her.

Elizabeth is amazed at Darcy’s swiftness in retuning especially as he doesn’t like George, that much is certain. Darcy tells her that he does’t care for George, but that he was worried about her. The two argue with Elizabeth not believing how he could be so cruel to an injured man, a man he has known forever, and calling him a rogue-when he is a sweet and charming guy.

But Darcy doesn’t say anything on that and leaves.

Later, Mary King visits with Elizabeth and she is legit one of the cutest and sweetest characters in this. She is embarrassed because she ate the jar of biscuits given to them and left in the bedroom, but doesn’t want Caroline to  find out and think badly of her. Elizabeth doesn’t really see it as an issue, but shares hers so it looks like Mary only ate a few. Mary is so precious. Mary decides that to thank Elizabeth she will reveal something she knows about George, who she noticed Elizabeth spending a lot of time with. She reveals that George is a ruthless “yellow” journalist. He will trample on anyone and do anything to get his story. He’s been doing a serious on the women suffragists who have gone to prison and are doing hunger strikes. Most of them go by an assumed name and he has ben revealing who they really are in the hopes to embarrass their well-to-do-families and paint them as princesses playing at politics. One woman he really ran through the ringer was Georgiana Darcy, Mr. Darcy’s sister. Oh no. Elizabeth was so wrong about him-and Darcy’s anger at George it all makes sense. Oh no, what is she to do? Can she fix this?

I really enjoyed this story and not just because I git to trot out the Downton Abbey memes and gifs I’ve collected (although that was fun). It was the same story of Pride and Prejudice that we love but told in a different, new, and fun way. Plus I really liked the way she wrote the misunderstandings of what was said. I deeply applaud you!

For more by Jenetta James, go to “What Strange Creatures” from Rational Creatures: Fanny Price & Mary Crawford

A Mate for Life by Christina Boyd

Circa: 1852

I was so excited to see that Christina Boyd included a story. I always suspected she had one brewing inside her.

So I have been made to promise not to reveal certain things as to not give away the ending…

So in this Elizabeth Bennet is a grandma, (that’s why I believe it to be the 1870s), and her granddaughter has fallen for a man. Elizabeth knows her daughter-in-law only cares if he is wealthy and from a good family so she has decided to check on whether this man is really the right guy. She gives excellent advice, some that everyone who is single should take to heart.

 

This was so cute as Elizabeth shares her story with her granddaughter, about Mr. Wickham, the misunderstandings, Mr. Darcy-the whole thing.

How sweet!

That’s all I’ll say on that. I don’t want to ruin the story.

Oops! Wrong book!

I loved it and thought it was adorable. Although I will say one more thing…when her granddaughter’s beau comes over, this meme did pop in my head LOL.

So no lie, when I finished the last story this was literally how I felt:

I was like where’d the book go? How did I read it so fast? Why isn’t there more? Where are the rest of the stories?

I had to go back and count to see if I had actually read all ten stories. It just seemed to be over so quickly.

Each story was a delight and I loved them and the book.

Just one of these stories is worth the amount you pay for the book and you don’t get just one you get 10!!! Why don’t you head over to Amazon and order a copy?

Each story took the theme of obstinate headstrong Girl and created their own tale of Elizabeth Bennet. I recommend it to any Jane Austen fan!

 

I suggest you do! 🙂

For more on Elizabeth: Obstinate Headstrong Girl, go to Elizabeth-Obstinate Headstrong Girl: Part I, The Regency

For more on Elizabeth Bennet, go to Modesto Jane Con: Defining the Definitive Darcy and Lizzie

For more on Pride and Prejudice, go to P.S. I Like You

For more edited by Christina Boyd, go to YULETIDE: A Jane Austen-inspired Collection of Stories Audiobook

They Choose the Wrong Person to Be a Hero: Dark Crystal (1982)

They choose the wrong person to be a hero

So I wrote this post in May, long before Netflix did their prequel TV show, so I’m actually on pointe without planning it.

I’m surprised

Now since that show came out, I have seen AAAAAA LOOOOOOOOOT of love for this movie. If this movie was your favorite thing ever, just walk away from this post now. I can already tell you won’t like it.

So I have been wanting to watch this movie for a loooong time. We had a copy at the library, but someone stole it.

The people who steal things from the library will have a special place in hell for their misdeeds.

My friend felt the same way, so when we saw it on Amazon Prime we started watching it.

Finally!

I did not care for it at all.

I had like no clue what was going on…

Neither of us could

Although Jen did have a fantastic ’80s glam rock hairdo.

Jen is probably the least heroic hero I have ever seen in a film. He couldn’t do anything!

Kira is awesome!

She’s the one that had to carry the film. She should have been the chosen one and saved the day! She was the cool one that kicked butt.

This whole film reminded me a bit of The Black Cauldron– guy secluded away by a warrior, meets a girl who is more awesome, have to stop evil but in reality someone else giving their life actually saves the world. But Taran was a much more likable than Jen.

As I said earlier, Kira was awesome! I mean she could fly, was brave, strong, an interesting character. She should have been the chosen one, and you can’t convince me otherwise.

I didn’t like it! I mean visually it was interesting but story wise I thought it was kind of a mess.

To start Horrorfest VIII from the beginning, go to Count Dracula the Propagator of This Unspeakable Evil Has Disappeared. He Must Be Found and Destroyed!: Horror of Dracula (1958)

For more ’80s films, go to Basil of Baker Street: The Great Mouse Detective (1986)