Did the Niece Poison Mrs. Harlowe?: The House of the Arrow (1953)

Did the niece poison Mrs. Harlowe?

So I have been wanting to watch this movie Gosford Park for a while and when I saw it was returned to the library-I was so excited! Unfortunately, it was dirty and would not play for me.

I didn’t have any other movie planned and decided to fill the place I would choose something that was on my Amazon Prime queue suggested list.

So this movie is based off a book and is the second remake, (3rd version of the story) filmed in and by a production crew in England.

On with the review!

The story takes place in France, the old stately Lady Harlowe, has just died. Her brother-in-law, Boris Waberski, thinks that he will inherit everything- he has even borrowed against his future gains-but to everyone’s surprise-the money is left to her adopted niece-Betty Harlowe!

Boris becomes so angry he accuses Betty of murdering his sister-in-law. They have the body exhumed and it turns out that she was poisoned.

Uh oh

Betty’s friend, Ann Upcott, is worried and sends to England for help. Jim Frobisher arrives to investigate, aiding the very intelligent and top french detective, Inspector Hanaud.

I found the story very boring

Meh.

And the inspector a complete rip off Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot in The Mysterious Affair at Styles. You have the accented inspector-“the greatest mind in the world” and an old manor house with a “locked room mystery” and puzzles. Except Poirot was much better.

I think it was incredibly boring and that the characters were just too bland. Skip the film if I were you.

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to Did the Niece Poison Mrs. Harlowe?: The House of the Arrow (1953)

For more private investigators, go to The Murderer is Never the One You Initially Suspect: Crooked House (2017)

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

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It Should Have Been a Movie or a Miniseries: American Gothic (2016)

I came upon American Gothic when I was browsing Amazon Prime, looking for something new.

Hmmm….

It is an interesting premise. Boston’s most notorious serial killer, the Silver Bell Killer (SBK), would kill wealthy people, strangling them, and arranging them -the final act being placing his moniker, a silver bell, just out of reach. The bell being a mark of their station and inability to use their influence.

A tunnel collapses and a new victim of the SBK turns up, bringing new evidence to light that it must have been someone connected to or a member of, the Hawthorne family.

Mitchell Hawthorne (Jamey Sheridan) is the patriarch and the owner of Hawthorne Concrete. It is hard to pin down what type of man he is as each member of the family has a different view of him. His children find a box of silver bells hidden away, the mom explains that it is because of his love of unsolved murders and memorabilia. When Hawthorne collapsed and went to the hospital, long estranged son Garrett is overheard saying “I’m going to tell them it was you.” And when Mitch is lying in the hospital he tells his wife he wants to tell the truth, she kills him-rather than having it be put out there.

Madeleine Hawthorne (Virginia Madsen) is a blue collar girl who married and shed that skin taking on the role of socialite. She hides her past from everyone and thats not all she is hiding. If anyone has hordes of secrets it is her. Every question they have about their father, any time anything comes up weird or doubts arise-their mother always has an answer for everything. And she is very good at shifting the blame on anyone but a member of her family. Everyone assumes the SBK is man, could it be a woman?

Oldest Hawthorne child is Garret (Antony Starr) long estranged from the family. He was going to marry his long term girlfriend, but he and his father argued one night and he took off. He’s been gone and extremely off the grid for fourteen years, leaving the same time the Silver Bell Killing stopped. Garrett is not only strong but looks like a serial killer, could he be the SBK?

Then there is Alison Hawthorne-Price (Juliet Rylance), city council member and running for Mayor of Boston. She wants to be completely unhelpful to the police and worries about how this will affect her campaign-trying to find a way to spin everything and keep it away from her family. She is always calm, collected, emotions under control, and used to keeping things secret. But is she really interested in saving her family and keeping her campaign running, or is she trying to steer things away from the real killer, herself?

Suspicious

Then comes Cam (Justin Chatwin), the artist in the family and famous cartoonist. He is also a recovering drug addict, trying to get clean but always falling back into it because of the bad influence of his wife Sophie. Cam was only a teenager when the killings happened, but he was already using then and said some weird things about dead bodies and killings. Was it just drug induced hallucinations, withdraw, or something more? Plus his son exhibits all the signs of a serial killer-attacking the neighbors cat, no empathy, obsessed with murder and dead bodies. Who could he have inherited that from?

Hmm…

Tessa Hawthorne-Ross (Megan Ketch), was way too young to have been the serial killer, but how much does she know? She seems like a sweet schoolteacher, always seeing the good in everyone, but is that true or all an act?

Also involved is Tessa’s husband, Brady Ross (Elliot Knight). Brady has just made detective and given the SBK case when the new evidence comes to light. Will he do his job or protect the family? It’s a hard place he’s in and which side will he go to? Find justice and a killer? Or protect his family?

Suspicious

Or could it be someone not in the family? Is there a person out there who is targeting them? Who is the Silver Bell Killer?

So everything sounds good and interesting, what went wrong?

Hmm…

It is too long.

Huh?

The series is thirteen episodes, which is standard, but too long for this story. It starts off very strong and gets you into it, but you quickly lose interest when they keep finding the killer only to switch it again.

Now this kind of plot twist is fun and great in mysteries, but having an episode with a twist and the next with a twist makes it hard to keep on going. It makes you feel as if the writers are just messing with you and gives you that sense of rage quit.

First it is the dad, then the gardener, then the brother, then the other brother, then the dad…etc. It kind of tiring.

I think it would have been stronger if it was a film or an even shorter a mini series. I mean the end was pretty good, the road was just a bit to long to get there.

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to The Jewel Carries a Curse: Ruby in the Smoke (2006)

For more serial killers, go to Jason’s Out There… Watching… Ready to Kill… Thirsty for Young Blood: Friday the 13th, Part II (1981)

For more Amazon picks, go to The Murderer is Never the One You Initially Suspect: Crooked House (2017)

The Murderer is Never the One You Initially Suspect: Crooked House (2017)

The murderer is never the one you initially suspect.

I love Agatha Christie:

This was one of the first stories I ever read of hers. When I was about 10, my nana heard I liked mysteries and asked if I had ever read Agatha Christie. I hadn’t so she gave me a collection of stories in a book: Murder in the Mansions, which contained The Seven Dials Mystery, Ordeal by Innocence, and Crooked House.

All of them amazed me, but especially Crooked House. When I saw it on Amazon Prime, I had to watch it right away.

The film starts off with millionaire Archimedes Leonides’ death. He is survived by Brenda Leonides, his 30-year old widow; his sons, Phillip and Roger; his daughter-in-laws, Magda and Clemency; his grandchildren: Sophia (Stefanie Martini), Eustace (Preston Nyman), and Josephine (Honor Kneafsey); along with his sister-in-law, Lady Edith de Haviland.

Charles Hayward (Max Irons [Jeremy Irons’ son]) is an ex-embassyman in Egypt, and OSS agent, and has become a private investigator. Things haven’t been booming, but it appears that today will be different. He has a client today!

When he goes in he sees Sophia Leonides, otherwise known to him as Sophia de Haviland, an old flame.

Sophia and Charles met in Egypt when she worked for Sotheby’s, using her mother’s maiden name to hide her true identity. They had a relationship but it was broken off when Sophia found out that Charles was dating her not only for her, but to also find out information on her grandfather.

She comes to him to ask him to investigate as her grandpa did not die of natural causes. Someone poisoned him with his eyedrops. In order to avoid scandal she would rather he come in than Scotland Yard. Charles agrees and goes to the “Crooked House”.

With this term you know that no one in here will not be a suspect. All characters are duplicitous and dishonest. And all have a reason to kill Archimedes. He’s was a mean man who would tease and pull and play with all those around him, enjoying his power. Everyone is stuck in this crooked house and have to follow his rules-there is no ability, money, or anything they can do to leave.

We’re trapped

First we have Lady Edith de Haviland (Glenn Close), she always cared for Archimedes, but he married her sister. After her death Lady Edith stayed on in the house helping to raise the boys and their grandchildren. Could his marriage to Brenda finally made him snap? Did she hate how he was controlling the children and grandchildren?

Brenda Leonides (Christina Hendricks) is the 30-year old widow and the one who gave her husband his medicine every day. She’s the most likely to slip it in, but why? Could it be she regretted being cooped up with that old man? His family? Could she have a lover that she wants to be with, but with Archimedes’ money?

Phillip (Julian Sands) burnt through his trust fund with gambling and had to be rescued by his father. He is stuck there as his history books and screenplays are nothing nobody wants. He wrote a new play, something his wife could star in, but his father won’t fund it. It could help him break away-could he have murdered his father for freedom?

Magda (Gillian Anderson [Yes Scully from X-Files]) is a former actress in the theater. Her husband and father-in-law have both thrown money at her plays and lost and lost. Now this screenplay could be her ticket back to stardom but Archimedes would not pay. Did she do it?

Roger (Christian McKay) inherited one of the family buisnesses, the catering and restaurants. He completely dropped the ball on it, his dad constantly having to pull him out of a black hole. This time his dad said no more money. Did Roger take care of it?

Clemency (Amanda Abbington) has never wanted to stay in the crooked house. She has always wanted to leave, but her husband was Daddy’s boy and never could. Did she finally snap and take care of it?

Sophia was called back from Sotheby’s to “help” with the family business, however she didn’t do much. Did she regret being in the house? Did she want to leave and felt there was only one way out?

Eustace had polio when he was younger, giving him a limp in one leg. His grandfather made him be tutored at home, i order to “keep him from being bullied.” But Eustace has always resented this control and being stuck in the house his whole life. He wants to go out, be with real people, out in life. Did he finally snap?

Hmm…

Josephine is always writing and scribbing in her notebook-a Harriet the Spy. She goes from room to room watching, observing-mostly undetected. Did she see something? Or was she mad that he stopped her dream of becoming a ballerina?

Hmm…

To make things worse, Charles still has feelings for Sophia. Will this cloud his judgement?

Which one which one? And will Charles survive the crooked house?

Wrong Place at the Wrong Time: Fashion Model (1945)

So I was looking around on Amazon Prime and I spotted this film as one you could watch for free. I thought it sounded interesting and decided to check it out.

I can’t stop watching!

I was not prepared for how good it was. It as absolutely hilarious! And so intriguing!

So the film starts off in a department store. Back in the day they used to have women “model” the dresses for the customers instead of using mannequins.

This night they are kept longer than usual by wealthy client Jessica Van Alyn and her husband Harvey Van Alyn.

One model, Peggy Rooney (Marjorie Weaver), is dating the stockboy, Jimmy O’Brien (Robert Lowery), and they are considering getting married.

However, Yvonne Brewster (Lorna Gray) , another model, has a thing for him, and the two ladies quarrel constantly.

Yvonne is the one with the gorgeous brooch.

Unfortunately, Jimmy always is in the wrong place at the wrong time. He finds Yvonne’s body in the store and the police think he is the killer.

It doesn’t matter that Yvonne just broke up the marriage of the department store owners, the Duvals, and became engaged to the very wealthy man Mr. Davis.

Which one, which one?

But the police don’t look at any of them. I mean Mrs. Duval could have killed her as she broke up her marriage, Mr. Duval could have done it because he was angry at Yvonne for breaking up his marriage and leaving him for another man, or Mr. Davis could have done it as he was angry she was involved with another man.

But nope, Jimmy was found with the body and has no alibi. So doop-de-doo he’s the murderer.

His girlfriend, Peggy convinces the detectives to let him free, and she starts her own investigation.

Meanwhile, Mr. Davis wants a brooch back that he gave Yvonne and asks the Duvals for it, offering $5000.00. Mrs. Celeste Duval tries to get it from Peggy, as she had been wearing it, but Peggy’s friend Marie Lewis took off with it.

Meanwhile, Jimmy has job still, but is on very thin ice. He is driving to deliver a dress to Mrs. Van Alyn when he is stopped by the police as his back door is open. When the police come to talk to him they find another body!

Huh?

This is Mr. Duval’s!

Help me! I’m confused!

They question everyone again, and of course Jimmy is who the police focus on and arrest. Peggy manages to help his escape, just barely, and they head out to Marie Lewis’ apartment to hide out. But when they get there, Jimmy discovers Marie’s dead body!

Oh no. What is he going to do?

A great film with an unexpected twist as who the killer is. Defintely worth a watch if you can find it! I don’t want to give away the ending as I enjoyed it immensely,

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to Are…You…Scared?: It Lives in the Woods (2017)

For more Amazon picks, go to One Blow to the Head and the Deed is Done: Candlestick (2014)

One Blow to the Head and the Deed is Done: Candlestick (2014)

“One blow to the head and the deed is done”

So I first came across this film on Amazon Instant Watch, I marked it to be added to my watchlist in the hopes of seeing it soon. However, my watchlist is like my to-read list, I add more than I see.

Oh, well

Then one day some friends and I were hanging out trying to decide what to watch, but in the mood for something suspenseful but something none of us had ever seen before.

We were going through the list when I spotted:

Now the description wasn’t very…thorough. I thought the film was that this group of people are having a party, someone gets brained, and then they have to figure out who the murderer is.

Well we watched the trailer and I discovered that was not it at all, it was a very different story.

But having seen that, it just made me want to watch it more.

So we start off the film with our protagonist, Jack.

Jack is from a well-to-do family and is a writer. Jack loves the past, eschewing all modern technology and lifestyles. He has a old fashioned phone, record player, etc. No matter what anyone says, he will not be convinced to take hold of a cell phone, CD player, etc.

Jack is also having an affair with his cousin Frank’s wife: Vera.

What jerks

While Vera does not (and has not ever) loved her husband, she will not leave him-instead getting what she wants from that relationship:

And stepping out with other men.The two spend time together and then she leaves for work.

After she goes, Jack calls up his cousin Frank, uncle (not Frank’s father) Major Burns, Vera, and good friend Inspector Marcus Evans to invite them over that night for a a small get together to play games.

Hmm…

But when he calls each person, he gives them a different times to come. All agree except Inspector Evans as he might not be able to make it until later.

So it is clear that Jack has something in mind, some game, but what is he playing at?

Hmm…

The first to arrive is Frank.

Frank is a very kind, thoughtful, sweet, easily manipulated, and an insecure guy. You know the sweetest guy ever but never feels he is good enough and tries all he can to be even sweeter and kinder. It is easy to see how a shark like Vera could capture him.

So sad

But when Frank arrives it is clear that he is the center of the “game” Jack is playing. Jack tells Frank his wife is having an affair, giving him details (but of course leaving himself out of the equation). The rest of the night becomes a game of cat and mouse as Jack continues to try and see how far he can push Frank, hoping to have him kill Vera; and in front of the rest of the party guests.

Can he create the perfect murder of killing someone, but being unconnected in the crime by not having a motive yet also not being the one to have done the deed?

hmm…

This Rope inspired setup wouldn’t be complete without someone for Jack to declare victory over. In Jack’s case his Rupert Cadell is his uncle, Major Burns.

Major Burns has always been able to outsmart, outmaneuver, outthink, and outdo Jack in every game they have played-whether physical or philosophical. Jack secretly hates him, but knows that if he pulls off this murder, it won’t really feel like winning unless he can pull the wool over Major Burn’s eyes. Plus Major Burn will be the perfect witness at Frank’s trial, if Frank does the deed.

The night starts off according to plan with Frank’s arrival, the dropping of the bomb (letting him know of the affair), the perfectly worded comments, and the pièce de résistance: placing a large heavy candlestick on the table (the perfect weapon).

But things don’t go exactly as planned. First, Vera arrived early and upsets some of Jack’s planned maneuvers, and Inspector Evans fails to show up. Yes, Jack has quickly discovered the fault of planning the perfect murder:

Mark Halliday: Well, because in stories things usually turn out the way the author wants them to; and in real life they don’t… always. (Dial M for Murder)

But Jack decides to salvage his plan and continues to try and see if his idea of the perfect murder will succeed.

I thought this film was amazing and I strongly recommend anyone interested in thrillers or suspense films to check it out.

The director was clearly influenced by Alfred Hitchcock, with many parts of the film alluding to some of Hitchcock’s famous films, but at the same time not feeling overdone, a cliché, or blatant copying.

The musical score builds just the right amount of tension, so that you can feel what the characters are feeling, but doesn’t give away what will be happening next.

Everything about the film just worked perfectly. The spacing of the film and character stories, the limited characters and their emotions, reactions, and energy were all just spot on. The angles and shots built the intimacy of the moment, making you feel as if you were a part of the room instead of a voyeur. And the ending I thought was a spectacular twist. If you are able to, I would check it out today.

And our banner (the first one I’ve been able to make so far):

To start Horrorfest VI, from the beginning, go to One of Our Guests is a Werewolf, I Know It.: The Beast Must Die (1974)

For the previous post, go to The Hash-Slinging Slasher: Graveyard Shift, Spongebob Squarepants (2002)

For more on planning the perfect murder, go to The Perfect Murder: Dial “M” for Murder (1954)

For more Clue, go to That’s What We’re Trying to Find out! We’re Trying to Find Out Who Killed Him, and Where, and With What!: Clue (1985)

For more homages, go to Monster Movie: Supernatural (2008)

I Don’t Care About Money or Class, I Love Her: Episode Three, Doctor Thorne (2016)

Most Romantic Moment #8

doctor-thorne-2016

Episode Three: Doctor Thorne (2016)

So the other day I decided it was time to stop just re-watching shows I’ve seen before and try something new. I was checking out what Amazon Instant Watch suggested when I saw this and thought I would give it a test.

I-am-going-to-try-this-Well-Rested-Makeup-Tutorial-it-works-amazingcouldbefun-1024x1024maybe

I started watching and I just couldn’t stop, blowing through the whole miniseries.

HookedOnShowWatchEveryEpisodeBigBangTheory

I loved it and highly recommend it.

startrekletsgetstarted

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Based on the book by Anthony Trollope, Doctor Thorne tells the story of warring factions between different sets of Victorian society and their strive for power and control.

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The people at the top of the food chain are the Gresham’s, who have sadly lost their fortune, sold off a lot of their land, and have completely mortgaged the house to ex-con turned railroad millionaire and  knight: Sir Roger Scatcherd.

Mehsleepyhollownotimportant

They feel they have only one option, marry their son, Frank, off to a wealthy, older, American heiress (who is one of the best characters in the show. I would watch a show just about her.) But Frank doesn’t want to marry this American, he wants to marry childhood friend, Mary Thorne.

I think we love her.

He does.

Doctor Thorne is not rich, but a working man who does alright for his family. He is a very kind and caring man and an extremely lovable character (which may come off as a shock as it is the same actor who plays the annoying Mr. Collins in Pride and Prejudice [2005] and the evil East India Company man in Pirates of the Caribbean Trilogy). He is the uncle of Mary, but no one knows anything about her parents, including Mary. Her poverty and lack of family tree is a big factor in the Gresham’s rejecting her.

uh-no-gifuhno

Mary finally convinces her uncle to reveal her true parentage, and is sad to discover while her father was Dr. Thorne’s brother and that she is his niece; she was born out of wedlock and her mother gave her up to start a new life in Australia. She feels deeply saddened at this and believes that she can never marry Frank.

Harriet-Martin Crysad

There is also some warring politics between Sir Roger Scatcherd and Augusta Gresham’s fiancé . Sir Roger wins the contested office, but ends up becoming ill: his hard life and alcohol abuse finally doing him in. When he passes, his son Louis Scatcherd inherits everything. He has a lot of anger and unpleasantness aimed at his father, mother, the Greshams, and the world. He falls for Mary, but when she rejects him; he plans on taking his revenge by kicking the Greshams out of the house.

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These struggles continue as jealousy, anger, power, hidden connections between these characters ,and the truth about Mary’s real family are just a few of the twists and turns this tale takes on its way to its conclusion.

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Most Romantic Moment: I Don’t Care About What She Has Or Who She Is, I Love Her

The most romantic moment comes in the middle of episode three. Frank goes to talk to Dr. Thorne about marriage, and even though it pains him, Dr. Thorne reveals the truth about Mary’s parentage. Later Frank’s father tries to talk Frank out of it, telling him about Mary’s birth. But Frank doesn’t care, he loves her and plans on working to support them.

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This is incredibly romantic as 1) With the time period, society, etc; this is a huge deal. The fact that he, a squire, an old established family, a gentleman would marry a women of “inferior” birth. It is completely shocking! 2) That he, a gentleman who was only raised to supervise and that no one in his family has ever worked; is willing to try and support his new wife by actual getting  job and living like a “normal” person.

Aw!

Aw!

So sweet and romantic!

So romantic!

So romantic!

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To start Romance is in the Air: Part V, go to I Did It for You: Edward Scissorhands (1990)

For the previous post, go to You’re My Wife and the Mother of My Children: Move Over Darling (1963)

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For more on Anthony Trollope, go to I’d Spent Some Time As a Kid Wishing My Name Were Ashley or Katherine, if Only Because It Would Have Made Life Simpler, But My Mom Liked to Tell Me That My Name Was a Litmus Test: Along for the Ride

For more BBC Miniseries, go to A Murder Has Been Committed on Your Property: Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode One (2013)

For more TV shows based on Books, go to A Book Considered Too Dangerous to Keep: The Magician’s Nephew, Midsomer Murders (2008)

There are Thirteen Chairs at the Table…And That’s Unlucky: Mystery of the 13th Guest (1943)

Mystery_of_the_13th_Guest

There are thirteen chairs at the table.

Yeah, and that’s unlucky.

So I found this film on Amazon Instant Watch. It was an old film with not much of synopsis, but I thought I would take a gamble and try it out. If it sucked, I could just stop and watch something else; if it rocked, then I would have a new great movie to add to my list. A win-win situation.

dean whinchester shrug smile oh well

And as 13 plays a huge role in this film, I decided to post it on October 13 at 13:13pm (1:13 civilian time). 🙂

So the film starts out with a type of dun, dun, dun music across the credits making it dramatic and bringing out shivers.

dun-dun-duuuun

shiver

How come they don’t do that anymore? Today they do a voiceover, narration, or pop song to sell the soundtrack. *Sigh* The world we live in. I miss the dramatic flair we used to have.

So a girl (Helen Parrish) is coming to a house after it being closed up for thirteen years. Not only that, but she decides to go at like 12:00 am, why not wait until daylight?

Gilmore girls creep

She asks the cab to wait for her while she goes in the house. I wouldn’t want to, but he’s nice enough to.

She uses a flashlight to check out the rooms, when she notices a phone. A phone?

Mysteryofthe13thGuestPhone

Weird. Why would there be a phone in a house that’s been closed for thirteen years? And who would do it?

Sounds suspicious

Sounds suspicious

Unfortunately, the phone switchboard operator can’t give out that information. As the girl continues to walk around the house, she decides to try the lights and guess what? They work too.

Gilmore girls creep

Someone has been in the house. Someone has opened it up. But who? Who would do that? And why?!

weird

The girl doesn’t really think on it, as she has other things on her mind. She remembers the last dinner that was held here, thirteen years ago. In it she was given an envelope and asked to wait until her 21st birthday to open. That’s why she is here at 12:00am.

As she goes into the room she looks at the table and remembers where everyone was sitting.

Mysteryofthe13thGuestPhone

Grandpa was at the center, with her next to him, then Mr. Barksdale, Uncle Adam, Aunt Lucille, Uncle John, Harold, Aunt Martha, Tom, Marjory, Uncle Wayne, Aunt Joan, and the 13th guest…. The thirteen chair was empty.

hmmm...I wonder why?

hmmm…I wonder why?

Grandpa is sick and dying. He knows it is his last party and that most of the people at the table want him dead. He gives an envelope to Marie, the girl who is remembering, telling her not to open it until her 21st birthday, forcing everyone to wait until then.

Mysteryofthe13thGuest13years

Kind of harsh grandpa, but it is his money so he can do whatever he wants with it. In fact no one knows what is in the envelope, not even the lawyer. And now the time has finally come. She can open it.

Suspense have to know

So she opens it and the paper says:

13-13-13

whatsthedeal

What’s this supposed to be? A safety deposit box number? Code to a safe? Thanks a lot grandpa.

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As she is looking at the  note, there is some creaking in the house. There is someone inside!!!!

Marie goes to make a phone call, leaving the room. Then we hear a gunshot and a scream!

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

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

The taxi driver is freaked out and takes off. He goes to the nearest phone and calls the cops. They head over, with Lead Detective Lt. Burke and his constantly asleep partner “Speed” Dugan. And seriously, he is always falling asleep.

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He doesn’t seem to be a good detective at all. He should try another profession.

Meanwhile, whilst all that is going on, Uncle Adam has decided that the opening of the will, will bring out the worst in the family. He’s afraid that one of the remaining seven possible inheritors will try something, maybe even hurt Marie as she holds some kind of clue with that envelope.

Her in this case

Them in this case

He asks Private Investigator Johnny Smith (Dick Purcell) to get on the case and protect Marie.

Instantly I think, it will be one of those mysteries.

Mmhm great gatsby

It’s going to be one of those mysteries where the P.I. and girl will meet and he will fall for her and try to protect her. She’ll be as tough as nails, while still a damsel in distress.

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But in the end he will help her and she will fall for him. 🙂

MeanGirls I know right!

In the next scene the police detectives have come on the scene and discover Marie’s dead body.

Say What

Yes, dead body.

Whattheheck

NO, no, no, no, no, no, no ,no, no. She can’t be dead. She’s not dead, they must be mistaken. She has to end up with the P.I.

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The P.I. comes in and explains he was hired to protect the girl, and the detective tells him too bad, you are too late. She’s dead.

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You can’t do that! You can’t go around switching things!!!! There’s a formula to this!!!!!!!!

Randy Scream

Sorry, back on track. Well…I guess…I guess they did kill her off. Weird, it’s like they pulled a Psycho before Psycho even came out. Weird. I thought Alfred Hitchcock was the first to do something like that.

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Childhood broken.

Why

So it’s odd that she is in the chair instead if by the phone, were we, the viewer, last saw her. That means only one thing, this killer, whoever they are, purposely moved her to the table to send a message by placing her at the table. But what message?

themysteryofthe13thguest

So 13 has a lot of fears surrounding it. There is the superstition of “13 at Dinner”, the first to get up will die. Friday the 13th is supposed to be full of bad luck, and there is no 13th floor on most hotels and office buildings. A coven of witches was made of 13 people. There were 13 steps to the gallows.

So the doctor examines the body and is unsure how she died. His best guess, until he can really examine her, is that she died of electrocution.

ouch Hermione

The detectives haven’t figured out how they did it, but know there must be a conductor around here somewhere.

When the phone rings the detective goes to answer, but they are hung up on. While the phone company is tracing the call, one of the detectives reports that the lightbulbs in the room are all burned out, reaffirming that electrocution was what killed the girl and what is causing these issues.

You know what that means. Someones coming after you.

You know what that means. Bad things.

It turns out that the phone call was from the Lowry Hotel. Lt. Burke sends out his lazy or narcoleptic detective. But he can’t leave. Why? Someone stole their squad car.

stupidestThingeverheard

Why would you steal a squad car? Do you want to go to jsil?

So they put out an APB on the car and also grab the rest of the Morgan family.

They question Marie’s cousin Tom, and her brother Harold, [aka Bud]. They discover that Marie’s 21st birthday was the day before, and that’s why she opened up the house so late. They ask about where everyone was laid out, and the police find out that not only was there a missing guest, but that the killer placed Marie in the exact spot where she had been sitting on the night if the last dinner.

They ask them for a diagram to be better understand where everyone was sitting.

mysteryofthe13thguest

By now, they have figured out the caller was John Barksdale, the lawyer. He also was the one who had the phone plugged in and the lights turned on. He left the hotel at 1:00am and hasn’t been seen since.

Back at the mansion, Speed is on duty and has, you guessed it, fallen asleep.

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This makes it easy for John Barksdale to sneak into the house.

Somewhere in the house a shadow looms.

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Barksdale heads straight to the library, and starts moving books around.

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As he does this, we see in a secret room the shadow turns out to be a masked man.

Mysteryofthe13thGuest

He makes the phone ring and when Barskdale touches the phone,

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Electrocuted!

Who is this masked person? Is it Uncle Wayne, Uncle Adam, Tom, or Harold?

WhoDoneItMystery?

 When Speed hears the noise in the house he takes off. The detectives return to the mansion where they find Barksdale dead, and seated in his place at the table.

Mysteryofthe13thGuest

 Johnny Smith is the only smart detective in this film, and he figures out that the killer is killing them off in the order they were seated at the table. That means that it has to be one of the original guests as how could anyone else know where they were.

But which one?

But which one?

But that’s not the biggest surprise of the day, Marie is alive!!!

Say What

YES! Marie is ALIVE. And guess who had it all figured out? Johnny Smith. He noticed scarring on the dead girl’s face, and suspected that she wasn’t really Marie but made to look like her. But who is behind it? And where has Marie been the whole time?

It turns out that Marie heard the scream and gunshot, and hid upstairs. When she thought it was safe she came out and saw herself, dead!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

She freaked out, stole the police car, and has been hiding out, afraid for her life. Lt. Burke finds it fishy, Johnny Smith however, believes her wholeheartedly, and is also extremely attracted to her.

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They put her in a room as they discuss what this all means. She decides to sneak out to the library to call her brother.

NOOOO! Don’t do it Marie, it’s the DEATH PHONE!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

The music starts building!!!!!

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

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

But luckily, Johnny steps in and stops her. Good thing as the man in the mask was watching her and was going to kill her.

They round everyone up and put them in a room together. They talk about who the killer might be, with Marie saying she thinks it is Uncle Adam. I don’t know if she is serious or not, but that is way harsh.

Johnny warns Adam that the murderer is killing people in the order they sat at the table, so Adam better watch out as he is next.

Spoke too soon

So all of Marie’s relatives suck. None of them care about her, espechially Marjorie. The only one who seems happy to see her is her brother Harold.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

They are pretty horrible: bitter, brash, barbs flying all over, etc. Johnny Smith has had enough, and has them all arrested.

How can he do that? He’s not a cop? Whatever!

Johnny and the cops head back to the mansion where they find another dead body.

Victim #14 &15

It turns out to be Uncle Wayne. He showed up late as he came from California. It looks like the killer left the phone electrocution device on. They still haven’t found the machinery, so it must be in a secret room. That clinches it, it must be one of the orginal party people. But which one?

whatdoyouthinkTwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

They decide to release them all, and tail them.

Johnny Smith calls Marie and warns her not to share what was in the note, as someone is trying to kill for that information. And what does she do right after? Tell Harold and Tom that it was 13-13-13.

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Come on, didn’t you just listen to what he said!

Every time!

Marjory spots her tail right away as Speed is no good at all. He ends up failing asleep in a cab heading to Atlantic City.

loser

The plastic surgeon hears of the story in the news, and comes down. They ask him if the man matches Barksdale’s appearance, but it turns out to not be him. They all head over to see Marie, but it turns out she isn’t there. She had received a message to go to the mansion to meet Johnny Smith. But Johnny Smith didn’t write any message.

Spoke too soon

This tends to happen in mysteries/thrillers/horror film/books a lot. I guess moral is to always double check that you are supposed to meet with that person.

As they are heading out to the mansion, the plastic surgeon sees a photo of Tom, and recognizes him as the man who brought the woman in.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

They all hurry to save Marie! They meet up with Tom at the mansion and it turns out he and Barksdale were in it together, in order to steal the fortune away. But, he claims to not be the killer. Hmm…

whatdoyouthinkTwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

While Marie is trying to figure out where Johnny is, the masked man attacks her from behind, trying to bring her down the cellar in the second room.

Tuesdaythe17th scream ah

Luckily, Johnny and the police make it in time. They tear the library wall apart, and follow the masked man, taking him out and saving Marie.

And the masked man is……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

come on

Uncle Adam

Yep, his kindly all I want to help my niece was a lie. He wanted her dead, and everyone else, so he could have all the money.

And it turned out Marie knew it all along and so did Johnny Smith.

It turns out that the Grandpa left all his money to Marie. He thought the best way to protect Marie was to make everyone wait 13 years.  His thinking was that everyone would die or not care about who got the money after all that time. Oh the irony, as by doing that and making them wait, he did that he built up so much resentment that he almost caused her to be murdered.

the irony iron

And in the end Johnny and Marie get together. I KNEW IT!!!!!! Faith restored.

dean whinchester shrug smile oh well

So you might have noticed, they don’t solve the mystery of the 13th guest. This film is actually a remake of a 1930s film, which is based on a book. I’ll have to get a copy of those to see if they answer it.

The best of my knowledge the 13th guest is A) left empty because of the superstition that the first of 13 to rise will die within a year; B) the 13th guest is the devious side of Uncle Adam, or C) the 13th guest is a red herring.

Whether they solve the “mystery of the 13th guest” or not, this was a good film.

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1943Mysteryofthe13thGuest

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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 Gypsy Justice: Thinner (1996)

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For more on the mystery side, go to A Haunting We Will Go: The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977)

For more films based on books, go to That Place…There’s Queer Things Goes On There: Jamaica Inn (1939

For more remakes done well, go to Beast or Man: The Wolfman (2010)

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In other news, this is my 600th post. Yay!

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This time, it only took me five months instead of six to reach that. Wow!

For my 500th post, go to Fantom of the Opera

For the 400th post, go to The After Party