One of Our Guests is a Werewolf, I Know It.: The Beast Must Die (1974)

One of our guests is a werewolf, I know it.

So last year, I did a ’80s film to start off Horrorfest V, so I decided that I needed to review a ’70s film to start us off. So the first post, I feel, is one of the most important ones during Horrorfest. I need a film I absolutely love to watch-

So I tried to think what horror, thriller, mystery, etc.; that I absolutely love. What’s one of my favorite ’70s horror films?

Jaws!

Oh wait, I already reviewed that one.

What’s another ’70s film I absolutely love? Oh, I know!

The Stepford Wives!

Wait I reviewed that one too.

So what to do? I started looking through what films came out in the ’70s, but nothing stood out at me until I saw this:

AMC, back when it was an actual movie channel instead of giving in to being just like any other network, used to do something special called Fear Fridays.

Originally they started showing films at 7, then it was moved back to 8, then 9, then 10, then 11, then 12, then 1, and finally 2. Yes, 2 in the morning!

What?

And they still called it Fear Friday! Even though it was on Saturday! Fear Friday on a Saturday???!!!

Sorry, I digress. So they would just show horror films all night, and I saw some fantastic ones and some pretty rotten ones-but either way it made Friday fun.

One night at 12 this film came on and it immediately captured my attention with its fantastic beginning. We don’t start by showing actors’ names, or anything like that. Instead we start with this:

This film is a detective story – in which you are the detective. The question is not “Who is the murderer?”, but “Who is the werewolf?” After all the clues have been shown, you will get a chance to give your answer. Watch for The Werewolf Break.

You know how much I love a mystery!!

Ready for any case

So millionaire Tom Newcliffe (Calvin Lockhart) has spent his time training to be the best hunter, building the most unescapable housing complex, etc. Why? He wants to capture a werewolf.

He has hunted everything possible in the world, and this is the last one on his list.

But there is only one problem: a werewolf only manifests at night with the moon. How will he find a werewolf when most of the day they appear as a regular person.

Hmm…

He has that covered. He has been tracking people and invited four people to his mansion for the weekend-five that he believes are possible werewolves. His plan is to wait until they transform and then kill them.

Here are his suspects:

1) Arthur Bennington (Charles Gray): Diplomat who had members of his cabinet disappear suspiciously.

2) Jan Gilmore (Michael Gambon): A famous pianist who while on tour, the cities he played in had horrible killings where their throats were slashed.

3) Davina Gilmore (Ciaran Madden): Jan’s wife in who travels with him, but on a separate occasion a dinner party she attended had a horrifying murder.

4) Paul Foote (Tom Chadbon): An artist who has recently been released from prison. He started out as a medical student, but was involved with a group that each ate a piece of human flesh.

5) Professor Lundgren (Peter Cushing): A professor of archeology and Lycanthropy. Is he so knowledgeable because he’s interested or because he is one.

Which one could it be? That’s up to Tom, his assistant Pavel, and you to determine. Will you figure it out?

I loved this movie so much, I can’t say anything more. In fact, I was told to go to bed, pretended I did, and snuck out to finish watching and see if I had guessed the werewolf correctly.

I thought it was a great time and even went on to searching the internet to add it to my collection. Definitely worth watching for Halloween.

So you know how I do a banner for every movie for my personal facebook,  none for this one. I couldn’t find a big enough picture that captured the film.

Oh well, there’s always the next film.

For more werewolf films, go to I’m…a Werewolf: Teen Wolf (1985)

For more mysteries, 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 Michael Gambon, go to A Bit Pottery About Jane Austen

Dracula. Not Myth, Nor Ravings of a Mad Irish Novelist, Oh No, He’s Real: Dracula 2000 (2000)

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Dracula. Dracula: not myth, nor ravings of a mad Irish novelist, oh no. He’s real, I assure you.

A long time ago, AMC used to do Fear Fridays. Every friday night at 8 they would show a horror film, and not stop until early Saturday morning. But then they pushed it back to 9, then 10, then 11, then 12, then 1 am, then 2 am; still calling it Fear Friday although it was actually Saturday morning. And then they just stopped doing it, which deeply saddened me as I saw many a good, creepy film those Friday nights.

Why did it end?

Why did it end?

This however, wasn’t one of those good movies.

Hate YOu

My sister and I saw this on one of those Friday nights and I hated this film. I thought it was dumb, stupid, boring, made no sense and couldn’t hold a candle to Bela Lugosi in Dracula (1931). And I vowed to never see it ever again.

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Last week, my friend and I were having a horror film marathon. We saw Once Bitten and then were in the mood for a more serious film. She was going through the list and wanted to see Dracula 2000 as she has never seen it before. I was like

No thank youhowaboutno

She then asked me what the film was about, if I could give her a summary, and I tried to tell her…

Uhhhhhhh

Uhhhhhhh

But I couldn’t remember. The only thing I could think of was that it had Johnny Lee Miller (who played Mr. Knightley in Emma (2009) and Edmund Bertram in Mansfield Park (1999) as the regular person thrust in the adventure (the only character I liked); Gerald Butler as Dracula (the reason I watched it the first time) but he was so young that it didn’t even look like him and I hated his character; a weird scene in the record store; and that I hated it. Why did I hate it, I couldn’t remember. The movie must have been so horrible I just wiped it from my memory banks.

Where

Since I couldn’t remember it, and thought maybe I was too harsh a judge, we decided to watch it and see if it was different this go round.

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I HATED IT!

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I thought it was horrible and stupid. So you know what that means! A countdown!!! Yes, let’s go over everything I liked (barely anything) to everything I hated (practically everything!)

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Synopsis:

The film is supposed to be Dracula set in modern times rather than 1831, so the year is 2000. In London, Matthew Van Helsing (Abraham’s descendent) has an antique store in which he is training Simon (Johnny Lee Miller). That night everyone but Matthew goes home, and unbeknownst to him his secretary Solina is part of a ring of thieves that breaks into his vault. They find nothing in there but crosses and a coffin, taking it as it must be valuable.

But something terrible lurks inside.

But something terrible lurks inside.

When Matthew discovers the theft, he goes after them, leaving Simon to watch over the business. However, Simon is worried about his mentor and follows him instead.

The thieves open the coffin and reveal that it is Dracula (Gerald Butler) who turns them all into vampires.

Renfield: He came and stood below my window in the moonlight. And he promised me things, not in words, but by doing them. Van Helsing: Doing them? Renfield: By making them happen. A red mist spread over the lawn, coming on like a flame of fire! And then he parted it, and I could see that there were thousands of rats, with their eyes blazing red,l ike his, only smaller. Then he held up his hand, and they all stopped, and I thought he seemed to be saying: "Rats! Rats! Rats! Thousands! Millions of them! All red-blood! All these will I give you! If you will obey me!" Van Helsing: What did he want you to do? Renfield: That which has already been done! [giggles sinisterly]

Renfield: He came and stood below my window in the moonlight. And he promised me things, not in words, but by doing them.
Van Helsing: Doing them?
Renfield: By making them happen. A red mist spread over the lawn, coming on like a flame of fire! And then he parted it, and I could see that there were thousands of rats, with their eyes blazing red,l ike his, only smaller. Then he held up his hand, and they all stopped, and I thought he seemed to be saying: “Rats! Rats! Rats! Thousands! Millions of them! All red-blood! All these will I give you! If you will obey me!”
Van Helsing: What did he want you to do?
Renfield: That which has already been done!
[giggles sinisterly]

He then heads to New Orleans, LA. There lives Mary Heller, a devout Catholic, who has had strange dreams/visions her whole life but they seem worse now than ever before. She keeps seeing this man, unsure of who he is, but us viewers know him as Dracula.

Dracula

Simon and Matthew team up and try to destroy the new vampires, Simon originally shocked but after being attacked admits they are real. Matthew then reveals his secret, he is really Abraham Van Helsing, the Van Helsing.

Count Dracula: Van Helsing. [Van Helsing turns to face Count Dracula] Count Dracula: Now that you have learned what you have learned, it would be well for you to return to your own country. Van Helsing: I prefer to remain and protect those whom you would destroy. Count Dracula: You are too late. My blood now flows through her veins. She will live through the centuries to come, as I have lived. Van Helsing: Should you escape us, Dracula. We know how to save Miss Mina's soul if not her life. Count Dracula: If she dies by day. But I shall see that she dies by night. Van Helsing: And I will have Carfax Abbey torn down, stone by stone, excavated a mile around. I will find your earth-box and drive that stake through your heart. Count Dracula: Come here. [Dracula raises his hand to hypnotise Van Helsing] Count Dracula: Come here...Your will is strong, Van Helsing. [Van Helsing reaches out for his crucifix as Dracula looms toward him] Count Dracula: More wolfbane? Van Helsing: More effective than wolfbane, Count. Count Dracula: Indeed. [Dracula lunges towards Van Helsing. Van Helsing holds up the crucifix. Dracula snarls and turns away. Van Helsing, in triumph, puts away the crucifix]

[Dracula lunges towards Van Helsing. Van Helsing holds up the crucifix. Dracula snarls and turns away. Van Helsing, in triumph, puts away the crucifix]

When he discovered nothing worked to kill Dracula, he imprisoned him in a coffin and took his blood to keep him young as he continued to try to find a way to destroy him. He was married and they had a daughter Mary, and in her blood is Dracula’s blood. When he told his wife the whole story, she left him and took his daughter to America.

And run fast

Dracula has lost his male vampires, but has three wives: Solina, the secretary; Valerie, a news reporter; and Lucy, Mary’s best friend. Simon and Helsing split up to look for Mary, Helsing being killed by Dracula and the wives at Mary’s house. Simon finds Mary and they escape, only for Mary to be captured later. Simon tries to help her; but is no match for all the vampires.

Dracula

Before Dracula turns Mary into a vampire, he reveals that he is Judas Iscariot and that is why he hates silver and crosses. He tried to hang himself, but the “rope broke” and God turned him into a vampire.

SayWhat?BuffyVampireSlayernosense

I know. He turns Mary into a vampire, but I guess her already vampire blood counteracts it as she is not his slave.

You-serious?-Not-happening-babe!

She saves Simon, kills Dracula, and decides to continue the family business (although if she killed Dracula it is over) turning into a female Blade, kinda-sorta.

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So What Was Good?

There was only one thing I liked in this entire film, and that was Johnny Lee Miller’s character, Simon.

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Simon was extremely likable because he was just a regular person thrown into this situation and trying to make sense of it. All his reactions are spot on to when he thinks people are crazy to finally becoming a butt-kicking vampire hunter. He is kind, compassionate, caring, intelligent, and extremely witty.

Marcus: [Simon produces a cross] Sorry sport. I’m an atheist.

Simon Sheppard: [a dagger pops out of the cross’ base] God loves you anyway.

The other thing I like about him was how he represented the everyman or everywoman. Here is a guy who has read old inscriptions, heard stories, studied antique weaponry, etc; but studying and hearing it is much different than having to use it, have the myths be real, and be expected to hunt down vampires. He tries his best as he discovers this new reality, and even though he makes mistakes, all is forgiven as he is us, the viewer, in a sense. I thought he was fun and the best thought out thing in the film.

I like it!

I like it!

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So What Was Bad?

Everything else. Seriously, I mean it. The rest of the film was absolutely horrid.

1) Too Many Stars

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Like Scre4m it is hard to focus on a plot of a film when you are being hit right and left with people who are really famous. In every scene it felt more like a game of “Which Star Will Pop Up Next” rather than watching a film about Dracula. I mean we have Shane West, Christopher Plummer, Johnny Lee Miller, Omar Epps, Nathan Fillion, Vitamin C, etc. When casting you really have to be careful and not have too many recognizable people, or else your audience will be going bug-eyed.

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2) For a Dracula film there isn’t a lot of Dracula in it.

Dracula

Dracula is supposed to be about Dracula; but Dracula actually has a small role in this film. And unlike previous films, Dracula wasn’t even played by a big star with top billing; instead they choose Gerald Butler who had very little on his acting resume at the time this film was made. To me that is incredibly strange as he is the main character, THE TITLE CHARACTER. He should be the star, the biggest personality. Instead Dracula has very little dialogue and spends most of his time just creepily staring at people.

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

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

I didn’t like that, not one bit. As much as I disliked Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and I did a lot, at least that one knew what to focus on, DRACULA! It was a weird decision made by the writers, and a bad one.

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3) Mary, Mary Quite Boring

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

Mary was so boring! I mean it what a yawnfest. All she did was cower, snivel, and act as if she was going to have a breakdown. Her character was bland and completely underdeveloped other than “good”, “Catholic”, and “British”. Now don’t get me wrong, the breakdown character can work but only in films where it is about psychological damage, like Rebecca, Gaslight or Under Capricorn, not a monster movie. In this type of film that kind of behavior is boring!

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4) Taking Blood to Live Longer, Yet He Doesn’t Become a Vampire

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In the book Dracula, the way to have someone become a vampire is to give them vampire blood. In this film Van Helsing keeps transfusing vampire blood into his body to live longer, but doesn’t become a vampire. That makes zero sense! If you ingest vampire blood you are a vampire. Pure and simple.

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5) Dracula is Judas

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Yes. It turns out the reason Dracula hates silver, crosses, bibles, Christianity, etc…is because he is Judas.

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Why would God turn him into a vampire? Why would God create a being that cannot be killed but kill his people making their souls unable to move on? That is just unbelievably dumb.

I mean if the devil was the one who did it, it would still be really dumb, but make a lil’ more sense.

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So yes it was dumb, incredibly dumb. Just stupid and horribly boring. My advice? Just skip it.

And after we finished the film, I asked my friend “What do you think of it?” Her response:

You as in the film

You as in the film

So there you go, not just me.

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To start Horrorfest V from the beginning, go to Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

For the previous post, go to I’m…a Werewolf: Teen Wolf (1985)

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

For more vampire films, go to I Don’t Want to Be a Vampire. I’m a Day Person: Once Bitten (1985)

For more on Judas Iscariot, go to The Arrest

For more modern remakes, go to Heroes are Not Born, They’re Created: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

For more sucky remakes, go to Every Three Thousand Years, the Stars Align. Unleashing an Army of Monsters: TMNT (2007)

For more Gerald Butler, go to Pot o’ Gold: 17 Irish Heroes

To Kill a Fangirl

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

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

How do you kill a fangirl? Well there are quite a few ways: Let’s see…1) Kill off their favorite characters/have them leave the series

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

2) Have the wrong people end up together.

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3) Stop writing/take show off the air, especially if it ends without a finale

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4)When the character changes, does things they never would do

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5) When they start repeating the same things over and over

RIP Randy! Love you forever!!!!!!!

6) Season Finale/Last book that just ends, without tying everything up

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I could go on, but that’s not what this post is really about. Instead it is one of my fandom posts, about the fandoms I am in.

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So here we go!

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Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers

POWER RANGERS!!!! HECK YEAH!

I love it

Growing up the Power Rangers were awesome! Regular kids chosen to fight aliens and protect the earth, transforming into the Power Rangers and riding in robots called Zords.

My friends and I used to act out the adventures in the TV show, along with creating our own. My favorite was Kimberly, the pink ranger.

pink ranger kimberlypowerrangers

And I loved Tommy the Green Ranger/Gold Ranger. He first starts off as bad, recruited to destroy the Rangers, but then redeems himself. He ends up losing his powers, and the Green Ranger is gone, coming back as the extremely awesome Gold Ranger. Not only was Tommy the best fighter, with the coolest weapons (eventually becoming the leader) but he was also super hot. I had such a crush on him.

swoon dreamy

They made a movie, The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie, were they had to fight a creature so terrible, Ivan Ooze, he takes down Zordon. I just loved that movie so much as a kid. I used to watch it over and over again.

watch movie over and over

I had the whole film memorized and we used to act it out all the time. In fact I remember getting in trouble once with a parent for dismantling the brooms so that one of us could have the noise sticks that Dulcea uses.

I watched Power Rangers up until Power Rangers: Mystic Force. When Kimberly and Jason left and they brought in Cat, it went down hill for me. The other seasons were alright, but the only one that was any good being Dino Thunder because they brought Tommy back.

I heard they are doing a movie reuniting most of the original cast and I hope they do!

pretty please beg

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The Partridge Family

So if you just read these fandom posts, you probably think I am some immortal being a teen in the ’70s as well as the ’90s; from all these ’70s shows I used to watch. Nope, I’m not a time traveler or vampire, I loved TV LAND, yep I used to watch it back when they showed old TV shows.

This show stared Shirley Jones as Shirley Partridge, widowed mother of five. When her kids want to try a record deal, she goes along and before you know it, they are a hit. They get a manager, a bus, and go touring all over the country.

This show also starred David Cassidy, Jones’ stepson, as the eldest child and heartthrob.

hot pretty sexy

I used to watch it every day and knew all the songs by The Partridge Family by heart. In fact this show had such a huge impact on me, that when I saw David Cassidy was going to be in a new musical series, Ruby & The RockitsIt was horrible writing, but I suffered through for my childhood nostalgia.

NostalgiaforWorldNeverKnown

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 The Rocky Series

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Aw Rocky. How I love you, and all your films. Well, except Creed as I have yet to see it. I started watching these films one 4th of July weekend when AMC had a marathon. I watched one, then another and another and another.

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And I loved them. Sylvester Stallone did a great job with this series.

Rocky (1976)

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So let my start by wishing this film a very happy anniversary as it will be turning 40 on November 21st.

So the film Rocky was Slyvester Stallone’s first film. He was struggling as an actor, homeless, only having $106, and had even sold his dog. When the company was interested he wouldn’t give the script up until they agreed to have him as the star. They declined, but when they couldn’t get the script, they finally agreed.

It was shot in 28 days and had an extremely little budget. Stars had to share rooms, they filmed the street scenes guerilla style and with no permits or extras. Most of the wardrobe was furnished by the actors, and ones purchased were wrong. The lack of money for extras, caused them to rewrite some scenes and make due.

But not only was it nominated for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Screenplay, Best Sound, & Best Original Song; and won Best Picture, Best Director, & Best Film Editing: but it was the highest grossing film of the year. Not bad Stallone, not bad.

So Rocky is the story of Robert “Rocky” Balboa, a man who dreams of becoming a boxer star, going the distance, but has yet to get his chance. He works as an enforcer for a loan shark, but is too nice a guy to actually “enforce”. Everything changes when boxing star Apollo Creed decides that he wants to box an ordinary joe, giving a nobody the chance to be a somebody, and choosing Rocky. While Rocky works out for the chance of a lifetime, he dates his best friend’s sister, Adrian, becoming one of the sweetest couples in film history.

This story is not only amazing uplifting, as everyone can connect to a man trying to achieve his dreams, it has some truly poetic and realistic scenes. Besides the ice-skating with Adrian, and running up the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum (so great it gets parodied again and again), but the fact that Stallone choose to have Rocky loose the fight; showing his achievements in trying to be the true victory is truly poignant and fantastic.

This also had the incredible song, Gonna Fly Now written by Bill Conti as it’s theme. How can you not be inspired when listening to that?

Rocky II

After the first film, Apollo is angry at the way that Rocky held his own against him in the match. Apollo demands a rematch, as he wants to peove that he is the true champ, Rocky just a fluke. Meanwhile, since the fight Rocky has been boosted in popularity. He doesn’t want to fight Apollo again, but due to his goading and Rocky’s lack of money, he agrees. Can he truly go the distance? Can he be a contender?

Rocky III

This is the first of the film series to have a Survivor song in it, this one of course having the amazing Eye of the Tiger.

So it has been three years since Rocky II. Since then Rocky has had successful fights and an increase in wealth for him and his family. As they are unveiling a statue of him, he gets called out by Clubber Lang, played by Mr. T. When Rocky questions Mickey, he discovers that Clubber Lang’s accusations were correct. His fights were handpicked to protect him. Rocky doesn’t want to fight Lang, but when he pushes Mickey and causes him to have a heart attack, dying, Rocky knows he has no other chance then to avenge Mickey’s death. He asks Apollo Creed to train him, and the two team up to get that “eye of the tiger” back.

Rocky IV

Ivan Drago (Dolph Lungren) is a 6’5 Russian Boxer brought to America to promote the U.S.S.R.’s superiority. They throw out a challenge that he can beat anyone, and Apollo agrees to an exhibition match. Apollo arrives with a huge show stopping number done by James Brown. Drago doesn’t take this match as “just an exhibition” and kills Creed. With his best friend dead, Rocky decides he must avenge his death, traveling to Russia to fight Drago there.

Rocky V

After the fight with Drago, Rocky decides to retire from boxing. He had some permanent damage from the fight, and to add to the bad news he lost all his money due to a bad accountant. Rocky turns to training boxers, taking in a young guy off the street, Tommy Gunn. He helps him, and as Gunn starts moving up the ranks he catches the eye of another manager and leaves Rocky behind. Rocky is upset at the betryal, but Adraian tells him that Gunn is not worth it, as he doesn’t have any real heart. Gunn decides the only way to prove his true mettle is to take down Rocky. He tries to get him to fight, but Rocky won’t. When Gunn takes a sock at Paulie, Rocky changes his mind and starts training to cut him down.

Rocky Balboa (Rocky VI)

The sixth film takes place 20 years after the fifth film. One of the reasons Stallone decided to make this film, was that many people were dissatisfied with the ending of Rocky V, as it didn’t have a true wrap up to the series. In this Rocky is a widower, with an Italian resturant. He is in deep grief over the death of Adrian and has a struggling relationship with his son who wishes to be not known as Rocky’s son or have any connection to boxing. He reunites with grown up “Little Marie” from Rocky (1976).  Meanwhile ESPN has done a Deadliest Warrior type show in which they analyze boxers from past, running the stats, victories, and teaming them up with present boxers. When Rocky wins against Mason “The Line” Dixon, Dixon gets enraged and Rocky decides to take up boxing again. This prompts the fight of fights as the two head off.

A lot of people didn’t like this film, but I thought it was a cute shout out to the fans. I loved the way they decided to conclude it. If Rocky had lost the fight, it would have been horrible as no one wants to see an older man get beat up. And if Rocky had won, it would have been unbelievable. Having a tie was not only a call back to the first film’s idea that victory was in trying to achieve your dreams, but also a way to appease all.

As I wrote before I have yet to watch Creed, but I will hit on that when I watch it.

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Scooby-Doo

I LOVED SCOOBY-DOO

I love it

I used to watch Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?13 Ghosts of Scooby-DooA Pup Named Scooby-DooThe New Scooby-Doo Movies (in which Scooby-Doo meets the Harlarm Globetrotters, Cher, Sonny Bono, Batman, Robin, Josie & the Pussycats, etc.), The New Scooby-Doo, What’s New Scooby-Doo.

My favorite of course was Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?. I used to watch the show all the time and had four birthday parties be Scooby-Doo themed. I had a huge collection of Scooby-Doo toys, from my own mystery machine and multiple Scooby-Doos; to a clock, clothes, books, and almost anything else you can think of.

fangirl casual fan diehard fan consume me love it

I also was a fan of the Scooby-Doo films. I loved Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School, Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf, Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers, Scooby-Doo! in Arabian Nights, Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders, Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase, etc.

I saw the two Scooby-Doo theatrical films and thought they were okay. The first had an alright storyline, but I didn’t like the thought of “real monsters” and felt they didn’t capture the heart of the show. Besides Freddie Prinze Jr. as Fred Jones and Sarah Michelle Geller as Daphne, I was sorely disappointed.

Something is not right!

So let’s talk about the characters:

Fred Jones

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Fred Jones was the leader of the teen group. He was always eager to get involved in a mystery and was a keen observer. His take charge attitude always made him be the one to figure out a plan to catch the cause of the crime, although Scooby or Shaggy’s antics would usually mess them up. He was the “straight man of the group” the one who complimented the crazy antics of Scooby and Shaggy, along with being the rock of the group.

Daphne Blake

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Daphne Blake is often thought of as the beautiful socialite who was only interested in looks and getting kidnapped. That is not true! While Daphne tends to be the one that got captured, if anyone gets kidnapped, it didn’t happen in every episode. She was also ntelligent, proving her worth in solving the crimes, alongside Fred and Velma.

*Fun Fact*-The Mystery Machine was actually Daphne’s 16th Birthday present. Why Fred is the one driving, I don’t know.

Velma Dinkley

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Velma is the brain of the group, being the researcher and the one to find the final clue that ties everything together. Unlike Daphne, she is a more comedic character; having puns and great sarcastic wit. She also was always losing her glasses, struggling to see; they usually found by whatever creature they are hunting or her searching for them causing that creature to trip over her.

Norville “Shaggy” Rogers

Scooby-Doo

Now contrary to popular belief, Shaggy is not a drug addict. The creators of the show were trying to hit every group when they made the show; Fred the jock, Daphne the princess, Velma the brain, etc. As Shaggy can’t be the criminal, because they are solving crimes, they wanted him to be the type of new culture coming out that “surfer-“hey man”-hippieish-type-dude”. Shaggy is a sweet guy that is interested in food and music. He is a scaredy-cat, never wanting to get involved with monsters or criminals, but always there in the final stretch. He and Scooby played the comedic roles, always accidentally getting involved with something, accidentally bringing new evidence to light, or accidentally catching the criminals.

Scooby-Doo

scooby-Doo

Scooby-Doo was adopted by Shaggy and is “his” dog, but in reality Scooby doesn’t even consider himself a dog as he is so advanced. Scooby can talk, think, and loves to eat. He often steals somebody’s meal, typically Shaggy. Scooby is a total coward, but in the end will come through for his friends, as long as he is given a Scooby snack. He assists Shaggy with the comedy, helping them accidentally foil any plans made by the criminals. He and Shaggy are the only characters to appear in every TV show & film.

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For more on Scooby-Doo, go to A Monster Race: Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf (1988)

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For the previous post, go to Portrait of a Fangirl

And Stay tuned for part 19

 

 

 

 

 

We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes: Psycho (1960)

PSYCHO

It’s not like my mother is a maniac or a raving thing. She just goes a little mad sometimes. We all go a little mad sometimes. Haven’t you?

So this Horrorfest IV, we are doing something different. For Horrorfest (the original) we ended on Halloween (of course) as we had looked at the big 3 of horror film producing sequels: Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, & Halloween. On Horrorfest II, we had to cut our reviews in half due to my schedule and ending with a film that takes place on Halloween (along with our yearly Stephen King film review), Children of the Corn. And of course I don’t think anything will top last years “theme” of Werewolves, starting with The Wolf Man (1941) and ending with it’s remake The Wolfman (2010). This year I decided it was time to finally review one of my favorite films, the one I have been talking about again and again, Psycho (1960).

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I love this film, in fact it was one of my early introductions to the ultimate, obsessive, fangirling that I would do over Alfred Hitchcock.

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My first film was The Birds. I loved it and knew I wanted to see everything he made. That second film that completely made me in love with his works, was Psycho (1960).

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The first time I saw this film was on AMC. When they were announcing the line up, they played this song.

So whenever I hear this song I think of the film, and vice-a-versa.

So if you are wondering if this is going to be an extremely long post all about how much I love this film, like my review of Jaws, then you are right. I love this film so let’s get started.

**Spoiler Alert**

(Although this movie is fifty-five years old, so if you haven’t seen it already, then shame on you)

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PSYCHO

This year marks the 55th anniversary of Psycho, and select theaters brought it back. And as I was lucky that mine did, I immediately bought tickets and went to see it.

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Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) is remarkable for many things. It is considered his first horror film, and while not the first slasher film in history, it is the first American slasher film, influencing countless director’s and movies.

While many adore this film today, it  had quite a few problems getting it off the ground in 1960. Alfred Hitchcock read the novel Psycho, by Robert Bloch, and immediately saw the benefits of turning this into a film. Unfortunately, Paramount Pictures did not. They cut the budget down to $800,000, hoping that Hitchcock would stop this idea of making a “dirty”, “smut” film; but he would not be deterred. Hitchcock used more of Universal to make the film, which is why in the end they won the rights.

AWESOME!!!

Oh yeah

Instead Hitchcock gave up his usual pay, taking over 30% of the profits on sales. As the film did amazingly well in theaters he made a bundle.

Hitchcock bought the book for $9,000 anonymously, and then went on to buy up every book out there to try and keep the ending a secret. He used most of the crew from his show Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and made everyone promise to keep the film as secret as possible. He didn’t tell any the ending until filming, a technique that would be copied in other films, like the Scream franchise.

To begin with how different this film was, let’s start with the trailer. It was over six minutes long, much longer than any trailer made then or now.

But it was great and gets you pumped for the film.

So the first thing we are introduced is to is the credits, with the famous score.

The music just drags you in sending shivers down your spine.

shiver

Now the actors we see on here, we all know today, but at the time the only real famous person was Janet “Scream Queen” Leigh. Part of this was due to the cut budget of Hitchcock, but he also wanted a different style and to use unknowns instead of huge stars.

Prior to this movie Anthony Perkins was being groomed to being a big star. In 1953, he debuted in The Actress and in 1956, Friendly Persuasion, won him best supporting actor. That all changed with Psycho. After this movie he became famous, but also typecasted.

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Vera Miles was in a few things but also hadn’t been cemented as a “Star”.  Alfred Hitchcock liked her looks, and more, planning on giving her the lead in Vertigo (1958), but when she became pregnant and had to drop out, he couldn’t stand her. He thought she did it on purpose and was upset that she made him recast. The only ever worked together on this film.

ouch Hermione

Before Psycho, John Gavin was known for the remake in Imitation of Life (1959)Psycho made him famous (along with Spartacus).

Anyways, back to the film!

PSYCHO

So we are introduced to the city of Phoenix, Arizona; where our film takes place, December 11th. I had never realized this until I saw the film this most recent time, but I don’t recall ever seeing any Christmas decorations anywhere. Not in the homes of the characters or offices. Supposedly the reason why it was set in December was because of the Christmas decorations in Phoenix but I didn’t spot any. I’ll just have to look again. But you know what that means? That this can be a Christmas film! I smell a new tradition!!!!

Bishop's wife christmas tree

So the film opens with Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) and Samuel Loomis (John Gavin) in bed together. Sam is half naked baring his chest and Marion is in her bra and slip.

keanu Whoa

Yeah, something like this is not shocking for today (I mean look at Game of Thrones) but you didn’t see anything like this after the motion picture code association (MPAA) was created. We saw plenty in the late 1960s early 1970s when the code lost its fierce control. But in 1960, oh ho ho. This was super raunchy!

This part always makes me sad as all Marion wants is to be married to Sam. Sam, however, wants to wait a few years. He is still paying his ex-wife alimony, paying off his father’s debts, and lives over the hardware store he owns in Fairvale, CA.

Now Fairvale doesn’t exist, as it was all shot on the Universal backlot or in a soundstage. I originally thought it took place in Fairfield CA as they sound the same and that would make a lot of sense. But in a later scene I saw a map of Shasta County, so I think that Fairvale is supposed to be Redding.

Then again I could be wrong.

Then again I could be wrong.

So Sam does not want to be married for a few years, and it horrible to be leading her on like that with weekend trips every now and then; stolen lunch hours. That is not a complete relationship. Marion hates it as she wants to be a respectable woman.

Marion Crane: Oh, we can see each other. We can even have dinner but respectably in my house with my mother’s picture on the mantel and my sister helping me broil a big steak for three.

Sam Loomis: And after the steak, do we send Sister to the movies? Turn mama’s picture to the wall?

Sam tells her that them marrying now is a bad idea, but  Marion doesn’t care. She would do it all for him. He jokes that maybe she should move on, but when she agrees he quickly is worried. They part on good terms, making plans for the next visit. Neither are incandescently happy, but that’s love.

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Marion heads back to work at the real estate agency. As she comes through the doors, you can spot Alfred Hitchcock in a cowboy hat standing outside the window. Hitchcock knew people would spend the whole film searching for him, so he wanted it out of the way as soon as possible.

Back at the Agency, Marion checks in with her associate secretary, Caroline (played by Pat Hitchcock, Alfred’s daughter). Caroline is married, which makes Marion feel as if everyone in the world is married but her.

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In walks her boss, Mr. Lowery, and their new client, Tom Cassidy, a rich oilman. He is paying $40,000, in cash, to buy his daughter a house for her and her soon-to-be husband.

Tom Cassidy: I’m buying this house for my baby’s wedding present. Forty thousand dollars, cash! Now, that’s… not buying happiness. That’s just… buying off unhappiness [waves money in front of MarionI never carry more than I can afford to lose! Count ’em.

Caroline: I declare!

Tom Cassidy: [staring at Marion] I don’t! That’s how I get to keep it!

He then goes on to flirt with Marion, disgustingly.

ew! Gross Yuck

Cassidy then makes a comment about Mr. Lowery being able to afford air conditioning. Can you imagine being in Arizona without air conditioning? It would drive ANY person insane!

Marion is asked to take the money to the bank, while the boss and Mr. Cassidy get their drink on. Marion has a headache, and asks to go home after she drops the money off, her boss lets her and she heads on her way.

The next shot we see is the money on Marion’s bed, next to a suitcase.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

What a great shot, Hitchcock defintely knows his stuff.

So yes Marian stole $40,000. That would be around $350,000 today. That’s a lot of money.

keanu Whoa

On one hand you kind of understand Marion. She is so tired of her life, all she wants is to be with Sam, now and always. She thinks she can take the money, pay his debt, and they can live happily ever after. But she is not thinking clearly, what about when they discover the money is gone? They will know it is her.

She decides to drive to see Sam. When she gets stopped at a light who should she see but her boss!!!

Under Capricorn Aah oh no ugh

This is when the score starts up again, heightening the intensity!

shiver

Marian is driving, but starts to fall asleep. She pulls off on the side of the road.

She is awakened the next day by a CHP officer (California Highway Patrol) . Now this police officer is very scary. He is wearing sunglasses and never takes them off, giving him almost a robotic look. Super creepy as you can’t see the expression on his face or his eyes.

Now Marion doesn’t help her case as she acts super suspicious, being cold, curt, and trying to take off.

suspicious Hmm

You can see here that Marion is not a rule breaker. She’s always been a good girl, and as this is her first time breaking the rules she is doing poorly at “being bad”.

The CHP follow her, but turns off in Gorman, CA while she continues to Bakersfield. There, she decides to change cars. The salesman is so sweet, and adorable, but as Marian is in such a hurry, he starts to wonder about her too.

suspicious Hmm

This is not good Marion, as if anyone is to come later and ask questions about you, you would be remembered. Not only for acting weird, but also because it’s Janet Leigh.

As she is there, up comes the CHP. Too bad Marion looks as good as she does, the cop could spot her right away.

see cute guy look

Marion buys a newspaper, looking for news of the stolen money but is relieved to find nothing. It is too early for that, but you understand how scared she is.

As she is looking at the cars I can’t help but notice that, man those cars are dirt cheap. $957 for a 3 year old car? I wish they were that cheap now.

NostalgiaforWorldNeverKnown

Anyways, the cop continues to watch her from across the street. This only makes Marion more nervous and suspicious sounding. In fact the car salesman starts to wonder if she is trying to get rid of a stolen car.

The paperwork is completed, Marion paying $700 of the $40,000 and trading in her car. She then takes off, only to be stopped because she forgot her luggae in her haste. This gives the cop plenty of time to see her plates.

Spoke too soon

Poor Marion, she’s not a master criminal mind.

She heads off, but as she drives all she can hear in her head how terribly everything has gone and how it will all blow up in her face in the end.

All she can do is keep driving, hanging on to the hope that when she gets with Sam everything will be okay.

Unfortunately, it begins to rain and Marian being from Arizonia, doesn’t know how to drive in Northern California winter rains. So she has to pull over at the nearby motel she finds.

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The property consists of a giant Victorian mansion on the hill, with twelve rooms down the way.  The house was designed after Edward Hopper’s painting, House by the Railroad, it wasn’t supposed to be creepy but a part of early Americana. But as we only really see the house at night, except for once at the end, and because if the events that later transpire; this all looks uber creepy.

Gilmore girls creep

After the fire occurred on the Universal backlot (the same one that destroyed Back to the Future’s clock tower), this building and the motel was declared a historic landmark and can never be destroyed or taken done (unless by a non-human disaster). Isn’t that great, that will be there forever!

We are then introduced to Norman Bates, son of the motel owner, and played by Anthony Perkins.

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see cute guy look

When I saw Norman I was like whoa!!!! That guy is hot!!!!!

swoon dreamy

So cute with his boyish charm. He looks as if he is in his early twenties (was actually 27) and just utterly adorable. Perkins was chosen for being a gentle, stammering, handsome young man: the ultimate all-American boy next door. You just want to give him a hug. At one point during the filming, Perkins asked Hitchcock if playing Norman Bates would be a bad career move and Hitchcock told him it might be. He was right as it killed his career, but he was just too perfect as Norman, the movie would not have worked without him.

Anyways, so Norman tells Marion that he can give her a room, and that there is a diner up the way, right outside of Fairvale, which is only 15 miles away.

Say What

15 miles!!! If only it hadn’t rained, she’d be with Sam right now.

Marion signs in under a false name, Marie Samuels, and says she is from Los Angeles. After careful consideration, Norman gives her key #1.

He takes her into the room and shows her around the closet, desk with stationary, bathroom etc. When it comes to the bed, he actually stumbles over the words, being too bashful.

You're so cute

He’s so young, and adorable. He has such a sweet little boy smile, so adorable. Those things are fatal to me as they just make me smile in return. I let down all my defenses.

Phew!

So Norman knows Marion is hungry and probably does not want to travel out in the storm coming down, so he offers to make her dinner, sandwiches, and have her come down to the house.  Marian agrees.

After he leaves, Marion looks around the room for a place to hide the money. Where should she put it that’s not obvious? Where?

Hmm...

Hmm…

She finally settles on hiding the cash in the newspaper. As she waits for Norman to finish making the sandwich, she overhears Norman and his mother yelling in the house.

Norma Bates: No! I tell you no! I won’t have you bringing some young girl in for supper! By candlelight, I suppose, in the cheap, erotic fashion of young men with cheap, erotic minds!

Norman Bates: Mother, please…!

Norma Bates: And then what? After supper? Music? Whispers?

Norman Bates: Mother, she’s just a stranger. She’s hungry, and it’s raining out!

Norma Bates: “Mother, she’s just a stranger”! As if men don’t desire strangers! As if… ohh, I refuse to speak of disgusting things, because they disgust me! You understand, boy? Go on, go tell her she’ll not be appeasing her ugly appetite with MY food… or my son! Or do I have tell her because you don’t have the guts! Huh, boy? You have the guts, boy?

Norman Bates: Shut up! Shut up!

Man his mother is horrible. She is evil and cruel, treating him like he’s a little boy instead of a grown man. Mean old woman, I wonder if she was abusive in other ways than emotional/verbal. There are some deep issues here.

Norman takes off down to the motel bringing the sandwiches. Marion reveals that she heard everything, and Norman offers for them to eat here instead. Marian moves aside so that he can come in the room, but he can’t. He sees the bed in the room, and stops.

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It makes him too uncomfortable, so he ends up inviting her into his office, and then the parlor.

Here is where we see a lot of Norman’s issues. His mother has cuckholded him so that he is still a child in many ways, but at the same time a grown man with grown man like interests. He likes Marian but also a bit freaked as well. Marion on the other hand is a grown woman and not squeamish about sharing a room to eat, even though the major feature is the bed.

Boy/Man Child

Boy/Man Child

They go into the parlor which is full of birds, taxidermied ones. Now this used to always freak me out, but after working in a museum last year and being around a lot of taxidermied animals it’s not that bad. Did you catch that not as bad,meaning it is still creepy.

Gilmore girls creep

So while he and Marian are back in the parlor he tries hard to be “adult”, but keeps stammering as he hasn’t ever entertained anyone before.

Norman Bates: You-you eat like a bird.

Marion Crane: [Looking around at the stuffed birds while eating] And you’d know, of course.

Norman Bates: No, not really. Anyway, I hear the expression ‘eats like a bird’ – it-it’s really a [stammers] fals-fals-fals-falsity. Because birds really eat a tremendous lot. But -I-I don’t really know anything about birds. My hobby is stuffing things. You know – taxidermy.

You're so cute

The two then discuss Norman’s mother.

It turns out that Norman’s father died when he was only five years old and his mother had to raise him all on her own. She met a man and when she found out her boyfriend was married, became broken. He mentions something interesting here, that this guy could have made mother do “anything”. Maybe get rid of him or kick him out even? Hmm……..

suspicious Hmm

The conversation moves on:

So this saying was actually used first in the film The Awful Truth starring Irene Dunne and Cary Grant. In it Irene is about to complete her divorce to Cary and marry a mamby-pamby mamma’s boy, who when Irene leaves him, goes off with his mom as after all “A boy’s best friend is his mother.” It of course was made famous by Psycho

Marian tries to give helpful advice, but Norman is not in agreement.

In that moment we see something lurking below that boyish charm and sweet face. Something dark.

suspicious Hmm

You may notice the theme of “mother issues” in this film. Norman and his mom have serious issues, which may extend to her not only being emotionally abusive but physically as well. Possibly molestation, but we are not sure. Hitchcock himself had a lot of issues with his own mother, her forcing him to stand at the foot of her bed for hours as punishment. The screenwriter, was currently in therapy for his own issues with his mother when he wrote this script. And Anthony Perkins also had mother issues and an early life eerily similar to Norman’s. His father died when he was five, and he also was raised by a controlling and cruel woman.

Weird

Freaky

They end their talk and Marian tells him she needs to go to bed as she has a long drive back to Phionex. She also gives him her real name. He says goodnight and double checks the book seeing that she lied.

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Marian heads next door, and Norman doesn’t leave yet. Instead he decides to take a look at Marian changing.

You know I have seen this movie like a million times and on the big screen is the first time I have ever noticed the painting that Norman uses to hide the hole he peeks through, it is Susannah and the Elders   by Giovan Battista Tiepolo. The story of Susannah and the Elders is that Susannah is a young and beautiful woman. She sends her attendents away as she takes a bath, and two voyeuristic elders, watch and lust after her.  They try to blackmail her into having sex with them, saying they will lie that she was meeting a lover. When she refuses, they try to put Susannah to death, but the prophet Daniel intervenes and saves her. It works with the whole voyeuristic theme the film has going.

Looking at that I notice there are a lot of naked women paintings and scultptures in the house. Who picked these? Norman? Unlikely. His mother? Even unlikelier. The lover? Most likely. But weird that his mother would allow such things.

weird

Norman heads back to the house and is about to go upstairs, but stops. Where was he going before? To see his mother? Go to bed? He heads to the kitchen instead and thinks.

After speaking to Norman, Marian has a change of heart. She decides to head home and turn herself in, hoping they will be lenient. She does a few sums, and determines that she has $39300 left. As she rips it up and dumps it down the toilet and decides to take a shower.

This short scene involving the toilet took forever to get approved. In fact, this is the first american film to show a toilet in a movie.

Weird

Weird

I notice as she shuts the bathroom door, there is NO lock on the door.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

She goes to take the shower and we have the scariest and one of the best scenes ever!

So intense and scary!!! I mean think of it, the shower os the most vulnerable place you could be at. You are naked, and have nothing to cover yourself up, nothing to use to defend yourself. In fact Janet Leigh said she was so freaked out when she saw herself murdered, that she never took a shower again. Opting only for baths.

Psycho-Shower

There are tons of myths surrounding this shower scene and I am going to set the record straight. So the filming of this scene took a whole week to get it just how perfectionist Alfred Hitchcock wanted it, this was 1/4 of the total time it took to make the entire film.

Janet Leigh filmed most of this scene. She wore pasties to cover her privates, but the warm water from the shower melted them, and Alfred Hitchcock kept on filming. She did have a stunt double, who did some nudes, and she was sadly murdered the same way in real life as shown on screen.

Psycho-Shower

And whoa this was a huge move to make. Killing the most famous person off? This was not done at the time, not at all.

When Norman discovers his mother covered in blood, he runs down to check on Marion. He finds her dead and freaks out, almost becoming sick.

I don't know what to do

He looks all around trying to compose himself, when he decides to put her body and belongings in the trunk of her car and cleans up the bathroom. He puts all her belongings in it, but forgets the newspaper. A car drives up, which surprises him, so much that he looks back in the room and grabs the paper. He then takes the car to the swamp to dump.

I just love that moment when it doesn’t go down right away and he freaks out. What will he do if it doesn’t sink. But it does, and he is relieved. The end.

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A week later, Sam is sitting in his office writing a letter to Marian. On the small screen they have always shown this too quickly for me to read the whole thing. This time I was able to see everything and in the letter, Sam apologizes to Marian and says he doesn’t want to wait a few years but wants to marry her now.

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If only he had asked her sooner! If only she had waited a week. If only, if only, if only.  😦

Lila comes in and introduces herself to Sam. She questions him about Marion and whether he and her were in it together, but Sam has no idea what’s going on.

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Private Investigator Arbogast comes on the scene. He was hired by Mr. Lowrey and Cassidy to find Marion, hoping she would give the money back and that they wouldn’t have to bring in the police.

Sam denies knowing where Marion is, and Arbogast tells him that he will find Marion, one way or another.

He goes around asking at ever motel, hotel, and boarding house in the area. Each one says no. He spots the Bates Motel, and goes in to speak with Norman.

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Norman is sitting on the porch eating Kandy Korn, as it says on his candy bag. Where’s he getting this in December? I guess it could have been leftover from Halloween. This was Norman’s personal touch, to add even more of a boyish charm.

Arbogast interrogates Norman, and I notice Norman speaks in a lot of clichés and metaphors. It’s probably due to him being only with his mother and never with peers.

He starts to clean the rooms, but skips door number one. He knows what went in that room and doesn’t want to think about it.

Arbogast follows and looks up at the house. He sees a figure, and questions Norman again. At first Norman says no one is there, but then says that it is his mother. Arbogast thinks Norman is hiding Marian, and infers that she seduced him, which angers Norman.

Milton Arbogast: Now, if this Marion Crane were here… you wouldn’t be hiding her would you?

Norman Bates: No.

Milton Arbogast: Not even if she paid you?

Norman Bates: No.

Milton Arbogast: All right, then lets say for the sake of argument that she needed your help and that she made you out to be a fool in helping her…

Norman Bates: Well, I’m not a fool. And I’m not capable of being fooled! Not even by a woman.

Milton Arbogast: I mean no slur on your manhood.

Norman Bates: She might have fooled me, but she didn’t fool my mother.

Norman is angry. Arbogast wants to speak to his mother, but Norman says no. As Norman is angry his face is put in more shadow and he loses that boyish charm and innocence, looking much darker.

Creepy!

Creepy!

Arbogast starts to head back to Lila and Sam, but stops and calls Lila from a phone booth. He tells her what Norman said, that Marion was here and then left, but it doesn’t feel right.

The plot thickens

He decides to go back to speak to Mrs. Bates, promising to be back in an hour. As he drives back to the motel, we see Norman there. Arbogast starts up to the house going through the back and leaving the door open, checking the front and bottom floor. When he can’t find anything, he heads upstairs. As he walks up, he gets attacked.

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Dead.

#2

#2

Back at the store, Lila and Sam are waiting for Arbogast. It has been hours and he hasn’t shown, with Lila getting really impatient.

I'mwaitingPrincessBride

She is determined to head down to the motel to find out if her sister was there. Sam tells her to wait while he calls, but she is heading out the door. Sam stops her and agrees, he will go and look for Arbogast and she should stay here in case he returns.

All I can think is, man Lila is intense in what she wants. If she had been the one dating Sam, then she would have been married a long time ago.

cinderella-wedding-day-shoe

Sam gets there but can’t find Arbogast or Norman anywhere. We see Norman by the swamp. Yep, dumping another body and car. Whoa, Norman really stepped into it this time. If it weren’t for the money, they wouldn’t be lookingthis intensely for her.

When Sam gets back and finds out that Arbogast still hasn’t returned, he and Lila head to the Sheriff’s house. They tell the Sheriff everything, but he doesn’t really seem to take them seriously.

Sheriff Al Chambers: Your detective told you he couldn’t come right back because he was goin’ to question Norman Bates’ mother. Right?

Lila Crane: Yes.

Sheriff Al Chambers: Norman Bates’ mother has been dead and buried in Greenlawn Cenetery for the past ten years!

Eliza Chambers: I helped Norman pick out the dress she was buried in. Periwinkle blue.

Sheriff Al Chambers: ‘Tain’t only local history, Sam. It’s the only case of murder and suicide on Fairvale ledgers.

Sam Loomis: You mean the old woman I saw tonight wasn’t Mrs. Bates?

Sheriff Al Chambers: Now wait a minute, Sam, are you *sure* you saw an old woman?

Sam Loomis: Yes! In the house behind the motel! I called and I pounded, but she just ignored me!

Sheriff Al Chambers: You mean to tell me you saw Norman Bates’ mother?

Lila Crane: It had to be – because Arbogast said so too. And the young man wouldn’t let him see her because she was too ill.

Sheriff Al Chambers: Well, if the woman up there is Mrs. Bates… who’s that woman buried out in Greenlawn Cemetery?

SHE’S DEAD??????!!!!!!!!!!!

Say What

Ten years? Ten years dead?

Whattheheck

And if she’s not dead but in the house, who’s in the cemetery?

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Norman knows that there will be more people coming. They came for Marion, and they will follow Arbogast as well. So he moves his mother to the fruit cellar to hide.

Norman Bates: Now mother, I’m going to uh, bring something up…

Norma Bates: Haha… I am sorry, boy, but you do manage to look ludicrous when you give me orders.

Norman Bates: Please, mother.

Norma Bates: No! I will not hide in the fruit cellar! Ha! You think I’m fruity, huh? I’m staying right here. This is my room and no one will drag me out of it, least of all my big, bold son!

Norman Bates: They’ll come now, mother! He came after the girl, and now someone will come after him. Please mother, it’s just for a few days, just for a few days so they won’t find you!

Norma Bates: “Just for a few days”? In that dark, dank fruit cellar? No! You hid me there once, boy, and you’ll not do it again, not ever again; now get out! I told you to get out, boy.

Norman Bates: I’ll carry you, mother.

Norma Bates: Norman! What do you think you’re doing? Don’t you touch me, don’t! NORMAN! Put me down, put me down, I can walk on my own…

This is probably the first time he has ever stood up to his mother in his life.

The next day, Lila and Sam head over to the church to go over to the Bates residence with the sheriff. To their surprise, the sheriff has already gone, and found nothing.

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Lila and Sam are unsatisfied and decide to go over there themselves. They check in as man and wife, and hide out in their room until the coast is clear.

The two sneak into room one, where they search every inch to find any trace of Marian. In the bathroom, they discover a slip of paper in Marian’s handwriting. Lila is excited, but Sam dashes that by telling her it doesn’t really help as Norman admitted that she came there. They need proof of what occurred next.

They decide to split up, with Sam distracting Norman, while Lila questions the mother. As Sam walks out, it turns out Norman is standing in the doorway of the office.

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He must have heard them, I mean right? Right?

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Anyways, Sam distracts him as Lila heads up the hill.

All I can think is that what the Sheriff said to them did not seem to register. He and his wife say that the mother is dead. Do they think it is a lie? She faked her death? She never died? Another body is in the casket?

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As Lila looks upstairs, she spots the mother’s room. It has a deep indentation in the bed, creepy mirrors everywhere, brass hands, etc.

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She goes into another room and sees that it is Norman. And the bedroom is weird. It is itty-bitty. In a giant house, why would he be given a room the size of a cell?

All he has is baby toys, and they all look sad. Like I seriously think he was abused as a child. Look at his doll. The rabbit that sits on the bed with him. Why would an almost 30 year old man sleep with a stuffed animal, unless he was abused as a child.

The music he listens to is Beethoven’s Eroica. I used to think it was used because it was a letter away from Erotica, but after looking into the backstory, it was written for Napoleon, and supposed to signify all a man is, powerful, brave, strong; what Norman wished to be.

She then spots a book with no title. I always wondered what the book signified, and discovered that books then that were pornographic were published titleless.

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This whole scene in the room is supposed to show the duality of Norman, a grown man, but still a child in so many, many ways.

Norman realizes that Sam has been distracting him, and knocks him out, then running for home. Lila spots Norman coming, and hides in the downstairs. That’s when she notices the fruit cellar and heads down.

When she gets there we have one of the best reveals ever!

So the sheriff takes him down to the jail, an they call in the psychiatrist to find out what was going on.

Dr. Fred Richmond: No. I got the whole story – but not from Norman. I got it – from his mother. Norman Bates no longer exists. He only half-existed to begin with. And now, the other half has taken over. Probably for all time.

Lila Crane: Did he kill my sister?

Dr. Fred Richmond: Yes, – and no.

Dr. Fred Richmond: Now to understand it the way I understood it, hearing it from the mother… that is, from the mother half of Norman’s mind… you have to go back ten years, to the time when Norman murdered his mother and her lover. Now he was already dangerously disturbed, had been ever since his father died. His mother was a clinging, demanding woman, and for years the two of them lived as if there was no one else in the world. Then she met a man… and it seemed to Norman that she ‘threw him over’ for this man. Now that pushed him over the line and he killed ’em both. Matricide is probably the most unbearable crime of all… most unbearable to the son who commits it. So he had to erase the crime, at least in his own mind. He stole her corpse. A weighted coffin was buried. He hid the body in the fruit cellar. Even treated it to keep it as well as it would keep. And that still wasn’t enough. She was there! But she was a corpse. So he began to think and speak for her, give her half his time, so to speak. At times he could be both personalities, carry on conversations. At other times, the mother half took over completely. Now he was never all Norman, but he was often only mother. And because he was so pathologically jealous of her, he assumed that she was jealous of him. Therefore, if he felt a strong attraction to any other woman, the mother side of him would go wild. [Points finger at Lila Crane] When he met your sister, he was touched by her… aroused by her. He wanted her. That set off the ‘jealous mother’ and ‘mother killed the girl’! Now after the murder, Norman returned as if from a deep sleep. And like a dutiful son, covered up all traces of the crime he was convinced his mother had committed!

Sam asks about the clothes, definitely weirded out by seeing Norman in that getup. And I agree, he was totally creepy looking.

Officer: He’s a tranvestite!

Dr. Fred Richmond: Ah, not exactly. A man who dresses in women’s clothing in order to achieve a sexual change, or satisfaction, is a transvestite. But in Norman’s case, he was simply doing everything possible to keep alive the illusion of his mother being alive. And when reality came too close, when danger or desire threatened that illusion – he dressed up, even to a cheap wig he bought. He’d walk about the house, sit in her chair, speak in her voice. He tried to be his mother! And, uh… now he is. [pauseNow, that’s what I meant when I said I got the story from the mother. You see, when the mind houses two personalities, there’s always a conflict, a battle. In Norman’s case, the battle is over… and the dominant personality has won.

Sheriff Al Chambers: And the forty thousand dollars? Who got that?

Dr. Fred Richmond: The swamp. These were crimes of passion, not profit.

Everyone’s like:

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It wasn’t about the money at all? Yes folks, that is this film’s MacGuffin. A MacGuffin is something that the characters search for or aspire for, but in the end, has nothing really to do with the actual plot.

This last scene is my favorite as it is soooo creepy.

That moment when he smiles, it sends shivers down my spine.

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So Mrs. Bates is evil. Pure evil. She was abusive to Norman throughout his life, and now throwing him under the bus. Pure evil.

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So before we en I thought I would include some thoughts I had about Norman now that I’ve revealed the “truth” about him

1)When Norman chooses the parlor over the bedroom, I wonder if the Norman side “knew” it was best not to get to close as it might awaken mother sooner and “she” might do something drastic?

2)When he gets angry about institutionalizing his mother is it the dutiful son Norman that is angry, or his “mother”?

3) When Norman tells Marion he can’t leave, if he does then his mother will die all over again. Poor Norman, stuck in an endless cycle of abuse.

4) When Norman sees that Marion gave a false name in the book, do you think that “mother” found her an easier person to kill as no one was likely to connect that Marie Samuels to anyone? Do you think it made her more suspicious of her character?

5)I wonder if Marion had stayed up later with Norman would that have changed things? Would “Mother” have failed to come out? Or would she have come out earlier?

They are nothing with any real answer, but just something to ponder on and ask your cinephile friends.

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I know you guys know that this post isn’t going to end. Like Jaws, I have a LOT to say. So in Universal Studios, when I took the backlot tour, they showed us a scene from Psycho. As they have declared the site historical, they also decided to have someone act out a scene from the movie every time a tram goes by. And it is awesome!

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And so ends another Horrorfest. I know it has been crazy this year, as personal issues made me fall behind in posting. In fact, by the time this airs I still might not have caught up. However, what I was able to do was a lot of fun, and I hope you all enjoyed it. I wish you all a very happy, and safe, Halloween. May it be everything you wish it to be.

Happy Halloween jack-o-lantern

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

For the previous post, go to Man-Bat: On Leather Wings, Batman the Animated Series

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For more on Alfred Hitchcock, go to What Are the 39 Steps?: The 39 Steps (1935)

For more films based on books, go to Someone Has Erased His Memory: Total Recall (1990)

For more psychos, go to Tuesday the 17th: Psych (2009)

For more slasher films, go to Don’t F*** the Original: Scre4m (2011)

Fantastic Fantasies

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Well here we are with part three of my fangirl posts. As shown above, I am obsessed with quite a few things and fangirl over them hard core. To make this easier on me and you, I have decided to break this up into a series of posts, with each fandom listed alphabetically. For post one, go to Fanning All Over the Place. For post two, go to Simply Fantastic.

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Alfred Hitchcock

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Alfred Hitchcock is my favorite absolute favorite director. I just love how the man thinks and what he creates. He is a true genius. Now I know he has some serious issues, like the way he treated the women he worked with, (especially Vera Miles and poor, poor Tipi Hedren); but that doesn’t change the fact that he was a true revolutionary. He not only created the psychological thriller genre, blending horror and mystery; but the first slasher horror genre, and influenced millions of writers and directors. Oh his works are just glorious. I’ve seen nearly every film he’s ever made and I just love him and all his work.

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This past year I reviewed three of his films for Horrorfest III and that is just the beginning. I hope to one day completely review every film he has ever done. For those of you who don’t know him, here is a short list of my favorites (that I recommend watching): Blackmail (1929), The 39 Steps (1935), The Lady Vanishes (1938), Rebecca (1940), Suspicion (1941), Shadow of a Doubt (1942), Lifeboat (1944), Spellbound (1945), Rope (1948), Under Capricorn (1949), Strangers on a Train (1950), Dial “M” for Murder (1954), Rear Window (1954), To Catch a Thief (1955), The Trouble With Harry (1955), North by Northwest (1959), Psycho (1960), The Birds (1963), Torn Curtain (1966), and Frenzy (1972)

Besides films you also have his TV show, Alfred Hitchcock Presents in which he picked some of the greatest writers of the day, for example Ray Bradbury. And as mentioned before many great actors were on his show: such as Claude Rains, Vincent Price, Joseph Cotten, etc. In fact, one of Steve McQueen’s early gigs was on that TV show. The show was similar The Twilight Zone, but unlike that show, you never knew if things would turn out good or bad for the main characters.

He is an amazing artist, using film as his medium, and I strongly recommend checking out anything that has his name on it.

For more on Alfred Hitchcock, go to The Perfect Murder: Dial “M” for Murder (1954)

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Criminal Minds

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Ah this show. How I love thee. Every Wednesday I would watch the new episode. It was set on stone. At least until my sophomore year at college, when classes I needed to take got in the way. 😦 Teachers just don’t understand.

So when I saw previews for this show, I was like I so gotta watch this. And for three reasons.

1) I was deeply interested in behavioral analysis. I mean you have just read how obsessed I was with Alfred Hitchcock. This show is logically the next step. In fact when I first went to college I studied psychology, hoping to work for the FBI one day. However, I hated the psychology classes as we kept having to talk about ourselves. I ended up switching to history as I wanted to talk about other people. I still love this show and what they do very much.

2) Thomas Gibson

So Handsome!!!

So Handsome!!!

Yep, if you have read my This Isn’t Love, This is Ectasy, post you know that I just find this man incredibly attractive. A fan from Dharma and Greg to Flintstones Viva Rock Vegas to Criminal Minds– I’ve got to watch them all. 🙂

Thomas Gibson plays the leader of the unit, Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner.

3) Inigo Montoya

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Just kidding. It’s not Inigo Montoya, but the actor who played him, Mandy Patinkin. He plays the amazingly smart agent Jason Gideon.Patinkin left the show, as he felt the content was too dark, and was replaced by FBI Agent David Rossi. Rossi is okay, but Gideon was much better.

So the FBI unit is comprised of the leader Agent Hotchner and Gideon who I have already talked about. There is also Elle Greenaway, Cuban and the sexual predator profiler. She only lasts for the first season as she gets shot during a case, and after that can’t really deal with the stresses of the FBI. We have Derek Morgan (played by the very handsome Shermar Moore) and appears to be the standard tough guy, ex-athlethe, charming, ladies’ man-but you find out there is far more to him than what appears at first glance. Spencer Reid is a super genius and the youngest member of the unit. He is only 22 in the first episode but already has three PhDs, two BAs, and has a photographic memory. Reid is utterly adorable.

You're so cute

And you just can’t help but love him. Now Agent Hotch is the leader but Agent Jennifer “J.J.” Jareau is the liasion between the FBI and the town they move into to help out. She’s sweet, kind, adorable; and when the show dropped her the fans revolted, bringing her back. Rounding the team out is Penelope Garcia, the computer whiz and as quirky adorable as NCIS‘ Abby.

Now we head out to the character I hate. Emily Prentiss.

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She’s brought in to replace Greenaway after she leaves the BAU. She’s the daughter of a special agent and is too good. They make the character just too much that she is unreal and annoying. She knows like forty different languages and can speak them flawlessly, she used to work for Interpol, she is so “beautiful” that no guy can keep from asking her out, etc. It’s just too much. But one of the worse things about her, was when she first joined the show she would make fun of Reid.

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Reid is an adorable puppy. Anyone who is cruel to him has no soul.

But besides her, the show is amazing, the characters and storylines are truly great and I highly recommend it to anyone.

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CSI

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CSI was a revolutionary show. It brought back the cop drama, but instead focusing on the forensic side of the investigations. Of course the show isn’t completely realistic as they immediately get lab results and always manage to find their killer in a day or two. But the show was really good as the characters and storylines worked really well.

So if Wednesday was reserved for Criminal Minds I would typically spend my Fridays with AMC watching reruns of CSI.

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Yep, they’re pretty exciting.

So the orginal show was just CSI and took place in Las Vegas, Nevada. Now besides some great storylines, the real reason this show was so awesome was Dr. Gilbert “Gil” Grissom played by William Peterson. He’s a forensic entomologist and was just great. He was always cool and collected, no matter how tense the situation got. He was also always a wiseguy (in wit and sarcasm). When he left, the show ended for me. It was just not the same. The show has gone through a lot of upheaval this past year;  losing their original characters, bringing in more and causing it to just not be for me anymore.

With the extreme popularity of CSI the producers decided to do a spin-off and create the same show in a different location. What was born was CSI:Miami. Now many people don’t like this, but I admit it. It was my favorite of the CSI franchise. It had some silly moments and silly characters, but I loved it most. My favorite character was Ryan Wolfe played by Jonathan Togo. He came in after one of the team members was killed. His beginnings are hard as the crew are still hurt over the death of their colleague and aren’t exactly warm to to him. He’s smart, detailed, funny, and hot. What more could you want?

 You also have the lead detective Horatio Caine, who is a very smart man, but more loved for his hilarious puns.

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And the third character I enjoyed, Eric Delko. He is the Derek Morgan of this show; strong, athletic, hot. He’s just a fun guy and I was one of the many fans upset with his death and happy when he overcame it and came back into the show.

Like CSI this show went through a  lot of dropping and adding characters and I stopped watching.

With the popularity of CSI and CSI: Miami, the producers decided to try again and created CSI: NY, but I never got into this version. It just didn’t appeal to me.

Now before I stop talking about this show, there is one more awesome thing that I have to mention. One of the most awesome things about this show is that they chose to use The Who songs for each show’s theme. CSI used Who Are YouCSI: Miami used Won’t Get Fooled Again, and CSI: NY used Baba O’Riley.

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Danosaurs

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This Youtube star is Dan from Danisnotonfire. It is a hilarious show as Dan just highlights funny moments and the awkwardness of his life.

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Not to mention being entertaining, he is also  really cute and has an English accent! Definitely a win. His videos are all amazing, so I’m just going to post one of my favs, but I definitely suggest checking all his stuff out.

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Deathbats

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So if you have read some of my previous posts, you might already be aware of my Avenged Sevenfold obsession. It all started when my loser ex and I first started dating. He was obsessed with the band. He gave me one CD to listen to, but not the others; having promised to make “the perfect” playlist, burn CDs, and mail me care packages. Of course he never did. In fact he never sent me anything but I sent him stuff. Rude, huh.

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Anyways, when we broke up I was sad and decided that I was going to check out a bunch of Avenged Sevenfold CDs and listen to their music. I did and I became OBSESSED with them.

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Now some of you may be asking, is the band really that good? Well I think so. I love the musical choices they make. One of my favorite things is that they are always trying something new and different, but it still remains uniquely them.

One thing I absolutely love is M. Shadows’ voice. It isn’t what mainstream would say is great, but totally works with the music created by the band. He’s also pretty hot.

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You also have Synyster Gates who is the attractive guitarist and an amazing musician.

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And Zachy Vengence. Killer name, killer looks, and killer talent. The trifecta!

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So here are a few of my favorite songs. I’ll only name a few so I don’t overwhelm you all. So some of my top, top favorites are: Unbound, Almost Easy, A Little Piece of Heaven, Seize the Day, Dear God, Flash of the Blade, Walk, Afterlife, Hail to the King, Nightmare, Welcome to the Family, Buried Alive, and So Far Away. There are plenty more to talk about, but that’s all for now.

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For more on Avenged Sevenfold, go to Unbound

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Disney

Disney

So I am a HUGE Disney fan. I grew up on the films, TV shows, characters, etc. I am SUPER obsessed with it.

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I could go on and on about my favorite Disney things, but you know what? I’ve already done that. This summer I devoted all of June to 30 posts on Disney. I covered some of my favorite animated features, Disney Original Movies (DCOMs), Disney live action films, Disney songs, etc. To read more on it, check out 30 Day Challenge: Disney Edition. I’m thinking of doing it again as there is just so much Disney wonder and fantastica that needs to be covered.

One thing’s for sure, I’ll never be to old for it.

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For more on Disney, go to The Little Moreland

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Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

 

So Downton Abbey? How do I describe this phenomenon? Hmm….

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Just kidding, it is nowhere near as confusing as that.

So this show came out a few years ago and my mother wanted to watch the TV show, not me. She had been a fan of the series Upstairs, Downstairs, what Downton Abbey is a remake of. Both series chronicle the lives of the wealthy upstairs along with the servants downstairs. It didn’t sound that interesting to me, but my mom really wanted me to watch it. I did and fell in love with. Every Sunday night became tea and Downton Abbey.

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When the winter break ended and I returned to college, I got all my friends into it as well.

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At first they were like, “will I like this?” and I was like:

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They quickly became fans as well.

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So the first season begins with the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 and ends with the start of WWI in 1914. The second season picks up in WWI and ends 1919. The third season picks up in the same year and moves on into the 1920s.

So the manorhouse is Downton Abbey in England where the Crawley family live. Robert Crawley, Earl Grantham, and lord of the manor; Cora Crawley, his American wife; and their three daughters Mary, Edith, and Sybil. Robert’s mother, Dowager Countess Violet Crawley, doesn’t live there but visits most days.

The Dowager is amazingly funny and witty. She is a snob, but her snobbery is sometimes due to her naiveté of what lower classes do and go through. She is hilarious as her one-liners are amazing. She is practically everybody’s favorite character.

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Lord Grantham (Robert) is pretty traditional and takes the jobs of running the estate very seriously. Lady Cora clashes with the Dowager Countess and at many times finds herself at odds as she is not English, so she “doesn’t understand” things.

Then we have the three daughters. First is Mary who is the eldest and a whiney, spoiled brat. However, as the series progresses she does change as her circumstances cause her to realize how awful she is being and what she wants to be. As the series progresses you start to love her.

Next in line is Edith. Edith is a whiny brat as well. She is always jealous of her older sister’s beauty and attention. This causes her to constantly fight and find ways to ruin things for Mary, of which all end up troublesome for her.

And last is Sybil, who in my opinion is the best character of all. She is kind, considerate, sweet, funny, beautiful, and a real revolutionary. She wears a Middle Eastern outfit with pantaloons for her coming-out-party, gets involved with protests, meetings, radical theories, becomes an army nurse, and doesn’t care about someone’s station or name. She’s awesome.

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The series starts out with the Titanic sinking. On the Titanic was Mary’s first cousin and fiancé. Everyone in the Crawley family is upset because the estate is entailed, and with the cousin and his brother killed, no one knows to whom the estate goes next.

Let me back up a minute. Entailment was something that was done a lot in England. All the money, property, i.e. the whole estate was entailed to the next male heir.  Yep, and as we see the Crawleys have three girls. They had never worried about entailment as they always planned to have Mary married off to the cousin and none of the family would have to worry.

Now they have to discover the next male heir and hope to God that they can marry him off to their eldest daughter.

Enter Matthew Crawley

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Matthew Crawley is a lawyer and discovers that he is next to inherit and will become Lord Grantham, have a seat in Parliament, and own a large estate. He is flabbergasted at this, as he is just your average person. In fact he wants to refuse it, but gets talked into accepting it. The Dowager Countess and Lady Cora try to get Mary and Matthew together. Mary finds Matthew “too low class” and tries to get a rich man interested in her. Unfortunately, very few men are interested in a girl who’s fortune is entailed. Lady Cora and Lord Grantham are also trying to get Cora’s fortune/dowry out of the entailment. Edith is trying to foil all of Mary’s plans while at the same time trying her best to catch a rich man or hook Matthew. Sybil is Sybil. Matthew falls for Mary and tries to win her heart, but Mary has some issues to overcome before considering marriage to Matthew. At one point Cora becomes pregnant and we wonder if she may have a son and solve the whole problem. Murder, mystery, scheming, drama, and comedy galore! Of course before things can truly be resolved, WWI breaks out, changing everyone’s life as they know it.

Season 2 starts right out in WWI and portrays it as accurately as possible. Matthew finds himself in the trenches with some of the servants from Downton. Downton gets set up as a hospital for soldiers. Sybil is a nurse. Lord Grantham wants to fight but isn’t allowed to. And the series continues in keeping the drama, comedy, romance, and action. I won’t reveal any more or season three and four for those of you who haven’t checked it out and are interested.

Let me just say that if PBS really wanted money, this is all they would have to do.

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Now that is the upstairs, let’s take a look downstairs.

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We have Mr. Carson the Butler who runs the whole downstairs. He is stuck in his ways, but a truly lovable stick-in-the-mud.

Then there is Mrs. Hughes the head housekeeper. She runs the kitchen staff. She is no-nonsense and buisnesslike, but always has a soft spot and helps others.

Then we have Mr. Bates head valet (pronounced the English val-let not French va-lay). He is introduced to the household in episode one to the ire of the footman Thomas Barrow. Thomas thought that he would be the one to elevate in status and is upset at being passed over. Thomas tries to make life hard for Mr. Bates and turn everyone against him. Mr. Bates falls for Anna and the two have one of the best romances. They actually weren’t supposed to stay together, but the fans called for them. Power to the fans. Mr. Bates also has a lot of mystery and drama surrounding him.

Mrs. O’Brien is the lady’s maid and a cruel and calculating woman. She is a major snoop and always rooting out gossip.

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She only cares about her best interest and causes some serious problems for the family. She leaves after a secret she has comes out.

Anna is the sweetest, kindest, woman ever. She is one of the best characters, and I absolutely love her and Mr. Bates together. She is the head housemaid and Lady Mary’s confidant, often helping her out of some pretty bad scrapes. When Lady Mary marries, Anna  is elevated to Lady’s maid.

Thomas Barrow is the under-butler and he is a mean, horrible, cruel, bully. He picks on other footman and staff members, plays with girl’s hearts, spreads rumors, steals, etc. He leaves the household and goes off to war, which softens him a bit. After the war ends, he finds himself falling back into his old ways. He has a huge secret that is only known to a few.

William Mason is one of the kindest and most adorable footman ever, but leaves in the second season. He has a crush on the assistant cook, Daisy who doesn’t deserve him.

Alfred Nugent joins the household after William leaves. He is brought in to be a love triangle between Daisy and Ivy, but he’s very boring and bland.

Jimmy Kent is brought in and increases that love triangle to rhombus as his good looks, charm, and easygoing manner wins all the ladies’ hearts.

Moseley was Matthew’s butler and was supposed to go with him to war, but failed his exam. He moves into the Crawley manor when he can’t find himself another job as a butler. You see during and after the War, many families find themselves not having the money they once had. When he comes into the Crawley household, it is a little awkward as his function is a bit fuzzy.

Mrs. Patmore is the no-nonsense cook and an awesome character. She hilarious, sarcastic, and always hitting the nail on the head.

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She has this one great storyline in which she starts going blind and is afraid to tell anyone. She thinks that if they find out then she will be fired and what will she do next? Cooking is all she knows and cares about. When the Crawleys discover this, they actually pay for an operation to fix her eyes.

Daisy is my least favorite character. Ugh, she annoys me. She is in love with Thomas because she thinks his bullying is a sign of manliness. She never gets the hint that he is not interested in her, unless he can torment sweet William who has a crush on her. She uses William to try to make Thomas jealous, which instead only hurts William more. She falls for Alfred, who doesn’t care a fig for her. Her biggest role in the series is really just complaining. She complains ALL THE TIME. And like the teenage girl “this unfair” “I never get what I want” kind of complaining. I always just want her to shut up!

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Ivy is new and her only thing that defines her character is that she is a “modern” girl not afraid to let someone know that she likes them. Translation: She’s pretty fast.

Now the last character I’m going to talk about is Tom Branson who is in the middle of the upstairs and downstairs.

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Branson is the Irish chauffer. He is very interested in politics and Sybil. Yes, we have an mixed class romance. Now at first I didn’t like him as he was hotheaded, believed his opinions were the only right ones, wants to violently achieve Irish independence, etc. However, once he and Sybil ran off and eloped, he began to grow on me. After some traumatizing events, his personality changes as this personal destruction makes him realize that violence to achieve one’s goals is not the way. What else is really great is his friendship with Matthew, as the two really understand each other and trying to figure out your place. In fact his storyline if trying to see which “floor” he belongs in is really powerful.

 So after all that I bet you are wondering what else can be said about Downton Abbey? Well I found that Petula Clark did a really great job of sharing it, (that is of you make a few small changes):

When you’re alone and life is making you lonely you can always watch  Downtown Abbey. When you’ve got worries all the noise and the hurry seems to help I know, watch Downtown Abbey. You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares so watchDowntown Abbey. Things will be great when you’re watching Downtown Abbey. No finer place for sure. Downtown Abbey; everything’s waiting for you. Things will be great when you’re watching Downtown Abbey. Don’t wait a minute more watch Downtown Abbey.

For more on Downton Abbey, go to That’s What You Get

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w:outFandoms

 

For Part 1, go to Fanning All Over the Place

For Part 2, go to Simply Fantastic

And keep an eye out for Part 3!

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For more of my favorite artists and songs, go to In Love With the ’80s (Pink Tux to the Prom)

For more of my favorite quotes, go to When in Doubt

You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat: Jaws (1975)

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You’re gonna need a bigger boat…

Jaws really is revolutionary movie. It is an amazing piece of cinema that breaks a lot of previous horror film rules. It focuses on both the people and the creature they are trying to kill. The camera uses are unparalleled. Instead of constantly being shown the shark (as it malfunctioned a lot) it is filmed from the shark’s point of  [something down later in Friday the 13th (1980)] which adds to the terror of the film.

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

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!

This also was the first “summer blockbuster” film. It opened on 409 screens nationwide (unusual for the time) and quickly became the highest grossing film of all time. Previous to Jaws, they would show the film on a few screens and then move the picture around. This mass-screening, all-over at the same time became so popular that it set the standard for what film companies do today. Jaws lost its place as the highest grossing film of all time in 1977 when Star Wars IV: A New Hope came out.

This film also brought a huge interest in sharks and marine biology. Now previous to this film you had monster movies and horror films that were about sea creatures attacking. Films such as The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms were you have some radioactive created creature that is ginormous and attacks the world. Or the mythological fishman from The Creature from the Black LagoonGodzilla, being another radioactively changed creature that is trying to destroy or protect the city. It Came From Beneath the Sea a giant octopus that causes havoc and destruction. The Monster that Challenged the World where giant mollusks come out of a crevice in the ground and try to kill everyone. But have you noticed something? All of these are large creatures, most of the time accidentally or purposely genetically altered. Or fake, such as the fishman. None of these were an actual creature that you could come into contact with…like a great white shark. Not only is Bruce (the shark in the film, named after Steven Spielberg’s lawyer) something real and normal-sized; but he’s just freaky! The book and the film both present actual data (although more studies proved some of the behavior previously associated with great whites are false) and an actual creature you could come upon. I mean great white sharks have over 300 teeth, they can get to be over 21 feet long, they are pretty fast swimmers, can jump out of the water, and are constant eating machines. How could you not be afraid?

Shark Jaws

But just like Spielberg’s other film Jurassic Park made dinosaurs the “it” thing (and they have been ever since, although never as on top as in the ’90s) Jaws made sharks really cool. And they remain so. I remember back in grade school sharks were just so awesome! We had a guy come to our class that did a whole presentation on sharks, and everyone was riveted. And people still remain so. Sharks will never stop being cool. I mean after all, ever summer we have a week devoted to them, Shark Week, on the Discovery channel. Buzzfeed even did a quiz on “What Type of Shark are You”. And did I take this quiz  you may ask? You bet I did!

To see what type you are, go here.

To see what type you are, go here.

Yep, Jaws is pretty amazing. So I’m sure you are now ready for the review, but I’m not about to go there just yet. So Jaws is based on the book by the same name, authored by Peter Benchley. The book was okay, but I preferred the movie. Unlike the book Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton; Jaws the book doesn’t hold a candle to the film version. This mostly has to do with the way they create the characters in the book. Hooper in the film is a an arrogant-rich kid, but you like him because he really gets involved in his work, and loses some of that stigma as the film progresses. In the book he is always annoying and he has an affair with Brody’s wife. The whole affair took away from the storyline and seemed tossed in, rather than attempting to flow.

Now the film on the other hand, follow the story pretty closely, but takes out the extra action not really needed. Plus the people they chose where just perfect. Roy Scheider was an amazing Chief Brody, balancing being a tough police chief, with a scared i-don’t-know-what-to-do everyday person. Richard Dreyfuss, as I mentioned earlier, smoked it as Hooper the marine biologist/rich kid. And Robert Shaw. No one will ever hold a candle to your Quint, no matter how the world may try.

thats-how-its-done

So now let’s get back to film review-wait, wait wait. Let me say one last thing. So it feels really weird to be talking about this film without mentioning a few more memories. So let me say I have seen every Jaws film created, even the incredibly horrible ones (as pretty much each sequel was). I actually watched them all at a really young age with my older sister Paige. They were doing a movie marathon and we sat down and saw them all (which took a long time as these are not short films). When I was older, I actually couldn’t remember the finer points of the film, the biggest thing that stuck in my mind was the SeaWorld underwater tunnels and shark attack in Jaws 3-D.

Now every 4th of July I used to do the same thing. I would watch the Twilight Zone marathons that they would show on the SciFi, now SyFy, channel. (I know, I know. I’m a huge fan, but have yet to review any episode for a Horrorfest. I promise I will do at least one next year.) SyFy stopped doing this for a while (they have since brought it back but every year is iffy). Now AMC does some movie marathons on the 4th of July that usually had some patriotic feeling (like Rocky). One year they did a Jaws marathon, as the 4th of July plays a huge role in the film. I watched it that year and loved it all over again. Now my tradition trades off between Twilight Zone and Jaws every 4th of July.

love it

So now we are seriously back on to the film review.

Shark Jaws

First let’s set the mood. It is the summer of 1975. Many families, young adults, teens, etc. are vacationing at beaches. Amity Island (where our story takes place) is one such beach. It is located on the east coast (a sort of Martha’s Vineyard that poor and rich can afford). On this particular night there are quite a few college age kids having bonfires on the beach. They are drinking beer, toking up (it is the ’70s), etc. One guy, Tom Cassidy, spots a blonde, Chrissie. The two run off away from the crowd to “be alone”.

Mhm great gatsby

As they get far from the crowds, Chrissie begins stripping and invites Tom in for some moonlight skinny dipping. She dives in right away and Tom tries to follow. However, he is far too bombed and collapses on the beach.

Chrissie is unaware and continues to swim. This is the last swim she will ever take.

The next day we are introduced to Martin Brody, the new Chief of Police. Brody is a native of New York City, but he and his family moved out to take over the Amity Island police force as they thought it would be easier, simpler and less deadly.

the irony iron

Anyways, we’ll get into that later. So Chief Brody (Scheider) has been called to go looking for Chrissie. He and his deputy Hendricks, go down to the beach to search for clues. It doesn’t take them long until they discover her corpse.

victim

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

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

Back at the police station he gets asked to deal with the usual cases of the day; kids karate chopping down fences and other stuff. It seems to be business as usual until the report comes back. It states Shark Attack.

What!

Immediately, Brodie runs to the hardware store to pick up materials to make sign to close the beaches.

jawsrideclosed

However, the Mayor doesn’t like that. He knows that if word gets around that there are sharks in the water he can say good-bye to all those summer dollars.

Good-bye

Good-bye

Without that money, the winter will be hard on everyone. These people depend on the summer dollars to keep the island going year round. The Mayor convinces the coroner to “take a second look” of which causes the coroner to determine he had made “a mistake”. There was no shark attack, just a boating accident as she swam into a propeller.

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

Since that is the decision, Brody can’t do anything but allow the beaches to remain open. But this is all against his better judgement.

BadFeelings

But hey, he is a newcomer that lives in a small town. He has to play the politics. Even if they have dire consequences.

dun-dun-duuuun

So as time goes on more tourists come to the island. The beaches are stock full of visitors. Brody is worried and nervously scans the water. Everything is fine…until it isn’t.

I just love that scene when they zoom into Brodie’s face. It is fantastic. So Bruce sure did a number.

Shark Jaws

After her son’s death, Mrs. Kitner issues a $3000 reward for the capture of the shark. The town holds a meeting in which Brody lets them know he contacted someone from the Oceanographic Institute for advice. Brody wants to close down the beaches, but no one will listen. The fighting is interrupted by Quint, in one of the best scenes.

So great it was spoofed:

Brody goes home and orders his children to go nowhere near the water, even though his son Michael just got a new boat. Brody’s wife Ellen thinks he is overreacting, that is until she looks at the pictures in his shark book. She then firmly decides that staying out of the water is a great idea.

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

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

With such a high bounty, everyone wants to kill the shark. Expert fishermen from all over. Average joes. Everybody.

Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) comes to town, as he is the person from the Oceanographic Institute. He has an interesting background. Hooper was a rich boy that was into science and became a marine biologist. This can often be something that is hard to fund, so his parents + trust fund really come in handy.

Anyways, once Brody finds out who he is, has has him take a look at the remains.

“[Hooper is examining the remains of the first victim – describes the post-mortem into his tape recorder]

Hooper: The height and weight of the victim can only be estimated from the partial remains. The torso has been severed in mid-thorax; there are no major organs remaining…Right arm has been severed above the elbow with massive tissue loss in the upper musculature… partially denuded bone remaining…[to the m.e. and Brody] This was no boat accident! [to Brody] Did you notify the Coast Guard about this?

Brody: No. It was only local jurisdiction.

Hooper: [continues post-mortem] The left arm, head, shoulders, sternum and portions of the rib cage are intact…[to Brody] Do not smoke in here, thank you very much. [lifts up the severed arm] This is what happens. It indicates the non-frenzied feeding of a large squalus – possibly Longimanus or Isurus glauca. Now… the enormous amount of tissue loss prevents any detailed analysis; however the attacking squalus must be considerably larger than any normal squalus found in these waters. Didn’t you get on a boat and check out these waters?

Brody: No.

Hooper: Well, this is not a boat accident! And it wasn’t any propeller; and it wasn’t any coral reef; and it wasn’t Jack the Ripper! It was a shark.

Conclusion: Shark

Shark Jaws

Meanwhile, out on the ocean, some fishermen have caught a large shark. Everyone is happy to see it and that the reign of terror is over. The monster has been slain.

Double double yay

Hooper steps up to investigate the shark:

Jaws-wrong-shark-dreyfuss-scheider

And tells everyone that it is the wrong shark. It is a tiger shark, not a great white. The bite radius is all wrong. They decide to keep the beaches closed until they can cut him open and see if the remains are inside it. Before they leave, Mrs. Kinter arrives and  slaps Brody across the face. She heard about the deaths and how they suspected sharks were in the area and blames Brody for everything.

Now Brody just takes this as he blames himself, but I always hated that. It wasn’t his fault! He wanted to stop them from keeping the beaches open. It was the greedy, evil mayor who wouldn’t listen.

Mayor from Buffy the vampire slayer

Mayor from Buffy the vampire slayer

Well, I guess he could be much worse.

So Hooper joins the Brody clan for dinner. Now in the book, Ellen knew Hooper’s older brother and the two just spent the time reminiscing. They later had an affair. Luckily Speilberg was smart enough to cut that out, and they instead discuss the situation. Hooper explains that a rogue shark will often claim territory to an area where the feeding is good and will remain there until the food source is gone. In order to protect the town, they decide they need to get down there and cut that shark open.

No human remains means that the real shark is out there. Bruce? Where are you hiding?

da dum Jaws

Here I am!

Here I am!

Hooper decides they have to go out that night as the Great White Shark is a night feeder. Now Brody hates the water, as we mentioned earlier, but goes out with Hooper. Using Hooper’s fancy equipment, they pick up a fishing boat, that Brody recognizes as Ben Gardner’s. Hooper dives under and finds one big surprise.

The next morning Brody and Hooper try to get the Mayor to listen to them, but all the Mayor is thinking about is the graffiti on the Amity Island billboard.

Sign from Universal Studios Backstage Tour

Sign from Universal Studios Backstage Tour

Hooper has figured out that the shark that is attacking is a great white. The evidence all points to it and they need to close the beaches down. But the mayor won’t listen to him. Hooper lost the Great White Shark tooth he found and the Mayor sees it as tooo convinent. He believes that Hooper is just trying to spread a sensation as he wants to be written up in the National Geographic or something. However, that’s not the real truth. To be honest, the Mayor is just thinking about making money over saving lives.

Bad things happen when you don't listen

Bad things happen when you don’t listen

July 4th the beaches are flooded. This is not good, not good at all. Brody, Hooper, and the cops are constantly patrolling the beaches, but all are on edge as they are waiting…waiting for the shark to attack.

come on

Michael, Brody’s son, wants to go in the water, but Brody won’t let him. He tells him to go to the estuary instead as it is safer.

You never learn

You never learn

Suddenly a shark fin appears in the water

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

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!

But it turns out to be just a prank. Some stupid kids decided to dress as a shark. Seriously guys, what were you thinking?

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

While everyone is watching this and dealing with it…not too far away something happens.

da dum Jaws

A girl painting down by the estuary see’s a shark. She starts crying out the word, but most think it is a hoax. Brody starts to head over, but when he hears his son is down there he runs like crazy.

Now this is a great scene but I can’t find a good clip of it online. You’ll just have to watch the film! So Michael and his friends get capsized along with another guy. The shark devours tons of people, including the man that tried to help them.

Here I am!

Here I am!

Michael makes it out okay, but suffers severely from shock. Brody takes him to the hospital and yells at the Mayor, demanding that he pay all of Quints commands and let’s him kill the shark.

So the three set out to catch that fish, even though they face some issues. Quint wants to go it alone, but Brody insists that he and Hooper have to come along. Quints dislikes Hooper as he sees him as some rich boy having fun with daddy’s money, not a real fisherman or worker like Quint. Quint also dislikes having Brody as he knows nothing about fish or fishing, but at least he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty. Hooper is tired of the all the “you don’t know nothing, kid” crap he is getting from Quint and also annoyed at Brody. Brody has a fear of the water that he is trying to overcome, managing two grown men who are acting like children, and is afraid that he might not make it home to see family. There is a lot of stuff going on.

What!

 Once at sea they start getting ready for the hunt. Baiting lines. Chumming the water. And that is when we have the most famous lines from the film uttered. (You know it wasn’t even scripted. Scheider just uttered it in the heat of the moment.)

And that is when the real hunting begins!

That night the guys get drunk and start bonding. Singing drinking songs. Comparing scars and wounds. You know, the typical guy stuff. But that’s when things get serious and Quint describes his hatred for sharks.

At this moment, its not about the money. It’s not about the fame. Quint has become Captain Ahab, and he wants his whale…or shark in this case.

In fact this is one of the most dramatic scenes in the film as you get the underlying reason why this is so important to him. Of course as it is one of the most famous scenes, it has to be parodied.

Back to the film. The next day the hunt continues. They try and take the shark but Bruce proves to more powerful than they expected. They tried to reel it on, but it nearly capsized the Orca. Hooper decides to be lowered down in a shark cage to shoot Bruce with a harpoon filled with strychnine nitrate.

Hooper manages to escape the shark. This was were he was supposed to die, but then Speilberg changed his mind. After attacking Hooper, Bruce decides to go after the ship.

Jaws Shark attack

Pic of the shark from the Universal Backstage Tour ride

He crushes it and causes it to lean toward him. Brody and Quint struggle to hold on, but Quint loses his grip and finds himself in the belly of the beast.

jaws-6

Brody takes on killing the shark all by himself. This is why Brody is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One Shark Week on Discovery channel they actually tested out everything in the film. They discovered that if you shot a tank from the 1970s you could blow up a shark. You just have to shoot it right.

Hooper finally gets his act together and meets up with Brody, the two creating a raft and swimming off in the distance.

“I used to be afraid of the water,” Brody admits.

“I can’t imagine why,” Hooper replies.

TheEnd_Title_2

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But that’s not the end of the post. Oh, no we still have a bit more to cover. 🙂

So for my 20th birthday, my parents told me we could do whatever I wanted. It was the last time they were going to throw a party for me. I really wanted to go to Disneyland as the last time I had gone was when I was 12 (I went recently and will do a post on what it was like later). I decided on Universal Studios as it was much cheaper, and they were having a special for their anniversary that you buy a pass, you get in free for the year! Sweet!

So as we entered the gates, I was asked by a worker to fill out a survey for a free gift. You know me and free.

free stuff

So I did and we got to skip the lines for the Backstage Studio Tour! Whooooooooooo!!!!!

Double double yay

So you see all kinds of cool things on that tour, but I’m not going to speak on everything. We gotta stay Jaws focused here. So at one point we drive to Amity Island.

Sign from Universal Studios Backstage Tour

Sign from Universal Studios Backstage Tour

We see the fake shark that they thought was Bruce but wasn’t.

Jaws

Then we things get intense. Bruce attacks!

Jaws Shark attack

There were actually three Bruces created for the film. The first one is passed along museums, the second is at Universal studios, and the third privately owned. After Bruce attacks, they blow him up!

Jaws

It’s so intense! The flames feel so close! It’s AWESOME!

love it

Later I got to see Brody’s actual costume in the Universal Pictures Museum (that’s where I saw the Marty McFly one from Back to the Future: Part III).

Jaws

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But that’s not the end! So the other day a friend and I were discussing Jaws and Bruce’s motives.

Anjelica: Is this a horror movie? Or is it an animal, drama/history movie about a misunderstood shark that only wants hugs from others, but his eating disorder and anger issues gets in the way?

Me: Horror film. He is purposely hunting down Brody and his family, as seen in the sequels.

Anjelica: “Hunting down” or passionately pursuing the family he always wanted to have. Jaws should just befriend, Orca: The Killer Whale. lol

Me: I have changed my view on Bruce the shark. So Quint was in a shark attack but survived. He was supposed to die in it but somehow cheated death. Bruce is a supernatural entity (that’s why he can’t really die and comes back in the 3 sequels) in the guise of a shark that has been hunting him down to right that past wrong. He finally succeeds in killing him and is supposed to take Hooper too (as he dies in the book and original draft of the script) but Brody gets in the way. In fact Brody manages to destroy his “earthly form”. Then Bruce becomes angry and falls from his post (like Davy Jones in the Pirates films) and starts hunting for Brody, along with taking down all of his family.

So there we have it. I have officially joined the dark side. I have fully become a tumblr with that last comment.

Star Wars Dark side power Darth vader

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So there we go. One of the best horror films that have affected us as people so strongly. People are afraid to swim because of this movie. Ever summer one week on the Discovery Channel is devoted to sharks. The theme is so AWESOME!!!!! I mean every time you go in water you have to hum it.

Jaws

It is one amazing film. If you haven’t seen it, watch it. If you have seen it, watch it again.

Jaws

And that’s the real end. I swear. Hope you enjoyed it!

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To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart

For the previous post, go to Monster Movie

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For more on Jaws, go to Part X: The Movie List That Would Not Die

For more shark attacks, go to For All the Men Who Wonder What It’s Like

For more on hunting a monster, go to Let Them Fight

For more monster movies, go to Keep Clear Of the Moor. Beware the Moon

For more films based on a book, go to Murder is My Favorite Crime

For more films that spanned sequels, go to You Will Die in Seven Days

For more in Universal Studios, go to There Are Many Strange Legends in the Amazon

For more quizzes, go to I’m Batman!

For more on Star Wars, go to Part IX: Adventures in Movie Lines

For more Buffy the Vampire Slayer, go to Every Time I Bring a Girl Over, You Try to Eat Her!