And Then There Was Two: A Study in Scarlet (1933)

studyinscarletsherlockholmes

Three little Black Boys walking in the zoo; A big bear hugged one and then there were two.

So this film is based on the first Sherlock Holmes novel, A Study in Scarlet. However, the film doesn’t follow the book at all. When Hollywood wanted to purchase the film rights, it was cheaper to buy the name versus the actual story. They decided to save money and write their own story.

Not always the best idea

Not always the best idea

When I first watched this, on my mystery thriller binge that included Mystery of the 13th GuestI didn’t like it as it was too similar to And Then There Was None by Agatha Christie. It even uses the same poem about the 10 Little Indians although in this they are 10 Little Black Boys.

Same old thing.

Same old thing.

But then I found out something that surprised me…

MarshallHIMYMmindblown

The Agatha Christie book was published six years after the film came out!

what what'shappeningSupernatural

Could Agatha Christie have copied a Sherlock Holmes film, that isn’t really written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

I’d rather not think about that. Moving on.

Reginald Owen stars as Sherlock Holmes. He is one of the few actors to play both roles of Watson and Holmes, so he isn’t the typical form of Sherlock Holmes. He’s a bit rounder in body, less angular in the face, and isn’t as intense about his deductions. In my honest opinion he is a bit wooden and a tad boring.

Not always the best idea

So some of you might be wondering why I would do a Sherlock Holmes film as you might not think it is horror. On the contrary we have a mysterious force killing people (perhaps a ghost?), and I think that qualifies it. In the future I’ll review some others, like the creepy one where he hunts a serial killer. For now, A Study in Scarlet.

studyinscarletsherlockholmes

(BTW: There aren’t any pictures online that are good quality, and as I didn’t take any screenshots while watching all images will not be from the film.)

The film begins with some people on a train trying to get the person out of the the bathroom. No one answers so they send for someone to pull a ladder to look in through the high window. What they find is a dead man.

OMG gasp

In the next scene we are shown a newspaper advertisement with the following strange code:

692 3 7 13 7

Scarlet 23 4 76

Limehouse M

suspicious Hmm

Meanwhile, in a seedy looking area we have the beautiful, blonde, Eileen Forrester and her fiancé, John Stanford. She has been called to a meeting, and John had walked her there.

When we enter the room we see that it is a secret meeting, of what we don’t know. Besides Eileen we have five other men around the table, and one presiding. The man at the head calling the meeting to order is Thaddeus Merrydew.

They discuss business and plan to pay for the late members funeral, the man found dead on the train. Meanwhile, they all dislike the widowed wife, Mrs. Murphy and agree to give her nothing.

How rude

Meanwhile, a woman has decided she will go to 221A Baker Street to speak to Sherlock Holmes.

hold-up-wait-a-minute-let-me-put-some-pimpin-in-it

A? A! A?!

Whattheheck

How can you do a Sherlock Holmes adaption and get that wrong!!!! That’d be like changing Sherlock’s name to John or Daniel, or something. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!

NotLiketheBook

Anyways, inside Sherlock is having a look at that ad.

cousin-matthew-crawley-in-downton-abbey1

692 3 7 13 7

Scarlet 23 4 76

Limehouse M

Dr. Watson bets Sherlock that he won’t solve it, and you know Sherlock, he can never back down from a challenge.

I-got-this-reaction-gif

In fact Sherlock says it is all rather simple. All you need is the right large book, something everyone would have a copy of…like the bible.

But before they can do research they are interrupted by Mrs. Murphy. She is upset because Mr. Merrydew has all her money. They’ve been married for five years, right after they met while both in Thailand. He would go to London to check on finances and was headed there, when he committed suicide.

Sadface Batman

Sherlock asks if there has been any changes recently, and Mrs. Murphy says the only odd thing she found was a note that contained lines from an old English nursery tale.

Six little Black Boys playing with a hive;
A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.

Sherlock Holmes assures Mrs. Murphy he will do his best and then he and Dr. Watson discuss it. Sherlock has tangled with Merrydew before, always trying to trap him and send him to prison, but so far he has managed to escape all his traps.

fliptablesangrysurprised

Blast him!

Back at the meeting, everyone has left except Captain Pyke, Eileen, and Merrydew. While Captain Pyke starts heading out, Merrydew takes Eileen aside and warns her not to share anything going on with anyone, not even her fiancé. In fact she shouldn’t get married until this business is all settled.

Eileen finds that incredibly strange.

weird

But before she can seriously think on it bam! Captain Pyke is shot!

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

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

Merrydew tells Eileen to wait while he gets help, he runs down a bit but them stops and waits; checking his watch.

suspicious Hmm

While he is gone, Eileen gets attacked from behind, knocked out.

When she regains consciousness, Merrydew returns and asks what happened. As Eileen tells him of her attack she notices that the body is missing!

what what'shappeningSupernatural

Eileen wants to talk to the police, but Merrydew urges her to head home, saying it is better for her to not be involved. She listens and leaves.

Later Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, and the police are looking at the autopsy of the body of Captain Pyke.

bodysnatch3

Sherlock notices a giant ring on the body. When they look through his personal effects they also find a note:

Five little Black Boys going in for law;
One got in Chancery and then there were four.

In comes his wife, a beautiful Chinese woman, played by Anna May Wong. The body was so badly destroyed, that she was only able to identify him by a family heirloom, a ring, that she gave him six years ago when they married. He never takes it off.

Sherlock questions her but doesn’t find out much. It does turn out that her lawyer is Merrydew. There’s that man involved once again!

Hmm...

Hmm…

We then see a list of people involved, those who had been originally a part of the deal, three of the names crossed out as they are dead.

brothersgrimmbooklistwriting

Next day one of the men from the group discovers a note at his desk:

Four little Black Boys going out to sea;
A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.

While the man is thinking of what he means, a man enters the room although we as a viewer only see his shadow.

thebat1959shadowclaw

He shouts out, “No not you” and is then killed, shot in the head.

ouch Hermione

The police are stumped as to who or what has been doing these killings. They call in Sherlock who starts reviewing the area. He finds the note and also figures out by the way the man was killed was shot in the head, body dragged, rearranged and shot again so that it would like suicide rather than murder.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

He also deduces that the victim died from poison and supplies a description of the murderer: six feet tall, disproportionately small feet, florid complexion, square toed boots, and smoking a Trichinopoly cigar.

keanu Whoa

Sherlock heads out to visit with Merrydew and discuss things. When he reaches his office, Merrydew makes him wait forever.

How rude

He finally lets them in, offering a Trichinopoly cigar, but not one to Watson.

Jerk

Sherlock discusses Mrs. Murphy’s claim of inheritance but gets nowhere with Merrydew. He asks for paper and a pencil, using the time to snoop on his desk. He writes a note and gives it folded to Merrydew.

officeroflawletter

A note that contains the numbers from the ad in the newspaper. This upsets Merrydew and proves to Sherlock he is on the right track.

I-got-this-reaction-gif

As they head out Sherlock reveals to Watson that his snooping found the book from the code, Whitaker’s Almanac. Watson brings up that Merrydew certainly fits the description provided by Sherlock, down to the small feet in square cut shoes. As they head out they also run into Mrs. Pyke.

Hmm...

Hmm…

Merrydew goes to see Eileen to tell her about the new meeting and make sure she comes. As they are talking they are interrupted by her fiancé Stanford.

Stanford feels something is not right and is rather upset over the whole thing.

Something is not right!

Something is not right!

Eileen decides to spill the story to him. Right before her father died, he asked Eileen to visit him. There he told her she had a great inheritance, tons of money coming her way; but only if she listens to Merrydew and does all that he asks of her.

While they are talking Stanford hears something.

hear that?

Outside a man is watching Eileen

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

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

Stanford scares him off, but is deeply unsettled. He goes to Sherlock Holmes and shares his fears about this strange black bearded man. Sherlock tells him to watch Eileen constantly, her life is in danger.

Sherlock moves on to his next step of research, looking through Whitaker’s Almanac and decoding it.

 Meeting of Scarlet Ring Tuesday

Holmes decides to take an even more proactive role and include his own message in the paper asking for info on the Scarlet Ring.

I-got-this-reaction-gif

The next day Sherlock travels in disguise to look at the Pyke family home. He hires a cab to get there, liquors up his driver, and pumps him for information. He finds out the Captain hasn’t been there in years. As a child he used to be a real terror, throwing bricks and injuring others.

Sherlock leaves cabbie and heads to the house. He sees that the house is for sale and pretends that he is interested.

I-got-this-reaction-gif

Unfortunately, the maid won’t stop following him around trying to help him.

idon'tgotthis

He pretends to have a heart attack and gets her to leave the house to find a doctor. With her out of the way, Sherlock can begin searching for trap doors or secret passages.

He finds a secret passage and a box of cigars the same brand as the one smoked by the assassin.

suspicious Hmm

At the Hotel Savoy, Mrs. Pyke is meeting with Mr. Wilson, a member of the “Scarlet ring”. She invites him for the weekend to “help put her finances in order”. He readily accepts.

AWESOME!!!

That night the Scarlet Ring meeting is in disarray. The remaining members of the ring are scared out of their minds.

IDon'tTrustHimGreatGatsby

Who will be next? Which one of the group is the killer? In fact, two start wondering if they should spill to Shelock. The waiting and being picked off one by one is torturing them.

Suspense have to know

Merrydew tries to bring order stating that it will be impossible to go to the police as they will then have to pay for their crime they committed. They’ve been waiting five years for a payout and now the dream of 1 million pounds divided equally among the survivors will be happening. Money is a powerful tool to get people to do things.

That night Stanford calls Holmes with his info. He and Watson head down to meet him. As they watch the door they see the men exit very suspicious, looking every where and trying to watch their back.

i'mscared

While they watch everyone leave, they notice that Eileen has not exited.

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

They rush in and find her knocked out on the ground, gas filling the room. Someone has tried to kill her too.

OMG gasp

Holmes sends her home with Stanford and heads back to Baker Street.

Back on Baker Street, Mr. Wilson heads over to Holmes’ place fearing for his life.

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

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

While that is happening the assassin meets with Merrydew. This is the best part of the film as it is revealed to not be Merrydew, but the man never talks or shows his face; all done from his point of view.

thebat1959shadowclaw

Back at Holmes’ place, Mr. Wilson comes and tells Holmes he was almost run down by a black bearded man. Sherlock surmises that the Scarlet Ring has to do with China, and is based on inheritance. He sends Wilson home to hide in the cellar, escorting him with Watson.

Wilson mentions that he will be heading to Mrs. Pyke’s tomorrow for the weekend, and Holmes warns him to plead a headache and hide in his room.

As they are heading out Sherlock finds a dead body on his doorstep.

What are you wearing?

As he looks at the body, he finds a not addressed to him.

Three little Black Boys walking in the zoo;
A big bear hugged one and then there were two.

The next day, Wilson goes to Mrs. Pyke’s home, with Sherlock and the police following. As they are about to set up the trap, Stanford comes in saying that Eileen has disappeared.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

Stanford tells him how he recieved a telegram from Sherlock and tried to follow the instructions, but he didn’t understand them. When he returned to Eileen’s house, he found that she had left with a Chinese woman. After that he hurried to find Sherlock.

Sherlock & co. head out to the Grange, Captain Pike’s home, to head off the action.

I-got-this-reaction-gif

Eileen is inside with Mrs. Pyke and Mr. Wilson. Mrs. Pyke got her to come saying that Sherlock needed her here. It is late and they are waiting to hear from him. The door buzzes and a telegram comes for Eileen, Mrs. Pyke reviews it first and sees that it is blank.

This was sent by Sherlock to make sure Eileen was in the house.

Afterwards, Wilson decides that he will go to bed, Eileen agreeing to do likewise. Wilson warns her to be careful and lock her door.

i'mscared

Killer comes into the house and asks Mrs. Pyke about the plan. After he enters, Dr. Watson and Sherlock enter the house through the passage Sherlock found earlier.

Eileen’s room gets broken into and she faints while the man takes her down to the cellar.

draculacarrybody

Wilson heard Eileen cry out and Mrs. Pyke asks for his help, so he decides to ignore Sherlock’s advice and open the door. Meanwhile she and her manservant are planning on killing him.

Sherlock, Dr. Watson, & the officers come running in and save Eileen and Mr. Wilson. They then reveal who the real killer is.

dun-dun-duuuun

Captain Pyke!

I had thought it was odd how his wife had to identify him by ring alone. The Captain pretended to be dead, but was really killing everyone with Merrydew’s help. Merrydew comes on the scene and pretends he knows nothing, but is captured as well.

Sherlock knew the body was a fake as the hand had no marks from wearing the ring for six years.

Five years ago a collection of amazing jewels were stolen and have been sold off throughout the years, this was what the Scarlet Ring was. The thieves selling off the jewels, preparing to spilt the proceeds when the last one was gone. Captain Pyke got greedy and didn’t want to share; roping in Merrydew and his wife to assist him.

All is finished and another case solved for Sherlock Holmes

SherlockPoppedcollarcoolandmysterious

I thought this was an okay film, not as good as the later ones were. I also didn’t care for the actor playing Sherlock. But it wasn’t horrible, just okay.

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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 Someone Has Erased His Memory: Total Recall (1990)

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For more on Sherlock Holmes, go to The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind

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Beast or Man: The Wolfman (2010)

There is no sin in killing a beast, only in killing a man. But where does one begin and the other end?

So this year I decided to do something very, very different. Now the in the past, all Horrorfests have ended on a film that takes place on Halloween. This wasn’t a credence that I set out to make, it just kind of happened along the way. With Horrorfest I had always planned on ending on Halloween (1978)I knew it was the best way to end the first year with a big bang. Besides, that year I had done the other slasher films that spanned numerous sequels and remakes (Friday the 13th Nightmare on Elm Street). Horrorfest II I was trying to also end on a really great film that would produce the same kind of bang, and decided on Children of the Corn as that film was creepy. It also happened to take place on Halloween.

This year I was trying to decide what would be the best opener and closer. I was originally going to open with Metropolis as I had done a post in July referencing it. But after I wrote that post, it just didn’t speak to me as an opener. I started going through my drafts and that’s when I spotted The Wolf Man (1941)The Wolf Man has to be my favorite of the classic horror film monsters (along with The Phantom of the Opera). I hadn’t had a chance to review it yet, and since it was the last of the classics I decided it should be the opener.

the wolf man

Once I wrote that post, I was so excited. You see, I felt I really couldn’t to a post on any werewolf films until I had covered the first one. I thought it was only right to start with the original. With that done, I could move onto any other werewolf film I desired. The possibilities were endless.

excited

With the beginning finished, I then set my sights on the end. What could I do that would really pop? As I started thinking and looking, I saw my draft for The Wolfman (2010). And that’s when it hit me.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

I could end Horrorfest III with The Wolfman (2010). It could be like bookends!!!! In the beginning the original that started it all  and the end the newest rendition. !!! Yes!! It could work and it will. So here we are The Wolfman (2010).

Double double yay

So a little backstory before we begin the review. As you would have read in an older post, I love The Wolf Man (1941). It is one of my all-time favorite horror films. One day in my photography class, we were watching trailers of different films as we were looking at the cinematography and technique. My teacher was on a Mac which has Front Row, and shows you trailers of the past, present, and future films. One trailer I remember looking at was Nightmare on Elm Street (2010). I wasn’t planning on seeing it, as I hadn’t seen the original. But as we reached the end, I saw The Wolfman.

220px-Wolfman-final-small

I screamed ay my teacher, stop!! I want to see that. So we watched the trailer.

AWESOME!!! RIGHT!!! So I knew there were going to be changes, I knew it was going to be nowhere near as good as the original, but I was soooo pumped!! So I watched the trailer in February 2009, and saw the film was slated for that October. I couldn’t wait!!!

excited

I ticked off the months, but then in October I discovered it wasn’t out in theaters.

Mr-DarcyexcuseMe

Yep, there had been some production problems, so they pushed it back to February. FEBRUARY!!! V-Day weekend. I was upset, but what could I do? I just had to wait it out.

Laura Angry Mad Upset

But then February came and I decided that it would be my V-day present to myself. You see I have never had a boyfriend or date for V-day, so I always just buy myself whatever I want. It’s actually pretty nice as you don’t have to fight with anyone over where to go or what to see; and you are never, ever, ever, disappointed.

perfect plan

I asked a couple of friends who were also single and we bought tickets for opening night. I knew that I wouldn’t be 100% pleased, but I was looking forward to those improved transformation scenes.

So moving on to the review.

DeanSupernaturalLetsGetStarted

So let’s go back in time. The year is 1891 and we are in England. Lawrence Talbot (Benicio del Toro) is the second son of Sir John Talbot (Anthony Hopkins). He and his dad had a lot of issues and problems so he left as soon as he could. Since then he has been a renowned Shakespearean actor, famous throughout all England for his Hamlet and Macbeth.

the wolfman play acting stage

He recieves a letter from a Gwen Conliffe (Emily Blunt). She was engaged to his older brother Ben, but he has been murdered. Not only was he murdered, but horribly mangled by something. When Lawrence gets the news, he immediately returns home for the funeral.

The-Wolfman-2010-image-the-wolfman-2010-36269300-1280-696

When he gets there he sees his father and the two have a harsh welcome. Unlike The Wolf Man (1941), where father and son were trying to work on repairing their relationship, Sir John doesn’t care. He still has huge issues with his son not being what he wants him to be. The way that Sir John treats him, causes Lawrence to want to leave, and go far away…but he can’t. He has to properly say good-bye to his brother.

the wolfman funeral 2010

Lawerence does try to get away from his father as he knows staying near him will just cause more fights. He also really wants to see his brother. So he heads down to the local slaughterhouse where the body is kept before burial.

ew! Gross Yuck

I know but you have to remember this is a small village in 19th century England. They didn’t have a mortuary to hold the body until burial. They also didn’t understand how diseases spread and that it is not a good idea to have a dead body near your food.

There at the slaughterhouse, the butcher gives Laurence his brother’s items, that is everything found on him at the time of his death.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

Later that night he heads over to the local pub for a drink and overhears the gossip on the murder. Most of the villagers blame a band of gypsies. Not long after they moved into the area, Ben was murdered. In fact, someone remembers a case occuring years earlier of gypsies moving into the area and dead bodies surfacing. As they discuss this, Laurence remembers that Ben had had a gypsy medallion on him.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

This is the first time that Laurence has ever met his brother’s fiance Gwen. Now for you Wolf Man fans, you should recognize that it is the same name given to Laurence’s love interest in the original film. Except in that film she was to marry the hunter/groundsman of the Talbot estates. Anyways, Laurence meets her and can instantly see why his brother fell for her, as he himself is attracted to her.

Gwen-and-Lawrence-the-wolfman-2010-32634613-1280-688

Of course Lawrence is the most amazing, gentleman/good guy that he would never ever think of putting the moves on her. He does thank her for trying to be there for his father and for everything. He also let’s her know that if she ever needs him, he’ll be there for him.

Gwen is also attracted to him, and you really can’t blame her. If Benecio is in his early 40s, that means her husband to-be was hecka old. Also Benecio/Lawrence has this adorable hurt puppy dog look that makes you just want to show him he is special, and that you care for him. He looks so sad that it makes you just want to take him, and take care of him. Making sure is life is bright and never unhappy again. That look is killer on any girl as it flies through their best defenses. Major chink in the armor.

swoon dreamy

Sorry, digressing….So with Lawrence back, and the funeral over, Gwen decides to return to London. Laurence would like to leave too, but wth his brother’s death, he now is sole heir to the estate and the first son. When his father dies he will become Sir Lawrence and be expected to uphold all those duties (House of Lords most likely). This isn’t the life that Laurence wants, but at this moment he is too loaded with grief and confusion over his brother’s death that he doesn’t question or try to rebel.

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So with Gwen gone, and his father an emotionless robot who only cares about himself; Lawrence takes it upon himself to try and figure out what happened to his loving brother. Now Lawrence is putting on the black cowl and trying to become a vigilante or anything, he just wants some closure about his brother’s death. He heads down to the gypsy camp to try to get some answers.

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

Where were you the night in question?

That night is a full moon

attack Wolf Boy Meets World

Which as you’ve guessed it means trouble is going to be roaming about. Lawrence meets up with the gypsy woman Maleva, who tells him that something truly evil has attacked his brother.

Wolf Man 1941 5

But before he can get anything more, the townspeople attack the village. They try to drive the gypsies from the area, and kill a dancing bear they believe to be the beast that killed Ben Talbot.

mob

Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

As they are attacking, a superhuman, wolfish creature descends upon the area and starts slaughtering people.

wolfman-strangle

And I’m not talking about just a few people, this is like a Scream sequel. The body count by the end of this film is in the double digits.

wolfman dead bodies lots cart

Hey, my generation is the Millennials. They aren’t as classy, they need lots more blood and guts.

Anyways, the werewolf is attacking everyone, and Lawrence spots a young boy running into the woods. At the same time the werewolf spots the boy, causing Lawrence to put himself in the way in order to protect the child. As he does so, the wolf attacks him.

wolfman-strangle

And he gets bitten.

dun-dun-duuuun

Malvea find him and cares for him, despite the community telling her that it is better for all if they let him die. But Malvea can’t, she says he still is a man and deserves to be treated as such. She also states that only a loved one can kill him.

hold-up-wait-a-minute-let-me-put-some-pimpin-in-it

Malvea honey, I don’t think so. Anyone can kill a werewolf as long as they have some kind of silver object. Nowhere is that in the original film, as if you read my post you would know that film revolutionized werewolf mythology. Click here to check it out now.

And besides that, is there nothing you can do for him? You are a cinematic gypsy in a horror film! You’re supposed to have a potion or herb or special thing that can protect you from turning. Now if you have read my DraculaThe Mummy, The Wolf Man, or Scream 2 posts, you know I make fun of the films when the guy is given a special charm to protect him but then stupidly turns it over to the girl he loves, EVEN THOUGH IT WILL NOT WORK FOR HER.

Every time!

Every time!

But I really enjoy that part of the film, as it humanizes the character and makes you adore them. I mean its sweet how much they love the girl in their life that if there is anything that can do to ward of the monster, they prefer them to have it. Even though by doing so they make things worse, hey it’s the thought that counts.

Frozen Sacrifice self love you sisters

I also hate how gypsies have been giving “B” standing in modern horror films. I mean without their supreme wisdom and knowledge in the supernatural, they are just nomadic people. In real life they are still awesome, in a  horror film? That’s just boring.

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

But I guess that’s just they way it is these days.

Sadface Batman

So where was I? Oh yeah, Lawrence has been bitten by the werewolf. He is moved back to Talbot Manor, and Gwen returns from London to nurse him back to health. While recovering he has really strange dreams. Lots of blood, murder, and even his mother appears. You see his mother died when he was very, very young and her death severely traumatized her as he discovered her dead body. But why would that death be haunting him now? Is it because of Ben? The slaughtered people seen in the gypsy camp? Or is it something else?

suspicious  Hmm

Lawrence actually heals pretty quickly, which he finds kind of odd. And that’s not the only thing that’s odd in the Talbot homestead. One day his father’s manservant, Singh (Art Malik), shows him a case of silver bullets and hints that something monstrous is walking through the woods.

Weird

Weird

He’s not the only one concerned. Inspector Abberline (Hugo Weaving) comes to town. Yes, yes I’m going to admit it. Any film with Hugo Weaving gets an 10x increase in awesome. I mean this guy is truly one of the most talented actors alive. When he ecomes a role you totally forget that he is Hugo Weaving and just think of him as that character. For me I’m always going, Hugo Weaving was in that film? Oh that’s who was that amazing character. I totally forgot that character was being played by an actor. I mean he is that  good. You have Agent Smith in The Matrix, Elrond in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, V in V for Vendetta, the Red Skull in Captain America: The First Avenger, and that’s just to name a few.

wolfman 2010 inspector abberline hmm i've almost got it hugo weaving

Anyways, Inspector Abberline comes to town to investigate. He already believes he knows who the killer is…Lawrence.

Yeah I don't understand it either

Seriously? Lawrence? A Murderer? Come on, this guy wouldn’t hurt a fly. I mean look at him, really look at him. There isn’t a murderous bone in his body! Besides, he just arrived in town so there is no way he could have murdered his brother. Dude, you’re dumb.

felix_the_cat_laughing

But it isn’t completely ungrounded. You see, Lawrence has a history of “mental problems.” You see, I didn’t want to give you the full story so early, but Lawrence’s mother’s death really did a number on him. Now today, we would really try to help the child as we understand such events as those are highly traumatic and can cause serious issues. Then not so much. Lawrence discovered the body and was very upset. He was afraid and kept mentioning a monster had hurt her. Instead of trying to help his kid, Sir John sent him to an insane asylum, where he was tortured. And I mean torture. Many methods to improve these patients were electrotherapy, iron cuffs/collars, bloodletting, dipping the patient in hot or ice-cold water, and a gyrating chair “to shake up the blood and tissues of the body to restore equilibrium”. By the 1900s, many hospitals had added lobotomies to their lists of “cures”.

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

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

Yeah not fun. So Aberline thinks he is the perfect suspect. Laurence though, is having none of that.

Lawrence Talbot: I get your implication, and resent it. You’re clearly aware of my personal history, as I believe I’m aware of yours. Weren’t you in charge of the ripper case a couple of years back?

Det. Aberline: You’re a direct man. So I’ll be equally direct with you. I am not your enemy, Mr. Talbot. You’ve been seen as Hamlet, Macbeth, Richard III, all with that same face. A prudent man would ask who else might be living inside that head of yours?

Laurence doesn’t quite know what is going on and asks Gwen to leave as he’s worried something might happen to her. That night he follows his father, and watches him go down to the family crypt, to the area where his dead mother resides. There he finds a chair with restranints. His father locks the door and stays in the crypt, leaving a confused Laurence.

Weird

Weird

As Laurence turns to go inside, he becomes…The Wolfman!

wolf

Now this was worth the price of admission. These transformation scenes are awesome!!!

Freakin’ sweet!

So now that he is a wolfman, he does what they all do. Ravage the countryside.

Film Title: The Wolfman Claw

The next day the Inspector comes for him and has him arrested to be sent back to the “mental hospital”

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

How horrible is that. I mean this has to be Laurence’s biggest fear, to be sent back to that horrible place. Poor guy. And I was doing some research last night, not only were insane asylums awful, but the one he has to go to, Bedlam, was one of the worst.

you're evil

Dr. Hoennegar, the leading physician, takes Laurence under his wing and subjects him to ice treatments, that is to be consistently dunked into ice water and left there for long periods of time.

the-wolfman-2010-freezing-therapy

Can you imagine?

And oh joy, he also gets electroshock therapy.

Stupid, stupid

While he is incarcerated, Sir John comes to visit and tells him a story. You see Sir John is the cause of all this.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

Back in the day when he was younger and hunting in India, he heard this rumor about an unusual predator. He travels to the remote cave that the predator calls his home and while there was bit by a feral boy and became a victim of lycanthropy.

wolfman

Except, it was more than “imagining” he actually became a werewolf and began attacking things.

wolfman

That’s when Laurence realizes everything about his mother’s death makes total sense. He did see a beast kill her, but it was his father! His father killed his mother and then sent him to a mental institution!!! What a truly, truly evil man to allow his son to be tortured. And now for a second time!!!

you're evil

Now this was my biggest issue with the film. Every other part of the movie was actually pretty great. It was an amazing homage to the orginal film. Benecio del Toro was actually a huge fan of the original and tried to bring a lot of Lon Chaney Jr. into his acting. But the thing I absolutely hate was the changed relationship with his father.

HateEverythingthewomen

It just didn’t work in my opinion. I mean that is what truly made the original fantastic, was that everything in his life was going great, he was a great man; and this tragedy strikes that ruins everything. He and his father were finally, finally becoming close and working out all their issues. He had met a nice girl, even though she was engaged, and had hope for that relationship. He loved England and was getting back into the groove of it. But then this horrible thing happens and he has to say good-bye to it all. He knows he is going to die, but what does he do? He goes to his dad and makes sure that he has something to protect him. Because even though he has spent years hating and being angry at his father, he truly loves him. It’s just so wonderful and sad all at the same time

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

But having the dad the evil guy, I don’t know…it just makes the film feel as if it is missing a huge part of it. It doesn’t hit in the heart like the orginal.

But moving on, so his father murdered his mother and then sent the only witness to a torture chamber (mental hospital) to ensure that those memoris would never come to light as they are only crazy “child fantasies”.

you're evil

Since then, Sir John has had his manservant Singh has been locking him up so he doesn’t wreck havoc anymore. However, Ben was planning to leave with Gwen once they were married and this enraged Sir John. He wasn’t locked up that night and killed him to keep him from going away. He became so incensed with the power that he ran wild later, killing all in the gypsies camp and biting Laurence purposely.

Omg what a–

wordICan't say Toy Story

He did it on purpose because he wanted a fall guy. He wants to roam free as a werewolf and he allows his son to be caught and tortured. Argh!!! Urhg! this man! I;m so angry I can’t spell right. He needs a good sock in the face.

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After he finishes his story he leaves, intent on never returning.

Jerk

He deserves another punch.

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That night Laurence is taken to the observation room, where the good doctor presents him as a curio to his collegues. Unbeknowest to him, moonlight is coming through the window and landing on Laurence. This causes him to turn into….the Wolfman!

wolfman

This is one of the coolest scenes, but unfortunately I could only find it in Italian. Sorry! But you don’t really need to understand what they are saying to enjoy the effects/makeup.

Dr. Hoenneger: Ah, Mr. Talbot. We are here tonight to illustrate conclusively that Mr. Talbot’s fears are quite irrational. So, we will remain in this room together, and once Mr. Talbot has witnessed that the full moon holds no sway over him, that he remains a perfectly ordinary human being, he will have taken his first small step down the long road to mental recovery. We are all aware that Mr. Talbot has suffered quite traumatic personal experiences. He witnessed his mother’s self mutilations. His young mind, unable to accept it, created a fantastical truth, that his father is to blame. That is father is literally a monster. But, your father is not a werewolf. You were not bitten by a werewolf. You will not become a werewolf, any more than I will sprout wings and fly out of that window.

Freakin’ AWESOME

Totally fangirl over that.

Laurence runs away, being chased by the Inspector, and also wreaking havoc. There are some truly amazing shots of him by the bridge, on statues. Just plain awesome!

wolfman statue on tiop of werewolf

The next day he visits Gwen in her antique shop. They realize they have fallen in love, but Laurence knows nothing can come of it. He has to kill his father and himself in order to protect others.

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Inspector Abberline comes to see if Lawrence is there, but he is too late. Lawrence has already left for Talbot estate.

Gwen refuses to believe that they can’t be together. She starts studying lycanthropy and tracks down Maleva the gypsy for more advice. Maleva cannot help her, as there is no cure for werewolf.

Noo!

Noo!

Meanwhile, the Inspector has also headed back to the village and this time armed with silver bullets. That show in the Observation room must have finally convinced him that werewolves are real. Gwen also heads toward Talbot Hall.

Lawrence is the first to arrive and discovers a murdered Singh. He takes his gun loaded with the silver bullets and starts hunting his father.

Sir John Talbot: You have me at a disadvantage. It makes me happy.

Lawrence Talbot: What does?

Sir John Talbot: Well, seeing you here like this. My son returned. It is glorious, isn’t it?

Lawrence Talbot: No, it’s hell.

Sir John is a freak. He needs help. Serious help.

Anyways, it turns out there are no bullets in Singh’s gun, but blanks. Sir John did that on purpose as he will not be destroyed. Sir John attacks his son and the two begin fighting. The full moon comes up and transfroms them into werewolves. And yes, yes we have a werewolf fight. I personally thought it was a little cheesy (and dumb) but this is the millenal generation. And it is something the people want.

So after Laurence burns and decapiitates his father, Gwen walks into the house.

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

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

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GWEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The wolfman, Lawrence, attacks her. Luckily, the inspector had also just arrived on the scene. He tries to use his gun, but misses allowing him to be bit by the werewolf. Gwen steals the gun and takes off, being pursued by the wolfman.

wolfman 2010 hiding from wolfman

He chases her to a waterfall. With nowhere left to go, Gwen starts begging and pleading with the wolfman, hoping to get to Lawrence. Lawrence reason faintly returns to the beast, who hesitates. He then hears the sound of a posse coming to attack him.

mob

Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

While he is concentrated on them, Gwen shoots him through the heart.

Noo!

Noo!

Laurence changes back to his human form, and before he dies thanks Gwen for saving him.

Lawrence Talbot: [his eyes open after being shot by a silver bullet and transforming back into a human] Gwen?

Gwen Conliffe: [crying] I’m sorry…

Lawrence Talbot: It had to be this way.

Gwen Conliffe: I’m sorry.

Lawrence Talbot: [he holds her hand] Thank you. [Dies]

aw cry

The posse and an injured inspector arrive just as Laurence dies.

So that is The Wolfman. Now do I think it is as good as the original? HECK NO! But that does not mean it isn’t an awesome film. Besides that one thing that majorly irks me, I really enjoyed it. I thought it was a pretty awesome film. The cinematography is beautiful, the acting incredible, and those transformation scenes? Freakin’ awesome! And I did like how they moved the story to show how harshly “mental disabled” people were treated. And you know what? Most of the people who were in those didn’tr even have serious problems. They would throw in the homeless, those with learning disabilities, women of large fortune who had husands that wanted the money but not the girl, etc. It was horrible. Horrible.

But back to the film, I think it is a worthwile view. It may not be exactly how I imagined it, but you do have some great werewolves in this, and no Jacob ones. Real werewolves.

2010The Wolfman

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And so ends another Horrorfest. I am so pleased with this years as I was able to redeem myself from last year’s only half the month’s posts. 31 days of terror and woe once again. 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 III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart

For the previous post, go to The Perfect Murder

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For more on werewolves, go to Werewolves Roam Among Us

For more monster movies, go to There’s Nothing Out There. Nothing in the Mist

For more on 19th century England, go to The Past of a Man

For more on insane asylum, go to I Bid You Welcome

For more remakes, go to Don’t F*** With the Original

Redone Done Right

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Day 29) Best Disney Remake

jungle book

The Jungle Book (1994)

So I’m not a huge fan of the remake. You probably recall seeing this:

Bad Sequels psycho-1960-alfred-hitchcock-janet-leigh-pic-21

But there are a few films that I truly enjoy that are not the orginal. Such as The Shop Around the Corner and You’ve Got Mail. But this is probably by far, my favorite disney remake ever.

the jungle book

So this film came out in the ’90s and is based on The Jungle Book novel by Rudyard Kipling and the Disney film The Jungle Book (1967). It is similar to the cartoon except it is live action and tells the story of an older Mowgli. Actually, this is what Disney’s Tarzan was based on. While Tarzan is not an almost exact scene by scene ripoff,  like Atlantis is of the film Stargate, it is still extremely close.

Anyways, so the film starts off in the Victorian period with a group of English people going through India. They have many Indian guides helping them, one of which is Mowgli’s father Nathoo. Mowgli is one of the few children who is with the group, and his best friend is his wolf cub, Grey Brother. Mowgli soon meets one of the other kids there, Katherine “Kitty” Brydon, daughter of Colonel Geoffrey Brydon who is in charge of the trek and played by none other than the very handsome, Sam Neil.

Mowgli gives Kitty a flower to show his interest in her and Kitty gives him her mother’s bracelet. But the two’s friendship gets cut short as Shere Khan ramapages throughout the jungle. In this version of the film, Shere Khan is king of the jungle (as Khan means leader/king), and he watches the jungle for balance. When he finds somene killing for fun instead of food he takes them out. As he is going after one specific person, others get in the way and die. He kills Nathoo, and in the shuffle to escape Mowgli amd his wolf get left behind.

the jungle book 3_375486444_n

Mowgli is befriended by the animals of the jungle as Bagheera, the panther, takes him to the wolves to be raised by them. He also befriends Baloo the bear and a variety of other animals.

Twenty years into the future, Mowgli is a man and runs with the different animals of the jungle. They are even able to comunicate with each other. In the story there are a group of monkeys, Rhesus macaque, who are the foot soldiers of the lord of all apes, King Louie (an orangutan). They are called the Bandar-log an they steal Kitty’s bracelet for King Louie’s treasury.  

Mowgli is enraged and follows them to get his bracelet back. He finds the city of the monkeys where King Louie rules. He goes in and demands his bracelet back. King Louie agrees to give him the bracelet back, if he can fight the snake Kaa and win. Mowgli pulls out a jeweled dagger and uses it to fight against Kaa. And wins the appreciation of all the apes

Meanwhile, Kitty is a woman now, back in India and engaged to Captain William Boone, played by the very sexy Cary Elwes.

The jungle book

Unfortunately, Boone, while being hot, is a cruel, sadistic, gold-digging, ladder climbing, hunter. 😦 Oh well. One day Kitty and co. are out in the jungle painting and hanging out when she runs right into you-know-who…Mowgli.

jungle book

Mowgli is all dressed up, part of his trophies from winning against Kaa, and play-attacks/play-saves Kitty from Baloo. But she takes off.

Mowgli follows the group into the city, sneaking into Kitty’s room. Her screams rouse her bf and the guards, but before they come after him, she recognizes the bracelet he’s wearing as her own.  The guards chase Mowgli throughout the town and he ends up getting thrown in jail

Kitty frees Mowgli and she and Dr. Julius Plumford (John Cleese) try to help re-civilize him. (This scene is just like Tarzan, especially  the projection of images).
Mowgli begins to be able to talk amd act like those around him, but does not feel at home with the aristocrats, that is except for Kitty. He starts falling for her again, even though she is already spoken for. Mowgli also tells Kitty how he survived all these years and introduces her to all of his animal friends and tells her of the rules of the jungle.
jungle book
Meanwhile Boone and his friends  are eager to find the famed City of Gold (Monkey city) but don’t know the way. Everyone who has ever tried to find it has never returned. Boone decides to get Mowgli to help him find it.
Boone convinces Kitty to give him a day to hang out with Mowgli, apologizing for having been so mean. He brings Mowgli to his hunting trophy room, but after Mowgli sees that he doesn’t keep the jungle law, he refuses to help him out at all.
There is a ball, and Mowgli is excited to be there with Kitty. Unfortunately, that is when he hears the announcement of their engagement and hears of the plans they have for India. Mowgli decides to leave the city as he could never belong there, and decides to spend the rest of his life in the jungle.
But unbeknowest to him, Boone has other plans for Mowgli. He and his minions try to capture him, but Mowgli is saved by Baloo. Unfortunately, Baloo’s intervention causes him to be shot. Mowgli rushes to the city to get Dr. Plumford, but finds out that he and recently unengaged Kitty are headed for England.
While Mowgli chases after them, Kitty, her father, and the doctor are ambushed by William’s men. Mowgli is able to save the Doctor and sends him to help Baloo, and continues after the Brydons. He agrees to help Boone if Boone will ensure the safety of the Brydons.
The next day, Mowgli is able to get rid of one henchman, by tricking him into some quicksand. He also sends Kitty’s dad to safety on an elephant.
The other henchman is disposed of by more of Mowgli’s knowledge of the jungle. Soon all that is left is Mowgli, Kitty, Boone, and Boone’s remaining minoin. However, as they have finally reached the Monkey City, his minoins accidentally sets off a booby trap and finds himself a goner.
Only Boone, Kitty, and Mowgli make it to the treasure. Boone and Mowgli fight, but Mowgli wins and takes off with Kitty. Boone starts filling his pockets and bags with gold, not realizing that he still has Kaa to deal with.

Shere Khan confronts Mowgli and Kitty as they exit. Khan still does not trust Mowgli, and the two stare at each other a long time before Khan is stared down and leaves in submission – the fulfillment of a dream Mowgli had where he, already a ‘half-tiger’ in spirit, would stare Shere Khan eye to eye and become a ‘whole tiger’.
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Shere Khan recognizes that Mowgli another creature of the jungle and allows him to live. Mowgli and Kitty reunite with their friends and family, including Geoffrey and Baloo, both cured by Plumford. Kitty and Mowgli are now together (just like Tarzan and Jane)
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I just love this movie and thought it was amazing. It is far better than the animated sequel as it doesn’t retell te orginal story too much, and still keeps all the elements of it when going in a new direction.
For more on both versions of The Jungle Book, go to Snakes on a Post
For more on Disney, go to Once upon a Dream
For more films based on books, go to Second Star to the Right
For more films based on cartoons, go to Disney Lesson

Oh Oh De Lally

fox robin hood

Day 25) Your Favorite Disney Classic

Robin Hood

Robin Hood (1973)

So this is one of the best Disney films. Many have not seen it, so it remains a beloved little known classic. It is also one of the best depictions of Robin Hood ever made. You know why? Because the person they use for Robin Hood is perfect:

robin-hood

So just like The Great Mouse Detective this film also uses animals instead of people to tell the story, and each one was perfect for the character they are supposed to portray.

The film is told by the minstrel Alan-a-Dale, who is played by a rooster, of which is perfect because he is never quiet. He starts to tell us the story of Robin Hood who is a fox (literally and figuratively) and Little John, a bear. The two live in Sherwood Forest and rob from the rich and give to the poor. You see the people of Nottingham are not doing very well. King Richard (a lion as he was called Richard the Lionhearted) is in the Middle East fighting the crusades, and his brother John is in charge. Prince John sucks as a ruler (and sucks his thumb) and is heavily taxing the people. He leaves the  dirty work to the Sheriff of Nottingham (a wolf) and his posse. The Sheriff tries to catch Robin and Little John, but fails every time.

robin-hood

So the film starts off with Prince John charging through the forest and stopping to get his fortune read by two Gypsy women. And those women turn out to be…you guessed it Robin and Little John. The two dressed up to rob whoever was coming through and decide to take down Prince John.

Sir Hiss tries to warn Prince John that the two can’t be trusted and sure enough Prince John gets robbed blind. The guards try and chase the two and fail, fail miserably.

We then see  Friar Tuck visiting the poor, such as an injured blacksmith. He tries to give him the earnings that Robin Hood won for him, but  who should come along? The big, bad, wolf Sheriff. Yep

jerk_alert32

 The Sheriff then goes to visit a family of rabbits, one of which is celebrating their b-day and he takes all their money, the rabbit Skippy’s b-day present.

How rude

But soon a blind beggar comes on the screen who is secretly…you guessed it Robin Hood. And he makes everything better

throw confetti HIMYM

Robin gives the rabbits some money, along with his bow and arrows, for  Skippy’s b-day present.

The kids scurry off to test it out, sending an arrow into Prince John’s castle grounds. Luckily the group doesn’t run into Prince John, but Maid Marian, Robin Hood’s sweetheart (also a fox) and her lady-in-waiting, Lady Kluck (a chicken). They all play act, with Marian discussing her love for Robin and hope that he feels the same way. Lady Kluck assures her that there is no way would he forget her. After all:

Absence Heart

Back with the boys, Robin and Little John get a visit from Friar Tuck who has told them about an archery tournament that Prince John is hosting. Prince John was enraged by how Robin embarrassed him and decided he was going to take Robin down. He knew that an archery contest would be impossible for Robin to resist. Especially if the prize was a kiss from Maid Marian.

perfect plan

Robin pf course can’t resist, no matter what they say and decides that he is going to go. But he comes up with a crazy plan to get in:

Its-so-crazy

So the two head out to the competition. Little John dresses up as the Duke of Chutney and Robin is a stork. Sir Hiss figures out who hey are, but Friar Tuck and Alan-a-Dale locks him up in a barrel of ale.

So Robin competes and of course, wins.

Robin wins, but Prince John unmasks him and is about to execute him when he has a sudden change of heart. He wants to let Robin go.

Say What

It turns out that Little John is holding him at knifepoint, only to be caught by the Sheriff. What follows is craziness, chaos, and comedy. 🙂

 So the group hurries off to the forest where they have a great time making fun of Prince John.

Robin and Marian also fall in love again.

pierce–soul–Persuasion

But while that is going good, back in the castle trouble is brewing. Prince John is angry. He decides he is going to heavily tax the people, taking everything. When he takes the poor box from the church, Friar Tuck becomes so enraged that he starts fighting the sheriff.

Them's fighting words!

Them’s fighting words!

The Sheriff arrests him and they decide to hang Friar Tuck to capture Robin Hood. I don’t know why but my sis and I would randomly say this all the time in his accent. “Hang Friar Tuck?”

Anyways, so this is when we get spend some time with Sheriff’s minions, Trigger and Nutsy. It’s hilarious. I love how Nutsy announces every hour and says “All’s well!”.

Robin decides that he is going to do a jailbreak and steal all the money.

 

Everyone escapes, except Robin as he went back to save a baby and missed getting out. Him and Prince John have a fight in which he manages to escape, but  causes the castle to burn. Robin leaps from a tower into the moat below, all the while being pelted by arrows. Little John and Skippy watch and think he is dead, only to see him emerge unharmed after using a reed as a breathing tube.  King Richard returns to England, placing his brother and his cohorts under arrest and allows Robin and Maid Marian to be married and leave Nottingham with Little John and Skippy in tow.

Love that movie!

For more on Robin Hood (1973), go to Snakes on a Post

For more on Disney animals, go to Wake Up Dad

For more on Disney animated films, go to The Boys are Back in Town

For more on Disney Royalty, go to And Away We Go

For more films based on books, go to I Could Kiss You

For more films in which the main characters disguise themselves, go to This Isn’t Love, This is Ecstasy

For more on Persuasion, go to A Letter of Love

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Beautifully Miserable