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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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

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And another thing Mr. Chick Young! The next time I tell you that I saw something when I saw it, you believe me that I saw it!

I had never seen this movie before and decided to rent it after looking over my Wolf Man (1941) review. I thought it was hilarious!

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I highly recommend it to anyone.

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So this film was done during a time of a series of monster films, along with Abbott and Costello films. I’m not sure who came up with the “meeting” idea, but it was a fantastic one.

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It’s funny, the other day I was watching the Nostalgia Critic‘s review of Freddy Vs. Jason, and he cited that that film created the Versus series we see today. I would have to disagree with him and say this is probably the first “versus” film, with Dracula versus the Wolf Man. It was a great comedy, horror film, parody, a multi-genre crossover.

AMAZING!

AMAZING!

I’m actually not going to do a big review as it is really something you have to watch. The script is hilarious:

Chick Young: People pay McDougal cash to come in here and get scared.

Wilbur Grey: I’m cheatin’ him. I’m gettin’ scared for nothin’.

The sight gags are perfect:

And you have both Bela Lugosi reprising his role as Dracula and Lon Chaney Jr. reprising the Wolf Man.

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The only thing I don’t like is the title. I mean they meet Frankenstein’s monster but he is hardly even in the film. It really should be Abbott and Costello Meet Dracula or Abbott and Costello Meet the Wolf Man as both of those characters play a much larger role.

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So the film starts off with Wilbur Gray (Lou Costello) and Chick Young (Bud Abbott) working as package delivery men. Wilbur is currently dating a beautiful woman, Sondra and has plans the next night to go to a masquerade ball.

Erik: [at the Bal Masque as "The Red Death"] Beneath your dancing feet are the tombs of tortured men! Thus does The Red Death rebuke your merriment!

Too bad they didn’t put the Phantom in here too.

Later that day he gets a call from Lawrence Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr.), AKA the Wolf Man, warning him not to deliver packages to Dr McDougol’s House of Horrors. But the full moon comes out,  turning him into a werewolf and Wilbur doesn’t get the full message.

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That night Wilbur and Chick are delivering the packages, and it turns out to be Dracula (Bela Lugosi)

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and Frankenstein’s monster (Glenn Strange).

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They are freed; both taking off as Dracula wants to give the monster a new brain, a dumber one, to control it better. He has enlisted the help of Dr. Sondra Mornay, the same Sondra who is dating Wilbur. Yes, it turns out she is only with him as his brain is the one she wants to use in the operation.

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Meanwhile, Wilbur and Chick have been put in jail as McDougal holds them responsible for the missing exhibits, believing they stole them. They are bailed out by Joan Raymond, private investigator, who doesn’t believe they are responsible. She has also fallen in love with Wilbur.

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So now Wilbur has two beautiful girls after him, Frankenstein’s monster, Dracula trying to get his brain, and the Wolf Man trying to get his help/also attack them when Lawrence turns into the beast.

Not good

Not good

It is hilarious fun and there is a great scene at the ends when Dracula and the Wolf Man duke it out.

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And don’t forget to keep your ears peeled for a Vincent Price cameo!

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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 Don’t Want to Be a Vampire. I’m a Day Person: Once Bitten (1985)

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For more on Count Draculago to I Bid You Welcome: Dracula (1931)

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

For more of Frankenstein’s Monster, go to Monster Mash 

For more Bela Lugosi, go to Those Aren’t Men They Are the Living Dead: White Zombie (1932)

For more Lon Chaney Jr., go to Even a Man Pure of Heart: The Wolf Man (1941)

For more Vincent Price, go to No Mere Mortal Can Resist the Evil of the Thriller: Thriller (1983)

For more horror-parody, go to A Modern Mummy: Under Wraps (1997)

For more horror-comedy, go to Someone Very Special: The Addam’s Family Values (1993)

Those Aren’t Men They Are the Living Dead: White Zombie (1932)

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We could have been killed. Worse than that we could have been caught. 

By those men?  Those aren’t men they are the living dead!

So zombie films have been extremely popular the last few years, they have encountered many changes; but they all owe it to this movie. Yes this is the first full length feature film about Zombies. Instead of biting or disease; this man makes Zombies through Voodoo, poison, drugs, and his eyes!

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I first became aware of this film when I watched 50 Greatest Horror Classics Collection. I know that I have been reviewing films I didn’t like these past few days, so here we go with one I do.

Now one things that this film doesn’t really do, is explain exactly how he does the zombie-fying and mind control. This was explained in the sequel, Revolt of the Zombies (1936)

This film has a very interesting background. The film was thought lost until found in the 1960s, there it went a serious court battle as multiple people fought for ownership.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

It only took eleven days to film but it was such a hit when it premiered. It did so well, that Lugosi regretted taking a salary instead of a percentage.

Vat have I done?

Vat have I done?

Well I think that is enough talking about it, shall we move on to the review?

DeanSupernaturalLetsGetStarted

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So the film starts off with a young couple, Neil Parker and his fiancé Madeline Short. They have just arrived in the West Indies. Neil has a job out there and went for Madeline. They planned to marry as soon as they touched the port, but they meet Charles Beaumont who presented them with a better job offer, and they are headed to his house and to be married tonight.

If only they knew what was coming.

If only they knew what was coming.

As they are driving in the buggy, they come upon a funeral in the middle of the road.

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It sounds strange, but they do that so people don’t dig them up and use them with voodoo, or turn them into zombies, the living dead.

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Then “Murder” Legendre, Bela Lugosi, come upon them with his group of Zombies. He steals Madeline’s scarf, and stares at her with his creepy eyes.

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The driver, fearful, takes off at the speed of light.

“Neil Parker: We could have been killed.

Driver: Worse than that we could have been caught!

Madeline Short: By those men?

Driver: Those aren’t men they are the living dead. Zombies!

The driver warns them they should leave, but the couple are suspicious of zombies actually existing. Yet at the at the same time:

Gilmore girls creep

They are startled when they come upon the minister, having arrived at the Beaumont mansion for their wedding. They ask about zombies, and the minister, Dr. Bruner,  says he has been a missionary there for over thirty years and he has seen a lot of strange things occur.

Hmm...

Hmm…

 

They tell Dr. Bruner about what happened, meeting Beaumont on the boat, the job, etc. The Dr. thinks this is very odd.

Something strange is going on

Something strange is going on

This Beaumont they describe is nothing like the selfish, pushy, take over man that he knows. Everything about their situation smells bad, and he warns the couple to leave as soon as possible.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

 

That makes TWO warnings! They need to leave!

And run fast

And run fast

When the couple arrives, Mr. Beaumont doesn’t want to see them.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

But then he changes his mind.

Okay this behavior means that there is something else going on here with Beaumont.

Certified Creepo Ribbon

The butler agrees it is for the best to approach them as the minister is questioning why Beaumont is being so kind. He greets them but then has to leave while everyone prepares for the upcoming wedding.

Madeline is getting ready when she looks out the window and sees Beaumont get into a buggy with a man. When we zoom there, the man is emotionless, glazed over, dead eyes, a zombie!

Night of the living dead zombie

Mr. Beaumont reaches a work area and sees 20 or 30 of these same walking dead. All empty eyed, slaves, and ZOMBIES!

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

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

Legendre greets Mr. Beaumont and puts out his hand, but is ignored as Beaumont sees him as “beneath” him. Legendre then explains about his little operation: about how the dead don’t care about long hours, breaks, food, money, etc. He tries to sell the idea to Beaumont, but business is not on his mind. Instead his mind is on Madeleine.

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He desperate to have her and is trying to get Legendre to stop the wedding. He thinks that if he took her away for a while she would change her mind. But Legendre does not think that will work, women will not forget so soon.

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Beaumont pleads with him to do something, anything!

Martin: Aren't you ashamed now? Aren't you? Spiders now, is it? Flies ain't good enough! Renfield: Flies? Flies? Poor puny things! Who wants to eat flies? Martin: You do, you loony! Renfield: Not when I can get nice fat spiders! Martin: All right, have it your own way

I must have her!

Legendre says that he has one way to do it..all Beaumont has to do is give her a tiny bit of this potion in her drink or on a flower and it will enable him to have what he desires.

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Beaumont doesn’t want to do it that way but Legendre tells him that is impossible, there is no other choice.

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That might Madeline is getting ready for her wedding, the church is all decorated. Mr. Beaumont walks her down the aisle pleading with her to marry him instead of her fiancé. Madeline kindly refuses.

See ya!

See ya!

He promises to stop, after one last thing, giving her a rose. Madeline accepts, but little does she know that rose has been tainted with poison and will bring only death!

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Madeline takes the hand of her love and the ceremony to twine them begins, but out in the courtyard Legendre lurks getting ready his magic.

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He takes the scarf he stole from her earlier, and wraps it around a wax candle. He looks like the devil with his beard and eyebrows.

Creepy!

Creepy!

He carves the wax candle, quickly creating the figure of a woman. And then he stares with his eyes…

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They all toast and are happy.

Neil Parker [Jokingly to Madeline] “Gypsy read my fortune.”

She looks into his cup and says “i see happiness, love, I see…” But then she sees Lugosi, with fiery demon eyes in her cup…

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

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

She then says “I see death”

Immediately she falls down, and we see Lugosi’s eyes, knowing he is controlling her body and spirit.

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A funeral is held and Madeline is to be buried.

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Neil goes to a bar to drink, upset, heartbroken and seeing her everywhere. All are happy while he is the one in utter misfortune.

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Her apparition appears to him, but he can’t reach her.

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That night Beaumont and Legendre are in the graveyard and they see zombies! Legendre isn’t surprised as they are his slaves. Many have fought against his spells, but Legendre overpowered them all and controls them.

Star Wars Dark side power Darth vader

The zombies remove Madeline’s casket from the tomb. Just then they hear her husband, drunk, trying to approach the tomb screaming out her name. The zombies quickly take her away to conduct the ceremony elsewhere.

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Neil finds the grave empty and is distraught.

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Dr. Bruner explains that there are two ways this could happen.

  1. Her bones were taken away to be used in a ceremony by some natives on the island.
  2. Or she is not dead.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Neil is in shock! Not dead? But he saw her! The doctor said!

Whattheheck

The minster agrees but he has seen so many strange things on the island, it could be possible!

suspicious Hmm

Neil thinks the idea of her being murdered so someone can steal her body is ridiculous. But then Dr. Bruner tries to explain that she isn’t really dead, but instead a type of parlor trick with drugs to make her appear dead.

WOW

WOW

But Neil doesn’t listen.

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Come on, LISTEN TO THIS MAN! If you had in the beginning you never would have gotten in this mess.

Seriously

Seriously

So Dr. Bruner explains about a type of drug that produces a deathlike sleep, only to have them “awaken later” and be a zombie, one of the “living dead. I knew about this as I had seen it before in The Four Feathers, and read about how historically some witch doctors would do this. Because of that, I figured out a majority of Sherlock Holmes (2009).

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They figure out that Beaumont must be the one behind this. Neil wants to take him to the authorities, but the minister reminds him they have no proof. Besides she died. No one would believe Beaumont pretended to kill her.

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Beaumont has what he wanted and has desired or does he? He has the beautiful body of Madeline but something is missing from her. Her spirit.

She is an empty tomb, a shell of who she was, and it is driving Beaumont crazy!!!

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He gives her the finest things money can buy, all that she could desire, but nothing changes in her eyes or look. Beaumont realizes his mistake and that he made a bad decision. He thought that just having her would be enough, but in reality he has nothing.

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Beaumont begs Legendre to bring Madeline back. Legendre warns that Madeline won’t be happy as he just tried to control her. In fact she will most likely be furious. But Beaumont doesn’t care, he needs her. Legendre promises to bring her back and then the two have a toast. Don’t drink, it is a trap!!!!

After the drink, Lugosi reveals that he has done the same to Beaumont which he did to Madeline. He does not want to bring her back, as he has other plans for her,ones that Beaumont might not agree to.

OMG gasp

Beaumont tries to get his butler to help him, but it is too late, he is under Legendre’s control as well.

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The zombies come and carry the butler away, tossing him off the cliff, and all that is left is Beaumont and Legendre.

Dr. Bruner takes Neil to see the witch doctor.

Whattheheck

Weird, right? He’s a minister. Doesn’t that go against what he represents?

Anyways, there they pick up a guide to take them up the mountain and to where Beaumont is housing Madeline. But Neil won’t listen.

That guy

That guy

Neil is trying to climb up the mountain but isn’t doing too well, he’s sick from a tropical disease or hangover.

Anyways, as they continue, you hear the vulture, the pet of Legendre; looming overhead, always watching. It reminds me of Maleficent’s bird in Sleeping Beauty.

Not gulls but you understand the feeling.

Neil and Dr, Bruner argue over whether he should climb the mountain, Dr. Bruner thinking he is too sick too. Then they see Madeline looking over the balcony.

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Neli calls out to Madeline hoping to reach her, but she still remains in her zombie state.

Beaumont has completely had a breakdown. No longer the powerful one, he too appears in a trance, the guilt of everything weighing down on him.

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Legendre gave him a special type of poison, he is awake but in a trance and can’t talk, can’t move, a slave and awake inside knowing what he is going through and feeling it.

The shots and angles of this are beautiful. From framing Lugosi in the cross architecture, the stairs, etc. There is some beautiful, early, cinematography at play here.

So Lugosi sees Neil creeping up the stairs, but he is not really looking like a threat, as he is practically unconscious. Lugosi takes his hands and tries to work his spells on him, with his eyes, the third eye.

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Madeliene wakes up from her bed and in a trance begins ro walk down thestairs. Searching, searching for what?

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Madeline being framed in a cross architecture while wearing cross on her dress is almost a virginal sacrifice. Beaumont sees Madeline and wants to help but has no control over his body. She takes a knife from the table.

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Legendre wants her to stab her husband Neil. She approaches him and is about to stab him when she stops. Something has come over her and she is unsure, but then Legendre’s eyes they call, her to do it,

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She is just about to stab Neil when she is stopped by a person grabbing her arm and removing the knife.

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A person dressed in black, who is it?

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Legendre continues to try and control her but it does not work. She runs and Neil chases after her.

She runs to the hillside and looks over the water about to jump but stopped by Neil. He is happy to have her but Madeline remains motionless. Legendre comes followed by his zombie army.

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

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

Neil has a gun and shoots at the zombies but it doesn’t stop them or produce blood, as they are already dead.

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The minster was the man in black! He smacks Lugosi in the head stopping him. All his zombies throw themselves over the cliff, as control is momentarily lost and they wish to remain dead! Madeline wakes up, the control has ended.

Double double yay

And all is good.

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But no Legendre awakens, he is not one to be easily thwarted and begins to exact his control.

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Neil and the minster chase after  him, but are stopped when he throws some magic dust, burning their eyes.

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

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

Beaumont creeps dow the steps, and we only see his shadow. He knocks Legendre over the cliff, his vulture/spirit guide thing going too.

Madeline is awaken and reunited with her love.

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And the bride and groom get to go off and have their honeymoon.

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A great film. You should definitely check it out.

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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 What I Think You Will Think…You are Fully Under My Control: Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter (1966)

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For more zombie brides, go to He’s Married to a Corpse. He Has A Corpse Bride!: Corpse Bride (2005)

For more Bela Lugosi, go to I Bid You Welcome: Dracula (1931)

For more zombie films, go to Say Something Human: Warm Bodies (2013)

For more on The 50 Greatest Horror Classics, go to A Man Without a Face: The Bat (1959)

Monster Movie: Supernatural (2008)

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“All three monsters – the Dracula, Wolf Man, and the Mummy – all the same critter, which means we need to catch this freak before he “Creature from the Black Lagoon’s” somebody.”

So I know that I have had quite a few TV episodes this October. I know that I went a little overboard, but I wanted to include this anyway. You see I have been wanting to review this episode for a while, but felt that I couldn’t do it until I had reviewed the original The Wolf Man film. As I finally did it this October, it allowed me to finally be able to talk about this episode. This is my all-time favorite episode because it has what I love! Monster Movies!!

Universal Monster Movie Horror

Yep it parodies a series of Classic Horror Films: Dracula (1931)The Mummy (1932), Wolf Man (1941)In fact to further the homage to classic horror film, they even filmed the whole thing in black and white!

love it

So Supernatural is a show that like Grimm, every episode could be done for Horrorfest. The show consists of two hunter brothers, Dean and Sam Winchester, who travel all over the U.S. hunting ghosts, demons, vampires, werewolves, etc. As the seasons progress they get more focused on the battle between angels and demons and stopping the end of the world. It’s an awesome show.

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So this episode takes place in season 4. There have been a lot of angst and sadness

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(I won’t go into detail in case you haven’t watched it and want to) and the two brothers have finally been reunited.

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So Dean and San are driving into Pennsylvania on the trail of vampires. Sam is worried about the apocalypse, but Dean convinces him to stop off at an Oktoberfest to relax a bit. They find the Sheriff and introduce themselves as Agent Angus and Agent Young (homage to Angus Young of AC/DC).

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There they are told to speak to the witness Ed Brewer, but the Sheriff doesn’t put much stock in his testimony. They run into the very beautiful waitress Jaimie, who points them toward Ed. There Ed describes the Vampire as being the one out of the 1931 Dracula film.

SayWhat?

Yep, Dean and Sam are shocked, but Ed insists that it is true. The guy looked just like Bela Lugosi’s Dracula.

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In fact the vampire even uses the Transylvanian accent.

Sam and Dean confer and determine that it is probably a twilight-esque fan and that it isn’t really strange enough for them to stick around.

The night however, things change.

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A couple is making out in a car when a werewolf comes upon them and attacks.

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The next day, Sam and Dean talk to the girl who survived the attack, Anne-Marie, and discover that the killer looked just like Lon Chaney Jr. in the 1941 Wolf Man film.

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The sheriff also finds wolf hair on the dead body. Sam and Dean are confused as real werewolves don’t have wolf hair.

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That night a guard discovered an Egyptian sarcophagus at the docks. As the guard is about to call to figure out what is going on, the mummy rises from its grave.

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The Mummy attacks the guard, strangling him.

The Winchesters go down to investigate and try and figure out what is going on. There they discover the sarcophagus is actually a movie prop that has been laced with dry ice. Dean leaves Sam to figure out a theory, while he heads down to meet up with Jamie for their date.

Meanwhile, Jamie has been waiting for a while and decides that Dean is most likely standing her up. She starts to walk home, when she runs into Dracula.

Blood!

Blood!

He calls her his reincarted love, and tries to kidnap her, but Jamie sprays him with pepper spray and then runs away…right into Dean. Dean gets a punch into Dracula

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But then finds himself overpowered by the vampire

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The vampire calls him “Harker” (reference to Jonathan Harker the fiancé of Mina [the woman Dracula tries to take]). Dracula tries to bite Dean, but he rips his ear off and a medallion. With his ear gone, Dracula runs away and jumps on his scooter.

Say What

Nope you heard my correctly

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Back at the bar, Dean shows Sam the ear and medallion.

“Dean Winchester: I, uh, pulled it off during the fight. Look at the label on the ribbon.

Sam Winchester: It’s a costume rental.

Dean Winchester: All three monsters – the Dracula, Wolf Man, and the Mummy – all the same critter, which means we need to catch this freak before he “Creature from the Black Lagoon‘s” somebody.”

They determine that they are dealing with a shapeshifter obsessed with classic film. Now if you have been reading my posts posts, such as Phantom of the MegaplexScream, and An American Werewolf in London, you know probably realize another reason why I love this episode. Yep, I can relate to the shapeshifter. I love classic film (especially horror) and I can completely understand him.

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Anyways, so Sam, being the scholar, recognizes the name Harker and figures that the shapeshifter is trying to recreate the 1931 film, Dean being Jonathan and Jamie being Mina. I guess that makes Sam, 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]

The two figure that it must be someone who knows Jamie and is obsessed with her. When they question her, Jamie can’t think of a person who is strange or crazy. Lucy, her best friend and coworker, mentions that Ed recentlly moved to town and is the projectionist for the old theater. Plus he has a crush on Jamie.

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HIghly suspicious

Sam goes to investigate while Dean stays with Jamie. The two are drinking beer and having a deep conversation, when Lucy interrupts. She is on her way out the door, but Jamie invites her to stay and have a drink with them.

Back on the case, Sam has gone into the old theater and discovers Ed playing the pipe organ.

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He pulls on Ed’s ear, but find it fast in place.

“Sam Winchester: [tries to tear out Ed’s ear] It’s supposed to come off.

Ed Brewer: No, it’s not!”

OMG

This means Ed is not the shapeshifter!!! But if he isn’t…who is?

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Back at the bar, Dean and Jaimie are getting groggy and falling asleep. Dean punches Lucy in the face, and discovers that Lucy is not “Lucy” but the shapeshifter.

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

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

And she has drugged the two of them. Dean tries to hold on, but faints.

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Dean wakes up and finds himself in lederhosen.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

In a Frankenstein-esque dungeon.

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Now I really like what Dracula has to say here. It’s so poetic. “Life is small, meager, messy. The movies are grand, simple, elegant. I have chosen elegance.”, it’s very Movie Mason from The Phantom of the Megaplex.

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Anyways, Dracula is about to electrocute Dean and have a “movie” where the monster wins, when something interrupts him. The doorbell rings and the pizza delivery guy is there.

Pizza Delivery Guy: Uh, pizza delivery?

Dracula: Ah, you have brought a repast. Excellent. Continue to be of such service, and your life will be spared.

Pizza Delivery Guy: Uh-huh. That’ll be $15.50.

Dracula: Tell me…

Pizza Delivery Guy: Yeah?

Dracula: Is there garlic on this pizza?

Pizza Delivery Guy: I don’t know. Did you order garlic?

Dracula: No!

Pizza Delivery Guy: Then no. Look, mister, I’ve got four other deliveries to make. You want to just pay me the money so I can go?

Dracula: Of course. Yes. But I have a coupon.

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And why not take a pizza break? Pizza is awesome.

I love Pizza

I love Pizza

So now that Dracula has food for later, he prepares to finish Harker/Dean, but is interrupted by Jamie waking up.

Meanwhile back at the bar, Sam has figured out that with Jamie and Dean missing it must be Lucy. He sets out for her house.

Back in the dungeon, Dracula wants Jamie to dress in the gown he bought her and eat pizza with him.

Just like the Mummy, trying to dress his "reincarnated bride" in his old love's clothes.

Just like the Mummy, trying to dress his “reincarnated bride” in his old love’s clothes.

Jamie is really freaked out as she has been drugged, was betryed by her best friend (as Dracula was pretending to be “Lucy”) and is stuck with a killer. Dracula tries to apologize and tells Jamie his backstory. He was called a monster from the beginning of his life and beat by his father. He found solace in monster movies, and achieves strength and confidence when taking their form.

This part actually reminded me a lot of The Phantom of the Opera. Here is a man who is disfigured and mistreated because of it. He knows only how to hate as he has been so mistreated. It makes you wonder how things might have been different if one person had loved him.

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While Dracula is reminiscing, unbeknownst to him Sam has slipped into the house and is skulking around the dungeon. Dracula knocks Jamie out and turns his attention to Sam and the freed Dean. They start fighting, with Sam being thrown through a fake door. Dean and Dracula are struggling to get the gun with silver bullets along with trying to knock the other out. Dean tries a groin attack and move for the gun, but Dracula throws him back. Before he can do anything else, Jamie, who has just woken up, grabs the gun and shoots him.

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With Dracula conceding, that maybe this is how the “film” should end.

The next day Dean says good-bye to Jamie. The two brothers agree that’s it was nice doing some old-fashioned monster hunting, rather than the angels & demons stuff. They discuss what film they would want to live in as the episode ends.

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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 Murder is My Favorite Crime

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For more on Supernatural, go to Keep Clear of the Moor. Beware the Moon

For more on Dean Winchester, go to I’m Batman!

For more on Sam Winchester, go to You Can’t Have Just One!

For more horror parody, go to Who’s Afraid of Cory Wolf?

For more on Dracula, go to I Bid You Welcome

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

For more on The Wolf Man, go to Unleash the Savage Instincts that Lie Hidden Within

For more monster movies, go to What Is This Thing?

For more on Phantom of the Megaplex, go to Friday Night Fun

For more on recreating a scene, go to Carried Away

For more on pizza, go to Food, Food, Food

Even a Man Pure of Heart: The Wolf Man (1941)

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“Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.” 

This is such an amazing film as the story is excellent, the acting superb (Lon Chaney Jr. + Claude Rains). It is also a member of Universal’s Classic Monster Movie Collection, its buddies being The Phantom of the OperaFrankenstein,  The Bride of FrankensteinThe MummyDracula, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, etc. And this post means that I have finally, finally finished the list I set out to complete two years ago.

But what really makes this a spectacular film is that many of the modern myths of werewolves were originated in this film: such as a person becoming a werewolf through a bite; the only way to kill a werewolf is with a silver bullet; and changing into one during a full moon. These are all original concepts created by writer Curt Siodmak. Isn’t that amazing! Like The Mummy and The Creature from the Black Lagoon this film isn’t based on a book or any specific resource, which allowed the writers a lot of leeway in their work and creations.

So this isn’t the first werewolf film, as that was The Werewolf of London, which actually did rather poorly in theaters. This was the second werewolf horror film to be made and become the most famous. All the later depictions such as: The Howling, An American Werewolf in London, I Was a Teenage Werewolf, Van Helsing, The Wolfman (2010), etc.looked to it in creating their stories.

So the film was originally written for Boris Karloff, but he turned it down. And although I love that man [read my The Mummy (1932), Frankensteinor The Bride of Frankenstein post] I can’t imagine this film being as amazing with him as the title role. Lon Chaney Jr. was just superb. Lon Chaney Jr, was the son of the famous Lon Chaney (who I talk about in my Phantom of the Opera post) and interestingly the set that was used to film this movie was the same used for The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) which starred Lon Chaney Jr.’s  father, Lon Chaney.

Unlike other films, The Wolf Man is the only Universal monster to be played by the same actor in all his 1940s film appearances; Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943), House of Frankenstein (1944), House of Dracula (1945), and  Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948).

Now I love this movie and story but it is soooo sad as well. Here is a wonderful man pure of heart, who has the unfortunate luck of being bitten by a werewolf and can’t do anything to stop it. Unlike modern movies where the person can control it, change at will, etc; in the original when the man transformed into a wolf he literally transformed into becoming a beast and losing all his humanistic thought, reasoning, etc.

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So the film starts out with Lon Chaney Jr. as Lawrence Talbot returning home.

Look at this sweetheart

Look at this sweetheart

His older brother has died, and as he is the second son he will now inherit everything–money, title, family home, etc. More importantly, after the realization that his brother is no longer, Lawrence AKA Larry, is eager to rebuild his relationship with his father. They had previously parted on not the best terms (he wanted to be an engineer his father wanted him to be something else. He decided to run away to California, against his father’s wishes).

Larry reacquaints himself with the village, taking a deep interest in a particular shopkeeper, Gwen Conliffe, who is unfortunately engaged. However, she is equally interested and as Larry buys a silver-wolf handled cane the two make a date to meet up later that night and visit the gypsies that are camping nearby.

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  That night Larry meets up with Gwen and her friend Jenny. The three make off to the gypsies passing some wolfsbane along the way. Both girls repeat the old gypsy folklore about wolfsbane:

Even a man who is pure in heart

and says his prayers by night

may become a wolf when the wolfsbane blooms

and the autumn moon is bright

Now what is really interesting about this old piece of folklore is that it isn’t that old. This quote has been thought to be an Eastern European folk saying, but Siodmak admits that he was the one who made it up. Even though that might be true, it went  down in film history becoming a part of almost every future Werewolf film and recited in every future Universal film appearance of the Wolf Man. [It is quoted by Van Helsing, but one of the lines was changed to “The moon is shining bright” instead of “The autumn moon is bright“]

Meanwhile, in the gypsy camp one of them has a terrible secret. Bela, played by Bela Lugosi, is actually a werewolf and hiding it from everyone.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

When the group gets to the gypsy camp and have their fortunes read, Bela sees the pentagram on Jenny’s hand and knows that she’s next for death.

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

 

Bela runs off and the trio start walking home. Soon Jenny is attacked by a wolf and Larry tries to save her. He wrestles with the wolf and kills it by braining it with his cane. (It being silver can kill it) Unfortunately, he couldn’t save Jenny and during the battle, he ended up getting bit…

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Making him the next werewolf.

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

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

The next day the constable comes to visit, causing Larry to second guess himself as they found a dead Bela instead of a wolf!

Say What

They found Bela beat in the head, and Larry’s silver cane matches perfectly as the weapon.

Col. Paul Montford, chief constable: [showing Larry’s stick to him] Is this your walking stick?

Larry Talbot: Why, yes. That’s the stick I killed the wolf with.

[Sir John Talbot and Col. Montford look at Larry with great concern]

Sir John Talbot: Larry, Bela the gypsy was killed last night. Your walking stick was found next to the body.

Larry Talbot: You mean, Bela the fortune teller? But… I only saw a wolf.

Larry is completely confused as he knows that it was a wolf. And how does that explain the murder of Jenny? Which was done by a wolf? The constable tells him he is still investigating as he really doesn’t want to arrest the Lord’s son, especially since there are so many questions. He ultimately deems the incident an accident.

Larry on the other hand is extremely puzzled. Could he have killed Bela? But he saw a wolf he was bit by one. Except the mark can not be found!

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Larry needs answers and decides he will go see the Gypsy woman and not only apologize for her son’s death but ask her what is going on! Gwen and her fiancé Frank go with him.

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The gypsy woman, Maleva reveals that he did kill a wolf–a werewolf. Her son Bela was a werewolf and the only thing that could kill him was silver, silver like the silver on his cane.

Maleva: You killed the wolf.

Larry Talbot: Well, there’s no crime in that is there?

Maleva: The wolf was Bela.

Larry Talbot: You think I don’t know the difference between a wolf and a man?

Maleva: Bela turned into a wolf and you killed him. A werewolf can only be killed by a silver bullet, or a silver knife…[looks down at Larry’s walking stick]…or a stick with a silver handle.

Larry Talbot: You’re insane! I tell you, I killed a wolf! A PLAIN, ORDINARY WOLF!!!

Maleva: Whoever is bitten by a werewolf and lives becomes a werewolf himself.

Larry Talbot: Ah, don’t hand me that. You’re just wasting your time.

Maleva: The wolf bit you, didn’t he?

Larry Talbot: Yeah. Yeah he did!

Maleva: [Larry shows Maleva his chest wound concealed under his shirt] Go now – and heaven help you!”

 

Larry of course doesn’t believe her and leaves. That night he transforms into the WEREWOLF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now the transformation was laborious. The makeup took six hours and was the design by  Jack Pierce  for Henry Hull in Werewolf of London Hull had rejected it as he didn’t like how long the process would be to apply it. Chaney Jr. claimed he had to sit motionless for hours as the scenes were shot frame by frame. Pierce used grease paint, a rubber snout, wigs, and glued layers of yak hair to Chaney Jr.’s face. Larry’s dissolve transformation on screen only took seconds, while in actuality it took almost ten hours as they had to keep reapplying layers for the changing fur.

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That night the Wolf Man attacks a grave-digger, Richardson.

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The constable and the Doctor finds his ravaged body and wolf tracks.

Meanwhile, Larry finds himself in bed with wolf tracks all around and has finally decided that the gypsy women must be telling him the truth. He talks to his father who just thinks that he is in shock and doesn’t take any of the “werewolf nonsense” seriously. He even calls the doctor who deems it just a mild form of hysteria.

The Constable and doctor prepare the woods to catch the wolf so that it doesn’t kill another person. The night Larry as the Wolf Man steps in one of the traps and gets caught. Luckily the Gypsy woman frees him, as she had  felt sorry for his predicament.

Larry transforms back into a human and asks the Gypsy woman and for help. She gives him a charm that will protect him from turning into a werewolf and warns him not to give the charm to ANYONE ELSE AS IT WON’T WORK FOR ANYONE ELSE!

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He then runs off to see Gwen to tell her that he is leaving. He knows he has killed the others and doesn’t want to hurt anyone else.

“Larry Talbot: You wouldn’t wanna run away with a murderer wouldja?

Gwen Conliffe: Oh Larry, you’re not. You know you’re not.

Larry Talbot: I killed Bela. I killed Richardson. If I stay here any longer, you can’t tell who’ll be next.”

Gwen tries to get him to take her with him as she loves him, but Larry sees the mark of the pentagram on her hand and tells her he can’t. Instead he gives her the charm. YES THE CHARM  THAT IS ONLY SUPPOSED TO PROTECT HIM! Really Larry? REALLY??????!!!!!!

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YOU ARE MAKING THE  SAME FREAKIN’ MISTAKE THAT EVERY OTHER MONSTER FILM HERO DOES!

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DID YOU NOT HEAR THE WOMAN EARLIER? SHE SAID IT WILL WORK ONLY FOR YOU! ONLY FOR YOU!! ONLY YOU!!! YOU KEEP IT! What’s the point of going to a gypsy for help if you ARE NOT GOING TO LISTEN????!!!!!!! I mean this is such a classic mistake made by these men in these horror films. In Dracula, he gives the girl the cross charm that is supposed to protect only him, and then gets knocked out and is unable to keep her from being kidnapped. In The Mummy, he gives the girl the charm that is only supposed to protect him, and it doesn’t work for her. Instead Imohtep knocks him out and takes the girl anyway. MORAL OF THESE STORIES, KEEP THE DANG CHARM!!! DON’T GIVE IT AWAY!!! Alright! So if any of you are given a protective charm you freakin’ keep it!!! YOU HEAR ME????!!!!

And now that I got that little rant out of my system, let’s get back to the story.

So Larry goes to see his father and asks him to lock him up; tie him up in a chair, lock the door, etc and to go far, far, away as he doesn’t want him to be hurt. He also gives his father his silver cane as he knows that it will protect him.

Now this is why I hate modern interpretations of werewolves, except for The Wolfman (2010), as they never capture this aspect of the story. Here is a good man who has become evil, but he doesn’t want to be evil. It wasn’t like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in which Dr. Jekyll made a choice, or even The Phantom of the Opera where he suffered such horrible things and had a complete snap and broke down. This was a good man who wanted to fix bad things in his life but the timing was off and he too is caught up in the evil. Modern interpretations also never cover the heartbreaking scene as this with his dad. He knows he can’t control the evil and the last thing he does is try to protect the ones he loves, first Gwen and then his father. The most emotional is the scene with his father, as here is a man he has been fighting with, had a horrible relationship, but you see in this moment how much love he has for his father. He gives him the cane as he wants his father to be safe, no matter what. And you see how much his father loves him by taking the cane, even though he thinks Larry is delusional.

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Gwen is worried about Larry and goes looking for him, running into the woods even though the Gypsy warns her not to. I mean seriously, why don’t we listen to the Gypsies? They are gypsies, they know stuff.

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So Gwen runs out and into Larry, who has escaped from his room. But instead of the sweet, adorable, loving Larry we are confronted by the horrible beast.

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But before the werewolf can do anything, Sir John comes and hits him with the cane, killing him.

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The constable and doctor presume that Larry was killed trying to save Gwen, but Sir John knows the truth and now is left alone and has to bury his other son.

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Maleva: The way you walked was thorny though no fault of your own, but as the rain enters the soil, the river enters the sea, so tears run to a predestined end. Now you will have peace for eternity.”

right in the feels broken heart

Yep. I have to say that this is one of my all-time favorite horror films. Although it makes me want to cry every time. 

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So that was our kick-off piece. Stay tuned for many more wonderful pieces to come!

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For more on The Wolf Man (1941), go to Pink Elephants

For more on werewolves, go to A Halloween Hello from the Austen Men

For more monster movies, go to They’re Coming to Get You Barbara

For more on Claude Rains, go to Universal’s Classic Monster Movies

For more on Bela Lugosi, go to I Bid You Welcome

For more films that spanned countless sequels and remakes, go to Everyones Entitled to One Good Scare

I Bid You Welcome: Dracula (1931)

 I am Dracula…I bid you welcome

So Dracula is one of the best horror films ever made. I know you all were wondering when he would be popping up. This version with Bela Lugosi is my favorite; as I feel the other version either have subpar acting, a distortion of the story, or just fall flat in their presentation.

Bela Lugosi was never intended for the part of Dracula. Originally Lon Chaney was going to play him, but he died the year before. As much as I love Lon Chaney, I can’t see Dracula as anyone but Bela Lugosi.

I have to say that this film probably has the most remakes of all time. There’s House of Dracula, Dracula (1958), The Return of Dracula, Dracula: Prince of Darkness, Dracula Has Risen From the Grave, Billy the Kid vs. Dracula, Taste the Blood of Dracula, Scars of Dracula, Blood of Dracula’s Castle, Count Dracula, Dracula vs. Frankenstein, Count Dracula’s Great Love, Dracula AD 1972, The Satanic Rites of Dracula, Dracula (1979), Love at First Bite, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Dracula: Dead and Loving It, Dracula 2000, Dracula II: Ascension, Dracula III: Legacy, Dracula’s Curse, Dracula 3000, The Batman vs. Dracula, Dracula (2006), Dracula 3D, Hotel Transylvania, Scooby-Doo & the Ghoul School, and Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf . Not to mention all sequels or films that Drac has a part in; this guy sure gets around.

Of course even with all of these, Lugosi’s version still stands the test of time. It is the one we quote, the one that we mimic Lugosi’s voice from, and the one that we copy the cape movements from; pretending that we too are a vampire.

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It’s funny that in this film Dracula doesn’t display fangs or show vampire bite marks on the neck.

So the film starts out with Renfield, a lawyer, going to Dracula’s castle. All the villagers warn him that there are vampires there, but Renfield doesn’t listen.

“Innkeeper: Castle Dracula?
Renfield: Yes. That’s where I’m going.
Innkeeper: To the castle?
Renfield: Yes.
Innkeeper: No. You musn’t go there. We people of the mountains believe in the castle there are vampires. Dracula and his wives – they take the form of wolves and bats. They leave their coffins at night and they feed on the blood of the living.”

When Renfield enters the castle he is greeted by Dracula and those famous lines! My favorite.

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“Count Dracula: I am Dracula.
Renfield: Oh, it’s really good to see you. I don’t know what happened to the driver and my luggage and… Well, and with all this, I thought I was in the wrong place.
Count Dracula: I bid you welcome. [Dracula goes up the stairs. Renfield starts to follow him. Suddenly, Dracula hears wolves howling] Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make.
[Dracula goes up the steps and waits for Renfield, who, without difficulty, cuts open a hole in a huge spider’s web using his walking stick]
Count Dracula: The spider spinning his web for the unwary fly. The blood is the life, Mr. Renfield.
Renfield: Why, er… yes.”

Renfield doesn’t make it out alive as Dracula ends up attacking him and turning him into a vampire. Renfield becomes crazed as the slave of Dracula. The two travel to England, and when the ship docks only Renfield is left on the boat. Everyone else is dead with the blood sucked out of them. Renfield is a looney, so he is taking to Dr. Seward’s sanitorium.

Martin: Aren’t you ashamed now? Aren’t you? Spiders now, is it? Flies ain’t good enough!
Renfield: Flies? Flies? Poor puny things! Who wants to eat flies?
Martin: You do, you loony!
Renfield: Not when I can get nice fat spiders!
Martin: All right, have it your own way

Later Dracula runs into Dr. Seward, his daughter Mina, Mina’s fiancé John Harker, and family friend Lucy Weston. Lucy becomes enamored of Dracula. Later that night Dracula visits her in her sleep and drinks out all her blood.

Blood!

The next day Lucy is dead as no transfusion is able to save her.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Renfield is acting crazier, and crazier and Professor Van Helsing starts speaking to him to try and help him work through his problems. He believes there is a vampire involved in this.

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 doesn’t like it when Van Helsing shows him wolfsbane; something he declares is able to stop vampires.

Later that evening Dracula attacks Mina; he doesn’t fully drain all her blood, but chooses to do it a little at a time.

Van Helsing also notices that Count Dracula doesn’t have a reflection and concludes he must be a vampire.

Van Helsing puts a wreath of wolfsbane around her neck and tells her nurse not to remove it. He also gives Harker a cross and tells him to hold onto it; that it will protect him from harm of the vampires and not to give it away.

Immediately Harker tries to give it to Mina and it doesn’t work.

DID YOU JUST NOT HEAR THE MAN? HE SAID IT WILL WORK ONLY FOR YOU! YOU KEEP IT!

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I mean this is such a classic mistake made by these men in these horror films. In The Mummy, he just has to give the girl the charm that is supposed to protect only him, and then gets knocked out and is unable to keep her from being kidnapped. In The Wolf Man, he gives the girl the charm to protect him, and it doesn’t work for her. Instead he manifests into being a werewolf and almost kills her. MORAL OF THESE STORIES, KEEP THE DANG CHARM!!! DON’T GIVE IT AWAY!!!

Van Helsing confronts Dracula and tells him to leave Mina alone. Dracula tells him that it is too late, he has given Mina some of his blood and he belongs to her. Van Helsing tells Dracula that he will hunt down his coffin and drive a stake through his heart no matter what.

“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.
[Van Helsing takes three hypnotised steps towards Dracula but soon steps back, resisting Dracula’s hypnotic power over him]
Count Dracula: Your will is strong, Van Helsing.
[Van Helsing reaches out for his crucifix as Dracula looms toward him]
Count Dracula: More wolfsbane?
Van Helsing: More effective than wolfsbane, 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]”

Harker still hasn’t realized what is happening to Mina. He takes her out in the night, where she attacks him. He is saved by Van Helsing who puts Mina in her room with wolfsbane. He tells the nurse to make sure that she does not remove it.

He and Harker leave to look for the coffin. They know it must be in the area as Dracula would never travel too far from it.

While they are gone, Dracula hypnotizes the nurse and has her remove the wolfsbane.

Dracula takes off with Mina, bringing her to his lair.

 Harker and Van Helsing see him and follow him; Harker wanting to save Mina while Van Helsing wants to destroy Dracula. Renfield manages to escape from his cell and follows them as well. Dracula kills Renfield; thinking that he lead everyone to his lair. Eventually Dracula is forced to return to his coffin as the sun is rising. When he does Van Helsing drives a stake through his heart and Harker goes to get Mina.

This film is truly amazing and I think you should check it out. It has influenced countless generations and really became the face and substance of who Dracula is.

This was one of Bela Lugosi’s favorite films and when he died he was buried wearing the black silk cape he wore for this film.

So that’s today’s  fearsome tale. More on the way.

Here’s poster I made for my cover page on facebook in honor or Halloween. Hope ya love it.

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To start Horrorfest from the beginning, go to I Don’t Belong in the World

To go to the previous post, go to It’s Alive, It’s ALIVE!

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For more on Dracula, go to A Monster Race

For more on vampires, go to Grimwood Ghouls’ Gyn Teacher

For more on Bela Lugosi, go to Universal’s Classic Monster Movies

For more films based on books, go to The Only Thing That Matters is the Ending

For more on Lon Chaney, go to Feast Your Eyes On My Accursed Ugliness

For more films that spanned countless sequels and remakes, go to Camp Blood

It’s Alive, it’s ALIVE!: Frankenstein (1931)

Look! It’s moving. It’s alive. It’s alive… It’s alive, it’s moving, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, IT’S ALIVE!

What horror movie countdown would be complete without the film Frankenstein

Frankenstein is an amazing film that tells the story of when one man tries to be more than he is; he tries to be God. It is based on the novel, Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley (FYI: A much better writer than her husband)

Edward Van Sloan: How do you do? Mr. Carl Laemmle feels it would be a little unkind to present this picture without just a word of friendly warning. We’re about to unfold the story of Frankenstein, a man of science who sought to create a man after his own image without reckoning upon God. It is one of the strangest tales ever told. It deals with the two great mysteries of creation: life and death. I think it will thrill you. It may shock you. It might even horrify you. So if any of you feel that you do not care to subject your nerves to such a strain, now is your chance to, uh… Well, we’ve warned you. 

I have always loved this film, but I think The Bride of Frankenstein is much better. I will get more into why that is later.

This movie is terrifying as we see a Frankenstein becomes consumed with creating this being. He won’t listen to anyone else and his behavior frightening his friends, family, and fiancé.

Henry Frankenstein: Crazy, am I? We’ll see whether I’m crazy or not.

Let me just clarify for everyone out there that the name Frankenstein alludes to Victor Frankenstein, the mad doctor who creates the Monster. For some reason they changed his name to Henry in this film. In the film his best friend’s name is Victor, while in the book it is Henry. Go figure. The Monster is never called by a name other than Monster, Creature, or something similar. It’s like  The Creature from the Black Lagoon or The Thing from Another World, no proper names are given.

Anyways, he is helped out by a hunchback named Fritz

Not Igor, FRITZ!

The hunchback named Igor who helps mad scientists isn’t from the original Frankenstein, but comes from one of the sequels, Son of Frankenstein, where his name was Ygor; later translated to Igor.

Anyways, Fritz is the one who makes the mistake of stealing the criminal brain.

My Bad

 

So Frankenstein starts getting ready to bring his monster to life. In the novel, Shelley never tells us how it is done; Frankenstein never wanted to share the details of the experiment for fear that someone would create their own living dead. With nothing to go off of, the writers and directors decided to use lightening, and therefore changeing film culture and film history as this is referenced and parodied in so many films and TV shows.

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“Henry Frankenstein: Look! It’s moving. It’s alive. It’s alive… It’s alive, it’s moving, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, IT’S ALIVE!
Victor Moritz: Henry – In the name of God!
Henry Frankenstein: Oh, in the name of God! Now I know what it feels like to be God!”

Frankenstein is so intent on proving everyone wrong, so focused on completing everything that he never stops to think whether he should do this. This is an interesting question posed; how far is too far?

So Frankenstein is able to create his monster:

Played by the very amazing Boris Karloff; extraordinary actor. He almost didn’t play this part as they originally offered it to Bela Lugosi who turned it down. I’m glad it was Karloff, because as much as I love Lugosi, no one could have done this better.

frankenstein

The green makeup that is such a part of the Frankenstein figure was used because it gave Karloff a deadlike pallor of skin. Now it has become such a strong part of culture, we see the green-skinned, bolted monster every October.

After the Monster is created, we see this innocentlike creature. He is afraid of fire and tries to attack Fritz who brings a torch by him. All bystanders fear for their lives and chain the Creature up in the dungeon. Frankenstein and his friend Victor leave and discuss the best way to euthanize him. Unbeknownst to them Fritz is stupidly taunting the creature with a torch; causing the Monster to reach out and kill him.

When Victor and Frankenstein return; they see Fritz’s dead body on the floor, and have to run away from the Monster as it tries to attack them too. Frankenstein prepares a shot to kill him, and Victor gives it him. With all his problems solved, Frankenstein leaves to prepare for his wedding, and Victor begins to dissect the Creature. Unfortunately, the Monster didn’t die; but was only knocked out. He kills Victor and then escapes, running amuck in the countryside.

He runs into a little girl, who is nice and shows him the flowers she is picking up.

She shows him how flowers float in the river, which Frankenstein ultimately does to the little girl. Thinking that if he tosses the girl in the water she will float; he ends up ultimately drowning her.

Little Maria: See how mine floats.
[the Monster picks her up]
Little Maria: No, you’re hurting me! No!”

The farmer finds his daughter’s floating corpse and goes to pieces. He starts hunting down the monster; searching everywhere to find the fiend.

Frankenstein, happily preapering for his wedding is brought news of Victor’s death. He goes out searching for the monster along with the peasants who have their torches and pitchforks at the ready.

Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

Eventually Frankenstein tracks the monster down and is prepared to destroy him.

However the Monster knocks him out and carries him off to the windmill where he throws him off. Luckily, Frankenstein is caught by a vane and saved from death. There some peasants carry him home while others destroy the mill and kill the monster. Or do they?

Frankenstein gets home, where we see that he is safe and sound and in the arms of his Elizabeth dear.

After I watched the film a gazillion times, I read the novel and found it to be much more horrifying than the movie. In the book Frankenstein isn’t this bumbling creature, completely innocent and doesn’t understand things; but a criminal mastermind. Having learned to read and talk before he died; he is able to after some time remember how to do this and begins becoming more “human”. The one thing that he never regains is compassion, kindness, etc; all the caring emotions that make us who we are. He has no empathy or sympathy, believing that he was shown nothing but hatred and cruelty so he must show this to all.

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What they take from this and use in the sequel, The Bride of Frankenstein, is his want of a mate; his desire to have one like him to spend his life with. He threatens to destroy everyone that Frankenstein holds dear if he does give in to his demands. Frankenstein goes through a constant struggle with himself; knowing that he cannot risk creating another creature being made and mating along with the first. He realizes his mistakes at creating such a thing far too late. The monster doesn’t like hearing no and kills all Frankenstein loves. There is no sweet guy, accidentally killing someone like Lenny in Of Mice and Men, but this is a true psychopath fully aware of the crimes he is committing. Not only is the creature a serial killer, but he has become so intelligent that he is able to plant evidence so that people think someone else is the murderer. He kills Frankenstein’s brother William, and plants a locket on William’s nanny so that she is also killed. Then he kills Henry, Frankenstein’s friend, planting evidence so Frankenstein is arrested. He also kills Elizabeth, Frankenstein’s wife, making it seem once again that Frankenstein is the killer. With all those that he loves dead, Baron Frankenstein dies as well.   After everything is gone from him; Frankenstein devotes his life to hunting down what he created and destroying it.

It’s a great book, I suggest reading it and watching the film.

There’s a classic terror for your Tuesday! More to come!

I almost forgot to mention this. Unlike The Mummy, Dracula, or The Wolfman; Frankenstein has never had a major motion, globally shown, sent to all theaters, remake. However that is all about to change as Guillermo del Toro is planning one, and hoping that it will be coming out soon. To read more up on it go here. We shall have to wait and see what happens and how it turns out.

Here’s poster I made for my cover page on facebook in honor or Halloween. Hope ya love it.

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To start Horrorfest from the beginning, go to I Don’t Belong in the World

For the previous post, go to When Potatoes Go Bad

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For more on Frankenstein, go to A Monster Race

For more on Boris Karloff, go to Eternal Punishment for Anyone Who Opens This Casket

For more films based on books, go to The Only Thing That Matters is the Ending

For more on Jurassic Park, go to Life Finds a Way

For more on the living dead, go to A Tale So Strange It Must Be True

For more on mad scientists, go to A Very Scary Story

For more universal films, go to Universal’s Classic Monster Movies

For more of my fav quotes, go to Insults