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

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You’re gonna need a bigger boat…

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

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

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!

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

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

Shark Jaws

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

To see what type you are, go here.

To see what type you are, go here.

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

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

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

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

love it

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

Shark Jaws

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

Mhm great gatsby

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

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

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

the irony iron

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

victim

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

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

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

What!

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

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

Good-bye

Good-bye

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

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

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

dun-dun-duuuun

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

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

Shark Jaws

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

So great it was spoofed:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brody: No. It was only local jurisdiction.

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

Brody: No.

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

Conclusion: Shark

Shark Jaws

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

Double double yay

Hooper steps up to investigate the shark:

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

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

Mayor from Buffy the vampire slayer

Mayor from Buffy the vampire slayer

Well, I guess he could be much worse.

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

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

da dum Jaws

Here I am!

Here I am!

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

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

Sign from Universal Studios Backstage Tour

Sign from Universal Studios Backstage Tour

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

Bad things happen when you don't listen

Bad things happen when you don’t listen

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

come on

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

You never learn

You never learn

Suddenly a shark fin appears in the water

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

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!

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

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

da dum Jaws

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

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

Here I am!

Here I am!

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

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

What!

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

And that is when the real hunting begins!

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

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

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

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

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

Jaws Shark attack

Pic of the shark from the Universal Backstage Tour ride

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

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

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

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

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

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

TheEnd_Title_2

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

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

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

free stuff

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

Double double yay

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

Sign from Universal Studios Backstage Tour

Sign from Universal Studios Backstage Tour

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

Jaws

Then we things get intense. Bruce attacks!

Jaws Shark attack

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

Jaws

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

love it

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

Jaws

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

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

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

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

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

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

Star Wars Dark side power Darth vader

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

Jaws

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

Jaws

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

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

For the previous post, go to Monster Movie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more quizzes, go to I’m Batman!

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

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

That Video…is Not of This World: Ringu (1998)

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This kind of thing… it doesn’t start by one person telling a story. It’s more like everyone’s fear just takes on a life of its own

On April 13, 2011; I was chilling with my friends when I suddenly recalled it is Friday, April 13th!

Fridaythe13th

It’s Friday the 13th! We must watch a scary movie! We weren’t satisfied with what we had in the dorm so we headed out to the library and checked out what they had. We were looking out the horror section, when my friend Freda saw Ringu and said that we should watch it since she had heard it was really creepy. I was totally down for that, and I have to agree that it was pretty creepy, but did have some dull moments.

So the film starts out with two girls hanging out one night.

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One starts joking with the other, telling her about a story she heard about these people checking out a strange video, and later they recieved a call saying they would die in seven days. It quickly goes from funny too serious when the other girl, Tomoko, tells her friend that she saw the video and got the call. Her seventh day is tonight. She then says she was just kidding, and that it’s no big deal, she’s going to be fine. However the two go downstairs, Tomoko is killed by some unseen force. Her friend then goes into shock and has to be put in a mental institution. This scene is pretty creepy.

Tomoko’s aunt Reiko Asakawa is a journalist and comes over for the memorial, bringing her son.

reikoyoichi

She feels that something is not right, as there has to be more to the story. She starts going through some of Tomoko’s stuff and finds a strange picture of Tomoko and her and friends at a cabin in Izu. In the photo all the kids’ faces are blurred out. All the kids in the photo are also dead.

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 Reiko  goes down to the cabin in Izu and finds a strange tape, intrestingly it is not the orginal piece but a copy.  Reiko watches it and it is full of strange images that don’t seem to make any sense. At the end the image cuts off and snow flurries take over the screen.

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Immediately after, the phone rings and the voice on the phone says she only has seven days to live.

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The rest of the film is now counted in days as  Reiko’s time is limited.

Reiko goes to see her ex-husband, Ryūji Takayama. One thing they never explain is that Ryūji is a psychic. This is part of the reason why the two broke up as Reiko couldn’t deal with it. Reiko goes to him to tell him he might have to care for their son if she should die. Ryūji doesn’t believe her, so she forces him to take a picture of her. In the pic her face is blurred.

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Ryūji works with media and asks to see the video hoping to figure something out. Reiko doesn’t want to show it to him but gives in. He gets a call too. She also makes him a copy to study.

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Ryūji  is able to discover a phrase “frolic in brine, goblins be thine” hidden in the video, a saying that came from Izu Ōshima Island. That night, Reiko catches her son watching the tape and is now more than ever determined to discover how to defeat the thing that is killing people. Reiko and Ryūji team up and travel to the island to find out more.

On the island they discover that there used to be a great psychic Shizuko Yamamura. A doctor was working with her, showcasing her powers, but she was denounced a fake and disappered from sight.

The two find the doctor that was working with Shizuko and discover that the doctor had a deeper relationship with Shizuko than just studying her. He was her lover. Shizuko and him sired a child, Sadako, who was uncontrollable. She killed all the horses because they were disturbing her, killed people, etc. The father couldn’t handle her after the mom died and killed her by throwing her down a well. However, that didn’t completely kill Sadako as she psionically put her  vengeful spirit into the tape. This spirit or Onryō killed the teenagers.

The two go back to the Cabin because that is where the videotape surfaced. They uncover a well and try to empty it to appease her spirit. Minutes before the seven days are up, Reiko finally finds Sadako’s corpse at the bottom. She hugs her and kisses her forehead, giving her “a mother’s love”. When nothing happens to Reiko, they believe that the curse is broken.

All seems fine until the next day. Ryūji is at his home and his TV switches on by itself showing the image of a well. The ghost of Sadako crawls out of the well and out of Ryūji’s TV set.

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This wasn’t very creepy which disappointed me. I mean that was the whole buildup right? Well it just seemed very fake to me as she takes FOREVER to crawl across the floor.

So as Ryūji is dying he manages to dial Reiko’s number. She realizes the curse wasn’t broken and tries to figure out wat she did differently. She goes over everything she’s did in the past seven days and realizes what she did that Ryūji didn’t–copying the tape and showing it to Ryuji.  Reiko figures out that by having her son make a copy and give it to someone is the only way to save her son. The last shot is her driving to her father’s and talking to him on the phone letting him know that her son has a video to show him. (I know HORRIBLE BETRAYAL)

It was pretty creepy and compelling, but the last part when Sadako comes was just not creepy. But this film is worth a watch. What’s interesting is that the director Kôji Suzuki got his inspiration for the Ringu novel, which the film is based on, from his favorite horror movie Poltergeist.

Here is a cover page/poster for facebook I made as part of my countdown to Halloween.

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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.

Clive, Colin (Frankenstein)_02

“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.

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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