13 Films to Watch on Valentine’s Day If You Are in An Anti-Romance Mood

So I wasn’t originally going to post anything for Valentine’s Day, I’m just not in the mood. Some of you know my story, for those who don’t, go to Plot Twist.

Meh.

But then I was looking through my drafts, and I spotted this one. The idea of a list of films to watch on Valentine’s Day when you are not in a romantic mood was born last year, but I never had a chance to flesh it out so I didn’t post it. However, it is perfect for this year! So even though we will not be having our usual Romance is in the Air: 14 Days, 14 Romantic Moments in film and TV, we will still have something.

Some of us just get in an unromantic mood during Valentine’s Day. Sometimes it is because of a bad relationship, sometimes it’s because you aren’t a romantic person, sometimes it is just Valentine’s Day itself that sets you off.

So I decided that instead of doing a romantic moment, that I would list thirteen films for you who are anti-romance this “season” to enjoy.

Now note that I said anti-romance, there will be love in some of the films, but I am choosing ones that are not romantic love, or full of love.

13) Legally Blonde

Elle Woods imagined that when her boyfriend asked her out to a fancy dinner, he was going to propose, but he dumps her because she isn’t the “right image.” Angry, wanting to prove him wrong, and hoping to win him back-she takes her LSATS and enrolls in Harvard Law School. There she surprisingly discovers a love of law and justice.

So it does have some romance in it, as she hopes to get her man back, but as the film continues it really becomes about Elle finding her place and who she is, and not letting anyone keep her down or other’s views of her affect her self-esteem. She does end up with a new boyfriend, but that isn’t really the primary focus in the film or a strong part of the story,

For more on Legally Blonde, go to The Bend and Snap

12) What A Way To Go

I first ran into this film when I was shelving the DVDs at work, and when I saw the cast list I had to watch it! Shirley MacLaine is Louisa May Foster Hopper Flint Anderson Benson who has dreamed of living a poor, simple life with the man she loves. Instead each man she marries gets rich, spends zero time with her, and is killed by their work-leaving her richer and trying again to find love. Each sequence also has a flashback when a “movie type scenario” from a silent film, Parisian film, big technicolor extravaganza, and a musical.

This film is hilarious as all Louisa wants is to be poor, but keeps making each man richer-ending up alone. She and all her co-stars gel so well-you can’t miss this amazing and fun film. Louisa does fall in love again and again, but as she gives her husband’s ideas that make them rich and busy, she actually doesn’t spend that much time with them. It is sooo funny, that all will enjoy and need to watch.

11) Double Jeopardy

Libby Parsons went out for a romantic night with her husband and woke up to him dead! She then finds herself on trial for his murder, convicted and in jail, her son taken and missing, and it turns out her husband is still alive. Libby serves her time and as soon as she is paroled she will do all she can to find her boy and make her husband pay!

There is no romance in this, just a mother’s love and determination to get her son. Plus-revenge and hardcore justice!

For more on Double Jeopardy, go to I Could Shoot You in the Middle of Mardi Gras and They Can’t Touch Me…: Double Jeopardy (1999)

10) Shenandoah

James Stewart is Charlie Anderson, yeoman farmer and father of seven living in Shenandoah, Virginia. Charlie does not own slaves, he has six sons who can help with the work, therefore he does not believe in fighting in the Civil War. Instead Charlie chooses to go on with his daily life, believing that if he stays out of the war, then him and his family will be safe. However, people in his household have conflicting views; one of his sons, Jacob, wants to fight in the war and his son-in-law is an officer in the Confederate army. His youngest boy ends up being mistaken as a confederate troop and captured as a prisoner of war, then causing Charlie and his family to go after him; ultimately thrusting them into the war.

Shenandoah is radically different in its portrayal of the Civil War. It steers away from celebrating, idealizing, and romanticizing war-instead not choosing to not honor a side but vilify war in general. It presents all viewpoints on the Civil War and raises issues concerning the Civil War that are applicable in contemporary times. The way Shenandoah is able to encompass all views makes it a film that is still relatable today. It is a sad film, but powerful. It has no real romantic love, but focuses on the love of a family.

9) Dangerous Crossing

Ruth Stanton has just eloped with John Bowman and the two are going on a cruise for their honeymoon. He goes to the purser while she heads up to the deck. When she returns to her room, it isn’t her room! There is no record of John Bowman, the staff has not seen him and don’t recall seeing them together. Ruth Stanton did have to go to a sanitarium, after her father died, could she be having another breakdown? Or is there a sinister plot against her?

This is a film noir that has mystery and suspense and very little romance. Yes, Ruth is on her honeymoon, but as her husband is missing (or does he even exist?) there is no romance-just her drive to find out what happened.

For more on Dangerous Crossing, go to I Do Think You Are Confused Mrs. Bowman: Dangerous Crossing (1953)

8) Jaws

Amity Island is getting ready for the summer and what should be a great time on the beach. However, all is not well as a rogue great white shark has decided to make the beach this year’s home. He’s eating up tourists and locals, scaring the crowds away, and causing all kinds of havoc. Soon the sheriff, a marine biologist, and fisher have to team up to hunt the monster down.

Let’s see the film starts off with a couple trying to be romantic and getting turned into shark bait, so you know the romance in this will be zero. A fantastic film that anyone will enjoy.

For more on Jaws, go to You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Screen: Happy 40th to JAWS

7) Night of the Living Dead

Barbara and her brother are visiting their grandparent’s grave when they are attacked by a zombie!! Her brother is taken, but Barbara escapes ending up in a house with several others who are trying to survive this attack and find a way out.

There is absolutely no romance in this film as everything is focused on surviving the dreaded event. There is a teenage couple who try and escape the horror, but they succumb to zombies.

For more Night of the Living Dead, go to They’re Coming To Get You Barbara: Night of the Living Dead (1968)

 

6) The Trouble With Angels

I got this movie as a gift from a friend one year. She said, and direct quote, “I saw it was an old movie so I figured you would like it.” Ha ha.

Mary Clancy (Hayley Mills) is quite the troublemaker, so much that her father has decided to send her to Catholic school. There she teams up with fellow newcomer, Rachel Devery, and they begin to pull pranks on the Nuns and Mother Superior. Mother Superior won’t be outdone, however, and plans to do all she can to tame their temperamental moods.

An adorable film about friendship, faith, and growing up. Not a drop of romance in it.

5) The Beverly Hillbillies

Jed is just an average “hillbillie” trying to keep his family fed. He’s out shooting and finds the biggest oil field in America on record. He takes his daughter Ellie May, cousin Jethro, granny (Jed’s mother-in-law), and a truckfull of animals to Beverly Hills, CA. The try and navigate in Beverly Hills, their ways being a full “fish out of water” scenario. When Jed sees that his daughter is completely unladylike, he decides it is time to get a wife who can raise his daughter right. Enter Woodrow Tyler and Laura Jackson, conmen, who plan to make Jed fall in love with Laura and take all his money. Will their plan work? Or will these Hillbillies prove they are much smarter than they seem at first glance.

This film is hilarious and so much fun to watch, I know I could watch it over and over again. You might think a film that centers around marriage has to be about love and romance, wrong! There is none really at all in this film. It is hilarious as we see the hillbillies trying to survive in ’90s Beverly Hills. There is no real romance as Jed gets engaged not for love but because he wants to help his daughter, no real courting involved. Instead just laughs and hijinks, and fun.

4) She-Devil

Roseanne Barr plays housewife to a verbally abusive husband, and mother to equally abusive children. When her husband cheats on her with romance writer, played by Meryl Streep, Roseanne decides to get even. She systematically destroys all that her husband holds dear-his house, job, etc. She leaves her abusive kids to go to live with their dad and new wife-destroying Meryl Streep as well. Now having to be a mom and wife-Streep finds herself suffering at all of Roseanne’s plotting.

This is a fun comedy where all those who wronged you get their just desserts. A comedic film where revenge is a dish that keeps getting served over and over again. A great film if you want zero romance and see those who deserve it-suffer!

3) The First Wives Club

Three college friends (played by Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, and Bette Midler) are reunited after the death of their once close friend. They discover that each one’s husband is leaving them for another woman. Instead of sitting around, they decide to form a group and get back at the cheating losers.

No love here as these women take their spouses down and rediscover the beauty of friendship.

2) The Outsiders

This film has always been a favorite for me. My friends and I used to do a Hunk-a-Thon, where we bring films with our favorite hot guys and marathon watch, and this was always one of my choices. Why you may ask? Well it has Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, C. Thomas Howell, Ralph Macchio, Tom Cruise, Emilio Estevez, and Matt Dillion.

A touching story about boys from the wrong-side of town getting caught up in a situation over their heads. Based on the book by S.E. Hinton, it is poignant, heartwarming, and completely relatable.

There is no romance in the film, only the incredible love of friendship and family. An amazing film-watch if you haven’t yet.

1) 9 to 5

One year, my friend had her heartbroken and we were trying to cheer her up, and I said let’s watch this movie. There is no romance, it is hilarious, and we’ll all be too focused on the hijinks to be sad. No one else had seen the movie, so at first they weren’t sure, but we had a great time watching it.

9 to 5 takes place in the early ’80s and is about three different working women who have to deal with a cheating, lazy, misogynistic boss: Franklin Hart Jr. Violet Newstead (Lily Tomlin) is the senior office manager and the one who really runs the corporation. Unfortunately, she never moves up as Hart takes credit for her ideas. Doralee Rhodes (the amazing Dolly Parton), is Hart’s secretary who he sexually assaults and tells the whole office he is sleeping with, turning all the other staff against her. Judy Bernly (Jane Fonda) has just entered the workforce as her husband has left her for his secretary, Hart yells and threatens to fire her after an office mistake that anyone could make. After a particularly distressing day, the women end up going to a bar, becoming friends, and fantasizing about actually killing their boss. The next day Violet thinks she accidentally poisoned him. The rest is hilarious. You should totally check it out..

This movie is soooooooo funny. It is a must watch! No romance-just comedy, music, justice, and friendship.

For more on 9 to 5, go to Five to Nine

I hope you all enjoy that! Of course of you are in a romantic mood you can always check out one of my previous Romance is in the Air series:

For I Only Want to Be With You: Romance is in the Air, go to Boom Box of Love: Say Anything (1989)

For Keep On Loving You: Romance is in the Air Part II, go to Language of Love: Love Actually (2003)

For What I Like About You: Romance is in the Air Part III, go to I Can See Your Beauty: The Breakfast Club (1985)

For Good Lovin’: Romance is in the Air Part IV, go toI Can’t Pretend, I Have to Be: Casual Sex? (1988)

For How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You: Romance is in the Air Part V, go to I Did It for You: Edward Scissorhands (1990)

For The Power of Love: Romance is in the Air Part VI, go to Who Says I Have to Stop: Fireproof (2008)

Or snuggle up with an Austen film!

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How To Survive A Horror Film

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With Halloween approaching and the number of Horror films increasing, I thought it would be a good time to write a post on how to survive a horror film, just in case you happen upon this situation 😉 . Most of us have heard of the “Randy Rules” in Scream (1996), but in this we are going to look a bit more in depth in how to successfully survive a horror film.

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1) Do Not Try Out Witchcraft, Ouija Boards, or any of the Occult for “Fun.” You Will Be Messing with Forces You Have No Control Over

It is never good to mess with the occult, play around with witchcraft, or use the ouija board. When you do such things you are opening a door to a lot of stuff you don’t want to mess with. Often you open yourself or others to demon possession or evil spirits. It is best to just stay far away from such things.

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2) Do Not Make Deals With the Devil, Demons, or Other Supernatural Beings

Never, ever make a deal with the devil. It is like trying to mess with the occult or witchcraft, you are opening yourself up to serious trouble, and the devil will not like to loose his quarry. Besides, the deals/wishes you make never turn out exactly as you hope.

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3) Anything and Everything Can be a Weapon

One of the things that bothers me the most is when people are surrounded by potential weapons and don’t use them. I mean look at Scream (1996), when Tatum is in the garage and attacked by Ghostface, she tries to squeeze herself through a tiny hole to escape rather then use something, anything in the garage. I mean she is in a GARAGE!!! There are hundreds of potential weapons! USE THEM!!! That is one example, but seriously, use anything and everything.

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4) Don’t Stop Assaulting Your Attacker Until You are Sure They Are Not Going to Get Up

Now this is huge. In horror movies, if the person is able to outwit the killer and knock them out, they usually just leave it at that and take off. DON’T! You knock that sucker out until you are sure they are no longer going to try to injure you. Break their legs if necessary. Because if you don’t, they are just going to recover and come after you.

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5) If Someone Gives You a Protective Charm Do Not Give It Away

I have mentioned this in Dracula (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Wolf Man (1941), Scream 2 (1997), and many more. If someone gives you some kind of charm that is supposed to help you and only work for you, DO NOT GIVE IT AWAY!!!! It will only work FOR YOU!!!! That is why it was given TO YOU!! And if you give it away you are just going to get yourself and the person you were trying to help in serious trouble. Keep it and protect yourself so that you can actually help others, instead of accidentally killing them.

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6) Sex = Death

As Randy says in Scream, Sex = Death. Never overlook the purity angle, it is like a protective charm. If you don’t do it, you are less likely to die.

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7) Doctors are Almost Always Evil

Sometimes Doctors can be good people, but if you are in a horror film, forget it; they are usually evil. Such as Dr. Hartz from The Lady Vanishes (1938), he seems kindly and trying to help, but in reality just wants the main character to think they are going crazy! Same thing in Dr. Hollingshead from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947). Then you have doctors who commit horrible things in the name of science; like We have Dr. Frankenstein (from any Frankenstein film) who tries to create life and can’t control his monster. Or  there is Dr. Arthur Carrington from The Thing From Another World (1951), who almost kills everyone as he doesn’t care about human life but scientific discovery is what matters. Not to mention Dr. Alfred Brandon from I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957), who experiments on teenage boy. And lets not forget Dr. Hannibal Lecter, who eats people. I could go on, but there are too many examples to choose from.

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8) Do Not Spend the Night in an Abandoned or Haunted House, Psychiatric Hospital, or Carnival

I mean seriously. Just do not go there. Nothing good will ever, ever, ever come of it! I mean look at The Uninvited (1944), House on Haunted Hill (1959), House on Haunted Hill (1999), The Hunting (1963), The Haunting (1999), etc. I could go on and on, but let’s continue with our list.

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9) If There is a Curse on Something Do Not Touch It

I know curses, many laugh at them; but of you are in a horror film and you see something that says it is cursed DON’T TOUCH IT! It is better to live another day then to have yourself face all kinds of horrors.

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10) Do Not Drink Any Potions or Test An Experiment On Yourself

NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER test a potion or try an experiment on yourself. It always ends badly! I mean you have Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, The Fly, Batman’s Man-Bat he had to fight, even Goosebumps did an episode where the dad ended up creating a plant clone of himself. I know many don’t like animal testing or get under the stress of trying to accomplish something; but just stop! Don’t test yourself or else something bad will be created.

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11) If There is a Murderer Running Around, Do Not Go Out and Party

This drives me crazy! A murderer is running around killing people and people decide to: 1) not take any precautions; 2) go about their lives like nothing is different; and 3) party. If there is a murderer running around, yes it is good to be in a group (rule 12 & 17) but you shouldn’t be out partying, drinking (rule 13) or putting yourself in a dangerous situation.

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12) Never Split Up

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NEVER, EVER, EVER go anywhere by yourself. There is power in numbers! As a group you could take a killer down, versus as a couple or single. When you split up, all you do us make it easier for someone to kill you.

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13) Do Not Do Drugs or Drink

While some of you might enjoy that type of thing it is never a good idea in a horror film. Anytime you try something that will keep you from thinking clearly, you are in serious trouble as you are likely to make bad decisions that will lead to your death. It is better to just say no.

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14) Always Call the Police

If you are being attacked, threatened, harassed, etc.; call the police. Don’t try and take care of it yourself, don’t try to investigate, call FOR BACKUP! That’s their job!!! They have guns and can make an arrest!

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15) Never Say “I’ll Be Right Back”

Unlike the Terminator here, you won’t be back. Uttering these words is signing a death warrant, as soon as they leave your lips you become next on the killer/creature’s hit list.

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16) Never Say “Who’s There?”

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Never say “who’s there”. If the person was a friend, they wouldn’t be skulking around your house in the first place, trying to scare you. Instead they would knock, ring the doorbell, or call out to you. The only type of person who would be creeping in your house is one who intends on harming you. And if you call out “who’s there”, you’re just helping them find and kill you faster.

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17) Do Not Go Out to Investigate a Strange Noise

When you hear something strange outside, do not go out and look into it. You should wait for assistance or call in the police. If you try looking yourself, you are going to end up in a trap set by a monster, psychopath, murderer, etc. Besides, why unlock the door or turn off the alarm; allowing whatever is watching you the opportunity to come in and attack? Just stay inside snug like a bug.

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18) Do Not Use the Bathroom

Have you ever though of how vulnerable you are in the bathroom? Most have no windows to flee from or they aren’t the most accessible. Some do, but for most the only easy way out is the door, which is where most attackers will come through. Plus the reason you would be in the bathroom; shower or toilet, you won’t have any weapons to help you and it would be extremely easy to kill you. If you are in a horror film, just hold it or stay stinky. You are more likely to live that way.

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19) Never Go Off By Yourself

Like I said before, the less people around you, the easier you are to kill. If you go off on your own to investigate, look around, run away; you are just putting a giant target on your back. Stay together, it is safer.

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20) Always Look Behind You and Above You

Always take a 360 degree look around you. They may be behind, they may be in front, they may even be above you. Search every angle!!!

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21) Be Nice, A Person Scorned or Mistreated Can Do Horror-ble Things

In horror movies, there are lots of people who have been bullied so much and hurt by others they end up becoming homicidal maniacs. And who do they tend to attack first? The last person to hurt them. Look at The Phantom of the Opera (any version), Carrie (1976), Hangman’s Curse (2003), Heathers (1985), etc. So if you don’t want to end up being first on the hit list be kind to those you meet.

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22) If You Are a Girl Or Not White, Be Extra Cautious

Psychopaths and monsters love to kill/eat women and minorities. Because of this if you are either, or both; take extra steps to protect yourself. Be like Ben in Night of the Living Dead.

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23) Don’t Trust Anyone, They Are All Suspects

People can tell you all kinds of things, but that doesn’t mean they are telling the truth. If you find yourself in a horror film, don’t trust anyone. And I mean ANYONE!

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24) Never Judge a Book By its Cover

Never judge a book by its cover. Someone who seems sweet, innocent, impossible to commit cruel acts, etc; could secretly have evil intentions lurking under the adorable facade. Always be watchful and once again, trust NO ONE!

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25) Children can Be Evil too, Never Rule Them Out

When trying to figure out who the murderer is, never overlook kids. I mean sure some will be obvious in their creepiness, such as the one pictured above, but there are many who look innocent and sweet but are actually evil. Don’t be fooled!

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26) Never Try to Create Life

NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER try to create Life. It just does not go the way you plan. You can’t control the beasts you create and they just run amuck everywhere. I mean look at FrankensteinBride of Frankenstein, Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, Alien: Resurrection, the list goes on but I’ll stop here.

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27) Never Try to Control a Monster

In any horror film, whenever they create  life they always think they have complete control over it. Well, that never works out. You see, just because you made it doesn’t mean it will listen to you; every parent knows that. And more often than not, those creations will try and kill you.

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28) If Someone Tries to Make a Deal with You to Kill Someone, Do Not Think it is a Joke

Joking around with the idea of murder might be something you would do with a friend, but be careful, you never know how far they might take it.

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29) Listen to Urban Myths, They Tend to be Right

We all like to hear scary stories around a campfire and about areas. But if you are in a horror film, play very close attention as more often than not, the myths and legends turn out to be true or someone is copying them and making them true. It is always good to pay attention and know the details, it just might save your life.

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30) Never Think You Have Destroyed a Monster, They Always Find a Way to Come Back

You try to kill them and you think you do, but they always come back. Always make sure you keep an eye out for the sequel and their return.

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31) Don’t Be an Idiot

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Be smart! Don’t be stupid and do stupid things. Use your common sense! Bimbos and Mimbos are almost always the first to die.

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So there we are, 31 tips to help you survive a horror film. I hope they help you survive October.

This post is brought to you by a

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

Keep tuned for more horror film reviews!

A Horrorfest Hitch

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So I hope you all had a great Halloween. Mine was pretty good, and I had an awesome costume. I was a ghostbuster, and designed a suit and proton pack; making it as close to the film as possible, but using a name patch with my own last name. In fact, I plan on wearing it every Friday the 13th. Awesome right?

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So I’m sure you all have been wondering, what was going on with Horrorfest? I missed days, posted unedited pieces, and only completed 28/31 posts. Well, October was really full. I had two weddings; both of my cats were injured within two days of each other and I had to take them to the vet for stitches, having to monitor them, administer medicine twice a day, and change their box constantly; worked my usual jobs; went to the Back to the Future trilogy at my local cinema; and I had a graduation for one of my works, and more.

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And that’s just the tip of it. I also had some family issues that came up, causing me less time to work on this.

So I am sorry for the delays and unfinished work, next year I promise it won’t be like that. Next year will mark my fifth Horrorfest, and I’m planning to go all out for it.

So as there are only three posts that weren’t done, I am going to finish writing and posting them. After I do so I will update this post with those completed works. So let’s go to our Horrorfest  wrap-up!

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So this year I reviewed 23 films, 4 TV episodes, and had 2 editorials.

So one thing I noticed about this year was that my first Horrorfest the first film I reviewed was made in 1962, in the second Horrorfest the first film I reviewed was made in 1954, in the third Horrorfest the first film I reviewed was made in 1941, and this year’s first post was made in 1931. 1960s, 1950s, 1940s, and 1930s. I did that all without realizing it. Pretty cool, huh?

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So this year I ended up with quite a few themes. The first being mad scientists; this occuring in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, along with Avengers: Age of Ultron.

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Classic literature once again proved to be a prime place to find film adaptations perfect for Horrorfest. This year we had Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, A Study in Scarlet, and The Brothers’ Grimm Fairy Tales.

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Aliens were also a big theme this year. There was Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, Alien vs. Predator, Twilight Zone episode, The Iron Giant, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and Total Recall.

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I also thought that doing three Alfred Hitchcock films was something I should continue. This year I reviewed Jamaica Inn, The 39 Steps; and after talking about it for three years, I finally reviewed Psycho. 

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This year I decided that every Friday would be a TV show review: choosing episodes from The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries, The Twilight Zone, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Midsomer Murders.

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I also had the theme of boyfriends/husbands/wives who are more than what they seem. These were Dangerous Crossing, The Screaming Skull, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, Rosemary’s Baby, Gaslight, The Stepford Wives, and Total Recall.

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We also had quite a few robots. The Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, The Iron Giant, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and The Stepford Wives.

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Witches made a comeback; in Rosemary’s Baby and the Midsomer Murders episode.

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And after reading every year how I really, really, really wanted to do a famous Vincent Price thriller/horror/mystery; well guys you don’t have to hear me whine anymore, I finally did it with The Bat. Yay!!

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So for those who have missed it, here is everything in Horrorfest IV:

You Cannot Conquer It. It Has Conquered You!: Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

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

What Are the 39 Steps?: The 39 Steps (1935)

That Place…There’s Queer Things Go On There: Jamaica Inn (1939)

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

Because I Am Mad I Hate You. Because I Am Mad I Have Betrayed You: Gaslight (1944)

I Do Think You Are Confused, Mrs. Bowman: Dangerous Crossing (1953)

They’re Already Here! You’re Next!: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

It’s Mrs. Archer. She’s On a Rampage!: Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958)

She Cries in the Night: The Screaming Skull (1958)

A Man Without a Face: The Bat (1959)

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

Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?: The Twilight Zone (1961)

What Have You Done to Him?: Rosemary’s Baby  (1968)

There’ll Be Somebody With My Name…But She Won’t Be Me!: The Stepford Wives (1975)

A Haunting We Will Go: The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977)

Someone Has Erased His Memory: Total Recall (1990)

I’m the Chosen One. And I Choose to Be Shopping: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)

A Giant Metal Man: The Iron Giant (1995)

Gypsy Justice: Thinner (1996)

She’s Been Totally Different…Like Stepford: Ted, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)

A Modern Mummy: Under Wraps (1997)

The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend: Alien Vs. Predator (2004)

The Story, We’re Living It. It’s Alive: The Brothers Grimm (2005)

He is Coming: The Visitation (2006)

A Book Considered Too Dangerous to Keep: The Magician’s Nephew, Midsomer Murders (2008)

Psycho Strangers: The Girl He Met Online (2014)

We’re Mad Scientists. We’re Monsters: Avengers, Age of Ultron (2015)

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Haunted Harmonies of Halloween: Top 5 Songs to Play On Halloween

She Cries in the Night: The Screaming Skull (1958)

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She’ll come back…she’ll come back

So a few years ago, my sister bought the Greatest 100 Horror Classics DVD collection. There were some great films on this: such as Carnival of Souls, The Phantom of the Opera (1925), Night of the Living Dead, Metropolis etc. And of course some duds, like The Beast of Yucca Flats.  This film was also included in the collection, and a film I really liked.

This film was a new thing for director Alex Nicol, who also played the role of Mickey. The film is based on the book The Screaming Skull by Francis Marion Crawford, but borrows a lot from Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca.

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So the film starts out with us on a bayou. There appears to be something in the water as a guy creeps closer to shoot it. It is large, scaly, with ginormous eyes.

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This isn’t how I remember the movie starting at all. I better check the DVD menu. Yep, whoops. I accidentally chose the wrong film.

So embarressed

So embarressed

I would have reviewed Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959) and you all would not have been ready for that. Now here we go with The Screaming Skull.

We open on a candle and flower arrangement. Dark depressing music…zoom out it’s a funeral Makes sense.

Narrator: “The Screaming Skull” is a motion picture that reaches its climax in shocking horror. It’s impact is so terrifying that it may have an unforeseen effect. It may *kill* you! Therefore the motion picture producers feel they must offer free burials for any that die of fright, during The Screaming Skull.

Let me stop and say this is one awesome beginning, like The Beast Must Die. I award it a thousand gold stars.

love it

So we open on a beautiful mansion, impeccable gardens, relaxing lily pond. A dream house.

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When we see something in the water. What is that?  A SKULL!!!!!

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

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

It actually made me think of David Lynch and his constant use of a tranquil, pretty setting that has evil lurking below.

TwinPeaks dark henious evil

So we have the opening titles/credits using the same music from Sleeping With the Enemy, but added a woman vocalizing is high it almost like screaming.

So that switches with a peaceful drive up to the house, and light airy music. They park the car and out comes the newlyweds, Eric and Jenni Whitlock. Eric is bringing his new wife back to his old house.

Jenni loves the house as the garden looks like a magician paradise, it even has peacocks.

love it

She sees a window and asks if that will be their room.

Jenni: Will that be our room.

Eric: Will need some fixing first.

Jenni: Was that her room?

The “Her” she is talking about is Eric’s first wife Marian. He is a widower. I know what you are thinking:

Rebecca (1940)

Rebecca (1940)

But it is not the same. In The Screaming Skull, Marian the first wife was the wealthy one and the house belonged to her.

So as the couple are walking around, we that the house is pretty much empty. Marian got rid of all her families’ furniture and was planning on purchasing new pieces to make it “their home”. The two hadn’t gotten far with redecorating before she died. Now Jenni and Eric will make this house “their” house.

girlieButLoveit BuffyVS

He wants to show her the rest of the house, but she stops and looks at the window into the room.

dun-dun-duuuun

Eric picks up Jenni and carries her around the room. Meanwhile, there is a guy behind them creeping through the windows.

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

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

Who the heck is he? And why is he doing that?

weird

While the two are kissing, he sneaks away.

suspicious Hmm

The two walk around the yard and pass Mickey, the gardener’s, tool shed. He’s been in charge of maintaining the grounds since Eric has been away. Wow Micky sure has a green thumb, it looks amazing!

keanu Whoa

As they are seeing the yard, Eric tells Jenni that Mickey & Marian would spend hours working on the garden together. He doesn’t think Mickey ever got over her death, he was in love with her, and still believes she is coming back.

Missing You

So as the two are talking and walking, someone drives up. It is the Reverend and  Mrs. Snow. They came to meet the new bride and drop off something for dinner. As they are all talking, the Reverend and Mrs. Snow get invited to dinner.

As they are heading to the house, Eric spots the gardener, Mickey. It turns out he was the guy creepin’ on them earlier. So Mickey isn’t really a creep, he is developmentally disabled. He and Marian grew up together so it is hard on him not having her in his life.

aw cry

Mickey sees the land as his and Marian’s place, and anyone else is trespassing.

Who is that?

Back inside the house, the group is clearing things up a little. Mrs. Snow and Eric go off to make dinner, while the Rev. and Jenni hang out.

While they are preoccupied, Mickey sneaks  inside the house and goes to look at a painting of Rebecca…opps I mean Marian. Sorry, certain parts of the film are a bit similar it was easy to make that mistake.

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Mickey wants Marian to send them away, so it can just be the two again.

Gilmore girls creep

Eric is talking with Mrs. Snow and she is saying how much she likes Jenni, and how great she is. Eric thinks it is great Mrs. Snow likes Jenni, but there is something he has to tell her.

dun-dun-duuuun

I knew there had to be more to her than just a sunny personality. Here we go, give me the whole story.

So Jenni didn’t have a happy childhood. She lost her parents years ago in a horrible way. She is very impressionable, so talking about sad pasts is something best to stay away from. It sounds to me as if she and Ruth from Dangerous Crossing had a similar experience after they lost their fathers. Jenny probably had to go to a mental hospital afterwards too.

How did she loose them? They drowned in an accident, and Jenny saw it all. That is super damaging for a child to experience something like that. SUPER damaging.

StarTrekBonesMcCoyPoorGirl PM

So the Rev. and Jenni are talking when she asks him how he knew they were in town. It turns out that the Reverend heard of them moving in from the lawyer, as the lawyer and Eric are executors of the estate. All that was left to Eric out of Marian’s tremendous fortune, was the house and grounds. He notified the lawyer he was back and moving in with his new wife.

Even more what Jenni wants to know is how did Marian die?

Reverend Snow: Didn’t Eric tell you?

Jenni Whitmore: I think the subject is painful for him. He doesn’t like to talk about it. Will you tell me? I’d really like to know

So it was a rainy day and Marian and Mickey had been working in the greenhouse. She left him to go back to the house for a few minutes. The way it was pieced together later was that she was probably coming back and slipped in a leaf, fell down, and smashed her skull in the cement wall around the pond, fell in the water and drowned. That was where Eric found her later.

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While they are talking, Mickey is sneaking about. I think it would be mean to say this, but the way he moves and creeps makes me think of Gollum from the The Lord of the Rings series.

After dinner the Snows are walking home and talking about the two.

Reverend Snow: Did you know that Jenni is very wealthy?

Mrs. Snow: Yes Mr. Mowry told me. She’s not at all like Marian. So gentle and timid, as if she is afraid of something.

OMG Jenni is Joan Fontaine from Rebecca. Sweet, young, shy, timid, like same character. Except Joan was poor while Jenni is rich.

That night, Jenni and Eric are sleeping in cots, as their furniture isn’t out of storage yet. That night Jenni is reading a book sent by Mrs. Snow, Beast in the Jungle. It seems like a very sad book, I don’t know why she would give such a book to Jenni knowing her background.

That night Jenni hears loud bumping and clanging noises.

Who is that?

Who is that?

She calls to Eric, but he is not there.

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

She decides to investigate, calling to Eric, but receiving no answer. Eerie music starts playing as she keeps calling Eric. Turns out to be a shutter in Marian’s old room, not properly latched.

As she is leaving, Eric comes in and scares her as she leaves the room. She starts when she sees something on the ground, that looks like water and a lily pad.

Why is that in here?

Why is that in here?

Jenni thinks Mickey brought it in as he doesn’t like her as she is a replacement Marian. Eric, on the other hand, thinks it was just an accident. It freaks Jenni out and she looks at the painting sounding a bit crazy as she talks. She thinks the painting reminds her of her mother, who she hates. Almost as if she is haunting her.

rebeccapainting

We find Mickey in the pond, by the lily pads. Did he bring it in? Is he trying to upset her? Make her go crazy?

Why is that in here?

The next day, Eric tells Jenni that he talked to Mickey and he is no longer allowed in the house. Jenni is worried Mickey might become angry and take it out on her, but Eric tells her not to worry about it. But Jenni is worried. She wants Mickey to like her, for them to be friends. Eric tell her to garden with him.

Eric leaves that day to get the electricity turned on, furniture out of storage, and see the bank and lawyer.

Now it just occurred to me, what does Eric do? What does he do that he had the ability to live away for two years, but then move back to his former home. They all said Marian had money, I mean he did move into her family house; but they never mention him having money. Does he have any? And if he doesn’t, he sure was lucky to bag two wealthy wives.

dean whinchester shrug smile oh well

Jenni sees Mickey and tries to befriend him. But Mickey won’t say a word. She tries to reassure him that she wants the garden to stay beautiful in honor or Marian. They pick flowers to place at her graves.

Now her grave is a weird one. It is an obelisk with a relief of Marian’s face in it. And it is just creepy, like she was mixed into the stone or forever watching.

creep watching lovely bones Stanley tucci

While they are doing this, Mickey is overcome with emotion.

Mickey: She cries in the night.

Jenni Whitmore: Dead people don’t cry Mickey!

Mickey: I heard her.

 Jenni Whitmore: Heard?

Is Mickey really hearing something, or just messing with Jenni? And if he is hearing something who or what is it?

Who is that?

At the house, Jenni looks at Marian’s painting. She hears some creaking, but just assumes it is the house settling.

So earlier, Eric said he was going to be gone all day and out late that night. When night comes, the electricity still not on, forcing her to use candles, as she is getting ready for bed.

Once again, Jenni hears the shriek of  the peacocks. Creepy little buggars. Jenni decides to try to go to sleep, but feels weird not having Eric in the house.

Gilmore girls creep

Jenni hears a noise and looks to the window, nothing. She runs downstairs to investigate…just the peacocks. Looks at the picture of Marian again. She is looking at the painting when the cabinet door behind her slowly opens.

She turns around and sees a SKULL!!!!

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

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

Suddenly cuts appear on her hand!!!!

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And she runs away to her room, and locks the door jumping under the covers. Now Jenni is so freaked out that every noise is making her heart race. She hears tree branches scrapping, making sounds like something trying to get her.

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

And then it sounds like something is coming up the stairs. A banging noise.

i'mscared

Something is coming up the stairs!!!!!

OMG gasp

This scene is shot from the “thing’s” point of view so we don’t know what it is!!!!

Suspense have to know

I know there is a strong likelihood that it is just her husband, but I’m still a bit freaked, my heart os pumping. Who or what is it?

i'mscared

Jenni is equally freaked, what is coming?! She goes to look and nlocks door to see what is making noise, but there is nothing there

Whattheheck

Jenni runs to window, the peacocks are gone, nothing is here. What could be making such a racket?

She looks at cabinet, and sees that the skull is still there and not a figment of her imagination. She goes to get the skull ad flings it out the window.

Good-bye

Good-bye

It rolls on the grass an stares at her with its eyeless gaze.

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She goes back to bed, but can’t sleep.

Then the camera zooms on the front door Something’s coming?!!! Something starts knocking…Don’t answer it!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Jenni is afraid, and she just sits in bed waiting for it to go away. Soon  she feels the need to check, after all it couldbe important. She looks down from room, unsure of what to do.

They're watching her!

She decides to risk it and opens the door. Creepy music playing again getting the blood pumping with fright. She calls to Eric, but no answer. Just more pounding on the door.

i'mscared

Jenni opens it and the skull is there!

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

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

what what'shappeningSupernatural

She screams and runs inside, the skull tumbles after her.

OMG gasp

She faints. And I don’t blame her.

Mickey pops out of the shadows. Could he have done this? If not, did he see who did? Or what did?

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Jenni wakes up in Eric’s arms. She asks him if he saw anything when he found her, but he says no. Just her on the floor.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Is it all in her head?

So Jenni weirded out. She had never imagined any such thing before, why should she see it now? She wants her doctor from New York to examine her, but Eric vetoes the idea, saying that Rev. Snow will be coming tomorrow and can help.

I think it is weird how Eric doesn’t want a trained psychologist’s help. Seems odd to me, especially as she asked for him. Hmm…

Why is that in here?

The Rev. comes and studies the cabinet. He discovers that the door is very loose, and can easily open on its own. The door is also damaged on the bottom, which caused Jenni’s scratches. Both look for a skull but find nothing.

Jenni feels like a fool, but knows that she saw a skull there.

weird

She asks the Rev. if Eric told him of her past. He says he knows a little. Jenni decides to gives him a bit more. She grew up loving her father and hating her mother.

Jenni Whitmore: I wasn’t a child when I wished my mother dead. One day I got my wish.

So both of her parents drowned. She tried to help them, but couldn’t overcome tide. She still hears their cries. She blames herself for the deaths, saying she killed them. This is common in grief, survivor’s guilt. For Jenni she became so unbalanced that she had to be put in hospital. She was released and told cured. So why would she be seeing strange things now?

Eric is outside looking for Mickey, but he can’t find him anywhere. He sends the Rev. and Jenni on ahead for lunch, promising to be there soon. After they leave he heads into the garden. He goes to Marian’s grave and calls for Mickey. Mickey hears him but keeps running away from him. Is he running because he is in trouble or running from trouble?

Why is that in here?

When Eric arrives at the Snow’s house, Rev. gives him a talking to. The Rev thinks he should take Jenni far from the house as it scares her and makes her think she is crazy. Eric refuses as if they left, it would mean Jenni is crazy. I guess that reasoning makes sense, but it still seems a bit off to me.

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Later eric finally find Micjey, grabbing him and questioning him, scaring Mickey and Jenni. Mickey says it isn’t him, but Eruc doesn’t listen tossing him aside. This is Another side to Eric. He has quite the temper.

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Jenni feels bad about Eric’d behavior toward Mickey, as she believes what is going on is all in her mind. I’m not so sure Jenni, there’s something rotton in the state of Denmark.

So Eric decides to burn the picture of Marian as it reminds Jenni of her mother, and is what Eric says is the root of Jenni’s current madness. They create a bonfire and Eric forces Jenni to light the match, even though she doesn’t want ti. As thepicture burns there is a huge screech!

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

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

Eric says it is only the peacocks, but is it?

dun-dun-duuuun

We are show the garden where the pond bubbles, the flowers at Marian’s grave are uprooted, and shrieking is heard. Sounds like Marian is not happy to be destroyed.

Th deed is done and Eric asks Jenni to help him bury the ashes. Jenni feels worse after the act, as if it’s not over yet.

Jenni Whitlock: She’ll come back…she’ll come back.

Jenni spreads the ashes while Eric waters them down. As she is spreading them, she unearths a SKULL!!!!!

The-Screaming-Skull-1958

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

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

She screams for Eric, but he doesn’t see anything.

what what'shappeningSupernatural

Jenni faints, and while she is knocked down, Eric touches the skull, picking it up and hiding it somewhere.

OMG gasp

Aha! He is behind it! I knew it!!! This isn’t Rebecca, it’s Gaslight!

Eric places the skull in the pond and heads back to Jenni. Little does he know, Mikey was watching the whole time.

Tht night Eric has to go out of town. Jenni is freaked, but Eric tries to calm her down. The Rev. comes over to drop off some eggs for Jenni. Eric takes the Rev outside and tells him what happened, saying he saw “nothing”. What a jerk.

Jerk

Of course the Rev buys his bleeding heart routine. Eric also tells the Rev. “something I never told anyone.” When Jenni was in the mental hospital she tried to do away with herself.

So that’s his plan! Make his wife look crazy, murder her, and have everyone think it a suicide. After all you can’t have two accidents in a row.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

What? I think what? Yeah that’s right. I think he killed his first wife too. Probably wanted her money, and then when he ended up with none, decided to remarry and kill his second bride,

So Eric tells the Rev. he thinks Jenni will try again unless he get her to the hospital tonight. After tonight they are never coming back to the house.

Eric goes back in and talks to Jenni. She tells him the Rev. was kind. He told her he would search the whole estate for that skull. Jenni shrugs it off as kindness, but Eric is worried.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

If they find the skull,  it will bring up a lot of questions he doesn’t want answered. Jenni goes upstairs to pack. Eric goes looking for the skull, but it is gone!!!!!!!!

Where did it go?

Where did it go?

He spots Mickey and chases after him. Eric grabs him and questions him again, beating him. But Mickey tells him he didn’t take it, Marian took it.

Whattheheck

Eric laughs it off and leaves. After he is gone we see that Mickey does have the skull in his workshop, hidden away. Mickey put the skull in a basket, hidden under a cloth.

Meanwhile, Eric has checked the pond again, finding nothing. He then goes to the grave, hoping the skull is there. But he doesn’t find anything but uprooted flowers. Then when he looks at the grave, instead of her face he sees the SKULL.

Whattheheck

He throws a rock at the grave, angry.

Meanwhile, Mickey has taken his basket of skull over to the Snows’ house. They start questioning why Eric would lie about seeing the skull. Only one reason, he wanted to make Jenni crazy. They all head to the house.

the-screaming-skull-photo-crop

Jenni has finished packing and goes looking for Mickey. She wants to say good-bye, but can’t find him. She goes into the tooshed where she sees a headless body moving!

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

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

She runs for her life, while this ghostly hated figure chases after her.

Inside Eric is preparing a rope, going to hang his wife, when he hears her coming and screaming. She runs up the stairs where Eric is hiding. He grabs her and starts choking her, about to kill her when he hears a knocking at the door.

He goes to answer it, and when he opens it he sees the figure with a skull face!!!!

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Eric backs away, while the figure comes closer. It is wearing the same dress Marain wore in the painting, it must be her!

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

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

The skull winds up on the stair blocking Eric from going up. It tumbles down, chasing him as lightening comes out overhead.

The skull becomes large and astral chasing him, and causing him to fall down. He tries to run and get in his car, but he sees it again! It is everywhere!!

metropolis

The skull jumps on to his neck, biting him in the throat and causing him to fall back into the pond, drowning.

Jenni wakes up and is freaked out. She finds Miraian’s dress on the ground. Just then the calvary show up (the Snows and Mickey) but are too late, and have missed everything. They ask her if she is okay, and she tells them what happened. Crying and completely freaked out.

Rev. Snow goes looking, and finds Eric’s dead body, in the same place Marian was killed. Jenni is confused and wants to know why he did it. The Rev. tells her his suspicions about the money. Now the question is, did Marian really die in an accident? We’ll never know.

They all leave, while Mickey goes to the pond and tells Marian they are gone, she can now rest.

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This was a great film and I strongly recommend it. The characters are good, the storyline, etc. It is a bit predictable, but that last scene when the skull really attacks, very creepy.

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Back to the facebook cover/mini posters.

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

For the previous post, go to He is Coming: The Visitation (2006)

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For more on husbands who are more than what they seem, go to I Do Think You Are Confused Mrs. Bowman: Dangerous Crossing (1953)

For more on the Greatest 100 Horror Classics, go to In Their Proper Place: Metropolis (1927)

For more films based on a book, go to There are Thirteen Chairs at the Table…And That’s Unlucky: Mystery of the Thirteen Guest (1943)

I Do Think You Are Confused Mrs. Bowman: Dangerous Crossing (1953)

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I do think you are confused, Mrs. Bowman. 

What are you trying to do to me?!

So as you can read on the film poster/DVD cover, this is not a horror film but a film noir. However, it actually has some elements that are similar to Horror, as film noir usually does, and it actually takes place on Halloween. That being said, I just knew I had to review it.

I got this film on my 20th Century Fox Four Film Noir Box Set. Included with Dangerous Crossing was Laura, of which I reviewed last year. And I have to say, it is just as good. This film was based on the play Cabin B-13 by John Dickson Carr.

Ruth Stanton (Jeanne Crain) is waiting on the boat dock, getting ready to board a cruise ship. She is soon joined by her husband, John Bowman. They have just gotten married and are ready to go on their honeymoon.

Pride and prejudice kiss darcy elizabeth

As they board the ship, John keeps walking, but Ruth’s beautiful, heavy, fur coat gets stuck on the stair, and an officer has to help her.

clueless mybad oops

She catches up to her husband, and he takes her to room B-16.

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There they are interrupted by a stewardess who is setting up the room, arranging the flowers. After she leaves the two talk about their courtship. Who would have thought that four weeks of dating would have lead to an elopement, and now they are going on their honeymoon! After all-

Love_Is_Blind_by_Luquicas

So after making plans to meet up at a certain bar aboard ship, John needs to go to the purser to drop off some cash, and Ruth heads up to the deck to watch the boat go off. There she starts waving to people, just happy and excited.

Good-bye

Good-bye

The woman next to her intriduces herself as Kay Prentiss, on the cruise ship after her latest divorce and looking for fun. She asks Ruth if she is married, and when she says she is, Kay warns her not to leave her husband unattended.

Kay Prentiss: You musn’t let him out of you sight. Husbands can get lost so easily. 

Kay asks her who she is waving good-bye to, and Ruth says nobody. She’s just getting into the spirit of things. Kay thinks it a bit odd, but just let’s it go.

We then switch to see the captain and the doctor, Dr. Paul Manning. Dr. Manning is played by the very handsome Michael Rennie.

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I have yet to review his amazing film The Day the Earth Stood Still, but soon. One day soon.

Anyways, the captain and doctor met and discuss how everything is. It all seems to be in tip-top shape except for one bout of seasickness, and an officer, Jack Barlowe, coming down with some kind of stomach ailment. He has just returned from his shoreside leave, so the captain thinks it came from too much fun and not enough regulation.

Ruth has now headed to the bar, but she can’t find her husband anywhere. So she waits, and waits.

Something is not right!

Something is not right!

After growing tired of waiting, she decides to head back to the purser’s office to see where her husband might have gone. When she gets there, she discovers that there is no record of a John Bowman ever coming to the purser’s office.

What?

What?

Seeing that as strange, Ruth decides to head back to the room, but she can’t get in as the door as it is locked and she doesn’t have a key. So she heads back to the bar, running into Kay Prentiss again, but no husband. She searches everywhere, but cannot find him at all.

weird

She goes to the steward and introduces herself as Mrs. Bowman, then asking him to open B-16. He tells her there must be a mistake, that room was not given to anyone this trip.

Say What

But Ruth is adamant! This is her room open it up now! The steward does, but all her things are gone and there is no sign that anyone could have been in there.

Whattheheck

The steward goes to get the list to double check, as there could be a mistake. While he is gone, Ruth searches the whole room, trying to find proof that she was here. But nothing. No clothes, flowers, suitcases–not even the hairpins she took out of her hair and placed on in the dresser drawer. Nothing!!

what'shappeningSupernatural

The steward comes back and tells her, there is no room listed under the name Bowman.

But wait...

But wait…

They ask for another name, and she givers them her maiden name. They check and there is a room reserved for a Ms. Ruth Stanton. But it is B-18, not B-16. When they get to the room, they find her luggage, but nothing of her husband.

what what'shappeningSupernatural

So now the steward thinks she is crazy as she is still saying that room B-16 was the one she was in and that her husband, John Bowman is missing.

Steward: I do think you are confused, Mrs. Bowman. 

Ruth Stanton-Bowman: What are you trying to do to me?!

Now the question us as a viewer have to ask is, is she crazy?

Sounds suspicious

On one hand, we saw John Bowman and her talking together! And they were clearly in the room together-I mean the stewardess did see him! On the other hand, could it be in her mind? Could she have made up a husband like John Nash created a roommate in A Beautiful Mind? It’s too early to tell, but it is definitely something to contemplate.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

They call for Dr. Manning as Ruth is starting to get hysterical. Ruth doesn’t want the doctor, but then a man she saw early with a heavy German or Austrian accent comes down the way, frightening her and causing her to faint.

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Now we haven’t seen this man do anything, but he looks like the sort of villain from a spy novel or film. So he does look a bit suspicious.

Sounds suspicious

Dr. Manning tries to get to the bottom of it, first trying to see if there is such a man as John Bowman, even though there is no record of him. Ruth tells him about the officer and the stewardess who both saw him, so they send for them.

dangerous-crossing-crain-rennie2

The officer, Mr. Logan, comes but it turns out he is no help at all. He remembers her pretty face and that she got caught on the stair rail, but he doesn’t remember her being with any man.

Spoke too soon

But there is still the stewardess. When they ask her she tells them no.

What?

What?

That there was no one in B-16. It hasn’t been reserved this trip.

what what'shappeningSupernatural

Ruth is extremely confused and upset. Why is everyone lying to her? Where is John? Why is this happening!!!!

Ruth Stanton-Bowman: [Near tears] Everyone thinks I am lying!

Dr. Paul Manning: I reserve judgement until I have all the facts.”

Thank you Dr. Manning, you are a real dream.

swoon dreamy

Dr. Manning and Ruth go to the captain and request a full search of the entire ship for a John Bowman. The captain then asks for her passport and marriage certificate.

clueless mybad oops

Turns out she doesn’t have them. John was in charge of the trip and had them in his possession.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

They then ask her where she got married, but Ruth doesn’t know the answer to that either.  It turns out it was spur if the moment and they stopped at a little chapel somewhere in Maryland.

Sounds suspicious

Sounds suspicious

Ruth can see they find her story fishy and becomes extremely upset and hysterical. They send her to her cabin to rest.

The captain and Doctor talk it over.

whatdoyouthinkTwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

The captain thinks Ruth is certifiable and nothing she says is the truth. Dr. Manning thinks that there might be more than meets the eye and asks that they send out for more info on her.

That night Ruth is in her room, when the phone rings.

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It’s John! He tells her he has to hide as he is in terrible danger. So is she, so she should be careful and trust NO ONE! Ruth questions him, but they are cut off before she can get more information.

She quickly calls the operator and tries to find out which room dialed hers, but the operator says that no calls were put through to her.

OMG

The operator says that it could have been dialed (I’m not sure what that means exactly) of which if it was, she has no way to trace such a call.

So we are asked to question once again, is she crazy? Did John really call, dialing so it was untraceable, as someone is after him? Or is it all in her mind?

Sounds suspicious

Ruth throws on a robe and her fur coat, planning to go outside but running straight into Kay. It turns out that Kay was worried about her, seeing her frantic earlier, and noticed she never came down for dinner. She brought her some broth.

It seems like a nice thing to do, but after that phone call from John, Ruth is SUPER paranoid!

What?

They are all trying to kill me!

She knocks the cup of broth down on “accident”. Kay understands that she may be tense, and tries to help by unpacking Ruth’s clothes. But is she really trying to help her? Or is she one of those people “in on it”, one that John was warning her about?

I don't know if I can trust you.

I don’t know if I can trust you.

The phone rings and Ruth lunges for it, hoping for John. But it is only Dr. Manning. Kay leaves, and so does Ruth, as she goes to Dr. Manning.  He tells her that they have found no trace of a Mr. Bowman anywhere.

“Ruth Stanton-Bowman: YOU ARE WRONG! My husband IS aboard this ship!

Dr. Paul Manning: Everyone aboard has been accounted for. He is not here.”

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Dr. Manning questions her about John, but it turns out she knows very little about her husband. After all they were only together for four weeks. Dr. Manning breaks up the meeting and tells her they will reconvene in the morning. He tries to walk her to her cabin, but she refuses. Instead of going to the cabin, she starts looking around.

She finds a phone outside, near where the foghorn was; clearly where John made the call. She looks around when she notices someone is following her.

What?

What?

She tries to hide, but he finds her.

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

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

IT’S THE DOCTOR!!!!!

“Ruth Stanton-Bowman: What are you doing up here?!!!

Dr. Paul Manning: What are you doing? I was following you.”

Ruth starts thinking that maybe Dr. Manning is in on whatever this is. She decides to pretend to be following his advice as she doesn’t want him to suspect that she knows.

Dr. Manning takes her to the bar to talk. He wants to know everything about her, trying to figure out what the real story is. She tells him that she was raised as an only child, just her and her father as her mother died when she was very young. He died four months ago and she suffered extremely from the grief. So bad was her grief, she had to be placed under a doctor’s care. Dr. Manning asks more questions, but then Ruth becomes very vague. Clearly there is more she is not telling.

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He implies that maybe John is imaginary, created because she doesn’t want to be alone after the death of her father. This enrages Ruth who yells at him that John is real!

Jerk

She then remembers where she is. Ruth needs to be careful, she can’t have them questioning her sanity. She apologizes and the Doctor takes her to her cabin, saying all the medicine she needs is that of a few normal activities to get everything right.

That night when Ruth is sleeping, she is rudely awakened by some kind of banging noise. She throws on a robe, but when she opens the door, no one is there.

weird

She then notices B-16 is open.

dangerous-crossing-crain-b16weirdsuspicious

Before she can step inside, it slams shut. Ruth begins banging on it, but stops when she notices the steward watching her. She quickly runs into her cabin.

Meanwhile, the captain and good doctor are discussing what to do.

whatdoyouthinkTwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

The captain is all for locking her in her cabin as he is sure she is crazy, but the Doctor feels they are missing something. He has them write missing persons in New York for information on John Bowman. The Captain agrees to let the Doctor do what he wants with Mrs. Bowman, as long as he keeps her in check.

The next day, the Doctor comes for her and asks what she wishes to do. She wants a tour, and as they go on it she secretly looks everywhere for John. After the tour she and the Doctor spend a lot of time together, playing shuffleboard, frisbee, he even saves her from falling overboard. At first it was a ploy, but now both seem to be enjoying each other’s company.

You're_in_love_with_her

The next day Ruth is at the pool when Dr. Manning approaches her. Ruth is still reserved around Dr. Manning, wanting to like and trust him but still unsure. She begins questioning him and trying to find out more on his backstory. Yes what is his backstory?

Suspense have to know

So why would Dr. Manning choose to be on a ship? Well he’s not hiding from anyone. He’s not married (yay). He just likes the power and responsibility for caring for 1400 people.

“Dr. Manning: [Notices Ruth has stopped smiling] What’s wrong?

Ruth Stanton Bowman: It just occurred to me, I don’t really know my own husband. It all moved so fast…we were supposed to be getting on this trip. Instead I’m getting acquainted with…[looks at Dr. Manning]”

Ruth leaves to go change, just as Kay comes over. When Ruth has left, Kay confides in Dr. Manning that Ruth was waving to nobody at the dock when the ship left. Both think this is really strange, but why? I mean I think it is normal, to go along with it because everyone is doing it and because it is just part of the experience. I know my sister and I did it when we went on a cruise. I guess that means we are both crazy too.

dean whinchester shrug smile oh well

Anyways, later that day Ruth is headed to her cabin when she hears somethiung in B-16.

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She goes to look and finds Kay, Mr. Logan, and the stewardess. They all say they are trying to help, looking for any thing to back up Ruth’s story…but are they? Are they really trying to help her? Or are they just trying to make her crazy?

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

That night is Halloween, and they are setting up for the party.

Happy Halloween jack-o-lantern

Ruth is pacing in her room waiting for John to call. Finally the phone rings!!

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But it is just Dr. Manning seeing if she is ready. She asks for a few more minutes, still waiting for John’s call, when that stewardess from before comes in. She tells her she needs to talk to her about her husband.

OMG

Maybe she knows something about John!! Maybe she is on his side and helping him?!!!

The stewardess tells her she just wants to apologize for not being able to help.

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

Thanks a lot for getting my hopes up. You suck.

Ruth is upset and leaves. After she is gone the stewardess picks up the phone and calls someone, telling them that everything is going according to plan, they think Ruth is crazy just as we planned.

OMG

Then Ruth isn’t crazy and someone really is behind it. But who is the stewardess’ partner? Dr. Manning? Kay? Mr. Logan? The Captain? The Steward? The German man? John Bowman?

I don't know if I can trust you.

I don’t know if I can trust anyone.

She goes to dinner when she sees John from behind!

Finally something GOOD!

Finally!!

But she turns out to be wrong as it is someone else, who only looks like John from behind.

She goes to  her table she is sharing with Dr. Manning. They sit down for dinner, when he is suddenly called away by the Captain. It turns out the Captain has finally received that information about Ruth. Her father owned a huge corporation in Philadelphia and they are extremely rich. Mr. Stanton died four months ago, and after he died Ruth was put under a doctor’s care. Neither the doctor or the housekeeper have ever heard of a John Bowman.

IUnderstandSomelieithot

So Dr. Manning thinks she just had a collapse after losing her father and that the husband does not exist. The doctor wants her locked up, but Dr. Manning refuses saying she isn’t dangerous. The Captain agrees to listen, for now. BUT, if she should act out again, then she must remain in her cabin for the duration of the trip.

Dr. Manning goes to finish dinner with Ruth. After dinner, he takes her to his office and shows her the radiogram, questioning her and wanting the truth. When Ruth reads the radiogram, she becomes hysterical, in such a fit that Dr. Manning has to slap her to get her out of it.

DangerousCrossing08

She tells him no one knows of her marriage, she kept him and the whole thing quiet. The only thing she has been lying about was that she has been feeling fine, when in reality the whole time they have been doing “normal activities” she has been searching for her husband. She only lied because she is afraid everyone will think she is crazy and lock her up.

Them in this case

Them in this case

She seems so earnest, and believes it so, that Dr. Manning asks her is there is anyone who may wish her or her husband to be dead.

“Ruth Stanton Bowman: The man I hardly know.”

Ruth then tells Dr. Manning abut her father’s half-brother. He was always up to no good and getting into trouble, her dad had to save him again and again. He sold his share of the company to Ruth’s father, taking his money now and wasting it. He wanted more, but Mr. Stanton refused, and to make his half-brother even angrier, Mr. Stanton told him he left everything to Ruth. Ruth has never met the man, but overheard the two fighting. Four days later, Mr. Stanton died. Dr. Manning asks how many know about this, and she replies only her and John. Dr. Manning starts thinking about this. He sends her to her cabin to sleep.

When Ruth gets to her cabin, she gets a call from John!!!!

dangerous crossingphoneringsscared

He tells her to met him at the boat deck immediately, but to be careful to not be seen.

Ruth runs to get there and starts asking John a thousand questions. What is going on? Why are you hiding? John can’t stay as he hears someone, and tell her to meet him at 2:00 am. He then runs off.

weird

Something is not quite right with her husband. It seems a bit fishy to me.

I don't know if I can trust you.

I don’t know if I can trust you.

Anyways, Ruth wants to chase after him, but can’t as it is too foggy and Dr. Manning, the steward, and another officer are right behind her. She runs trying to shake them off, heading to the party, and sweeping Mr. Logan onto the dance floor. Unfortunately, the men stake off the exits and when she tries to leave they get her. She starts screaming.

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They take her away, and lock her in her cabin.

Later, Dr. Manning is going to check on that officer suffering from stomach pains. He can’t quite figure out what is wrong with him. When he gets there, this is the first time we see the officer’s face and it turns out that 3rd Officer Jack Barlowe is actually John Bowman.

OMG

What a scoundrel!

Jerk

He asks the Doctor what is going on, as he heard screaming, and learns that Mrs. Bowman was causing a disturbance. She no longer will be as she is going to be locked in her cabin. The doctor leaves a sedative behind, and as soon as he is gone, instead of taking the medicine as he is only pretending to be sick, John/Jack calls the stewardess from Ruth’s floor.

So they were in on it together!!!!!

So they were in on it together!!!!!

He tells her they need to take care of Ruth tonight. Her being locked up will make the plan impossible, so the stewardess needs to get in there and find a way to let her out, but making sure that Ruth thinks it is her idea. The stewardess agrees and leaves to put the plan in motion.

Back at the cabin, Ruth wakens and calls Dr. Manning. He doesn’t come, but the nurse does who gives her a sedative. Not too long after, the stewardess comes to “help” Ruth, fetching her a glass of water. Now that sedative or whatever injection they gave her is still affecting Ruth. She is walking slow and not thinking one hundred percent clearly or she would have realized the stewardess is taking a looooooong time for a glass of water.

So Ruth gets out and takes off for the deck. The stewardess calls John/Jack and tells him everything is a go. He leaves for the deck as well.

my planisworkingStarWars

Right after she finishes with Jack/John, Dr. Manning comes charging in. The stewardess pretends she was just about to call, as Ruth escapes, but Dr. Manning takes off to find Ruth. After he leaves, the stewardess tries to call Jack/John to tell him the doctor is on the way, but it is too late. He is gone already. Just goes to show you that you can never plan the perfect crime, too many things can go wrong.

Ruth reaches John/Jack and expects to finally get her answers, and she does. Just not how she was expecting. It turns out that John/Jack is her uncle, her father’s half-brother. He concocted this whole plan to marry her (an invalid marriage as it is not his real name), take her on the ship and make her look crazy, murder her, and toss her overboard; inheriting everything.

perfect plan

He begins chocking her, when Dr. Manning comes in, knocking a very frightened Ruth out of the way.

Screen shot 2015-10-11 at 11.42.16 PM

The two men fight, with John/Jack accidentally getting caught in some rope and falling overboard.

In the end, the stewardess reveals everything, they discover Ruth’s passport and marriage certificate in John/Jack’s real room, and the captain apologizes. Ruth is mad at herself and doesn’t know what to do, when Dr. Manning cheers her up with the promise of better tomorrows.

Oh yes Dr. Manning, I’m sure you will be making sure her tomorrows are much better.

You're_in_love_with_her

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I know I may have said it in the past how you cannot trust the doctor in a horror/mystery/suspense film. They always are evil, create monsters, unleash things, etc. Now there is an exception, this movie! This is the only film I can think of where there were doctor didn’t do any of those things, but was actually trying to help. But they usually they are evil, so I recommend staying far, far away from them. At least you should, if you live in a horror film.

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1953dangerous-crossing

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

For the previous post, go to The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend: Alien Vs. Predator (2004)

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For more film-noir, go to Murder is My Favorite Crime: Laura (1944)

For more films based on plays, go to The Perfect Murder: Dial “M” for Murder (1954)

Unleash the Savage Instincts that Lie Hidden Within: I Was A Teenage Werewolf (1957)

 

I_Was_A_Teenage_Werewolf

I’m going to TRANSFORM him, and unleash the savage instincts that lie hidden within… 

So this is another werewolf film, and a B horror film, that doesn’t end well. And to be perfectly honest that’s how I like them.

Say What

As depressing as that sounds, I like it when the werewolf story ends like that that because it’s closer to the original story. Here we have a good man, who has been turned into something he doesn’t want to be and can’t control. It’s sad and poetic at the same time.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

So the big reason I watched this film was because it first of all was about a werewolf, which you all know I love. And it stars Michael Landon.

Michael Landon

So the story is about Tony Rivers (Michael Landon) a boy who is known for losing his temper. His dad is constantly telling him he should get help for his anger problems, but Tony won’t listen. He doesn’t believe he has any issues at all. After a really bad fight on campus with a classmate, the police get involved. The Detective urges Tony to meet up with a psychologist. The thing that really pushes him to reform is his girlfriend Arlene (Yvonne Lime). She tells him he has too many issues and she can’t date a guy like that. At a party that night he attacks his friend when he surprises him, and that pushes him into seeking help from the acclaimed Dr. Alfred Brandon.

i-was-a-teenage-werewolf

Now this is what makes the whole story so sad. He is earnestly trying to get help and fix his problems, but everything goes bad as he turns to the evil Doctor. I tell ya, I don’t trust doctors (unless they are Michael Rennie), as they always turn out evil. Dr. Hartz from The Lady Vanishes (1938), Dr. Hollingshead from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947), Dr. Einstein from Arsenic and Old Lace (1944),  Dr. Arthur Carrington from The Thing From Another World (1951), and that’s just to name a few.

No thank you

Anyways, so the Dr. Brandon has no intention of helping Tony out. Instead he wants to experiment on him, testing out this serum he created to bring out people’s primitive instincts. His assistant tries to convince him not to, but Dr. Brandon won’t listen.

“Dr Hugo Wagner: But you’re sacrificing a human life!

Dr Alfred Brandon: Do you cry over a guinea pig? This boy is a free police case. We’re probably saving him from the gas chamber.

Dr Hugo Wagner: But the boy is so young, the transformation horrible –

Dr Alfred Brandon: And you call yourself a scientist! That’s why you’ve never been more than an assistant.”

you're evil

That night the teens all go hangout at a party. One of the guys, Frank, is killed while he is walking home from the party.

Victim #1

Victim #1

The next day the police are studying the scene and trying to figure out what could have done this. The police station’s janitor, an emigrant from the Carpathian Mountains, looks at the photos and determines that it was a werewolf that did it. In his hometown “human beings possessed by wolves” are common, so he declares that nothing else could have killed the boy.

wolfman

The next day, Tony goes back for a second session in which he tells the doctor that he feels like something is wrong with him. The doctor brushes it off and Tony continues on his way. That day his principal calls him into her office and tells him how happy she is with the improvement. She is going to recommend him entry to the State University.

padme-youre-breaking-my-heart-gif-1

I know this won’t end well

It really gets me because he is so hopeful and sweet, yet you know, you know nothing will end well.

ouch Hermione

So Tony is happy, now that he has a future and a ticket to be something. As he walks to class the bell rings, triggering his transformation.

Teenage_werewolf

And he attacks Theresa, his classmate, who is practicing nearby.

I was aTeenage_Werewolf_by_BryanBaugh

Victim #2

Victim #2

Tony flees for his life, and even though he looks wolfish, people recognize him and put out an APB. A reporter goes to his father and girlfriend to find out more about him and get a scoop. Meanwhile, the police follow Tony, siccing dogs after him, but Tony takes them down.

I was a teenage werewolf

In the morning, Tony wakes up in his true form. He tries to talk to Arlene but can’t get anywhere with her as she is too freaked. He then runs down to Dr. Brandon’s office to get his help.  Dr. Brandon lies to Tony, telling him he will help him but in reality injects him with the serum. Tony starts to transform when the phone rings and it causes Tony to go berserk, attacking the Dr. and assistant. Right then the police charge in and take Tony out (even though they don’t use silver bullets. Although they don’t need to as he isn’t a true werewolf but a manmade one). When they do so, Tony returns. But dead.

Doesn’t it just get you in the feels?

right in the feels broken heart

It’s just so sad. He wanted the help, he wanted to be better; but just went to the wrong person and everything in his life went downhill.

aw cry

This was one of the films created by studios to branch into the teenage crowd. They would do “Creature Double Features” at movie theaters (as shown in The Blob) and drive ins. They were usually short films and teenagers were the focal characters as that was who they were trying to appeal to. Other films were The Blob (1958), Invasion of the Saucer MenI Was a Teenage FrankensteinBlood of DraculaHow to Make a MonsterVillage of the Giantsetc. 

Here is a facebook cover I made one year, as part of my countdown to Halloween

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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 Let Them Fight

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For more on werewolves, go to A Monster Race

For more mad scientists, go to In Their Proper Place

For more remakes given a teenage twist, go to You’re Just Too Good To Be True