The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula, Part II: The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977)

So yesterday I reviewed part one and now we are on to the second part of The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula. Before we start Part II, let’s do a quick recap. So in the ’70s they had the show The Hardy Boys/ Nancy Drew Mysteries. Each week would alternate with an episode featuring The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. When season two came out someone had the fantastic idea to do a crossover, and they ended up doing three more. These crossovers were my favorite as I ship Nancy Drew and Frank Hardy.

So Frank and Joe’s father is missing. They start searching for him and following his notes, running into Nancy Drew who was supposed to meet Mr. Fenton Hardy (the boys’ father). It turns out that Fenton was on the track of an art thief and had connected it a rock ‘n roll star, Allison Troy, who is playing at a rock festival, the Dracula Festival. Nancy and the Boys argue about who’s investigating, the boys going undercover by joining a band and Nancy and her friend Bess travel out to Transylvania.

Inspector Stavlin, friend of Fenton Hardy, does not like the way everyone is treating Dracula and warns everyone to watch out.

Joe is on stage singing, while Frank is searching the castle and gets trapped in a cell with a person who has two pinpricks on his neck Nancy and Bess just found them. What will happen next? Is Dracula really hiding in the castle or is there a human murderer running about? Who is the art thief? And will they ever find out what happened to Fenton Hardy?

Frank tells them to hurry and get a Doctor, Bess runs while Nancy picks the lock to get him out Frank is extremely impressed.

Oh, wow…

That’s another reason why I ship Nancy and Frank over Ned. Ned in this series was just so narcissistic and always talking down to Nancy. Frank was amazing as he liked Nancy and her skills. They are just so perfect together!

So the man in the cell isn’t dead but has a weak pulse-Frank tells him he met him earlier as he is part of the town’s council and the hotel owner. Nancy spots his neck and sees the bite marks…like a vampire bite.

Meanwhile, Joe continues singing. I think Shaun Cassidy is so adorable, and as much as I like David Cassidy, he’s my favorite of the brothers.

Stavlin comes and sees the bite maks and he gets one of the police members to get an ambulence while other people help carry Berger out.

Nancy: I think it is about time we started working together.

Frank: I think so too.

Nancy and Frank leave the caverns and head back upstairs to the party. Joe is at first upset to see Nancy (he’s still not over her harpooning their waiter) but Frank tells him about their new partnership-all working together. Nancy reveals that she came there specifically to look for them, Frank is pleased (oh Frank, he has a crush on Nancy) and she shares she has some info on their father. She thinks she might have found him.

She started searching not for Hardy, but Fredricks and found him in a monastery. Some Monks found him and tried to find his family, but the only ID he had on was Fredricks.

Found in a monastery? That sounds a lot like Dracula when Jonathan Harker was discovered in a convent, having been found by nuns. I love little touches like that.

The boys are relieved he isn’t dead, but wish he was doing better. Frank leaves to speak to the monk about his father’s care and what should be done next, while Joe stays with dad. Aw, Joe cries, Joe is so cute. Shaun Cassidy is a great actor, you forget that he is acting

The monk tells frank that one day his father did recover consciousness and for a brief moment said something about caverns, but the monk does’t know what that means. He too had a vampire-like bite.

From Horror of Dracula

Nancy says what they are all thinking, Dracula. Frank is amazed she could believe that, but Nancy states she doesn’t really think a vampire has arisen, but that someone wants them to think that.

You know, in the previous post I said that these brothers were the Dean and Sam Winchester, from Supernatural, of the ’70s and now that I think about it-this episode has some similarities to “Monster Movie“.  The brothers investigating a strange occurrence at a a festival happening, the older brother trying to get with the pretty girl, and a “vampire” running amuck…interesting.

Hmm…

The boys return from their visit and drop Nancy off at the hotel, then return to the castle to search the caverns. A bat flies by…Dracula?

Back at the castle the secret passage in the “crypt” moves and someone is stalking the night. It is the person we before…could it be… Dracula?

Frank is set on it being Allison Troy as that is the track his dad was on, but Joe isn’t sure. I mean Allison is cold and a diva, but the vampire dress up and “bite” seems a it farfetched for a rock star? But then again, I already reviewed two movies about Ted Bundy and both clearly showed that you never really know people as well as you think you do.

Hmm…

The boys leave the caverns deciding to sleep on it and resume the investigation in the morning. They just narrowly escape he who stalks the caverns.

The next day the townspeople are worried about Dracula and are hanging up garlic everywhere. The detectives decide to continue searching the next day when Troy is preoccupied with the concert.

Joe takes Allison Troy’s car, but finds nothing. Meanwhile, Nancy and Frank search Troy’s room. Hmm…wonder who picked that split. I’m sure Frank is trying to be like Fred and Daphne Nancy Drew.

Nancy and Fred find a lock-pickers kit under the bed, Frank thinks they are on the right track, but Nancy isn’t so enthused…she’s thinking.

Frank wants to go to Stavlin with the information, but it seems too easy. If he is such a great criminal with these art thefts why would he do something so stupid like leaving the lock-picks under the bed.

Hmm…from The Wolfman

Everyone in town are freaking out as they think Dracula has risen. They think they should stop the concert as it is their fault that Dracula has risen again. Others say they should burn the castle.

mob

Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

People be crazy, but Stavlin comes and starts yellling Dracula isn’t real and calms the people down and warning them that if they break any laws or abuse a guest they will be arrested.

So was it my imagination or did he previously seem to be saying Dracula is alive? But now he is telling everyone there is no Dracula…hmm. Does he believe or doesn’t he?

Hmmm…

Frank approaches Stavlin to tell them about Troy, but he is busy with the mayor. The mayor invites them to join them and share. He also gives them all steaming cups of cider.

Stavlin talks about the attacks of the last two days of two strong men being highly suspicious. But how did he know about Fenton being bit. When he spoke to the boys before he was clueless as to what had happened and Frank and Joe haven’t had a chance to talk to him yet. Hmm.

Hmm…treasure?

Stavlin warns the mayor that he might be the next victim and Frank questions why. Thanks for asking Frank as I was wondering the same thing. Stavlin says it parallels the Dracula story that has been passed on for generations, while that has nothing to do with the book Dracula, what is he talking about?

Frank brings up his father who has nothing to do with the Dracula legend. So yes, here it sounds as if he believes in Dracula being alive. Hmmm….

Hmm…

Frank and Nancy share their discoveries and what they found in Troy’s room. Nancy also shares that it feels like a frame job. Stavlin isn’t too surprised and brushes them off saying he will look into it.

He warns the mayor that he must guard his life, that the other men survived but the next, the mayor, will die.The mayor laughs him off, but I’d be worried about Stavlin.

SUPER creeped

That night the mayor locks himself in his office while Frank walks Nancy home oooohhhh

Nancy sleeps fitfully, while in his room Frank paces the room and He (the guy from the cavern, possible Dracula) stalks the night.

Someone creeps through the window watching Nancy, someone who looks very Dracula like.

Joe and Bess return, what have they been up to?, while a bat flies in to attack Nancy, a bat or vampire?!! Joe, Frank, and Bess hear her and Frank breaks the door down and picks up Nancy carrying her to safety in the hallway, leaving Joe and Bess fight it.

Nancy is understandably freaked at this vampire bat attacking her and clings to Frank ooooooooooohhh

Frank realizes the room was locked from the inside, so someone hid the bat in the room…or Dracula exists.

From “Monster Movie” from Supernatural

The group are talking in the restaurant and Stavlin overhears them. He questions them but believes Dracula is real. The Mayor’s housekeeper comes to Stavlin for help as she cannot get the master and he wont answer. All the men break the door down and find him…dead! Bite mark on his neck!

Oh, he’s not dead. He’s still alive.

Frank is trying to figure this out but the room is locked from the inside, the window has bars, the fireplace has a high fire…what, how, uh?

Wow!

So while the first episode was good, they also had a lot of setting up to do with the meet cute, them getting to Transylvania, etc. This one is far more thrilling as we either have Dracula arisen from the grave or a crazy person wanting everyone to think he’s Dracula. Either way I am stone cold invested.

The next day Troy is arrested and the concert stopped. All the townspeople cheer and wish they had listened to Stavlin about not having the rock concert in the first place. They ask about evidence and Stavlin shares about the lock-picks and that he found a map in the trunk of his car. Here Joe speaks up as he searched last night, remember and found nothing.

Bess also speaks up that she was watching Troy and his group all night and they never left the castle. Stavlin is upset but as there are all these contradictions he decides to let Troy go.

Stavlin tells the detectives that if it isn’t Dracula attacking or Troy and there was no one else could the mayor have hurt himself?

Hmm…

The mayor is offended that Stavlin could suggest it, but Stavlin ignores him and Stavlin has him arrested. Stavlin explains as a political move, which makes no sense to me. Why would he do that? How does it help him? I’m so confused. These people don’t question Stavlin but ask him to take over until they have an election.

Stalin refuses at first but at their urges acquiesces to do as the council wishes.

So after all that excitement they head back to the hotel. Frank and Nancy are doing a sort of “you hang up first” routine, making it beyond obvious to Bess and Joe that they hav feelings for each other. Joe decides to show up his brother, like always, and makes a move on Bess getting a kiss.

I can’t believe any of these guys are really going to bed. I mean I have read a lot of these books, after that exchange of Stavlin and the townspeople, they should be investigating.

Frank and Joe head back to the castle as Frank doesn’t believe in the explanation given by Stavlin, and it is really thin. How does bringing “Dracula” help his career? He’s been doing horrible ever seen Dracula “arose from the grave”. Frank wants to search the castle and Dracula’s grave.

The boys search the caverns which are spoooky.

Creepy…

Frank takes Joe to Dracula’s “grave” which reveals the secret passage, Frank goes into it, Joe following. Inside it has all the paintings from all the robberies. Joe wants to leave, he’s a bit creeped out, but Frank won’t let them as he wants to jeep searching. He finds the coffin and can’t stop as he has to open it to reveal……………………………………………………………………..

Bones!!!!!!! So yeah bones not a vampire.

Stavlin interupts them dressed in vampire clothing. Yes it was Stavlin who was stealing the art. You see they are forcing him to retire due to his age so he started stealing to create a little nest egg. He always spend all his time in the castle and used it as a special place to reenact his desire to be Dracula.

Yes, he uses the room and castle to pretend to be Dracula. That’s why he didn’t want the rock group there. Someone might go poking around and find his little secrets.

The Hardy Boys figured out how he attacked the mayor. He must have drugged the mayor’s cider, and he knew that the maid would come to him for help. He was the first on the scene and when he checked the mayor and blocked him from view to  “protect” the housekeeper he must have made the wound.

He tried to frame Troy but Joe and Bess foiled it, so he had to blame the mayor.

Stavlin locks the door and they are locked in the castle with a madman, only stopped by Nancy, Fenton, and Bess. Stavlin is surprised and he falls into the trapdoor he set up for the boys and is arrested. He’s no Dracula, if anything he’s crazy old Reinfeld.

Renfield from Dracula (1931)

Stavlin is taken away and says these crazy things like he might escape, Joe sees him pass by a mirror and doesn’t see Stavlin’s reflection.

Could he be Dracula arisen from a the grave, a real vampire, or a trick mirror?

Hmm…

It doesn’t answer that and I like that.

These are always my favorite episodes of the series and so much fun. I highly recommend checking them out.

For more Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, go to A Haunting We Will Go: The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977)

For more Nancy Drew, go to Those Men Are Not Going to Stand for Nancy Drew Poking Her Little Nose Into Their Affairs: Nancy Drew, Detective (1938)

For more Dracula, go to Count Dracula the Propagator of This Unspeakable Evil Has Disappeared. He Must Be Found and Destroyed!: Horror of Dracula (1958)

For more Detectives, go to It’s a Weird Case from the Start. A Case With a Hole in the Center: Knives Out (2019)

For more mysteries, go to One Day You’ll See Something You Shouldn’t: Rear Window (1954)

The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula, Part I: The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977)

So I love Nancy Drew.

Time to get on the case!

I grew up reading The Nancy Drew Case Files and loved it-my favorites being the crossover mysteries with the Hardy Boys. Now I know Nancy and Ned are meant to be together, but I have to admit-I really want Frank and Nancy to end up together. They are just so cute together!

So this episode is from the TV series, The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries. This show came out in the 1970s, the first season alternating every week between the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. The second season saw four crossover episodes, and only three Nancy Drew as the actresses playing her left the series. Season three was reworked to be just the Hardy Boys. I first discovered this show when I bought an old VHS with an episode on it, “A Haunting We Will Go“, at a library book sale.

It was a good series while it lasted, I just wish there had been more. If you are interested in watching, all these episodes are currently on youtube, here’s the link if you want to watch this one. I actually preferred the Nancy Drew episodes to the Hardy Boys, I mean I love Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy but the Hardy Boys always solved CIA, Interpol, spy mysteries and I liked that you never knew what you were going to get with Nancy Drew-embezzlement, theft, murder, etc.

But my favorite of all the episodes were the crossovers episodes, this being the first of them, in fact the very first time any Hardy Boy and Nancy Drew crossover happened. So enough intro, let’s get on to the review:

Mystery, you say?

At the beginning of every episode we see the Universal logo. I’ve always wondered why they haven’t remade it, I would watch it. But then again they would probably mess it up like they did with Nancy Drew (2007) film.

forgetaboutit

So to start we have the awesome intro and amazing intro music.

I love the setup, and I espechially love the book covers in the background and that music. Ooh! It sends shivers up an down my spine and gets me in the mood for a mystery.

Creepy…

We start off with Fenton Hardy (father of the Hardy Boys) driving up to Dracula’s castle in a taxi, the driver complaining about the American Rock singer using Dracula’s castle.

The taxi driver/caretaker warns Mr. Hardy not to go inside-its very old and possibly cursed. The caretaker won’t stay as he s too afraid, and tells Mr. Hardy he will wait for him at the bottom oft hill. Good-bye.

See ya!

Mr. Hardy goes into the castle and a bat flies at him, Dracula?

He looks round but doesn’t spot anything, hmm.

Hmmm…from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

But we see that someone is behind him. Mr. Hardy drops his flashlight and lights a torch finding a skeleton in the passage of the castle he is searching, but before he can look further the person following him knocks him out cold.

That’s not good.

We move to Paris 5 days later. Joe (Shaun Cassidy) and Frank (Parker Stevenson) have arrived to the morgue as they lost contact with their dad and was notified of a body that fit his description. They go to to see if it is their father but it isn’t him, thankfully. They are happy he isn’t dead, but that begs the question what happened to him, and where is he?

Can I stop and talk about how adorable these guys are. I love both of them and their portrayal is spot on. They are not only entertaining but completely believable as brothers-at times I forget they aren’t really siblings. They are the Dean and Sam (Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki) of the ’70s.  Okay, now we can go back to the episode.

They go the hotel their father had rented a room in and spot a band playing outside, The Circus.

They go to their father’s room, but someone is inside searching it, it is Inspector Stavlin (Lorne Green) of the Romanian police. He was working with their father and trying to solve the case of art thefts occurring throughout Europe. Mr. Hardy called Stavlin to join him in Paris as he had a lead, but after that Stavlin hasn’t heard from him since.

That’s not good.

Stavlin encourages them to give up and go home, Obviously, he doesn’t know the Hardy boys very well as they are totally going to continue to go after their father. Stalin leaves as he has to return to Transylvania.

Joe is more superstitious and that perks him up right away, Transylvania as in Dracula?

The boys search the room and find their dad’s notebook in his usual hiding spot.

There is a list of dates on the art thefts, and something else was booked at the same time. There is a meeting note, which the boys intend to keep:

Munich

Meet at the Ritz

June 11 5:00 pm

Book Rm 301

Name Fredricks

There is also another note on about a Dracula Festival on June 12th. That sounds awesome.

They pay the band they spotted earlier, to join them. Of course the band is down for it as they will be making money. Joe is going to sing and first he is upset that Frank threw him out into it like that- but of course he can sing, he’s a Cassidy after all. And it turns out they are headed to the same Dracula festival-fantastic. They boys head to Munich and arrive on June 10th, just in time for the meeting. Frank sweet talks the concierge and gets the room. The boys leave their stuff and stop to get something to eat.

Meanwhile, Nancy Drew (Pamela Sue Martin) has arrived and is shock to hear there are a group instead of a man in Rm 302. She is traveling with Bess which is odd, as Nancy never brought her friends with her on “serious” cases, usually they were with her when things turned into a case.

Hmm…

Nancy is upset to hear that there are young men in the room instead of a 40-year old man. They send the suitcases back to the desk. Bess questions how does Nancy know that she hasn’t sent the contact away, but as they aren’t an older man so she doesn’t care.

From Mean Girls

I’m with Bess, that doesn’t seem like a good idea Nancy. What if your contact sent someone else in his place? What I would have done was stayed in the room and ordered room service until I could talk to the guys.

Frank spots the bellman and grabs their luggage sending them back up in the room. Meanwhile Joe is still trying to get the attention of a waiter, but no dice. Frank questions if it is his father, but finds out it is ladies. He sends the girls’ stuff down.

Joe tries to order but his waiter is stolen by Nancy. This exchange is hilarious and as Frank comes back in a bad mood because of the luggage, and it develops when there is no food on the table. Him being upset with Joe was so realistic, like real siblings. No joke, this is me and my sister.

From The Awful Truth

Meanwhile, Nancy has spotted her bags being taken down and sends her bags upstairs. She’s had enough and leaves Bess downstairs to eat while she heads up to the room. Frank and Joe also decide to go upstairs as they are tired of this too. Sharing the elevator, Frank is very into Nancy and tries to talk her up-but she’s in a hurry and Nancy brushes him off. Joe is upset with her as she stole their waiter. Frank is hurt to lose a chance with a beautiful girl, but Joe consoles him as he’ll see her again-she has the same room as them.

Nancy: What do you want? What are you doing in my room?

Joe: We want our waiter back

Frank: Joe!

Hilarious!!!! If I was Nancy I think I’d be a freaked out that this boy has diner rage to follow me my room. Like, this guy is crazy.

You are crazy From The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Frank tells her this is their room. Then he threatens to take the bags out himself if Nancy doesn’t leave and when he tries to touch her luggage-Nancy does a Judo flip on him. I love how Frank and Joe are impressed with Nancy’s skills, as for Frank he likes her even more.

Of course they hash it out and discover that Nancy is the one supposed to meet their father.The boys share that he is missing and they are searching for him.  Nancy tells them she got on the case through her father. She and her friend were in Paris taking a summer class (that’s why Bess is with her) when one of her father’s client’s painting was stolen. It turned out to be one in a series and Nancy started to investigate it and came across Fenton Hardy. She spoke to Fenton 10 days ago, and he told her that he discovered that the rock group Allison Troy was always in the city that the art was stolen from. They believe it to be either Allison Troy or a member of his entourage. Nancy is set on taking over the case herself, but Frank and Joe aren’t letting go. As they have an in with the Dracula rock concert, they think Nancy should stay behind.

Nancy won’t be left behind as she is heading to Transylvania as well. She storms off to collect Bess.

Nancy Drew: Come on we have an appointment to keep.

Bess Marvin: With who?

Nancy Drew: Dracula

So the boys arrive at the castle a day early and it is a dark, spooky, rainy, and chilly night, of course it is as it is the Dracula’s castleThe band is too freaked that they head down to the town to relax.

Inspector Stavlin is at the hotel with the town council and is not happy about this concert and them using Dracula is such a way. No one else heads his warnings of troubles coming as everyone else is happy with the money coming in. Hotel’s almost sold out, restaurants packed, shops are doing good, etc.

The boys spot the Inspector and meet the mayor and the rest of the council. Stavlin continues to share his disgust at the idea of the Dracula festival. The mayor is making fun of him and asks who he fears…Dracula, coming for revenge? Stavlin states he isn’t afraid, but that the others should have more respect…Dracula desires it or else.

Frank shares that they found their father’s notebook and that their father had written about the festival. Stavlin thanks them for sharing and tells them if they find anything else to come to him.

When the boys sign in Joe spots that a B. Fredricks registered at the same hotel. So if his father came and was such good friends with Stavlin, why didn’t he meet him there? Is their father still there? Kidnapped? Dead?

Hmmm…

June 12th arrives and so starts the rock concert. Allison Troy is dressed up in a Dracula style outfit and has a party with many people dressed up as monsters. This looks so cool, I wish that it was real so I could go.

From Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School

The boys arrive and Troy and his people have the contracts and costumes. They warn the band to watch out for the crumbling castle and to treat the house with respect as it is a national treasure. One area they are not allowed to enter, it is forbidden. Of course the boys perk up on this and plan to investigate it later.

Stavlin is obsessed with Dracula, calling the castle a cemetery and acts like he believes Dracula is real and will rise again. The mayor hates Stavlin and is happy he’ll be gone soon he’s at the retirement age (they are forcing him to retire). The Mayor and the rest of the council are taking a tour of the castle as they haven’t been in there before.

Joe goes on to perform while Frank plans to search the castle. On of the running gags on this show is that every time Joe sings, Frank always misses it.

Frank starts searching the spooky castle, and someone is following him as we can see their boots.

That’s not good.

Meanwhile, Bess and Nancy have arrived in costume. Bess doesn’t want to search  the castle but stay and listen to Joe, but Nancy insists they need to search the cavern.

As the Mayor and friends are looking through out the castle, they find a large seal that says Dracula. This is supposedly his grave and the rest of the group and the caretaker/guide of the castle are all deeply frightened.

The mayor is the only one who has no fear and feels the Dracula story is just a lot of hooey. However, after they leave the “grave” we see it move aside and that someone resides in the chamber…or some monster. The black boots we have seen earlier come out. Is it Dracula having risen from the grave?

From The Horror of Dracula

One of the members of the group falls behind, its Berger the hotel owner, and is taken.

From the Cat and the Canary

The mayor and his people finish their tour and Frank is also searching passing by the seal. Nancy and Bess as well poke around the caverns. Bess is no help at all in this story as she just complains about being there in the cavern. As the girls pass by Dracula’s grave, the wall opens again and whoever it is (Dracula? ) starts following them.

From Return of the Vampire

Frank spots Berger in a cell and runs in to see if he is okay when he is locked in as well. Frank checks Berger and sees the vampire bit marks on his throat:

Nancy and Bess see them and Bess screams.

So typically Fridays are the days that I review TV episodes but as I couldn’t see waiting a whole week, I will post part II tomorrow.

So the second half of this episode I think is actually better. This one was a lot more set up with the detectives meeting up, getting them to Transylvania-more exposition. Tomorrow’s episode will have a lot more action to it.

The first time I saw this episode I was soooo into it I just had to find out what happened next. Where was their father? Would Nancy and Frank and Joe get along? Is it really Dracula or is it someone who thinks they are Dracula/pretending to be Dracula? As this was done by Universal I could see it going either way. We’ll find out tomorrow.

Until then….

For more Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, go to A Haunting We Will Go: The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977)

For more Nancy Drew, go to Those Men Are Not Going to Stand for Nancy Drew Poking Her Little Nose Into Their Affairs: Nancy Drew, Detective (1938)

For more Dracula, go to Count Dracula the Propagator of This Unspeakable Evil Has Disappeared. He Must Be Found and Destroyed!: Horror of Dracula (1958)

For more Detectives, go to It’s a Weird Case from the Start. A Case With a Hole in the Center: Knives Out (2019)

For more mysteries, go to One Day You’ll See Something You Shouldn’t: Rear Window (1954)

Time for You to Awaken, Master. Time for You to Go Out: The Return of the Vampire (1943)

“Time for you to awaken, Master. Time for you to go out.”

So last year I was lamenting that I couldn’t think of any films I wanted to open Horrofest with from the 1950s as that was the year I was going to start with. I mentioned some films I really wanted to do, but both came out in the 1940s.

So as this year it is time to start off with a 1940s film, I was like why not do one of the ones I mentioned in last year’s post? I already reviewed Rebecca last year, so I chose The Return of the Vampire. 

I loooove this movie!

I saw it year ago on TCM and it has stayed with me my whole life. You know a movie is good when it hooks you years ago and you stay hooked.

The film was just so engaging and has beautiful cinematography. Plus it also has Bela Lugosi! You cannot go wrong with him in anything, let alone in a Vampire flick. I just love him.

So this film was actually supposed to be a Dracula sequel, but Universal threatened to sue Columbia Studios so they changed it to The Return of the Vampire and instead of Count Dracula, we have Armand Tesla.

We start this film during WWI with a vampire Armand Tesla (Bela Lugosi) stalking the streets of London and using the war as a cover-who cares about people suffering from anemia and a few deaths when there is a war on?!

But someone does, Lady Jane Ainsley (Frieda Inescort) and her colleague Professor Walter Saunders (Gilbert Emery) run a clinic and are baffled by the anemia.

Hmm…

Tesla is furious and uses his slave, a werewolf formally known as Andreas Obry, and the two break into the clinic. When he can’t finish his off his former victim he decides to make Saunders pay and goes after his granddaughter.

Professor Saunders, meanwhile, has concluded that the victim was attacked by a vampire. The victim dies and when Saunders goes home he sees a man feasting on his granddaughter. The vampire flees and Saunders saves his granddaughter Nikki (Nina Foch) by giving her a blood transfusion. While her life is saved for now, she will always be in danger. The vampire will continue to search for her to finish the job, and he will also be able to control her.

Professor Saunders and Lady Jane search for the Vampire in order to stake it and kill it.

They search out the local cemetery in order to search out the Vampire. They are both attacked by a werewolf who is being controlled by the Vampire-but once they stake the vampire the werewolf returns to his normal form of Andreas Obry.

Wow!

Professor Saunders and Lady Jane know that the only way to keep a vampire dead is make sure the stake isn’t removed from the heart-remove the stake revive the vampire. They bury the coffin and make sure it is well hidden.

Time moves forward and the year is now 1942. Nikki has fully recovered from her experience, having no knowledge of the attack and is engaged to Lady Jane’s son John (Roland Varno). Andreas Obry has recovered from his experience and has become an assistant to Lady Jane.

You know thinking about this movie in 2020 it is really cool that the Vampire hunter/Doctor is a woman. I mean you wouldn’t expect it in the 1940s, and you certainly don’t see it in modern vampire stories (except Buffy the Vampire Slayer), but she basically is Van Helsing. Not the Hugh Jackman version, but the original one from the 1930s.

Of course what comes to mind is Jane the Vampire Hunter:

So Professor Saunders has passed way and Lady Jane decides to share about the vampire with Scotland Yard detective Sir Fredrick Fleet (Miles Mander) . He doesn’t take her seriously, but he does take the murder of a man seriously. He wanted to arrest Lady Jane, but she convinces him to check the body. If it is a regular man, he will be decomposed. If a vampire-his body will not have aged a day.

Stay the same age forever…

Lady Jane is going to show Sir Fleet but then a bombing raid occurs. One of the bombs hits the cemetery and a lot of bodies are dug up and two gravediggers are set to put all to right. When they come across Tesla’s body they find the stake in the heart and feel bad for the man. They pull it out and the Vampire returns!

The first thing Tesla does is contact his slave telepathically as he will need his help in moving the coffin and such. He calls to his former slave and werewolf Andreas.

Armand Tesla: [Offscreen, as Andreas walks in the woods] Andreas! [Andreas can’t locate the sourceAndreas!

Andreas Obry: [Suddenly seeing Tesla] You! You have no power over me! That was ended many years ago! I’m no longer your slave! Dr. Ainsley has cleansed me of all the evil you forced upon me! You can’t bring it back! You can’t! I won’t let you! I won’t!

Armand Tesla: You’re a fool, Andreas! A complete, utter fool! Your fate is to be what you are – as mine is to be what I am… your Master! [In a commanding toneCome here!

Andreas Obry: I won’t! [He moans]

Armand Tesla: [Commandingly] Look at me, Andreas! [There is a closeup of Tesla’s eyesLook at me!

Andreas Obry: [after Andreas undergoes a metamorphosis into a werewolf] Andreas, come here! [Subserviently] Master, you have returned.

This is a fantastic scene, as you see Andreas really trying! He really, really wants to believe it is true that has overcome this. Looking at this as an adult it resonates so well as you have met people trying to overcome things, thinking they have, but then something happens and they are right back at the bottom again-addiction, toxic relationships, etc. It is extremely well done and poor, poor Andreas.

Now that Andreas is controlled by Tesla he sets him out for his first mission protect the coffin and find him a new identity. Andreas comes across a scientist recently escaped from a concentration camp, Hugo Bruckner. Dr. Hugo Bruckner was freed by help of the Resistance, something Lady Jane is a part of, and will be working with her. Man this vampire is extremely evil to murder a concentration camp survivor.

Tesla takes on the identity and slips into the Ainsleys’ and Nikki’s life. Some of you might wonder why Lady Jane doesn’t recognize him, but she only fought him that one time over twenty years ago, and at night in a foggy cemetery.

Lady Jane is throwing Nikki and her son an engagement party. Sir Fleet shows up and Lady Jane takes the Professor Saunder’s manuscript and locks it up, not wanting Nikki to ever find out about what happened. Tesla/Bruckner shows up, is introduced, and given free reign of Lady Jane’s office and laboratory. He uses this time to steal Saunders’ manuscript, the one Sir Fleet read. All are charmed by him except Sir Fleet, as he feels something is not quite right.

The next night the manuscript is somehow left in Nikki’s room and she reads it and finds out the truth. The Tesla calls to her…and the next day she has been drained of blood! Oh no!

Then they… then my mom made me stop watching it.

I know I was soooooo invested. What happens next? Will Nikki be alright? How will they defeat Tesla? I don’t recall exactly how old I was but this was well before google and we didn’t have TiVo or any blank tapes I could use to record, although my mother wouldn’t have let me as we were leaving the house and they weren’t going to leave the TV on with no one home. So I had to scan the newspaper and TV guide until it was on TV again.

So after she was drained of blood they transfused her. She survives but as we saw in The Horror of Dracula last year, that can only last so long. They need to find this vampire and kill it!

Stake through the heart.

Lady Jane starts to investigate and questions the grave robbers when the body cannot be found. She and Fleet also search Bruckner’s room and discovers the mirrors are all set down and a ring that she recalls from Tesla.

Fleet had had Andreas followed ad he was seen trying to change into a werewolf and found with Bruckner’s effects, his real effects.

Meanwhile, Nikki and John are attacked and Nikki starts to believe she has been transformed into a vampire. She pleads with John to stay away as she doesn’t want to hurt him. But you know these men in this old classic horror films-it doesn’t matter they are staying in this relationship and with the girl. How guys aren’t like that now? Most guys I know would be out in no time at all.

In reality, Tesla has been feeding. Tesla attacks Lady Jane, but she carries a cross and uses it to deflect him.

Wow!

So there are two amazing things I noticed about this scene. First can we just stop and appreciate that Lady Jane has a giant organ. Man, you are a girl after my own heart. I can’t play the organ but if I had money I would want a giant one and learn how to play it. Then I could be my own version of The Phantom of the Opera. 

Second-I love how in this scene she seems so meek and mild-and then bam-she’s got the cross and she flings it out at him. Lady Jane is awesome!

That’s awesome

Later that night Tesla calls Nikki to him again and she and Andreas answer the call. Meanwhile, Lady Jane ad Sir Fleet have decided to follow them. They come upon them in the cemetery but a raid interrupts their pursuit, although Fleet shoots Andreas, mortally wounding him. Andreas begs his master to save him, but Tesla coldly refuses.

Andreas Obry: Heal me, Master. I am hurt!

Armand Tesla: What is that to me?

This was so exciting when I watched it. First of all I really wanted to know what happened after waiting so long. Secondly this scene has the vampire, the damsel, bombs, a gun-you just didn’t know what would happen next!

Tesla leaving Andreas to die is the wake to reality he needs. He grabs a nearby cross and thrusts it at Tesla, coming between him and his victim-Nikki. A bomb hits and the sun comes up, melting Tesla to nothing.

Wow!

This is one of the first films to show a vampire disintegrating like this. It was actually censored in England for being too graphic. Oh, 1940s-if you saw the stuff we have today, although I have to say it was pretty yuck.

Of course Nikki and John get their happy ending, and Lady Jane stays awesome.

It was fantastic! I just loved it and you know who else would have if she existed-Catherine Morland.

You know it.

Please note that this is being said sarcastically.

So that’s our start with Horrorfest IX what else will it bring? Who knows! I start every year off with a plan but you know how that goes-anything can happen! Stay Spooky people!

For more Vampire films, go to Count Dracula the Propagator of This Unspeakable Evil Has Disappeared. He Must Be Found and Destroyed!: Horror of Dracula (1958)

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

For more WWII, go to Catherine Morland’s Reading List: The Distant Hours

Count Dracula the Propagator of This Unspeakable Evil Has Disappeared. He Must Be Found and Destroyed!: Horror of Dracula (1958)

Since the death of Jonathan Harker Count Dracula the propagator of this unspeakable evil has disappeared. He must be found and destroyed!

So typically when I begin Horrorfest I always start and end with a movie I love. As my drama teacher always said “you want to start and end hot. The middle can be a failure but you want them going in to love it, and exiting to love it.”

This year I had a really hard time choosing a film to start with. I really wanted to do something from the 1940s, like Rebecca, The Phantom of the Opera (starring Claude Raines), or The Return of the Vampire, etc- but this year the pick needs to be from the 1950s. I also really wanted to start off with a Gothic film to honor Catherine Morland.

Eventually I decided on Horror of Dracula, as the Christopher Lee & Peter Cushing films are iconic, gothic, and not the classic classic monster films-but are Classic monster films.

This was called Dracula in England, but in the US it had to be changed to the Horror of Dracula as they still showed Dracula (1931) in theaters.

The only thing it, I have ever seen it before.

In fact don’t think I’ve reviewed any Hammer films yet, I didn’t grow up watching them but the classic universal films instead. I hope this goes well!

So as the film begins the credits rolls, and as I look at them I notice in the credits Michael Gough. I feel like I saw that name recently in something I watched…

Hmm…

I know he played Mr. Bennet in  version of Pride and Prejudice, but that’s not what I’m thinking of. Then it hits me! He’s Alfred in Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, and Batman and Robin. 

Anyways, we see a crypt! As we zoom into the tomb we spot a tomb and the coffin of Dracula!

But then blood squirts on it-weird.

We then move to the diary of Jonathan Harker. It is May 3, 1885. A carriage brings Jonathan to Castle Dracula as Jonathan narrates. He is going to see Dracula as he wants to make good money to marry his fiance.

Majorly

Yes, it turns out that this is not like the original novel, but that Jonathan has come to the Castle under false pretenses. He’s there for another plan-to hunt slay Dracula.

You could say he is Harker the Vampire Slayer!

The castle seemed fine in the warm afternoon sun, normal except no birds. Now I’m not a fan of birds, you know-but even I know thats not good.

That is not good,

The house is nice but I wish it was in black and white. It’s not so creepy when you see it in color, especially all the bright red. I mean look how creepy this is:

And then Dracula is not even there to greet him! What, no awesome scene?!?

So if you have been following me for a while, you know how I feel about remakes and sequels:

And so far I’m not liking the changes.

I’m not happy

Jonathan does find a note from Dracula, after all he is a gentleman:

My Dear Harker,

I am sorry I was unable to meet you. Eat well, make yourself comfortable.

Dracula

Jonathan eats and it actually reminds me of Beauty and the Beast, the original fairytale when he is left a note by the castle owner.

As he looks around the castle he meets a beautiful woman who begs him to take her awry from here. Jonathan introduces himself as the librarian come to catalog Dracula’s books. In this Jonathan is a librarian and not solicitor/real estate agent? I know I should be upset at the change but all I can think is that I’ll be able to add another library to my list.

So the woman runs off when Dracula (Christopher Lee) comes. This portrayal of Dracula is very interesting-he seems normal, and a regular guy. He is helpful by picking up his luggage and shows him to his room, him a count! I have to admit I like his portrayal. It’s not Lugosi, but its not bad.

I mean when Lugosi entered the room, you were instantly freaked out as something was not quite right in the castle. With Lee, nothing seems off about him. He is polite, kind-the perfect employer. It is a nice way to lull you in (I mean it is Dracula, I know he’s bad).

Dracula shows Harker to his room and leaves, as he has to go out of town. Harker starts  unpacking and the first thing he puts out is a picture of Mina, aw!

Dracula return to give him a key to the library, when he spots a picture of Harker’s fiancé, Lucy?? LUCY!!!

What’s the heck?

It’s supposed to be MINA!!! Ugh

Ugh! You can’t even get the names right.

After Dracula leaves, Harker sees his room is locked and he cant get out!!!

Harker starts to write in his journal-it’s weird because obviously something is not right in this home, but you still trust Dracula as Christopher Lee plays him so open.

Hmm…

That night Harker is drowsing when something is at his door. He can see the handle twisting! When he checks it he sees that it is unlocked so he walks out and downstairs to the library. There he finds the woman who begs him to help her!

Jonathan Harker: You make it very difficult for me. After all, I’m a guest here. If I’m to help you, I must have a reason.

Woman: A reason! You ask for a reason? Is it not reason enough that he locks me up in this house, holds me against my will? You can have no idea what an evil man he is… or of the terrible things he does!

He questions her more, but she can tell him nothing. Now this is very well done. I mean, like I said in the 1931 version Dracula is creepy from the beginning. In this, Dracula has bee so open and kind so when she says he’s evil you kind of feel unsure what to believe, as what she said and what we have seem of him don’t match up. (Except for you know, he’s Dracula)

Harker promises to help her and hugs her to comfort her, when she then goes right for his neck. She bites him, but Harker is saved when Dracula storms into the room.

That is not good,

Dracula and his Vampire bride fight with each other, as she wants Jonathan and Dracula wants him to be let alone. Harker tries to help her, while Dracula throws him off choking him until he is knocked out.

Ouch

He then carries his bride off through a secret door in the library bookshelves.

The next morning Harker wakes up in his room The door is locked from the utside and he cant get out. Was it all a dream?

Hmmm

No, he has the bite marks with bright red blood on his neck. Yeah the blood doesn’t look right. I think this would have been better in black and white.

He pulls his journal out of the chest of draws (which is pretty cool, it has all these different sizes on it.) He writes that he has become a victim of Dracula and prays that he will not become one of them and that if he fails, someone with the knowledge to do what is necessary will release his soul.

He decides to do what he has set out to do. He’s on a search to find the resting place of Dracula and destroy him!

He hides his journal in a hedge and then goes looking for Dracula’s tomb. As he walks around the set, it reminds me of the Dr. Jekyll and the Werewolf film I watched last year.

Harker finds the tomb, the girl is there as well. He unrolls his package which holds a stake and mallet to put the girl out of her misery. He should have done Dracula first instead of the girl so she wouldn’t wake him up. Dumb.

Night falls and the woman’s screams awaken Dracula. The girl turns into an old lady as she is now dead. Harker turns to stake Dracula, but he is GONE!!!

Bad things happen when you don’t listen

Always do the Prince of Darkness first boy. Who mentored you??

Seriously

Wait a sec…they aren’t going to kill Harker are they? The scene fades out so I am not sure if they locked him up in the tomb, or if Dracula killed him.

Hmm…

Back in the village pub a man walks in with aristocratic features and fancy gentlemen clothes who asks about Mr. Harker. It is Dr. Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) who questions the pub owners but they claim to know nothing.

The pub owner warns Van Helsing to get out of these strange parts, but Van Helsing won’t give up. The waitress, however, takes pity on him and Harker and gives Van Helsing the Harker’s diary that was found.

Van Helsing goes up to Dracula’s castle and sees a black hearse carriage carrying off a white coffin. This is obviously Dracula taking off.

Van Helsing goes into the castle searching for Harker, but finds him nowhere. He does find his room which has ben horribly disturbed. And the picture of Lucy  (it should be MINA), is gone! Oh no-Dracula took it! That means he has some nefarious purposes!

Oh no!

Van Helsing finds the tomb and steps inside. The dead female vampire is there, and Harker!???!! He’s a  vapmire?!!!!!! vampire???!!!!!! (sorry I was in such shock I couldn’t spell)

WHATTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But, but, but the story! What’s going to happen?

What’s going on?

Aww, Van Helsing picks up the stake and mallet and has to take care of his friend. That’s heartbreaking.

Van Helsing returns to tell Lucy that Harker died, but she is ill so he meets with her brother Arthur Holmwood (Michael Gough) and Mina (Melissa Stribling). Arthur doesn’t believe him-he finds everything suspicious. He is angry as they should have been told sooner.

Now this seems odd to me. Grief makes you angry, I know, but he seems to extra hate him. Van Helsing gives them the death certificate and is sent out.

Arthur’s wife tries to calm him down and they go to see Lucy. Poor Lucy! She has been ill and can’t wait for Jonathan to return. But he won’t be.

So when I was watching this I began counting off all the things they changed in this film. But I guess if they were competing with Dracula (1931) and Return of Dracula (1958), you want to do something new.

After Mina and Arthur leave, Lucy gets up. Is she faking being ill?

Nope!

Lucy goes to her window and opens the door, allowing the wind and leaves in. She then takes off her cross necklace, NOOOO don’t do that! And then waits in bed for her vampire lover.

Van Helsing is going through Harker’s diary while listening to his notes on killing vampires.This listening to his list is mostly for us-1) They can’t handle light, they can’t go out, 2) Garlic, they can’t stand it, and 3) The crucifix, the crucifix protects the human being but reveals the vampire or the vampire victim.

Van Helsing is determined to go and find & destroy Dracula!

Meanwhile, Dracul at this moment is with Lucy in her bed. He pulls up his cape and fade out.

That is not good,

Dr. Seward has been trying to help but is puzzled by why she is getting sicker. They think it is just anemia, and all I can think is too bad women wore such high collars or else they would spot the fang marks.

Mina Holmwood goes to see Van Helsing and confides her worries about Lucy. She was afflicted 10 days ago, the same time when Jonathan died…

Van Helsing goes to see Lucy, and spots the wounds on her neck right away. Mina noticed the wounds on the neck too, but thought she was stung by something.

Van Helsing tells Mina to leave the windows shut at night and to put Garlic flowers at the window and by her bed. He warns Mina to do what he says or else Lucy will die.

Lucy, however, doesn’t want them and begs the housekeepr Gerta to remove the flowers and to open the windows, and of course Gerta listens, NOOOOOO!!!

The next day Lucy is dead. Gerta admits she opened the widow and took the plants away. Arthur, however, doesn’t blame her. Instead he blames Van Helsing as he can’t stand him. But why blame Van Helsing? If anything, why not blame the doctor who was supposed to be treating them?

Van Helsing gives Arthur the diary to read so he can know the truth, and walks out.

That night the couple is grieving when a policeman comes with Tonya, Gerda’s daughter. Tonya tell Mina that Lucy was walking with her and then someone came and she took off.

That night arthur goes to the crypt and Lucy is GONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gasp!

So this movie has strayed heavily from the book and I have no clue what will happen next, beside of course Dracula and Van Helsing will eventually fight.

That night Tonya goes off with Lucy, who called to her. Lucy has giant fangs, but Tonya doesn’t see them. Arthur goes looking around, confused Then spots Lucy with Tonya. I like how she glides-unearthly walking.

Lucy tries to get Arthur, but Van Helsing is there! He puts the cross on Lucy’s forehead and it burns her. She runs into the crypt, with Arthur following. Van Helsing gives Tonya his coat and the crucifix as he goes after Arthur.

Van Helsing wants to let Lucy roam free to find Dracula, but Arthur won’t have that. So Van Helsing sends Tonya home with Arthur and then when he returns Van Helsing prepares to make sure she will not walk again but rest.

Arthur: [Van Helsing prepares to stake Lucy] Is there no other way? It’s horrible.

Doctor Van Helsing: Please try and understand this is not Lucy the sister you loved. It’s only a shell possessed and corrupted by the evil of Dracula. To liberate her soul and give her peace we must destroy that shell for all time. Believe me there is no other way.

So vampires are supposed to be staled through the heart, but here he does it under her left breast.

robinhoodSheriffofnottinghamhmm

Poor Arthur hes traumatized by the screams of his sister.

So now that he does not have a bride, Dracula will be on the hunt for another.

Dracula

Arthur reads Harker’s diary and decides to join Van Helsing to stop the evil. The first thing they need to do is find Dracula. The vampire must rest in his own soil during the day. They must travel to the border to discover where the coffin was going.

ThinkingHmmwriting

Hmm…

They leave Mina alone as they travel off.  Poor Mina. I hope Dracula doesn’t come after her.

Later that evening, long after the men have left a boy comes to the l door with a message-Arthur  says to go to 49 Fredricks Street. Okay I actually am not sure what street he said and I couldn’t find it online, but that’s what it sounded to me. Uh, oh. We know it not the guys, that means it must be:

Dracula

So over at Customs on the border, Van Helsing  is arguing with the clerk, but Arthur has had enough of that and  just bribes him.

ShutUpTake MY Money

49 Fredricks Street! Oh no, the same address given to Mina! The mortician’s address! The perfect place to hide a coffin.

Under Capricorn Aah oh no ugh

Oh no!

Mina searches for Arthur, which really shouldn’t she be more suspicious? Why would her husband send her to a mortuary? Especially one that is closed? She  searches the mortuary and finds the coffin, Dracula poking out.

Dracula

Arthur and Van Helsing return home but Mina isn’t there. They find her, but she’s pale, not herself, and covering her neck! She must have been bitten too.

1Star-Wars-Luke-NOOO-Not-my-father

The two go to the morticians but the coffin is GONE!!!!!!!!!!!

1Star-Wars-Luke-NOOO-Not-my-father

They return to the house unsure where he went. He could be anywhere.

Mina questions them but they tell her nothing! Jerks, maybe if you gave her the whle story she wouldn’t have been running to mortuaries and getting bit.

MeanGirls I know right!

Arthur is worried and gives her a cross to wear, but when she touches it she faints! It leaves a burn mark in her hand-she has been bit.

Arhthur is angry, but this time at himself.  He knows he should have listened to Van Helsing. They decide to leave her alone and watch for Dracula. That night they wait and watch.

That night all is quiet, so when they head indoors to check on Mina they are shocked to find her dead!

OMG gasp

What they be killing everybody! I am super into this movie and have no clue where it is going next!

Oh no, she’s still okay, they give her a blood transfusion.

You know for a Dracula movie, we don’t sped a lot of time with Dracula. It’s very different, but not in a bad way, as we focus on Ven Helsing and Dracula becomes more shadowy and unknown. He only talks to Jonathan Harker in this making it only a few lines of dialogue. Although I definitely prefer that over Dracula 2000.

I hate that movie.

After the transfusion Van Helsing makes Arthur go downstairs to get something to drink. Didn’t he just HAVE a transfusion-have Gerda fetch him some, or you go get him something. He should not be walking.

Both the men are shocked how Dracula could have gotten in, they were watching all the entrances and never spotted him. Arthur is convinced he can shape-shift, but Van Helsing assures him that is not the answer. Then what is?

Hmmm

They ask Gerda to fetch another bottle of wine, but she refuses as she doesn’t want to go down the the cellar, Mina told her not to. The answer hits Van Helsing and he goes  running down there and finds the coffin, BUT ITS EMPTY!!!! Dracla has outsmarted them, he’s awake and he’s trapped Van Helsing in!

Arthur gets Van Helsing out but they are too late as Dracula has carried Mina off!

Vn Helsing knows they have him on the run and with them having his coffin, the only Dracula can go is home to his castle they are off!

Back at the castle, Dracula digs a grave for Mina and throws her in, like she’s a doll, even though she’s still alive, Arthur and Helsing get there just in time.

This film really gets you going!

Dracula goes running up the stair followed by Helsing. But the house is vast with many nooks and crannies and secret passage ways. Sidenote: Except for the vampire trying to make you undead, this would be an awesome place to live!

Anyways, Helsing finds him and Dracula starts choking him. Helsing passes out!

And Dracula is going to bit him but, oh no Helsing faked it. The music is pumping along to bring the excitement as Helsing runs for the curtains and pulls them aside-causing the sun to come in and Dracula to turn to dust!  Dracula tries to stop him, but Van Helsing makes a crucifix out of candlesticks and stops him.

Ew, thisscene is great and crazy, like Indiana Jones.

With the vampire that turned her dead, Mina is back to normal. And the evil is dead.

or is it? I know the DVD I rented from the library has four Dracula films so he must come back. You can’t kill evil after all…

So what’d I think? I really liked it! You know me, I’m not one for you know remakes, but I enjoyed this a lot.

It strayed heavily from the book. But I guess with something that has been around a while and remade constantly you have to do something to make it surprising. I actually liked how we focused so much on Van Helsing, and I liked Michael Gough assisting as Arthur. 

I’m interested in watching the other films but I won’t be reviewing them this Horrorfest, I already have the whole month planned out.

It wouldn’t be Horrorfest without our facebook banner:

So this kicks off the beginning of Horrorfest ViII. I hope you enjoy it and the spooks, thrills, and chills that are to come.

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

For more vampires, go to I’d Risk My Life to Save Yours: Earshot, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1999)

For more Van Helsing, go to I Bid You Welcome: Dracula (1931)

For more Peter Cushing, go to One of Our Guests is a Werewolf, I Know It.: The Beast Must Die (1974)

For more remakes, go to Did the Niece Poison Mrs. Harlowe?: The House of the Arrow (1953)

Or adieu in this case!

An Invisible Man Can Rule the World. Nobody Will See Him Come, Nobody Will See Him Go…He Can Rob, and Wreck, and Kill!: The Invisible Man (1933)

 

An invisible man can rule the world. Nobody will see him come, nobody will see him go. He can hear every secret. He can rob, and wreck, and kill!

Choosing a movie to open and close is hard-very, very hard. My drama teacher always told us the opening, before intermission, after intermission, and the closing are the most important-basically the opening and closing are what people remember. If you goof, make a mistake, or something doesn’t quite go right-they will forgive. As long as the begining is good and the end is powerful. That’s a lot of pressure.

Hmmm…

I was very unsure what to do-

Hmmm….

But then I had an idea. I read the book The Invisible Man and did not like it. I had never seen the film-in fact it is the only classic Universal Film I have yet to review.

Idea!

That being the case, it is the perfect one to end on. Will it be as good as the other classic films? Will it be better than the book? Will it be worse? Hmmm…?

On with the review!

When screenwriter R.C. Sherriff came to Hollywood to write this film, he asked the staff at Universal for a copy of the H.G. Wells novel he was supposed to be adapting. They didn’t have one; all they had were 14 “treatments” done by previous writers on the project, including one set in Czarist Russia and another set on Mars. Sherriff eventually found a copy of the novel in a secondhand bookstore, read it, thought it would make an excellent picture as it stood, and wrote a script that was a closer adaptation of the book.

What?

But there is one thing they did to help-they gave him a girlfriend. Having a girlfriend is very important to this character who otherwise is crazy, cruel, maniacal, evil, etc. The girlfriend humanizes him-when they are together we see there is more to him-another softer side, he isn’t just a monster.

So everyone wanted Boris Karloff to play the lead-but he turned it down as the character isn’t really on screen. The director overheard Claude Rains auditioning for another part and thought he was perfect. Rains had never been in a film before this, only stage acting, and did it perfectly as his voice was clear-even in all the costuming.

So let’s do the review:

A stranger arrives in the snow to the small village of Iping. All stop when they see how strange he looks-dressed in much heavier clothing than one would even in the cold. He wants a room.

They are more of a summer place, but agree to give him a room to sleep and an extra room-for his experiments.

The townspeople are wary of him-after all what innocent person covers themselves and tries to obscure thier identity. When the owner’s wife brings Griffin his dinner she sees that half of Griffin’s face is GONE!!

They didn’t have the technology we have today, so in order to make Rains invisible they dressed him in a full black bodysuit and placed him in front of a black screen.

Elsewhere, Dr. Cranley (Henry Travers) is woking in his laboratory. Dr. Cranely is Griffin’s mentor and his daughter Flora (Gloria Stuart) was engaged to him. Both are puzzled by his disappearance, and Flora is extremely worried about him, as she hasn’t heard from him in over a month. Dr. Arthur Kemp-Griffin’s friend and the other worker in Dr. Cranely’s lab, has also had zero word. And because Griffin was always working in secret, none know even what he was doing, so no clues where to find him.

A week later, Griffin is still at the inn working trying to find his way “back”. The only one who goes into the rooms is Jenny, the innkeeper’s wife. She doesn’t want Grifffin here-she wants him gone as his rooms are a mess, he is incredibly mean, and just creepy.

When they try to get him out, Griffin refuses and tosses the innkeeper down the stairs. They call the police. Constable Jaffers (E.E. Clive) comes to arrest him, but then Griffin does what no one expected.

Griffin attacks the men guarding the door and then takes off.

So this where I have a problem in the book. All the other classic monsters had something that made you feel for them. The Phantom? Thrown out because disfigured, abused, mistreated, used, and people have tried to kill him because he is ugly. Finds a girl who he thinks loves him but doesn’t care a fig about him-you understand why he goes all crazy. Dr. Frankenstein wants to help humanity, believes he knows better than God, but learns his harsh lesson. His monster is just trying t make it but people are afraid and trying to kill him. In Bride of Frankenstein? Frankenstein wants to live his life but blackmailed into creating another monster. Frankenstein’s monster just wants love. The Mummy is crazy and bad, but his main goal is to bring his love back to life. Dracula is an evil monster, but very charming. The Wolf man, poor guy just trying to reconnect with his dad, grieve his brother, and take over family business-wrong place wrong time. The Creature from the Black Lagoon? Just wants love.

Griffin is not charming, he’s not trying to help people, he’s not looking for love. He’s a wackadoo murderer-evil, insane, cold, etc.

Dr. Cranely and Kemp go through Griffin’s stuff to try and find clues to where he is. They do find a list of drugs, one being monocaine, which destroys everything and turns whatever creature that gets into it-insane.

You’re crazy!
Crazy, am I? We’ll see whether I’m crazy or not.

Griffin goes to Kemp as he needs help. He threatens him and blackmails him into being his errand boy. Griffin and Kemp discuss what happened and Griffin tells him he started working his experiments five years ago. He threatens Kemp to get his notes for him so that he can create the antidote.

The Chief Detective starts investigating and questioning people. Meanwhile, Kemp and Griffin head to the inn to get the notes. Griffin gets his stuff and attacks the Detective, killing him. This causes more panic and hysteria.

The police murder has lit a fire under them and they begin searching for Griffin. They start looking 20 miles in all directions and more and more volunteers join in. At 10:30pm  radio broadcast goes out and warns everyone that it isn’t a hoax. A reward for £1000.00 is offered.

Dr. Kemp is worried and calls Dr. Cranely to tell him about Griffin and warns him that Griffin has gone crazy. Dr. Cranely tells Kemp to take care to keep him there and that he will be there the next day. Kemp calls the police to tell them Griffin is in his house. Griffin becomes enraged at him for telling in him.

Flora goes to see Griffin and here we have a shred of humanity as he softens toward her and we see a sliver of the man he was-the one Flora fell in love with. But then he is gone and only the crazed killer remains.

One who has created this invisibility and wants to auction it off to the highest bidder.

While they are talking the police arrive. Griffin escapes and flees, but not before he tells Kemp he will murder him at 10:00 pm. The police come up with a plan as to how they will catch him. They will use Kemp as bait, but Kemp doesn’t like that idea. He takes off in his car but Griffin is already waiting there. He ties him up and pushes Kemp and the car off the cliff.

Griffin stays in a barn that night and a farmer spots the hay moving and calls the police. They decide to burn down the barn and follow the Invisible Man’s footprints on the snow to take aim. He’s hit and as he does his body is revealed slowly.

I thought it was pretty good, but let’s be honest it wouldn’t be nearly as good if it wasn’t for Claude Rains.

The thing that is mindblowing is the special effects. Really good for 1933. So there we go I have reviewed all of the Universal Classic Monster Films!

There we go. All 31 posts finished! Yay!

I hope you all have a fantastic and safe Halloween!

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to Mr. Hyde Versus the Werewolf: Dr. Jekyll Versus the Werewolf (1972)

For more Claude Rains, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart: The Wolf Man (1941)

For more mad scientists, go to Nowhere to Hyde: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? (1970)

You Can’t Kill It, It Always Comes Back

So Horrorfest V is over.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

I know. It is hard to let go of October.

EverydayHalloweenHorrorfanOctober

But while Horrorfest is over for now, you can never truly kill it. It always comes back. Specifically next October with Horrorfest VI. 

Horror Films

It never ceases to amaze me how every October I plan out 26 film reviews, 4 TV reviews, and one post on my personal thoughts; yet what I start off with never matches up with the end result.

The-best-laid-schemes-of-mice-and-men-often-go-awry-erobertFrost

So let’s go over what this Horrorfest V was all about.

HorrorfilmCan'tlookaway

So I started planning my Horrorfest with lots of ’40s films, but it ended up being all about the ’80s. What can I say? You know I love it.

I LOVE the '80s

I LOVE the ’80s

We had Ghostbusters, Thriller, Cat’s Eye, Once Bitten, Teen Wolf, and Clue

And you all remember how I said I wanted to do something different this year? Well I did. This was the most I have ever reviewed Horror-Comedies.

It is horror and funny at the same time!

It is horrorfying and funny at the same time!

We had Ghostbusters, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Once Bitten, Clue, and Teen Wolf.

clueshoutingshouting

My free post, on whatever horror thing I wished to write about, was 31 tips on How to Survive a Horror Film. I got the idea last year, but couldn’t put it into play until this year. I hope it was helpful. 🙂

So Alfred Hitchcock,

trainblackmail2alfredhitchcocktrainread

we only covered one of his films, and it was one of the oldest ones he created. I strayed from what had become a tradition of three as I felt I didn’t want to use his works too quickly. Which film will I review next year? I’m not sure. I was toying with maybe doing one of his last films like Frenzy or Family Plot. Then again, The Birds have been on my list from the beginning and I still haven’t reviewed it. I guess we will see what happens next year.

Ringu Watch TV

So we reviewed a TV episode every Friday in October. This year we had a serial killer Wallace & Gromit episode, a cannibalistic killer in Bones, a murderer in Death Comes to Pemberley, and a teenage boy with incredible powers in Star Trek.

We also had our Turtle Saturdays

TMNTpizza

Starting with the 2014 version, to 2007, and then going over the original 1990 version and its sequel in 1991. It might not be what most consider horror, but I think it works as each film involves mutation, two have monsters, and one a whole lot of scientific experiments.

So we saw a group of monsters I haven’t really spent a whole lot of posts reviewing, and that is:

Zombies!

Zombies!

We started with the Corpse Bride; then went on to the first zombie film, White Zombie; and ended on Michael Jackson’s Thriller. I had thought about doing Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, but as I haven’t reviewed the book I decided to wait on the film.

Then we had our usual Stephen King film, with Cat’s Eye. Not one I’d planned on reviewing, but happened to see and add to the lineup.

Who knew?

Who knew?

I finally got around to taking on a Tim Burton film, and actually reviewed two, not one. We had the Corpse Bride and Sleepy Hollow. Still haven’t done Edward Scissorhands. Maybe next year.

We also did a lot of teen monster films. There was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with teen turtles; Thriller with teen zombies; Once Bitten with teen vampires; and a teen werewolf in Teen Wolf.

3-thriller-michael-jackson

We also had vampires and Dracula coming back with Once Bitten, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, and Dracula 2000.

This Horrorfest was very different than the ones prior as I reviewed a lot of films and TV shows I had never seen before such as: Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death, When a Stranger Calls (1979), Jeepers Creepers, Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter, Cat’s Eye, Death Comes to Pemberley, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Backfire, Dial 1119, Let Me Call You Sweetheart, Corpse Bride, The Cheerleader Murders, & The Girl on the Train; along with films and TV shows I hadn’t seen in years, such as: Fantasia: Night on Bald Mountain and Sleepy Hollow. That was about half the reviews!

AMAZING!

AMAZING!

This also was the first time I could really include Jane Austen in my Horrorfest, not with a made up post but actually review an Austen item.

becoming_jane302

I was planning on reviewing Pride & Prejudice & Zombies along with Death Comes to Pemberley, but as I said before, I decided to push it back.

And then there is Vincent Price

VincentPrice

I reviewed two films with him: Thriller and the film I have been talking about reviewing since the first HorrorfestHouse on Haunted Hill. 

Double double yay

So if you missed a day, or are interested in every item I covered; here is the complete list:

How To Survive A Horror Film

You’re a Detective, Let Me Give You a Tip. Don’t Wave Important Evidence in a Telephone Booth. They Have Glass Windows: Blackmail (1929)

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

Night on Bald Mountain: Fantasia (1940)

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

It’s A Hard World: Backfire (1950)

The Mad Killer: Dial 1119 (1950)

They’re Coming for Me Now…And Then They’ll Come for You: House on Haunted Hill (1959)

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

 I Can Make You all Go Away! Any Time I Want To!: Charlie X, Star Trek (1966)

Have You Checked the Children: When a Stranger Calls (1979)

No Mere Mortal Can Resist the Evil of the Thriller: Thriller (1983)

Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

That’s What We’re Trying to Find out! We’re Trying to Find Out Who Killed Him, and Where, and With What!: Clue (1985)

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

I’m…a Werewolf: Teen Wolf (1985)

I’ll Be Watching You: Cat’s Eye (1987)

I Came Upon a Shattered Glass Jar and Four Baby Turtles Crawling into a Strange Glowing Ooze: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

But If Any of It Fell Into the Wrong Hands…:Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II, Secret of the Ooze (1991)

That Face-I’ve Seen Her Before…: Let Me Call You Sweetheart (1997)

It was a Horseman, a Dead One. Headless: Sleepy Hollow (1999)

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

Every Twenty-Third Spring for Twenty Three Days, it Gets to Eat: Jeepers Creepers (2001)

He’s Married to a Corpse. He Has A Corpse Bride!: Corpse Bride (2005)

Every Three Thousand Years, the Stars Align. Unleashing an Army of Monsters: TMNT (2007)

A Matter of Loaf and Death: Wallace and Gromit (2008)

The Butcher of Burtonsville High: The Death of the Queen Bee, Bones (2010)

A Murder Has Been Committed on Your Property: Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode One (2013)

Heroes are Not Born, They’re Created: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

It Was the Curse. My Curse: The Cheerleader Murders (2016)

Have You Seen Megan Hipwell?: The Girl On the Train (2016)

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

dracula_two_thousand

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

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

Why did it end?

Why did it end?

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

Hate YOu

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

never-say-never-in-front-of-fantasy_1279

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

No thank youhowaboutno

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

Uhhhhhhh

Uhhhhhhh

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

Where

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

I-am-going-to-try-this-Well-Rested-Makeup-Tutorial-it-works-amazing-1024x1024maybe

I HATED IT!

HateEverythingthewomen

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

halloween banner

Synopsis:

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

But something terrible lurks inside.

But something terrible lurks inside.

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

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

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

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

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

Dracula

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

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

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

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

And run fast

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

Dracula

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

SayWhat?BuffyVampireSlayernosense

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

You-serious?-Not-happening-babe!

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

halloween banner

So What Was Good?

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

dracula20009

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

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

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

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

I like it!

I like it!

halloween banner

So What Was Bad?

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

1) Too Many Stars

Beaucrazyeyesmonstercreature

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

halloween banner

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

Dracula

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

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

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

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

halloween banner

3) Mary, Mary Quite Boring

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

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

halloween banner

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

Dean-Dracula-The-Delusional-Shapeshifter-in-Monster-Movie-supernatural-24166990-700-300

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

halloween banner

5) Dracula is Judas

The Last Supper - Da Vinci 1495-98

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

stupidestThingeverheard

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

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

halloween banner

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

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

You as in the film

You as in the film

So there you go, not just me.

halloween banner

dracula2024

halloween banner

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

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

halloween banner

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

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

For more on Judas Iscariot, go to The Arrest

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

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

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

Baby Jane Austen

So I’m sure some of you might be thinking that I will be writing about Jane Austen’s life as a baby.

Hoe cute she probably was

She was probably a cute baby.

Well no, I’m not. Instead I am talking about Jane Austen novels for babies!

OMG gasp

I know, how cool is that? There is a company called BabyLit that takes classic novels and turns them into baby primer board books; that is learning books for babies.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Now they can also read classic novels!

readclassics

So far they have Dracula on counting: Alice in Wonderland on colors; A Christmas Carol on colors; Wuthering Heights on the weather; Moby Dick on the ocean, Jane Eyre on counting; Romeo & Juliet on counting; The Jungle Book on animals; Sherlock Holmes and the Hounds of Baskerville on sounds; Anna Karenina on fashion; Jabberwocky on nonsense; Frankenstein on anatomy; The Wonderful Wizard of Oz on colorsand Huckleberry Finn on camping.

keanu Whoa

And of course they have covered Jane Austen with Emma, Pride & Prejudice, and Sense & Sensibility.

Double double yay

And of course me being a major fan, I just had to buy them and check them out.

LifeasaFangirl

But as I have no children and didn’t have any extra book space to hold onto them for if that ever happened (my books are already in every spare spot I have) I bought them for my friend’s baby. So far I have only purchased two (Emma and Pride & Prejudice), one for Christmas and the other for her first birthday. When I buy Sense & Sensibility for this Christmas I’ll review it.

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

Emma

Emma: A BabyLit Emotions Primer by Jennifer Adams

So we know the story of Emma right? The bare bones of it is a bored girl tries her hand at matchmaking:

Emma-Woodhouse-mr.elton

But in the ends her schemes don’t go anything like she planned.

clueless mybad oops

However, that is too advanced for a baby; so this one is all about emotions with cute illustrations. Emma is excited! Mrs. Bates is scared! Mr. Knightley is Loved.

emma-2_grande_3a7da8a0-1ca8-4e97-95e6-5971bca7b564_large

You got that right!

EmmaMrKnightlyP&PMrDarcy

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

Pride & Prejudice

Pride & Prejudice: A BabyLit Counting Primer by Jennifer Adams

So Pride & Prejudice, the most famous of the Jane Austen novels. In it a mother is trying to marry off her offspring, but her meddling can cause some issues.

Pride&PrejudiceTruthUniversallyAcknowledged

Plus some manipulations, misunderstanding, and perseverance see that four couples find their happy match (once again bare bones).

Pride&PrejudiceDarcy

So once again too much for a baby, so this one is all about counting: nine fashionable dresses, five sisters, two gentlemen, etc.

darcybingleypride&prejudice

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

sense&sensibility

Sense & Sensibility: A BabyLit Opposites Primer by Jennifer Adams

So this is the story of two sisters who go from being wealthy, to having nothing.

Elinor Dashwood: Marianne, you must change. You will catch a cold. Marianne: What care I for colds when there is such a man. Elinor Dashwood: You will care very much when your nose swells up.

They get caught up in others manipulations, in their own striving for happiness, and discovering that being all sense or all sensibility isn’t the right way to be; their should be a balance of both. Plus sisters will always be there for the other.

Frozen Sacrifice self love you sisters

There are also manipulations, secret affairs, meddling matchmakers and more. But of course, that isn’t something babies can grasp so instead we have opposites: big, small, happy, sad, etc.

camera-effects-1370880351852

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

So What Did I Think Of It?

So while it doesn’t tell the whole story of these novels (which I didn’t expect it to) I thought these were a wonderful idea and I want to purchase them all.

ShutUpTake MY Money

In a world where less and less people are reading, especially the classics: it is important to bring these memorable works back into the mainstream. I mean there is a reason why they were chosen as classics and they need to be read by everyone.

classicnovel

And while this book focus on it’s theme (colors, counting, feelings) more than the plot of the novel; two very imoprtant things come out of here.

First, the child is being given a classic novel and grows up hearing that name and the characters; making them much more open to reading the real book when they are old enough.

matildalovetoreadeverything

And second, you reading to your child teaches them the importance of family time and the importance of reading. Thus making them book fans too.

read-i-love-matilda

So I highly recommend buying these and adding them to your child’s bookshelf. After all:

raybradburybooksburnstopreading

Save Our Youth! Read Classics Today!

heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

For more on Emma, go to When You Shockingly Relate to Mr. Woodhouse

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Death Comes to Pemberley

For more on Sense & Sensibility, go to I Don’t Want You Far From Me: Sense and Sensibility (1995)

For more Emma variations, go to The Austen Series: Amanda

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy

For more Sense & Sensibility variations, go to The Dashwood Sisters Tell All: A Modern Day Novel of Jane Austen

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to Captain Wentworth’s Diary 

Man-Bat: On Leather Wings, Batman the Animated Series (1992)

leatherwings

 I knew he discovered a formula to create a totally new species, neither man nor bat.

When I think of Batman, two things come to mind instantly. First, Michael Keaton as Batman and Batman: The Animated Series.

batman

Batman: The Animated Series came out in the ’90s, when children’s television was perfect. It was one of the best animated shows in the history of TV. One of my absolute favorite things about it is how they blend three different styles to create this artistic and amazing work. We have the Art Deco movement of the 1920s-30s, the 1940s outfits and clothing, blended with the technology of the ’90s and beyond (seriously, some of the things they created in this are things we actually have today!)

So this is the “first episode” in the series, but not the first one shown. It was the first one made but was actually aired later because of the popularity of Batman Returns, them going with the episode The Cat and the Claw as it had to do with Selena Kyle.

Batman_returns_poster2

So while this isn’t the most famous episode, the best written, etc; I liked it and it fit one of the themes we had going this year. The real name of the episode is actually On Leather Wings, but I liked Man-Bat better.

leatherwingsbatman

So the first part of this episode is the amazing opening.

We open on Phoenix Pharmaceuticals. The night watchman of course, isn’t paying any attention. He’s trying to make a tryout tape for a radio program. All of a sudden he is attacked!

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

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

We, the viewer, are unable to see what this creature is. All we see is a shadow, that resembles something like a….Bat!

Dracula

NO not him…that movie were he and Batman meet was kinda weird.

batclawcomingafter

NO not him either.

Sadface Batman

Definitely not him. But everyone thinks it is. Who else could have gotten in and loves bats as much as him?

batman

Officer Bullock hates Batman and is all set to do anything to take him down. The commissioner, on the other hand, doesn’t want to destroy Batman, he thinks that he does good (even though he does technically break the law by being a vigilante.)

However, the mayor sees it as best to get rid of him and gives Bullock full backup. Harvey Dent also agrees if they can get the evidence and the Batman; he will do it.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

Things are looking grim for the Caped Crusader, everyone is going to be on his tail.

Sadface Batman

So Batman starts investigating. The first thing he does, it head out to the Pharmaceutical company to do some research. As he looks around with his special goggles, he spots a hair, strange. After some more thorough digging, he also finds the tape recorder, which not only caught the guard but the sounds of whatever attacked him.

As he is searching around, Bullock comes with a whole contingent of SWAT. Man when the mayor says he’s got your back, he means it.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

So Bullock comes in and pretty much blows up the lab with his trigger happy ways. Thank goodness for Batman, or they would all be dead right now.

Batman-Begins

Commissioner Gordon comes by and relays that while Bullock was pretty much wiping out his own men; another company was being robbed. It clearly is not Batman. But we already knew that, I mean come on. It’s Batman!

Batmanjustice

As Bruce Wayne is an amazing scientist, with technology that most only dreams of, he still isn’t the leader in the study of bats and heads out to visit a Dr. March.

Freidrich March

Freidrich March?

He tells the doctor that he has a “bat issue”:

Dr. March: You donate a few million and you think you own the place. I understand I’m the analyze something for you.

Bruce Wayne: Yeah, doc. See, I keep hearing squeaks in my chimney.

[Hands Dr. March a small plastic sandwich bag]

Bruce Wayne: And I found these in my empty fireplace. They look like hairs. I thought maybe you could tell me if I have a bat problem.

Dr. March: And what if they are bats, Mr. Wayne? What then? Destroy them like insects? We won’t survive the next evolutionary cataclysm, but bats will! They’re survivors, Mr. Wayne, not pests! You should understand that!

I think he loves bats a little too much.

Gilmore girls creep

However, a beautiful blonde doctor rescues Bruce, Dr. Francine Langstrom, his daughter. She is followed by her husband Dr. Kirk, who assures Bruce that they can help him. Kirk acts kind of weird too…

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Maybe it runs in the family? Francine could be the exception.

Anyways, later Dr. Langstrom calls Bruce and tells him that they ran the hair and that it is a regular old brown bat, and the noise on the tape a combo of bats and birds.

Not always the best idea

Just the usual.

Except, unbeknownst to Dr. Langstrom, Batman already ran the hair follicle and the sounds through the computer and no match came up. He the tape again, under combined noises, but no match.

Meanwhile, we see someone burning the evidence of the tape and the hair. We already know both doctors are crazy, maybe even Francine (nicely rounding out to three), but which could be behind this? And why?

suspicious Hmm

Batman also figures out that the answer lies in the lab and takes off.

Batman reaches the lab and finds things from Phoenix Pharmaceuticals. He  searches for Dr. March to apprehend him, but runs into Dr. Langstrom.

Dr. Kirk Langstrom: Who’s back there? [Batman steps out of the shadowsYou.

Batman: I’m looking for Dr. March.

Dr. Kirk Langstrom: He’s not here, Batman.

Batman: Where is he?

Dr. Kirk Langstrom: Giving a lecture on human extinction and bat evolution. He’s really quite brilliant.

Batman: [holding up a stolen chemical] He’s misguided and a thief.

Dr. Kirk Langstrom: He’s just a theorist. He was afraid to put it to the test. But I wasn’t. I knew he discovered a formula to create a totally new species, neither man nor bat. And once I started taking it, I couldn’t stop.

Yep Kirk is the Man-Bat

Jekyll&Hydedrink potion

Batman asks him why he didn’t stop, but Dr. Langstrom said he couldn’t.

batmandrjekyllmrhydebeastchange

And he enjoyed it. Like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; he got a little taste and can’t give it up. He’s addicted and can’t stop, turning into….the Man-Bat.

black cauldron

He only needs one more component to stay that way forever, and he’s out to get it.

You know what that means for Batman.

batmanBamSmackKaboom

Batman Vs. Man-Bat

Batmanmambat

Batman and the Man-Bat are fighting in the sky, as Batman has hooked on to him. As they struggle, Commissioner Gordon and Officer Bullock heads up in a chopper to try and get him.

They manage to get away from the police and Batman knocks him out.

batmanBamSmackKaboom

He takes him back to the lab, and Batman uses it to fix Dr. Langstrom and heals him of the drug. How you may ask? Two words:

Dean Winchester Batman

Batman can do anything.

Batman NaNaNaNa

halloween banner

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

halloween banner

For more on Batman, go to Na Na Na Na Batman!

For more on mad scientists, go to We’re Mad Scientists. We’re Monsters: Avengers, Age of Ultron (2015)

batman

 

Monster Mash

So during Horrorfest, there comes a time when my non-blogging life gets full and I just don’t have time to write a full film or TV episode review. There’s just not enough hours in the day. If only I had a time machine.

Back to the future Doc Marty Dolorean time machine

The first year I did a post where I dressed up the actors who played Austen Heroes in costumes.

Screen shot 2012-10-18 at 7.32.58 PM

To read go to A Halloween Hello from the Austen Men.

In Horrorfest II, a did a post on an artist who mixed classic horror films with Disney characters.

Finally a mate that can live with me in my lagoon.

Finally a mate that can live with me in my lagoon.

To read that, go to Disnified Horror.

In Horrorfest III I did a post on 100 of my favorite lines from horror films.

Horror Films

To read that, go to Part X: The Movie List That Would Not Die!

And this is this year’s post.

Now I know what you are thinking? So early in Horrorfest? Well, yes. You see I was going to review all the films in a series on the last four Thursdays in October, but I changed my mind. So while I’m tweaking Horrorfest IV, I leave you with this awesome, non-film/TV episode review post.

halloween banner

So I was in Barnes and Nobles, looking in their non-book film, board games, toys, etc. section when I spotted this:

Frankenstein

I was sooooo excited! CLASSIC HORROR FILM ACTION FIGURES!!!!!!!!!!!!

ShutUpTake MY Money

I was so stoked that I spent like an hour combing through and looking at every doll they had, trying to make a complete set.

ineedthis

So we have the monster from Frankenstein,

Frankenstein

And how could he be complete without his bride?

BrideofFrankenstein

I kept searching for the Phantom or the Wolf Man but couldn’t seem to find them.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

It seemed like a majority of their horror figures were Frankenstein’s monster and his bride. But then I finally found this:

CreaturefromtheBlackLagoon

And the King of the Horror flicks himself,

Dracula

But still no Phantom or Wolf Man.

Sadface Batman

I was ready to call it quits. I mean I had been searching for them in a cloud of Frankenstein related monsters. A crowd was watching me thinking I was crazy as I exclaimed in delight over my action figures. I guess it wasn’t meant to be.

Noo!

Noo!

But then I spotted him:

PhantomoftheOpera

No Wolf Man though. But how awesome are these?

keanu Whoa

I know super awesome! I just love them.

love it

So I know, different from our usual posting, tomorrow we will be back on schedule. I promise. And just because it totally goes and I absolutely love this song, I’m going to end on this:

halloween banner

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 That Place…There’s Queer Things Goes On There: Jamaica Inn (1935)

halloween banner

To read my review of Frankenstein, go to It’s Alive, it’s ALIVE!: Frankenstein (1931)

For my review of The Bride of Frankenstein, go to I Want Friend Like Me: The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

For my review of The Creature from the Black Lagoon, go to There are Many Strange Legends in the Amazon: The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

For my review of Dracula, go to I Bid You Welcome: Dracula (1931)

And for my review of The Phantom of the Opera, go to Feast Your Eyes on My Accursed Ugliness: The Phantom of the Opera (1925)