Ghosts, Ghouls, and Gothic Fiction

So here ends another Horrorfest: 31 reviews of films and/or TV episodes that are mysteries, horror, film-noir, suspense, monster movies, thrillers, etc.

It amazes me that have been doing this ten years already.

Wow!

I only started doing this because I already would watch something for Halloween every day in October (and annoy my friends by doing so); and it was a real easy leap to blog about it. I know some people don’t think I should as it has “nothing” to do with Jane Austen. That may be true, but I do know one character who would enjoy Halloween and Horror films.

Every year I start off with a little planning: first film, last film, etc.- And everything else is just whatever I happened to watch.

I also did my second annual Celebrate Halloween with Northanger Abbey.

And of course our Annual films:

  • A movie or TV episode from every decade from the 1930s-2020s
  • Jane Austen with Northanger Abbey (1987)
  • Alfred Hitchcock with Vertigo (1958)
  • Animated Film with Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998)
  • Disney with The Cat From Outer Space (1978) and Mom’s Got a Date With a Vampire (2000)
  • Stephen King with The Shining (1980)
  • Tim Burton with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016)
  • Vincent Price with “Ship of Ghouls” from The Love Boat (1978)

This year I reviewed the following:

Wuthering Heights (1939)

Ramrod (1947)

Vertigo (1958)

Munster Masquerade from The Munsters (1966)

The Cat From Outer Space (1978)

Ship of Ghouls from The Love Boat (1978)

The Shining (1980)

Labyrinth (1986)

The Monster Squad (1987)

Northanger Abbey (1987)

The Stepfather (1987)

Heathers (1988)

Ghostbusters 2 (1989)

Murder in High C” from Murder She Wrote (1995)

True Crime (1996)

Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998)

Mom’s Got a Date With a Vampire (2000)

Death on the Nile (2004)

Twilight (2008)

Turn of the Screw (2009)

Twilight Saga, New Moon (2009)

Twilight Saga, Eclipse (2010)

Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn Part I (2011)

Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn Part II (2012)

Mysteries & Meddling Kids: Austin & Ally (2015)

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016)

The Moonstone (2016)

Kong, Skull Island (2017)

The Open House (2018)

Godzilla King of the Monsters (2019)

Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

By the way if you love ghosts, ghouls, and gothic fiction you should definitely get this shirt that MadsenCreations and I created.

Horrofest X: Have Yourself a Haunted Halloween

It’s that time of the year again! Time for another Horrorfest, 31 days of horror, mystery, monsters, etc.

So I started Horrorfest back when I first began blogging. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with it, the direction I wanted to go in. Since I like to watch scary movies every day in October, I decided to review them, and I had so much I fun I continued every year.

I know some people aren’t interested in it or would think it has nothing to do with my blog’s title, but you know who would love it and be so into horror films?

When I started this, I used a lot of stills from the movies I was reviewing and ended up with a a bunch of photos I couldn’t reuse for future posts. Since then I try to add less, unless I think I can use it for future posts or that it is crucial to the story. Instead I reuse old photos and I try to caption each photo with what film it came from, but at times I forget.

Over the years I have established a set of rules and annual films categories.

Rules are there must be at list one film or TV show episode:

  • From every decade (1930s-2020s)
  • by Alfred Hitchcock
  • Is animated
  • made by Disney
  • by Stephen King
  • by Tim Burton
  • starring Vincent Price
  • And is in some way Jane Austen related

The Jane Austen one is the hardest to do, although two years ago I had several. There was the Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans Alta Mar AKA High Seas,Death By Persuasion” from Midsomer Murders, Rebecca, and Strong Woman Bong Soon; along with the film that led to Sense and Sensibility (1995) being made-Dead Again.

Last year we had several films with Jane Austen Bingos (actors from Jane Austen productions spotted in another film), and I finally reviewed Northanger Abbey (2007), one of my favorite Jane Austen adaptions. I also started a new tradition, #CelebrateHalloweenwithNorthangerAbbey, something I will be continuing this year! So be sure to join me!

Another tradition I added a few years ago is dressing Jane up in costume every year. Last year I did Jane the Vampire Slayer to go with my review of Return of the Vampire (1943).

This year I decided to make Jane a Ghostbusters.

Well, I hope you enjoy this year’s picks-so far we have vampires, zombies, aliens, mysteries, monsters, gothic stories, film noir, and more!

For the original Horrorfest, go to I Don’t Belong in the World: Carnival of Souls (1962)

For Horrorfest II, go to There Are Many Strange Legends in the Amazon: The Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954)

For Horrorfest III, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart: The Wolf Man (1941)

For Horrorfest IV, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

For Horrorfest V, go to Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

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

For Horrorfest VII, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

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

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

It’s Time for All Good Little Ghouls to Return Home

So here ends another Horrorfest: 31 reviews of films and/or TV episodes that are mysteries, horror, film-noir, suspense, monsters, thrillers, etc.

I started doing this because I watch something for Halloween everyday in October, and it was an easy leap to blog about it. I know some people don’t think I should as it has “nothing” to do with Jane Austen. That may be true, but I do know one character who would enjoy Halloween and Horror films.

Every year I start off with a little planning: first film, last film, Tim Burton film, Vincent Price, a film/TV episode from every decade, etc.- And everything else is just whatever I happened to watch.

Interestingly, they always end up to being completely unplanned but somehow go together.

Wow!

The first thing we seemed to have a lot this October is Vampires. We had Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Meet Dracula: Part I, The Hardy Boys/ Nancy Drew Meet Dracula: Part II, Northanger Abbey and Return of the Vampire,

From The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula

This year’s theme is “mysteries” to tie in with it being the 100th anniversary of Agatha Christie’s The Mysterious Affair at Styles. That being the year’s theme, I reviewed quite a few mysteries, such as: Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, Batman Returns, Criminal Minds, Ellery Queen, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Meet Dracula: Part I, The Hardy Boys/ Nancy Drew Meet Dracula: Part II, Knives OutMiss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears, Raising Hope, Rear Window, and Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers.

We also had a few dystopian futures with Fahrenheit 451, Ghost in the Shell, and Mad Max.

Watching neighbors and it leading them to being involved in a mystery with Men at Work, Raising Hope, and Rear Window.

I also included Jane Austen when I ended this year with a review of Northanger Abbey.

Along with trying to encourage others to #CelebrateHalloweenwithNorthangerAbbey something I think I will continue every year.

And of course our Annual films:

  • A movie or TV episode from every decade from the 1930s-2020s
  • Alfred Hitchcock with Rear Window
  • Animated Film with Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers (1987)
  • Disney with The Moon-Spinners
  • Lifetime/TV Film with The Stranger Beside Me (2003)
  • Stephen King with Sleepwalkers
  • Tim Burton with Batman Returns
  • Vincent Price with The Adventure of the Sinister Scenario: Ellery Queen (1976)

The full list of films and TV episodes reviewed for Horrorfest IX:

The Cat and the Canary (1939)

The Return of the Vampire (1943)

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

Rear Window (1954)

The Blob (1958)

The Moon-Spinners (1964)

Fahrenheit 451 (1966)

“The Adventure of the Sinister Scenario” from Ellery Queen (1976)

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

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

Mad Max (1979)

Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers (1987)

My Mom’s a Werewolf (1989)

Men at Work (1990)

Batman Returns (1992)

Sleepwalkers (1992)

Bon Voyage (2003)

The Stranger Beside Me (2003)

“North Mammon” from Criminal Minds (2006)

Northanger Abbey (2007)

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (2009)

Epidemiology”: from Community (2010)

Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, Endless Night (2013)

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)

Murder She Hoped: Raising Hope (2013)

Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019)

High Seas Season Two (2019)

Knives Out (2019)

High Seas Season Three (2020)

Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears (2020)

 

 

We Made You a New Body. A Synthetic Shell. But Your Mind, Your Soul, Your “Ghost,” It’s Still In There: Ghost in the Shell (2017)

We made you a new body. A synthetic shell. But your mind, your soul, your “ghost,” it’s still in there.

So I had never seen this film before but my sister wanted to watch it during our Dystopian Future film fest during the beginning of shelter in place. I did remember the film as the controversy was huge. People were extremely upset over them casting Scarlet Johansson instead of an Asian actress, then getting mad when they tried to CGI a more Asian face, and so on.

mob

Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

 

So I watched this and…I hated this.

I was so bored fell asleep halfway through and then tried to watch it again, but just couldn’t connect to it. I couldn’t even tell what was going on.

I watched the anime film and that was much, much better. It is a high concept but it was understandable and much easier to follow. I was riveted to that story.

The biggest problem with this film was Scarlet Johansson. She was horrible.

She was so wooden and acted robotic. I don’t know if the director was overcompensating for making her not Asian and trying to say it wasn’t about race, if it was because of the CGI they planned to add and removed, if she just struggled with being robotic in her body and voice instead of just focusing on the voice like in Her. I mean there is a way to have a person be a robot/cyborg and still be able to connect to them and understand what they are experiencing and going through. Look at Robocop, look at the Terminator, etc. All those were much better depictions. I don’t know where the blame truly lies-director or actress, all I know it was awful…just a mess.

I don’t know…

I also felt the story really strayed from the original concept and became like a ripoff of Robocop meets Blade Runner.

It just was a big mess, and I’d skip it.

For more Dystopian Future films, go to Any Longer Out On That Road and I’m One of Them, You Know? A Terminal Crazy…: Mad Max (1979)

For more cyborgs, go to This is a Bad One, the Worst Yet. I Need the Old Blade Runner…: Blade Runner (1982)

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

Any Longer Out On That Road and I’m One of Them, You Know? A Terminal Crazy…: Mad Max (1979)

I’m scared, Fif. You know why? It’s that rat circus out there. I’m beginning to enjoy it.

What is this, funny week?

Look. Any longer out on that road and I’m one of them, you know? A terminal crazy… only I got a bronze badge to say I’m one of the good guys.

 

So during the #shelterinplace in the COVID-19 crisis, my sister and I watched a lot of End of the World/Dystopian Future films.

One we both had wanted to watch as people have gone on and on about it, is Mad Max (1979), the original film-yes the one that launched Mel Gibson to action star fame.

So I didn’t like the film. It reminded me of a lot of other films and moved really slow.

The story is that post-apocalyptic Australia is overrun with nomadic motorcycle gangs who pillage, rape, and cause havoc.

from Terminator 2: Judgement Day

This actually wasn’t supposed to be post-apocalyptic but they had a small budget and could only afford rundown buildings.

The only one who stands against the gangs are the police who roam the land and take these guys down. There are only four police.

That’s not good.

Mel Gibson is Max and he takes out one bad rider, arresting gang member Johnny Boy. However, Johnny Boy is acquitted when no one shows up at the trial (he raped someone-they have a hard time facing their abusers, even more so in this world). This makes police officer Goose angry ad he shouts at the gang telling them he will get them.

You should never get the nickname Goose, Gooses tend to die…So you know where this is going. Goose made the gang angry and they sabotage his motorcycle. After Goose dies, Max becomes disheartened at being a police officer and wants to quit (he had before but they convinced him to stay on) and takes a leave of absence. He, his wife, and son are traveling when they run into the gang and his son ends up killed, his wife in a coma.

This makes Max angry, furious, and crazy-thus Mad Max is born. (I really like the play on the word “mad” as it means furious and insane-which he becomes both of). He suits up, steals the souped up police car, and chases down the gang taking them out.

So the most of the movie as I said is slow-the gang is insane, strange, weird, and hard to watch. They are very chaotic-raping, blowing things up, running things over, etc. The movie doesn’t show everything, only some, but alludes to enough, too much-I didn’t like it.

Not for me.

Really the only part I love is when Max suits up to take the guys down. The imagery is great-pulling the covering of his police uniform that was put away in a trunk, the next scene he’s shown in the garage by the car, then him driving down the motorcycle gang.

Wow!

The last 15 minutes was the only part I loved. I think they should have cut some of the earlier scenes and went into him taking the gang out-like in Tombstone or The Punisher.

For more Dystopian Future films, go to Do You Ever Read the Books You Burn?: Fahrenheit 451 (1966)

For more police officer protagonists, go to Murder is My Favorite Crime: Laura (1944)