An Insane Doctor, A Hysterical Herbalist, and Murder in a Magician’s Mansion + A Possible Persuasion Reference?

Ready for any case

So this year’s theme is “mysteries” in honor of Agatha Christie’s novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles turning 100 years old. To really have this theme be present I decided to review a mystery every month…somehow and ideally connecting it to Jane Austen.

Mystery, you say?

In January, I wasn’t sure what to do when I received a goblin in my mailbox.

It turned out to be a a mysterious package from The Mysterious Package Company

Ah, mysterious

So the last package seemed to be saying that there is something wrong with 27 East Heath Road

Haunted house!

The architect, Henry Griggs, had been going crazy trying to finish building the house, after his wife died-using all his money. He even felt as if something was there making him continue, something altering his plans, something controlling him.

The house was almost complete, but Griggs has descended into some kind of madness.

“The madness in the walls must not escape…I fear I shall be gone altogether…I fear harm may come to her [Lizzy]  if she is not sent to safety.”

He ends up putting his daughter in an orphanage and Griggs disappears, presumed dead.

Or is it?!

This package contained a lot of items and goes on a bit:

  • 1 Deed
  • 1 Letter from Dr. Jack S. Aigner
  • 4 Small Memorandum/ Doctor’s notes from Dr. William Elliot
  • Arsenic Druggist Note
  • A Page from Baldwin’s Physician’s Guide
  • 1 Large Memorandum/ Doctor’s notes from Dr. William Elliot
  • Dr. Elliott’s Tincture Receipt
  • 1 Poster for The Great Goodyear
  • 1 Great Goodyear flip book that showcases two of his illusions
  • Garden Diary of Héléne Ashworth
  • Elise Face Cosmetiques Label
  • Newspaper Clipping
  • A page from Charles Dickens’ The Chimes

So first of all, I saw Dr. Walter Elliott on the letters:

And as a Jane Austen fan my mind went:

This is 1888, I am going to believe this is Mr. Elliot’s great or great-great grandson, named after Sir Walter. I mean I don’t know if he married Mrs. Clay, but I do know that eventually he would have to secure his family line and inheritance.

So Dr. Walter Elliot, descendent of Mr. Elliot, has purchased 27 East Heath Road and everything inside the building for £420 sterling. I think he will regret this…

So Dr. Elliot has a conservatory and grows herbs but according to his former instructor Dr. Jack S. Aigner, Dr. Elliot is sensitive, insecure of whether or not he is a good doctor, creates different tonics and medicines; AND medicates/tests himself. Uh, oh. Oh no, that does not sound good.

Dr. Aiger mentions the room he is using to treat patients and that it holds a mirror, but it is placed strange on the wrong wall. It should be behind the patient, not in front, but it will be good if he wants to try self-hypnosis. There is a young girl he is trying to help that is an interesting case. Hmm…could it be Elizabeth Griggs?

Then we have Dr. Elliot’s notes on the patient, although not all of them. He mysteriously chose to remove the notes in his patient from September 1889-October 1891, us picking it up in October 1891.

His patient is interesting…she wants to be in the room alone and when he stepped out as she said she heard footfalls in hallway, she moved the flowers in the office, why?

She likes the tincture he gave her, which pleases him as he is really getting the use out of his conservatory.

The next notes are from February 1889, and we are given that the name is on Beth Siggers 15 years old. The DOB is inked out, but we know it is 1874. Could this be Elizabeth Griggs? Just her name changed so the Doctor doesn’t connect it to the architect if the house?

Hmm…

Beth comes to see Dr. Elliot because she is suffering headaches and shortness of breath, but when she came in she would not sit, instead touching and knocking into everything-walls, tables, the mirror, etc. Searching…but for what? He thinks she faked the illness but why? He gives her some tincture and she leaves.

Weird…

March 1889

Beth continues to return to the Doctor’s office, but every time she has a different ailment. Obviously she is suffering from a mental issue rather than a physical ones, but what and why?

She returns another time and says she left her bag behind, but when he finds her he sees she isn’t in the reception area but on the main staircase as she got “turned around”. Strange behavior, the doctor prescribes tonic.

Hmmm…

April 1889

She seems much better, although she is fixated on the mirror. The doctor looked at it and thought he saw a face in it, but that is just nonsense. He gives her 1/2 bottle of tonic.

She returns later complaining the tonic is too strong, and Dr. Elliot watered it down and 1/2 the dose-1/4 tonic. It’s strange, he notices the hallway door is ajar. That keeps happening every time Beth comes to his office.

Spooky…

May 1889

Beth returns, upset and acting strange: pulse elevated and pupils dilated. Dr. Elliot thinks it is just “spring fever” and gives previous mixture and dosage.

Hmm…strange

June 1889

Beth has been by again and Dr. Eliot thinks he saw a figure in the mirror, again. He has always hated the way the mirror was fixed in the wall. He searches, but there is nothing there. Dr. Elliot begins to worry that maybe the tincture he took and tested on himself might be giving him hallucinations.

July 1889

Dr. Elliot has decided to no longer see Beth. He tells her and later that evening he discovers she has hid in the parlour…weird why? She begs him to let her come back and he agrees for one more time.

NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!!! Something is wrong with this girl-you need to get way from her.

January 1892

Dr. Elliot feels watched and puzzles over the patient. Maybe he should stop seeing her, nothing seems to be changing.

YES!!! STOP SEEING HER SOMETHING ISN’T RIGHT!! But of course he won’t listen. He will continue and things are going to go wrong.

February 1892

Things are getting worse. After Beth comes poking on walls, knocking here and there, looking in corners, seeing things that aren’t there, Dr. Elliot too starts to feel as if there are spirits, ghosts, or something in the house. He tries to talk himself out of it but wonders.

He continues his experiments and taking the tincture. Oh no Dr. Elliot, don’t test on yourself!

In another set of letters from February 1892 to Jack, Dr. Elliot mentions a page with ciphers from Baldwin’s Physcian’s Guide. The page is included with these lines underlined:

“…what can be gained from inclusive speculation on the subject?”

“…physiognomy is mere judgement, assumption, and, in some cases, coincidence.”

On the back is an image that looks out of the Grimm texts and has some strange ciphers on it.

In his letter he has figured out what two of the symbols mean, an E & R.

Meanwhile, Griggs’ daughter, Beth, continues to see the doctor and every visit something odd happens. The flowers espechially always seem to be moved.

Beth keeps talking about something she sees under hypnosis so Dr. Elliot decides to test it and takes extra tincture.

Don’t Do it!!! Stop!!!! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!

There is a receipt for his tincture and on the back it says:

“You’ve got the right bottle, doctor.” With a bunch of symbols.

DON’T DO IT!!!!!

Dr. Elliot gets some cramps but about 30 mins in, he sees a figure in the mirror, or looking to come out of the mirror…

He leans toward the mirror and the figure was gone. He searched the house for it and found the dispensary unlocked, even though he always locks it.

He decides to increase the dose and do it again, adding to his letter later-he does and it says:

“I see it! It comes…”

And that is the end of Dr. Elliot. I’m assuming he died. Poor guy, you shouldn’t have tested on yourself-you shouldn’t have delved into the unknown, espechially on your own.

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

There is no more correspondence, we then switch to the second half of the package.

Time to get on the case!

The next item in the package is the garden diary of Héléne Ashworth.

June 1892

The house has been sold to the Great Goodyear, Claude Goodyear, and his muse, assistant, and wife Héléne Ashworth. The name sounds familiar, but I’m not sure why.

Where have I read or seen that name before?

Their friend, Lilibeth, let them know about 27 East Heath Road becoming available after the doctor died. It seems he accidentally took too much of his medicine, although some whisper it was a suicide.

Claude loves the room with the mirror in it, as it can help him to practice his tricks and Héléne loves having the conservatory as she is a gardener. She has taken inventory about the plants and discovered hemlock. Hemlock? Why would a doctor need that?

Strange…

Claude jokes about ghosts in the walls as the house does make noise, but Héléne is not afraid. She loves her new house.

Ghosts?

July 1893

Héléne’s garden is doing well except for the calla lilies and forget-me-nots she planted. Instead the hyacinth, lavender, and dragonwort are doing extremely well-even though she did not plant them. There is no way Claude did so where did they come from?

At 27 East Heath Road.

Héléne believes in the language of flowers and these ones that mysteriously appeared mean constancy, devotion, and twice twisted. Hmm…maybe it means something twice twisted in the house? Devoted to it?

Hmm…

Let’s see-hemlock was poisonous, are these too? Let me look…yes, hyacinth bulbs are poisonous and touching them causes skin irritation. So lavender is used in food and perfumes so it is okay to take, but it can cause constipation, headache, and skin irritation in some people. Dragonwort is used to stop bleeding. So again, doesn’t seem too bad.

Hmmm…

There are a lot of strange herbs Héléne doesn’t know growing as well. She also discovers two more letters of the cipher-M & Y.

Another entry:

Claude is doing extremely well and even gets to perform at the famous Egyptian Hall. Héléne is so excited to perform, but Claude wants her to quit now that they are married. Hmmm…

Meanwhile, Héléne feels watched in the house. She wants to mention it to her husband, but decides not to worry him before a big show. On a sad note all the Calla lilies died, just like their hopes for a baby.

May 1895

Héléne is no longer allowed to perform, Claude thinking that is what caused them to have a miscarriage. Try as she might the yellow hyacinth (jealousy) keeps growing, and Héléne is convinced there is a curse on this house-a curse keeping a cild from being born, her nice and kind flowers from growing, and the hyacinth strong.

Later entry:

Héléne finds more and more deadly plants-nightshade and monkshood. She also sees the gruesome figure from her nightmares. She tries to tell her husband but he doesn’t listen, saying the illusions have turned her head.

June 1895

Claude has refused two engagements and is very upset. He is convinced spies are coming into the halls and watching/copying his ideas. He continues to practice in the room with the mirror and won’t let anyone into it, not even Héléne.

Héléne is very hurt and upset as she and Claude grow farther and farther apart. Sometimes Héléne pus on the old costumes and performs in front of the plants-wishing she could still be on the stage.

Lilibet has grown worried about Héléne and has taken up spiritualism and becoming a very famous medium. Lilibet and Héléne have known each other since girlhood and Héléne decides to throw a get together and help Lilibet. I’m starting to think Lilibet is Elizabeth “Beth” Griggs. Maybe Héléne was in the orphanage? I’ll check. The records say she is, ah “…the scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life” (A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) is Elizabeth Griggs.

And it is “…our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it, and expose every inch of it.” (A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

Mystery, you say?

September 1895

Liliibet otherwise known as Mrs. Alizbeta Divak has asked Hélene to join in. Helene has created the character Madame Solandra, wears black bombazine, and pale makeup that comes from the Elise makeup company. There is a label from Elise Cosmetiques and it has a message on the back:

“YOU THINK TO HIDE YOURSELF FROM ME?”

Followed by the ciphers.

Claude does not approve of spiritualism, Helene has to hide it from him.

November 1896

They held the seance but things did not go as planned, A real spirit came from the mirror shouting at them “interlopers! Be gone!”

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

When Héléne did the automatic writing it was if someone else was controlling her. Helene faints and when she awakens, it is Lilibet giving her smelling salts.

Oh no, the smelling salts were poisoned with the Doctor’s medicine.

Nooo

Lilibet preetends it didn’t happen, but Héléne knows it was real. She however feels very sick.

December 1896

Helene is still sick and supposed to be in bed, but has found a strange hidden doorway and secret hidden rooms in the house  But is it real? She is fading in and out and unsure.

But no! She found it! She has found a secret door in the conservatory, as soon as she is stronger she will investigate it!

Time to get on the case!

January 1897

Helene’s passage is a strange one. She believes the phantom is walking the house and Claude has all but disappeared. Is there a spirit in her home? A man? Or is her husband gaslighting her?

Gaslight (1944)

And all her flowers were ripped up? Why would the phantom want to do that?Why put dirt on her hands after?

Claude is yelling and locking Helene in her room refusing Lilibet to come in. But she has found a way out. She will follow the wallpaper and escape that way…

That is the last entry in the journal.

This felt a lot like The Yellow Wallpaper, the short story where the lady goes mad and her husband locks her up (or did her husband lock her up and then she went mad?)

Hmmm…is there a phantom or just an evil husband?

Gaslight (1944)

Next we have a newspaper clipping “Murder at the Mad Magician’s Mansion”. 

The wife of The Great Goodyear, Claude Goodyear, has been found dead in her home, found by her husband when he returned from performing.

Héléne’s face was frozen in terror and the inquest found that she had been poisoned-even though she was alone in the house and it was locked up tight. But by who? And how?

Of course authorities looked at the husband first, but it was impossible for him to slip away as he was performing and his every moment had witnesses.

Hmmm…

Her body was strangely found, it looked as if she was trying to crawl out of a small under-stairs cupboard with her face frozen, and hair turned white.

It appears Claude has lost his mind at his wife’s death. He warns people of a gruesome phantom moving in his house, warning people to stay far away.

After two incidents, one of him claiming a police constable to be a monster, he was relocated to the Broadmoor Asylum for the Criminally Insane.

Aw, that’s sad.

And last a page ripped out of Charles Dicken’s The Chimes with the following words underlined:

“Monsters uncouth and wild, arise in premature, imperfect resurrection; the several parts and shapes of different things are joined and mixed by chance..”

“Haunt and hunt him…”

“Bleak his slumbers…”

“he saw this WITH Goblin sight…”

“…saw these creatures, not only among sleeping men but waking also…”

There are more marks of the secret language written in the margin.

Hmmm…

I have been working on decoding it, and I think I’ve figures out a few letters based on what they gave me and just common sense of filling in the blanks, but there are some I am just not sure of.

Hmm…

So I am getting a Phantom of the Opera vibe from this (I love The Phantom of the Opera)

So in the original story of The Phantom of the Opera, one of Erik’s (the phantom’s) many talents was architecture and he builds the opera house-creating his secret home and all the passages, using the mirror as a door to bring Christine to his lair.

I think Henry Griggs is alive! And living in the house he built, probably a secret passage in the mirror. I’m just not sure if he is killing people because he us possessed by something or because he thinks if he does he will have his house back. I’ll have to wait and see.

Hmmm…

A lot of stuff came in this package and I did my best to try and put it all in one picture:

For more from The Mysterious Package Company, go to A Goblin in My Mailbox

For more insane doctors, go to Mr. Hyde Versus the Werewolf: Dr. Jekyll Versus the Werewolf (1972)

For more Persuasion, go to The Jane Austen Book Club (2007)

For more mysteries, go to I Won the Cederberg Tea Giveaway + Book Club Picks: The Insanity of God

For more ghosts, go to North by Northanger (Or, the Shades of Pemberley)

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

JesseJamesmeetsFrankenstein'sdaughter

“You are no longer Hank Tracey, you are Igor…I am Maria Frankenstein. What I think you will think…You are fully under my control…I created you…”

So I came across this movie at the library while I was searching for Fahrenheit 451. It was a double feature called Frankenstein Fest, and had The Monster Maker and Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter. 

Both intrigued me, especially Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter. I mean I love Frankenstein!

Clive, Colin (Frankenstein)_02

I love Westerns!

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And I love B horror films, they are so hilarious.

felix_the_cat_laughing

So I thought I would try it out.

This film was originally made to be a double feature paired with Billy the Kid vs. Dracula.

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JesseJamesmeetsFrankenstein'sdaughter

A big storm is occurring for this sleepy little town in the West and everyone has left except one family. Manuel and Nina are ready to leave the city, due to the cursed house on the hill, but Juanita, their daughter, is adamant that they wait for her brother Francisco.

They continue to talk about the cursed house and about the “sickness” that kids have been catching and died from. Juanita is furious with them. Because of them the kids have died.

you're evil

So who are the them they are talking about? The Frankensteins. And no these are not Frankenstein’s children but grandchildren.

What are you talking about?

What are you talking about?

I know, I didn’t get that either. Why call it Frankenstein’s Daughter if it is her granddaughter?

So obs

So it is Frankenstein’s grandson, Rudolph, and granddaughter Maria. The two were forced to leave Vienna as their experiments were too out there.

Clive, Colin (Frankenstein)_02

Rudolph wants to stop the experiments, but Maria is forceful and desires to complete her grandpa’s work…even though her grandfather wanted to stop as it was not the best idea. Hmmm…..sound familiar?

Maria is so excited to be living in the West as there are so many lightening storms that help with the experiment.

So this is one of the reasons why the film was so bad! Maria is “recreating” her grandfather’s work, but not really. Instead of trying to create life, bringing the dead of many back, in this she is trying to put the brain her grandfather created or used into another person.

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She has been experimenting on children in the village, but none have worked. The latest, Francisco, seemed promising, but turned out to be another disappointment. Another experiment failed and another body to bury.

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Maria doesn’t care that she has killed three children already, all she wants is the power to control others!

Star Wars Dark side power Darth vader

So Maria’s a psychopath.

Victor Moritz: You're crazy! Henry Frankenstein: Crazy, am I? We'll see whether I'm crazy or not.

Victor Moritz: You’re crazy!
Henry Frankenstein: Crazy, am I? We’ll see whether I’m crazy or not.

She kills children for fun and doesn’t feel bad about it at all.

you're evil

So Maria goes on about how she needs the “right” man, but who could it be?

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

So we switch to a town where two muscly men are fighting in the street. Hank Tracy is one of them and the winner of the bout. At first the saloon owner doesn’t want to give them anything, but after Hank’s best friend Jesse James throws his name around, people back down.

notaproblemwalktoremember

So this film takes place after Ford assassinated Jesse James. There were plenty of rumors that James survived, and this film goes off of that.

Anyways, Jesse meets up with Butch Corey and his brother Eli of the Wild Bunch. Eli starts trying to assert his leadership, and Jesse James shows him with his gun that that is a bad idea.

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So they make a plan to rob something but I don’t know the details. They talk so quiet and in monotone.

Eli acts as a double-cross to get Jesse James as he doesn’t like James trying to make a fool out of him. He gets the Sheriff to have a posse hiding to catch James.

I see more sequels and remakes coming in the future.

This film is sooooooooo bad and booooooooooring. It is The Beast of Yucca Flats bad.

really?

really?

I thought this had Frankenstein in it. I want to see some MONSTER MAKING!!!!

Except in this case monster!

Except in this case monster!

A wagon comes along and the team tries to steal the money, but the sheriff is there and stops them. Eli tries to shoot Jesse, but hits Hank instead and Jesse and him take off.

run-away

Marshall heads off to capture Jesse James, with Eli coming along for revenge. He’s the only one of the Wild Bunch left.

So Jesse’s man was shot in the shoulder not the side, but holds on to his side. Was he really so bad at acting, that he forgot to react for a long time when “shot.”

I don't like it 11

Jesse and his friend come upon the Mexican family from earlier. They are camped out eating.

We see Hank and now the wound has traveled from his side to his heart and just barely began bleeding. That is bad, really bad.

really?

really?

Juanita tries to help Jesse in doctoring his friend but knows she can’t do much. So she decides to do the one thing she would never want to do, take him to see the Frankensteins.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

Juanita’s parents forbid her as they don’t want to ever return to that area so Juanita sneaks off that night with James and they take Hank.

The next morning the Sheriff comes across Juanita’s parents and questions them about James and his partner. They say they haven’t seen them. Eli doesn’t believe them, but the marshall tells him to quit and the two continue on their way.

Stop stop it now!

Juanita’s parents are furious about her going off, but her father is adamant that he will never go back.

Juanita is caring for Hank while James is doing something, she goes to get Hank more water when she is taken by a Native American. James notices her missing and tries to find her. He gets attacked by the same guy, having to kill him to get free. Juanita is so thankful, but their relief short lived as more of the tribe are on the way.

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

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

They manage  to hid out, and Juanita is in love with Jesse, thanking him for saving her life with a kiss.

nancydrew_frankhardy_kiss

Jesse knocks on the door asking Dr. Rudolph for help. He gets his sister who is pleased with the size of Hank!

He's perfect!

He’s perfect!

Maria is even more thrilled when she realizes that it is Jesse James, as no one will ever find these men as they are running from the law.

Meanwhile the Marshall and Eli are still looking for the two. They stop in the town and knock on a door, Juanita’s old house. Juanita says there are no men here, and the Marshall does’t listen, choosing to stop and take a look around the area.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

Maria goes to see James and asks him in to her library, the house being very Austrian. Maria gives James a bit of a backstory about how they had to leave Europe but they are interrupted when the Sheriff and Eli stop by and question Maria, who tells them she has seen no one. The two just leave after that with no investigating. Why did they investigate Juanita’s house? eh? Rude of them.

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Juanita and Hank are talking, Hank wanting her to come along with them when he is better. Juanita heads out to speak to Jesse in the moonlight!

How cute

you know what that means

Jesse, however, doesn’t want Juanita to come along as he is Jesse James, outlaw. Life would not be pleasant. The two kiss, in love. How cute. Except for one thing….

Truth be told I don't

Truth be told I don’t

Where is the monster making? eh?

Jesse is angry as Juanita wants him to admit that he loves her, but she won’t agree to go with them. However she wants him and his friend Hank to leave before the Frankenstein’s do something to them.

Run Away

Maria sees them outside in the graveyard, kinda creepy place to have a smooch now that I think of it.

Steve? A murderer?

Weird…

She approaches Jesse, who wonders why everyone left as it seems strange. Maria laughs it off, as ignorant people afraid of advancements. Jesse then asks how soon they will be able to leave…

felix_the_cat_laughing

Never you can never leave!

Maria doesn’t want them to leave. In fact she tries to use her womanly wiles to keep him, as she needs him.

Whattheheck

Needs him? You just met him. Okay slow down Queen of Outer Space.

Queen of outer space

Maria is furious that Jesse would choose Juanita over her.  She must have him or no one can!

ineedthis

Jesse tells Juanita how Maria gave him a note for medicine and that he has to ride into town for Hank. Juanita warms him that Maria is just trying to get him out of the way but he doesn’t want to take the risk that Juanita is wrong and have Hank killed.

Rudolph doesn’t want to operate. as Jesse James will kill them when he finds out. Maria doesn’t care, besides Jesse will be caught and hanged the minute he steps into a town.

I-got-this-reaction-gif

The storm rages on as Maria begins preparing the artificial braun she is planning to put in Hank’s head. Juanita sneaks over to see what they are doing and watches as they preform the experiment.

Clive, Colin (Frankenstein)_02

Dr. Maria Frankenstein: You are no longer Hank Tracey, you are Igor…I am Maria Frankenstein. What I think you will think…You are fully under my control…I created you…

So this is nothing like Frankenstein. All this is is open brain surgery.

Maria tries to help him, and realizes that her brother has been sabotaging all the experiments by killing them with poison. She and her brother struggle and he is starting to strangle his sister. She calls out to Igor and then he helps save her.

Dr. Maria Frankenstein: Its alive! It’s alive! Get him Igor!”

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Igor attacks her brother and kills him.

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Juanita has seen all that has happened and flees in the night. Meanwhile Maria sends Igor after Juanita. When they check her room, she is gone.

Maria is furious, but ecstatic that she still has Igor.

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Meanwhile, Jesse has arrived in the town, and there are posters about him being wanted with a huge price on his head.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

He gets there super early in the morning waking the doctor up. He gives him the note but doesn’t know that it signs his death warrant instead of getting help for his friend.

I just think, man didn’t he look at the note? I mean how weird? Why wouldn’t he?And why would the guy think that it was real? i mean why would someone deliver their own death note?

weirdtwilightzone

The Sheriff is out of town, but Eli has stayed behind and wants to kill Jesse. He tells the doctor not to worry, but pretend everything is fine, and he will take care of him.

Eli tries to sneak in to kill Jesse, but Jesse spots him and shoots him. The doctor begs for mercy and reveals the note was a ploy.

OMG gasp

Jesse, angry, then takes off for the Frankensteins. Juanita is riding out to find him and the two run right into each other.. Juanita tries to keep him from going back. She warns him that Hank is no longer himself and it is horrible, if he goes back he will have the same fate.

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Juanita goes to the Sheriff and tries to get him to come with her. Surprisingly he believes her and doesn’t think she is looney or something. I would have.

crazy

Jesse bangs on the door, while Maria hides Igor. She lets Jesse in and tries to blame the attempted murder on her brother. Maria just can’t resist Jesse.

Some people

She calls Igor who comes and knocks Jesse out.

Hank/Igor watches Maria tie Jesse to the bed and a funny look comes over his face. Is he breaking through her control? Does he remember Jesse and his past life?

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Maria sends Igor to his room while Maria decides what to do with Jesse. She is angry with Jesse for refusing her and has decided that Jesse will be the perfect guinea pig for her next experiment.

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

She shoots James up with something, while the Sheriff arrives at the door. Maria is starting to breakdown as things are going against her plans, it seems as everything is unraveling. The Sheriff goes to investigate, and Maria calls for Igor.

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Igor comes and attacks the Sheriff, knocking him out. All that is left is Juanita. She tries to wake up Jesse, but Maria locks them in and calls for Igor to take Juanita and kill her.

Igor/Hank looks at the two women and instead of taking Juanita, kills Maria. Jesse tries to talk to Hank/Igor but all he says is kill.., kill, kill

OMG gasp

Jesse doesn’t want to hurt his best friend Hank and doesn’t do anything as he attacks, instead Juanita steps up to the plate and shoots Hank.

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Wow. I did not see that coming. That is the second film to be resolved by an unlikely source. I mean having the women save people has never been super popular in horror films, although a but more common in Westerns.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

They bury Hank and Juanita is happy that the evil is over. Juanita says she will wait for Jesse there in the town but he says he is an outlaw. He can’t stay. Instead he goes off with the sheriff to be hanged.

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So usually B films can have something enjoyable about them, but this was horrible. Just horrible. Barely any monster making, mostly a love triangle and we all know how I feel about that:

OVERDONE

OVERDONE

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

For the previous post, go to Have You Seen Megan Hipwell?: The Girl On the Train (2016)

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

For more evil doctors, go to Unleash the Savage Instincts that Lie Hidden Within: I Was A Teenage Werewolf (1957)

For more B horror films, go to It’s Mrs. Archer. She’s on a Rampage!: Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958)

How To Survive A Horror Film

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

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

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

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

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

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3) Anything and Everything Can be a Weapon

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

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

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

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

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

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6) Sex = Death

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

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7) Doctors are Almost Always Evil

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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12) Never Split Up

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

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13) Do Not Do Drugs or Drink

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

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14) Always Call the Police

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

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15) Never Say “I’ll Be Right Back”

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

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16) Never Say “Who’s There?”

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

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17) Do Not Go Out to Investigate a Strange Noise

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

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18) Do Not Use the Bathroom

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

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19) Never Go Off By Yourself

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

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20) Always Look Behind You and Above You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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24) Never Judge a Book By its Cover

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

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

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

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26) Never Try to Create Life

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

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27) Never Try to Control a Monster

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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31) Don’t Be an Idiot

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

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

This post is brought to you by a

horrornerd

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

Keep tuned for more horror film reviews!

Avengers Assemble

So I’m sure some of you are wondering what happened to the fandom posts? Why have I stopped doing them?

Well, I wanted to do a post on how great I think Cecilia Gray is. She not only liked my review of her book Fall For You (Jane Austen Academy #1). After that I stopped as I was feeling kind of under the weather.

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I was feeling tired all the time, but that grew into a headache and sore throat. But then on Thursday morning I couldn’t hear out of my right ear.

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That’s it, I need to go to the doctors. I wanted to put it off as I hate doctors, but figured I’d better go and get it looked at.

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I know it takes forever!! So I had to wait, and wait and wait and wait and wait…….

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Finally the nurse saw me and it turned out that I had an ear infection and a fever of 100.3. It was funny as after the nurse took my temperature, she asked me if I knew I had been running around with that high a fever.

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When I was younger I used to get fevers of 103 & 104. 100.3 is nothing.

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So the doctor finally saw me and gave me a prescription and sent me on my way. I had been waiting forever, but the actual time of the doctors was like 10 minutes. How is that fair?

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And then you have to wait an hour for the pharmacy. Yuck.

So there was one big problem with being sick. I had tickets to see the Avengers: Age of Ultron, the midnight showing.

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Oh yeah!

Oh yeah!

But you know what? Being sick wasn’t going to stop me, yep I was going to see that movie even though I had a fever and could hear out of only one ear!

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That’s because I’m a true geek and hardcore fan.

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When I got to the theater, I was the only one in my party. You see, since I’ve moved back home I don’t really see people my age. There was one guy I befriended, but he wanted to move on to dating, and I wasn’t really interested in him. So there was no one else I knew who’d be down for a midnight showing.

When I went to turn in my receipt from buying the ticket online, they guy asked me all shocked like-“only one?”. I felt sooooo embarrassed.

So embarressed

So embarressed

Like Josie in Never Been Kissed when she wants to go on the ferris wheel. It made me feel like a loser.

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But that was short lived as I’m okay being alone.

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And I was really excited to see the movie.

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So now you are probably wondering what I thought of it. There were some things I had a problem with (one particular death of which I won’t say but thought was stupid to have!!!!), but on the whole I loved it and am seeing it again tonight.

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I actually am reserving the rest of my thoughts for a later post. As Tony Stark and Bruce Banner create not one but two creatures, you can argue that this is a horror film, mad scientists creating monsters. So I will be bringing back the Avengers: Age of Ultron in October, during Horrorfest IV.

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For more Avengers, go to Fanning All Over the Place

For more things I’m a fan of, go to Back to the Fandoms

For more of my everyday life, go to A Spot of Trouble

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Victim #1

Victim #1

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

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

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I know this won’t end well

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

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

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

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Victim #2

Victim #2

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

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

Doesn’t it just get you in the feels?

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

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

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

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

For the previous post, go to Let Them Fight

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For more on werewolves, go to A Monster Race

For more mad scientists, go to In Their Proper Place

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