So this year marks my fifth time doing Horrorfest. Since it is such a huge marker I wanted to do something different.
The past four years I have started off Horrorfest with a classic Horror film, working from the 1960s, Carnival of Souls,to the 1930s, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I thought about doing something from the 1920s, or 70s, or starting back in the 1960s; but none of those seemed right.
I want this year’s Horrorfest to be different. Unexpected. Unusual.
But full of:
So what will we cover?
Let’s see we have Alfred Hitchcock, ghosts, kids with powers beyond their control, murderers, psychopaths, radioactive creatures, robots, serial killers, and more.
I won’t be here when you get back, don’t you see? It’s going to happen before then. Don’t ask me to explain it, I just know. There’ll be somebody with my name, and she’ll cook and clean like crazy, but she won’t take pictures, and she won’t be me! She’ll – she’ll, she’ll be like one of those the robots in Disneyland.
So first, happy 40th anniversary! February 12, 1975 brought this great film to us.
So one day I was spending the night at my friend’s house, and her grandmother had a massive movie collection, although nothing made past the ’90s. We were trying to figure out what to watch, when she chose The Stepford Wives (2005). I thought it was funny, and even bought it for myself when it was on sale for $5 at Wal-Mart.
Then I was at a yard sale, where a friend who has a monster horror/mystery film collection was selling all the VHS he had just bought DVDs of. I saw The Stepford Wives (2004) and was shocked. There was another version of the film?
Then one day, I decided to watch The Stepford Wives (1975). And I LOVED it! I thought it was sooooo much better than the remake, in fact I never even watch the 2005 version anymore. I really should just donate it to the library or thrift store.
So this film was based on a novel, in fact written by the same man who wrote Rosemary’s Baby, Ira Levin. Funny that I should review both films the same year. I didn’t even realize they were by the same person until right now.
Anyways, on with the review.
The film starts out with Janna Eberheart (Katherine Ross) saying good-bye to her apartment they have been living in in the city.
She doesn’t want to leave, but moving to the suburbs will be better for her two young kids.
Now Katherine Ross is extremely beautiful, and her husband is only so-so. How did he score such a ringer? Not to be mean, but he looks old and is balding, and looks like the type to get a beer gut.
They are unpacking their stuff when a beautifully coiffed woman comes over with a casserole, Carol Van Sant. She walks and talks a bit weird, almost unearthly in grace.
Later Walter is walking the dog and tells his neighbor, she cooks as good as looks.
So it turns out that Joanna definitely did not want to move. It was all her husband’s idea. He thinks it is safe, secure, and there is more room for the kids and Joanna to have dark room for her photography. Joanna is still not pleased.
The next day Joanna’s kids take the bus to school. All the other kids are too perfect and not rowdy at all. Weird.
Now that the kids are gone, what is the city girl gonna do? She has tea, clearly bored.
She does get interviewed by neighborhood lady, who writes the women’s magazine. We found out that Walter Eberheart, her husband, is a lawyer; while is an inspiring photgrapher. The thing she misses most about New York? The noise.
The next day she goes to return the casserole dish to neighbor, when she sees a guy come up from behind and start feeling her up and kissing her. It is mid morning! Is that her husband? And what is he doing here instead of at work? Weird.
That night Walter tells Joanna how he has met the other Stepford commuters. They invite him to Men’s Association. It has only one rule, men only. Joanna is not pleased.
We see that their relationships actually are having some problems that have been happening for a while.
Joanna Eberheart: You pretend we decide on things, but you have already decided on everything. You ask me if I want to move out of city, and I find you have already been looking. You ask me if I like this house place and I find that you have already made a down payment. You ask me about the men’s association and you have already joined. Why even bother to ask me at all.
When they go out grocery shopping, it seeems as if all the other women are more in control of their kids, have planned out their list better, being perfect; while JOanna harried and forgetful.
Carol coming out of market, and gets into a car crash. She is taken by the ambulance, and keeps repeating herself over and over as if stuck on something.
Joanna Eberhart: [ambulance drives off] We may be new here, but isn’t Stepford Hospital that way?
Walter Eberhart: Oh, no, no, no, you’re wrong… No, no, you’re *not* wrong, the ambulance went *that* way, didn’t it?
That night Joanna wakes up in bed alone, and hears something downstairs. It is Walter in front of the fire, as he just got back from mens association. He is upset and drinking. What’s going on? Why is he so sad and upset? What did the men do?
The next day Bobbie Markowe (Paula Prentiss) comes to see her after reading about her in the lady’s paper. You notice she is the only other woman wearing pants as well.
Bobbie is like Joanna. She moved her from New York, not her decision but her husbands. She isn’t perfectly coiffed and doesn’t have a spic and span house. She is normal and the two quickly become friends.
That night Joanna is working in her dark room developing pictures. Walter calls and tells her the meeting will be at their house, in 20 mins. That’s really short notice to be given, what if the house was a mess? But i suppose those guys think a house should always be perfect.
After Walter gets off the phone, Dale, leader of the men;s association tells him he recognizes that Walter is not altogether sure, telling him not to worry the change is for the better.
So while Joanna is pouring teas and coffees, Dale is watching her, he likes seeing women in domestic settings.
Joanna Eberhart: Why do they call you Diz?
Dale Coba: Because I used to work at Disneyland.
Joanna Eberhart: No, really.
Dale Coba: That’s really. Don’t you believe me?
Joanna Eberhart: No.
Dale Coba: Why not?
Joanna Eberhart: You don’t look like someone who enjoys making other people happy.
Joanna sit in on the meeting, One guy draws Joanna, as the rest of the men talk about charity events they could do. The men are absolutely boring and horrible at planning and deciding on something. She goes to check on the kids to get out of there.
They all stop talking as soon as she leaves. Hmm…interesting.
When she comes back, the meeting breaks up and the guy gives her the drawing of her.
Ike Mazzard: [Handing drawing to Joanna] In case you’re wondering what I’ve been doing.
Joanna Eberhart: You’re not the Ike Mazzard are you?
Ike Mazzard: I’m afraid so.
Joanna Eberhart: Walter tell him, I’m just awful on names. You’ll have to forgive me. I used to gawk at all those girls in those magazines. You blighted my adolescence, you know that?
Walter Eberhart: [Grinning] I thought I benighted your adolescence.
Joanna doesn’t like the men, as she thinks they are boring. The women, besides Bobbie, are not friendly and also don’t seem to think that much beyond how they look or how to cook. She thinks her husband is acting weird by hanging with these people.
Dale give a barbecue, and Joanna and Bobbie dress casual; Joanna in a nice sundress and Bobbie in pants. However, all the other women are dressed SUPER fancy in long dresses. Joanna and Bobbie feel really out of place, but can’t quite put their finger on why exactly.
Joanna Eberheart: It’s all so dazzling, so why don’t I like it. I like it but I don’t like it. Does that make sense?
Carol starts talking to them, but keeps repeating herself. Something is not right with her. Is she drunk? Or is it something else?
The next day Carol comes and apologizes to Joanna and Bobbie. She explains that she used to be an alcoholic, one of the reasons why they moved out of the city, and the reason why I was acting weird last night. I had started drinking again. Her husband made her come apologize to the newcomers, didn’t want to frighten them off.
So strange to Bobbie and Joanna. Both ladies did women’s liberation in New York and decide they need to start something here in Stepford. They start inviting women, but they don’t really care and don’t want to. One too busy ironing, one too busy baking, another shopping, etc.
The last person they see is Charmaine. She is relatively new, only been here a little bit longer than Bobbie. She heard that the girls wanted to start meeting, and wants to join as she has had a hard time connecting. She used to play tennis with one girl, but now she is far too busy cooking and cleaning.
One of the men wants to do a speech experiment with her. Needs to know every place you have ever lived, and you have to read off a vocab list he made up. Joanna won’t do it, unless the wives come to her meeting.
Joanna Eberhart: I’m very busy…just like your wife. Bobby and I tried to involve her in one of our projects, but she had too much ironing. Maybe you could convince her. Kit Sundersen, too. If they could find the time for me… I could find it for you.
Claude Axhelm: Isn’t this uh… kind of blackmail, Joanna?
Joanna Eberhart: It’s what made this country great, Claude.
They have the Women’s Liberation meeting, but the other wives don’t seem really into it. Joanna starts by saying she thinks walter cares more about law than her. Charmaine says that she doesn’t think her husband ever loved her, but only married her because she looked right. After that emotional piece, one of the wives says she didn’t bake any thing yesteday because she didn’t finish cleaning. Then all the “other wives” start talking about products they use, sounding like a commercial.
Joanna goes out for a walk with her dog, when she is gone men come over and looking at room and all her stuff. They leave after their observations.
The next day, Bobbie and Joanna run into an older woman who tells them about a new family coming to Stepford, a black family. She says it doesn’t surprise her as Stepford is the most liberal place. Bobbie and Joanna are surprised and find out they used to have a ton of women’s groups, including a huge Women’s Liberation. What happened?
They go see Carol, who they discovered was the leader of the Women’s Liberation in Stepford. She tells them it died out because the women got bored.
Joanna Eberheart: Is it enough?
Carol Van Sant: It is enough for me, maybe not for you.
Joanna goes to New York to show some photographs to a gallery, but the owner turns her down. When she returns, she discovers that her dog is gone. She and Bobbie start driving around looking for him when they see Charmaine’s Tennis courts being destroyed!
They go see her and she is dressed like other wives and acting like them. She only cares about making her husband happy. Fired the maid and wants to do all the cooking and cleaning herself. She’s letting her husband get the heated swimming pool that he always wanted.
Both are freaking out about this. Bobbie is convinced that they must be poisoning the water or something. She wants to take a sample and give it to a trustworthy chemist, but doesn’t now any. Joanna does, and when they give it to him; there is nothing in the water.
Bobbie is scared.
She wants to leave, and is planning on asking Dave tonight to move. She doesn’t want to become one of those women.
Joanna wants to leave, but Walter doesn’t. After a bit of pleading, he gives in. But is it too late to move?
They start looking in different areas together. Dave, Bobbie’s husband is mad about house hunting. He was so upset that he almost canceled their annual trip to plaza. Bobbie has Joanna take care of her kids.
The kids are crazy and loud, and Walter hates it. Joanna takes tons of photos while kids are playing. Joanna is working in the dark room making Walter have to care for the kids. He wants Joanna to take over as he is tired and can’t think of anything else to do. Joanna tells him too bad, she deals with it every day.
Joanna goes to New York to get a gallery owner to look at them, thinks they are amazing.
Joanna goes to tell Bobbie about gallery accepting her work, but Bobbie doesn’t even care. She just wants to discuss clothes, looks, cleaning, all about taking care of Dave.
They’ve gotten to her, and she is no longer the same.
Joanna tries to tell Walter what is going on, but he doesn’t understand and won’t listen. He just keeps telling her that she is crazy!
Joanna is going to leave, and planning on it today. Walter stops her, telling her they will move, but only if she sees someone. He tries to get her to see one in town, but she refuses. She wants to find her own person and someone far from Stepford.
Getting out of here
Joanna visits a doctor far way, but is afraid to tell doctor the real reason why she wants to leave Stepford. Ater four months Charmain changed. After four months Bobbie chnged. And four months is how long Joanna has been in Stepford. She’s afraid that whatever changed them will change her as well.
Joanna Eberhart: I won’t be here when you get back, don’t you see? It’s going to happen before then. Don’t ask me to explain it, I just know. There’ll be somebody with my name, and she’ll cook and clean like crazy, but she won’t take pictures, and she won’t be me! She’ll – she’ll, she’ll be like one of those the robots in Disneyland.
Dr. Fancher: Alright, now listen. I’ll give you a prescription which you have filled, then you gather up your children and you GET THE HELL AWAY! Don’t tell your husband, don’t tell anyone, just go, wherever you feel safe. Now, do you have family?
Joanna Eberhart: They’re dead.
Dr. Fancher: Well, just drive, and stop some place. Then in a few days – I’ll be back on the 10th – you ring me, I’ll come to you, and we’ll sort this thing out. Now how does that sound?
Joanna comes home and plans to do just that. She goes upstairs looking for kids, but they are not here.
Joanna wants to know where they are, but Walter won’t tell her. He tries to get her to go upstairs and lie down, grabbing her.
They fight and Joanna breaks away, going upstairs and locking herself in. Oh no, just like in Rosemary’s Baby! But it didn’t save her!
The phone starts blinking, and Joanna can see that he is talking to someone. While he is on it, she sneaks out of the house and heads off to Bobbies to look for her kids. But when she gets there, they aren’t there.
After she short circuts Bobbie, she heads back home. When she gets there, she smacks him in the head with a fireplace poker, demanding to know where her children are.
He mutters “association” and Joanna decides to head out there. When she gets there she hears her children’s voices calling, follows the sound and it turns out to just be a recording. It was all a ploy to get Joanna there.
Joanna Eberheart: Why change the women?
Dale Coba: Because we can we make them perfect.
But Joanna won’t just go down, she still has a lot of fight in her and takes off running. She gets lost in the hallways and opens a door to her bedroom.
Camera slowly pans…………..tension building…………dun dun dun dun dun….and we see:
Her!!!! Brushing her hair with her black demon eyes. Robot Joanna. Body even more perfect. Probably one of the creepiest moments in any horror film, of all time there.
Next day all in supermarket, talking to each other.
And we end seeing that new family in town, fighting the same way everyone else did previously. They are next on list.
So after watching this a second time, there are a few things I have noticed and wanted to bring light to now that the “real” review is over.
1)The Husband was the one who wanted to move. So I wonder, did Walter know ahead of time that the town was like that? Is that why he choose Stepford out of any other suburb?
2) The clothes are great with the differences. Joanna and Bobbie are the only ones “in” with current fashion. They wear jeans, crop tops, no bras, and show lots of skin with their mini skirts and shorts. Originally the directors wanted the robot women to be “playboy bunnies”, but I think it was better having them in nice, lacy dresses. It definitely shows an extreme difference between the “fixed” women and those “still in need of alterations”. Plus the women in those dresses, defintely is a throwback to not the ’50s, like most assume: but the turn of the century. I mean look at those clothes, throwback to a time when women really had no rights. Or at least that is my views on the whole thing.
So I know many of you see this film on this list and are probably thinking to yourself:
Why would I put an action/adventure, superhero film on my list of horror films? Well I’m including it because of this reason: 1) You have two, not one, TWO scientists who create two, not one, but TWO creatures.
I loved this film and thought it was the best superhero film. It covers a team, but each character was given their own moment to shine. It had great dialogue, amazing scenes, and was just altogether fantastic.
Now as for the sequel? How did I feel about it.
I thought it was horrible!!!!!
And it sucks because I was jazzed about this film. James Spader? Love him in everything! Our dream team, the Avengers? Awesome! Having some X-Men characters finally in it and teasing with a full on cross over? YES!
But then is sucked.
You ruined it!!!!
And believe me, my opinions based on this film isn’t just from one viewing. I saw it at the midnight showing, I saw it in 3-D the Sunday after with my nephew, and then my friend and I went and saw in June after seeing Jurassic World. Each time I saw it, the more I thought it was just done poorly, 2015’s Godzilla (which strangely, the same actors who were husband and wife in that movie are the Maximoff twins in this one.)
So this is going to be a slightly different review, I will give a brief synopsis and then go on to list why I didn’t like this film.
So the film starts with the Avengers taking down what they believe is the last cell of HYDRA out in a small Eastern European country. They are also after the scepter Loki had in the first film. They believe they have accomplished it when they run into two “enhanced creatures” or whatever they call them, Wanda/Scarlet Witch and Pietro/Quicksilver Maximoff. Wanda has the power to manipulate reality, while Pietro can run at super fast speeds.
Wanda uses her powers to cloud each Avengers mind and mess with their ability to think, espechially Tony Stark. After the defeat, of everyone, (except the Maximoff twins), the team returns home to the tower in New York to have a party and celebrate the end of the Avengers.
Tony convinces Thor to allow him to study the scepter, believing he can use it to create a robot that will be able to save humanity and keep it safe. He convinces Bruce Banner to assist him. See here is where we have the Frankenstein parallels.
In Frankenstein, Dr. Frankenstein believed that his work could save humanity: it could bring about immortality, he could save people who’s limbs were lost reanimating dead limbs; etc. Instead he creates a creature, that immediately tries to destroy him. It also has a goal in mind and tries to force Frankenstein into playing his games and doing what he wants. Frankenstein realizes his mistake in trying to take God’s place and create something he has no control over, but it is too late. His creature has decided to destroy not only him, but everything he loves.
With Tony, he believed that his work could save humanity: it would protect them from aliens and any threat too large for humans to handle. Instead he creates a creature, Ultron, that immediately tries to destroy him. It also has a goal in mind and tries to force Tony into playing his games and doing what he wants. Tony realizes his mistake, but it is too late. His creature has decided to destroy not only him, but everything he loves.
The team has discord and seems to be falling apart, when after a brief pastoral retreat they come back in the game and go after Ultron. They steal the machine he was going to use to create the perfect body, with Tony comes up with a second idea. Use Ultron’s plan, but instead of Ultron, input his best friend/butler, J.A.R.V.I.S.
So here we have The Bride of Frankenstein parallels.
In the Bride of Frankenstein, Frankenstein has realized his mistake. Never again will he ever make another creature, but instead be satisfied with what he has already accomplished. Then an old friend, ), comes around and convinces him to make another creature, to be the opposite and balance out the first. Now while Frankenstein knows it is wrong, and has seen how out of control things could get with his first creation, he decides to do it again creating a bride for the creature.
So in this Bruce Banner has realized his mistake in assiting in creating Ultron. Never again will he ever make another creature, but instead be satisfied with what he has already accomplished. But then Tony starts wheedling him, insisting and convincing him to make another creature, to be the opposite and balance out the first. Now while Bruce knows it is wrong, and has seen how out of control things could get with his first creation, he decides to do it again creating a yin to Ultron’s yang, Vision.
So after the create Vision, they go after Ultron, ending back where the film started; but this time with Vision, Scarlet Witch, & Quicksilver (Wanda and Pietro both choosing to go with the Avengers than Ultron).
The fight to save the world, losing an avenger in the process. Back in New York, the old has gone it’s own way and a new Avenger team is born.
Now on to the issues.
1) What an Opening, “What” as in “What is Going On?”
The first scene was all over the place, in a ton of slow motion, and unrealistically packed with action that I thought they were pulling a Toy Story 2 and it was a video game.
I mean come on, in that one scene they are practically posing for the camera.
It might have been the drugs I was on for my ear infection, but yeah I legitamitely thought it was some kind of tease, that is how horribly fake looking that beginning is. It didn’t feel like it was happening, but as if you were watching a bad community play. I mean I saw several times where Black Widow should have been shot but “wasn’t”. The fighting in the first one was much better.
Also no context as to what it going on, why are they after Loki’s scepter? Where did it go after the first Avengers film? Now some people might say “if you watch the TV show you’ll know”, but that’s not what a sequel is about. A sequel is created to enhance characters or events from the first film/book, having a progression from the previous to the next. Not suddenly throw everything at you with you like I don’t know what is going on.
2) Slow Mo needs to Go No Mo’
Honestly Joss Wheedon, the ’90s called, they want their special effects back. But seriously, waaaaaaay tooo much. It looks horrible, it is distracting, and just takes your viewer out of the right state of mind.
3) Calling Someone Out for Cursing Worth Talking About, But Create an Evil Robot and That’s Just a Moment Thing
Seriously. This a running joke for everyone, it keeps rearing its ugly head throughout the film. But Tony? They are mad for a nanosecond, and then they move on. Really guys? Really? The Robot is definitely worse and worth discussing.
And he doesn’t make just one thing, but TWO! TWO!!!!!
4) Enhanced Not Mutated
I don’t know who’s idea it was to not make them mutants and the children of Magneto, but that was beyond stupid.
THEY ARE MUTANTS NOT ENHANCED MUTANTS!!!!!! And they are Magneto’s children.
5) Clintasha or Brutasha?
So I did not like Black Widow and Hulk together. I really wanted it to be Black Widow and Hawkeye.
Now I might not have minded the whole Brutasha if it weren’t for the fact that it came out of left field. Natasha does go get him in the first Avengers film, but that’s all we see of their interactions. There is nothing to suggest anything romantic, and no chemistry between them, but yet we are expected they are considering running away together?
6) Visions…I Guess?
So what is up with the visions that Scarlet Witch makes. They never really explain her powers in the film so is it magic? Really the future? What?
They also don’t make any sense. For Tony it is his fear, and a bit of the future. Black Widow, a hidden memory, Thor a fear/vision. Captain America? How does what he sees relate to anything?
7) Tony Pop Culture Allergy?
So unlike Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, etc. Tony is a HUGE pop culture junkie. Yet when he creates artifical life, he doesn’t even consider how things could go horribly wrong. Wouldn’t he have seen Jurassic Park, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Frankenstein, The Terminator, I Robot, etc? Espechially as three that I just listed involve bad robots? Wouldn’t that make him pause, at least for a moment.
8) I Leeloo Ultron Robot
The part when Ultron awoke and then starts researching to figure out his purpose and what he’s supposed to do made me think if The Fifth Element.
Ultron’s breakdown around his objective is also very similar to V.I.C.K.I., in I Robot, when she starts killing mankind to save mankind.
9)Massive Iron Man Vs. Hulk
I feel like someone thought of this and then wrote the script around it. I know everyone thought it was super cool, but I actually thought it was kind of a worthless scene.
10) Green Acres is the Place to Be
So the whole crew go out to Clint’s farm so that they can regroup and figure out a new plan. To me it seems like a ripoff from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990), when they go to upstate New York to heal and refigure out what to do.
11) Motorcycle Mama Knows NO Bounds of Gravity
When Ultron tosses the ground at Black Widow and she is able to not only stop in time but turn so she isn’t hurt.
Impossible and dumb thing to do. Just no, no.
12) Copying Captain Underpants
So there was this book series in the early 2000s, Captain Underpants, about two kids, George and Harold, who hypnotize their principal into thinking he is their comic book creation, Captain Underpants.
In the sequel, Attack of the Talking Toilets, George and Harold use the nerdy kid’s science fair project, a 3D printer, and accidentally bring a giant toilet and his toilet army to life.
When Captain America isn’t able to stop them, they then create a Giant Robot to battle and destroy the toilets.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is like the same exact plot. Just switch out toilets for Ultron & the robots, and Giant Robot for Vision.
13) A Death That Didn’t Need to Happen
So people have been complaining that no one really dies in a superhero film, they always come back to life again. This coupled with Joss Wheedon liking to make us cry, meant he was going to kill someone and he killed Pietro.
That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. The man has SUPER SPEED!!!! You really think he wouldn’t be able to just move around the bullets in time?
I mean for once Fox did a better job than Disney.
Just so much awesome.
And if they are going to kill him, why not save him in the Stargate cradle thing? Hawkeye used it. And why does he, Cho, and Coulson get to survive?
You know why, because he is just being a pain, like Wes Craven when he killed Randy but let Dewey survive. And you know what Wheedon? Because that was so stupid, I’m going to ignore it.
Let’s face it, we all know how it should have ended:
So no banner as I couldn’t find a pic that worked right. Instead I’m going to end with those who criticize films best:
You’re not gonna believe this, but it was a giant… metal… man.
I love this movie!
It was one of my favorites as a kid and I used to watch it a LOT.
I got it for Christmas one year and was so happy, as it has been one of the best presents I’ve ever received.
It was rereleased in theaters this year to mark it’s 20th anniversary and I bought tickets immediately, taking my two nieces.
As I not only saw it recently in theaters, two weeks ago, but as this is it’s anniversary year, what better time then review it? Is this really a horror film, you might ask? Well yes, as it has aliens and a giant robot, it can definitely be considered a horror film. It also covers my yearly animated film feature review.
So our film is based on a book and is a historical fiction film, being set in 1957. Yes, we have the Cold War, threat of the atomic bomb, fear of aliens invading; all that good stuff.
So the film starts out with a ship trying to find shore in the a huge storm. They can’t find the lighthouse, then they do…BUT it is not a lighthouse! It’s a giant metal man!!!!
Back at the town, where the ship was headed we are introduced to our hero, Hogarth Hughes. His father was an air jet fighter who died during the war, (I’m assuming Korean War as his death seems more recent than WWII). Hogarth lives with his mom on their farmhouse, and she works as a waitress in the local diner. Hogarth is very smart, having been moved up to the 5th grade, but by skipping a grade he doesn’t fit in being bullied a lot.
So he is very lonely.
So Hogarth looks for companionship from animals, animals that his mother does not share a love for.
“Hogarth Hughes: Hey, mom! You won’t believe our good luck. Guess what I found?
Annie Hughes: Hogarth, we’ve been through this before. No pets.
Hogarth Hughes: But he’s not a pet, mom. He’s a friend.
Annie Hughes: Hogarth, we’ve got to rent a room this year if we’re gonna make ends meet, and no one wants to live in a place with shredded upholstery.
Hogarth Hughes: You’ll never know he’s there. I’ll keep him in a cage…
Annie Hughes: …until you feel sorry for him and set him free in the house. You remember the raccoon, Hogarth? [Shudders] Oooooh! I remember the raccoon.
Annie asks to see the squirrel, but it has escaped Hogarth’s makeshift cage. He starts looking for it, when he becomes distracted by Dean McCoppin and the sailor, Earl, who saw the robot earlier.
Let’s stop for a minute and talk about Dean. He is one if the coolest, and hottest, animated men. Junker as his day job, but really an artist, beatnik, and he drives a motorcycle. How much cooler can you get.
Sorry…so Dean and Earl are discussing what he saw.
Earl Stutz: I’m telling the truth, dang it! It came from outer space. I saw it! And it was headed toward land. I called the government in Washington. Maybe it was a sputnik, or… or an invader from Mars. That’s what it is, an invader from Mars! It was a spaceship of some kind. An unidentified flying object…
Man: Unidentified? Knowing you, Earl, I’d say it was either whiskey or beer. [Others join in laughing]
Dean McCoppin: Hey! I saw it too.
Man: I rest my case. [Others join in laughing]
Hogarth Hughes: I believe you. What if it is Sputnik, or a flying saucer from Mars? I bet we could find it.
Dean McCoppin: Sorry, kid. I didn’t really see anything. But if we don’t stick up for the kooks, who will?
While they are talking, Hogarth’s squirrel climbs into Dean’s pants. I wonder if that is where Disney got the idea for Phineas and Ferb?
Anyways, Annie gets in trouble and has to stay late, leaving Hogarth to his own devices. And we all know what that means for a young kid home alone: junk food and scary films.
Hogarth is watching a B Horror film about a scientist and evil brain, when the cable goes out.
Hogarth goes to investigate and sees that someone or something took a huge bite out of the TV antennae.
He gears up, and decides to head out in search for whatever did this. He starts walking around, and ends up near the power plant finding a GIANT ROBOT!!!!!
He sees it stuck in power cables and getting hurt by it, so Hogarth runs over and turns the plant off. Saving him. He then runs home as his mom is calling him. He decides the next day to go out looking for the Giant.
The next day, Hogarth brings some metal and his camera, hoping to capture a picture of the Giant. However, he falls asleep…and when he wakes up…
The two quickly become friends.
Meanwhile, ugh Kent Mansley has arrived in town. He’s the government man brought in to investigate this “metal man”.
Marv Loach: What department is that again?
Kent Mansley: Frankly, I’m not at liberty to divulge the particulars of the agency I work for, and all that that implies.
Marv Loach: You mean, national security?
Kent Mansley: Let me put it this way. Every so often things happen that can’t be rationalized in a conventional way. People wanna know their government has a response. I am that response.
It grows late in the day and Hogarth is unsure what to do with the robot. He decides to head home and come back tomorrow to hang out with the robot, but the robot won’t stop following.
“Hogarth Hughes: Well, goodbye. [Hogarth starts walking away, the Giant follows him] No, no. Me go, you stay. No following. Good. [Hogarth walks, the Giant still follows him] I told you! I’ll come back tomorrow! Now, stay! [Hogarth leaves, the Giant follows him] No, no, no! Bad robot!”
On the way, the Giant gets hungry and starts chewing on a railroad. Hogarth stops him and tells him to fix them. They manage to get everything together, but the Giant gets smacked and destroyed, flung apart. Hogarth is shocked to see him in massive pieces, but then…
He starts putting himself back together.
The race quickly to Hogarth’s barn where he can hide the GIant while he is being pieced together, and Hogarth can go in for dinner. What both don’t realize, is that a piece of the Giant has slipped away.
So yes, there’s that pesky Kent again. In fact he realizes that a broken BB gun he found at the power plant matches part of Hogarth’s name. This gets him very interested in the Hughes family.
Hogarth goes with the Iron Giant and brings him some comic books to read.
Hogarth Hughes: I thought you might like, you know, a bedtime story. I have some really cool ones. Mad Magazine – very funny. The Spirit – very cool. Boy’s Life – eh. Oh, here. This is Superman. He’s a lot like you. Crash-landed on Earth, didn’t know what he was doing… but he only uses his powers for good, never for evil. Remember that.
[Giant looks at a comic with a robot like himself on the cover]
Hogarth Hughes: Oh, that’s Atomo, the metal menace. He’s not a hero, he’s a villain. But you’re not like him. You’re a good guy, like Superman.
The Iron Giant: Super… man.
But the Giant is hungry. They go out looking for food and spot Dean trucking an old car to the junkyard.
As there is no way Dean will sleep through that, Hogarth has to show himself. Dean is fine with that and invites him in for coffee, espresso.
There Hogarth gets jacked up and talks Dean’s ear off, but eventually Dean hears the Giant and goes after it to protect Hogarth. Hogarth calms everyone down, and after a lot of whining, convinces Dean to house the Giant for a bit.
Hogarth goes home, but after all that needling it is time to get up.
So while Dean is trying to corrall the Giant into not eating his sculptures and helping him out, Hogarth has to deal with Kent.
Yes Kent has decided to rent the room Annie is offering, and follow Hogarth around trying to get info out of him.
Eventually Hogarth grows tired of it and does one of the funniest things in the movie.
Even though this is technically illegal, giving some laxatives without their knowledge, as it could kill him if too much is give, I just love how that enables him to get far away from Kent.
So the Giant, Hogarth, and Dean all have a lot of fun. The three are bonding, the Giant and Hogarth being the best of friends.
The Iron Giant: You die?
Hogarth Hughes: Well, yes, someday.
The Iron Giant: I die?
Hogarth Hughes: I don’t know. You’re made of metal, but you have feelings, and you think about things, and that means you have a soul. And souls don’t die.
The Iron Giant: Soul?
Hogarth Hughes: Mom says it’s something inside of all good things, and that it goes on forever and ever. [Hogarth leaves. The Iron Giant lays back to look at the stars]
The Iron Giant: Souls don’t die.
However, this is too good to last as Kent has been searching and found Hogarth’s camera. Even more so, he got a picture of Hogarth and the Giant.
That night when Hogarth comes home, Kent kidnaps him.
Yes! I know!!! What a psycho creep!
He questions Hogarth about the Giant, threatening his mom!
I know! Kent is one of the worst villians. HOw could you do that to a child??? A child!!!
Kent Mansley: Your mom’s working late tonight, Hogarth, so it’s just us guys, and we’re gonna have a little chat. Sit down! [shoves Hogarth onto a chair and shines a bright light on him] How’s that? A little too bright? Good. Forgive me, Hogarth. I wanted you to learn something.
Hogarth Hughes: What can I learn from you?
Kent Mansley: You can learn this, Hogarth. That I can do anything I want, whenever I want if I feel it’s in the people’s best interest. The giant metal man. Where is it?
Hogarth Hughes: I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Kent Mansley: You don’t? Does this ring a bell? [lays down the picture Hogarth took of the aluminum siding he used to lure the Giant] No? How about this? [lays down the photo Hogarth accidentally took of himself – with the Giant behind him]
Kent Mansley: You’ve been careless, Hogarth.
Hogarth Hughes: It doesn’t prove anything.
Kent Mansley: It’s enough to get the army here with one phone call.
Hogarth Hughes: Then what’s stopping you?
Kent Mansley: [angry] Where’s the giant? [Grabs Hogarth by the jaw] You can’t protect him, Hogarth, anymore than you can… protect your mother.
Hogarth Hughes: My mom?
Kent Mansley: It’s difficult to raise a boy all alone. We can make it more difficult. In fact, we can make it so difficult that it would be irresponsible for us to leave you in her care, and all that that implies. You’ll be taken away from her, Hogarth.
Hogarth Hughes: You can’t do that!
Kent Mansley: Oh, we can, and we will.
Hogarth Hughes: He’s at the junkyard. McCoppin’s Scrap off Culver Road.
Kent Mansley: The junkyard, of course! Food for the metal eater. I wouldn’t worry aboutthis, Hogarth. This isn’t really happening. It’s only… a bad dream. [puts a chloroform rag on Hogarth’s mouth, leaving him unconscious]
After this, there is a great scene where Kent is watching Hogarth to make sure he doesn’t let Dean know that the army is coming in. However, Hogarth manages to outsmart him and warn Dean.
So instead of seeing a space giant, they see an art piece.
Kent Mansley is chewed out and taken away with the rest of the army. Everything seems fine and good until Hogarth and the Giant start playing Atomo. When Hogarth points his fake gun at the Giant, it awaken some defense code and he attacks.
Dean McCoppin: Get back! I said get back! I mean it!
The Iron Giant: No. Stop. Wait.
Hogarth Hughes: It was an accident. He’s our friend.
Dean McCoppin: He’s a piece of hardware, Hogarth. Why did you think the army was here? He’s a weapon, a big… big gun that walks.
The Iron Giant: I… I not gun.
Dean McCoppin: Yeah? Then what’s that? [Points at huge hole the Giant’s ray left on a bus]
Dean McCoppin: You almost did that to Hogarth!
The Iron Giant: No! [Runs away]
Hogarth Hughes: Wait! [Runs after the Giant]
Dean realizes it was because of the toy gun, so he goes after Hogarth to help him find the Giant.
Meanwhile, the army sees the Iron Giant and go after him, even though he just saved two boys. Just like Mighty Joe Young, giant dudes just catch a break.
So Hogarth catches up, and the Giant picks him up and flys with him. The army sends missels after him, knocking them both to the ground, and Hogarth out cold. The Giant thinks Hogarth is dead and becomes angry, trying to take out the whole military.
If you look at his weaponry, you’ll notice the trio of weapons is created to resemble the aliens in The War of the Worlds (1953). This make it concrete that it is not from the Soviet Union, North Korea, China, etc; but definitely from outer space.
As no human weapons can stop him, the general agrees to listen to Kent and get the Nautilus ready with the bomb. However, as they are fighting, Hogarth awakens and escapes from his mom and Dean to save the GIant. He reminds the iIant:
Hogarth Hughes: [to the Giant, in battle mode] It’s bad to kill. Guns kill. And you don’t have to be a gun. You are what you choose to be. You choose. Choose.
Everything has calmed down, except for Mansley. He steals the radio, and tells them to launch the missile, something that will kill them all.
General Rogard: That missile is targeted to the giant’s current position! WHERE’S THE GIANT, MANSLEY?
Kent Mansley: Oooh… We can duck and cover! There’s a fallout shelter not far from…
General Rogard: There’s no way to survive this thing, you idiot!
Kent Mansley: You mean we’re all going to…
General Rogard: To die, Mansley. For our country.
Kent Mansley: Screw our country! I WANT TO LIVE!
The Giant stops him though. Everyone is sad at the fact they will explode, but the Giant decides it is time for him to take care of those he loves.
The Iron Giant: [as a nuclear missile is headed for Rockwell] I fix.
Hogarth Hughes: Giant?
The Iron Giant: Hogarth. I go. You stay. [lifts Hogarth’s chin with a finger and waves his other finger at him] No following.
Hogarth Hughes: I love you.
[the Giant takes off to intercept the rocket]
Awwwwww, it is soooooo sad!!!
The town is saved!
Afterwards, Dean and Annie have gotten together; Dean has made a statue in honor of the Giant; and Hogarth is now the most popular boy in town. But while everything is great, Hogarth is still sad. He misses the Giant.
He is given a package from the General, the only piece they have found of the giant, his mouth screw. Hogarth accepts it.
One night, the piece stats beeping, wanting out of the room. That means only one thing, the GIANT IS ALIVE!!! The pieces are coming together to rebuild him. 🙂
Such a truly great film. I don’t know why it isn’t more popular as it is truly amazing.
“Will, I’m not wrong here. Ted has a problem with me. He acts like I’m in the way or something. And Mom’s been totally different since he’s around.
Different, like happy?
So quick background for those who don’t know who Buffy Summers is. Buffy is a strong, independent woman that totally kicks butt slaying demons, monsters, vampires, aliens, bug creatures, etc. She is lead by Giles her Watcher or mentor. He’s the type of guy you’d want as a dad or uncle. One if her best friends is Willow (played by Alison Hannigan) a shy, insecure, brilliant girl who takes care of spells and reversing curses. The other is Xander who is a total goofball. There is also Cordelia, the snooty, rich girl. At first she is Buffy’s nemesis, but she actually ends helping the group out. And lastly, Angel. Angel was a guy living in Ireland in the 19th century. He was turned into a vampire and wrecked havoc on the world. He was cursed by a group of witches in getting his soul back, forcing him to have feelings and a conscious. He turns from his life of killing, to protecting; attempting to atone for his mistakes.
That’s a lot!
So this episode takes place in season 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Short recap: Buffy knows she is the “Slayer” and accepted her role. At the end of last season, she saved the whole world from the Hellmouth. She and Angel are dating, and getting closer and closer. More recently, Cordelia and Xander have put aside their mutal disgust as they have become make-out buddies. Giles let loose a demon when he was younger, and that secret/demon came back out in the open. Spike and Druselia have been causing problems, but the crew think they have gotten rid of them. Now onto the review!
So one day Buffy, Xander, and Willow are patrolling the city at night, looking for any Vampires to get rid of. Everything is actually extremely quiet and nice for a change. Maybe it will stay like this for a while?
Spoke too soon
So Buffy goes home with her pals, and while she is outside she hears her mother scream and glass break. She pushes the door in, intent to save the day!
Only to interrupt her mom and a man kissing.
It turns out her mother has been dating a computer salesman, Ted, for quite a while. He came over tonight to cook mini pizzas for Buffy and her. The others of course join them.
Buffy is not happy at all as she does not like her mom dating again. In fact in a lot of ways they reverse roles, as she is scolding her secrecy.
Her friends however, love Ted. It turns out he is an amazing cook.
Now the guy they choose for Ted is John Ritter. You know the sweet, funny guy from Three’s Company? The lovable, over-protective dad from 8 Simple Rules? And in this he is sweet, a great cook, pleasant, kind, etc. But something is just not right.
It’s weird, he’s like the perfect guy ever, but that’s the problem. It’s almost as if he is tooo perfect. Like he’s hiding something.
Maybe I’m reading too much into it.
The next night Ted comes over again and cooks everyone dinner, along with baking cookies.
That night Buffy is so angry about how everyone is raving over Ted, she goes out patrolling, this time with Giles. Instead of finishing off Vampires like usual, she beats them to a pulp. She clearly has some issues with Ted dating her mom.
And you can’t really blame her, it was all kind of sprung on her, I mean her mom didn’t even tell her she has started dating again.
The next day, Willow and Xander can’t stop talking about Ted. It is driving Buffy crazy, and she is convinced that something with Ted just isn’t right.
Just as Buffy is talking about her suspicions, guess who shows up? Ted.
Yep, he’s installing some new computer software for the school. He invites Buffy and her friends to mini-golf with him and Joyce, Buffy’s mom. Buffy doesn’t want to go, but her friends do and cancel their nonexistent plans.
On a side note, Giles and the computer teacher, Jenny, were getting close, but because of his old secret coming back to bite him in the butt, she can’t be around him at the moment.
That night Buffy goes to Angel’s place. She has been caring for him after he was badly injured in a previous episode. She complains about everything, but sweet Angel tells her to give Ted a chance. After all, her mother’s is probably been lonely from the divorce.
Buffy agrees and heads home.
At dinner that night, Ted is over once again. He not only made dinner, but went to the guidance counselor about her grades. He keeps going “Dad” on Buffy, even though he’s only known her for a couple of days. This makes Buffy angry, not only because he is overstepping his bounds, but being extremely controlling.
The crew goes mini-golfing and Buffy isn’t very good at it. She knocks her ball way out in the bushes. Everyone wants to let her have a second chance, but Ted. He keeps insisting that rules are rules and they need to followed.
Like just chill, it is just a game.
Ted has convinced everyone that Buffy has to follow the rules like everyone else. She then picks up the ball and tosses it in the hole, yelling to everyone that she got a hole in two.
Ted tells her he saw what she did and gets angry. Buffy just shrugs it off and says that it is a game, making Ted get really mad and threaten her.
That’s it, Ted is a creeper.
He needs to get very, very, far away.
Buffy tries to tell her friends and her mom about it, but no one will listen to her. In fact after Buffy tells her mom what Ted said, Joyce says “No, honey that’s not true. Ted told me what happened.”
Yes her mom is taking his word over her own daughter!!!
And that is what makes this episode scarier than any other one in the show. Because this is something that could really happen. Yeah vampires, ghosts, the swim team turning in fishes, a substitute teacher turning out to be some alien insect, etc.; are all pretty creepy. But this one tops them all because it could actually happen. The fact that someone could treat you cruelly but others nicely, causing no one to believe you is the creepiest. Especially when youknow they mean you harm.
So Buffy knows that she needs to dig up some serious proof is she is going get everyone to believe her. She goes to Ted’s work and discovers that he has planned his and Joyce’s wedding for two weeks from today!
This can’t be happening
She looks over at his desk and sees a picture of her mom. When she looks closer, she realizes that she has seen that picture before. She opens the back, and it turns out to be a picture of her and her mom. Ted took it from the fridge where it was hanging, and folded Buffy out of the picture.
Yep, it is clear to see that this is a metaphor for what Ted wants to do. Remove Buffy from the picture.
That night Ted comes over for dinner. When he is praying he talks sweet and kind, but all his words are edged in double meaning. He knows what Buffy did.
Buffy asks them is they are planning on getting married. They say they aren’t but ask Buffy’s feelings on the matter. She tells them that it makes her want to kill herself.
This earns her a ticket to her room. She leaves out the window and goes patrolling. When she gets back she has a surprise waiting for her.
Not only has he been waiting for her in her room, but he’s been snooping through everything. He found her diary and read it, threatening to tell her mom that she is crazy, and needs psychiatric help for her “Slayer” and “Vampire” delusions; unless she does everything he asks her to do.
Buffy tries to get the diary back and Ted slaps her. The two start fighting, with Buffy’s Slayer abilities causing her to over power him, and him to fall down the stairs. Joyce sees them and checks the body, finding Ted dead.
You know Joyce is so focused on Ted, she doesn’t even ask why they were fighting. Buffy has been a good kid her whole life, but Joyce just assumes her daughter is a murderer than needs protection, rather than assuming Ted was not as he seemed. Yes, Joyce, bad mother alert.
So they call an ambulance, which takes Ted off to the morgue. Joyce tries to cover everything up, telling the police he fell down the stairs, but Buffy speaks up and tells the truth.
The cops take her downtown and start questioning her.
She tells them Ted hit her, and she fought back. The police see no marks on her, [as a Slayer she is fast healer], and are very suspicious but let her go home.
At home things are worse. Her mother won’t talk or look at her. And Buffy has to now deal with the fact that she killed a human, she took a human life. She is not a Slayer or protecter, but a murderer. An accidental one, but still a murder.
At school things are not better as everyone stares at her. Willow and Xander try to cheer her up. But nothing seems to help.
Buffy goes back home, while Willow, Cordelia, and Xander try to find something on Ted. As they are researching in the library, Xander finds some of Ted’s cookies and eats them. He suddenly becomes completely mellow.
Willow takes the cookies and runs tests on them, discovering that they were tranquilized. Yep, Ted dosed the cookies so he could control everyone around him.
Then they discover an address for him along with a lot of marriage certificates. Marriage…but no divorce…marriages that go back to the 1950s.
The plot thickens
Back at Buffy’s house, she is trying to talk to her mom, but Joyce isn’t having anything. Buffy goes up to her room, and finds the window nailed shut. And that’s not all she finds…
But he was dead!
It turns out that he wasn’t dead, but had to “shut down”. He attacks Buffy and begins strangling her.
Before he can finish, he hears Joyce and runs downstairs.
Back with the rest of the gang, they find the address, but it looks abandoned. Xander breaks in, and as they are looking, Cordelia notices that the carpet doesn’t match. Moving it aside they find a secret passage that leads to an underground house. As they search inside Xander discovers the best evidence against Ted. His four previous wives’ dead bodies.
Back at the Summer’s house, Joyce is overwhelmed at seeing Ted alive. He explains that he flatlined, but was brought back. He didn’t come sooner as he “didn’t know who he was.” He tries to talk Joyce into running away with him, but every time he speaks it is all mumbled, almost as if he is short circuiting.
Ted starts spazing out and Buffy comes down, knocking him out with a frying pan.
Poetic Justice if I do say so myself.
When Buffy does that, we have a major reveal. It turns out that Ted was a cyborg!
They call the police
The next day everything is sorted out and it turns out that the real Ted was dying, back in the 1950s. His wife left him, and he built a robot to be his replacement. The robot went and brought his wife back, imprisoning her until her death. When she died he went searching for “his wife”, choosing another girl who looked just like his first wife, marrying her, and locking her up until she died. This continued up until Joyce.
It might not be what most would choose as an inaugral episode, but it defintely stuck with me as the creepy factor is super high.