You Can’t Kill It, It Always Comes Back

So Horrorfest V is over.

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

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

Horror Films

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

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

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

I LOVE the '80s

I LOVE the ’80s

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

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

It is horror and funny at the same time!

It is horrorfying and funny at the same time!

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

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

So Alfred Hitchcock,

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

Ringu Watch TV

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

We also had our Turtle Saturdays

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

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

Zombies!

Zombies!

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

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

Who knew?

Who knew?

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

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

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

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

AMAZING!

AMAZING!

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

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

And then there is Vincent Price

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

Double double yay

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

How To Survive A Horror Film

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

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

Night on Bald Mountain: Fantasia (1940)

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

It’s A Hard World: Backfire (1950)

The Mad Killer: Dial 1119 (1950)

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

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

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

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

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

Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

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

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

I’m…a Werewolf: Teen Wolf (1985)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Night on Bald Mountain: Fantasia (1940)

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Musically and dramatically, we have here a picture of the struggle between the profane and the sacred.

I know I have already reviewed an animated film with The Corpse Bride, but did you really think I was going to let Horrorfest go by without reviewing a Disney film or TV episode?

NO ONE

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I can’t remember when I first watched Fantasia, but I know I was young because I became very antsy during the watching. In fact I remember trying to leave part way through…

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And my mom stopped me and made me finish watching it.

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Out of all the scenes, there are three that have remained firmly stuck in my memory. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Paul Dukas, of course, as it starred Mickey Mouse. Who doesn’t love Mickey?

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Then the ballerina part with the Hippopotamuses, the Dance of the Hours by Amilcare Ponchielli.

Reminds me of Degas

Reminds me of Degas

And the part with the Devil.

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I saw that and had only one reaction:

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

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

It was an amazing short, but so terrifying. He was just so EVIL.

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And apparently I wasn’t the only one horrified. To this day Disney receives letters complaining about how terrifying this part is for kids. Because of such massive complaints, Disney actually removed this part from the initial video release, but later restored it.

He is probably the scariest of all Disney villains and animated creations.

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I’m getting shivers

So the piece is actually a combination of two musical pieces: Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky and Ave Maria by Franz Schubert.

The Night on Bald Mountain is about witches and demons worshipping their master, the Devil, also known as Chernabog. He comes out of the mountain

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And awaken all his supporters. From witches:

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To zombies in their graves:

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To skeletons and ghosts:

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And they all praise and dance around him. His pure evil is terrifying and frightening.

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Nothing can stop him except for one thing. The church bells ring and a choir sings Ave Maria by Franz Schubert. It’s message of hope, Mary, and Christ destroys the power of the devil and sends him back into the Earth.

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5

The music is fantastic, the animation exquisite, and an all around great experience; check it out.

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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 Checked the Children: When a Stranger Calls (1979)

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For more Disney, go to Fan-do or Fan-don’t. There is No Fan-try

For more animated films, go to He’s Married to a Corpse. He Has A Corpse Bride!: Corpse Bride (2005)

For more Classic Disney, go to For She Filled Their Lives With Sunshine

For more Disney villains, go to There’s No One Like Gaston

A Book Only a Reader Could Write

So I wanted to publish this post yesterday, but my computer and I weren’t on the best speaking terms. We have since resolved that issue.

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And the computer has since then come along to my way of thinking. So sorry if I’m a day behind, but better late than never!

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Some books you read and you just know that there was no way this book could ever exist unless the author grew up as a huge fan of reading.

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Such as Matilda by Roald Dahl. Only someone who grew up reading could create a character that gave a voice to all us bibliophiles out there.

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Or Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Only someone who truly loved to read could create the most dismal future, a time when books are outlawed and destroyed. The book is full of glimpses into what might actually happen, unless we take the time to read and value the thoughts and creations found between the pages.

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Well The Neverending Story, by Michael Ende, is definitely one of those books.

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The book was first published in 1979 and then translated into English in 1983. As this is it anniversary, thankfully pointed out by Google, I thought it deserved no less than a post by me.

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The story was such a big part of my childhood, with book and film.

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So the book begins with young Bastian Balthazar Bux; a shy, awkward, introvert:

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Who has been grieving over the loss of his mother and feels disconnected from his father.

Aw, man.

Aw.

He doesn’t really have any friends and is bullied at school. The one thing that Bastian does have is his books.

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With their help he is able to escape reality:

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And here is reason number one why this book is awesome and proof, author Ende must have been a reader; he just understands us so well. I mean even today I still like to escape my reality with a good book:

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Anyways, so Bastian is being chased by bullies when he runs into a bookstore owned by Carl Conrad Coreander. While hiding out, he spots the book The Neverending Story.

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Bastian just has to have the book, but the ornery shop owner doesn’t seem interested in the idea of selling, and such a book that would be far too expensive. So Bastian does something he has never done before, he steals it.

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He runs up to school, deciding to hide away in the attic, reading the story and being thrust into the world of Fantastica (Fantasia in the film).

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Fantastica is falling apart. The dark nothing is destroying it, piece by piece until it will fade away and there will be nothing left. Only one thing can save them; the childlike empress has chosen Atreyu, a native of the plains, to search throughout Fantastica to discover what can be done. As Bastian reads, he becomes more and more involved with the characters. So wrapped up in the book he stays throughout all his periods, in the cold, all the while starving.

Or class. Or lunch. Or anything!

Or class. Or lunch. Or anything!

But that’s silly. They aren’t real people.

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But yet, the characters do seem real. And it almost seems as if they know he exists and is part of the journey with them.

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When Atreyu is traveling he hears what the salvation of Fantastica is:

Born of the Word, the children of man,

Or humans, as they’re sometimes called,

Have had the gift of giving names

Ever since the worlds began,

In every age it’s they who gave

The Childlike Empress life,

For wondrous new names have the power to save.

But now for many and many a day,

No human has visited Fantastica,

For they no longer know the way.

They have forgotten how real we are,

They don’t believe in us anymore.

Oh, if only one child of man would come,

Oh, then at last the thing would be done.”

But where to find such a human child?

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Atreyu continues on his journeys, getting help from Falkor, the luck dragon.

One of the best parts of the book, at least I think so, is when Atreyu faces Gmork, the werewolf. Gmork has become an agent of the Nothing, trying to destroy Fantastica and along with it the human world. Without Fantastica, the world is filled with lies instead of truth, despair instead of hope, destruction instead of creation; pretty much containing nothing.

I love this part as it shows why stories and books are so important. They help us create, they give us hope, dreams, ideas, etc. We need stories, we need hope, we need it as much as we need life.

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And we need to start reading at a young age; so we can have the foundations to fight against all the darkness we will face as we grew older.

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So Atreyu returns to the Empress, defeated. He has no way to stop the nothing. He has failed.

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But the empress is not upset at all. In fact, she says that Atreyu has fulfilled his mission. He has brought a human child here through all his adventures. And she is talking about Bastian!

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The reader has been called into the story? And not just called, but the hero! How cool is that! And how awesome if that could happen. Can you just imagine if the characters started talking to you in the middle of your favorite story?

So cool, I want it to be true.

So cool, I want it to be true.

This is my favorite part of the book, the second half isn’t as strong (in my opinion) as the first half. But still one great book.

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The movie was just as amazing. Now they did make changes, but I thought it kept the soul and heart of the book. I used to watch it over and over.

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Even now I cannot think or say the words “Neverending Story” without singing them like in the film’s song.

I recently showed the film to my niece and realized I am not only like Bastian, but Coreander. Yes, I have the soul of an old curmudgeon who doesn’t like the youth’s fascination with technology rather than books.

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The rest of the story is just as beautiful, fascinating, adventurous, and powerful. And don’t forget the end of the film when the childlike Empress is talking right to you.  Shivers run up and down my spine, it is so good.

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I mean I feel like she is talking right to me!

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The other movies I didn’t really enjoy, but that first one was a true winner.

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So there you have it. One amazing book that I am glad existed to become a part of my childhood, in both print and on the screen.

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And you can bet your boots I will most definitely be checking out the film Sunday when they rerelease it in theaters. Don’t worry childlike Empress, Fantastic/Fantasia will always exist as long as I am alive!

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For more on The Neverending Story, go to The Neverending Story

For more anniversary posts, go to Here’s to Another Year

For more book-filled posts, go to A World of Teas

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For more Roald Dahl, go to We Shall Rule the World!

For more Ray Bradbury, go to Baby Jane Austen

For more Ernest Hemingway, go to Fiction or Reality? I Choose Fiction

For more Markus Zusak, go to Portrait of a Fangirl

For more Richard Marek, go to Crazy Book Lady