Let That Catherine Morland Flag Fly Free

So Horrorfest started I couldn’t tell you exactly when. I’ve always been a fan of horror, thriller, suspense, mystery, film-noir, etc. I would watch them all the time, but every day in October.

When I went to college, I continued and my roommates were thrown into my 31 Days of Horror films celebration.

Who knows?!

So when I started blogging in 2012 I decided to include it and officially create “Horrorfest”-blogging about a film every day. That way it would save my friends/roommates from something they weren’t as interested in.

Yay!!!

Over the years I have established a set of rules and annual films categories. Every year I have enjoyed doing it although sometimes I have fallen behind because of life getting in the way. Usually I have the posts written, like this year I had all 31 done extremely early-the best I have ever been, it is just the editing that slowed me down. If you have someone willing to edit your work-give them a lot of love, because it takes a LOT of time to do.

So last year I received quite a few comments questioning Horrorfest as it has nothing to do with Jane Austen. They felt that there was no reason to do it and didn’t want me to continue.

Hmmm

Well, they are right it does have nothing to do with Jane Austen.

Even though Horrorfest doesn’t really have anything to do with Jane Austen, I have tried to input anything Jane Austen related-I’ve reviewed Death Comes to PemberleyDeath by Persuasion-or things with Austen actors in it like Ruby in the Smoke and Dead Again. I’ve even reviewed some films that while not Jane Austen-are films that Austen fans will love.

But even if I don’t review something Jane Austen, I think its okay to include Horrorfest as there is one character who would love this:

Yep the Regency spooky girl:

So if you aren’t interested, feel free to skip reading me this October and join us back in November. For the rest of you, next October I’ll be back with more horror, mystery, film-noir, suspense, thrillers, etc.

So for this year’s review: how I do Horrorfest VIII is that I watch whatever, and review it. I mean I usually plan the first and last film-and of course I planned The Planet of the Apes series review after someone donated the set to the library-yet it always amazes me how many match up themewise.

This year we had gothic films with the Horror of Dracula and Rebecca.

We also had a multicultural Horrorfest VIII as my Jane Austen profile pic was inspired from my Mexican culture, we had Horror of Dracula from England, High Seas AKA Alta Mar from Spain, Spirited Away from Japan, and Strong Woman Bong Soon from Korea.

We had dystopian futures with Planet of the Apes, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Escape from Planet of the Apes, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Battle for Planet of the Apes, Logan’s Run, and The Running Man.

We had Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans with Alta Mar AKA High Seas,Death By Persuasion” from Midsomer Murders, Rebecca, and Strong Woman Bong Soon.

We had superheroes with Batman, Strong Woman Bong Soon, and Unbreakable. 

Ghosts with The Fog, R.I.P.D., Spirited Away, and 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo.

And apes with the Planet of the Apes series and King Kong.

And of course our Annual films:

  • A movie or TV episode from every decade of 1930s-2010s
  • Doubledose of Alfred Hitchcock with Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Rebecca
  • Animated Film with Spirited Away, Disney with Spirited Away, 
  • Doubledose of Lifetime with Death of a Cheerleader and Psycho Mother-in-Law,
  • Stephen King with The Running Man
  • Tim Burton with Batman
  • Vincent Price with 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo

The full list of films, TV episodes, and video game reviewed for Horrorfest VIII:

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

King Kong (1933)

Rebecca (1940)

Lamb to the Slaughter” from Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1958)

Horror of Dracula (1958)

The Notorious Landlady (1962)

Planet of the Apes (1968)

Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)

Escape from Planet of the Apes (1971)

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)

Battle for Planet of the Apes (1973)

Logan’s Run (1976)

The Fog (1980)

Dark Crystal (1982)

To All the Ghouls I’ve Loved Before” from 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo (1985)

The Running Man (1987)

Batman (1989)

Dead Again (1991)

Leprechaun (1993)

Death of a Cheerleader (1994)

“The Puppet Show” from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)

Unbreakable (2000)

Spirited Away (2001)

The Stepfather (2009)

The Last Christmas: Shadow Island Mysteries (2010)

R.I.P.D. (2013)

Death By Persuasion” from Midsomer Murders (2017)

Strong Woman Bong Soon (2017)

Veil of Secrets (2018)

High Seas (2019)

Psycho Mother-in-Law (2019)

What are you? I’m Batman: Batman (1989)

So it is time for our Tim Burton movie!

Batman: I’m not going to kill you. I want you to do me a favor. I want you to tell all your friends about me.

Nic: What are you?

Batman: I’m Batman.

So I was trying to decide which Tim Burton movie to do next, when I saw this at the library and realized this was perfect as it turns 30 this year.

Some of you might not think this counts, as it is a superhero film but I say it does.

Yes, first of all every year on abcFamily, now known as freeform, as part of their 13 Night of Halloween they would always show this. So I always associate this film with Halloween.

The second reason it counts is because the Joker is chemically changed into a monster, but even without that he is a total psycho-killer.

So I grew up watching this film and I just love it. When I think of Batman, to me it is always Michael Keaton or Kevin Conroy. There is no other Batman (although I do recognize Adam West, I just never watched his show until I was older) This is an absolutely amazing film and Keaton is an amazing Batman. So without further ado…

We have an amazing opening with fantastic music…oh yeah, Danny Elfman did the music, Tim Burton just loves him.

Gotham city-I have always loved how it looked as it was a blend of modern with art deco giving it feeling of being both times and not of the time.

So a guy is leaving the theater with his family at night trying to get a taxi. They are tourists and lost. As they walk around the bad side of town, they get mugged, the father getting knocked out. (Although to be honest, it was kind of his fault. Why didn’t he stay in front of the theater?)

That’s not good.

So one of the robbers look like Kevin Bacon but it is totally a discount Kevin Bacon.

So the best part is when Batman creeps up behind the two muggers as they are dividing up the spoils. His cape flying out, creepy and cool. Spooky!

Spooky…

He takes them down, so tough and awesome. I know the costume kept him from moving his head right, but it looks so cool. He looks otherworldly.

Wow!

He was supposed to say something else about being justice in the night or so. But Michael Keaton changed it to “I’m Batman”, and it was awesome!

He takes those muggers down and flies out.

Meanwhile, the mayor is having a news conference with him appointing a new district attorney, Harvey Dent (Billy Dee Williams)-although why isn’t he in the third film? Why did they replace him with first of all, a white guy, and secondly why Tommy Lee Jones?

I’m surprised

Meanwhile Jack (Jack Nicholson) is a thug watching the conference. I can’t stand Jack Nicholson, he just looks creepy in EVERYTHING. That voice, that smile, it creeps me out. And not in a good way like Vincent Price.

He’s talking to his moll, mobster’s gal, about his plans for keeping control of the city.

Meanwhile, on the conference they get questioned about “The Bat”, by reporter Knox. No one believes the reporter, and laugh it off.

I love how they all wear 1940s clothes! Oh, I just love this movie. They have that film noir, Dana Andrews in Laura vibe going on.

Laura

It turns out one of the detectives is dirty, on the payroll of Jack. He tells him that D.A. Dent is onto one of their deals, a property, and he needs it to be handled. The cop insults him, but Jack is not having that, he pulls a gun on him. Watch out you are dealing with a psycho.

Don’t mess with me!

This is why you don’t become involved with bad guys, they can easily kill you.

The mayor is trying to take done crime and wants Grissom to go on trial. He wants to bring business back and revitalize the town.

Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger) meets with Knox, the pressman from earlier. She’s a photojournalist and is interested in this “Bat”. She knows that if they can prove it-it’s pulitzer prize worthy. She wants a piece by trying to get a picture of it. He thinks that he might show up to Bruce Wayne’ social, and she has an invite. Already they are a dynamic duo.

Sorry!

Meanwhile, Grissom and Jack are discussing what to do about this Dent. Grissom wants Jack to take care of him. Grissom’s moll comes, and its the dame that Jack was with. Oh it looks like Jack was a naughty boy.

I love how Jack wears a purple suit. I like when movies do things like that, setting the stage for what is to come. Plus that suit is sharp, I don’t find him attractive-just creepy-but I can see why she might be into him.

Grissom sends Jack out, but I can’t help but feel that there is more to this than mets the eye.

Oh yes, he calls up Lt. Eckhardt and it seems he found out about Jack dating his girl and he is on the way out.

That’s not good.

So the big Casino Night Gala has come. All the bigwigs are there and Knox. Vicki Vale has come too, working the room searching for Bruce Wayne. She taps a guy asking for his help and it is Michael Keaton.

Our first look at him. I think I love him as Batman because he is just a regular guy. He’s not ostentatious, he’s not super serious-he’s cool, composed, and just chill. I love it as you don’t realize who he is until later as he is just so normal. Perfect intro and contrast to when we see how awesome he is as Batman.

So like I said, it is the perfect intro, but it is weird that these reporters don’t know who he is. He’s a gazillionaire and leading philanthropist in the city. I mean Vale gets a somewhat pass as she has just arrived in the city, but Knox should know!

Knox and Vale notice Commissioner Gordon speaking to a police officer. Sensing a story, they try to track him down, but end up in an armory.

Bruce Wayne comes in as they eviscerating his collection. I love it. Who are you-Bruce Wayne.

He compliments them and I can’t get over it. He’s perfect! You would never ever think a guy like this would dress up as a giant bat and run around the city protecting it.

I’m surprised

He starts flirting with Vale but has to run off. The two just can’t get him as he seems so odd? But you know what they say, the rich aren’t odd they are “eccentric.”

Bruce enters his batcave where he goes over the film he shot of the Commissioner, getting the info on what was going on. I like this version because he actually does detective work, rather than in the Christian Bale version when Morgan Freeman solves everything.

Lt. Eckhardt is leading the people who are out to get Jack. Jack, Jack, Jack the first rule of being in a mob, never get with the boss’ gal. Should’ve know.

The police shoot them and gunfire starts between the two in a dangerous warehouse full of chemicals. Gordon shows up with his people as he doesn’t trust Eckhardt. He goes over Eckhardt refusing his order shoot to kill as he wants Jack alive to get the goods.

Jack destroys the warehouse, steam and bullets flying everywhere. But then Batman descends slowly from nowhere. SO COOOL!!!

He uses his batarang to catch one of the criminals. OMG every time I watch this I feel like I go back to the age I was when I first saw this on VHS. I was probably six or seven and after seeing this just thought Batman was SO COOOOL! Still feel this way 20-21 years later.

And that music.

So COOL!!!

Anyways Jack tried to make enough steam to confuse the cops and get out of there, but he didn’t count on the Batman.

I love how he flies in his cape flowing so cool!

WOW!

He catches Jack, using his utility belt to get the gun away, but Jack’s man gets Gordon. Jack picks up his gun to shoot Batman, but he’s gone. So COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!!!!!

Sorry, I can’t help it, 6-7 year old me just keeps popping out.

Jack shoots Eckhardt and tries to get Batman, but accidentally mars his own face, Then oops Barman accidentally knocks him into vat of chemicals, he tries to save him but oops, Jack falls in.

Batman throws a fogbomb and is gone! Sooooooooooooo cooooooooooooooool!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So COOL!!!

Vale and Knox are working on the story, but haven’t figured anything out yet. Knox tries to take Vale out, but Wayne asked her first.

Too slow

He invites her to his home for dinner. It always cracks me up- he’s in this ostentatious and gorgeous house, seated at a giant table that could fit 20 and acts like a regular joe. I love it. I love him. Michael Keaton is one of my favorites.

He takes her from the dining table to eating in the kitchen instead. There Alfred tells stories-good job Alfred. Doing what a parent would do.

Vale shares about herself and her family. Bruce tells her how he doesn’t have any family but Alfred. Vale says this house doesn’t seem him-and she’s right. He’s just too normal, not at all like those typical rich guys. And I love it.

So Jack survived his fall and went to the plastic surgeon. The nerves were messed up so the doctor did the best he could, but Jack isn’t happy with it.

Grissom is getting ready for bed when Jack walks in. He pretends he’s happy to see him, but Jack’s not buying it.

They start him off in the shadows so we don’t see what happened yet. But we know-it’s not going to be good!

Grissom reaches for his gun, but Jack has one on him already. He walks into the light and we see-The Joker. White face, green hair, and permanent grin. I think he looks as creepy as he always does.

Jack Nicholson is perfect. He always creeped me out when he looked his regular self and does it double as the joker.

Vale got drunk and stayed the night. She wakes up and sees Bruce doing upside down exercises? Sleeping like a bat? I’m not sure exactly what he was doing. She takes him to bed, but I personally think I would be weirded out by that.

Joker’s thrilled at the death of Grissom but mad that no one in the paper cares about him, even though he’s been the Joker for one night. But any-who, who cares about that logic, he wants fame, glory, and to enact his psychotic vengeance/reality/crime spree on Gotham.

The next morning Vale wakes up and invites Bruce out for lunch, but he’s too busy running “errands” We know what that means-Batman Business.

Meanwhile, Grissom’s gal gets home and finds Joker, fainting. Joker takes over the mafia. He covers his face with paint and tries to look normal-but still looks creepy. One guy challenges him, and Joker kills him, death by hand buzzer. Wow, love that he stays in theme.

Just noticed this boardroom has weird artwork. A lady naked but tied up, her nipples covered by the tie. Then it looks like a nude man’s chest on another wall. Weird art choices.

Weird

Oh Jack Nicholson is so creepy with that extra creepy laugh and creepiness on the side.

Knox is jealous that Vale was with Bruce, while she’s mad because she thinks Bruce just slept with her and then is going to ignore her. She finds nothing in the newspaper files as to who he is-weird as a gazillionaire there should be a gazillion clips- and then she decides to sneak over to his house and follow him.

He is walking down the street, bringing two roses outside an old hotel building. Aw. I know why he does it, but Vale is confused. Who is this guy? What is he doing? Why toss out expensive roses.

Meanwhile, the court trial of Grissom has stalled as no one can find him. Bruce goes to the courthouse when a guy announces he’ll be taking over his business. As he watches the exchange a mime shows up, then another one. Odd.  But are they just mimes?

Hmmm…

Never trust a mime. They are evil.

Then the Joker shows up and challenges the guy trying to take over Grissom’s business. He has a feather pen and uses it to stab and kill him He walks down the stairs in a top hat, spats, and shiny shoes. Man, I love that this joker has style. I like this better than today’s constant brooding , chaos, evil blah blah blah.

Blah, blah

I just love how he acts.

Meanwhile, Bruce spots Vale and storms off angry that she followed him.

The Joker’s angry that after his big show stopper number no one cares about him, they just care about the bat. I love it. I love him as the Joker. He is so evil and fun. They don’t make villains like that now. They are all so serious, brooding, and stiff.

OMG, Bruce has an amazing library! It’s going on my next library list!

Alfred tries to get Bruce to call Vale as she lifts his spirits, but Bruce is all business. He needs to take this joker down!

Vale calls Knox and gets him to check out the alley Bruce laid the roses on. She know it has to mean something but what?

Hmm…

Meanwhile, the Joker starts checking out the photos from the guy he had follow the reporters and falls for Vicki Vale. He wants her as his new gal.

Mh my goodness, I love his one liners.

Back at the Chemical factory, Joker starts working on his master evil plan.

We switch to the news, Action News, who bring up a story of models dying. They became allergic to something? But what? Three more mysterious deaths at a beauty parlor? Then the female news anchor starts going crazy laughing. She faints and is dead too.

Meanwhile, Joker cuts in to the broadcast. He reveals that he has poisoned all the makeup. and he doesn’t just reveal his plan on TV. He does his own infomercial.

THIS MOVIE IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He does an infomercial about his evil plan of poisoning makeup.

WOW!

Bruce looks into Jack Napier, the Joker. He has an interesting backstory, since 25 his rap sheet has started but he also has studied art, art history, and chemistry.

The next day we see the news anchors with no makeup. Its hilarious! They look tired and haggard a major difference from the day before.

The mayor still wants to celebrate the city’s bicentennial, even though there is a mad man and batman. Crazy mayor.

Ah, Bruce is wearing a cable knit sweater. I love men in sweaters.

So Vale goes to meet Bruce at the art museum, but it was actually a set up so the Joker could get to her. Bruce only found out when Vale called to let him know she would be running late.

She waits, and waits but no Bruce shows up. However, a package does saying urgent in child’s scrawl.

I know Jack probably wasn’t the best student but he really needs to work on an adult handwriting. It is a gas mask and she quickly puts it on as the museum is filled with noxious gas that knocks everyone out.

Joker shows up in a purple coat, purple chef hat, a posse, one dude with a boombox playing music as he robs the museum. I LOVE IT! This film. I can’t get over it!

This Joker is awesome and the kind of crazy, illogical, chaos that I love.

They don’t steal the art but destroy it.

He switches his dance music to “romance”. He looks at her portfolio and call it crap. Wow, you sure know how to romance a lady.

The only one he does like is of the dead body. He knows real art as he is:

“Joker: I am the world’s fully functional homicidal artist.”

Can you imagine if you had the Joker, Norman Bates as his mother, Jason, Michael Myers, and the other psychos all stuck together in a therapy group. Someone needs to make this into a film or short.

Joker’s former girlfriend comes wearing her mask, her face marred from the Joker as “a living piece of art”. Jack questions Vale about Batman.

I can’t get over his one liners!

“Vicki Vale: You’re crazy.

Joker: I thouht I was a pisces.”

He tries to get her to spill on batman and almost sprays acid on her face. Just when all hope seems lost, Batman comes crashing through and swings Vale to safety, crashing out the doors. SOO COOOL!

Wow!

OMG, that Batmobile! Sigh. SOOOOOOOOO COOOOOOOOOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!

I got to see it person at the Ca State fair once. It’s Amazing!

The Joker’s people drive a purple car with a green top. I just love how committed he is to his theme. I miss stuff like that in modern superhero films.

Vale and Batman ditch the car, shield coming up it as he can’t drive through the street. Vale tosses her shoes and they run for it.

Batman and Vale face an alley with no way out. He asks her how much she weighs, not cool batman.

Uh oh

He sends her up to safety and stays behind to fight the guys. They shoot him, and one guy says “Who’s this guy?” The one guy says to check his wallet. Like Batman is really going to by carrying a wallet or a credit card or something.

Flashes to Batman and Robin I know I made that joke on purpose.

Sorry!

Anyways, his body armor protects him and he take these goons out. AWESOME fight scene!!!!! Vale photographs the whole thing, although where was she carrying her camera. Her bag was tiny, but whatever.

Huh?

Batman calls his ride and Batman tells her she weighs more than 108 lbs, Haha. That makes me laugh.

They car picks them up and they drive out to the Nightmare Before Christmas wood Seriously with the Elfman soundtrack I expect to see the gate to Halloween land.

Batman drives off in silence, leaves flying as he races down the highway. SOO COOOOOL!!!!!!

I love how Vale is totally creeped out. Like adrenaline and fear kept her going, but now she’s like I don’t know this dude he could be taking me to his torture cave. She’s seriously freaked out.

Batman takes her to the batcave which is a dumb idea. You don’t take a reporter to your secret cave. In fact as a superhero you shouldn’t date a reporter! Especially one who is investigating both of you-superhero and secret identity. Batman’s Achilles heel.

Seriously dude!

He reveals what he knows as he wants her to print it. I love how he hides in the shadows. I love how Vicky is curious but uncertain.

The screen fades to black and bats and Vale wakes up passed out on her bed. Did he drug her?

Not cool bats.

She gives the newspaper what Batman gave her and its printed. Deodorants with baby powder, lipstick, and hairspray are all infected.

Joker is not so angry but hurt that Batman figured it out. I love it!

I love this movie. Sorry Christopher Nolan, Christian Bale, Ben Affleck, Zach Synder, and others. This movie is better than yours.

Sorry, not sorry!

Bruce goes to see Vale who gives him a cool reception. She was saved by Batman and you didn’t call after your night. She’s kinda over you.

This sucks for superheroes they are always competing with themselves for a girl.

Bruce tries to tell Vale about his “secret life” but it sounds like he is a creep or bipolar or has a weird love/torture room thing.

This scene is so funny. He is speaking gibberish and just sounds crazy . I love it. You know Vale is really nice, I would just been like you’re crazy get your butt outta here.

But before he can make any sense, someone rings the doorbell.

The Joker shows up and is angry that she has a “boyfriend”.

He tells Joker off and insulting him, egging him on, distracts him and pulls the fireplace poker out.

The Joker: Tell me something, my friend. You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?

Bruce Wayne: What?

The Joker: I always ask that of all my prey. I just… like the sound of it. [shoots him]

And the Joker shoots him. Bruce is dead!

Joker says goodbye and Vale cries, she dressed appropriately in black. How did she know a death would come?

But when she turns around Bruce is gone, her silver tray on the ground. He put it under his shirt and used it as armor.

SOOOO COOOL! And definitely a nod to the 39 Steps.

Vale opens the box and there is a Jack in the box hand with dead flowers. She goes to the newspaper office and Knox reveals Bruce’s sad backstory to Vale.

Meanwhile, Bruce is in he batcave. That saying that the Joker told him rally shook him up. He starts looking through the file on his parents. Hmm…how does this connect? (I know how I just like asking rhetorical questions)

Joker cuts into the broadcast again. “You guys have said some really mean things, some of which are true.” He has the best one liners.

Wow!

He announces that a midnight he will dump $20 million on the city. He announces this in PBS Masterpiece Theater style in a fancy old fashioned armchair and sweater vest. This guy. He calls out Batman to meet him and basically challenges him to a duel.

We then see a flashback of Bruce and his parents coming home from the theater.  Why they are walking and don’t have a car waiting when they are uber rich I don’t know. That makes the least bit of sense actually in all of this. Why walk down an alley. Why not have a car waiting?

How does this make any sense?!!

They get approached by a thug who steals his mother’s pearls and another who shoots them dead. The shooter asks Bruce:

“The Joker: You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?”

It was him, it was Jack. That guy looks just like that guy.

Vale storms to the batcave. How she figured it out when she is like the worst reporter, I don’t know. And like I said THIS IS WHY YOU DO’T DATE REPORTERS INVESTIGATING YOU OR BRING THEM TO YOUR SECRET HIDEOUT!!!

This was always my least favorite part. I love you stop doing this blah, blah. Vale you hardly know him.

He dresses in epic fashion. Gets going in his batmoblie, and speeds down to the warehouse, shoot the door down SOOOO COOOOOOOOL!!!!

Batmobile drops a bomb, and all are taken out at the factory. Batmobile continues down the fire and smoke. The factoy is destroyed, but the Joker is in a helocopter.

The Joker holds his own parade with ’80s music blasting. He dances on his float, OMG I love how the Joker has style. I love this movie.

Like seriously, he is Ferris Buellering it up, while his minions toss money int the street. But it isn’t real money, it is bills with his face on them. Which means, he must have some kind of evil plan, but what?

Joker says he giving money but where is Batman, and boom here he comes, flying overhead. Everyone puts masks on releasing noxious fumes from one of his balloons.

Vicky gets good pics While everyone is going crazy. Luckily Knox has a mask in his trunk and a baseball bat as he goes after the minions. He puts Vicky in the car, but that can’t really help her as air gets in the car. She should be going crazy too. It’s not like a car is air proof.

Weird

She  realizes this and drives off, hitting Knox and knocking him onto the hood, and into trash cans. Knox gets a cut on the side of his face. Ouch. Dang Vale.

Batman goes flying into the parade taking the balloons with him. Joker is seriously hurt that he stole his balloons. This cracks me up. I love this movie.

He so upset after Batman shoots his “number one guy” he needs a minute or two alone. OMG he cracks me up.

Batman goes flying down, missiles launched taking out the float. He launches it into Joker then misses because he has honor.

Joker pulls a gun out and shoots Batman from the sky with his giant gun.

His plan crashes and Vale goes charging after him. The plane is destroyed and Joker takes his giant shotgun, and Vale up into the church.

But Batman is alive, it takes more than bullets, crashed plane, fire, and a possible concussion to stop him (just kidding about concussion, he wears a helmet.)

Batman goes after them and knocks all the pews down in the church. Like this does nothing to help Vicky and to be honest it is kinda a jerky thing to do as the ushers are going to have to pick them all up next church service.

The joker forces Vicky up the staircase, like out of Vertigo, Batman follows, the police behind him.

Joker has her in the belltower, and shoots acid at the bell causing it to crash down and destroy the stairs. The police won’t save her, but Batman isn’t going to let a thing like no stairs stop him.

He’s Batman!

The police shine their searchlights at the top of the old church. Now it is time for the final showdown between Joker and Batman.

One minion really gets the punches in there and throws him over, but he’s batman, he uses his utility belt to get up and knock that guy over.

Joker continues dancing while batman stalks by. Vale spots him and distracts the Joker by kissing him.

You’re so powrful and purple, I  love purple. She ducks down and is she…? But Batman comes storming in.

Joker says you made me, but Batman counters with you made me.

WOW!

He pits glasses on and says you wouldn’t hit a guy with glasses. He manages to push both Vale and batman over the edge. They are hanging on the side of the building.

Is this he end?

Joker steps on the church’s old bricks trying to get it come crashing down on the two. His helicopter comes and it looks like it is the end.

Batman has one more thing, he shoots a batarang that gets the joker caught on a gargoyle. They can’t pull him up and  when they pull the gargoyle out, ouch as it is pulling down on is leg.

Joker can’t hold the weight, slips, and goes crashing down. So does the church roof, but Batman and Vale are saved.

The police gather around Joker’s body and  that’s his end of the reign of terror.

At the next press conference, thy reveal Batman gave them the bat signal to call him if they were ever in need. Vale walks off and looks up to the sky, then sees her man’s butler in his fancy car. And that is the amazing Batman (1989)

And just cause:

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

For more Batman, go to Man-Bat: On Leather Wings, Batman the Animated Series (1992)

For more Tim Burton films, go to Once, There Was Even a Man Who Had Scissors for Hands: Edward Scissorhands (1990)

For more film-noir, go to This Is Fate We’re Talking About, and If Fate Works At All, It Works Because People Think That THIS TIME, It Isn’t Going to Happen!: Dead Again (1991)

For more Nostalgia Critic, go to Ever Heard of the Tommyknockers?: The Tommyknockers (1993)

This Is Fate We’re Talking About, and If Fate Works At All, It Works Because People Think That THIS TIME, It Isn’t Going to Happen!: Dead Again (1991)

This is fate we’re talking about, and if fate works at all, it works because people think that THIS TIME, it isn’t going to happen!

So many of you say, hey where is the Jane Austen in Horrorfest? Well, we have had Death by Persuasion and Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans TV show High Seas/Alta MarBut I thought I would throw in another film with a Jane Austen connection. Because, you know:

Yes, while they were filming this-producer Lindsay Doran discovered that Emma Thompson loved Jane Austen. They spent a lot of time talking about Austen and her books:

“I got to know Emma very well over the course of the twelve-week shoot, and it wasn’t long before we discovered our mutual passion for Jane Austen. It was clear that she knew the books by heart, and that her appreciation of them was not of the dry, academic sort she enjoyed them, and she loved their wit as much as she admired their intelligence.” Lindsay Doran, from The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries: Bringing Jane Austen’s Novel to Film

Doran than watched Emma’s show Thompson, and after seeing the writing and acting there-asked her to write Sense and Sensibility. Yes, without this film, this film never would have been born-or a less wonderful version would have been created.

So let’s review Dead Again

This film struck my interest when a patron checked it out at the library. So, of course, when it came back I had to check it out and watch it. It is a film-noir, murder mystery romance.

Film Noir

So the film starts off in black and white in the 1940s-amazingly with newspaper stories and headlines about the Musical Murder of Margaret Strauss by her Conductor Killer, Roman Strauss. Actress Margaret (Emma Thompson) was stabbed by scissors and her conductor husband Roman, (Kenneth Branagh) put on death row for the murder. As he approached the electric chair, journalist, Gray Baker (Andy Garcia), goes to hear the last words-Roman saying that this is far from over.

Now in color it is 50 years later-a woman (Emma Thompson) with no memory and can’t talk is in an orphanage.

The nuns and priest have been taking care of her-but it appears the help she needs is much more than what they can offer. They hire Michael Church, (Kenneth Branagh) a private detective who was raised at the same orphanage, to take her to the asylum and discover who she is.

Laura

Michael Church (Kenneth Branagh) is known for being able to find “anything” and “anybody”. He has just found Dr. Cozy Carlisle (Robin Williams) psychologist turned store owner who’s been hard to discover. He gets the call and heads to the orphanage.

Ready for any case

Michael inspects all that they know about the unknown woman and discovers she has a Claddagh ring-an Irish ring which represents love, loyalty, and friendship-but only one band, the other is missing. He takes her to his friend at the newspaper who takes her picture and they plan on it being printed in tomorrow’s edition. Church then goes to take the woman to the asylum, but after seeing how horrible it is-takes her to his home. Just because it looks bad-like it has nothing to do with the fact she is a pretty woman?

The woman experiences nightmares, a fear of scissors, and screams out Dysher. The next day, Church gets all kinds of calls about the woman-but all are just cranks. But then, Franklyn Madson (Derek Jacobi), comes calling. He is an antique dealer and hypnotist who wants to help. He regresses the woman and we shift to black and white-to the Strausses.

Los Angelas Late 1940s

Margaret was an actress-beautiful, English, and beloved by all. She went to a concert and saw conductor Roman Strauss and was struck by him. Roman was from Europe, and escaped the Nazis, his wife dying in the escape.

Roman is just as struck as her and the two date, fall in love, and marry. Roman gifts her the Claddagh ring, with a matching one, and a very expensive anklet.

Roman Strauss: The man I bought it from explained to me that, when a husband gives it to his wife, they become two halves of the same person. Nothing can separate them… not even death.”

They marry and at the wedding, a Mr. Gray Baker (Andy Garcia), writer, comes as the date of someone. He is enamored of Margaret and actually tries to flirt and charm her at HER wedding-ugh this dude.

I’m out!

Understandably, Roman is very upset and does not like him.

Margaret “doesn’t” understand his feelings as she loves Roman.

The two are in love and happy-except for one thing. Margaret hates Roman’s servants -Inga and her son Franky. She thinks they don’t like her and they keep usurping her authority. She wants to be rid of them, but they saved Roman’s life. He never would have made it out of Germany without them.

After the regression, the woman can speak. They look over the Strauss story in Life magazine, located in the antique shop. They see a resemblance between the Strausses and them and that the orphanage where they both spent time, was the old Strauss mansion.

Spooky…

Church gives the woman the name Grace, and then goes to see Dr. Carlisle to talk about what happened. Dr. Carlisle tells him some cases where he worked with patients and regression helped solve the issues. He thinks they should continue to see the hypnotist and see what comes of the Margaret and Roman story. 

Hmmm

Grace and Church spend a lot of time together and fall in love.

They have sex and the next day a man shows up claiming that Grace, real name Katherine Sharpe, is his fiance. He has all the answers to Church’s questions, until he catches him in a lie about gloves. The man takes off and Church tries to catch him-but the man gets away.

Why would they want Grace? WHO would want her?

Hmmm

Church and Grace go back to the hypnotist where Grace regresses more…

Los Angeles Late 1940s

They Strausses are having a few cracks in their relationship. As Roman is not involved in Hollywood, he is seen as a “nobody” and is trying to write an opera but suffering from writer’s block. They are at a party and no one wants to talk to “nobody Roman”.

Margaret gets approached by Gray and the two go outside to talk. Gray is so in love with her it is super obvious-and Margaret should not be feeding it. Gray asks to “look” at her anklet, and she obliges-he holding her leg up to take a “closer look”. Really…really now?

Margaret, can’t you see how this is something you as a married woman should bot be doing with a man who is not your husband? Hmmm….?

Seriously

Roman sees them and becomes understandably furious, punching Gray in the face  (not understandable) which knocks him in the pool. They try to make it sound as if Roman is a jealous brute, making a big deal out of nothing-but I have to disagree. This guy started trying to get with Margaret at her wedding-and he’s still trying. Even though Roman shouldn’t have punched him-he totally deserved it.

The Margaret and Roman get in a fight-with it ending as Roman confesses his insecurities.

Later Margaret catches Frankie in her jewelry and tries to get Roman to fire them, but again he refuses. Gray calls Margaret, which Roman accidentally overhears. He questions her abut the call but she lies to him.

Later, Margaret was lying in bed when she is stabbed-by Michael Church!

Grace wakes up from her trance angry, confused, and scared. Michael takes her home but she flips out convinced that he will kill her.

In order to calm her, Church decides to regress as well. What he discovers changes everything. Will they figure out this mystery and solve it before another murder? Or will history repeat itself?

Hmm…

I liked how the movie was in color for the present and then reverted to the past. I thought it was pretty intriguing with a few twists and turns that I didn’t see coming were thrown in very well. And now that I have seen the film, that poster is sop perfect and obvious. It is well worth a view for fans of Spellbound and film-noir

The end is a little cheesy, but Im not sure how else they could have had an ending that satisfied the viewer. I didn’t want to give away the end, so if you’s like to watch it, click here.

For more film-noir, go to Do You Ever Feel Like Your Life Has Turned into Something You Never Intended?: Nocturnal Animals (2016)

For more private detectives, go to Basil of Baker Street: The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

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

For more on Lindsey Doran, go to The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries

For more on Robin Williams, go to Diamond in the Rough

This is Not the End…It Will Never End

I love October:

I’m so sorry it is over.

I love doing Horrorfest and I am so happy that this year I was able to do all 31 days!

Let me apologize for the messy postings, they weren’t as edited and full of images as I would have liked but I was so eager to have 31 posts done for publishing that I didn’t take the time I should have to make sure they were fully ready for publishing.

But I did it!!!!!!!

Great choices

So let’s see I promised you horror, suspense, mystery, film noir, monsters, ghosts, Alfred Hitchcock, Lifetime movies, aliens, witchcraft, murder, and cyborgs.

And what did I deliver?

Hmmm…

So lets start off with our yearly films. We always have Alfred Hitchcock, this year with me finally reviewing The Birds and a nod to Psycho with a Boy Meets World episode. Our Tim Burton film with Edward Scissorhands; a double dose of Disney with Maleficent and The Great Mouse Detective; an animated film with The Great Mouse Detective; yearly Stephen King film with The Tommyknockers; and a double dose of Vincent Price with Edward Scissorhands and The Great Mouse Detectives.

Our Lifetime movie in The Stranger Beside Me. I watched a ton of them but only reviewed one-probably because this one struck close to home.

AHHHHHHH!!!!

Had some spy action in The Glass Bottom Boat andThree Days of the Condor

And a lot of film-noir with The Blade Runner, The Blue Gardenia, Deadline at Dawn, A Letter to Three Wives, and Possessed 

I also for the first time, reviewed a video game It Lives in the Woods for Horrorfest. I’m thinking about doing it again next year.

We had horror-comedy in Fashion Model and The Glass Bottom Boat

Lots of psychopaths: multiple family members in American Gothic; the husband in Double Jeopardy; the dad in The Good Student; Griffin in The Invisible Man; the car jackers in Nocturnal Animals; the criminals in Rawhide; and the husband in The Stranger Beside Me.

We had quite a few literary nods-Sherlock Holmes with Basil of Baker Street, Agatha Christie’s Crooked House, H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man, Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew, and Phillip Pullman’s Ruby in the Smoke.

Had our Jane Austen fix with the final review of Death Comes to Pemberley. Now I guess I’ll have to review Pride & Prejudice & Zombies in order to keep Jane Austen in Horrorfest.

Mystery, you say?

Aliens in Independence Day and Tommyknockers:

Witches in a Murder She Wrote episode:

Cyborgs in The Blade Runner:

Classic monsters with Dr. Jekyll in Sccoby-Doo, Dr. Jekyll in Dr. Jekyll Versus the Werewolf, and the Invisible Man in his first film appearance.

So as you see, there is something for everyone. For all the films and TV shows reviewed:

The Invisible Man (1933)

Nancy Drew, Detective (1938)

Fashion Model (1945)

Deadline at Dawn (1946)

Possessed (1947)

A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

Rawhide (1951)

The Blue Gardenia (1953)

The House of the Arrow (1953)

The Birds (1963)

The Glass Bottom Boat (1966)

Nowhere to Hyde: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? (1970)

Dr. Jekyll Versus the Werewolf (1972)

Three Days of the Condor (1975)

Blade Runner (1982)

The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

Edward Scissorhands (1990)

The Witch’s Curse: Murder She Wrote (1992)

The Tommyknockers (1993)

The Stranger Beside Me (1995)

The Psychotic Episode: Boy Meets World (1999)

Double Jeopardy (1999)

Independence Day (1999)

The Good Student (2006)

Ruby in the Smoke (2006)

Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode Three (2013)

Maleficent (2014)

American Gothic (2016)

Nocturnal Animals (2016)

Crooked House (2017)

It Lives in the Woods (2017)

 

Do You Ever Feel Like Your Life Has Turned into Something You Never Intended?: Nocturnal Animals (2016)

Do you ever feel like your life has turned into something you never intended?

So when the trailer first aired I remember watching it and it catching my interest as they marketed it as a film noir/thriller.

Oh?

We added it at the library and a patron immediately checked it out. When he brought it back I asked him what he thought and he told me he did not like it. He thought it was a bomb and a waste of time never to be brought back again.

I heard what he said, but was still curious and wanted to watch it.

I should’ve listened.

This film was not good.

I really wanted to stop watching it but it was like when you see the police or ambulances on the side if the road, you can’t stop yourself from looking as a part of you just has to know.

So the film is told in three ways: Present, Novel, and Flashbacks. It is extremely artsy and just brimming over the top full of symbolism. I’m just going to skip it as it would take forever to discuss all the choices and what they mean in accordance to the film.

It has some extremely weird choices. The whole beginning is like 15 mins of naked fat women dancing. Seriously, no one needs to be that “artistic”. Mostly the thoughts going through my head in this film were “what am I watching?” “Why am I wasting my time on this?”

Why am I watching it.

Present:

So we start with Susan Morrow (Amy Adams). She is not happy with her life.

Years ago she married the man she loved, childhood friend Edward Sheffield (Jake Gyllenhaal), but left him when he didn’t provide the stability her upper class debutante background needed.

She left him for the handsome, charming, ambitious Hutton Morrow (yuck, Armie Hammer). I hate Armie Hammer as an actor, not person-I mean I don’t even know him. No matter the role I just find him insufferable and want to punch his smarmy face.

Anyways, Hutton seemed perfect-but that did not last.

Ugh

Their relationship is in tatters as he is always gone on “business”, they are going broke and have to sell their art collection, and yes he is cheating on her. Susan spends her days alone, lonely, bored, and unhappy. She has always regretted her choice to leave Edward, but even more now when she sees how badly she has chosen.

She has been thinking of Edward a lot lately, and speak of the devil-he finally reaches out to her after all these years. He was trying to write a book back when they were together, and he finally has finished one-one that will be published in a few months. He sends a proof to Susan to read-dedicating it to her and calling it Nocturnal Animals, his pet name for her.

She starts reading it, and soon it is the only thing that keeps her going each day-the story drawing her in and connecting to how she feels.

Novel:

Tony Hastings (Jake Gyllenhaal), his wife Laura (Isla Fisher), and daughter are all traveling to visit their aunt Martha. They decide to drive through the night, but are run off the road by some very dangerous guys.

The men attack them, yell, and abuse them and take off with the the women, stranding Tony in the middle of nowhere. When Tony manages to survive the desert and get help they discover his wife and child dead-beat, suffocated, and raped.

He and Detective Bobby Andes (Michael Shannon) team up to try and discover these murders, hunting them down. We see Tony’s grief, guilt, and struggle of what happened that night.

Flashbacks:

As Susan reads she remembers her life with Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal) more and more. How they ran into each other in grad school and she married him to find her way and because she loved him. How her mom warned her about their differences in thoughts and ambition. She remembers how things started to fall apart because she couldn’t believe in Edward. How he tried to fight for them. And how she made the biggest mistake of her life.

So yeah. I didn’t like this film at all. First of all there is no growth in the character of Susan. She marries Tony as she feels lost and likes his idealism, she goes with Hutton because of his stability, and then she is looking back at Edward because she wants romance. All she can think of is to run to a man to get away from her unhappiness. But the problem is her-not the men. She will always be unhappy until she can have some introspection. She should seriously consider just being by herself for a bit.

Get it together!

None of the other characters either really endeared me to them.

I did think Jake Gyllenhaal was phenomenal in this as the Tony Hastings’ character. I was blown away by his powerful performance and how he really captured the role.

Wow!

Plus where was the mystery???? Where????

And she aborted her husband’s baby! And to make that worse she had her lover she was cheating on her husband with take her!

I would just pass this film on by.

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

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

For more Amy Adams, go to I Choose You: Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day (2008)

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

I need ya, Deck. This is a bad one, the worst yet. I need the old blade runner, I need your magic.

So this movie was reccommended to me by one of my closest friends. She said I would love it. It is a dystopian future film, and you know how I love that…

wow

Plus film-noir, one of my faves!

Has Harrison Ford as the star

Has android/cyborgs:

And the film is about questions of morality, the soul, what it means to be human, is it wrong to create life, etc. You know…

And…

Jurassic Park (1995)

So what did I think if it?

I HATED IT

Huh?

I know-it makes no sense. How can all these elements blend together, and not be something I love? It makes no sense!

So the film is based of the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep? by Phillip K. Dick. It is set in 2019 and follows Rick Deckard, Harrison Ford, who is a bounty hunter hired to “retire” (kill) replicants. Replicants are androids who look like humans with extras -such as speed, agility, and strength. They have no empathy or other emotions and are created for services-mining, sex, etc. Deckard is the best in the business, the “Blade Runner”, and is hired to take down a serious group of runaway replicants-Roy Batty, Zhora, Leon, and Pris.

He visits Tyrell Corp. to speak to the owner and creator of the replicants. Tyrell asks him to talk to his assistant Rachael who is beautiful, intelligent, a femme fatale, and a replicant. So good she almost fools him.

I didn’t think she was a very compelling character. I also didn’t get the relationship between the two-I didn’t feel any chemistry. I thought Rachael was very robotic and lost in the eyes.

Meh.

The rest of the story has Deckard trying to track down these killers-while we also see their side of everything. They want to live and as people-not four years on the outerplanet mines where they are worn out, or used for sex/to excite people. Life is not good for them and they want better.

In theory it should be good, but I just did not get into it. The visuals were good, but the people- I didn’t feel their emotions. I know a lot love it, but for me it was a complete wash.

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

For the previous post, go to The Witch’s Curse: Murder She Wrote (1992)

For more film-noir, go to You Don’t Know Which Way to Turn, There’s No Place to Hide, Nowhere to run…: The Blue Gardenia (1953)

For more dystopian futures, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451 

For more cyborgs, go to For Darkness Shows the Stars

For more Harrison Ford, go to I Know You Can Do This: Working Girl (1988)

For more bounty hunters, go to I Only Care That You Succeed: How I Met Your Mullet, Raising Hope (2014)

You Don’t Know Which Way to Turn, There’s No Place to Hide, Nowhere to run…: The Blue Gardenia (1953)

“By now you must be frightened out of your wits. You don’t know which way to turn, there’s no place to hide, nowhere to run… except to me. So take my advice, Blue Gardenia. Go to the nearest phone booth and invest a dime on the rest of your life.”

So I watched this movie years ago on TCM. I remember loving it and trying to find it again to watch, but every time they played it again they never showed it at a time I could watch it.

Sleeping

The other day I was shelving at the library and found it, I immediately had to check it out and watch it again to see if it is as good as I remember.

The film starts off with a jaunty tune as we follow reporter Casey Mayo (Richard Conte) as he heads to a phone company for a story. There he runs into Harry Prebble (Raymond Burr), artist and player.

Ugh

Yes, Harry is always coming by and using the phone operators as “models”, starting with sketching, then taking them out to a fancy dinner and plying them with drinks, later taking them home.

Harry has his eye on Crystal Carpenter (Ann Sothern), but she’s not buying it. She let him draw her but refuses anything else as she is dating her ex-husband.

Harry turns to Crystal’s roommate, Norah Larkin (Anne Baxter), but she has eyes only for her long-term boyfriend who is a soldier in the Korean War.

That night Crystal, Norah, and their other roommate Sally Ellis, continue their plans for the night. Crystal is going out with her ex-husband, Sally is getting the newest Mickey Mallet novel and going to read it.

For Norah, she has something very special planned. It’s her birthday and she has a letter from her boyfriend. She can’t have him here for the celebration she really wants-so she does the next best thing. She bought a new dress, made a roast, and bought champagne to go with it.

Yay!

After her roommates leave, Nora gets everything ready and then opens the letter.

Dear Norah, You’ve probably learned by now that I’m not so hot as a letter writer. I remember when we were kids in Bakersfield and I worked vacations in San Joaquin Valley. You used to bawl me out for not writing. Well, I guess I’ve gotten worse. But, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about you… a lot. And also thinking about someone else, Norah. A nurse I met in Tokyo when I took a load of Commie shrapnel with me. Angela, that’s her name, supplied the strength and the courage and everything else to pull me through. I didn’t want it to happen but… there’s nothing a guy can do about the real McCoy, and that’s what this is. We’re in love. And when I get out we’re going to be married. That’s the story, Norah. And, I guess there’s nothing else to say except I hope you’ll understand. With affection, always… and best wishes for your future. “Best wishes for your future”. Yours very sincerely. Yours very… truly.

Oh MY GOSH…seriously????? This is the real McCoy? So all those times you said I love you it was a lie!!!???  What a major jerk!!! And ON HER BIRTHDAY!!!!

Norah is upset and doesn’t know what to do. The phone rings and she answers it. It is Harry calling to ask Crystal out. Norah tries to tell him that she’s not Crystal, but he doesn’t listen to her. Norah decides to take Harry up on his offer and goes down to The Blue Gardenia restaurant. There Harry is waiting with Polynesian Pearl Diverswhich has like three different kinds of rum in it and Harry asks for extra rum.

Casey Mayo sees Harry there and they say a quick hello as Casey goes on the prowl for his own dame.

Harry is surprised to see Nora, but in his mind one beautiful girl is just as good as another. Norah enjoys the drinking as she wants to forget the beginning of the night ever happened. Harry supplies lots and lots of drinks and Norah keeps on drinking. She is extremely wasted.

Its just what Harry wants, and he asks her to come to his place for a party with friends.

Yes his friends rum, rohypnol, and rape.

They get to his place and he shows her his pictures. It actually reminds me of Blackmail. While there Norah is starting to nod off, Harry puts on the song The Blue Gardenia and gives her coffee. Coffee that tastes odd to Norah.

Harry starts to put the moves on Norah as she starts to question where the friends are. When he goes on her she attacks him, pulls away, breaks the mirror, and…fade to black.

The next morning all the girls are up and early, except Norah. She has a headache and a hangover. The girls think she went out drinking as they both read her letter. Norah can’t remember anything.

The police start investigating Harry’s death. The maid has already started cleaning up before she fund the body and washed two sets of dishes-no dice on DNA. All they have to go on is black suede heels size 5. And that she was a beautiful blonde-Harry’s type.

Casey directs the police to the phone company, knowing that where Harry found his ladies. He heads to the newspaper office, hit with the fantastic idea of calling her “The Blue Gardenia” after the song and the restaurant.

They question girl after girl, Norah becoming more and more upset with each one, more afraid as bits of the previous night come back to her piece by piece.

She can remember being there and if she was there that night she must have murdered him. Se continues to grow restless and snappish, having her friends and roommates questioning her.

Then Casey gets told he will have to be sent elsewhere to report on something, but he wants to see the Blue Gardenia play out. He gets the idea from a joke of a coworker to write a letter and see if she will speak to him.

A Letter to an Unknown Murderess. Dear Blue Gardenia, Any day now, any hour… any minute, the police are going to catch up with you… But, all they want is a quick confession… I want to help you. When I say “I”, that means my newspaper and me. To us you’re a story… a big story! If we get it first we will go all out for you. You can trust me. And, I promise not to print a line without your permission. By now you must be frightened out of your wits. You don’t know which way to turn, there’s no place to hide, nowhere to run… except to me. So take my advice, Blue Gardenia. Go to the nearest phone booth and invest a dime on the rest of your life. Dial Madison 60025. And ask for, yours very earnestly, Casey Mayo.

Norah decides to answer. But will she end up in prison? Could a nice girl who has never done wrong have to spend a lifetime paying for a mistake?

Didn’t realize that the film was so close to Blackmail. It had similarities with the painting scene and walking at night in the fog, regretful.

A great movie, just as good as I remember and well worth watching.

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

For the previous post, go to What Happened to Ally Palmer?: The Good Student (2006)

For more film-noir, go to Go Ahead and Shoot…As Far As Killing Me, Well, I Don’t Think You’re That Good a Shot: Possessed (1947)

For more Anne Baxter, go to Oh, Moses, Moses: Happy 60th Anniversary to The Ten Commandments

For more on Ann Southern, go to Which Husband Ran Off With Addie Ross?: A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

Go Ahead and Shoot…As Far As Killing Me, Well, I Don’t Think You’re That Good a Shot: Possessed (1947)

Well, go ahead and shoot. Mathematically, the chances of your hitting me are slight. And as far as killing me, well, I don’t think you’re that good a shot.

So I was watching the lifetime film Widow on the Hill, which is based on the true story of a hospice nurse who ended up marrying her wealthy patient’s husband (after the patient died) later being arrested for his murder after he died under suspicious circumstances. It was not a bad film, but all I could think as I was watching it was that it reminded me of a film I saw years ago, Possessed, starring Joan Crawford and Van Heflin.

***Side Note***: This film is nothing like the 1931 film starring Joan Crawford and Clark Gable, yes Joan Crawford is the only actress to ever have been in two completely different films that share the same name.

This a film-noir which you know I adore. It deals with mental illness, Joan and the director visiting different psychiatric wards to make sure they depicted things accurately.

Wow!

Anyways, the film starts off with Louise Howell (Joan Crawford) roaming the streets having suffered a psychotic break and saying the name “David” over and over again.

She gets picked up and taken to an asylum.

Dr. Harvey Williard: It was pain that made her this way.

Yes a man damaged her-poor girl. We then get a flashback to how her life was before.

Louise was a nurse hired to help the horrible, mean, invalid Mrs. Graham. True she is sick, but how she treats and accuses Louise constantly of cheating with her husband- makes Louise hate Mrs. Graham and every day of her life.

Believe me, living with that abuse it horrible. Every day is hell on earth.

Dean Graham (Raymond Massey), the husband, is kind and caring-very friendly. But Louise isn’t interested. Truth is, she would have left a long time ago except for one thing-David.

David Sutton (Van Heflin), is the handsome, engineer, next door neighbor and started a relationship with Louise. He doesn’t really care for her, but to Louise it is love. She becomes more obsessive, more possessive, more desperate-hoping to hold on to him, hoping to marry, hoping to be taken away from this life.

Except in this situation Louise is the desperate one.

David grows tired of her not understanding “the game” and leaves for a job in Canada. Louise begs him to take her with him, but he refuses-not wanting anything to do with her.

David Sutton: I’m sorry, Louise. I seldom hit a woman, but if you don’t leave me alone, I’ll wind up kicking babies.

I hate men like that:

Ugh

Louise becomes more and more distressed and finds it harder to keep her life together. Especially with Mrs. Graham on her back. One night when Louise is gone, Mrs. Graham drowns herself…or does she. Hmm…

Suspicious

Louise is going to leave, but Dean asks her to stay on to help with his kids, college age Carol and little Wynn. Carol, however, hates having Louise here as she believes her mother’s accusations about Louise and her father. Louise wants to leave, but Dean convinces her to stay on.

However, Louise is suffering from hallucinations and starting to break a little. She keeps thinking she hears Ms. Grahame’s voice.

Later David returns and is surprised to find that Louise remained on with the Grahmes. Louise is thrilled to have him back, but he rebuffs her.

Louise Howell: [on meeting again after long separation] Aren’t you going to kiss me?

David Sutton: I had no plans one way or the other.

Louise Howell: All right, then. Go ahead and kiss me. You don’t have to mean it. [He gives her the briefest peckI didn’t expect you to mean it that little.

David Sutton: When a woman kisses me, Louise, she has to take pot luck.

This guy! UGHHHHH!!!!

Dean however, has fallen for Louise and wants to marry her. She tells him that she does not love him and probably never will, but he is fine with that. He will take her anyway he can:

He believes that through time she will grow to love him.

Carol apologizes for her accusations, and it looks as of Louise and her might have a good relationship. But one thing ruins it all:

One day they are out and run into David. David couldn’t care less about Louise buts finds Carol intriguing.

David Sutton: [upon meeting Carol again who he last saw when she was a bratty 11-year-old girl, but is now a shapely 20-year-old woman] Let me look at you. Mm-hmm. Well, you… you haven’t grown very much, but… then again, you have.

I can’t stand him!!! Why do they like him??????

Louise begs off early with a headache, but when she gets home starts hallucinating. She believes the two to be in love and plotting against her.

As she is a nurse she goes to a psychiatrist to see what is going on with her. When doing so she finds out that she suffers from schizophrenia. She goes to Dean to try and get him to divorce her, but he refuses, he loves her. He takes her on a vacation but it doesn’t go well.

They go back to the old house, where the former Mrs. Grahame died. There Louise starts to have a complete psychotic breakdown. She believes the first wife is after her, that she is telling her to kill herself.

She admits to Dean that she killed Mrs. Grahame. Mrs. Grahame went on the water and started drowning and Louise did nothing. Dean tells her that it is false, that she was in the village and nowhere near Pauline.

So this is interesting, the film leaves it open up to us to decide. Was Louise in the village and just suffering from her psychotic break? Or did she really murder Mrs. Grahame and pretend to being in the village? Hmmm…

But then Carol and David announce they are going to marry. And Louise loses it.

She completely breaks down and does all she can to stop it. David won’t listen to her so she tells Carol all about her and David-that David is in love with her, But Carol won’t believe her.

They decide to admit her, but Louise eludes them and goes to see David. She can’t stay away from him, she can love none but him. If she can’t have him then no one can.

David doesn’t believe she will do it, but Louise proves him wrong.

And you know what, I’m glad. He was an awful man.

We then pick up where the film begins. The doctor is going to treat her and Dean will stay by her side. He really loves her no matter what. It’s sweet and sad.

Its a great film, Joan Crawford is amazing and just does all she can to lead the film. Van Heflin is a great bad guy and a total scumbug being. I recommend it.

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

For the previous post, go to Mrs. Darcy Wants to Know the Truth!: Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode Three (2013)

For more film-noir, go to The Misery That Walks Around On This Pretty, Quiet Night: Deadline at Dawn (1946)

For more Van Heflin, go to Why Didn’t You Stop Me, Sam? You Know How Much I Hated Her! Why Didn’t You Stop Me?: The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)

The Misery That Walks Around On This Pretty, Quiet Night: Deadline at Dawn (1946)

Golly, the misery that walks around on this pretty, quiet night.

So a couple years ago I rented a DVD collection Film Noir Classic Collection Volume 5, and reviewed two movies from it Backfire and Dial 1119. I really had a hankering for watching Backfire and rerented it. The DVD that holds Backfire, also has this film Deadline at Dawn.

This film is…interesting. The main character is extremely annoying, but the others I love and the ending has one amazing twist. So as you can see I have mixed emotions about it.

The film starts off with Edna Bartelli, a drunk, player of a woman, who uses blackmail to make her money. This morning, she was completely wasted when her ex-husband comes to get his money. But his money is missing. It must have been taken by the guy she was with last night. Edna doesn’t care, but her ex, Sleepy, is none too happy.

We fade and find ourselves with Navy sailor Alex Winkler, annoying dimwitted baby. He’s the character I can’t stand, and I wish that they had someone different.

So Alex wakes up at a newsstand with the mother of hangovers and a wad of cash. He had been sprawled out on the sidewalk until this guy found him and began giving him coffee. He’s on leave and walks about with his radio unsure of what to do next.

Hmm…

He goes to a dance hall and rescues June Goffe (Susan Hayward) from a particularly annoying client. After he uses up his dance tickets on her, she gets off work and the two go get some supper and head to her apartment.

No not that, she’s just tired and the restaurants are packed. They get to her apartment and start talking. Alex is a dope, but sweet and innocent. Don’t have to worry about him doing anything.

They discover that the two grew up in the same area. When Alex is leaving, June asks him to give her mom a message when he heads home. Let her know her daughter is doing good, even though June isn’t.

Alex doesn’t believe in lying, but offers her the $40,000 he is carrying.

Huh?

It’s not his money and he wants nothing to do with it. What happened was the night before he stopped at an Italian restaurant. The brother had him go at gambling and took some money, plying him with drinks. The sister asked him up to her apartment to fix her radio. He went up to fix it, but that wasn’t what she had in mind. She got drunk and was “not being a lady” so he got upset and that’s the last thing he remembers. He woke up drinking coffee in the newsstand with the $40,000. I guess he stole it on his way out.

Oh, well

June convinces him to take the money back. He is such a baby he has June hold his hand through it. They head back to the apartment, he goes up while she waits on the steps. Alex comes back down in shock, the woman, Edna has been murdered.

June Goffe: [walking into Edna’s apartment and seeing that she has been strangled] I hear the whistle blowing.[After a pauseWho did it? You?

Alex Winkler: You mean you think I did it?

June Goffe: Didn’t you?

Alex Winkler: Don’t look at me like that! I think you’d better leave.

June Goffe: Yes. Well, this is New York… where “hello” means “goodbye”.

June feels sorry for the pup, and stays to help him. They look through trying to figure out what to do next. They look at cigarettes, matches, letters, etc. They walk downstairs and try to think where the murderer might go next. They have four hours to solve it before Alex has to take the bus and ship out. Get it, Deadline at Dawn.

They head to a little diner to get a drink, but neither is thirsty. June gets the idea that maybe the murderer did the same thing. They question the soda jerk (real term not referring to personality) and discover a beautiful blonde with a slightly lame leg did the same thing.

June then questions a cabbie to see if his last ride was a blonde with a lame leg. She gets bingo and heads off to follow her. Alex wants to come to but she tells him to try and find the man who murdered Edna. They know that it must be a man as she was strangled.

Alex sees a guy running in a hurry and upset and follows him in a cabbie.

June finds the woman and questions her. She was going to try and get some letters-something Edna was using for blackmail, but hurried home as she found her dead. She was crying because she was happy it was over.

She hears her husband, and begs June to go. She doesn’t want him to know about it. June leaves it as a red herring and heads back to Edna’s to see what Alex uncovered.

The woman and her husband argue, he’s yelling about her going out. She says that she went to a movie and tells her husband that Edna is dead. He repeats you were at a movie? And she says yes, where were you?

Hmm…

Alex’s lead turns out to be a wild goose chase as the man was rushing to have his pet looked after. Alex is disappointed, there are no leads and it doesn’t seem as if there is any other answer then it was him.

Alex Winkler: [sighs in the back of Gus’ cab]

Gus Hoffman: Beg pardon?

Alex Winkler: [distracted] What?

Gus Hoffman: You sigh like the end of summer. Troubled?

Alex Winkler: Personal.

Gus Hoffman: Oh… personal. That’s killed a lot of people in its day.

Alex Winkler: Yes.

Gus Hoffman: [after Alex gets out of the cab] By the way, if it’s not too personal, what was that all about down there?

Alex Winkler: Oh, uh, uh, personal.

Gus Hoffman: All right, I’ll buy it back. Forget I asked. Good night.

Alex Winkler: Good night

Alex meets up with June and both discover they have nothing. Gus follows them up to Edna’s, and ends up joining their investigation. He too feels sorry for Alex. He takes a look around the room and tries to help them find clues.

Gus Hoffman: [looking over Edna’s correspondence] The Divine Being made many loathsome creatures, but none so low as a woman with a cold heart. She held these letters for blackmail, even her own brother. [Looks at photographs of various men on the wallA blind man can see how many boyfriends she had. Evidently the water tasted good, so she jumped down the well.

They discuss what to do next when a woman comes in looking for Edna, she wants her blackmail letters back. She ends up giving them the slip and they are back at square one.

There are two leads they discover, a bad check from a Lester Brady and that there is someone watching them downstairs. They send Alex to talk to Lester, while June and Gus drive away to see who the follower is.

Lester Brady is extremely nervous and prepared to do anything to get that check and his letters back. But then the woman who gave them the slip, Mrs. Nan Raymond appears. She came to tell Lester that Edna is dead and about the Scooby-Doo gang. They decide to call Edna’s brother and try and weasel a way out of the situation with the letters.

Meanwhile, June and Gus discover who their stalker is. It is the guy from the dance hall that was bothering her. He still wants to be with her.

Gus and June have a bit of time talking. Gus shares that the reason June really wants to help is because she’s in love with Alex. He shares his backgrund how his wife left him and all he had was his daughter, the apple of his eye. She is married, her husband having some trouble, but they have a baby. They head back to the apartment but no Alex, they hurry after him.

Meanwhile Alex was jumped by Edna’s brother Val Bartelli. You may recognize him as Dancer in The Thin Man Returns. They head back to Edna’s looking for the blackmail, and Gus and June get there in time. All convene and head to the club to see of maybe the ex-husband, Sleepy did it.

I have to say I love how they just keep picking people up and having them join them investigating. A regular Scooby-Doo gang.

After they leave, one of Edna’s boyfriend’s goes up to her room and finds her body He calls the police.

Meanwhile the group goes to the club, interrupting a police officer’s birthday bash, ooh.

They question Sleepy, who turns out to be blind, but no dice -he didn’t do. The police officers arrest Alex and strike a confession out of him.

Oh no, its all over. June is horrified and angry, Gus tries to calm her down.

***Spoiler Alert***

But it turns out they already have a confession at another station. In come the blonde with a lame leg and her husband. Her husband confessed to killing Edna. They had a relationship and she was blackmailing him and he killed her.

But after questioning them, it is clear that this is not the guy. He got the murder wrong and obviously has no clue what they are talking about. Who is he protecting? The wife?

Hmm…

But it turns it it is not the wife. She was protecting her father-Gus the cabdriver.

Yes, Gus. Gus was tired of the relationship between Edna and the husband. He wanted her to stop, his daughter and son-in-law were having a baby. Edna refused, that jerk.

Gus became angry and in the heat, killed her. He kept trying to get rid of Alex, send him home, and felt so sorry for him he began helping him. In the end he couldn’t let anyone take the rap for him, but admits the truth.

He sends June off with Alex, the two taking the bus together, and all ends as dawn’s light arises.

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

For the previous post, go to The Murderer is Never the One You Initially Suspect: Crooked House (2017)

For more from the Film Noir Classic Collection Volume 5, go to It’s A Hard World: Backfire (1950)

For more film noir, go to Which Husband Ran Off With Addie Ross?: A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

Which Husband Ran Off With Addie Ross?: A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

I consider myself extremely lucky to be able to take with me a memenento…you see girls I’ve run off with one of your husbands.

This is one of my favorite movies. One year for Christmas my friend bought me a 20th century fox 4-DVD set. It had An Affair to Remember, Leave Her to Heaven, Peyton Place, and A Letter to Three Wives. 

Wow!

I had never seen this film before, but when I showed it to my mom she said it was a great film. I decided to watch it and feel in love with it. Its an amazingly well done film.

So it isn’t really a horror film or one you would watch around Halloween-but it is a mystery so I decided to included it. My blog, my rules.

So the film starts off with three women, all in bad places in their marriage-and at the root of everyone’s trouble’s is the beautiful, classy, perfect woman-Addie Ross.

Ugh

We have Deborah Bishop (Jeanne Crain) who is fighting with her husband Bradford “Brad” Bishop (Jeffery Lynn). He is taking a bag and might be staying overnight for “business”. Deborah is upset because Bradford’s old sweetheart, Addie Ross, still is a close friend and seems to influence him. Brad bought Deborah a dress just like one that Addie wore. She feels so insecure and pale in comparison.

Rita Phipps (Ann Sothern) is a radio writer and she and her husband have been fighting about work and money. Addie Ross, who her husband George Phipps (Kirk Douglas), admires-just sent him a record that George loves and inscribed it with “if music be the food of love play on”. He also is wearing his blue suit on his fishing day…what is happening?

Hmm…

Lora Mae Hollingsworth (Linda Darnell) and her husband, Porter Hollingsworth (Paul Douglas), have the most tumultuous relationship of all. They constantly fight, bicker, argue, call each other names, etc. Addie Ross has always been Porter’s ideal woman, the only “queen in a silver picture frame” to grace his home.

They are all supposed to be going to help at the kid’s picnic, then home to change for the first big country club dance of the season. Addie was supposed to join them, but isn’t coming after all.

When they get there they receive a telegram. As they ferry across to the picnic area they discover that Addie Ross has left town, and with one of their husbands.

Which one? Well, she’s decided to keep that her little secret.

Seriously?

The women do their best to help out, but each has a hard time keeping their mind from wondering which one it could be. Is it Brad? Is it George? Is it Porter?

Hmm…

Is it Brad?

Brad and Addie had been dating and broke up before he went to war (WWII). He has money, prestige, class, etc-just like Addie-and unlike Deborah. Deborah grew up on a farm in Iowa. When they arrive in his hometown and she gets ready to go out to the country club dance and meet his friends she is definitely out of her element. Not sophisticated, young, cheap clothes that are long out of style. She gets so nervous she drinks more than she ever has and forgets to eat, making a fool out of herself. Did Brad finally see Deborah for what she is, a farmgirl out of her depth? And has he decided to go back to the real deal, the one best suited for his position, Addie Ross?

Is it Brad?

Hmm…

Or…is it George?

George is a teacher and Rita works in radio, paying the majority of the bills. She invites her bosses over-pople who would rather listen to commercials than the radio programs that are supposed to entertain people-and everything goes wrong.

The radio people are superficial, narcissistic, and don’t care anything for Rita but what they can get out of her. They are so eager to hear their advertisements they break George’s priceless record. He gets so upset that he rips them a new one and shatters all of Rita’s hopes for him to work at the station and make more money. To make it worse, Addie always understood that side of George. She’s too classy to ever choose radio over Shakespeare and the two have always had their little inside jokes. Could he have gotten tired of Rita’s pushing, her being gone all the time working and strayed for a more literary lady-Addie Ross?

Is it George?

Hmmm….

Or…is it Porter?

Lora Mae is from the wrong side of the tracks. She was working in the Hollingsworth Department store when Porter put the moves on her. But unlike the other clerks he had worked through, she wanted the real thing. She wanted to be loved, adored, and in a silver picture frame on a piano-like how Porter reveres Addie Ross. Porter tries at first to just get “the goods”, but Lora Mae doesn’t play that way. She dumps him and quits her job. But Porter comes after her and asks her to marry him, they should be happy right? Wrong. Porter sees her as a gold digger just trying to get the payout and never expects her to care or want more than money. Lora Mae is angry at him insulting her that way and how he doesn’t really love her, but loves Addie Ross. They fight constantly…did he decided to ditch his plan B for the woman he always wanted? Addie Ross?

Is it Porter?

Hmm…

The picnic is over sooner than they they though, as each one is dreading what comes next. Which wife will return to an empty home and missing husband.

Which one, which one?

This is an amazing film that I recommend watching to everyone. I love this movie I watch it practically every month.

You have to decide which one you think is the one who runs off. The end is good, but has confused people. In fact General Douglas MacArthur was so confused by the ending that he had his aide write Joseph L. Mankiewicz, the director,  a letter asking with whom Addie had, in fact, run off.

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

For the previous post, go to Just Read Books: Three Days of the Condor (1975)

For more Jeanne Crain films, go to I Do Think You Are Confused Mrs. Bowman: Dangerous Crossing (1953)

For more Kirk Douglas, go to  Why Didn’t You Stop Me, Sam? You Know How Much I Hated Her! Why Didn’t You Stop Me?: The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)

For more film-noir, go to Is Christine the Ultimate Femme Fatale?