In the Spa House of the Spirits: Spirited Away (2001)

It is Time for Our Annual Disney and Animated Film

So this film isn’t considered a “Halloween” movie by some, but I always think of it as one because when they rerelease the Studio Ghibli films in theaters every month, they always do this one in October. Not to mention it has spirits in it.

I think I have seen it maybe three times in theaters? I forget. Anyways, I love this movie.

I first heard of Studio Gibli because my friend was really into the films. We watched Kiki’s Delivery Service and My Neighbor Totoro. Then when I was in college my best friend and roommate had a bunch of his films and we watched Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Castle in the Sky, and Princess Mononoke.

I absolutely loved Howl’s Moving Castle and bought it- making my nieces watch it, (they love it now too), and Spirited Away.  And as I still needed a Disney film and an animated film (yearly Horrorfest tradition) I thought it was perfect!

So the film is Japanese, and then voice dubbed in English for the states. There are a few differences in phrases and terms, mostly because there are things you won’t understand if you don’t know Japanese culture.

So the film starts out with little Chihiro (Daveigh Chase) and her parents are driving to their new home. Chihiro is very upset to have to leave her friends and family.

Her father decides to go down a shortcut, which leads him through an old abandoned amusement park and the world of Kami (spirits) of Japanese Shinto folklore.

Her parents see the food left out for the spirits and eat it. Oh no-you aren’t supposed to do that. Being of Mexican descent, I know you never, ever eat the food for the dead/spirits. Remember that Lizzie McGuire episode?

So of course her parents have something bad happen to them, they turn into pigs and run off!

Poor 10-year old Chihiro, what is she going to do now?

Luckily, she is saved by a young boy, Haku (Jason Marsden [he played Goofy’s son Max], who takes her to the bathhouse. He gives her some food to eat so she can remain in the spirit world.

Haku: Don’t be afraid, I just wanna help you.

Chihiro: No… no… no… no… no…

Haku: Open your mouth and eat this. If you don’t eat food from this world, you’ll disappear.

He tells her to see the boiler man Kamaji, and ask for a job. He will have to give her one if she asks and then she can stay in the world, and look for her parents. He refuses, but does claim her as his granddaughter.

Kamaji sends her to the owner of the spahouse, the witch Yubaba. Yubaba tries to scare her off, but as Chihiro prevails, she gets hired on and signs a contract. Yubaba takes her name and changes it to Sen. Haku finds her later and gives her the card from her friend with her real name. He warns her, don’t forget you name or else you can never leave.

I liked that, as in fairy tales that is a common theme with witches and warlocks, Rumplestilskin-your name is powerful.

No one likes Sen as she is still human. She gets paired with Lin (Susan Egan, who you’ll recognize the voice as the same actress who was Meg in Hercules). Lin is unhappy as no one wants to help her as well, now that she is paired with Sen. Yubaba makes things difficult by giving them the hardest tasks as she wants to break little Sen.

One night, Sen notices something outside when she goes to close the doors. She spots No-Face, which is not supposed to come into the spa (but she doesn’t know that). She leaves the door open as she gets called away by Lin to take care of the stink spirit. After she leaves, No-Face comes in.

That’s not good.

They need serious help to clean up this one, but the guy who gives the special spa bath salts won’t give her anything. However, No Face grabs her a bunch of them. As they clean the stink spirit, Sen realizes that he needs more than just a bath.

Lin: Sen! Sen, where are you?

Chihiro: [from beside the Stink Spirit] Over here!

Lin: Don’t worry… stay right where you are, I’m coming to get you! You’re gonna be fine, I won’t let him hurt you.

Chihiro: I think he needs help! It feels like there’s a thorn in his side!

She frees him and the creature is horrifying looking to me, creeps me out, but he’s the nice spirit of a polluted river and gives Sen a magic emetic dumpling and gold to everyone else.

All are happy, but Sen feels a little distressed. She misses her family and can’t find Haku anywhere.

Lin warns her to stay away frpm Haku, that he is evil and works for the witch Yubaba-don’t trust him. But Sen is convinced that Haku is good.

Meanwhile No-Face has made fake gold and has been treated like a king in the spa. He demands food and tips well, eatign workers when they keep him from reaching Sen.

Meanwhile, Haku has returned from his mission (in the shape of a dragon), and is attacked by paper Shikigami. Haku and Sen try to fight them off, but one morphs into Yubaba’s twin sister, Zeniba, and reveals he stole a seal from her.

That’s not good.

Yubaba’s giant crazy baby Boh captures Sen and doesn’t want her to leave. He wants her to stay and play with her, threatening to break her arm and force her to stay-this baby always scared me.

On second thought-with this baby in it, it is a horror movie.

Zeniba’s image does not like how the baby speaks to her and turns him into a mouse and makes a hologram baby. Haku then attacks her shikigami and that destroys the Zeniba hologram. He’s badly injured and falls down to the boiler room with Sen and Boh.

Kamaji diagnoses him as having eaten some pretty powerful magic. Sen gets the great idea to give him some of  the dumpling she got earlier. He coughs up the seal and a worm, which Sen destroys. Boh and Kamaji’s soot creatures reenact it.

She has to travel to Zeniba and take the seal. Kamaji gives her his roll of tickets to take the spirit train and she is about to head out-but is stopped by the antics of No-Face. No-Face has been going crazy trying to find Sen and eating everything!

Okay I was an adult when I saw this but he is so crazy and creepy looking, he has ALWAYS terrified me. He’s like the creepy blob thing in Phantoms.

She gives him the rest of the dumpling and he spits everything up. Sen leaves and No Face goes with them. Sen, No Face, Boh, and Yubaba’s crow all travel on the train to see Zeniba.

When they reach Zeniba they are surprised to discover that she is so kind and nice. She puts them to work, No Face weaves and the others help out.

They then have a tea party,

And Zeniba reveals she can’t do anything to help her, her parents, or Haku. Chihiro must do it.

Zeniba: I’d like to help you, dear, but there’s nothing I can do. It’s one of our rules here. You’ve got to take care of your parents and that dragon boyfriend of yours, on your own.

Chihiro: But, um, can’t you even give me a hint? I feel like Haku and I met, a long time ago.

Zeniba: In that case, it’s easy. Nothing that happens is ever forgotten, even if you can’t remember it.

Haku wakes up and goes after them. No-Face stays behind while Chihiro, Boh, and the little crow decide to return to the spa house. Sen frees him when she gives him his name back.

Chihiro: Haku, listen. I just remembered something from a long time ago, I think it may help you. Once, when I was little, I dropped my shoe into a river. When I tried to get it back I fell in. I thought I’d drown but the water carried me to shore. It finally came back to me. The river’s name was the Kohaku river. I think that was you, and your real name is Kohaku River.

Haku: You did it, Chihiro! I remember! I was the spirit of the Kohaku River.

Chihiro: A river spirit?

Haku: My name is the Kohaku River.

Chihiro: They filled in that river, it’s all apartments now.

Haku: That must be why I can’t find my way home, Chihiro, I remember you falling into the river, and I remember your little pink shoe.

Chihiro: So, you’re the one who carried me back to shallow water, you saved me… I knew you were good!

But not all is taken care of. Chihiro must now past the test to pick her parents from the pigs or be stuck there forever.

Hmmm…

She and her parents are free and leave. Her parents are groggy as if they have just woken from a dream, and they find their car covered in vines and such as if it has been sitting out there for a long time. I wonder how long they were in the spirt world? Does her father still have a job?

Hmmm

They head to their home and Chihiro’s father asks is she is nervous about going to a new school. After all Chihiro has been through school will not be a problem.

This is an absolutely adorable film, although it does have some creepy moments in it. No-Face,

Spooky…

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 animated films, go to Basil of Baker Street: The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

For more Disney films, go to One Who Was Both Hero and Villain: Maleficent (2014)

For more ghosts, go to To All the Ghouls I’ve Loved Before: The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo (1985)

They Look Like Regular People, So No One Except Us Knows They’re Monsters Inside.: R.I.P.D. (2013)

Until they pop, they look like regular people, so no one except us knows they’re monsters inside. You see, if you slip through the cracks, and stay on Earth after you die, your soul rots. They rot, the world rots. Global warming, black plague, bad cell reception, get it?

I was processing the new items for the library and I came across this film. This film is extremely memorable to me, not because I liked it-I actually couldn’t remember much about it-but because of what it symbolizes to me-friendship.

Yes, when this film came out I was dating someone, but I made time for my friends while was dating.

Yes, it seems like most people when they get in a new relationship throw their friends on the back-I, however, went to the movies when my friend Sarah wanted to go see this. As you can tell it really bugs me when people get in a relationship and drop everyone else.

I’m so angry!

Anyways, all I could remember of it was that and that I didn’t really care for it. Will I like it the second time?

Ugh, who green lighted this film? It was soooooooooooooooooooooooooo bad.

It was so awful!

Basically, Ryan Reynolds plays a dirty Boston cop, Nick, who stole gold from a crime scene. The guilt is eating at him, so he decides he will face up to it, but before he can, his unit gets called out on a drug bust with possible gunfire.

After they take care of everything, his partner Hayes, played by Kevin Bacon, shoots him in the face.

Ryan Nick is dead and wakes up on the other side. He was going to enter Heaven, but because of his actions, he has to work off time before he can be considered entering heaven. As he was a police officer in real life, he gets added to the RIPD staff-Rest in Peace Department.

That’s not good.

This reminds me a lot of Toothless, except Toothless was better. In Toothless the dentist was a good person but self-centered and never took time to do anything for anyone else. To work off her time in limbo she has to do the only job that she as a formal dentist can do-be the Tooth Fairy. So you really should get a job you will love as you might have to be doing that for the rest of eternity.

So Ryan Nick is the new one on the force and paired up with Roy, Jeff Bridges, who sounds as if he just went to the dentist. I don’t know if he was trying to emulate Sam Elliot or what, but his “accent” sounds soooooooooooo bad.

They have to recapture souls that are trying to stay on Earth, as when the soul rots it can destroy the world. They both go throughout Boston, but look different to people-this is so Ryan Nick can’t be disturbing his wife. When we have these scenes, they are the best parts of the movie.

This is my favorite part:

The rest of the movie is just meh as Ryan Reynolds really didn’t seem into his part. He kind of seemed to just be treading water.

Jeff Bridges went all in, but it wasn’t enough to save the film.

I wouldn’t!!

I’d give it a hard pass as it isn’t really worth your time, although Kevin Bacon does good as the villain.

Pass on it!

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 ghosts, go to It Feels So Good to See the Bad Guys Scared for a Change: Hangman’s Curse (2003)

For more Kevin Bacon, go to Camp Blood: Friday the 13th (1980)

For more Nostalgia Critic, go to What the H*** Are You? I’m a Leprechaun, Me Dear: Leprechaun (1993)

What the H*** Are You? I’m a Leprechaun, Me Dear: Leprechaun (1993)

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!!!

So most of you are going:

No, I’m not crazy. I know that this is October, Horrorfest VIII. But I couldn’t help it as this film has a Leprechaun and I watched it on Saint Patrick’s Day.

Tory: What the h*** are you?

Leprechaun: I’m a leprechaun, me dear.

So I have never watched this film prior to this time, I’d only seen Nostalgia Critic’s review of it. It never really interested me, but when we added it at the library I thought “what the heck, why not?”

This was probably the dumbest thing I have ever seen.

Warwick Davis plays the Leprechaun and I’m just why? This is a talented actor! Star Wars, Narnia, Willow, etc. You’re better than this.

Than this movie!

So the film starts off with Dan O’Grady returning from Ireland. He searched and caught a Leprechaun, stealing the Leprechaun’s gold.

The Leprechaun follows him, and is set on killing him, but kills the wife first. But in the midst of his planned murder spree-he stops for tea.

Now I love tea, but it just seems weird to me that he stopped for tea. At first it made me laugh, but then it made me realize how creepy this leprechaun is. Like he just legit murdered someone and then nonchalantly has tea time.

Or scones!

O’Grady outsmarts him and traps him in a chest, putting a four-leaf clover on it. Now the leprechaun is stuck in there until the clover comes off.

[Daniel O’Grady lays the four-leaf clover over the Leprechaun’s crate]

Daniel O’Grady: The power of this clover will keep you in there forever.

Leprechaun: [From inside the crate] Get that d*** clover off this crate. I told you, you couldn’t kill me. Where’s me gold, Danny, me boy? [Mr. O’Grady begins to hammer the crate shut] Oh, Danny, don’t strain yourself.[Mr. O’Grady then begins to pour gasoline over the crate] No, not gasoline. You can’t burn me, I won’t let ya. [the Leprechaun laughs] Don’t strain yourself. You’re not as young as you used to be. You might have a stroke. I curse ye for all eternity. I’ve traded me soul for me gold. You’ll trade your life. [the Leprechaun laughs]

O’Grady has a heart attack, and we flip to the next scene…

Jennifer Aniston is teenage (?) Tory. She is moving with her dad from LA to North Dakota, for reasons unknown. There is no character development, or personality (besides whines a lot) from her.

So anoying

OMG Jennifer Aniston calls where she is New Mexico and her dad said North Dakota-like those two look nothing alike. Ughhhhhh, I can already tell this will be a loooooooong movie.

Ugh!

They come to a beat up, dirty, nasty house that used to be the O’Grady home and the Dad bought it. So….how like much time has passed? I mean O’Grady is alive and in a nursing home, but it looks like it has been forgotten for 25 years. No, make that 50, like the Jumanji house looked way better.

I looked it up and it is ten years. Ten YEARS?! Seriously-it looks waaaay longer.

Time has not been kind to you.

So there is a group of three guys painting the house. I guess the dad hired them, I mean they never explain that, or why they are there-but I guess so.

Speaking of which, who are these guys. I mean I know they are painters, but are they brothers? Cousins? Why is that little kid with them and why isn’t he in school? Now that I mention school, when does this take place? Summer? What is going on?

So Nostalgia Critic and Cinema Snob call the one guy Tory likes Jim Carrey Kevin Bacon, and I have to say they are right. He’s like the no-name brand of a famous cereal.

OMG, I just realized the big guy is evil Francis from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure! Francis the bike stealer. Better not trust him, once a bike stealer, always a bike stealer.

I loved PeeWee’s Grand Adventure, I used to watch the movie again and again. So hilarious. And much better than this one. But enough about that, back to the movie.

Do I have to?

Francis…I mean Ozzie accidentally knocks the clover off the box, which releases the Leprechaun.

Ozzie tells the rest outside but they don;t believe him.

And…wait a second, why is Jennifer Aniston Tory painting? This doesn’t make sense. With the little bit of her character we have had so far, there is no way she would be into that.

Ozzie spots a rainbow, and he and the little boy follows it finding the gold-Ozzie swallowing one-Really?

Alex: Hey, Ozzie. Do you know what this means?

Ozzie: We’re rich, and I can buy comics every week.

Alex: Yeah, but you know what else? We can get you an operation.

Ozzie: For what?

Alex: To make you smart. See we can go to the hospital and have them operate and fix your brain.

Ozzie: But – But I – I’m smart.

Alex: Yeah. Well, sort of. What I mean is we can make you real smart. That way, people won’t make fun of you.

An operation for your brain, that went dark. Who is this kid-jeez.

What the heck?

The Leprechaun hides under a truck and gropes Tory’s leg. She complains about it and her dad’s reaction is hilarious.

Tory: [Tory falls after something touches her leg from under the truck. Nathan comes to check on Tory] I thought that was you rubbing my leg.

Nathan Murphy: And you let me?

Tory: That’s not the point. Something was rubbing my leg, like caressing it. And it-it ran off over there.

J.D. Reding: It’s probably just an old possum, honey.

Tory: No, dad. That was not an animal. I know what it feels like when a man caresses my leg.

J.D. Reding: You do?

Really dad, I’m sure ANYONE could tell the difference between a possum which has CLAWS and a male hand.

You know what, imagine a movie about horrifying possums, like that would be the SCARIEST thing ever. You don’t know scared until you have had one of these ugly demon creatures hiss at you.

And do Possums even live in North Dakota, I would think it would be too cold…You know what-looking it up…It looks like only in the last few years have they been heading into North Dakota, and a very tiny population.

Hmmm?

The Leprechaun attacks the dad and he ends up in the hospital overnight. The leprechaun follows then attacks them on a tricycle.

A leprechaun on a tricycle-the least scariest thing ever. Seriously? Who green lighted this?

Jennifer…I mean Tori and the Kevin Bacon lookalike go to the hospital and then over to a diner, where Ozzie and the little boy Alex are supposed to meet them. Ozzie and Alex stop at a merchant’s office first, showing him the gold coins, leaving one with him.

Afterwards, the Leprechaun comes and he…

He pogo sticks him to death. Pogo Sticking the merchant to death-this is the stupidest thing I have ever seen.

Ugh! Really!

And then after he kills him-he…he stops to clean his shoes!? WHO green-lighted this film? WHO?

We flip back to Jennifer Anniston complains again-this time about the diner food. I hate to agree with her-but the stuff discount KB is eating looks like dog food. I wouldn’t want it either.

Later, the Leprechaun drives one of those Barbie cars. Oh man, I wanted one of those so bad as a kid. Anyways… A cop pulls the Leprechaun over and I’m like how does a toy car even have lights to actually drive in the dark?

The Leprechaun kills him.

The Leprechaun goes back to the house and tosses it looking for his gold. And stops to shine shoes.

The crew comes back to the house and Discount Kevin Bacon says a bear could have messed up the house? Really? REALLY??? Have you seem what bears do-it would have been way more messed up. I mean you live in North Dakota, you should know what something looks like after a bear attacks it. Why is everyone in this movie so stupid? Oh wait, it is a stupid movie.

“I’m going to check out the bedrooms for where we will stay.” Why are they all staying at the house with Jennifer Aniston? Where do they usually live? Why is she okay with this? She doesn’t know these guys they could be crazy or rape her.

This movie!!!!

And was her dad really okay with this when he was freaking out over the leg thing earlier? Don’t these boys have their own home? Wouldn’t it have made more sense for her to stay at the hospital or a motel rather than go home for the night in a beat up house in the middle of nowhere?

I’m done

Discount KB gets caught in a bear trap and they have a stupid fight with a leprechaun. Basically whack-a-mole with a leprechaun.

I’m out!

They all run to the car, which won’t work because of the leprechaun who dismantled the battery. They are trapped inside it when he comes chasing after them in a car with a pitchfork attached.

First, usually the monster is attacked with the pitchfork so I guess trying to do irony or something.

Huh?

And second, all I can think is that he is a little man in a kid’s car. Like, he seriously can’t be stopped. I mean he’s the size of a toddler. And he manages to knock the truck over? Seriously. This movie is sooooooo dumb!!!!

Or plot!

They escape to the house and slam the door on his hand-making him loose it. Tori then goes out with a gun (even though she’s never shot anything before.) And gives the gold to the Leprechaun.

She asks what he is, and I know it is dark, and your character has already been established as not smart, but really? Really? Really?

Leprechaun counts the gold and realizes one is missing,

They open the fridge-no freezer so I don’t know how this is possible-for ice and the leprechaun is inside. Well if he can transport into buildings-why didn’t he do that earlier. Why didn’t he just get them in the truck or come in the house hours ago. This movie makes no sense!!!! NO SENSE!!!!!

How I feel about this movie:

They try to call for help, but the Leprechaun takes over the phone copying Nightmare on Elm Street with his tongue.

EW!

They then throw shoes at the Leprechaun to escape to find Mr. O’Grady to figure out how to stop the Leprechaun. The Leprechaun actually stops to shine the shoes.

WHAT AM I WATCHING??!!

That little boy Alex is a total sicko and psycho-in-training. The next Norman Bates-the way he talks-just saying!

Killer

So they get to the hospital and the Leprechaun is there. If the Leprechaun was mending the shoes how did he get the hospital so fast? Magic powers? And if he has such powers WHY DIDN’T HE USE THEM EARlIER AND JUST KILL EVERYONE ALREADY

UUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH, I’m so over this film. UUUUUUUUGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH

AAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGHHH!!!!!!

Tori finds O’Grady and he tells her to find a four-leaf clover. She goes home…and where are the guys? Weren’t they all in a car together? Or are they still at the house. If they were at the house why didn’t the Leprechaun kill them as he wants the gold in Ozzie’s stomach? If they went with her, why didn’t they come back with her? I’m confused.

Tory goes to a green glowing clover patch. Now I’ve seen A LOT of movies, and glowing green-radiation right there. She’s going to become a giant shamrock woman or have earth-driven powers or something after touching these.

But not everyone knows how to wield it.

Of course not really, bur I’m sure that would be a waaaay better film.

So the Leprechaun transports himself and follows her. They get the four-leaf clover, kill the leprechaun, and then throw him in the well? Wow, You just poisoned the water supply.

And then gasoline? Do these people not care at all about the environment?

I’m out!

OMG I JUST REALIZED SOMETHING. THE LEPRECHAUN GETS THROWN IN THE WELL! WHAT IF HE IS REALLY?

Would be a better film, dontcha think?

Hmm…

All in all, it’s a DUUUUUUUUUUUUUMB Movie and I’m glad it’s over.

Yay!

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 leprechauns, go to Pot o’ Gold: 17 Irish Heroes

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

For more on Jennifer Anniston, go to Even Though You Are Only Using Me and Made Me Look Like a Jerk, I Only Care About Helping You: Picture Perfect (1997)

I’m Here for You: The Italian Job (2003)

Romantic Moment #6

Italian Job

The Italian Job (2003)

So many of you might find this a weird one to be on the list, but hey I have other films that are more action/adventure than chick flick/romance. Yeah, that’s right! I did Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II.

So there! tongue sticking out pug

So The Italian Job is a heist film and a good remake of the 1969 film. Charlie (Mark Wahlberg) heads up a group of thieves, as he recently took over the reins from his father figure, mentor, and safecracker;  John (Donald Sutherland). The rest of the group is the “transporter” Handsome Rob (Jason Statham)…I know I know…

Couldn't resist

Couldn’t resist

the computer wiz, Lyle (Seth Green); explosives guy, Left Ear (Mos Def), and Steve (Edward Norton), whoI don’t really know what his actual job is in the group. The team pulls off the heist of the century, millions of dollars in gold bricks.

The group then goes off to a random mountain top in Switzerland to celebrate. There they are betrayed by Steve. Now this was my first time watching this film, but I knew Steve was bad news. I mean its Edward Norton! When is he not some guy playing you? How can you trust him? I mean in Fight Club his other self is trying to blow up the world (and selling people soap bars made out of their own fat), The Illusionist, he’s trying to make everyone think he can communicate with the dead; The Hulk 2, he turns into the Hulk; I don’t think he plays anything that isn’t trying to pull one over on you. Well there is Frida, I mean in that he is just a Rockefeller.

Anyways, so Steve turns on them, takes the money and kills them all. Or so he thinks. He actually only kills John and the rest survive. Charlie tracks Steve down and finds him in Hollywood. The team are ready to go after him, but need one thing, a new safecracker. He approaches Stella (Charlize Theron), John’s daughter, and the best there is.

The team decide to take Steve down, (Is it sad that everytime I write that I think of this:

Anyways back to the plot. So Charlie is able to convince Stella to join in with his crew and the group begin making plans to get Steve. They do it similar to how they did the Italian job, hence the name, but with a twist. They are going to take ove L.A.’s traffic. It is an amazing film, and I strongly recommend it!

hearts banner

******Most Romantic Moment******

So the most romantic part of this film comes right after the team’s first plan has been found out. Their first plan to steal the gold was fouled because Steve’s neighbor was having a party. Stella had told Steve she would go out with him so that they would have an open window to get the gold, as she was planning on standing him up. She instead is forced to go on the date, where Steve figures out that she is John’s daughter. He insults her and and goes on about how he killed her father.

Stella gets mad and leaves, while Charlie remains with the two having a standoff as to who is the tougher guy. Charlie becomes so angry he punches Steve out. Knocked out in one hit, YES! (That’s not the romantic part)

So back in the hotel, Charlie comes to visit Stella. She cries about her dad’s death and how he never really cared about her. Charlie tells her that it is a lie, that her father loved her.

Charlie Croker: Just because he was around me more doesn’t mean he wasn’t thinking about you all the time.

Stella Bridger: [Sniffling] It would be nice if it was true.

Charlie Croker: It is true. He always regretted not having been a good enough father to you, Stella.

Stella Bridger: How do you know that?

Charlie Croker: Because he told me.

Stella cries some more and Charlie just holds her, kissing her forehead.

Italian job kiss

So romantic!

So romantic!

So why is this so romantic? Well throughout the whole movie when Charlie is planning and completing a heist he shows very little emotion. Not that he speaks in monotone, but he just is trying to stay focused on the task at hand, as any mistake he makes could mean the end for his team. In this moment he allows himself to go off that path as he cares more for Stella’s well-being than he does for revenge. It’s so cute that he goes in and makes sure that she is okay and reassured of her father’s love. To further the romance, he knows that she is extremely vulnerable and just kisses her on the forehead, not taking advantage of her like some other guys would have. Plus it makes the end scene when they are in Venice even cuter.

Italian Job

hearts banner

To start Romance is in the Air: Part III from the beginning, go to I Can See Your Beauty: The Breakfast Club (1985)

For the previous post, go to I’m Going Down the Tubes: Making the Grade (1984)

hearts banner

For more on Mark Wahlberg, go to I Was Here for a Moment, And Then I Was Gone: The Lovely Bones (2009)

For more remakes, go to Beast or Man: The Wolfman (2010)

What is This Thing?: Phantoms (1998)

Just what is this thing? Chaos, chaos in the flesh.

Phantoms is a 1998 film that is based on the book by Dean Koontz. The story is very creepy, and I was surprised at how well the film was done. I thought it was going to be done in a very stupid, silly way; but it was the essence of creepiness. The only thing I didn’t care for was Liev Schreiber, I felt that he didn’t portray the character very well in the beginning. I wouldn’t have chosen Rose McGowan either, but she did surprisingly well. I loved Ben Affleck as the sexy Sheriff and love interest. I love Ben Affleck though, I mean who doesn’t? They changed the film from the book, as expected, but the changes do not destroy the film, thank goodness. If you’d like to watch the film go here. So the film starts out with Dr. Jennifer Pailey bringing her trouble-making sister Lisa to live with her. They are hoping the change of scenery will help straighten her out as she was involved with gang members in Los Angelas.

I want to go back to LA

When they reach the town, it is empty. Like really empty. There is no one out and about even though they are in a ski town, in the middle of winter with great snow.

Gilmore girls creep

They continue on home. When Jennifer gets there she finds her housekeeper dead. All the life had been sucked out of her and she looks burned.

[Note: Pic from The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms not Phantoms

[Note: Pic from The Giant Behemoth not Phantoms]

OMG

The girls are widely freaked and decided to head to the sheriff’s. But there is one problem, their car won’t work.

Oh no!

Oh no!

The girls hurry on to the sheriff’s office where they find a deputy, burned and blackened. He appears to have shot his gun at something, but they don’t find any traces of it, except shells. Dr. Jennifer grabs a gun and the two run off to the bakery, as it is getting dark and they are really freaked out. They head to the baker’s, running quickly as they hear sounds as if someone is following them. When they get there the oven goes off revealing severed heads!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!

The girls are completely grossed out and confused when the Sheriff (who ex-FBI) finds them.

Hello Sexy!

Hello Sexy!

With him are his two deputies Steve Shanning (Nicky Katt) and Stuart Wargle (Liev Shreiber) have come to investigate. They decide the best thing to do is go to the sheriff’s department, and just when they do every single horn, siren, whistle, bell, etc. goes off and then suddenly stops. The only lights left on are down on the Candleglow Inn up the street.

What the

They check it out and see that only four guests are registered. The Sheriff and Stu go upstairs, while the girls stay behind with deputy Steve.

While the sheriff is upstairs he goes into a room and starts looking through an opening in a closet. When he does he sees a vision of a young boy with a gun, which disappers. You see when the Sheriff was FBI he accidentally shot a boy, which made him quit and turn to small town life.

Aw! Look at his face. :(

Aw! Look at his face. 😦

Stu goes in the other room and finds a beautiful, dead woman. He sits next to her and puts his hand up her leg…

ew! Gross Yuck

What a perv!

Certified Creepo Ribbon

Then the Sheriff walks in. He lets it go, even though he is severely grossed out as he knows what Stu was doing, but he needs every man he can get as he has no idea what the situation is.

The Sheriff has Stu watch the hall as he continues checking things out. Stu comes on to Lisa who tells him flat out no, she is not digging that.

I don't think so

Dr. Jennifer joins the Sheriff and they discover that a bathroom locked from the inside (that has no other windows or doors) is empty, with something written on the mirror in lipstick. The writing says “Dr. Timothy Flyte–The Ancient Enemy“.

Phantoms Timothy Flyte Ancient Enemy mirror Note

 

The two have no idea who Dr. Flyte is but intend on finding out.  In another empty room they find a bunch of metal objects like jewelry, buttons, watches, gold teeth, a pacemaker, etc.; concluding that this thing, whatever it is strips a person completely of everything, if it chooses.

EW!

EW!

They go back into the lobby to regroup and figure out their next step. But then they suddenly hear a woman crying out “Help me!” and Deputy Steve rushes out to save her. The Sheriff follows him, but when he gets outside all that is left of Steve is his shoes and a gun.

What the

They head back to the Sheriff’s office and put the dead deputy in a body bag. They then call for help–military, Dr. Flyte, anybody, but the line was so bad they don’t know whether or not it went through.

AAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!

AAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!! [Note: from When a Stranger Calls not Phantoms]

Bryce and Stu go through the dept. and pull out all their ammunition getting ready for–whatever the thing is that is trying to attack them. The lights go out and the creature takes on a Alien/The Thing (1982) feel. The next thing you know, Stu is dead.

victim

Too be honest, good riddance. He was a creep and I didn’t like him.

IDon'tTrustHimGreatGatsby

They also put Stu in a body bag and wait out the night.

We then switch to another part of the country- Dr. Flyte. Dr. Flyte (Peter O’Toole) is a tabloid worker in New York City. He used to a professor at Oxford, but they let him go as they felt his writings were “too silly”.

Phantoms Swine Peter O' Toole

 

Two FBI agents ask him to go to the small, winter, town of Snowfield to help solve what the “thing” is.

Back in Snowfield the three survivors are trying to figure out what to do next. Lisa tries to take a nap while the Sheriff tells Dr. Jen about how the monster called up the incident with the young boy. The two are interrupted when Lisa asks the Sherif to walk with her to the bathroom. He checks it and finds it clear. Lisa begins to smoke when she hears a squealing noise coming out of the drain.

Psycho-Shower

She checks out the bathroom stalls (much like Scream) and finds the Deputy Stu there!

im-back

 

Scream-Casey-Becker-drew-barrymore-31896958-2560-1088

In the book the “Phantom thing” was more like the Blob from The Blob (1958); although it could take on the shape of other things, or create small phantom pieces of itself. In the film, however, the “Phantom” embodies the form of Stu, which is understandable from a filmmaker point of view. It doesn’t copying The Blob at all, as I mentioned earlier copying The Thing. Just like The Thing, the “phantom” takes on the appearance of something. This wasn’t a horrible decision as I bet it was easier to film. They also did a lot of blackout or limited lighting when the creature was in its true form, which allowed it to remain creepy as your imagination creates it. The director of It (1990)  should have used the same technique, it would have been a better film.

I didn’t really care for Liev Schreiber, and thought he could have been much creepier. Instead he just comes off as a pervert. This film has actually ruined him for me in all other films. When I watch Kate & LeopoldScream, Scream 2, Scream 3, Lee Daniel’s the Butler, or X-Men Origins: Wolverine; I keep expecting him to do something perverted to all the women.

Yes I am

Yes I am

Anyways, back to the story. So the Sheriff goes into the bathroom and can’t find anything. They go down to check the body bags, but both are empty.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

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

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

Meanwhile Dr. Flyte is on route to Snowfield with military General Leland Copperfield, some mobile labs, an armored strike van, etc–all ready to take on whatever the “thing” is. They ask Dr. Flyte about “the Ancient Enemy”. Dr. Flyte explains that there were creatures, he calls “Ancient Enemy” who are amoeboid shapeshifters. This Ancient Enemy rarely feeds, but when it does, the effects are devastating and it was theorized that the Enemy either caused or aided in the extinction of the dinosaurs, the destruction of the Mayan civilizationRoanoke disappearance, the missing army of Nanking, China in 1939, etc. And the town appears to have been built on the home of one of these “Ancient Enemies”.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

The group arrives to Snowfield and the three survivors come to meet the army. The next thing you know, “the thing” has taken out almost the whole team using its shape-shifting qualities and the pipes/sewers. Now these scenes are pretty intense. I was watching them and screaming and my roommates were all, are you ok? I highly recommend watching this film.

General Copperfield is last of the military to be killed; as a pair of oily black tentacles seeps up through the pavement, penetrates his hazmat suit, and smothers him.

[Note: From The Mist]

[Note: From The Mist]

This leaves Dr. Flyte, Sheriff Bryce, Jenny, and Lisa as the remaining survivors..

He’s dead but the “Phantom” uses his body as a mouthpiece and begins speaking to the crowd.

 “My Flesh. Study it. Write the gospel. But do not try to leave. Witnesses to the Miracle.”

Phantoms

The body then falls to the ground and an oily black substance comes out along with a gecko, of which the group is supposed to get a sample of. Dr. Flyte begins to analyze the sample, coming to the conclusion it has lived in the depths of the earth for eons, growing to immense size, and absorbing knowledge from its prey. It can separate off parts of Itself to send as drones, warriors, phantoms, etc.–having them assume the shapes of anything or anyone It has absorbed; even of people or monsters from memories and dreams.With these, It has manipulated Bryce, Jenny, and Lisa into bringing Dr. Flyte here, to be Its prophet, and to write Its gospel. For It has begun to think of Itself as God–or the Devil. Indestructible. All-Powerful. Immortal. Unstoppable.

This is bad. Very bad.

This is bad. Very bad.

Dr. Flyte’s analysis reveals that It is similar to oil and if they are able to make the same kind of bacteria that eats away at oil spills, they may just have a chance at stopping it. They create cultures and prepare for the final battle.

Dr. Flyte goes out and calls to the creature.

Fantomy_Phantoms_1998_1266246010-25163.jpg

He tells It that he needs to see all of it in order to write Its “gospel”. He says that the others are creating a weapon against It, that they don’t believe in It like he does. It appears first as a single person, but then becomes all 400 residents of the town, merging and melding into one swirling mass, which resolves Itself into an immense, hideous, upright millipede.

The Sheriff, Jenny and Lisa run and fire the guns loaded with the bacteria culture  into It. This causes It to scream.  Jenny and Lisa run for shelter into the nearby deputy’s office, to reload their guns but are pursued by a drone of Deputy Stu.

Deputy Wargle: Oh, you've got some guns, ladies, you wouldn't shoot an unarmed man, would you? [both women cock shotguns and point them at him] Deputy Wargle: That's a dumb question.

Deputy Wargle: Oh, you’ve got some guns, ladies, you wouldn’t shoot an unarmed man, would you? [both women cock shotguns and point them at him] That’s a dumb question.

They empty their shotguns into him, knocking him down, and blowing away huge chunks of his legs and arms. Tentacles shoot out of his arm and leg stumps. The girls run away and and he follows, but is killed by Dr. Jen as she shoots him with the last of the culture.

The bigger entity is falling apart and the Sheriff follows the last of It down into the sewer, finding him face to face with the boy that he killed. He hesitates, and while he does so, a tentacle shoots out of the boy’s mouth, and knocks him down. His gun with the culture is stolen by It. It pulls the vials out and starts taunting the Sheriff. In response to It’s mockings the Sheriff pulls out his gun and shoots the vials, causing the bacteria to spread all over.

Hello Sexy!

With one final ear-shattering scream It is gone, and Bryce makes his way back to the others. As a helicopter arrives to rescue them, Dr. Flyte announces to the others that the Entity has won after all: It wanted him to tell the world, and that’s just what he’s going to do. Everything seems to end well, or well enough. Dr. Flyte has his story and will win back his prestige; Sheriff Bryce  is no longer traumatized about killing the boy; Dr. Jen and Sheriff Bryce have found each other; and Lisa and Dr. Jen have bonded. Sounds as perfect an ending you can get for a horror film.

TheEnd_Title_2

Uh, uh uh. Not quite yet!

We switch to a scene in a bar where Dr. Flyte is in TV talking about It and how it may still be out there waiting. One of the guys in the bar turns to his companion and says its a lot of hooey. A strange laugh is heard and at the end of the bar is Deputy Stu Wrangle, showing that It is still alive.

dun-dun-duuuun

So it really was a good film, and I’m telling you the scenes with the creature are super creepy!!! You’ll love them if you love scary movies!

phantoms-

So unlike the other facebook cover pages I have made (and you should have guessed by now that practically every post has one) I made two for this one as the first one wasn’t working out right. Here’s the second one for those of you interested.

1998_phantoms-

Comment below which you think is better!

halloween banner

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

To go to the previous post, go to Unleash the Savage Instincts That Lie Hidden Within

halloween banner

For more monster movies, go to Let Them Fight

For more films based on books, go tA Bit Pottery About Jane Austen

For more on Rose McGowan, go to What’s Your Favorite Scary Movie?

For more on Ben Affleck, go to Pot o’ Gold