Ghosts, Ghouls, and Gothic Fiction

So here ends another Horrorfest: 31 reviews of films and/or TV episodes that are mysteries, horror, film-noir, suspense, monster movies, thrillers, etc.

It amazes me that have been doing this ten years already.

Wow!

I only started doing this because I already would watch something for Halloween every day in October (and annoy my friends by doing so); and it was a real easy leap to blog about it. I know some people don’t think I should as it has “nothing” to do with Jane Austen. That may be true, but I do know one character who would enjoy Halloween and Horror films.

Every year I start off with a little planning: first film, last film, etc.- And everything else is just whatever I happened to watch.

I also did my second annual Celebrate Halloween with Northanger Abbey.

And of course our Annual films:

  • A movie or TV episode from every decade from the 1930s-2020s
  • Jane Austen with Northanger Abbey (1987)
  • Alfred Hitchcock with Vertigo (1958)
  • Animated Film with Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998)
  • Disney with The Cat From Outer Space (1978) and Mom’s Got a Date With a Vampire (2000)
  • Stephen King with The Shining (1980)
  • Tim Burton with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016)
  • Vincent Price with “Ship of Ghouls” from The Love Boat (1978)

This year I reviewed the following:

Wuthering Heights (1939)

Ramrod (1947)

Vertigo (1958)

Munster Masquerade from The Munsters (1966)

The Cat From Outer Space (1978)

Ship of Ghouls from The Love Boat (1978)

The Shining (1980)

Labyrinth (1986)

The Monster Squad (1987)

Northanger Abbey (1987)

The Stepfather (1987)

Heathers (1988)

Ghostbusters 2 (1989)

Murder in High C” from Murder She Wrote (1995)

True Crime (1996)

Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998)

Mom’s Got a Date With a Vampire (2000)

Death on the Nile (2004)

Twilight (2008)

Turn of the Screw (2009)

Twilight Saga, New Moon (2009)

Twilight Saga, Eclipse (2010)

Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn Part I (2011)

Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn Part II (2012)

Mysteries & Meddling Kids: Austin & Ally (2015)

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016)

The Moonstone (2016)

Kong, Skull Island (2017)

The Open House (2018)

Godzilla King of the Monsters (2019)

Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

By the way if you love ghosts, ghouls, and gothic fiction you should definitely get this shirt that MadsenCreations and I created.

Have You a Stout Heart?: Northanger Abbey (1987)

Happy Halloween Everyone!

So every year I have been trying to find a way to include Jane Austen in my Horrorfest posts. I lucked out with Death Comes to Pemberley as that gave me two years, (I posted in between as three years seemed a really long break.); and I was also able to review the Midsomer Murders episode “Death by Persuasion“. Then last year I came up with one of my better ideas:

Last year I reviewed the 2007 adaption (I also watched it with my niece and recorded her thoughts), but this year I decided to take a look at the 1987 adaption:

So Northanger Abbey is probably my favorite Jane Austen book as I just love Catherine, she’s so me.

I haven’t seen this adaption in over ten years. When I first read Pride and Prejudice back at the age of 16 I then went on to read the rest of Austen’s works and then watched every adaption I could my hands on. I remember not really being into it, there’s a lady with a heavily painted face and mole (why she is focused on I don’t remember), and that is about it.

So let’s see how this rewatch goes. And also joining me is my sister (R), my mom, and my 25 year old male friend (N).

So what is up with this music? It’s a weird dramatic rock opera. With some weird chanting going on.

We start off with Catherine in a tree reading a book.

She acts out the parts of the books, making different voices, but then imagines herself in the book. It was cute, but there are way too many of these scenes in this movie. It made it feel really, really dragged out. I like that the 2007 version kept that in, but made sure to do less and have them mostly be when she is dreaming instead of just randomly all the time.

This actress, Katharine Schlesinger, has really pretty eyes but she tends to just have them go dead.

I think she was trying to go for a wide eyed innocence look, but it comes off creepy, desperate, and shark like at times.

Here I am!

So Catherine gets asked to go to Bath and on the way we have another “imagination” scene where she is captured (again) and tied to a bed (again). My friend N who had never heard of Northanger Abbey was really shocked at this.

“N: She’s got an active imagination. She’s probably into bondage.

In his defense they have showed her being tied up in a majority of her imaginings. I guess the director was trying to go for sexy gothic fiction, but it was weird and it was Harding to have the film interrupted like every 10 minutes (it was probably more time between).

One thing that is really odd about this film is that on the way to Bath they have Catherine ass Northanger Abbey and is told about. I really didn’t like this because first of all why is Northanger Abbey down the block from her house? And secondly, her knowing of Northanger Abbey before meeting the Tilneys makes her seem like a gold digger as she already knows if their wealth and is enamored of the abbey. It’s a really weird choice to make and I’m not sure why they decided to do that.

As they pass by they also play this creepy horror music that is really out of place. It also makes it sound like vampires live there.


Me: What is with this music. Definitely sounds like a vampire is in there.

N: Might as well come out Vampires, they are playing your music.

We then get even more shots close up in her face. I really, really, really don’t like it. They are too big, too unblinking, and the director gets too close.

So they wait a day to go out as they needed to get more clothes. When they do go they meet Mr. Tilney and no offense to Peter Firth but he is no JJ Feild. I mean look at JJ Feild:

And now Peter Firth:

Me: He looks…kinda…weird.

My Mom: He looks an elf.

N: He looks like a creep.

To make things worse, this Mr. Tilney is pretty stiff and lacks charm. He also likes to philosophize a lot which didn’t bother the others viewing but it made me really uncomfortable as I felt that he was insulting and trying to educate Catherine to his way of thinking; instead of getting to know her. Maybe I’m off base but that’s how I felt about it all.

The next day they can’t go out because it is raining and Catherine stares out the window angry-again looking super creepy. She looks like she wants to burn the city down.

Salt and burn it

Like she looks crazy!

It’s the eyes!

James arrives with John Thorpe and it feels like they are just flipping through this book. John Thorpe arrives and there is a clown horn sound effect, I’m not sure what it is and how it is made in the Regency era, but if that doesn’t fully encapsulate John Thorpe than I don’t know what does.

N: Here comes the Mad Hatter

R: He looks like a leprechaun.

N: He looks like a creep.

And to add to the creepiness of this scene the director decided to do lots of closeups on the face, filling the screen with them. I’m like can we back away please and give them some space.

The Thorpes are interesting characters. John is oozing creepiness and gives off that vibe of that one guy that is obsessive and controlling. Isabella is all smiles and it is all the same smile, 24/7. I think the director or actress was trying to have it be her facade, hiding her true nature; but to me it was unnerving to see her smiling all the time.

After this the two go on a ride in the gig, Catherine not being super into it, with the boys splitting up to be alone with their girls”. This scene is also weird as John Thorpe asks a few awkward questions to find out if she is rich or not but it is really strange way of questioning and he sound slike he suspects her of being a good digger. Which is odd because he IS one.

The other thing that is odd about this film is that it has been missing the Tilneys. Where are they?

The next day Mrs. Allen discovers that Mr. Tilney is there with his sister. She gets all happy that Mr. Tilney is single and goes into another fantasy.

N: Oh no, not again! Here is another bondage fantasy.

This fantasy/daydream is pretty gross as it shows a woman sewing her fingers together. Ew!

The next day Catherine and Isabella (or as the actress calls her, Isabeller) are spending time together and Isabella shares that she and James are in love and he went to ask his parent’s permission. Isabella is a little worried because her family doesn’t have money, and thanks to John Thorpe’s running of the mouth, they believe the Morland’s to soon-to-be wealthy, as they will inherit Mr. Allen’s wealth.

Catherine Morland: James and I think marrying for money is a very wicked thing to do.

My Mom: That’s because you are poor.

The next day they all go to the baths and everyone was surprised by the little wooden boards around their necks. I thought they held like bath salts or something, everyone else thought it was food. Does anyone know exactly what those are? I did a quick google search but didn’t find anything. I plan to go into more research later.

N: I like the snack tray hanging around their necks. I think it’s cool they have a little charcuterie to get their snack on.

So this scene is really weird as she hasn’t been introduced to Eleanor and just goes up to her and starts talking. It’s very much like when Mr. Collins approaches Mr. Darcy at the ball. It comes off very desperate and the in my opinion, if this film wasn’t based off a beloved book that I had read I would have thought that these people need to get a restraining order or something as Catherine comes off sooo crazy and almost obsessed with them.

So Eleanor and Catherine made plans to go walking and Mr. Thorpe does not want that at all. He wants to keep her with him, as does Isabella as they think Catherine is set to be an heiress. Catherine does not want to go with him, but he decided that would not do and cancels with the Tilneys for he. This John Thorpe is an extra creeping creep! When Catherine tried to leave he grabs her arm to force her to stay. Like he gets completely crazy

John Thorpe: I like a girl with spirit.

No, run Catherine! Run! She does, thank goodness, but when she runs she holds her skirts up really high that her knees are showing. I’m like girl, what are you doing?She runs all the way to the Tilneys and just barges in their house into their sitting room where they are together babbling about the walk and how she wants to be with them. She looks and acts crazy.

She meets General Tilney and while Eleanor explain the situation, Mr. Tilney low key tries to get an invite. Like this Mr. Tilney is trying to be sarcastic and silly, but something seems off. Like he’s a bit too grandiose and flamboyant in his interactions to me.

I really do not like this Mr. Tilney as everything he says is too mean spirited or the way he talks to Catherine feels as if he is mansplaining/talking down to her. The words aren’t bad, but the delivery he is just out there and there is no charm or chemistry between them. They share the same space but they don’t feel like they are inhabiting the same world.

So unfortunately I have not been able to finish transcribing my review from my notes. As I have to go to work I will pause her, and continue with part II tonight.

Part II

Sorry for that brief intermission. I am going to try and finish up what I can while on my lunch and then everything else tonight. Although it won’t be much as the power went out 15 minutes into my lunch and just came on.

So I have been thinking about this all day and I really think the reason why I don’t like this portrayal of Mr. Tilney is that he is too much like Mr. Collins and Mr. Elton. He has grandiose manners and a interacts (body language) like Mr. Collins and then his way of talking and uppityness (although he’s supposed to be making fun of people) is too reminiscent of Mr. Elton. One of the reasons Mr Tilney is so enjoyable is that he is different from the other Austen characters. I really feel this actor did not understand the character he is supposed to be playing.

So everything is going well, but then Captain Fredrick Tilney enters the picture. My friend N had a few thoughts about him:

N: He [Frederick Tilney] looks like the guy from Pirates of the Caribbean.

Me: Norrington?

N: Yeah

I don’t think so, I mean they both wear a wig. That’s about it.

Oh well…

N: [Talking about Captain Tilney] I can’t believe these cheesy lines.

Me: He’s like that frat guy who has his set of lines that he uses and just goes down the line of girls until it works on someone. Plus he’s the first son and rich.

N: So he’s a Regency frat guy?

Me: Hmm…basically.

Ugh…this guy

Catherine watches Frederick and Isabella together and is worried. She wants Mr. Tilney to do something but he won’t as he has tried before and his brother won’t listen. I guess if I had to choose one thing that this adaption does really well is that I like how it shows the brother’s relationship. Although, while it shows their relationship well, it doesn’t show his and Eleanor as well as the 2007 adaption. He and Eleanor have a few scenes together, but he talks more about her than spends time with her.

Catherine and Mr. Tilney then have what would have been a cute scene, Mr. Tilney sarcastically echoing her words from before telling her that Isabella has a choice and Catherine giving it back to him, except she peters out and ends her sentence with dead eyes.

She convinces Mr. Tilney and he goes to his brother where they both take snuff! Snuff! No wonder Mr. Tilney is acting so weird, he’s been up on cocaine.

You are crazy

Catherine gets invited to go to Northanger Abbey and is super excited as she thinks it will be just like in her novels she has been reading. But what is sad is that Catherine Moreland wishes she was in a gothic novel, but Eleanor is trapped in one. She’s in a dreary old home with an abusive father, stuck there alone until she gets married. She’s had a wealthy life but an emotionally poor one, in contrast to Catherine who grew up not with riches but with parents who cared more about her than what they could broker with her.

So they get to the Abbey and Catherine is told that General Tilney is very particular about time and to not dilly dally. She reads her book and is late, later getting lost/exploring the abbey. These scenes were probably the best in the film as it was nice to see her wander through the mysterious manor.

She then goes to a random room and we have the weirdest exchange I have ever seen. So Catherine is looking at a canary in a cage when Mr. Tilney comes upon her. She’s looking at a bird in the cage and Mr. Tilney tells her that it is a canary. Catherine remarks how sad it is that it is in a cage and then Mr. Tilney tells her that’s all it has ever known. He then asks her if she has a stout heart or can handle being stuck her in a really, really creepy voice.

This scene is so creepy! Mr. Tilney sounds like a psycho! Like the way the scene is done with the cage it makes it sound like he is planning on making her a permanent fixture, and not in a good way-like buried in the walls or locked in the attic. N said that he thought he was playing up the gothic points but even he agreed with me this whole scene was creepy. If I was in this situation I would run and that is what I would tell Catherine to do.

You know an adaption is bad when it makes you afraid Mr. Tilney is going to murder Catherine.

Creepy…

That night at dinner General Tilney is super controlling and gets angry when his son doesn’t propose to him over the soup.

There is a definite shift in characters when leaving Bath for Northanger Abbey. In Bath Catherine was acting all crazy, while in Northanger Abbey it is Mr. Tilney. We also have the general shifting from genial to controlling, uncouth, and rude.

N: I don’t understand why they have such a big table for just a few people.

Me: That’s because you’re poor .

N: [Laughs] You’re right, that is something a poor person would say.

That night Catherine is in her room looking through the writing desk for clues when she hears Eleanor and Tilney outside her room, Eleanor having a breakdown. I know they want to give character development, but it seems odd that they would do this outside their guest’s room.

They also sound like they are planning to murder General Tilney, it’s like Northanger Abbey became the murder house or something.

General Tilney acts like a vampire. Like I forget at times what he is saying as he looks like he wants to suck her blood.

Catherine also is super insensitive in this adaption. When talking to Elinor about her dead mother she refers to Mrs. Tilney as “the corpse”.

The Tilney have a party and Mr. Tilney sings in a flamboyant way with another girl. He looks silly and horrible, but Catherine looks worse as her eyes bore into the woman and she looks as if she would like to murder her.

The other guest is, Marchioness de Thierry, who shares the same backstory as the real life person, Jane Austen’s sister-in-law Eliza de Feuillide.

The makeup and costuming is ghastly and this character doesn’t even really add to the story.

N: She [Marchioness de Thierry] looks like Dr. Frank N. Furter.

Then we have the weirdest scene. A little servant boy leads Catherine outside during the performance WHERE HE DOES CARTWHEELS and she has another fantasy/daydream. Like what is even happening?!!

So later the General invites Catherine out riding. She agrees but after questioning the maid decides she would much rather try to investigate Mrs. Tilney’s room, she and Elinor had tried to see the picture earlier but failed. As soon as all have ridden away she snoops to the mother’s room and looks around.

Mr. Tilney interrupts her as he wanted to check on her. Again, he really creeps me out in this scene as he is angry, but says everything calm, quiet, and over the top. He makes me think of Hannibal Lector when he talks to Clarice. It also doesn’t help that he has a riding crop and blocks the door, giving even more creep vibes.

SUPER creeped

He leaves and Catherine, sad, goes to her room and destroys the book by ripping it up and throwing it in the fireplace. NOOOO! NOT THE BOOKS!!!

Catherine cries the day away and falls asleep. She is awoken by Eleanor who falls asleep. She is awoken by Eleanor who brings a letter from James? Catherine’s brother. He shares that Isabella had broken their engagement for Captain Tilney. Catherine is upset but then Eleanor shares that her brother will not marry Isabella.

Apparently, General Tilney has gambled all their money away and needs his children to marry rich people (even though Eleanor is in love with a poor man and seeing him secretly.) I felt this weakened General Tilney as a villain as him being rich and still a money grabber was worse than a degenerate gambler.

Catherine’s trip ends with General Tilney returning home and sending Catherine packing. This scene wasn’t bad but they didn’t really show the fear and the danger of her going home alone.

Then we have the “romantic” end scene. This weird ‘80s music chanting plays as fog rolls in. Mr. Tilney rides in on a dark horse, and says:

Mr. Tilney: “I promise not to oppress you with too much remorse or too much passion, but since you left us the white rose bush has died of grief.”

Not only did we all go huh, but Catherine Morland does to. Like what does this mean?! I think he has been taking too much snuff that his brain is is not connecting right.

So I think they were trying to do a storybook/gothic ending but because there are so many fantasy/daydreams it really just feels like one. I guess the director could have been trying to do her fantasy has come to life but it didn’t really work. I also did not like the freeze frame ending. As a whole, I did not like this film

Wrap UP:

Costumes: The wigs and hair are really bad. Like hardly anyone has a good one. It’s really bad. The costume colors are as well, they are accurate pieces but not as nice as in the later adaptions.

Actors: The only actors I really enjoyed was Googie Withers as Mrs. Allen and Ingrid Lacey as Eleanor Tilney. Robert Hardy as General Tilney was good but a bit inconsistent in his manner. Peter Firth as Mr. Tilney was too stiff and Katharine Schlesinger as Catherine Morland was very inconsistent as at times she was animated but other times like a sleepwalker and she had those dazed/dead eyes.

Set: I liked the set design a lot. I really enjoyed when they were in the Abbey and wish we spent more time there. I just wish they had utilized better lighting and angles.

On a while I did not enjoy this adaption, but prefer the 2007 version instead. Although this one did have a lot more horror elements as Catherine had creepy stalker vibes and Mr. Tilney gave off murder-y vibes.

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

For more Northanger Abbey (2007), go to Storybook Ending: Northanger Abbey (2007)

For more Northanger Abbey variations, go to Rational Creatures: Catherine Morland, Eleanor Tilney, & Lady Susan

For more films based on Jane Austen, go to Sense and Sensibility (1995)

For more Jane Austen variations, go to The Matters at Mansfield (Or, The Crawford Affair)

When Legendary Titans Meet: Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

This is actually the first review I did of the Monsterverse trilogy, so I apologize if there are any repeats in this one.

So after Godzilla (2014) I resolved to never, ever again watch another one of the Godzilla films. You see I grew up watching all the old Godzilla films and I was so, so, so disappointed in the fact that we hardly had any Godzilla but it was just MUTO. It also was extremely boring and had a bunch of other issues. Yep, never-ever again.

But this past April I was watching my niece for her Spring Break and she wanted to see Godzilla Vs. King Kong. I did not want to watch it, but as it was my niece asking, I gave in. It actually was kind of circular as the last film I watched before everything shut down was King Kong (1933) and the first film I saw coming back in was a King Kong film.

So at this point in time I haven’t yet seen Kong: Skull Island but hopefully I can still follow everything.

Since writing this review I have watched the other two films that came prior to this one, (although I still have a lot of questions that were not answered). If interested in those reviews go to Kong: Skull Island or Godzilla: King of the Monsters. 

So the world has changed since we last saw Godzilla, as the world is recovering from the destruction he caused. To me it seemed this film was split into three storylines:

Madison Russell and the Curious Case of What is Really Going on at the Apex Corporation

Time to get on the case!

So one man has a podcast and he believes something strange is going down at Apex, a genetic corporation. He has infiltrated the company and believes himself to finally be on the cusp of a big scoop. As he tries to investigate what they are hiding, Godzilla attacks.

Everyone is upset and freaking out, except for Madison. They think they need to find a way to stop Godzilla, as all believe the way he protected them from the other Titans in the last film is over and that Godzilla is just going to harass and destroy everything and people everywhere. (Even though in every previous film he clearly only attacked when there was a titan/monster/alien.) But he did destroy a lot of things, so it does make sense that people are scared.

Madison still trusts Godzilla since he saved them last time and thinks something shady must be going down at Apex for Godzilla to attack when he only protects. Her dad, Dr. Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler) does not agree with her, and even though we saw in the last film how he would go to the ends of the Earth for his teenage daughter, in this her dad is really kind of checked out. He doesn’t seem to be worried about Madison, hardly checks in with her to see if she is okay, and even heads out to China to help with relief efforts without even speaking to his daughter. Like he doesn’t make sure to see her before he goes, or just make sure she has all she needs as he will be on the other side of the planet.

I mean she is a minor, she only has one parent, and he’s leaving her home after Godzilla just attacked their state to help in a country where Godzilla is going to attack. If she died or was injured he wouldn’t know where to find her or even start looking. If he died or was injured who’s going to take care of her? But more importantly, what happened to his character development?

Anyways, she is reluctantly joined by her friend in the search for the podcaster, as Madison believes she and him are the only ones who can find the truth. She and her friend do mange to track him down and she convinces him to break into the facility with her. She treats her friend really bad though, bullying him into coming along with them. And neither child tells an adult where they are or planning to go to, so if anything happens-no one will be there to save them.

You are just asking to be killed.

When they get to the Apex facility they hear people coming and of course hide in the pods that are to be shipped to China (something the podcaster had thought odd as they were shipping a lot to China, to a facility that can’t really handle the volume…or can it?) and end up being shipped to China. All I can think is what a nightmare that will be trying to come home. They have no money, no passports, they have illegally entered another country, it will be one serious mess.

After they arrive in China they don’t try to leave but continue to investigate and discover a large animal pen that it seems something is fighting something else. They also find some leftover monsters bits and all I can think of none of these people are movie fans as this room looks like the dinosaur pen they used for the demonstrations in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom when they were having the monsters “prove” themselves for the auction. It also made me think of the pen they throw Luke in, in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and the one the crew fights in, in Galaxy Quest.

There the group sees a mechanical Godzilla fighting, yes we have MECHAGODZILLA!!! So for all you who don’t know, I grew up watching the old Godzilla’s and LOVED them. My brother and mom were giant fans and it was the only thing that my brother, who was eleven years older, was willing to do with me. My absolute favorite was Mechagodzilla and I was so pleased to see MechaGodzilla in this, but it turns out he misses 2/3 of the film.

What a ripoff! I’d rather see more more fighting of him then some of the other storylines.

Yes, it turns out that Apex stole a Rodan head from the previous film and have been using it to create their own Godzilla to fight and put mankind on top of the food chain. Madison is horrified at this, but the scientists at Apex are convinced it is the only way. By using the Rodan head they are also able to use his telepathic powers and communicate from the Rodan skull to the MechaGodzilla. They decide to fill it with a giant boost of electricity, but when they do it goes all Frankenstein, becomes alive, takes out its creators, and runs free into China-destroying it.

Yes, once again mankind has failed to learn anything- and we have another film where the creations has run amuck. (i.e. Frankenstein, Jurassic Park, Avengers: Age of Ultron, etc.)

Journey to the Center of Hollow Earth with Professor Lind, His Companions, and Associate King Kong

So this was what a majority of the film spent its time on and to be honest I thought this was the least interesting part of the film. Both my niece and I felt like the film seemed rather short and that there was too much Kong and not enough Godzilla.

So Kong is living on Skull Island where they keep him in a Truman Show like prison, including a fake top to make it always sunny and bright. The leading Kong specialist is there with the last remaining survivor of the native people from Skull Island, a little dead girl who is “friends” with Kong. The team there grows worried as the facility is not going to be able to hold him forever and they don’t know what they will do when it can’t. They also worry about Godzilla as the ancient drawings foretell of the two fighting and bringing destruction to Earth.

But what happened to all the other people? How did they construct this? They did not answer those questions in Kong: Skull Island. How did this woman become the expert on Kong? How long have they had this dome?

Hmm…

In a University in America, professor Linton (Alexander Skarsgard), is sitting in his little office when he is approached by the head of Apex. Apex tells him he is fascinated by his book and his theories of a Hollow Earth, the idea of a world inside ours where these monstrous creatures/Titans come from, and also possibly still roam. This is very much like Journey to the Center of the Earth and I 100% believe that the professor is based off the one in the book. I do like that in the previous film they had mentioned this Professor Linton and his book, nice job on the continuity.

Apex want Professor Linton to launch a new expedition, but he is not interested as his brother died trying to go into the center of the earth. The theory is impossible to test as the pressure is too great to handle with its reverse gravitational pull and kills anyone who tries to go through the only opening they have currently found, in Antarctica. (This makes me think a lot of Alien Vs. Predator.)

It turns out APEX has been building something to help conquer the gravitational pull as they encourage the professor to try it as it is necessary better understand these giant creatures and maybe find a way to lure them all home. This whole encounter gave me really weird vibes and I can’t believe the Professor wasn’t questioning why they were being so philanthropic. I would immediately be wondering what they were really after.

Hmm…

But professor wants to experiment, so he agrees. But before they can go he does need something, he needs someone originally from that area to lead them back-he needs a Titan. He needs Kong. He decides to pay a visit to an old friend, and possibly ex-girlfriend (there is a vibe), who is the leading Kong expert.

At first Dr. Andrews isn’t eager to help, but when he convinces her that Kong could go home, where he will be much happier than his gilded cage, along with the possibility that he might not be the only one and able to actually have a family: she agrees. But she will only help if she can join the expedition with her adopted daughter, the native girl. They are also joined by some other scientists, the military, and the daughter of the the head of APEX, Maia.

They travel through the sea and of course attract the attention of Godzilla. The two fight, them having to unchain Kong, and the fight was alright. I thought the Godzilla KOTM film was much better. I mean this whole concept is hard for me as Kong is just a giant ape while Godzilla can shoot fire from his mouth!

They manage to stop the fight only when they shut off all the power and pretend to be dead. They airlift Kong the rest of the way, the daughter, Jia, convincing him to go down and see his “family” and they all go through to Hollow Earth which reminds me exactly of Journey to the Center of the Earth book by Jules Verne.

There Kong finds “his” throne room and an axe made with a scale from Godzilla. He places it in a slot and it shoots out a signal that attracts Godzilla who shoots a hole down to Kong and Hollow Earth. There the APEX’s CEO daughter, Maia, uses a machine to send the signal back, I was a little confused at to how this worked exactly, but it is just what her father needed to power up MechaGodzilla.

Maia and her group try to leave but are crushed by Kong, making professor and co the only ones to escape. When they come above ground, Kong and Godzilla meet up and fight. Which leads us to…

Godzilla Versus Kong Versus MechaGodzilla

So for a film that is titled Godzilla versus Kong, it actually doesn’t make up that much of the film. The fights scenes were okay, but again one is flesh, fur, bone, and strength. The other has plates, is strong, and can shoot Fire! Godzilla can shoot fire, he is obviously going to win!

The two fight with Godzilla at a slight disadvantage as he used a lot of his Fire when shooting the hole to Kong. The fight scene is cool and of course Godzilla overpowers Kong and knocks him out, leaving him to go off to fight MechaGodzilla.

Kong is dying is like I said, Godzilla has FIRE! And the only way to revive him is to restart Kong’s heart. If only they had a machine with enough juice to light Las Vegas. Oh wait! They do! Good thing the APEX CEO had mentioned that one he first met the professor about his new machines. They use it to restart his heart and he is up again.

Meanwhile MechaGodzilla has been going on a rampage and fighting Godzilla, being too much for him to handle (false in my book). Kong and Godzilla team up to fight, Godzilla superpowering Kong’s axe.

Meanwhile MechaGodzilla’s controls are trying to be hacked by Madison and co but they are extremely unsuccessful. Her friend has the idea to use Bernie’s flask of alcohol that he always has on him (for his last drink) and throws it on the controls, short circuiting him as Kong gives the final whack. Afte they defeat MechaGodzilla, Godzilla and Kong give each other a nod and decide not to fight, each going their own way.

We end the film with Madison running outside APEX and just happening to find her dad in a city of a bazillion people, where everyone has been running around scared. Meanwhile, Kong, Prof, & co all head to Hollow Earht for a a happily ever after

Yeah, this was way better than Godzilla (2014) but I think King of Monsters was a much better film with plot and action. This one was not only really plot heavy but only focused on Kong instead of the two of them. I also think the use of previous characters were nice but they didn’t really add much to the story. We could have had the same story without them. This film didn’t make me want to get my money back like Godzilla (2014) or Kong, but I also felt really meh about it all.

The Facebook cover photo:

For more Godzilla, go to They’re Everywhere. Battling for Dominance. A Rival Alpha to Godzilla.: Godzilla King of the Monsters (2019)

For more King Kong, go to Kong’s God on the Island, But the Devils Live Below Us: Kong, Skull Island (2017)

For more monsters, go to Peculiarities, Monsters, and Time Travel.: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016)

Ship of Ghouls: The Love Boat (1978)

So you know what that means: Horror TV episodes Tuesday

I know this is a little odd, TV episodes on a Tuesday instead of Friday as I’ve been doing for the past few years? Well this year October 1st started on a Friday and it just doesn’t seem right for Horrorfest to start with a review of a TV episode.

So instead we will be reviewing TV episodes on Tuesdays, TV Tuesdays.

And our next TV episode comes from

So it is also time for our annual Vincent Price film or TV episode.

I love Vincent Price, and it just wouldn’t be Halloween unless I watched something starring him. This year I settled on this Love Boat episode as I was rewatching the show on Pluto and this Halloween/Vincent Price episode came on one day. I thought it would be perfect.

I grew up watching The Love Boat reruns on TV Land and loved this show. Each episode usually contained three different storylines (sometimes they tied together sometimes they didn’t) and all revolved around a theme of learning to “love again”. It mostly was two people falling in love it back into love (as they are divorced, separated, broken up, etc.); although sometimes it centered around familial love, friendship, or learning to love yourself.

Although rewatching this as an adult I’m like these people just meet on a week long cruise, they should not be getting married. That seems like a really bad idea. In fact as an adult I actually enjoy more the episodes where the characters don’t end up together and the ones where it isn’t romantic love but friendship or family love.

But I did enjoy this Halloween episode that stars Vincent Price as illusionist extraordinaire, the Amazing Alonzo. The Amazing Alonzo has been hired to perform at the ship’s Halloween party. It should be a lot of fun as he wants to get his name out there, will perform a few times during the week, he and his fiancé Ramona (Joan Blondell) have an all expenses paid cruise cruise, etc.

Let’s go!

Alonzo even has truly amazing powers, almost supernatural. Could it be real and not an illusion?!

Yes everything is going great, everybody adores Alonzo, everything is just what the two wanted…except Alonzo is enjoying all the attention from the fans and other ladies and not paying any attention to his fiancé.

Besides Alonzo there are two other storylines I don’t really care for. One is a boy lying to get attention as his parents recently separated and are trying to work together again. It is basically The Boy Who Cried Wolf as by the end he realizes that he shouldn’t lie or else people won’t believe him.

The other storyline is extremely stupid. A model was in a car accident and has a teeny tiny scar on her face, so light and minuscule and easily covered with makeup, and she wants to hole up in her room because she “isn’t beautiful” anymore. First of all she’s not ugly at all and she could easily afford good makeup or even plastic surgery to fix that teeny tiny scratch. Secondly, if this was the storyline they were going with why not make it huge, or third degree burns, or be made by a traumatic act that makes her not want to stare at herself or be looked at? It just didn’t work for me.

So back to Alonzo. Alonzo had crossed over from loving the attention by others to being addicted to it and downgrading Ramona from fiancé to associate when introducing himself and trying to sound more important.

Later Ramona complains about Alonzo’s lack of attention and Alonzo promises to make it up to her. He apologizes as he’s just so excited that they will be famous again, that’s all he can focus on. Ramona doesn’t care about fame, she just wants to get married. Alonzo again reassures her he will be all hers for the whole evening when a man comes by and insists Alonzo comes to his table to show his friends’ illusions.

Alonzo ends up getting caught up in the other table forgetting all about Ramona. Captain Stubing, Captain of the love boat, sees her and invites her to dinner. Mmhmm, Captain Stubing likes ladies that are taken as he doesn’t want a serious commitment. Those are pretty much the only ones he spends any time with.

The next day Alonzo is trying to do an illusion but he overhears that Ramona telling the Captain she left l her lipstick in the his cabin last night. When he goes to ask her what she meant by that, she tells him she spent all night with the Captain and that she and Alonzo are through. After that, Alonzo can’t focus on anything and messes up every illusions and trick he tries to do.

That evening Captain Stubing is ready for the illusionist show to start but can’t find Alonzo anywhere. It turns out he is sulking in his room as he has realized what a fool he has been and that he has lost Ramona for good. Stubing yells at him telling him Ramona is in love with him and basically calling him an idiot in a professional manner, also letting him know that nothing happened between him and Ramona. Finally Alonzo comes to the Halloween party and does his greatest trick yet, he freezes everybody so he and Ramona can have a word in private.

He apologizes, tells her he loves her, and then he tells her his real name, Wendall Moore-yep he’s finally ready to get married.

The episode ends with them heading home. Happy, in love, and ready to set a date for the wedding. Another successful trip for the Love Boat.

For more Vincent Price, go to The Adventure of the Sinister Scenario: Ellery Queen (1976)

For more adventures on cruise ships, go to A Spy Ring, A Killer Virus, and a Body Double Trying to Steal Carolina’s Life: High Seas Season Three (2020)

For more Halloween episodes, go to Holy Crap, Leonard’s a Zombie: Epidemiology, Community (2010)

Kong’s God on the Island, But the Devils Live Below Us: Kong, Skull Island (2017)

Kong’s god on the island, but the devils live below us

So even though I am posting this first I actually watched it last of the three Monsteverse films. In April of this year I went to visit my niece in Georgia and she wanted to go to the recently opened movie theater and watch King Kong Versus Godzilla. I didn’t really want to watch it as one is a large mammal (Kong) and the other a giant radioactive lizard that shoots fire out of its mouth (Godzilla), so it SUPER obvious to me as to who has the real advantage here, but I love my niece and we did what she wanted to do. What can I say? I love my nieces.

Oh well…

When I was flying home to CA, I was planning on watching Emma (2020), but they didn’t have subtitles for the film and there was no way I would be able to hear what was going on with the air system, the engine, and all other plane sounds, so I kept scrolling. I spotted Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and decided to check it out and fill in the blanks that I had from the other film.

I wasn’t really planning on watching the Kong film, as I love the original and nothing can hold a candle to it, but when Redbox sent me a free rental I decided to complete the trilogy of the Monsterverse.

Here we go:

So we start with logos and planes shooting at something . What’s going on? Is this supposed to be the end of the original film?

Hmm…

Oh, it is the South Pacific 1944, this must be WWII fighting noises. Planes fall, crash, and burn but one man survives by parachute. But not for long as he is on Skull Island.

Looks like an enemy has also survived and the two continue to fight. But I am wondering why they are in the South pacific? I always thought Kong was in the Atlantic, toward Africa on the Madagascar side?

We then see the footage like in the horrible Godzilla (2014) but Kong was already big before the radiation? So that doesn’t really make ay sense to me, but they also say that they are putting up satellites and seeing parts of the world never seen before, so I’m guessing that means finding Skull Island.

We are now in 1973, but why doesn’t this take place in present time? Why would they set in the 1970s when the previous 1970s Kong sucked?

So Monarch is not doing well with the war going on, as they want to go out and do an expedition. John Goodman is the Monarch employee pushing the expedition as he really wants to go to Skull Island. He shows all these pictures of destroyed ships and all I can think is why would you want to go to an island that destroys ships and they were unable to kill whatever is out there with bombs? What do you think you will find that will really help humankind?

But they convince the senator to let them when they dangle that the Russians will want to go there and of course the senator wants to beat them They piggy back on an already planned operation and manage to scoop up a military escort to help them get there.

Army troops are chilling as they wait for transport to go home and we see the leader of this platoon is Samuel L. Jackson; he is the only guy I recognize, who are all these young guys? I must be getting old.

The Lt. Commander is having a hard time fought against the Taliban and then see that it was all for naught with all that is happening in the middle east. He gets the call to see if he will help lead them, and he readily agrees.

Meanwhile, John Goodman and his second are in Saigon looking for a tracker in a brothel. Weird choice, but whatever.

The guide is Tom Hiddleston who shows he is a worthy teammate as he fights off the guys he is pool sharking. He agrees for the right price, like always seen in movies. This film so far has been like a 100 others

And they play every ‘70s period drama soundtrack with war film/war tendencies issues. 

So annoying

Then we have Brie Larsen photographer, ugh I’m not a fan of the actress. She’s joining the crew as she senses there is something up. Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) and photographer Brie Larson have a moment when they know everything about each other why?

So far this feels like a mix between King Kong (2005), any treasure hunter movie ever, and King Kong (1976)

So far the only character I like is Chapman and I know he’s going to die soon. He has talked about his wie and son, he has a job all lined up for Delta after the war, he is the only one memorable

You are just asking to be killed.

Samuel L. Jackson does the usual hold on to your butts line as they head out in the storm. Of course there is a storm, as what would the movie be without a storm?

This whole thing feels very Jurassic Park as they come down the helicopters amazed at the beauty.

So far all the animals are regular ones, nothing “monsterverse-y” The scientists do something with seimic charges, they didn’t really explain why or what for but they see something special and important, what we don’t know. Again this film is really boring.

One helicopter is taken the down with a tree, the other a giant ape hand. The destruction has begun. I wonder if he is going to be obsessed with Brie Larsen or the biologist?

Kong be tossing the copters around like children’s toys, while everyone is trying to make sense of what they are seeing. They shoot at him, but that just makes him madder.

They are split into two groups-Hiddleston, Larsen, numbr 2 scientist, John Goodman, and an army guy. The other group has Jackson, Chapman, Cole, and Goodman.

John Goodman’s character is insane. Samuel L. Jackson’s character figures out that he knows more than what he is saying and question him. It turns out that Goodman is like Quint from Jaws, he was the only survivor of a ship and knows it wasn’t destroyed in war but by a creature. He’s only there to get info, proof, and hunt it.

Liar, liar

The group with Hidleston passes by a pond and sees a guant water Buffalo, finally some intresting creatures.

I think it is interesting that one group has all the military and the other has only one with all the civilians. Seems rather impractical.

Hiddleston and co come upon some kind of monumnt, and discover the natives. The guy from the beginning (now played by John C. Reilly) is still alive and hanging out with the natives. He’s kind of crazy. He’s basically like Allen from Jumanji but not as cool.

Chapman goes to the river to clean up and get water, when Kong sees him. Chapman hides behind a rock, but Kong lets it pass as he is trying to take care of his own wounds. I guess this will be a bonding moment of some kind?

This movie is actually really boring, like what is even the point. There isn’t anything new or that different. We see Kong fight some squid like thing, which is weird that this giant creature could survive in the river. But like why did they bother making this? It isn’t interesting and there is nothing we haven’t seen in a previous adaption.

John C. Reilly’s character tells the others that on the island they live in a perfect world where they live forever and have no crime. But I’m like yeah, but you also live on a desertd isld with prehistoric creatures that has no modern ok so I don’t know if it is really a strong trade off.

Again, this movie is boring. I mean the 2005 adaption wasn’t good but it had a interesting world and there was stuff happenig. Nothing happens here but Brie Larson taking pictures and Samuel L. Jackson’s character is slowly losing it.

How much longer if this movie? It’s boring.

Oh no, poor Chapman was resting on a log and it turned into a killer walking stick, don’t die Chapman, don’t die. He shoots at the beast but it runs off as there are these other creatures here, Skullcrushers. OOOOOOOOOOOOOO he’s dead.

Brie Larsen wants to take a long exposure photo but her flashlight broke, Why are you wasting up your batteries on a photo when you have to cross a crazy island? This character is annoying and useless, I hope she gets eaten, but unlike Chapman I know she won’t. Hiddleston shares about his family and I think the two are supposed to be together, but they have zero chemistry.

Whatever I’m already checked out of this film. I mean Godzilla (2014) sucked because they didn’t put Godzulla in as much as they should have, but at least they tried something new.

This movie is two hours but feels longer.

So the both groups met up with each other and are reunited (minus a few that died along the way). Jackson doesn’t want to go to the meet up point because Chapman never returned from his, but isn’t it obvious-he dead.

One of the skullcrushers vomits dog tags and we learn that Chapman is dead (knew it). John Goodman character is dumb enough to try and take photos and gets eaten. Everyone is trying to shoot and sniper except Reilly who uses the katana, yeah that seems to be a better weapon.

The army decides to go look for him, ignoring Reilly even though he’s been on the island for the last 30 years and a soldier, you think they would listen to what he says. They find the Elephant graveyard, oops I mean Skullcrusher graveyard/boneyard. It is not only a dangerous place but full of gaseous material as it is hazy and red. Of course, the Skull Crashers are alerted (by a cigarette causing a blowup) and now we enter the trailer material.

All of a sudden we have flam throwers, why didn’t they use those earlier?

Reilly is like we need to get out of here, but Jackson won’t leave without Chapman, Hiddleston tells him he’s dead but Jackson won’t listem, he wants to get the weapons from the crash site and kill all the creatures on the island.

I’m like why are they even fighting, just leave and head for the pickup point. If Jackson wants to die he can. Like I’m not getting the conflict here.

It’s super obvious!

 

So Hiddleston and Brie run into Kong and Kong and Brie have a “connection”. Why? It doesn’t explain.

Instead of going to the pickup place they all decide to go back and try and save Kong from Jackson’s plan.

Kong and the army fight, but then mama skullcrusher comes and Kong fights her. I’m like too little too late. This is why every other Kong film has a cool epic fight earlier in the film instead if wasting time.

Kong wins. the remaining few leave on the boat and Kong goes back to his Kong duties.

But what about all that happened in the third film? How did the doctor find the island? What about the little girl from the island who could speak to Kong in sign language? How they build that giant enclosure for Kong where they watch him all day as if he was on The Truman show? What the heck guys? This movie was dumb and didn’t answer any of my questions! Ugh.What kind of stupid universe is this?

I’m so glad this was a free rental because if I had paid for this I would have been really, really mad.

For more on King Kong, go to Oh No, It Wasn’t the Airplanes. It Was Beauty Killed the Beast.: King Kong (1933)

For more monster movies, go to Zombie Pirates and Werecats: Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998)