Horrorfest VIII: Strange Tales of Terror

It’s that time of the year again!

It is time for Horrorfest VIII!

HORRORFEST!!!!!!

31 Days of horror, suspense, mystery, gothic tales, Alfred Hitchcock, psycho killers, ghosts, murder, dystopian futures, monsters, and more!

I love film and here’s my chance to share it with you all.

A couple years ago I put Jane Austen in a costume and added it to my Horrorfest traditions. This year I choose to dress her up in a skull mask for Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos. As you know I’m Latino and that is a part of the way people celebrate those who have passed on. This year both my grandmother died in the beginning of the year, while one of my best friends died last month. While I can’t paint my face, my skin allergies, I can honor them in this way. Along with Jane!

Well, I hope you enjoy this year’s picks!

To start Horrorfest from the beginning, go to I Don’t Belong in the World: Carnival of Souls (1962)

To start Horrorfest II from the beginning, go to There Are Many Strange Legends in the Amazon: The Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954)

To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart: The Wolf Man (1941)

To start Horrorfest IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

To start Horrorfest V from the beginning, go to Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

To start Horrorfest VI from the beginning, go to One of Our Guests is a Werewolf, I Know It.: The Beast Must Die (1974)

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

I Survived!

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I survived, did you?

So this year’s Horrorfest was very, very different. After last year’s issues, I started writing this in May. This was the first time I have ever fully planned out a Horrorfest, as I had all the films picked and almost all finished by September.

So for the past two years, you have heard me say how I haven’t been able to complete all of Universal’s Classic Monster Films. Well I finally did it.  Wooot!!!

the wolf man

Once I wrote that post, I was so excited. You see, I felt I really couldn’t do a post on any werewolf films until I had covered the first one. I thought it was only right to start with the original. With that done, I could move onto any other werewolf film I desired. And I did. I decided to end Horrorfest with The Wolfman (2010). But then I decided to take it one step further. About every five episodes has a werewolf in it. It was a howling good time.

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I also decided to do When a Stranger Calls, because of the phone harassment I had experienced. I took this one step further by doing  all four of the Scream films, along with the Alfred Hitchcock film Dial “M” for Murder.

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Speaking of Alfred Hitchcock, after hearing me complain for two years about trying to review one of his films, I have reviewed not one, not two, but three Alfred Hitchcock films. I was only planning on doing Under Capricorn, because I was planning on talking about Samson Flunky for St. Patrick’s Day 2015. I ended up doing Shadow of a Doubt as it just entered my mind and Dial “M” for Murder. Still haven’t gotten around to Psycho. Well, there’s always next year.

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So every year I mention wanting to do  Vincent Price films; like House on Haunted Hill. The Tomb of Ligeia, The Pit and the Pendulum, etc. I didn’t get around to any of those famous Vincent Price films, but I did do a film with him in it. I went over Laura (1944), which is when he is really young.

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So I hope you all enjoyed it! I did. But then everyday to me is October.

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So I usually put in a poll to see what you all you like, but I decided that I don’t care. I liked them all. Instead I’m just going to list them below for some of you who might have missed them.

Even a Man Pure of Heart: The Wolf Man (1941)

It’s Coming From Inside the House: When A Stranger Calls (2006)

In Their Proper Place: Metropolis (1927)

What’s Your Favorite Scary Movie?: Scream (1996)

I’ll Be Back: The Terminator (1984)

Let Them Fight: Godzilla (2014)

Unleash the Savage Instincts that Lie Hidden Within: I Was A Teenage Werewolf (1957)

What is This Thing?: Phantoms (1998)

Only A Woman: Queen of Outer Space (1958)

Happily Ever Aftermath: Grimm (2012)

It’s Happening Again, Isn’t It?: Scream 2 (1997)

You Think You Know Something, Don’t You?: Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

You Will Die in Seven Days: The Ring (2002)

Keep Clear Of the Moor. Beware the Moon: An American Werewolf in London (1981)

I Was Here For A Moment. And Then I Was Gone: The Lovely Bones (2009)

Part X: The Movie List That Would Not Die

Tuesday the 17th: Psych (2009)

All I Know About Trilogies is That in the Third One, All Bets are Off: Scream 3 (2000)

Who’s Afraid of Cory Wolf: Boy Meets World (1994)

But the Book, It Will Never Close…: Along Came a Spider (2001)

Every Time I Bring a Girl Over, You Try to Eat Her!: Vampires Suck (2010)

Murder is My Favorite Crime: Laura (1944)

Monster Movie: Supernatural (2008)

You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat: Jaws (1975)

Don’t F*** With the Original: Scre4m (2011)

Werewolves Roam Among Us: Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman (2000)

The Past of a Man: Under Capricorn (1949)

There’s Nothing Out There. Nothing in the Mist: The Mist (2007)

What Have We Done to Each Other?: Gone Girl (2014)

The Perfect Murder: Dial “M” for Murder (1954)

Beast or Man: The Wolfman (2010)

Monster Movie: Supernatural (2008)

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“All three monsters – the Dracula, Wolf Man, and the Mummy – all the same critter, which means we need to catch this freak before he “Creature from the Black Lagoon’s” somebody.”

So I know that I have had quite a few TV episodes this October. I know that I went a little overboard, but I wanted to include this anyway. You see I have been wanting to review this episode for a while, but felt that I couldn’t do it until I had reviewed the original The Wolf Man film. As I finally did it this October, it allowed me to finally be able to talk about this episode. This is my all-time favorite episode because it has what I love! Monster Movies!!

Universal Monster Movie Horror

Yep it parodies a series of Classic Horror Films: Dracula (1931)The Mummy (1932), Wolf Man (1941)In fact to further the homage to classic horror film, they even filmed the whole thing in black and white!

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So Supernatural is a show that like Grimm, every episode could be done for Horrorfest. The show consists of two hunter brothers, Dean and Sam Winchester, who travel all over the U.S. hunting ghosts, demons, vampires, werewolves, etc. As the seasons progress they get more focused on the battle between angels and demons and stopping the end of the world. It’s an awesome show.

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So this episode takes place in season 4. There have been a lot of angst and sadness

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(I won’t go into detail in case you haven’t watched it and want to) and the two brothers have finally been reunited.

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So Dean and San are driving into Pennsylvania on the trail of vampires. Sam is worried about the apocalypse, but Dean convinces him to stop off at an Oktoberfest to relax a bit. They find the Sheriff and introduce themselves as Agent Angus and Agent Young (homage to Angus Young of AC/DC).

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There they are told to speak to the witness Ed Brewer, but the Sheriff doesn’t put much stock in his testimony. They run into the very beautiful waitress Jaimie, who points them toward Ed. There Ed describes the Vampire as being the one out of the 1931 Dracula film.

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Yep, Dean and Sam are shocked, but Ed insists that it is true. The guy looked just like Bela Lugosi’s Dracula.

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In fact the vampire even uses the Transylvanian accent.

Sam and Dean confer and determine that it is probably a twilight-esque fan and that it isn’t really strange enough for them to stick around.

The night however, things change.

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A couple is making out in a car when a werewolf comes upon them and attacks.

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The next day, Sam and Dean talk to the girl who survived the attack, Anne-Marie, and discover that the killer looked just like Lon Chaney Jr. in the 1941 Wolf Man film.

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The sheriff also finds wolf hair on the dead body. Sam and Dean are confused as real werewolves don’t have wolf hair.

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That night a guard discovered an Egyptian sarcophagus at the docks. As the guard is about to call to figure out what is going on, the mummy rises from its grave.

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The Mummy attacks the guard, strangling him.

The Winchesters go down to investigate and try and figure out what is going on. There they discover the sarcophagus is actually a movie prop that has been laced with dry ice. Dean leaves Sam to figure out a theory, while he heads down to meet up with Jamie for their date.

Meanwhile, Jamie has been waiting for a while and decides that Dean is most likely standing her up. She starts to walk home, when she runs into Dracula.

Blood!

Blood!

He calls her his reincarted love, and tries to kidnap her, but Jamie sprays him with pepper spray and then runs away…right into Dean. Dean gets a punch into Dracula

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But then finds himself overpowered by the vampire

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The vampire calls him “Harker” (reference to Jonathan Harker the fiancé of Mina [the woman Dracula tries to take]). Dracula tries to bite Dean, but he rips his ear off and a medallion. With his ear gone, Dracula runs away and jumps on his scooter.

Say What

Nope you heard my correctly

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Back at the bar, Dean shows Sam the ear and medallion.

“Dean Winchester: I, uh, pulled it off during the fight. Look at the label on the ribbon.

Sam Winchester: It’s a costume rental.

Dean Winchester: All three monsters – the Dracula, Wolf Man, and the Mummy – all the same critter, which means we need to catch this freak before he “Creature from the Black Lagoon‘s” somebody.”

They determine that they are dealing with a shapeshifter obsessed with classic film. Now if you have been reading my posts posts, such as Phantom of the MegaplexScream, and An American Werewolf in London, you know probably realize another reason why I love this episode. Yep, I can relate to the shapeshifter. I love classic film (especially horror) and I can completely understand him.

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Anyways, so Sam, being the scholar, recognizes the name Harker and figures that the shapeshifter is trying to recreate the 1931 film, Dean being Jonathan and Jamie being Mina. I guess that makes Sam, Van Helsing.

Count Dracula: Van Helsing.  [Van Helsing turns to face Count Dracula]  Count Dracula: Now that you have learned what you have learned, it would be well for you to return to your own country.  Van Helsing: I prefer to remain and protect those whom you would destroy.  Count Dracula: You are too late. My blood now flows through her veins. She will live through the centuries to come, as I have lived.  Van Helsing: Should you escape us, Dracula. We know how to save Miss Mina's soul if not her life.  Count Dracula: If she dies by day. But I shall see that she dies by night.  Van Helsing: And I will have Carfax Abbey torn down, stone by stone, excavated a mile around. I will find your earth-box and drive that stake through your heart.  Count Dracula: Come here.  [Dracula raises his hand to hypnotise Van Helsing]  Count Dracula: Come here...Your will is strong, Van Helsing.  [Van Helsing reaches out for his crucifix as Dracula looms toward him]  Count Dracula: More wolfbane?  Van Helsing: More effective than wolfbane, Count.  Count Dracula: Indeed.  [Dracula lunges towards Van Helsing. Van Helsing holds up the crucifix. Dracula snarls and turns away. Van Helsing, in triumph, puts away the crucifix]

The two figure that it must be someone who knows Jamie and is obsessed with her. When they question her, Jamie can’t think of a person who is strange or crazy. Lucy, her best friend and coworker, mentions that Ed recentlly moved to town and is the projectionist for the old theater. Plus he has a crush on Jamie.

suspicious

HIghly suspicious

Sam goes to investigate while Dean stays with Jamie. The two are drinking beer and having a deep conversation, when Lucy interrupts. She is on her way out the door, but Jamie invites her to stay and have a drink with them.

Back on the case, Sam has gone into the old theater and discovers Ed playing the pipe organ.

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He pulls on Ed’s ear, but find it fast in place.

“Sam Winchester: [tries to tear out Ed’s ear] It’s supposed to come off.

Ed Brewer: No, it’s not!”

OMG

This means Ed is not the shapeshifter!!! But if he isn’t…who is?

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Back at the bar, Dean and Jaimie are getting groggy and falling asleep. Dean punches Lucy in the face, and discovers that Lucy is not “Lucy” but the shapeshifter.

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

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

And she has drugged the two of them. Dean tries to hold on, but faints.

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Dean wakes up and finds himself in lederhosen.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

In a Frankenstein-esque dungeon.

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Now I really like what Dracula has to say here. It’s so poetic. “Life is small, meager, messy. The movies are grand, simple, elegant. I have chosen elegance.”, it’s very Movie Mason from The Phantom of the Megaplex.

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Anyways, Dracula is about to electrocute Dean and have a “movie” where the monster wins, when something interrupts him. The doorbell rings and the pizza delivery guy is there.

Pizza Delivery Guy: Uh, pizza delivery?

Dracula: Ah, you have brought a repast. Excellent. Continue to be of such service, and your life will be spared.

Pizza Delivery Guy: Uh-huh. That’ll be $15.50.

Dracula: Tell me…

Pizza Delivery Guy: Yeah?

Dracula: Is there garlic on this pizza?

Pizza Delivery Guy: I don’t know. Did you order garlic?

Dracula: No!

Pizza Delivery Guy: Then no. Look, mister, I’ve got four other deliveries to make. You want to just pay me the money so I can go?

Dracula: Of course. Yes. But I have a coupon.

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And why not take a pizza break? Pizza is awesome.

I love Pizza

I love Pizza

So now that Dracula has food for later, he prepares to finish Harker/Dean, but is interrupted by Jamie waking up.

Meanwhile back at the bar, Sam has figured out that with Jamie and Dean missing it must be Lucy. He sets out for her house.

Back in the dungeon, Dracula wants Jamie to dress in the gown he bought her and eat pizza with him.

Just like the Mummy, trying to dress his "reincarnated bride" in his old love's clothes.

Just like the Mummy, trying to dress his “reincarnated bride” in his old love’s clothes.

Jamie is really freaked out as she has been drugged, was betryed by her best friend (as Dracula was pretending to be “Lucy”) and is stuck with a killer. Dracula tries to apologize and tells Jamie his backstory. He was called a monster from the beginning of his life and beat by his father. He found solace in monster movies, and achieves strength and confidence when taking their form.

This part actually reminded me a lot of The Phantom of the Opera. Here is a man who is disfigured and mistreated because of it. He knows only how to hate as he has been so mistreated. It makes you wonder how things might have been different if one person had loved him.

one word kind change day

While Dracula is reminiscing, unbeknownst to him Sam has slipped into the house and is skulking around the dungeon. Dracula knocks Jamie out and turns his attention to Sam and the freed Dean. They start fighting, with Sam being thrown through a fake door. Dean and Dracula are struggling to get the gun with silver bullets along with trying to knock the other out. Dean tries a groin attack and move for the gun, but Dracula throws him back. Before he can do anything else, Jamie, who has just woken up, grabs the gun and shoots him.

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With Dracula conceding, that maybe this is how the “film” should end.

The next day Dean says good-bye to Jamie. The two brothers agree that’s it was nice doing some old-fashioned monster hunting, rather than the angels & demons stuff. They discuss what film they would want to live in as the episode ends.

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

For the previous post, go to Murder is My Favorite Crime

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For more on Supernatural, go to Keep Clear of the Moor. Beware the Moon

For more on Dean Winchester, go to I’m Batman!

For more on Sam Winchester, go to You Can’t Have Just One!

For more horror parody, go to Who’s Afraid of Cory Wolf?

For more on Dracula, go to I Bid You Welcome

For more on The Mummy, go to Part X: The Movie List That Would Not Die

For more on The Wolf Man, go to Unleash the Savage Instincts that Lie Hidden Within

For more monster movies, go to What Is This Thing?

For more on Phantom of the Megaplex, go to Friday Night Fun

For more on recreating a scene, go to Carried Away

For more on pizza, go to Food, Food, Food

That Video…is Not of This World: Ringu (1998)

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This kind of thing… it doesn’t start by one person telling a story. It’s more like everyone’s fear just takes on a life of its own

On April 13, 2011; I was chilling with my friends when I suddenly recalled it is Friday, April 13th!

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It’s Friday the 13th! We must watch a scary movie! We weren’t satisfied with what we had in the dorm so we headed out to the library and checked out what they had. We were looking out the horror section, when my friend Freda saw Ringu and said that we should watch it since she had heard it was really creepy. I was totally down for that, and I have to agree that it was pretty creepy, but did have some dull moments.

So the film starts out with two girls hanging out one night.

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One starts joking with the other, telling her about a story she heard about these people checking out a strange video, and later they recieved a call saying they would die in seven days. It quickly goes from funny too serious when the other girl, Tomoko, tells her friend that she saw the video and got the call. Her seventh day is tonight. She then says she was just kidding, and that it’s no big deal, she’s going to be fine. However the two go downstairs, Tomoko is killed by some unseen force. Her friend then goes into shock and has to be put in a mental institution. This scene is pretty creepy.

Tomoko’s aunt Reiko Asakawa is a journalist and comes over for the memorial, bringing her son.

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She feels that something is not right, as there has to be more to the story. She starts going through some of Tomoko’s stuff and finds a strange picture of Tomoko and her and friends at a cabin in Izu. In the photo all the kids’ faces are blurred out. All the kids in the photo are also dead.

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 Reiko  goes down to the cabin in Izu and finds a strange tape, intrestingly it is not the orginal piece but a copy.  Reiko watches it and it is full of strange images that don’t seem to make any sense. At the end the image cuts off and snow flurries take over the screen.

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Immediately after, the phone rings and the voice on the phone says she only has seven days to live.

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The rest of the film is now counted in days as  Reiko’s time is limited.

Reiko goes to see her ex-husband, Ryūji Takayama. One thing they never explain is that Ryūji is a psychic. This is part of the reason why the two broke up as Reiko couldn’t deal with it. Reiko goes to him to tell him he might have to care for their son if she should die. Ryūji doesn’t believe her, so she forces him to take a picture of her. In the pic her face is blurred.

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Ryūji works with media and asks to see the video hoping to figure something out. Reiko doesn’t want to show it to him but gives in. He gets a call too. She also makes him a copy to study.

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Ryūji  is able to discover a phrase “frolic in brine, goblins be thine” hidden in the video, a saying that came from Izu Ōshima Island. That night, Reiko catches her son watching the tape and is now more than ever determined to discover how to defeat the thing that is killing people. Reiko and Ryūji team up and travel to the island to find out more.

On the island they discover that there used to be a great psychic Shizuko Yamamura. A doctor was working with her, showcasing her powers, but she was denounced a fake and disappered from sight.

The two find the doctor that was working with Shizuko and discover that the doctor had a deeper relationship with Shizuko than just studying her. He was her lover. Shizuko and him sired a child, Sadako, who was uncontrollable. She killed all the horses because they were disturbing her, killed people, etc. The father couldn’t handle her after the mom died and killed her by throwing her down a well. However, that didn’t completely kill Sadako as she psionically put her  vengeful spirit into the tape. This spirit or Onryō killed the teenagers.

The two go back to the Cabin because that is where the videotape surfaced. They uncover a well and try to empty it to appease her spirit. Minutes before the seven days are up, Reiko finally finds Sadako’s corpse at the bottom. She hugs her and kisses her forehead, giving her “a mother’s love”. When nothing happens to Reiko, they believe that the curse is broken.

All seems fine until the next day. Ryūji is at his home and his TV switches on by itself showing the image of a well. The ghost of Sadako crawls out of the well and out of Ryūji’s TV set.

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This wasn’t very creepy which disappointed me. I mean that was the whole buildup right? Well it just seemed very fake to me as she takes FOREVER to crawl across the floor.

So as Ryūji is dying he manages to dial Reiko’s number. She realizes the curse wasn’t broken and tries to figure out wat she did differently. She goes over everything she’s did in the past seven days and realizes what she did that Ryūji didn’t–copying the tape and showing it to Ryuji.  Reiko figures out that by having her son make a copy and give it to someone is the only way to save her son. The last shot is her driving to her father’s and talking to him on the phone letting him know that her son has a video to show him. (I know HORRIBLE BETRAYAL)

It was pretty creepy and compelling, but the last part when Sadako comes was just not creepy. But this film is worth a watch. What’s interesting is that the director Kôji Suzuki got his inspiration for the Ringu novel, which the film is based on, from his favorite horror movie Poltergeist.

Here is a cover page/poster for facebook I made as part of my countdown to Halloween.

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