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!
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!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
So I hope you all enjoyed it! I did. But then everyday to me is October.
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.
“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!!
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.
So this episode takes place in season 4. There have been a lot of angst and sadness
(I won’t go into detail in case you haven’t watched it and want to) and the two brothers have finally been reunited.
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).
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.
Yep, Dean and Sam are shocked, but Ed insists that it is true. The guy looked just like Bela Lugosi’s Dracula.
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.
A couple is making out in a car when a werewolf comes upon them and attacks.
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.
The sheriff also finds wolf hair on the dead body. Sam and Dean are confused as real werewolves don’t have wolf hair.
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.
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.
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
But then finds himself overpowered by the vampire
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.
Nope you heard my correctly
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 Megaplex, Scream, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!”
This means Ed is not the shapeshifter!!! But if he isn’t…who is?
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.
And she has drugged the two of them. Dean tries to hold on, but faints.
Dean wakes up and finds himself in lederhosen.
In a Frankenstein-esque dungeon.
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.
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?
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.
And why not take a pizza break? Pizza is awesome.
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.
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.
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.
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.
So this is an old post that I retooled as it had many mistakes. This old post is one of the reasons why I gave this blog the name Jane Austen Runs My Life, because there are certain elements of my life that are similar to Jane Austen concepts. Such as:
Emma and Mr. Elton:
Me and Norman
In the story of Emma, Mr. Elton is the village Vicar who is handsome and single. Every girl has her eye on him, except Emma as she does not wish to be married. Elton has his eye on her as he likes her beauty, social status, and money.
Emma tries to set him up with her friend Harriet, never realizing that the whole time Elton liked her. When Elton declares his “love” for her, she rejects him. Thus making him go into ARGS (Angry Rejected Guy Syndrome), find another girl to make her jealous. Of course it doesn’t work on Emma, because she doesn’t like him.
Anyways as you will see later, this is a recurring theme with me. The first of the guys to do this was Norman. Norman fell hard for me, and am still at a loss why. Maybe it was because I was nice to him. Who know? But then and there he decided the two of us were going to go out.
Just like Elton he did all these “cutesy” things (not really), to try and get me to like him. The funniest thing about this was that he was trying to be really subtle about it, but everyone could see what was going on.
Like Elton he would try and get me anything I needed; drink, napkins, etc. And he always had to be by my side. EVEN when I was sitting with friends.
Let me just squeeze in between you two.
Some may find this adorable, but I didn’t. I didn’t like having him everywhere I went, always popping up, and trying to secure a seat next to me.
The worst of it was when he found out that I knew he liked me. His friend told me, but I told him that Norman was so obvious, of course I knew. Seeing as I knew, Norman decided to up his game. Instead of just hanging around me, he started FOLLOWING ME EVERYWHERE. If I went into the bathroom he would wait outside. If I was talking to friends, he would wait in the corner. Sometimes he would never even talk to me, just be constantly by me.
I’m not one who likes to have people suffocating me like that. And he was EVERYWHERE! I knew he wouldn’t do anything to harm me, let’s face it I could totally take him down, but I still felt like I was in a horror movie.
I always feel like somebody’s watching me
Now Norman wasn’t a psycho. He only followed me when I was out with friends (we had the same group of friends so we ran into each other a lot). But like I said before, it was suffocating. I couldn’t handle it. I knew the only thing I could do was be right out mean to get rid of him. [ I was 16 at the time. Please excuses my horribleness on the account of me being young.]
Now for anyone out there, there is one VERY fast way to get rid of someone who like you.
I have used this method many times as it is so easy to do and always works. [Once again, I was young. I’m not that way anymore. It’s funny, as horrible as my ex-boyfriend Michael was in breaking my heart, he really made want to treat guys better. He thought I was the nicest person ever, and made me want to be nice.]
The first thing I did with Norman was wait until he a bunch of friends all around him. (This is crucial as it is not only important to completely crush his ego in front of all his friends but provides witnesses so that he can’t say something happened that didn’t.) [Once again I was young]
Then I asked him sweetly, smiling (it’s a clincher, it relaxes them and they don’t realize what’s to come), if I could talk to him, making sure we stayed in front of his friends. (All their attention was riveted on us. Everyone knew that he liked me and I think they were all waiting to see what I would say.)
Then I told him, (sweet tone gone)
“Norman, you are freaking me out! You need to stop following me around!”
Then I immediately left the scene of the crime with all his friends sniggering behind me. (Also important! Don’t let them get a word in, be there, be mean, and leave.) [I am cringing as I reread this. I was a horrible person. Horrible! Thank goodness Michael made me want to be nicer. I can’t believe I used to do that. But it is effective if anyone wants to use in the future.]
Some may say it was cruel, and I agree it was, [I really do] but it worked. After that Norman hated me and wouldn’t go near me. He exhibited every bit of the ARGS (Angry Rejected Guy Syndrome), and immediately started paying all his attention to my friend Ruth. He tried to make me jealous, by always sitting with her, talking to her, etc. He wanted to show me he was over me and could “do better”, but I didn’t mind, I got the space I wanted, and peace of mind.
Unfortunately Norman didn’t learn from his episode with me and continued to follow those he liked, causing him to strike out with many, many, many times.
At one point he had a girlfriend, but this behavior which she had originally thought cute, ended up freaking her out too. He ended up moving away, and I don’t what happened to him or what he’s doing with his life now. I hope that as he’s matured and has changed his MO for ladies attention and is doing better in the dating pool.
After all we may like to sing Rockwell’s great hit, but no one wants to live it.
For more on Emma (jeez this has been a real Emma month huh? Guess I just have it on the brain) go to A Real Man
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 was Friday, April 13th!
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 spotted 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 a few dull moments.
So the film starts out with two girls hanging out one night.
One starts joking with the other, telling her about a story she heard about these people watching a strange video, and later they recieved a call saying they would die in seven days. It quickly goes from funny to serious when the other girl, Tomoko, tells her friend that she saw the video and got the call. Her seventh day ends tonight. Tomoko then says she was just kidding, and that it’s no big deal, she’s going to be fine. However, the two go downstairs, and 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.
She feels that something is not right, as there has to be more to this 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.
Reiko goes down to the cabin in Izu and finds a strange tape, but interestingly 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.
Immediately after it ended, the phone rings and the voice on the phone says she only has seven days to live.
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 (they call him that but all I observe is telepathic tendencies, i.e. reading her mind.) This is part of the reason why the two broke up as Reiko couldn’t deal with it his “abilities”. 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.
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. After they view it he gets a call too. She also makes him a copy to study.
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 who was training Shizuko and discover that the doctor had a deeper relationship with Shizuko than just studying her; he was also 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 a 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.
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 from her ex. 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 giving it to someone, it 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 enough. But this film is definitely worth a watch!
What’s also really interesting is that the director Kôji Suzuki got his inspiration for the Ringu novel, which this 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.