Xactly Why I Think Beastly is An Xcellent Story

Day 24) X is for X: Choose a book whose author has an X in their name

Say What

An X?

Wow

I couldn’t think of anything, of any name that had an X in it. I decided that I would just shelve it for now and come back to it later.

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But then the days passed and we grew closer and closer to the 24th and I had no idea what to pick.

I don't know what to do

But then my friend returned my book Beastly, by AleFlinn, that I had let her borrow. I looked at it and I knew!

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This was the book I was going to use for my X.

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Beastly (Kendra Chronicles #1) by Alex Flinn

So I don’t know exactly how I stumbled onto this book. But I read it, loved it, and then went on to read everything else Flinn wrote.

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Flinn is a master teller at taking fairy tales and rewriting them in modern times with youth audiences and characters.

FairyTales

Now I read this years ago, a few years after it was published and just absolutely loved it. Then I heard the movie was coming out based on it, and tracked that film; so excited to see it on the screen and dragging two of my friends with me. But then I saw it:

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It was horrible. I did not like it one bit. They just cut the heart and soul of the book leaving a shadow of what it was. The book was much better.

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Now when I first read the book I had only previously seen Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and read the tale it was based on. Since then, I have seen a few other things and I have noticed that Flinn pulls from both La Belle et la Bête

And the Beauty and the Beast TV show from the ’80s.

In fact one of the characters is called Lindy in the book and Linda Hamilton played “Belle” in the TV show. Coincidence? I think not. Plus the way he looks, the way he protect Lindy, havoc on the subway, etc.

Well that’s enough of that, let’s check out the book.

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So we start in a way I have never seen a retelling of a fairy tale start before. With IMing between a bunch of different fairy tale characters. We have the little mermaid from The Little Mermaid, the Bear from Snow White and Rose Red, the frog prince from The Frog Prince, and the Beast from Beauty and the Beast,  And who is the chat room run by? Mr. Anderson.

No, not that Mr. Anderson. Anderson as in Hans Christian Andersen.

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So then we flashback to how our Beast, became a beast.

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Part 1: A Prince and a Witch

Kyle Kingsbury is a freshman at a private school, Tuttle, and the son of the very wealthy news anchor, Rob Kingsbury. Kyle is a perfect dreamboat, utter perfection in height, looks, etc.

swoon dreamy

But while the outside is a treat, how he acts is the exact opposite.

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All he cares about is his looks and popularity, hurting and being cruel to others around him. This year they are getting ready for homecoming and have their election for freshman Prince, of which Kyle is nominated. As they start voting, one person speaks out.

I don't think so

Kendra Hilferty is not what most would call beautiful. She has a strange green hair, is rather plain, and dresses in black “gothish” type clothing. She is upset about how this contest is all about looks instead of who they are, telling Kyle he is ugly where it really counts.

Ugly

Kyle is angry over what Kendra said so he decides to play a trick on her. He invites her to the Homecoming dance, all the while planning on going with his real girlfriend, Sloane, and roasting Kendra.

She'll get what's coming to her.

She’ll get what’s coming to her.

When Sloane hears that Kyle will be going with Kendra, she is livid, but Kyle calms her down when he tells her about his “joke”. Kyle doesn’t really like Sloane, she’s really annoying and bratty, but she is the hottest girl and after tonight is going to let him come to her house while her parents are out…well as long as he brings an orchid.

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Kyle goes home and tries to talk to his dad, but he doesn’t care. Kyle doesn’t have a mom as she left years ago and has never tried to contact him. His dad is super shallow and only cares about himself and his needs, never thinking of his child or the example he is setting.

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That night Kyle is ready to go to the ball, dance I mean (I’m reading too many fairy tales), when it turns out his maid Madga didn’t buy the orchid but bought a single, white rose. Sloane is furious about there being no orchid and refuses to have the rose. However, there is a scholarship student taking the tickets who exclaims over its beauty. Kyle gives it to her, the only genuine, nice thing he has ever done.

How sweet!

How sweet!

When Kendra arrives and discovers what he has done she tells him he will pay for what he has done and will be as ugly on the outside as he truly is on the inside.

She'll get what's coming to her.

She’ll get what’s coming to her.

Kyle is upset, and scared, but continues to do what is expected as Prince of Homecoming. But at twelve o’clock that night Kendra appears to him and reveals she is a witch, and Kyle is turned into a beast.

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NOOOOOOO!

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Part 2: The Beast

When Kyle’s father discovers the transformation, he carts him all over the United States to see what they can do. But nothing can change him.

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He cuts his hair, it grows back. He slices his skin, it instantly heals. Kendra gives him a magic mirror that allows him to see anyone he wants, and she uses it to “call” him throughout the book. Nothing can destroy him, and nothing can change him back except if he could find someone to love him in this bestial form. And he has two years, because of his gift of the rose, to find it or be stuck as a beast forever!

Belle could

And this is what I don’t like about the film. They just give him a bunch of tattoos, but that isn’t as hard to love as something that doesn’t even look human. Plus they cut out how long he has to be a beast, removing his first year of angst, anxiety, and depression and being pushed apart from the rest of the world.

HeartbreakBuffy the Vampire slayer heartbroken Sad

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Part 3: The Castle

Yes, Kyle’s father can’t stand the sight of him and ships him off to an old brownstone in Brooklyn which has old windows that can’t open and no one can come in and see him. He sends Magda to take care of him and things to amuse him.

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Kyle decides that he is no longer Kyle. After careful consideration, he chooses Adrian as it speaks of his new nature. He tries to find love online, but Kendra warns him that won’t work.

I don't think so

After deciding he will spend the rest of his life alone, he blackmails his father into providing him a tutor. The father complies, but selects a blind tutor, that way no one will hear of what his son is.

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Will, the tutor, comes into Adrian’s life and he and Magda become his only friend, besides those who also have been transformed that he IMs. This is really interesting as they follow what occurs in those stories too.

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Adrian discovers that Will used to have sight, but lost it as he aged. Magda had a family, but they weren’t allowed into the country so she is alone now. Adrian calls Kendra and works a deal that if he finds his love to break the spell, Kendra will grant the wishes of the others.

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Adrian begins to read and study as he has nothing else in his life.

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Something else he does with his time is watch people from his former life and school. One day he looks up the girl he gave the rose to, Lindy. Lindy is from a poor neighborhood and is a scholarship student. Her father is a drug addict and pusher, and she tries as hard as she can to take care of him. She spends as much time as she can reading, the library being her refuge.

LibraryOK

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Part 4: The Intruder in the Garden

One night everything changes. Adrian hears a crash and discovers that someone is trying to break into the house.

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He goes to protect it and threatens the man with police. The man, in fear for his life, offers to trade his daughter for his life. He shows Adrian a picture and it is Lindy.

Whattheheck

Adrian is horrified that he would do such a thing, but accepts as he wants to protect her and has hope that maybe she is the one to break the spell.

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Lindy moves in, and things do not go according to Adrian’s plan. Lindy is furious and wants to leave. Will at first feels the same way, but after meeting her father agrees with Adrian’s solution.

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After giving him a lot of time, Lindy starts to come around as she is just as lonely. At first she is weirded out by Adrian’s appearance, but as their friendship grows she begins to enjoy being around him.

Beauty&theBeastLibrary

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Part 5: Time Lapses, Autumn and Winter

Adrian begins to care more about Lindy’s feelings than his own desires to have the curse broken and gets his dad to rent them a place in the country where they are freer to roam and hangout. He also decides to release Lindy from her commitment to stay with him, and she decides to remain there.

How sweet!

How sweet!

However, one night Lindy says how she is worried about her father and Adrian shows her the mirror. When she looks into it, she sees her father, sick and shaking. She leaves to go take care of him and promises to return.

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Months pass and no Lindy.

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Adrian starts to become depressed and decides that he will be a beast forever.

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They move back to the brownstone and still no Lindy.

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Adrian watches her in the mirror but she never comes to him. All have given up hope except Magda, who keeps encouraging Adrian. It comes down to the final day and still no Lindy.

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Then at night Adrian hears Lindy scream and looks her up in the mirror. She is being held up for money owed by her dad. Adrian takes off in the subway, not caring who sees him, but going to her aid.

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When he arrives, the other pusher is so freaked at his appearance he shoots Adrian, who continues to run at him tossing the gun aside and saving Lindy. As Adrian starts bleeding, Lindy says the words he has always desperately wanted to hear:

Beauty and the Beast

Instantly, he is transformed into Kyle again.

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Part 6: Happily Ever After

The police come and after they deal with that mess they return to the brownstone. When they get there it is revealed that Magda is really Kendra.

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She too had to serve a sentence and Kyle’s breaking of his spell has allowed her to return home to her family. Will’s eyes are healed and three pick up their lives; Will teaching at Tuttle and Lindy and Kyle attending. They continue to live at the brownstone, a happy family, with Kyle being a better person.

Carl and her married!!!

In the end we hear from the chat group how each has completed their own journey, some with happy endings and others with ones that were not quite what they expected.

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It was a great book and I just LOVE it.

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I highly recommend it for any fairy tale fan.

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previos post, go to There’s a Cyclone Coming: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

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For more Alex Flinn, go to Someone is Killing By Copying Old Murders!: Real Murders

For more on Beauty and the Beast, go to Waiter, There’s Some Disney in My Jane Austen

For more fairy tales, go to I Found this Blank Book of Stitched Together Pages…I’ll Record the Details of Our Confinement: Book of a Thousand Days

For more Audrey Hepburn quotes, go to At Midnight, Your Coach Will Become a Pumpkin Again, and the Animals Will Regain Their Original Shape Until Your Next Ball: Ella Enchanted

For more on Hans Christian Anderson, go to I Will Not Bend, I Will Not Break

For more G. K. Chesterton, go to A Book Only a Reader Could Write

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Let me just start with this, George you will be missed.

So as this book is about true and false love, I decided to go with the song that has been on the radio nonstop, Last Christmas by Wham!

I love Wham! I’ve been obsessed with them for a looong time. This isn’t my favorite by them, for the longest time I didn’t even like this song; but after hearing it on the radio constantly I grew to really love it.

It was written by the late, great George Michael and tells the tale of someone giving their heart to someone, only to have it broken as they were unfaithful.

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But luckily they find someone to give their heart to that will protect it.

It has been extremely popular and been constantly redone by other artists. Wham! is my favorite, not just because I love the band, but because it is nice to hear the broken heart from a guy’s point of view instead of always a woman.

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For more ’80s music, go to No Mere Mortal Can Resist the Evil of the Thriller: Thriller (1983)

For more Christmas Carols, go to It Looks…as Though We are Being Kidnapped: Five Were Missing

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I’ll Be Back: The Terminator (1984)

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I’ll be back!

So The Terminator is one of the best Horror-ScFi films ever! It is also one of the best Sci-fi films ever! It is one of the best ’80s films ever! It is one of the best Arnold Schwarzenegger films ever! It is one of my all-time favorote films!

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I think it is incredibly awesome! Did you know the initial draft for the movie was sold to James Cameron’s wife, Gale Anne Hurd for the price of $1 only.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

So the film starts off in May 12, 1984 (We just celebrated it’s 30th anniversary. That’s why I had to review it) with two beings from the year 2029  (we have 15 years left! I’m going to be alive then, woah!!!) Anyways, one is the Terminator T-800 Model 101, the cyborg assassin who is there to hunt down Sarah Connor and take her out before she can get pregnant and give birth to the father of the future resistance and the only threat to computer control. I just love this opening scene as you see how BA and hardcore the Terminator is.

Arnold Schwarzenegger originally wanted to play Kyle Reese. But James Cameron had a different idea and saw Schwarzenegger in the title role of The Terminator. After all as Cameron told Schwarzenegger, “This movie is not about the hero. It’s about The Terminator”. Just like Barney said:

The second person is Kyle Reese, sent by Sarah’s son to protect her. I love this actor as I just think he is so cute! And its funny, because everything I see him in I always think of him as Kyle Reese.

Anyways, so as Reese is tracking him down, the Terminator is looking for Sarah. He starts going through the telephone book and just mowing down every Sarah he runs into.

Arnold Schwarzenegger worked with guns everyday for a month to prepare for the role; the first two weeks of filming he practiced weapons stripping and reassembly blindfolded until the motions were automatic, like a machine. He spent hours at the shooting range, practicing with different weapons without blinking or looking at them when reloading or cocking; he also had to be ambidextrous. He practiced different moves up to 50 times.

keanu Whoa

Meanwhile, Sarah is unknowingly is going on with her normal life. She makes plans to go out to the club, while her friend is going to hang out at home with her boyfriend. When Sarah’s out she sees a news report on the TV about Sarah Conner’s being murdered and calls her friend at home to warn her. Unfortunately, she’s just missed her. She has already been terminated.

Couldn't resist

I know, i know

The Terminator hears her message and tracks her down there. Before he can kill her, Reese makes it in time and knocks the Terminator down.

Back off bot!

Back off bot!

Of course he hasn’t actually killed him, as that is extremely hard to do, but he has managed to buy him and Sarah enough time to take off.

As the two are driving off, Kyle tells Sarah about the future. In the year 2015 (NEXT YEAR!!!), Skynet, a computer defense system, will become self aware and begin a nuclear war against the humans. Sarah’s unborn son, John, is the one who will lead the rebellion against the machines and is the only chance for humankind. With the resistance on the verge of victory, Skynet sent a terminator back. A Terminator is a being with a metal endoskeleton covered  by a layer of living tissue, so that he looks more humanlike and harder to determine as cyborg.

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Sarah is so freaked out that she doesn’t know how to make heads or tails of the whole issue. She doesn’t have very much time, as the Terminator has caught up with them and is chasing them down in a truck. Their two cars crash and the police show up.

The Terminator goes off to heal himself, and it is an uber crazy scene!

They take Reese into custody as they think that he purposely killed a man (the Terminator). They interrogate him, but think that he is crazy as they cannot find any proof that the Terminator exists. While Sarah is making a statement, we have one of the best and most quoted scenes of all time. 🙂

The Terminator: I’ll be back.”–The Terminator (1984)

Terminator

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Sorry about that. I’m back on track now. So While the Terminator marches in and starts killing all sorts of people, Kyle and Sarah escape.

They flee to a cheap motel where Sarah questions Kyle more about why he was picked to go on this dangerous mission as he can never return home. Reese tells her he volunteered. John had a picture of her and Kyle fell in love looking at it and hearing about her. He didn’t care if he couldn’t go back as it was worth it to be with her. Sarah is touched by his words and the two have sex.

Look at that hunky man

Look at that hunky man

The next day Reese takes off to get supplies and leaves Sarah alone in the motel. She calls her mom to let her know she is okay. That would be great…except that her mom is already dead and the woman she is talking to is actually the Terminator mimicking the voice. Than Sarah does the stupidest thing, she gives her “mom” the phone number of the place she is at. Why would you do that when there is a killer on the loose Sarah? Why? You know he already knows who you and is hunting you down.Darcy P&P OMG Can't Even

So Kyle comes back and teaches Sarah everything she needs to know about creating her own weapons out of common products. While the two are having this sweet scene, the Terminator has tracked them down. Luckily, the dog belonging to the motel’s owner starts barking, warning Reese.

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The two get involved in a second car chase in which Kyle throws pipe bombs at the Terminator to try and stop him. Reese is wounded and the momentarily stop the Terminator, burning off all his flesh.

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He chases the two into a nearby factory. This part is pretty cool, as Sarah takes control of the situation, giving us a preview to how BA she will be in the sequel.

Reese attacks the Terminator, but realizes he doesn’t have much time left, as he’s wounded too bad. He stuffs a bomb into the Terminator’s stomach, the explosion killing Reese and severely injuroing the Terminator. It continues to try and take Sarah down, who leads it to a hydraulic press and crushes it. The only thing that survives is an arm.

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Sarah is later taken out of the factory by an ambulance as Kyle’s body is taken away and buried.

Months later a pregnant Sarah is traveling through Mexico and is recording audio tapes for John when he’s older. This is where we are introduced to the amazing Terminator paradox. John is 20 years older than his father. Sarah is like 45 years older than her child’s father. Plus John has to care for Kyle Reese and make sure he survives until he can send him back or else he won’t be born. Crazy! Makes your head spin.

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And if you want the really abbreviated version, go to 30 Second Bunnies

Now even though I absolutely love this movie, I will say that How It Should Have Ended did a pretty good job.

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

To go to the previous post, go to What’s Your Favorite Scary Movie?

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For more on The Terminator, go to My Favorite Movie Lines

For more on Linda Hamilton, go to He Who Walks Behind the Rows

For more cyborgs, go to In Their Proper Place

For more on a resistance group, go to Na-Na-Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)

For more on ’80s films, go to The Anniversary of Its Formation

For more films that spanned sequels, go to Just Follow the Screams

For more on How I Met Your Mother, go to Fashionably Postworthy

He Who Walks Behind the Rows: Children of the Corn (1984)

ChildrenoftheCornPosterAnd He Who Walks Behind The Rows did say, “I will send outlanders amongst you: a man and a woman. And these outlanders will be unbelievers and profaners of the holy. 

So first let me start off and say Happy Halloween everyone. And with this posts ends our Horrorfest II. When writing these it is always hard to pick the first and last films. I want to start this countdown off on a high note, and always end with a bang (I mean who doesn’t?) I also was trying to pick a film that had something to do with Halloween, and this one does. For those of you who have seen it, the special child’s birthday just happens to be Oct 31st. It says so on the scroll.

Well let’s commence our swan song.

So Children of the Corn is one super creepy movie. I mean first of all it is Stephen King, and his stuff is always freaky (even Stand By Me). I mean you’ve got Carrie, The Shining, Creepshow, Cujo, Christine, Pet Sematary, Misery, Thinner (so gross!), The Green MileSecret Window (a Horrorfest post), It, and The Mist . 

This has got to be one of the creepiest and one of his most sequelfied films. I mean you have:

So Children of the Corn was based on a short story, and while that is creepy, the movie was super scary.

So the film starts off really creepy with all these hand drawn pictures and a creepy child’s choir.

We then go into a little boy’s narration of what has happened to his town. The boy, Job, lives in a little agricultural town in Nebraska. He tells the viewer about how things haven’t been going as well, as there have been a lot of failed harvests. He also tells the viewer about this kid Jacob, who came to town one day and takes the children out to the cornfields. Job’s not allowed to go out there because his dad thinks Jacob’s creepy. (Totally agree with the dad, Jacob looks like one creepy guy.) Job is chilling with his dad after church in the soda shop, his mom is at home taking care of his sick sister,  when Jacob’s right hand man Malachi comes in with some other kids. When Jacob gives the signal, they take out all the adults, all over the town. It is uber creepy and it makes me think of “Zero Hour” by Ray Bradbury

Evil look

Evil look

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I mean it is pretty gruesome with the scythes and everything.  Job’s sister Sarah starts having these visions and draws them out when she is “moved”. Everything she draws comes true.

Three years later, we have couple Burt and Vicky. Vicky is Linda Hamilton.

LINDA HAMILTON!

LINDA HAMILTON!

As soon as I saw her I was like, oh yeah this is going to be good.

So she and Burt are headed West to Seattle as Burt just graduated medical school and is taking a job there. Vicky is hoping for a proposal, but no dice. 😦 Poor girl.

So as they are traveling toward the town, someone is trying to escape it. There are only three children who don’t follow Jacob and his law. Job, he doesn’t get Jacob and what he is preaching; Sarah, and Joseph who wants to escape. He tries to leave, promising Job and Sarah that he will be back with help.

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He tries to run, but every way he goes the corn goes in his path. It’s moving!!!

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

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

He is followed by Malachi and his goons. Eventually they find him and attack.

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Isaac: And He Who Walks Behind The Rows did say, “I will send outlanders amongst you: a man and a woman. And these outlanders will be unbelievers and profaners of the holy. And the man will sorely test you, for he has great power, even greater than that of the Blue Man!

Corn-Children: The Blue Man! Yes, the Blue Man!

Isaac: And just as he was offered up unto Him, so shall be the unbelievers!

Malachai: Make sacrifice unto Him! Bring Him the blood of the outlanders!

Corn-Children: Praise God; praise the Lord! Praise God! Praise the Lord…!

Burt and Vicky are making their way down the road, when Joseph darts out of the cornfield, his last action before he fully croaks. Unfortunately, Burt hits him and he becomes involved in finding the child help and his family. Even when they try to escape they can’t, because He Who Walks Behind the Rows controls the corn and the weather and will not let them escape.

It is a great movie that you need to watch for yourself, I cannot ruin the ending. One of the ultimate creepy things is that you have no idea who He is and what He looks like. Also Malachi is one psychotic dude. Just try to ignore some of the bad ’80s CGI. To watch the movie go here.

 Here’s a cover page I made for facebook this year as part of my countdown to Halloween.

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So that’s it for Horrorfest II. I wish you all a safe holiday full of sweets! May it be everything you wish. 😀

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