Heroes are Not Born, They’re Created: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

Teenage_Mutant_Ninja_Turtles_film_July_2014_poster

People want heroes…but heroes are not born, they’re created.

So this is our first installment of four reviews of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle films.

So I know those of you who haven’t been following me, and have stumbled upon this post are probably really confused. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? As a horror film? NO WAY.

crazy

I know you are all saying to yourselves, hey this is a superhero movie, not a horror film. Au contraire, you see the turtles are radioactively enhanced to be larger; agile, smarter, etc. In fact the only thing that separates them from other radioactively changed creatures: such as the ants in Them, the giant spider in the Tarantula, or even Godzilla. They choosing to use their abilities for good and be superheroes doesn’t change the fact of how they were made.

So there! tongue sticking out pug

You also might be wondering why am I starting with the 2014 film instead of the 1990 one? Well I decided that I would review the one with the closest horror film components, as these turtles are engineered in a lab instead of accidentally created, just like Frankenstein.

Clive, Colin (Frankenstein)_02

It might be a little confusing working backwards, but fun all the same. So here we go.

DeanSupernaturalLetsGetStarted

The Review

So as you know I hate remakes and sequels.

Bad Sequels psycho-1960-alfred-hitchcock-janet-leigh-pic-21

I was not excited about this film coming out at all. And when I heard that Michael Bay was directing?

ugh

It’s going to suck. I just knew I would hate it.

DislikeYOuScream2

But then, I had some friends tell me they liked it and really enjoyed it. I thought, okay. I’ll watch it, I’ll see how it is.

Hmm...

Hmm…

So I went to the movies and I sat through it. And I really tried to be objective, I really tried to be open and like the film. The only problem was that it sucked.

I don't like it 11

It had some good things, but on a whole it was boring, ugly, the same-old-same-old, and stupid. I hated it. I hated everything they did. They ruined the turtles!

michaelBayruinchildhood

So let’s get started on the actual review.

Teenage_Mutant_Ninja_Turtles_film_July_2014_poster

So I liked the beginning comic book look for the credits, that was okay although I didn’t like the backstory. I mean it makes no sense that Splinter would want to prepare the turtles to fight Shredder and the Foot clan, unless they had a backstory and prior knowledge of each other, like in the original. This made no sense whatsoever. It was just so stupid!

stupidestThingeverheard

So Megan Fox as April O’Neal. Why, why would you do that? She is a horrible actress because she doesn’t act. If you put her, Kristen Stewart, and Channing Tatum in a room with a pile of wood, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between any of them.

This film suck!

This film sucks!

Now the whole April O’Neal being a young, fluff reporter trying to make it as a serious journalist, at first put me off…but afterwards I didn’t mind it so much.

It works

It works

I prefer the established April, but I didn’t mind that change. I know they wanted to make her young, “hot”, and more relatable to the viewers.

really? I can't stand this movie.

really? I can’t stand this movie.

So this is the first film to have Vernon, a character from the original cartoon TV show. Instead of being an egotistical jerk, he’s one of those “ugh guys”. You know the type that tries to be Fonzie, but isn’t anywhere as cool as him.

This is you fault!

 So April is looking for a way to break into the serious news scene. She has been hearing rumors of these vigilantes fighting back. She knows there is more but no one will talk to her. One dock hand says he knows a guy that will talk to her later, at night.

What?

What?

That night April heads to the docks to get answers.

hold-up-wait-a-minute-let-me-put-some-pimpin-in-it

Excuse me? At night? What person in their right mind would head down to the docks in the middle of the night?

stupidmoranhmm_yes_i_see_youre_a_moron_trollcat

That seriously has to be the stupidest thing anyone could do.

So April spots a group of people breaking into the storage containers at the docks and of course calls the police.

do-you-think-im-stupid-do-you-not-see-the-glasses

Oh wait, I’m sorry. That would have been the smart thing to do. Instead she goes to record it, but her phone starts dying. Her phone can’t record anymore, as the battery is too low, but instead of making a phone call to the police and reporting it, she gets closer!

doyouwanttodie

April in the other film was much better as she made smarter decisions.

So this April witnesses the Turtles fighting, sort of. It’s too dark to make it out what is actually happening. She sees the graffiti mark they leave behind and photographs it.

The next day she goes to speak to her supervisor, Whoopi Goldberg. Now this is a big problem with this film. In the original, the actors became the characters. They were all well-known people before the film, but they were just so awesome they became them. In this the stars don’t make you forget, they constantly push it into your face that they are Megan Fox and Whoopi. It would have been better of they had picked different people.

Bad. Very bad.

Bad. Very bad.

Whoopi is especially distracting as I don’t even know what her character name is.

Truth be told I don't

Truth be told I don’t

I also think it is so stupid that she would throw her idea out there in front of everyone instead of going to speak to her editor one-on-one. She should have waited until later.

Seriously

Seriously

So then we switch to our first introduction of Shredder. I thought this was okay. We watch Shredder blindfolded in the shadows, masking his face and fighting the Foot clan. I like that they all speak in Japanese. That was pretty cool.

loveitSupernatural

Now the thing I hate, is they make a big deal on keeping Shredder in the shadows and masking his face, just like in the original, only to show his face and then go back to the shadows. WHY WOULD YOU BOTHER TO KEEP HIM IN THE SHADOWS AND THEN SHOW HIM WHEN IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE A BIG REVEAL.

really? I can't stand this movie.

really? I can’t stand this movie.

And as we are sidenoting, have you noticed how every single person has green eyes in this film? Do you know how rare that is? I have natural green eyes and hardly run into anyone who has them (naturally). In fact let’s get the statistics.

“Green eye color is the rarest color found around the world, and it is estimated that only around 2% of the world’s population has green colored eyes.”

But yet every single person in this film has been given the green contacts. Seriously, Michael Bay back down.

Look at your life, look at your choices. You are making some really bad ones.

That night April heads down to a big event in which Eric Sacks, gazillionaire, is teaming up with the NYPD to fight crime. And of course, obvious bad guy is obvious.

  1. Owns a huge corporation? ✓
  2. Has gazillions of dollars? ✓
  3. Talks in a creepy voice oozing with evil intentions so that all know he is evil ✓

you're evil

And of course he’s connected to April.

Come on!

Come on!

Yep, as I said this films is full of boring film cliches. He and April’s father used to work together, until a fire destroyed the whole lab, April’s father having died in the process. Same old, same old.

Blah, blah

Blah, blah

Later that night, Megan oops, I mean April, comes across the Foot clan taking hostages in the subway. Instead of calling the police or the paper, she runs toward the action and gets herself taken a hostage.

stupidmoranhmm_yes_i_see_youre_a_moron_trollcat

 Then she takes footage with her iPhone. Hello, you are taken hostage by people who have no qualms about killing, and while in plain sight you are going to film them?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

doyouwanttodie

She has no common sense at all.

The Turtles come and knock out all the lights, and defeat the Foot clan. Instead of calling the paper and sharing her story, a real story in which could actually help her break into serious reporting, she takes off after the Turtles trying to get a picture of them. She gets one from far away and of poor quality.

Can't see anything

Can’t see anything

To be honest it is their own faults. Why would they hang around the area after fighting of they don’t want to get caught.

meettheRobinsonsPlannotthoughtthrough

So the Turtles grab her and take her phone. Now why would you do that. Okay in the original April is knocked out and Raphael has no idea what to do. He’s not sure if she is seriously hurt and can’t drop her off at a hospital, so he takes her home. In this the girl is far away, taking a photo at night. The best you are going to get is light flashes, black, and blur. Let it go. Who’s going to believe the story of giant turtles anyway?

Get it together!

Get it together!

But NOOO, they decide, let’s reaffirm her ideas we exist by showing ourselves to her and that they we ARE real.

Can't see anything

Can’t see anything

And I hate the way they made the Turtles. They don’t look real and in the picture. You can tell they are CGI, they just feel fake. And don’t tell me that “that’s the way CGI works”, we had CGI in 2001 with Lord of the Rings, and the stuff in there looks way better than some of the stuff we have today.

This movie

This movie

They also say their “real names” in front of her. Come on, these are teenagers who love pop culture and have never read/seen any superhero thing and realized they need to protect their “secret identity.”

Get it together!

Get it together!

After this whole thing, April runs home trying to figure out where she heard those names before. Excuses me? What happened to the hostage story? That’s a good story. She needs to pitch it to her bosses while she works on the other one. This is why an older, established April works. In the other movies, April played up pieces while continuing to research into the complete story.

You suck!

You suck!

She goes home and finds her old home videos she made of her dad’s lab before he died. Now let me ask you one question. What are the odds that she would have brought those old tapes with her? More likely they would be home and she would have to ask her mom to check the attic or her room for her old stuff.

And to ease the suckage of this film

And to ease the suckage of this film

Anyways, in the videos she named the four turtles that her father is experimenting on. First of all, how would a six-year old even know the names of four great famous artists like Michaelangelo, Donatello, Raphael, and Leonardo? I mean I knew them because I watched the Ninja Turtles. It makes more sense to have Splinter choose those names out of a book he found.

Yeah-Dean-dean-winchester-33251540-500-300

It turns out that April spent lots of time there, feeding the turtles pizza. Excuse me, would scientists conducting an experiment and heavily monitoring everything, allow the turtles to be feed pizza and possibly skew the results? And why do they only eat cheese pizza in this, turtles eat meat more than dairy?(My niece has a turtle, so I know.)

“Never feed a turtle dairy products, as their stomach cannot properly digest lactose.”

So if they are radioactively changed to eat dairy, why not let them eat everything else on the pizza like in the original, TV show, and comics?

April decides that this is her in with a story.

Come on!

Come on!

Meanwhile, in the sewer the turtles try to sneak in, but Splinter catches them. Now Splinter freaks me out.

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

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

I can’t look at him. You guys might not have realized this, but rats are creepy looking. And this version of Splinter is the creepiest. At least in the original he was older, cuddly, cute, and pulled on your heartstrings. You know, an animal version of Mr. Miyagi. This one is a more active rat; mean and more of an instructor than a father. Yes in the original, Splinter was their Ninja instructor/master, but he was also their father and moved between both roles, knowing when to discipline and when to love. In this, Splinter was just cruel and cold, no Fatherly twinges at all. They tell Splinter the truth, and he warns them that April will be in danger, they must go save her.

Plus we have the same old plot of Raphael fighting with Leonardo to be the leader. Blah! Boring!

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

It was great in the first film, and worked for the second, but again? Jeez, guys. DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT!!! It’s boring to repeat the same thing over and over again.

Blah, blah

Blah, blah

Back on the surface, April has decided that she will give her story of giant Mutant turtles fighting evil and leaving graffiti to her editor in front of everyone. Like that is the stupidest thing I have ever seen. Did she not hear how crazy she sounds? Would she really bring all this with zero proof? Like why? This is dumber than dumb.

simpsons d'oh duh

And of course she gets fired, like no duh. What were you expecting?

Come on!

Come on!

She then she heads over to see Eric Sacks to tell him the turtles exist, and we have that old cliché of going to see someone for help and they are actually evil.

So obs

So obs

There Eric shares his back story (Why?) and we find out he grew up in Japan where he was abandoned by his father. He was reared by his mentor/martial arts instructor. This instructor told him an ancient story of Japan and a warlord that took over when crime was running rampant or something. I don’t know. He hands her his card in case she needs anything, and April leaves. Obvious tracker is obvious.

Just stop with these stupid clichés!

Just stop with these stupid clichés!

After April leaves, Eric talk to Shredder who is his mentor that raised him. Now the Shredder in here is boring.

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

Originally Eric Sacks was supposed to be the Shredder, but they changed that because fans were upset that the Shredder wasn’t going to be Japanese. They then gave both zero character. Shredder has no real motive, reason, or any development.

meettheRobinsonsPlannotthoughtthrough

The original was AWESOME!!! Why? Well we don’t see the Shredder for most of the figure, just his assistant Tatsu. Then when we are introduced to the Shredder, he is awesome. Taking down people, being scary, evil, all-around awesome bad guy. Then we hear Splinter’s tale of his master being killed by Oroku Saki, and how horrible he was. Only in the end to have it revealed that Oroku Saki and the Shredder are the same person.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

So April starts looking online to get more information when Donatello hacks into her computer and tells her to meet them at a certain address. Let me tell you that is the creepiest thing I have ever heard. They sound as if they are going to murder her!!

Gilmore girls creep

And she actually goes there alone, without telling anybody, the middle of nowhere. Man this girl is just asking to die.

Just do it already, end here.

Just do it already, end here.

They take April to the sewers and it is the first film to bridge the actual distance of the fact that they are in a sewer, you know a place where poop is.

Ew Yuck Gross

So here we have the Bay version of the back story. In the original Splinter’s master, Hamata Yoshi and Oroku Saki were rivals in martial arts and in love. They were supposed to fight to the death for the hand of Tang Shen, but as she loved Yoshi and didn’t want to risk his death, they ran off together to America. Oroku Saki doesn’t give up and years later, he tracks them down and murders them. Splinter becomes incensed and attacks Oroku, disfiguring his face. He gets thrown out and winds up in the sewer coming upon four turtles and radioactive ooze. This mutates them and makes them bigger, smarter, stronger, etc. Splinter changes to, and can read, finding a book on painters, naming his adopted turtle children after the people in the book. They find a home in the sewer where he teaches them the secret art of ninja he witnessed his master doing, now not only remembering but able to teach them.

I-got-this-reaction-gif

In Bay’s version, April’s father and Eric Sacks were working on some kind of mutagen that will increase immunity, make you stronger, and the rest unsure of what exactly. They experimented on four turtles and a rat. April’s father was a good scientist only wanting to increase knowledge, while Eric Sacks is evil after money. Same old, same old.

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

When April’s father figures this out, he tries to destroy everything, by burning down the lab. It’s kind of his fault he died. April somehow was there and rescued the turtles and Splinter releasing them into the sewer. Okay, if April’s father was to destroy a lab with fire, why would he bring his six year old along?

That makes no sense

That makes no sense

And why do they always have a bad scientist and a good scientist. It’s boring and been in everything from The Amazing Spider-man to The Fantastic Four. And you notice the father that died is always morally upright. I was thinking that is one of the things that makes Star Wars so awesome. They aren’t afraid to go there, they aren’t afraid to have their hero deal with a moral issue of what is right, should I follow in my father’s footsteps, etc.

StarWarsDarker

So in this after being in the sewer, Splinter just happened to come upon a book on Ninjitsu, teaching himself and then the kids. That’s as stupid as when Danny is trying to teach himself karate in The Karate Kid. You can’t learn martial arts from a book. Especially Ninjitsu. Ninjitsu isn’t a real martial art, the Ninjas were assassins, the only way to learn is to be taught. It is the dumbest thing I have ever heard and the dumbest backstory ever!

stupidestThingeverheard

And if the rat is from America and grew up in a lab how does he know so much about Japan? The culture, the essence, etc? If the film took place earlier, it might work as the ’90s were a plethora of ninja things. But in this version, the film takes place in 2014, the turtles are 15-16, which means that the kids and Splinter start their “mutant” life in 1998-1999, meaning they grew up in the 2000s. That means that Splinter should know nothing about Ninjas, Japan, etc. If anything, they should be obsessed with cops and CSI.

CSI-NY-CSI-CSI-Miami-csi-ny-1323819-1004-800

So back on Shredder, Eric Sacks has given him an ugly robotic suit. Just no, no, no, no.

metropolis-Robot

And with Shredder, why do you keep putting his face in shadow? You already showed us his face, why bother?

Get it together!

Get it together!

So the Shredder comes with the Foot to take down the Turtles and kidnap them for their blood. They trip the alarm. And booby traps. Wait no, no, no that is not what happens. In a world where the Turtles have every kind of tech in the world that exists and more that Donatello made, they have nothing whatsoever to protect their hideout?

really? I can't stand this movie.

really? I can’t stand this movie.

In the original it made sense, the only tech they had was cable. They lived off what they scrounged. So they don’t have any booby traps or worries about people finding them. In this, they have a gargantuan amount of tech, but no security system? These boys read superhero comics and watch TV, they should have thought to have something.

This is what I would like to do to the stupid in this film.

This is what I would like to do to the stupid in this film.

So Shredder and Splinter fight. I do like how Splinter is younger and can fight, using his tail to as a weapon. But it was kind of sad too, as Splinter is no longer Mr. Miyagi, but now Jackie Chan. However, there is a weird dynamic between the two. Shredder and Splinter act as if they are mortal enemies, but why?

That makes no sense

That makes no sense

In this film they have no connection to each other. They know nothing of each other, really. In the original they fight because Splinter ruined his face, and when Shredder sees him, he becomes enraged. In this Shredder even calls Splinter a “father”. How would he know that?

It is so stupid! It makes no sense!!!!

It is so stupid! It makes no sense!!!!

I hate the Shredder’s fighting style too. In the original he was a master martial artist and we see him actually fight. In this one, it’s more the tech on his suit. BORING!!!

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

They knock Splinter out (dropping a wall on him), and Raphael. They steal the other three.

As April only has a bike, she calls up Vernon to help them. When he gets there she tells him she needs a ride to the Sacks estate as they need to save the TMNT.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Jeez April, Vernon hasn’t been spending every moment with her, he doesn’t know what’s what. You need to give it to him a bit slower. You sound like a psycho.

Victor Moritz: You're crazy! Henry Frankenstein: Crazy, am I? We'll see whether I'm crazy or not.

She’s crazy!

Raphael reveals himself, and they all head off to the Sacks estate.

At the Sacks estate, Eric reveals his evil plans. They want their blood to make an antidote for a virus they created and will be releasing onto the world. The reason? MONEY!!! People dying will pay through the nose for it. Even though Eric is a gazillionare, he wants more. Like world domination would make way more sense than money?

really? I can't stand this movie.

really? I can’t stand this movie.

April and Vernon crash into the estate and go in to save the turtles. As they are fighting, they manage to release the turtles giving them shots of adrenaline. Now I tried to discover of this would really help, and it seems adrenaline can reduce blood loss, but there was nothing there on bringing people back after massive blood loss. I’m saying, they died. The end.

TheEnd_Title_2

The group hijacks a truck and makes there way down to save the day. Now this scene has some stupid parts, but it was pretty cool. The only thing I hate, they made Donatello more than the nerdy one, they downright Urkeled him. I hate that.

really? I can't stand this movie.

really? I can’t stand this movie.

The elevator scene, probably the best part in the whole series. Cute and funny.

They go to do the final fight with Shredder and I hated it. It was boring, cliche, and there is no way they would have survived.

Mysteryofthe13thguestdead

April manages to secure the mutagen. She later attacks Shredder trying to channel Indigo Montoya but failing.

inigo montoya PrincessBride kill my father prepare to die

The Turtles then band together with a maneuver that allows them to push Shredder off the roof. Donnie goes to stop the toxin’s release as Shredder pulls himself back up. Leo, Raph, and Mikey continue to hold him off, and Donnie is able to stop the release with a second to spare. Shredder then tries to knock the top of the tower down, and the Turtles try holding it back as April gets to the roof and shows off the mutagen to Shredder to distract him. The top of the tower comes crashing down as Shredder lunges at April and throws them both off.

What was the Shredder’s plan here? Run toward crumbling architecture?

meettheRobinsonsPlannotthoughtthrough

They hang on for dear life, and the Turtles try to save April. Shredder tries to finish them off, but Leo throws his katana at him, causing Shredder to lose balance and fall to the ground.

We know he doesn’t die as you can’t really kill the Shredder. He’s always needed for the sequel.

Get it together!

Get it together!

The top of the tower comes loose, taking April and the Turtles with it. Then we hear this really boring thing from Raphael, blah blah blah. I’ve already checked out.

Blah, blah

Blah, blah

And when everything is done, EVERYONE HAS SEEN THE TURTLES!!! WORST NINJAS EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2013-11-27-bradpitt friends ugh slap face stupid

In the end Vernon still trying to put the moves on April, and failing. We end with Happy Together a sad song about hoping you aren’t dumped instead of the awesome and pumping turtle power or Go Ninja or anything.

It pretty much it sucked and was absolutely horrible. Once again, Michael Bay trying to destroy everything I love.

HateEverythingthewomen

Why did they ever have to remake it?

And to ease the suckage of this film

And to ease the suckage of this film

But there is one good thing to come out of this: How It Should Have Ended

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

For the previous post, go to A Matter of Loaf and Death: Wallace and Gromit (2008)

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For more on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, go to Return of the Fandom

For more How It Should Have Ended, go to We’re Mad Scientists. We’re Monsters: Avengers, Age of Ultron (2015)

For more sucky remakes, go to Don’t F*** With the Original: Scre4m (2011)

Keep Moving Forward

One thing that is prevalent with the holiday hope, is the holiday blues. So often people get depressed and sad at this time. They feel alone, unsure of the future, brokenhearted, etc. Often when such feelings arise we look to the past, thinking if only we could have stayed on that course. If only we could have done something different. A thousand if onlys.

MoveonfromPain

We want to return to a moment in our life where everything was good.

TimeWhenNotBroken

But we can’t go back. The past is solid, written in stone. Instead we must move forward, no matter how painful it is.

letgoofpastmoveforward

After all:

MoveForwardStopLookingAtPastLeverageNateFord

As hard as it may be, keep moving forward.

moveon

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For more quotes, go to Growing Up is Hard to Do

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On a happier note, I decided to end my post with the Christmas Carol, All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey. It was written by her for her Christmas album, as they say in Love Actually a must for any struggling artist, and was released in 1994. Since then it has been in countless movies and covered by many artists.

I just love the upbeat tone and to sing along when I hear it.

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To start 25 Days of Christmas Carols from the beginning, go to Inner Beauty

For the previous post, go to Angels We Have Heard on High

She Cries in the Night: The Screaming Skull (1958)

Poster_for_The_Screaming_Skull

She’ll come back…she’ll come back

So a few years ago, my sister bought the Greatest 100 Horror Classics DVD collection. There were some great films on this: such as Carnival of Souls, The Phantom of the Opera (1925), Night of the Living Dead, Metropolis etc. And of course some duds, like The Beast of Yucca Flats.  This film was also included in the collection, and a film I really liked.

This film was a new thing for director Alex Nicol, who also played the role of Mickey. The film is based on the book The Screaming Skull by Francis Marion Crawford, but borrows a lot from Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca.

DeanSupernaturalLetsGetStarted

So the film starts out with us on a bayou. There appears to be something in the water as a guy creeps closer to shoot it. It is large, scaly, with ginormous eyes.

hold-up-wait-a-minute-let-me-put-some-pimpin-in-it

This isn’t how I remember the movie starting at all. I better check the DVD menu. Yep, whoops. I accidentally chose the wrong film.

So embarressed

So embarressed

I would have reviewed Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959) and you all would not have been ready for that. Now here we go with The Screaming Skull.

We open on a candle and flower arrangement. Dark depressing music…zoom out it’s a funeral Makes sense.

Narrator: “The Screaming Skull” is a motion picture that reaches its climax in shocking horror. It’s impact is so terrifying that it may have an unforeseen effect. It may *kill* you! Therefore the motion picture producers feel they must offer free burials for any that die of fright, during The Screaming Skull.

Let me stop and say this is one awesome beginning, like The Beast Must Die. I award it a thousand gold stars.

love it

So we open on a beautiful mansion, impeccable gardens, relaxing lily pond. A dream house.

rebeccamansionmanderley

When we see something in the water. What is that?  A SKULL!!!!!

The-Screaming-Skull-1958

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

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

It actually made me think of David Lynch and his constant use of a tranquil, pretty setting that has evil lurking below.

TwinPeaks dark henious evil

So we have the opening titles/credits using the same music from Sleeping With the Enemy, but added a woman vocalizing is high it almost like screaming.

So that switches with a peaceful drive up to the house, and light airy music. They park the car and out comes the newlyweds, Eric and Jenni Whitlock. Eric is bringing his new wife back to his old house.

Jenni loves the house as the garden looks like a magician paradise, it even has peacocks.

love it

She sees a window and asks if that will be their room.

Jenni: Will that be our room.

Eric: Will need some fixing first.

Jenni: Was that her room?

The “Her” she is talking about is Eric’s first wife Marian. He is a widower. I know what you are thinking:

Rebecca (1940)

Rebecca (1940)

But it is not the same. In The Screaming Skull, Marian the first wife was the wealthy one and the house belonged to her.

So as the couple are walking around, we that the house is pretty much empty. Marian got rid of all her families’ furniture and was planning on purchasing new pieces to make it “their home”. The two hadn’t gotten far with redecorating before she died. Now Jenni and Eric will make this house “their” house.

girlieButLoveit BuffyVS

He wants to show her the rest of the house, but she stops and looks at the window into the room.

dun-dun-duuuun

Eric picks up Jenni and carries her around the room. Meanwhile, there is a guy behind them creeping through the windows.

He's creepin' in your windows. He's starin' at your people.

He’s creepin’ in your windows. He’s starin’ at your people.

Who the heck is he? And why is he doing that?

weird

While the two are kissing, he sneaks away.

suspicious Hmm

The two walk around the yard and pass Mickey, the gardener’s, tool shed. He’s been in charge of maintaining the grounds since Eric has been away. Wow Micky sure has a green thumb, it looks amazing!

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As they are seeing the yard, Eric tells Jenni that Mickey & Marian would spend hours working on the garden together. He doesn’t think Mickey ever got over her death, he was in love with her, and still believes she is coming back.

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So as the two are talking and walking, someone drives up. It is the Reverend and  Mrs. Snow. They came to meet the new bride and drop off something for dinner. As they are all talking, the Reverend and Mrs. Snow get invited to dinner.

As they are heading to the house, Eric spots the gardener, Mickey. It turns out he was the guy creepin’ on them earlier. So Mickey isn’t really a creep, he is developmentally disabled. He and Marian grew up together so it is hard on him not having her in his life.

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Mickey sees the land as his and Marian’s place, and anyone else is trespassing.

Who is that?

Back inside the house, the group is clearing things up a little. Mrs. Snow and Eric go off to make dinner, while the Rev. and Jenni hang out.

While they are preoccupied, Mickey sneaks  inside the house and goes to look at a painting of Rebecca…opps I mean Marian. Sorry, certain parts of the film are a bit similar it was easy to make that mistake.

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Mickey wants Marian to send them away, so it can just be the two again.

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Eric is talking with Mrs. Snow and she is saying how much she likes Jenni, and how great she is. Eric thinks it is great Mrs. Snow likes Jenni, but there is something he has to tell her.

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I knew there had to be more to her than just a sunny personality. Here we go, give me the whole story.

So Jenni didn’t have a happy childhood. She lost her parents years ago in a horrible way. She is very impressionable, so talking about sad pasts is something best to stay away from. It sounds to me as if she and Ruth from Dangerous Crossing had a similar experience after they lost their fathers. Jenny probably had to go to a mental hospital afterwards too.

How did she loose them? They drowned in an accident, and Jenny saw it all. That is super damaging for a child to experience something like that. SUPER damaging.

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So the Rev. and Jenni are talking when she asks him how he knew they were in town. It turns out that the Reverend heard of them moving in from the lawyer, as the lawyer and Eric are executors of the estate. All that was left to Eric out of Marian’s tremendous fortune, was the house and grounds. He notified the lawyer he was back and moving in with his new wife.

Even more what Jenni wants to know is how did Marian die?

Reverend Snow: Didn’t Eric tell you?

Jenni Whitmore: I think the subject is painful for him. He doesn’t like to talk about it. Will you tell me? I’d really like to know

So it was a rainy day and Marian and Mickey had been working in the greenhouse. She left him to go back to the house for a few minutes. The way it was pieced together later was that she was probably coming back and slipped in a leaf, fell down, and smashed her skull in the cement wall around the pond, fell in the water and drowned. That was where Eric found her later.

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While they are talking, Mickey is sneaking about. I think it would be mean to say this, but the way he moves and creeps makes me think of Gollum from the The Lord of the Rings series.

After dinner the Snows are walking home and talking about the two.

Reverend Snow: Did you know that Jenni is very wealthy?

Mrs. Snow: Yes Mr. Mowry told me. She’s not at all like Marian. So gentle and timid, as if she is afraid of something.

OMG Jenni is Joan Fontaine from Rebecca. Sweet, young, shy, timid, like same character. Except Joan was poor while Jenni is rich.

That night, Jenni and Eric are sleeping in cots, as their furniture isn’t out of storage yet. That night Jenni is reading a book sent by Mrs. Snow, Beast in the Jungle. It seems like a very sad book, I don’t know why she would give such a book to Jenni knowing her background.

That night Jenni hears loud bumping and clanging noises.

Who is that?

Who is that?

She calls to Eric, but he is not there.

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

She decides to investigate, calling to Eric, but receiving no answer. Eerie music starts playing as she keeps calling Eric. Turns out to be a shutter in Marian’s old room, not properly latched.

As she is leaving, Eric comes in and scares her as she leaves the room. She starts when she sees something on the ground, that looks like water and a lily pad.

Why is that in here?

Why is that in here?

Jenni thinks Mickey brought it in as he doesn’t like her as she is a replacement Marian. Eric, on the other hand, thinks it was just an accident. It freaks Jenni out and she looks at the painting sounding a bit crazy as she talks. She thinks the painting reminds her of her mother, who she hates. Almost as if she is haunting her.

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We find Mickey in the pond, by the lily pads. Did he bring it in? Is he trying to upset her? Make her go crazy?

Why is that in here?

The next day, Eric tells Jenni that he talked to Mickey and he is no longer allowed in the house. Jenni is worried Mickey might become angry and take it out on her, but Eric tells her not to worry about it. But Jenni is worried. She wants Mickey to like her, for them to be friends. Eric tell her to garden with him.

Eric leaves that day to get the electricity turned on, furniture out of storage, and see the bank and lawyer.

Now it just occurred to me, what does Eric do? What does he do that he had the ability to live away for two years, but then move back to his former home. They all said Marian had money, I mean he did move into her family house; but they never mention him having money. Does he have any? And if he doesn’t, he sure was lucky to bag two wealthy wives.

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Jenni sees Mickey and tries to befriend him. But Mickey won’t say a word. She tries to reassure him that she wants the garden to stay beautiful in honor or Marian. They pick flowers to place at her graves.

Now her grave is a weird one. It is an obelisk with a relief of Marian’s face in it. And it is just creepy, like she was mixed into the stone or forever watching.

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While they are doing this, Mickey is overcome with emotion.

Mickey: She cries in the night.

Jenni Whitmore: Dead people don’t cry Mickey!

Mickey: I heard her.

 Jenni Whitmore: Heard?

Is Mickey really hearing something, or just messing with Jenni? And if he is hearing something who or what is it?

Who is that?

At the house, Jenni looks at Marian’s painting. She hears some creaking, but just assumes it is the house settling.

So earlier, Eric said he was going to be gone all day and out late that night. When night comes, the electricity still not on, forcing her to use candles, as she is getting ready for bed.

Once again, Jenni hears the shriek of  the peacocks. Creepy little buggars. Jenni decides to try to go to sleep, but feels weird not having Eric in the house.

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Jenni hears a noise and looks to the window, nothing. She runs downstairs to investigate…just the peacocks. Looks at the picture of Marian again. She is looking at the painting when the cabinet door behind her slowly opens.

She turns around and sees a SKULL!!!!

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

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

Suddenly cuts appear on her hand!!!!

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And she runs away to her room, and locks the door jumping under the covers. Now Jenni is so freaked out that every noise is making her heart race. She hears tree branches scrapping, making sounds like something trying to get her.

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

And then it sounds like something is coming up the stairs. A banging noise.

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Something is coming up the stairs!!!!!

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This scene is shot from the “thing’s” point of view so we don’t know what it is!!!!

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I know there is a strong likelihood that it is just her husband, but I’m still a bit freaked, my heart os pumping. Who or what is it?

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Jenni is equally freaked, what is coming?! She goes to look and nlocks door to see what is making noise, but there is nothing there

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Jenni runs to window, the peacocks are gone, nothing is here. What could be making such a racket?

She looks at cabinet, and sees that the skull is still there and not a figment of her imagination. She goes to get the skull ad flings it out the window.

Good-bye

Good-bye

It rolls on the grass an stares at her with its eyeless gaze.

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She goes back to bed, but can’t sleep.

Then the camera zooms on the front door Something’s coming?!!! Something starts knocking…Don’t answer it!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Jenni is afraid, and she just sits in bed waiting for it to go away. Soon  she feels the need to check, after all it couldbe important. She looks down from room, unsure of what to do.

They're watching her!

She decides to risk it and opens the door. Creepy music playing again getting the blood pumping with fright. She calls to Eric, but no answer. Just more pounding on the door.

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Jenni opens it and the skull is there!

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

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

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She screams and runs inside, the skull tumbles after her.

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She faints. And I don’t blame her.

Mickey pops out of the shadows. Could he have done this? If not, did he see who did? Or what did?

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Jenni wakes up in Eric’s arms. She asks him if he saw anything when he found her, but he says no. Just her on the floor.

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Is it all in her head?

So Jenni weirded out. She had never imagined any such thing before, why should she see it now? She wants her doctor from New York to examine her, but Eric vetoes the idea, saying that Rev. Snow will be coming tomorrow and can help.

I think it is weird how Eric doesn’t want a trained psychologist’s help. Seems odd to me, especially as she asked for him. Hmm…

Why is that in here?

The Rev. comes and studies the cabinet. He discovers that the door is very loose, and can easily open on its own. The door is also damaged on the bottom, which caused Jenni’s scratches. Both look for a skull but find nothing.

Jenni feels like a fool, but knows that she saw a skull there.

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She asks the Rev. if Eric told him of her past. He says he knows a little. Jenni decides to gives him a bit more. She grew up loving her father and hating her mother.

Jenni Whitmore: I wasn’t a child when I wished my mother dead. One day I got my wish.

So both of her parents drowned. She tried to help them, but couldn’t overcome tide. She still hears their cries. She blames herself for the deaths, saying she killed them. This is common in grief, survivor’s guilt. For Jenni she became so unbalanced that she had to be put in hospital. She was released and told cured. So why would she be seeing strange things now?

Eric is outside looking for Mickey, but he can’t find him anywhere. He sends the Rev. and Jenni on ahead for lunch, promising to be there soon. After they leave he heads into the garden. He goes to Marian’s grave and calls for Mickey. Mickey hears him but keeps running away from him. Is he running because he is in trouble or running from trouble?

Why is that in here?

When Eric arrives at the Snow’s house, Rev. gives him a talking to. The Rev thinks he should take Jenni far from the house as it scares her and makes her think she is crazy. Eric refuses as if they left, it would mean Jenni is crazy. I guess that reasoning makes sense, but it still seems a bit off to me.

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Later eric finally find Micjey, grabbing him and questioning him, scaring Mickey and Jenni. Mickey says it isn’t him, but Eruc doesn’t listen tossing him aside. This is Another side to Eric. He has quite the temper.

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Jenni feels bad about Eric’d behavior toward Mickey, as she believes what is going on is all in her mind. I’m not so sure Jenni, there’s something rotton in the state of Denmark.

So Eric decides to burn the picture of Marian as it reminds Jenni of her mother, and is what Eric says is the root of Jenni’s current madness. They create a bonfire and Eric forces Jenni to light the match, even though she doesn’t want ti. As thepicture burns there is a huge screech!

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

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

Eric says it is only the peacocks, but is it?

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We are show the garden where the pond bubbles, the flowers at Marian’s grave are uprooted, and shrieking is heard. Sounds like Marian is not happy to be destroyed.

Th deed is done and Eric asks Jenni to help him bury the ashes. Jenni feels worse after the act, as if it’s not over yet.

Jenni Whitlock: She’ll come back…she’ll come back.

Jenni spreads the ashes while Eric waters them down. As she is spreading them, she unearths a SKULL!!!!!

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

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

She screams for Eric, but he doesn’t see anything.

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Jenni faints, and while she is knocked down, Eric touches the skull, picking it up and hiding it somewhere.

OMG gasp

Aha! He is behind it! I knew it!!! This isn’t Rebecca, it’s Gaslight!

Eric places the skull in the pond and heads back to Jenni. Little does he know, Mikey was watching the whole time.

Tht night Eric has to go out of town. Jenni is freaked, but Eric tries to calm her down. The Rev. comes over to drop off some eggs for Jenni. Eric takes the Rev outside and tells him what happened, saying he saw “nothing”. What a jerk.

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Of course the Rev buys his bleeding heart routine. Eric also tells the Rev. “something I never told anyone.” When Jenni was in the mental hospital she tried to do away with herself.

So that’s his plan! Make his wife look crazy, murder her, and have everyone think it a suicide. After all you can’t have two accidents in a row.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

What? I think what? Yeah that’s right. I think he killed his first wife too. Probably wanted her money, and then when he ended up with none, decided to remarry and kill his second bride,

So Eric tells the Rev. he thinks Jenni will try again unless he get her to the hospital tonight. After tonight they are never coming back to the house.

Eric goes back in and talks to Jenni. She tells him the Rev. was kind. He told her he would search the whole estate for that skull. Jenni shrugs it off as kindness, but Eric is worried.

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If they find the skull,  it will bring up a lot of questions he doesn’t want answered. Jenni goes upstairs to pack. Eric goes looking for the skull, but it is gone!!!!!!!!

Where did it go?

Where did it go?

He spots Mickey and chases after him. Eric grabs him and questions him again, beating him. But Mickey tells him he didn’t take it, Marian took it.

Whattheheck

Eric laughs it off and leaves. After he is gone we see that Mickey does have the skull in his workshop, hidden away. Mickey put the skull in a basket, hidden under a cloth.

Meanwhile, Eric has checked the pond again, finding nothing. He then goes to the grave, hoping the skull is there. But he doesn’t find anything but uprooted flowers. Then when he looks at the grave, instead of her face he sees the SKULL.

Whattheheck

He throws a rock at the grave, angry.

Meanwhile, Mickey has taken his basket of skull over to the Snows’ house. They start questioning why Eric would lie about seeing the skull. Only one reason, he wanted to make Jenni crazy. They all head to the house.

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Jenni has finished packing and goes looking for Mickey. She wants to say good-bye, but can’t find him. She goes into the tooshed where she sees a headless body moving!

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

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

She runs for her life, while this ghostly hated figure chases after her.

Inside Eric is preparing a rope, going to hang his wife, when he hears her coming and screaming. She runs up the stairs where Eric is hiding. He grabs her and starts choking her, about to kill her when he hears a knocking at the door.

He goes to answer it, and when he opens it he sees the figure with a skull face!!!!

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Eric backs away, while the figure comes closer. It is wearing the same dress Marain wore in the painting, it must be her!

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

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

The skull winds up on the stair blocking Eric from going up. It tumbles down, chasing him as lightening comes out overhead.

The skull becomes large and astral chasing him, and causing him to fall down. He tries to run and get in his car, but he sees it again! It is everywhere!!

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The skull jumps on to his neck, biting him in the throat and causing him to fall back into the pond, drowning.

Jenni wakes up and is freaked out. She finds Miraian’s dress on the ground. Just then the calvary show up (the Snows and Mickey) but are too late, and have missed everything. They ask her if she is okay, and she tells them what happened. Crying and completely freaked out.

Rev. Snow goes looking, and finds Eric’s dead body, in the same place Marian was killed. Jenni is confused and wants to know why he did it. The Rev. tells her his suspicions about the money. Now the question is, did Marian really die in an accident? We’ll never know.

They all leave, while Mickey goes to the pond and tells Marian they are gone, she can now rest.

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This was a great film and I strongly recommend it. The characters are good, the storyline, etc. It is a bit predictable, but that last scene when the skull really attacks, very creepy.

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Back to the facebook cover/mini posters.

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

For the previous post, go to He is Coming: The Visitation (2006)

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For more on husbands who are more than what they seem, go to I Do Think You Are Confused Mrs. Bowman: Dangerous Crossing (1953)

For more on the Greatest 100 Horror Classics, go to In Their Proper Place: Metropolis (1927)

For more films based on a book, go to There are Thirteen Chairs at the Table…And That’s Unlucky: Mystery of the Thirteen Guest (1943)

A FANtastic Voyage

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Yes…

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My Fangirl posts are back! You see I had to take a break from them for my Romance is in the Air: Part III posts as I counted down to Valentines Day with my favorite romantic moments from films. I would have started again on the 15th, but I realized that was the 30th anniversary of The Breakfast Club, and decided that I had to do a post on that.

So here we are once again going through some of the things that I hardcore fangirl over.

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Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman

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I haven’t seen this show in a long time but it used to be a real favorite of mine. When I was growing up, my mom loved this show and we would watch it together. I had a huge thing for Byron Sully (Joe Lando).

So Dr. Michaela “Mike” Quinn (Jane Seymour) is a wealthy, Bostonian, physician. In the series start (1867), Dr. Quinn is tired of the way people treat a “woman doctor”, and decides to leave for the West. She settles in Colorado Springs, Colorado; and finds life much tougher then she realized. Byron Sully, rugged outdoorsman and friend to the Cheyenne, helps her settle in and the two end up falling for each other. She also receives help from a midwife, but when she is bitten by a rattlesnake and dies; Dr. Quinn finds herself taking on the role as mother as she raises the midwife’s children; Matthew, Colleen, and Brian. Now Dr. Quinn is trying to adjust to the West, figure out how to take care of three children who just lost their mother, and prove to the world that a “woman doctor” is a real doctor.

I loved this as I loved Westerns, and Dr. Quinn becoming a doctor in a world that didn’t really wish to accept it was empowering.

For more Westerns, go to Fandom Love

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Gargoyles

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Gargoyles was a TV show I grew up watching as a kid and was super into. My friends and I would go around reenacting the show and creating our own stories.

It’s a little hard to give a synopsis of the show, but I’ll give it my best shot. In 10th century Scotland, Gargoyles work to defend their castle. They are statues during the day, but as soon as night falls they are able to roam about. They saved Prince Malcolm, who in turn built them a castle where they could rest in the day promising to protect them. Years later his daughter Princess Katherine is in control and she hates the gargoyles. She is betrayed by someone she trusts to the Vikings, who attack in the day and destroy all the gargoyles…or at least the think they do. Unknown to them, Goliath, the leader, survived along with a few of his friends. They return to kill the Vikings and the betrayer, discovering it was a close friend. Their arrival causes the Viking leader to take away Princess Katherine, intent on killing her. Believing Princess Katherine dead, her advisor curses them, turning all but Goliath into stone. He returns with the Princess, who demands the advisor change them back. He can’t, but turns Goliath into stone, so he can be reunited with his friends.

A hundred years later, a wealthy businessman, Xanatos, finds the castle and has it transported to New York City, building it on top of his skyscraper and  causing it to rise above the clouds, breaking the spell. The Gargoyles try to adapt to this new world, eventually teaming up with the biracial (Nigerian and Native American) NYPD detective. They also discover there is more to Xantos then they thought, that more of their kind exist then thought before, and a huge melding of mythology, Shakespeare, magic, sorcery, etc.

My favorite characters of the series was Goliath and he was just so awesome, brave, stoic, brooding, bold, etc. I also loved his daughter Angela, who was sweet and nice.

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Hercules: The Legendary Journeys 

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When I was a child I loved reading mythology and fairy tales. One that I was really into was the Greek myths and reading the stories of the gods and goddess. As one of my favorite characters was Hercules, this show was perfect for me.

The show was based on the Greek myths, but also borrowed stories and features from Egyptians, Middle Easterns, Asians, and Medieval Europe. I used to watch this every day after school and I just thought it was amazing.

Of course, that all had to do with Hercules. Not only did I think Hercules was extremely attractive (I had a real thing for guys with long hair for a while), but stoic, brave, kind, and altogether one amazing guy. I was really sad when it ended, but as we all know the good shows don’t last forever.

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Lord of the Rings

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So I LOVE Lord of the Rings!

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Yep, I’m a hardcore Lord of the Rings fangirl.

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Thank you Ed

It’s funny, but in the beginning I was set against it. My mom had been reading in the newspaper about Peter Jackson’s upcoming film and wanted to see it. My sister agreed as she was like free ticket, but I was not so sure. Some guy with a ring that only he could control and destroy (that’s what the synopsis sounded like) in a three hour film? It seemed done before, boring, and long. So they went and I stayed home. When they came back they were ecstatic about the film and said my dad and I would have to come with. I wasn’t interested, but forced. When we got to the theater and started watching it, I LOVED IT!!! From that moment on Lord of the Rings had entered my fandom.

My parents read the books right away but I just enjoyed the films for awhile. In The Fellowship of the Ring, Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, has been holding onto a ring for many, many years. Bilbo is planning on going on a trip, taking the ring along, when his friend Gandalf the Grey (a wizard), visited for his birthday and spotted it with him. He convinces him to leave it behind with everything for his nephew Frodo Baggins, and Bilbo is on his way. Gandalf feels unease about the ring and leaves it with Frodo, while he goes off to investigate. Gandalf returns after he has discovered that ring belonged to the dark lord Sauron. It was supposed to be destroyed, but when he was defeated the king took the ring instead. It was moved about as every where it went it’s owner was killed or murdered. Eventually Gollum found it, and it was then stolen by Bilbo who has been sitting on it for years. Gandalf quickly moves Frodo out, unwillingly taking along Bilbo’s gardener, Samwise Gamgee, and Frodo’s relatives Peregrin Took (Pipin), and Meriadoc Brandybuck (Merry). The group splits off from Gandalf and are set to meet up with him, after Gandalf questions his old teacher Saruman, who unbeknownst to Gandalf has become evil. Frodo is anxious that they still haven’t seen Gandalf, and end up receiving help from Strider (Viggo Mortenson) a ranger. I loved Viggo Mortenson so much in this film. I thought he was amazing, brave, bold, and utterly handsome.

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He turns out to be Aragorn, the true king of Gondor who was sent to live with the elves for his safety. He sets them off for Lothlórien to the elves. While the head out they are attacked by the Nazgul. They run away to Lothlórien where Frodo is saved by the elves. There they form a fellowship to protect Frodo and the ring, making sure they get it to Mount Doom, the only place it can be destroyed. The group is the hobbits: Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pipin; the wizard Gandalf; Gimli the dwarf; Legolas the elf; Aragorn; and the steward of Gondor’s son Boromir. They head out facing many challenges along the way.

The Two Towers is the next part of the tale. In this the fellowship has been split up. Frodo took off on his own, but not quite as Sam won’t let him. They journey on to Mordor guided by Golem, who wants his ring back. Gandalf sacrificed himself for the group when they were in the Mines of Moria, but turns out is not dead. He has been returned as Gandalf the White, the highest form a wizard can be. Merry and Pipin were taken by Orcs in the last film, and they are being carried to Mordor. When the Orcs fight between the old creations and newer ones, they manage to escape and go into Fangorn Forest. There they meet up with the Ents, the tree shepherds. Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli have been tracking Merry and Pipin to save them and run into Gandalf. He tells them to not worry about Pipin and Merry they will be safe with the Ents, but takes them onto Rohan to help protect the country and save their king in a battle against Saruman.

Return of the King is the last in the series and my favorite. In fact I waited for when this film was released on DVD and bought it immediately. In this we have the final battle between good and evil. Frodo and Sam have been split up, as Golem and the ring have poisoned his mind. He ends up being attacked by a giant creature and captured, taken to Mordor. Gandalf and Pipin have gone to Gondor, as it is being attacked by Sauron’s forces. Rohan is going to send their aid, being led by Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli. But there is a surprise, the elf Elrond has come to the battle, bringing the Andúril, the sword from the first fight, that was broken and then reforged. He sends Aragorn into the mountains to bring in an army of the dead. This movie was awesome and it is one that I can watch over and over again.

Now I love to do marathons

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So my sister and I have done Lord of the Rings quite a few times. One time though, we decided we were going to do all the extended versions. It was an intense, all-day thing. It was a whole lot of fun.

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At a book sale I bought all the three books. The Fellowship of the Ring and The Return of the King were both the movie editions, but my copy of Two Towers is from the ’70s. Anyways I read the books and I think they did a great job bringing the characters to life in the film. Here are my only issues with the books and film, now after reading them.

The Fellowship of the Ring-I thought the film version did the best with this book. The book spans a lot more time, for instance Frodo has the ring for years before Gandalf returns, which they cut out. There also is a lot of extra stuff I am glad they cut, such as when Frodo spends years in Tom Bombadil’s perfect paradise of a forest. I would have cut that from the whole book as it was SUPER boring. The only thing I wish they included was the part when the elf Galadriel gives each member of the fellowship a gift.

The Two Towers-I thought this was good too, film and movie. In the movie the elves come to fight like in the original battle, but they weren’t supposed to come until the last book. I think it would have been better symmetry if they had, but no big qualms with book or film.

The Return of the King– In the book J.R.R. Tolkien goes through each person’s story all the way to the end, and then moves onto the next character. I liked in the movie how they switch back and forth, as when you read you are really curious what happens to this specific character, but also want to know what happened to everyone else. Like Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe. In that he had so many characters involved and in their many adventures, but switches between them all so we get a better picture as to what is occurring at the same time. The effects, set up, and whole film was amazing! The only thing I might have added was more depth to Faramir and Eowyn’s romance, as we only get a few glimpses. Also Saruman has had his fingers all over Middle Earth causing destruction. When Merry, Pipin, Frodo, and Sam return, they have to battle for the Shire to save it from Saruman. That was cut from the film, but it would have been cool to have it in.

On a whole they did an amazing job! J.R.R. Tolkien in his writing and Peter Jackson with his films.

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For more on Lord of the Rings, go to Food, Food, Food!

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Madeleine L’Engle

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Madeleine L’Engle is one of my favorite writers. I started reading her books when I was a kid, and have loved them ever since. Even though the ones below are considered Children’s Fiction or Teen Fiction; I still read them over and over and over again.  HowABookTouchesYou

So Madeleine L’Engle is a Christian writer, but she likes to cover lots of other things in her books as well: science, philosophy, politics, music, poetry, literature, ethics, etc. All of her books carry really heavy subjects that just make them even more enjoyable. Below I have listed all the books of hers that I have read, in the order I think is the best to read them in.

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A Wrinkle in Time– This is the book that started the whole time quartet series. In this book the Murry family has moved to New England in recent times. Many people are wary of them as both Mr. and Mrs. Murry are scientists. Mr. Murry is often called upon to go to Washington D.C for the President or Pentagon. He left for a trip about a year ago, and has yet to return. Many think he abandoned the family, but his wife and children have faith that he will return. Meg is the eldest, she wears glasses and braces and thinks herself unattractive.

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She has a lot of problems making friends as she has a temper, she also has issues in school as the math is too far below her. After Meg are the twins, Alexander (Sandy) and Dionysus (Dennys). Both the twins excel in sports, school, and friendship. Last is Charles Wallace, only five years old and a genius. He tries to hide it, but still can’t pass off being “normal.”

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One dark and stormy night; three women come in with the wind and set Meg, Charles Wallace, and a popular boy from school, Calvin O’Keefe on quite the adventure. Mrs. Which, Mrs. Who, and Mrs,Whatsit tells the trio that they need them in order to save Mr. Murry who is caught in the 5th dimension. This adventure takes them on a ride through psychics, time travel, tessering, and other planets.

This book was also turned into a film that was pretty good and had the cute guy from Everwood playing Calvin O’Keefe.

A Wind in the Door– This is a sequel to A Wrinkle in Time. Calvin and Meg are friends and romantically interested in each. Things aren’t perfect; their father is still called away on long trips, Meg still gets into trouble at school, and Charles is still picked on; but they seem to be better. That is until they notice that something is going wrong with Charles Wallace. He seems paler, more tired, and just not himself. When Charles Wallace tells Meg he has seen dragons in the garden, she really becomes worried. But these dragons are actually a Cherubim sent there to help Meg defeat the Echthroi who are trying to erase the universe. Meg, Calvin, the cherubim, and her principal Mr. Jenkins find themselves on an adventure through the town, plants, and into Charles’ mitochondria.

Many Waters– This is actually the fourth book in the series, but reads better as the third book. In this Sandy and Dennys, who had heard of their siblings crazy adventures, find themselves going on their own trip through time! When the boys accidentally mess with their father’s experiment in the lab, they find themselves sent back to the time of Noah, right before he builds his ark for the coming flood. There they encounter the biblical figures along with manticores, unicorns, Nephilum, and Seraphim.

A Swiftly Tilting Planet– In this book Meg is grown up, married to Calvin, and pregnant with their first child. The twins are now a lawyer and a doctor. Charles Wallace is a teenager, but still as advanced as ever. They are celebrating Thanksgiving, (minus Calvin as he got held up in conference in England), with Calvin’s mother Mrs. O’Keefe. That night there are threats of Vespugia’s leader, Mad Dog Branzillo, starting nuclear warfare and WWIII. As Charles Wallace goes to the garden, he meets up with the unicorn Gaudior. Gaudior was sent to help Charles travel through time and meld with different historical figures in order to change the past, so that they might change the future. This is one of my all-time favorites of her series.

Meet the Austins– This is a different series, but as all of hers connect and crossover, it makes a lot of sense to start reading it now. Mr. Austin is a country doctor in New England. He and his wife have four kids: John, Vicky, Susie, and Rob and an assortment of animals. They live a contented life, but that all changes when a family friend dies. The Austins quickly welcome the orphaned daughter, Maggy, into their home and she causes all kinds of chaos and uproar. Will their lives ever be the same again?

The Moon By Night– Book two brings radical changes for the Austin family. Maggy, who has become a daughter and sister, is leaving them to be with her legal guardian. John is heading off to college, and the Austins are moving to New York for a year. Before the move, they head out for a cross-country trip of the United States. Vicky should be happy and having fun, but instead finds the changes unsettling, along with trying to figure out who she is. She meets a boy named Zachary Gray, who is so unlike her, and confuses her on what friendship and love are.

The Arm of the Starfish- Adam Eddington III has wanted to be a marine biologists for a very long time. Every summer he has interned with a doctor that lives near his grandma’s home, but this year he has received a much different post. This year he will be interning in Portugal, under the guidance of Dr. O’Keefe (Calvin O’Keefe from the A Wrinkle in Time series). On his way there, he meets a beautiful girl at the airport, Kali, who warns him that Dr. O’Keefe is not as nice as he seems, but working against his government. She asks him to spy on Dr. O’Keefe for her father. Adam is unsure of what to do, and when he boards his plane, ends up running into Polly O’Keefe, Dr. O’Keefe’s daughter, and her godfather Canon Tallis. Adam quickly finds this summer being more than he bargained for as he is caught up in a world of science, espionage, and double agents. Adam doesn’t know who to trust as the more time he spends with the O’Keefe’s the more he likes them, while at the same time every moment he spends with Kali is better than the one before.

The Young Unicorns- The Austins have moved to New York and encounter a much different world. They rent the top part of an old Victorian house. Below them lives Emily, the daughter of a Greek professor, and recently blinded in a robbery gone wrong. They also have befriended Dave, an ex-gang member and now Emily’s tutor; along with Mr. Theotocopoulos, Emily’s piano teacher. The Austins find themselves caught in a horrible plot as people are after the invention that Dr. Austin is working on and are not afraid to use any means necessary to obtain it. Someone is trying to control the city as they have orginized the gang, the Alpha-Bats (Dave’s old group) and preparing them for a battle. Canon Tallis is called in by his old friend to discover who could be the head of the group, and whether it could be coming from one of the leaders of the Catholic Church.

A Ring of Endless Light- The year in New York has ended and the Austin’s will be returning home after one more stop. Vicky’s grandfather is very sick, so the Austins plan on staying that summer on the small island he resides on. John also happens to be interning there for the summer, introducing the Austins to his newest friend, Adam Eddington III. Vicky and Adam become very close, with Vicky helping assist him in his project with dolphins. However, Adam is still reeling from the betrayal that occurred in Portugal and isn’t getting as close to her as Vicky would like. Also, Zachary Gray returns on the scene, once again bringing trouble, confusion, and questions in Vicky’s life.

This was also turned into a movie: starring Mischa Barton as Vicky, Ryan Merriman as Adam, and Jared Padalecki as Zachary. It was a DCOM so sadly it is hard to find a copy of this film.

Troubling a Star- The last of the Austin series. The Austins (minus John) have returned home to New England countryside. Everyone has been able to bounce back but Vicky. She finds it hard to relate after all her adventures and changes. Adam introduces her to his Aunt Serena, who Vicky immediately becomes close to. Adam is planning on going to Antarctica for a semester, and for Vicky’s birthday, Serena plans on sending Vicky as well. Vicky is excited for her trip, but also worried as Adam’s letters become cold, closed off, and eventually stop altogether. Vicky is sad, but concentrates on her trip; finding herself caught in political intrigue and an age-old unsolved mystery.

Dragons in the Waters- When thirteen year-old Simon Renier boards the M.S. Orion with his cousin Forsyth Phair, he has no idea what he is getting himself into. A trip that is supposed to be easy and beautiful; taking a painting of Simon Bolivar back to its native land, turns out to be anything but; as murder, political intrigue, smuggling, and a century old secret turn this trip into one exciting adventure. Simon tries to solve the case with the help of Polly and Charles O’Keefe (who are traveling with their father), Mr. Theotocopoulos (who is traveling to see Emily perform) and Canon Tallis.

BookLifeNoBoredom

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For the previous fandom post, go to A Fantabulous Post

And stay tuned for part 10

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For more book filled posts, go to The Biggest Bill You Should Be Paying

For more on Disney, go to Well I Feel Sheepish: Chinese New Year

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Helping Hands

For more Pirates of the Caribbean, go to Push All the Buttons!

I Left My Car in San Francisco

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This postcard did not lie. I had quite the adventure in San Francisco.

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Now I have traveled to San Francisco numerous times and have loved it. I have had all kind of adventures from getting lost in San Francisco, going to historic sites, traveling to see The Godfather on the big screen, touring Alcatraz at night; but nothing compares to this last trip.

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So it started out very tame. My friend and I had been enjoying Martin Luther King Jr.’s  birthday weekend. As the spring term had just started, we didn’t have much homework and decided to do a Lord of the Rings marathon. As we were watching Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, one of my friends, Alex, brought up the idea of shopping in San Francisco.

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Alex wanted to go to Union Square and Elaine was eager to join him. I wasn’t sure as I had work later that day, but Elaine had work too, so both assured me we would be home in plenty of time.

Yeah right.

Yeah right.

I was waffling, but then they dangled a trip to the de Young museum. Now to some that might sound really boring, but to me that was the deal breaker. They were having this exhibit on the Dutch Masters, and I am a huge fan. Johannes Vermeer, Jan Van Eyck, Jacob Van Rusidael, Rembrandt, William Kalf, Rachel Ruysch, etc. So that was it, I was in.

Double double yay

So the trip was on and I was excited!

So the next day went reasonably well. We started out to San Francisco talking about music, movies, philosophy, whatever. And we headed down to Union Square.

Now I am not completely adept at fashion. In most cases I know what looks good on me and always try to dress well. Or at least matching to what I expect the day to be like.

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And after all Marc Jacobs says:

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Well that’s all fine for Marc, but when you go into those high end shops in San Francisco, not only do I become aware of how little money I have, but also everything that is old or wrong with my outfit. You know missing buttons, scuff marks, frizzies on the sweaters, etc.

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I actually didn’t feel as self-conscious this time. And it’s not because I was wearing some great outfit. Actually, most of the clothes I saw there were just ugly. To me the colors were wrong, designs, and even the accessories. The shoes were cute though.

So Alex didn’t find anything that he wanted, and Elaine and I did not have the money for anything even if we saw something we love. So we headed down to the museum.

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As we start heading to the museum…that’s when it happened.

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When the engine overheats.

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

So we need to turn the car off and let the engine cool, and figure out what to do. Only one problem, we’re in San Francisco. That means…NO PARKING!!!!!!!!!!

Crap!

Crap!

Yep we drove around and around and around and around trying to find a spot but where getting NOTHING!!!! Not only is there NO parking, but all the empty spots are now reserved for smart cars. It made us all so furious!!!!!!!!

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We didn’t do that. We were able to finally find a place to park. The only problem now is that Alex didn’t know anything about his car.

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He had just gotten it. While he started calling his father, Elaine called her father and started looking for the manuel.

Phew!

It turned out that since Alex’s car was really fancy and expensive, he needed a special kind of coolant. So then began more calls as we had to figure out which store carried the coolant to put in the car. After we found a store we had to try to get to one and find parking.

Duh!

Yep, this meant we spent another 20 mins trying to find a place to park.

Crap!

Crap!

We finally founs a place near an O’Reilly’s and put in the coolant. Now, by this time it was too late to go anywhere else. Alex thought we had a chance of going to the museum and then heading back, but Elaine and I both agree to  not risk it. So we said good-bye to San Francisco and started heading off toward home when…

dun-dun-duuuun

Yep you guessed it, the adventure is not over yet.

As we start driving across the bridge the light comes on AGAIN!

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

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

We were so scared. Now for some of you who have never been on the Golden Gate Bridge, let me tell you that is a place you DO NOT want to get stuck on. I just started praying we would make it off before something happened.

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Luckily we made it off the bridge and decided to stop at the nearby Vista Point to call a tow truck.

Now I’ve never been to Vista Point before, I wasn’t ever really aware of it before this time, but apparently it is a BIG tourist attraction as the place was packed chock full of people. We couldn’t find parking ANYWHERE!

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I know, just not our day. Am I right?

So we drive around and around, hoping and praying for a parking spot. Along with hoping and praying that the car doesn’t break down while we are searching for it.

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And it was kind of weird because I noticed a piano mover’s truck there. Why would a piano mover stop at Vista Point and stay there? They were there for quite some time. It was weird.

Weird

Weird

Anyways, so we finally manage to find a parking spot and Alex calls a tow truck. And we all begining calling people to try and find a ride into the city with the car and a ride home.

I’m thinking, this’ll be easy!

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First I call work and let them know there is no way I’ll be able to make it in and then I immediately think to call my Aunt Ann and Uncle Jeff as they live in San Francisco, and I know they would help us out. Unfortunately no answer.

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So then I call my cousin Celeste who also lives in San Francisco. No answer.

Then I call my cousin Erik, who doesn’t live in San Francisco, but was visting his mom, my Aunt Ann. No answer! By now I am getting pretty upset, and wondering why NO ONE is answering their phones. This was how I felt:

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(I later found out that my Aunt and Uncle didn’t answer as they were not in San Francisco but in Napa visiting friends; my cousin Celeste was in Los Angeles visiting family; and my cousin Erik was heading back to school.)

Alex and Elaine were also having no luck reaching our friends. Our friend Aylin had gone home for the weekend, as did our friends Haley and Allie. Our friend Julie was in San Francisco visiting friends, but had gotten sick and couldn’t get us either. Alex called his roommate Roger, but Roger had lent his car to his girlfriend Cora.

So we were stuck and it sucked.

Reality Sucks

Elaine’s parents lived not too far away, although with traffic it was going to be like two hours, but they offered to pick us up if we couldn’t find anybody. We didn’t really want to have them drive all that way and back, so Alex decided to call a cab into the city as soon as the tow truck took the car.

So were stuck waiting at Vista Point.

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Now usually I bring a book with me in my purse just in case of situations like these.

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But this was the ONE time I didn’t and it could have really come in handy.

Instead we ended up making up stories about the people who were there visiting Vista Point, in order to pass the time. The best one was the one Elaine came up with, making one couple spies on some super secret mission involving my suspicious piano movers.

Eventually the tow truck came and picked up the car. As soon as it was gone, Alex called the cab company who said they could meet us in 15.

Double double yay

BUT…

There is always a but

There is always a but

We had to go on the other side of the bridge. Yep, we had to go down the creepy stairs under the bridge that looked like they were going to fall apart.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Yes, and I’m not kidding. Underneath the bridge is uber creepy. It’s the kind of place that serial killers or rapists would hang out.

Freddy Kruger

I actually wouldn’t be that surprised if I saw him there. Or him.

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So we finally make it to the other side and are waiting. Waiting, waiting, waiting, and waiting. 15 mins pass and no cab.

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Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

Just kidding. But we are upset. It’s getting later and later, we are hungry and we want to get to the shop before it closes. Alex calls the cab company again, and they tell us the car is on the way.

Now the side of the bridge we were on was where bikers or cyclists as I should really say, hang out. There were large groups and a couple from Australia that were really cool. But…there were some really weird people.

Weird

Weird

So we had been waiting about 30 mins, when these two guys come up on their bikes. They had been drinking beer and biking. They saw me and Elaine and tried hitting on us, but they were pretty dumb.

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Then they decide they need to pee and just whip their junk out in front of us.

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I mean come on dudes. After that we had some other weirdos come, and we decided that the cab wasn’t coming (50 mins now). Alex called the tow company who told him he didn’t have to come today as his dad had already made arrangements. So we called Elaine’s parents and headed over to Vista Point as fast as we could.

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So we went to Vista Point and started waiting. Shivering as it was getting colder. And then we discoverd that Vista Point didn’t have the best upkeep. Lights kept flickering.

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It felt like we were in a horror film or something.

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Finally Elaine’s parents get there, and we are all so happy we practically leap for joy!

Double double yay

We head on home, stopping for a bite along the way.

So that was my adventure in San Francisco, it wasn’t the first, and it will most definitely not be the last.

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For more scenes from my everyday life, go to Five to Nine

For more on Marc Jacobs, go to Perfectly Imperfect

For more on Gilmore Girls, go to What a Fanatic!