Back to the Fandoms

So yes, I’m back. I had to take a break for my Easter posts, but I’m back with my fandom posts!

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The Baby-Sitters Club

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If you were a preteen in the ’90s, chances are you were a fan of these books, TV show, or film. I was a huge fan of all three, even reading the spinoff series about Kristy’s stepsister, Karen. In these books they made middle school and baby-sitting sound so cool and fun. Reality check, it wasn’t as cool or as lucrative; but still I loved these books. I read them so much that these characters became my own friends in a way.

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The only thing I really didn’t like was the scenes of California. Clearly Ms. Ann M. Martin had never been to California, as she always wrote it in this stereotypical way. And to be honest it wasn’t just her. Every writer in the ’80s-’90s wrote about California as this sea of blonde, buff, or lean vegetarians. EXCUSE ME? Where are the Latinos, Asians, Pacific Islanders, East Indians, African-Americans, etc? ALWAYS MISSING! And seriously? We are not vegetarians and do not always eat some of the weird things that they say we do. Plus in the book where they win the lottery and all go to California; they have money to go from Anaheim all over Los Angelas, but can’t spare a few hours to go to the San Diego Zoo as it is “too far”. Excuse me? San Diego is not that far for girls visiting from the East Coast and may never go to California again? I could see them freaking out if they wanted to go to San Francisco, Napa, Tahoe or Sacramento as that could be like half a day’s drive, but really? San Diego is “too far” as California is a “big state”.

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The other thing that bothered me was the lack of diversity. I know it’s Conneticut and they don’t have the same influx, but still. They act like Jessie is the first black girl to walk the face of the planet at times. Same for Claudia as first Asian.

The other issue I have with The Baby-Sitters Club (BSC) as an adult, those issues of before were all from when I was a kid, is how they never, ever, go to an adult about the problems they have. For instance the grief Claudia faces over the death of her grandmother, when Kristy and Claudia are being harassed by phone calls, when Jessi suspects her friend of an eating disorder (eventually she talks to someone), when homes are being burglarized, deciding to try and catch counterfeiters, etc. I just think, geez that is horrible example to set for children.

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But even with their faults, I loved this series. I used to read a book a day and owned almost the whole series. I had a hard time with the books after Dawn leaves the BSC for good, as I felt it just lost it. I didn’t care for Abby coming on to the series as I hated her character. I also disliked the Claudia left behind in seventh grade storyline, the breakup between Claudia and Stacey over a boy, Mary-Anne and Logan’s complete breakup, the fire that destroys Mary-Anne and Dawn’s house, etc.

So now to the characters:

Kristy Thomas is the creator of the club, deciding to invite her best friend Mary-Anne, along with old friend Claudia, and new girl Stacey. She is bossy, opinionated, a know-it-all, show-off, sports nut; but good friend. Her parents are divorcred, as her father left at a really young age. She has a 17-year old brother, Charlie, who’s only role in the series is as a driver; 15-year old brother Sam, prankster and Stacey’s boyfriend for a bit; and a 8-year old brother, David Michael. Her mom dates a gazilionaire, Watson Brewer, and they whole crew move into his mansion. She then gets a stepsister, Karen, who is the star of the spinoff series, and a younger brother Andrew. Her parents end up adopting an orphaned Chinese girl, Emily Michelle. Now a lot of people speculate about Kristy’s uninterst in boys as being secretly gay; but I never saw it that way. As all the girls dated and had these huge crushes, I liked how Kristy just wasn’t really interested in anyone, and when she does find a guy, who ends up moving too fast for her, she breaks it off. I liked this thread as it showed we all mature at different rates, and just because all your friends have a boyfriend, doesn’t mean you need one too.

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Next we have Claudia Kishi. She is Japanese and not very good in school, a fact that sucks as she has a genius sister. Claudia is an amazing artist and fashionable, not always wearing actual everyday wear, but rockin’ her looks.

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She is best friends with Stacey who is also very interested in fashion. Claudia, Mary Ann, and Kristy grew up across the street from each other and became good friends. Claudia matured before them, and stopped hanging out as much, but when Kristy proposed her idea, she jumped in and brought along Stacey. Claudia had a few interesting storylines. One of the ones I enjoyed a lot was when she began working with Emily Michelle, who was having issues with learning her colors, shapes, etc. Claudia feels stupid a lot of the time as she constantly compares herself to her sister, but I liked that thread as she realizes there are different types of intelligences as she may not be good with one thing, but can do well with another.

Stacey McGill was originally from New York. She was diagnosed with diabetes, which was viewed the same as the plague, causing her and her family to move to Conneticut when a job opened up. I never understood the reason why diabetes was viewed as so appalling, but I liked how they dealt with it in the series. Stacey was constantly having to take care of her diabetes and deal with the temptations and fact that she couldn’t always have exactly what she wants. She was a fashionista and quickly bonded with Claudia. In book 13, she moves back to New York; but luckily by book 26, she was brought back. She was always dating boys, having multiple boyfriends and sometimes having problems arise with them. The storyline I thought was interesting was when she starts dating Robert, star basketball player. Here she has a conflict of issues as she finds out that it is not always easy to juggle boyfriend, friends, and other commitments. Along with the fact that people don’t always meld together as well as you hope. She ends up leaving the club for her new friends, and has to come to terms that these aren’t the same people she hung out with before, and won’t view things the same way. It had a sort of PSA announcement, how the group gets in trouble and she learns that they aren’t as true, BUT, instead of having her old group take her back, she has to slowly regain their trust, making it very real.

Mary-Ann Spier was quiet, mousy, didn’t like confrontation, sweet, and a crier. She lost her mom at a young age and was raised by her father for most of her life. She is best friends with Kristy, but when the crew break up over a disagreement, she meets Dawn and becomes her best friend as well. They find out that their parents used to date and bring Mary-Ann’s dad with Dawn’s mom; ending up stepsisters. Mary-Ann is the first of the group to have a serious boyfriend, Logan Bruno. Now a lot of people hated their relationship, but I liked Logan, until the end when the writers changed him completely. He was kind, caring, and I liked the two of them together. They did have the stupidest fights though. Mary-Ann freaking out over a surprise party, fighting over a way to study, her not wanting to go out but stay home and read, etc. Now the storyline I liked the most was the one where Mary-Ann gets a new look. What’s stupid is that everyone is upset she didn’t consult them, or whatever; but I liked how the meek little Mary-Ann took such a big risk showing that people can change.

Dawn Schafer grew up in Anaheim, CA; the home of Disneyland. She has a younger brother, Jeff, and all seemed well until she was twelve and her parents divorced. They moved all the way to Conneticut, where her mom was originally from. The family are all blonde, vegetarians, and don’t eat processed food or sugar; trying to say that is how all Californians are (wrong! Ghirardelli Square anyone? Or the Jelly Belly Factory?) Anyway, as mentioned above, her mom and Mary-Ann’s father get together, moving into their house and making the two friends stepsisters. Dawn is also eco-friendly and very opionated and sure of herself. Because of her always spouting I am rock solid in my beliefs, I liked the Dawn and the Older Boy and Dawn’s Big Date. In the first book she meets an older guy who turns her into his project, trying to meld her into what he thinks is better. Dawn, having a big crush on him, starts changing her ways. She does the same thing in Dawn’s Big Date, when Logan’s cousin and Dawn’s pen pal, Lewis, is coming to visit. She feels unglamorous and starts decking out in Hot Topic-like fashion. I liked these two stories as I thought they aptly showed how you can think you know yourself and that you are unchangeable, but in reality can still be susceptible to insecurities. After leaving in Conneticut for a while, she misses California too much and spends half her time in CT with the other half in CA. After a little of this, she moves home to CA for good. I missed her from the series, as after that shift it was never the same again. She received her own spinoff series, The California Diaries, which was supposed to be gritty but was often very soap opera-y.

Mallory Pike is brought in when Stacey leaves. She is the eldest of 8 kids, and unlike the other members, eleven years old. What she lacks in years, she makes up in experience. She was a pretty boring character as her only traits was that she liked reading and wanted to be a writer, and hated having such a large family. The storyline I liked with her was the one when she baby-sits the Arnold twins, making a ton of money for a mall trip. I liked this story because it gave her depth (for once) and also the shopping trip at the mall made her seem as one of the group instead of a young hanger-on.

Jessi Ramsey was brought on with Mallory. In book 14, when Mallory is being tested, she meets and befriends Jessi. I liked Jessi more than Mallory as she had a bit more depth. The only thing I didn’t like was the way everyone acted about her being black. They made it seem like she was the only black person in the area, like they had never seen one before. Now I can buy they are a mostly white population at that school, but don’t they watch TV? Movies? It felt like the “Dual Spires” Psych episode.

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She was a ballet dancer, and unlike Mallory actually had words of wisdom instead of complaining. My favorite storyline of hers was when she was chosen to be Sleeping Beauty in Sleeping Beauty ballet. That was a good mystery and brought us into the Black Swan (less dark though) underside of ballet.

Besides these books I watched the show, of course.

And I loved the people chosen for the characters. I thought they were perfect and way better than the movie.

I also read The California Diaries which were supposed to be more adult and have an edge. These were okay, although there were some things I really didn’t like. First, Dawn becomes a major tool and no longer someone you want in the series. I did like the Sunny parts, her mom gets diagnosed with Cancer and how she acts when dealing with all the changes was extremely realistic. I loved the Maggie storylines, as she battles insecurities, anorexia, cutting, etc. It was a little strange how she went from the before free spirit, rebel to the type-A perfectionist, though. They add in Ducky, who I could never figure out if he was gay or just metro. The big thing that bothered me was that these 13-year olds were all dating high schoolers. Didn’t their parents think that was a bad idea? I mean why would a 16-18 year old want to date a 13 year old unless they only wanted one thing? Come on girls, stop being stupid. On a whole it wasn’t bad, often their drive to “make it real” just made these depressing situations.

So The Baby-Sitters Club wasn’t perfect, but when I was a kid it was the thing I wanted to read all the time.

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The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales

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I am a huge fan of fairy tales, especially the Brothers Grimm.

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The amazing stories in this are just so much fun and full of adventure.

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I used to read this all the time to escape life and live within these incredible tales.
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I bought the complete set one year and read the tales over and over again.

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There are so many amazing tales, that asking me to pick my favorite would be impossible. I have written on them in the past, and there  will be plenty more to come.

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For more on The Brothers Grimm, go to If the Shoe Fits: Why Cinderella is Actually Awesome

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Captain Planet

I loved this show so much as a kid. Captain Planet was awesome, with his team of teenagers. For those of you who weren’t watching TV in the ’90s, this show was about Gaia, “Mother Earth”, choosing five teenagers from all over the world to help fight pollution. There was Kwame from Africa with the power of Earth, Gi from Asia with the power of water, Linka from Russia with the power of Wind, Wheeler from New York with the power or fire, and Ma-Ti from South America with the power of Heart. When all combined their powers they brought forth Captain Planet.

My favorite character was Wheeler as I loved his red hair and fiery attitude.

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I also liked that he didn’t always agree with everything they were spouting. Like when they said you should only have one kid, he said I don’t think there is anything wrong with having big families. Besides that he was such a fun character as he was always out of the box and doing the unexpected.

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The Nanny

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Ah, The Nanny. This was a hilarious show that I loved to watch as much as I could. It was actually based a lot on Fran Drescher’s life. Fran Fine is a Jewish girl from Queens, NY. She works in a bridal shop, until her fiancé dumps her for some bimbo and kicks her out of the job. She becomes an Avon Lady, and accidentally applies for the job as nanny for widower, millionaire, British, broadway producer, Maxwell Sheffield. He has three children: Maggie, who is the eldest and completely insecure; Brighton, a prankster who hates all nannys; and Grace, neurotic and precocious. She is hired and finds herself the spice this family needs.

Yep, her unconventional ways, awesome clothing, big hair, and Yiddish are hilarious, endearing, and all around fun. Plus she has the best logic for getting around diets.

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Also in the home is the British, sarcastic, bulter (sorry Fresh Prince of Bel Air, they had him first). He and Fran become best buddies, and he is an all-time favorite character of mine as he has the best one liners.

There is also Ms. C.C. Babcock that has a HUGE crush on Maxwell, even before he was a widower.

And of course Fran’s mother,

I love this show. Why did it have to end?

For more on The Nanny, go to Pizza Power

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NCIS

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My friend Diana from high school loved this show. She was always going on about it and telling me how awesome it is. After being pushed by her constantly, I decided to give it a look and of course fell in love with it.

The show is similar to the other crime shows that I am a fan of, but this time it covers the military. When crimes occur involving any branch of the military they call in their police force, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The team is lead by Leroy Jethro “Gibbs” Gibbs, (Mark Harmon). The rest of his team is the funny, alternative, unique, and awesome Abby Scuito the forensic specialist and Timothy McGee is the tech wizard. They had Caitlin Todd, an awesome character, but she was killed and they then brought in Israeli Masaidd agent, Ziva David that I absolutely hated.

But my all time favorite character was Anthony Dinozzo. The Italian, handsome, funny, and sarcastic agent.

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The main reason I loved him was he was a huge movie buff that was always quoting things, just like me. And no one ever knows what he’s talking about, just like me.

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For the previous post, go to I’m So FANcy!

Stay tuned for part 12

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For more Back to the Future, go to Where Were Going, We Don’t Need Roads

For more quotes, go to Let It Go

Please Excuse My Dear Fan Lady

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Yep another Fangirl post, chock full of all the things I love. Be sure to check out a few of these as they are awesome and you are sure to enjoy them almost as much as me.

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Eureka

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Eureka is a show that is The Twilight Zone merged with Twin Peaks. Now I know most of you are probably scratching your heads at those references, but I will be talking about them later in a future post.

I remember when SciFi, or SyFy as it is now called, first brought this show on TV. I thought it was an interesting idea and happy that they set it in Northern California as people always forget that there is a lot more in California than just San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. I wasn’t into it, but my sister would watch it. It wasn’t until Amazon put it up on Prime that I started watching it and getting into the series.

So U.S. Marshal, Jack Carter, is bringing his daughter home to Los Angeles from who knows where she had run away to. It is late and raining and the two get lost, crashing the car. They walk into the nearby town of Eureka, Oregon (I don’t know why they didn’t just use Eureka, California). With their car messed up, they have to stay in the town a few days and discover that it isn’t any regular area. It is a town full of scientists, giving them a place where they can work and create in privacy. Nearby is the company Global Dynamics that employees most of the scientists, contracting to the military. While they are there, one of the townspeople are creating a time machine that causes a huge rift in time and almost destroys the town. Jack Carter is able to come up with a plan to help over come it, and due to his efforts is promoted from U.S. Marshal to Sheriff of Eureka.

What I like about Eureka is that the Sheriff is very smart but also very much a regular guy. This makes him extremely relatable and also allows him to solve the hard cases, with help, in that he has a different way of viewing things than anyone else. Each episode revolves around a crisis involving an invention, along with giving us clues to a mystery that runs the whole season. It is a very fun and good show and I highly recommend it to anyone into science and mysteries.

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Make It or Break It

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I started watching this show because I loved the film Stick It and had wished, too late, to be a gymnast. If I could go back in time I think I would try it, whether or not I would compete and try for the Olympics. Anyways, this show is about four girls trying to achieve the dream of Olympic gold, while at the same time dealing with family, friends, and regular teenage girl stuff.

First we have Kaylie Cruz (Josie Loren), who is rich as both her parents used to be famous and are rich. She is secretly dating fellow gymnast Carter, which has to be a secret as dating is not allowed in the gym or by her parents. Carter ends up sleeping with Kaylie’s best friend Lauren, as Kaylie wouldn’t sleep with him. Most of the first season is Carter trying to keep it a secret, Lauren trying to win him, and Kaylie being oblivious. When she finds out she is pissed, but eventually forgives Lauren. Kaylie goes on to win the National Chap and has a better chance at getting the gold. Afterwards, Kaylie feels a lot of pressure as everyone had expected Payson to win, and feel as if Kaylie didn’t deserve her title as Payson was out with a back injury. She constantly feels as if she has to defend herself and her talents. The gym brings on Austin Tucker (Zane Holtz), who I really liked, but Kaylie dislikes. Kaylie also becomes anorexic as the pressures from the gym, her father and mother, her parent’s divorce, and a need to be in control. Now a lot of people made fun of this as abcfamily was trying too hard or something, but I thought this was done very realistically and well in regarding what it is like to be anorexic and how other issues can compound into it. Austin sees what is going on and helps her come to terms with it and seek help. While Kaylie is recuperating, she starts singing and hanging out with Damon. She eventually is ready for worlds, bringing in the gold. The third season sees Kaylie on the team in London, getting ready for the gold and Austin’s girlfriend.

Payson Keeler (Ayla Kell) is from a middle class family that is always struggling to get the money to support their daughter’s dream. Payson is extremely focused on her goals, being the best of all the girls on the team. In the first season Lauren‘s father blackmails their coach, getting rid of him. Sasha Belov is brought in, and Payson is ecstatic as he is one of her idols. When they hear of a party in the area, Payson does not want to go, but ends up coming too as she wants to make sure the other girls stay out of trouble. She has some back problems, but conceals it from everyone. She ends up damaging herself and loses her chance at worlds and messes up her back completely. In the second season she starts a relationship with Nicky Russo, played by Cody Longo. This didn’t go far as he ended up leaving the series. I was sad about this as I LOVED him. I was also sad as every guy Payson started to get with, ended up disappearing shortly after they proclaimed their feelings. Payson was the best as she worked through her trauma and disappointment to try other things, and was brave enough to try an experimental project, restoring her. When she comes back, her body isn’t exactly the same and she finds herself not being able to do the same things, changing to be one on grace. She gets involved with Max, Austin’s friend, and they start dating, but then he left to be the lead guy on Revenge. She goes on making it to London, and meeting a guy there.

Lauren Tanner (Cassie Scerbo) is the rich, spoiled, princess as she is the apple of her dad’s eye and used to getting anything she wants. She wants Carter, and his constant denying her for Kaylie makes her incredibly angry and want him more. Kaylie finds out and is angry, but the two work through their issues and become friends again. A new guy, Max, comes into the gym and is into Payson, but Lauren wants him and bad. She constantly tries to seduce him, not always getting the responses she desires. On one of their dates she gets in a car accident, she’s okay but Max is out of the competition. She eventually focuses on her gymnastics and sees herself setting off for London.

Emily Kmetko (Chelsea Hobbes) is a girl from the wrong side of the tracks. She has a single mother who does nails, and later works as a waitress at a strip club to make ends meet. She also has a younger brother in a wheelchair. She has been trying for years to get into a gym, and eventually scores a scholarship. She faces the most issues out of the girls as she has money she is trying to earn to stay afloat, trying to take care of her brother, and trying to befriend girls who have been friends for years and hate her. Eventually, they all become friends, but it takes quite a while. She meets this guy, Razor at work and kind of likes him; but when he goes out of town, his best friend Damon fills in for him. Damon was the best character, and when the series got weird and too silly, he was the anchor I loved, the reason I watched.

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Yep, he was awesome. He was always there for her, he helped her practice, he got her family to Nationals, he brought Radiohead, when she wanted to wait to have sex he was all for it, when she decided she wanted to be with him and ended up pregnant (the actress was pregnant in real life) he went after to her to help raise the baby. He was awesome and hot…and I love him. 🙂

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Michael Crichton

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For me the love of this author began with one book Jurassic Park. You see I have always loved the series, it is one of my all-time favorites, (and you can read a review here). After one of my constant viewings, my mother mentioned it was based on the novel. I decided to start reading his book, buying every one I would find in a book sale. I still have one to go, The Andromeda Strain, but besides that I have read everything he has ever written. I love all his writings as the characters are great, the plot always suspenseful, and I love the melding of science-fiction and technology with horror, history, etc. Almost every book has been turned into a film, but sadly I have yet to view how they all were done. Each one is amazing and I recommend them all.

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Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park- In this book, a genetic company has decided to try to bring back dinosaurs. By using frog DNA to fill in the gaps, they have created new versions of the creatures. John Hammond, the head of the company, has asked a group of people to visit and review his island. Ready to review is paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant; paleobotanist, Dr. Ellie Slatter; Ian Malcolm; and Hammond’s two grandchildren. Of course, “life can find a way”, and these creatures do what they want to; causing havoc on the island. This has quite a few differences then the film, with the dinosaurs escaping the island; a pterodactyl fight, more deaths of the group, and no relationship between Dr. Grant and Dr. Slatter. However, I think both are done very well and could watch the movie or read the book again and again.

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The Lost World- Now when I first watched the movie, I thought it was okay and denoted it as my least fav in the series. However, after I read the book,  I had to agree that the movie was better. This book was okay, it moves much slower than the original and doesn’t have as many lovable characters. In this book, Hammond reveals that there is a second island of creatures that survived from the previous book. He sends in Malcolm with a crew of people, and two stowaway kids. This isn’t a horrible book, but just pales in comparison to the original.

Timeline- This is one of my mother’s absolute favorite books, and she would constantly talk about how great it was. I decided that this would be the next book that I would read of Crichton, and it was AMAZING! I love this book so much. We have group of graduate students and archeologists, all working in Medieval history. One is focused on architecture, one on technology, one on fighting, etc. They find an amazing discovery, and are immediately swept off to a secret organization that has produced a technology allowing traveling through time, right back to medieval times. The group goes to find a friend sent before, and find that living history is fun, but also incredibly dangerous. The film was also really good, starring Paul Walker and Gerard Butler, the only thing I disliked about it was that in the book each person encountered what they were studying, helping them further their research. In the movie they cut that out, sadly.

Airframe- Just an ordinary day and an ordinary flight from Hong Kong to Denver. That all changes when it crashes with a hundred injured and three killed. What happened to the flight? It’s up to investigators to discover who was at fault; the plane, the airport, or the pilot?

A Case of Need- This was Crichton’s first novel and utilizes his medical training. The book is set in a Boston Medical Center, where a patient receiving surgery is killed. Is it just an accident or murder?

Congo- Deep in the Congo, near the ancient city of Zinj, eight American geologists are brutally and mysteriously murdered. Karen Ross, the project supervisor back in America, watches video feed of the massacre. In San Francisco, primatologist Peter Elliot has been able to teach a gorilla named Amy over 600 signs, finger painting, etc. Lately, Amy has been acting strangely and painting horrible things, that Peter thinks maybe it is time to take her home. A map from the 17th century supposedly leading to Zinj matches up with Amy’s finger paintings exactly. When all three parties intersect, a strange expedition sets out to discover what holds Zinj. This was made into a less than stellar film, of which I will review in Horrorfest IV.

Disclosure- This is an interesting book, although it doesn’t seem like it in the beginning. Thomas Sander has had a bad day. He is passed over for a promotion by an old flame, and his new tech is having some glitches. When his boss asks him over for drinks, she immediately comes on to him. He refuses, and leaves. The next day she is charging him with sexual harassment and Sanders is fired. Luckily for Sanders, he accidentally recorded what happened and tries to turn the case around and sue his boss. But Sanders start wondering, why would his boss do that? Was she so upset that he turned her down? Or is there more to this case then meets the eye?

Eaters of the Dead- This is a retelling of Beowulf told from the point of an Arab courtier, who finds himself unwilling dragged along a quest to destroy the monster, Grendal. This too was turned into a film I have yet to watch, but starring Antonio Banderas.

Five Patients- This is a non-fiction volume that tells of Crichton’s experiences as an intern at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

The Great Train Robbery- This is another novel that I love. Based on the historical event, Crichton once again is able to meld the account with amazing characters. In this, the charming and persuasive Edward Pierce easily moves through society in Victorian London, all the while plotting the crime of the century…The Great Train Robbery.

Prey- This one of my all-time favorite books. The way Crichton writes it, it is so haunting and amazing. I don’t want to give too much away as you REALLY should read it.

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Jack Forman lost his job and took on being the one taking care of his daughter and the home. His wife works at Xymos Corporation and has been acting weird. Other things start to seem strange, but Jack thinks it is nothing but his imagination. When his wife hires him on, he discovers that the mirco-bots that Xymos produces are not as benign as he was told. In fact, there is much more horrifying things happening than Forman could ever imagine.

Rising Sun-During the grand opening celebration of the new American headquarters of a Japanese company, the dead body of a beautiful woman is found. The investigation begins, and immediately becomes a headlong chase through a twisting maze of industrial intrigue and a violent business battle that takes no prisoners. This two was turned into a film I have yet to view.

Sphere- This book always makes me think of the film Forbidden Planet. In this a spaceship on the floor of the ocean is discovered. Scientists prepare an expedition and head down to the ship, discovering a ship over 300 years old and holding a power much stronger than any could imagine. This power gives them increased abilities and paranoia. One scientists starts using his power to attack the ship and people, but which one? I really, really loved the book and couldn’t stop reading it the first time I had it. They turned this also into a film, of which I have had problems getting my hands on it. When I do see it, you can bet it will be a part of a future Horrorfest.

State of Fear- In this book Crichton spins a tale of political conspiracy. As eco-terrorists and global warming are the biggest issues ands causing all kinds of destruction, one investigator starts wondering if whether this is just a smokescreen for something far more sinister.

The Terminal Man- Harry Benson suffers from horrible seizures that cause violent outbursts. He is experimented on and has electrodes placed deep in his brain’s pleasure centers, effectively short-circuiting Harry’s seizures with pulses of bliss. The surgery is successful, but while Benson is in recovery, he escapes and his violent impulses have grown; leaving a horror in his wake.

Travels- An account of Michael Crichton’s travels abroad and all over the world.

Next- This is his last complete novel and is an amazing story. In a world where we focus on our genes, what diseases we might carry, taking apart our genome; Crichton speaks on how such technology can get out of hand. A man going in for tests ends up having his blood and genes patented and in a sense sells his children into slavery of a company. A man who wins custody from his wife on the basis of her high possibility of becoming afflicted with deadly diseases; and an ape human born of gene splicing.

Pirate Latitudes- This was Crichton’s last book, but was unfinished. It was a “complete” manuscript, but was missing the special Crichton charm that each story has. Jamaica in 1665 is the home of people willing to go after gold and riches of the Spanish and Portuguese. If caught they are pirates, if they make it out with the wealth then England gets a cut and everyone is happy. Captain Edward Hunter is one such type and decides to go after the dangerous island of El Trinidad. A crazy scheme that will have enormous bounty if it succeeds, or incredible death if it fails; leads Captain Hunter and his team on a a swashbuckling adventure.

For more on Michael Crichton, go to Just Follow the Screams: The Lost World (1997)

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The Mentalist

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So I started watching this show on accident. The episode “Red Handed” came on after something else I was watching. In the episode “Red Handed” the CBI (California Bureau of Investigations) team discovers a right hand straddling the California and Nevada state lines. After measuring it, they discover that it is inside the California boundary, and therefore the CBI’s responsibility. After that I was hooked. I caught up on the previous episodes and became a big fan.

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So the series is about Patrick Jane, played by the incredibly handsome Simon Baker, who is a “psychic” consultant to the CBI.

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Patrick Jane has such style. He only drinks tea, he has an Aston Martin, and always dresses amazingly sharp. Anyways, Patrick Jane isn’t really a psychic. He is extremely intelligent and observant, a sort of kind, sweet, and charming Sherlock Holmes. He never went to school, but was raised by his swindler father who touted him a psychic in his carnival show. He married a woman from a similar background and the tweo had a daughter, Charlotte. He went on to make millions off his “psychic ability”. It gained the attention of Red John, a serial killer, who murders his wife and child. This brings Jane to consulting with CBI as he does it from his guilt and in order to get a view of the official files. Red John becomes Jane’s Moriarity as in each season Jane continuously searches for him.

The team is lead by Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney), who is a no-nonsense cop. She is the perfect foil for Jane as Lisbon is tough and serious; while Jane is comedic and more fanciful. They have a platonic relationship, but like Bones and other cop shows there is something simmering under the surface.

Then we have Kimball Cho, who second to Jane is my favorite character. Cho is always reserved and speaks in a monotone.

the mentalist NoNonsense

But he is very intense as well. He is honest, straightfoward, observant, and altogeether awesome. We later find out that there is a lot more to him than meets the eye. He used to be a baseball player, gang member, and Special Forces.

Then we have Wayne Rigsby who is absolutely adorable, sweet, and charming. He was raised by a dad in motorcycle gangs and coming in and out of prison. He’s more relaxed than Cho, but more serious than Jane. He is also in love with fellow team member Grace Van Pelt. Grace Van Pelt is tough, but sweeter than Lisbon. She has a famous father, and tries to live up to his name. She is always focused on the job, but Rigsby constant infatuation starts her thinking of maybe more with him.

I used to watch this every Thursday without fail, but school got in the way and I am way behind in desperate need of catching up. The show just ended this last February, which saddens me as it was an awesome piece of TV.

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Midsomer Murders

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So I love the library.

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When I was in college I would spend hours in the library; working, reading, watching movies or TV shows. The library had a great selection of movies and TV shows that I really utilized. But that library wasn’t enough for me. I also went to the city library for books and films. Every time I went there I would see the DVDs for the show Midsomer Murders and wanted to check them out, but never felt I had the time. This summer as I would write my blog posts on my computer, I would also watch movies and TV shows on my phone. Or at least try to as I had a little screen. One day Midsomer Murders popped up in related videos and I was estatic watching them. Now youtube doesn’t have every episode and I watched them out of order, but I really, really enjoyed the show. When I got another free month on Netflix I started rewatching the episodes and loved it all over again!

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This series is based off a book series and set in England. How their Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI) teams works is that they have a county in which they travel all over investigating, sort of like the Sheriff’s department. Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) is head of the Midsomer unit and is extremely intelligent and excellent at his job. Unfortunately for his wife, a murder tends to occur whenever she wants to do something, causing Barnaby to miss it. He also has a daughter,  Gillie, who is in college and studying to be an actress. He starts out with his assistant being Sgt. Gavin Troy, who I didn’t like as he wasn’t that bright, and same for his second assistant Sgt. Dan Scott. I really liked his third assistant Ben Jones, because he was very smart and actually helped solve the mysteries. The series is ongoing, but I don’t really like the newer episodes as Tom Barnaby retired and his nephew, John Barnaby, took over. He was good, but Tom was way better. Tom had a way of gathering information that made you not realize how intelligent he was until the end when he is the only one who has put the whole picture together. The mysteries were amazing, and often times really puzzling. The only thing that I kept questioning was, how do these small country towns survive with so many deaths? I highly recommend this for any mystery fan.

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Murder She WroteMurderSheWrote

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this show. I grew up watching it and wish they had still played it on TV as I got older as I truly love this show.

Angela Lansbury plays J.B. Fletcher, former high school teacher and now famous mystery author. Every episode Jessica (the J in J.B.) will be minding her own business working on something or visiting a friend and get caught up in a mystery. Usually she can either get someone to share info with her, or is able to have some kind of insight that solves the case. If you love mysteries, then this is a show for you!

For more Murder She Wrote, go to At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heros

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w:outFandoms

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For the previous fangirl post, go to A FANtastic Voyage

Stay tuned for part 11

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I Left My Car in San Francisco

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

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

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.

Mistake Great Gatsby

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.

dean whinchester shrug smile oh well

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

dun-dun-duuuun

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.

dean whinchester shrug smile oh well

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.

pretty please beg

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.

pretty please beg

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.

facepalm Star trek

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!

A Whole Lot of Fanfare

Benedict-Cumberbatch-people-obsessedFandom

So here we are in part four of my fandom posts. You know, I originally planned this as one post and now I am laughing at myself for even thinking that. I guess I didn’t realize how many things I loved. It seems that every time I start on another post, I add like three more things to the list. Well I hope you all are enjoying these and that it sparks your interest in checking these things out.

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Agatha Christie

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Agatha Christie is one of my favorite authors. She revolutionized the way mysteries are written, and created a wonderful collection of characters. Not only are her plots amazing, but I like how she presents all the information to you that she gives her detective characters, putting the two of you on equal footing. Although, Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot tend to always be smarter. She also does not shy away from doing extremely radical ideas, such as having a child be the killer or having a part of the narration be through the killer (although at the time you don’t realize that person is the killer.) Her work is so great that every time I am in a bookstore I hunt down her books as I hope to one day own them all. I strongly recommend reading any of her novels. When you start one, you just can’t stop.

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I’m such a fan that I have not only read her mysteries (and watched the films and TV series) but I have read her biography and romance novels that she wrote prior to the mysteries.

Here are a few that I absolutely love: The Mysterious Affair at Styles, The Secret Adversary, The Secret of  Chimneys, Murder on the Links, The Murder at the Vicarage, The Sittaford Mystery aka Murder at Hazelmoor, Peril at End House, Murder on the Orient Express, Why Didn’t They Ask Evans aka The Boomerang ClueDumb Witness, Death on the Nile, Appointment With Death, Hercule Poirot’s Christmas aka A Holiday for Murder aka Murder for ChristmasAnd Then There Were None aka Ten Little Indians, One Two Buckle My Shoe aka Patriotic Murders aka An Overdose of DeathThe Body in the Library, Murder in Retrospect aka Five Little PigsThe Moving Finger, Murder After Hours aka The HollowCrooked House, Murder is Announced, They Came to Baghdad, Funerals Are Fatal aka After the FuneralWhat Mrs. McGillicudy Saw aka 4:50 from PaddingtonThird Girl, Nemesis, Curtain, and Sleeping Murder. I know that seems like a lot, but there is so much more of her books I could have also included.

For more on Agatha Christie, go to Quite a Horror Story: Agatha Christie’s Poirot Hallowe’en Party (2011)

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Awkward

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So I was a huge fan and fangirled over the first season of this show. After that, it kinda went downhill for me and I stopped watching it, so I have no idea how it is now. But that first season, that first season is gold.

So I was flipping channels one day and just happened upon Awkward. As I was watching the episode I decided that I would watch the first one to see what’s what, and that’s it. I was hooked.

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I watched all the episodes I could to catch up, and then reached the point where I had to be like all the other fans and watch one by one.

come on

And I was a mega-fan. I actually went on the message boards.

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I would write constantly my thoughts on the episodes, how I felt about the whole love triangle, who I wanted her to end up with, and promoting the J-train all the way (will explain in a minute).

So what is the show about? Well, Awkward is about Jenna Hamilton, nerd girl, who hopes this year will be different. Jenna has had a crush on this guy Matty McKibbon, forever.

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She is surprised when at summer camp he wants to have sex with her. She thinks that maybe this could work out, this could happen, but nope. After Matty gets what he wants he ignores her.

Jerk

She gets home and gets this horrible letter stating everything wrong with her. She is reading it in the bathroom when she accidentally slips and falls. The big prob, her blow dryer fell in the tub, she spilled all her razors and asprins, etc. It looks like she was trying to commit suicide.

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Everyone thinks she was trying to commit suicide, even though she keeps telling them she wasn’t. Now she has to go to counseling sessions all the time.

Not only that, but she constantly picked on by the most popular girl in school, Sadie, who is jealous of how pretty Jenna is. Now this was one of the reasons why I liked this show. Jenna reminded me of a more sexually active (as I abstain) and more passive version of myself. As I was bullied too by other girls. Of course, I would have reacted differently.

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Now to further the drama of the year she has the guy issues. First there is Matty who only uses her for sex.

Funny-how-you call when need something cable guy

He never wants to publicly be seen with her, never acknowledges her, and puts her down in front of everyone.

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Then you have Jake. The two start of as friends, then Jake realizes he has feelings for her.

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He breaks up with his girlfriend and tries to date her, never pressuring her for anything, not caring who knows he likes her, etc.

Perfect Boyfriend

And now Matty gets mad. As soon as Jake mentions he’s into Jenna, now Matty is into Jenna. Eventually it all comes down to Jenna having to make a decision as to which boy to pick. And I of course was all about Jenna and Jake, the J-train as us fans called it. Jake was just so perfect!

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Sweet, sensitive, funny, and completely secure in himself that he didn’t care what anyone said about him dating Jenna. Plus, the best thing ever: he showed Jenna that a relationship is more than sex. Sure that’s what he wants, but he can wait a long time, making sure he got to know the person, before he did anything.

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So season one was great, and ended perfectly.

Season two was where I had issues. Matty purposely tries to do stuff to break the two up as he wants to be with Jenna. That whole, you have it I want it.

And not only that, the kept writing it so Jenna was unsure if maybe Matty really loved her and that’s the guy she should be with.

Girl Please

This dude only wanted you for sex! Only sex. He never wanted to have a conversation. He didn’t care how you felt. He paraded other girls in front of you. He treated you horribly! Horribly! And you think that’s love?

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Plus he was too ashamed to even be seen with you.

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And, and he made fun of you in front of the whole school!

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He is a horrible human being.

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So like I said, I stopped watching it. First season is golden! And that is where it ends for me in my mind. So defintely check out the first season, the rest of it depends really whether you are a Matty or a Jake fan. J-train all the way!

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Deadwood

Deadwood

Deadwood was one of those series that ended too soon. It lasted only a season, but was so cool. It tells the history of Deadwood, South Dakota; one of the most famous Western towns.They combine a lot of historical figures; such as Seth Bullock, Al Swearengen, Wild Bill Hickok, Sol Star, Calamity Jane, Wyatt Earp,George Crook, E. B. Farnum, Charlie Utter, Jack McCall, and George Hearst; along with blending it with fictional people. It’s not 100% accurate, but is really awesome! I loved this show as I love practically anything Western. Plus it has the handsome Timothy Olyphant.

This doesn't feel right.

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Diagnosis Murder

Diagnosis Murder

Diagnosis Murder was one of my absolute favorite TV shows growing up. It came on every Thursday night on PAX, now ION, and it was the only time that my parents would let us stay up past our bedtimes on a school night.

Dr. Mark Sloane (Dick Van Dyke) is the super intelligent doctor at Community General Hospital in Los Angeles, CA. He always loved mysteries and wanted to be a detective, achieving this dream by helping his police detective son, Steve (played by his real son Barry Van Dyke). The two are rounded out by Dr. Amanda Bentley (Victoria Rowell), the medical examiner; and Jack Stewart (Scott Baio); guy from a crime family turning on that life and making something of himself. Jack ended up leaving to go to Denver, and they brought on Jesse Travis(played by Charlie Schlatter), my second favorite character. Jesse is the sweet, handsome, and adorable resident at Community General, and later head of the Emergency Room.

It was one awesome show that balanced mystery, medicine, and crime. You used to be able to watch them all on Youtube, but for some strange reason they took them down. 😦

But if you can get a chance, you should definitely check it out.

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Frank Peretti

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Frank Peretti is one of my favorite authors. In fact I was able to meet him once and totally fangirled over him. But he was super nice as he autographed my books and actually spent a long time talking to me. It made the other people in line mad, and I can’t blame them, but I didn’t care as I had just met FRANK PERETTI!

Double double yay

Frank Peretti started out being a pastor, but discovered that it wasn’t the life for him. He drifted from job to job, and while working in a snowshoe factory he wrote his first novel, This Present Darkness. He has now written over 30 books for adults, teens, and children. His books are amazing as they always have great, realistic characters, action, adventure, suspense, and a moral message. Everytime I read his works I feel great! Although also like this:

Fangirlfinishedreadingwhattodonow

So I haven’t read everything, but I’ll tell you what I think about the things I have read.

Hangman’s Curse– This was the first of the Peretti novels I read, and when I read this one I was hooked. The Springfield family of four- mom, dad, teenage twins (boy and girl), work for the government as an undercover unit to infiltrate places the FBI, CIA, and Police departments can’t. A sort of 21 Jump Street. They are sent to a small town to investigate the mysterious deaths of students. Students who are bullying others, are being killed. How? By a ghost of a student who hung himself. Or at least that is what everyone is saying. When the team goes in, they discover that there is much more to this plot then they could ever have imagined.

It was an amazing book! Suspenseful, supernatural, action, etc. It had me on the edge of my seat furiously flipping pages to discover what happens next. And the ending is so unexpected and fantastic!

This book was turned into a movie, in which it was absolutely amazing. I’ve been meaning to do a post on it for Horrorfest, and will soon.

Nightmare Academy– A healthy, extremely intelligent boy runs away from home and is found a few months later naked, incoherent, and with the mental capacities of a one-year old. The only thing he seems to remember is two words-Nightmare Academy. The government calls upon the Springfield family, who once again go undercover. The twins pretend to be runaways and are approached by a woman from the Knight-Moore Academy. They agree to go, but this school is more sinister than they imagine. The two are drugged and wake up in a place where there are no morals, no truths, but a world where anything you believe is right is right, and absolutes are non-existent. Their parents had been keeping an eye on the twins, but find they’d been carried away right under their noses and there is no trace that they even existed. Who are these people? What are they doing to the kids?

This books was freakin’ amazing.

love it

It is suspenseful, it is mind-boggling, it is realistic, is crazy…I could go on. Let me just say that if any of you are a fan of Hunger Games, Maze Runner, or Divergent this will totally be something you’d love.

This Present Darkness– His first novel and a really amazing one. In this book a small town becomes the battleground in a war between the angels and demons. A collection of people want to take over the town and its college in order to indoctrinate the students into believing their untruths. On the other side of the battle is an agnostic editor, Marshall, and his star reporter, Bernice, trying to figure out what is going on in the town as nothing sits right with them. Fighting alongside, but unbeknowest to them, is Hank, the pastor of a little church and a true prayer warrior. It has action, comedy, suspense, drama, and the supernatural

Piercing the Darkness The sequel to This Present Darkness. In this novel, a group of people are set on closing down a Christian school, removing kids from a widowed Christian teacher, and causing their school material to be the only thing taught. Once again people find themselves fighting in the earthly and spiritual realm. This book is its own story with its own characters, but Peretti does bring back a few favorites such as Marshall, Hank, and Bernice. It was a great read, and almost as good as the original.

Prophet– John Barrett is the attractive and most popular news anchor on his station. He is estranged from his father and son, but in everything else doing absolutely splendid. Money, fame, adoring fans. Everything changes when his father dies, and no one seems to find the circumstances suspicious. Later he finds out that his news station is being selective in what has actually occurred and changing stories so they are sensational, instead of truthful. This causes John to start looking for the real truth and sets him down a path he never thought he would ever go down. It was a great book that sucks you in.

The Visitation– I have yet to read this, as you all know my to-read list is in the millions, but I have seen the film. In this a man comes to town who seems to have miraculous powers and claims to be the son of God, Jesus. Yet, there is more to this man than meets the eye. The film was amazingly good and you can all expect a review of it to be coming in some future Horrorfest.

House– House is actually a collabaration between Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker (the Christian version of Stephan King). This is not my all-time favorite books of his, mostly because Ted Dekkar style really doesn’t suit me. He’s just a bit too dark. I wouldn’t read this until I had finished all of Frank Peretti’s other books. They made a movie out of this and it was on Amazon Instant Watch, a while back, but I couldn’t watch it. I’ll get around to it eventually, and you’ll probably see it popping up on a future Horrorfest.

For more on Frank Peritti, go to A Little Bit of Love

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The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

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I can still sing the intro to this show 100% perfectly. Oh I loved this show growing up, and of course Will Smith. I think everyone was in love with him, I mean come on funny and attractive? Carlton was another of my favorites because he was so incredibly straightlaced. And don’t forget Geoffrey the sarcastic butler. But wait…I’m getting ahead of myself

So the story is about Will (played by Will Smith) who in West Philidelphia was born and raised. And on the playground is where he spent ost of his days. Chillin’ out, maxin’, relaxin’ all cool-shooting some b-ball outside of school. Then a couple of guys who were up to no good, started making trouble in the neighborhood. He got in one little fight and his mom got scared, and said your moving with your auntie and uncle in Bel-Air.

His uncle Phil and Aunt Viv grew up poor, but have moved up the social ladder-him a judge and her a professor, and are now rich. They at times seem to have forgotten their past, which Will reminds them of.

Their oldest daughter is Hilary, vapid, only cares about shopping, and for lack of a better word-bimbo. She is sweet and always providing comic relief.

Their second child is Carleton, who is about the same age as Will and always butting heads with him. Carlton is a super prep, nerd, ultra-conservative; but extremely hilarious. And a great dancer.

In fact “The Carlton” was so popular they reprised it on Dancing With the Stars.

Just Dance you guys need to add this to your repitoire.

The youngest child is Ashley. Ashley is still trying to figure out who she is and, as her siblings are older and in that phase where they want nothing to do with their younger sis, she gets really close to Will and bonds with him. She ends up with a singing career, encouraged by Will.

And rounding out the the household is the British, sarcastic butler. Hmm…I wonder who had it first? FPBA or The Nanny?

Anyways, it was a hilarious show and the essence of the ’90s.

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LifeasaFangirl

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For Part 3, go to Fantastic Fantasies

Stay tuned for Part 5

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For more posts on my love of books, go to A Sad and Lonely Place

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Over and Over Again

What is This Thing?: Phantoms (1998)

Just what is this thing? Chaos, chaos in the flesh.

Phantoms is a 1998 film that is based on the book by Dean Koontz. The story is very creepy, and I was surprised at how well the film was done. I thought it was going to be done in a very stupid, silly way; but it was the essence of creepiness. The only thing I didn’t care for was Liev Schreiber, I felt that he didn’t portray the character very well in the beginning. I wouldn’t have chosen Rose McGowan either, but she did surprisingly well. I loved Ben Affleck as the sexy Sheriff and love interest. I love Ben Affleck though, I mean who doesn’t? They changed the film from the book, as expected, but the changes do not destroy the film, thank goodness. If you’d like to watch the film go here. So the film starts out with Dr. Jennifer Pailey bringing her trouble-making sister Lisa to live with her. They are hoping the change of scenery will help straighten her out as she was involved with gang members in Los Angelas.

I want to go back to LA

When they reach the town, it is empty. Like really empty. There is no one out and about even though they are in a ski town, in the middle of winter with great snow.

Gilmore girls creep

They continue on home. When Jennifer gets there she finds her housekeeper dead. All the life had been sucked out of her and she looks burned.

[Note: Pic from The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms not Phantoms

[Note: Pic from The Giant Behemoth not Phantoms]

OMG

The girls are widely freaked and decided to head to the sheriff’s. But there is one problem, their car won’t work.

Oh no!

Oh no!

The girls hurry on to the sheriff’s office where they find a deputy, burned and blackened. He appears to have shot his gun at something, but they don’t find any traces of it, except shells. Dr. Jennifer grabs a gun and the two run off to the bakery, as it is getting dark and they are really freaked out. They head to the baker’s, running quickly as they hear sounds as if someone is following them. When they get there the oven goes off revealing severed heads!

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

AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!

The girls are completely grossed out and confused when the Sheriff (who ex-FBI) finds them.

Hello Sexy!

Hello Sexy!

With him are his two deputies Steve Shanning (Nicky Katt) and Stuart Wargle (Liev Shreiber) have come to investigate. They decide the best thing to do is go to the sheriff’s department, and just when they do every single horn, siren, whistle, bell, etc. goes off and then suddenly stops. The only lights left on are down on the Candleglow Inn up the street.

What the

They check it out and see that only four guests are registered. The Sheriff and Stu go upstairs, while the girls stay behind with deputy Steve.

While the sheriff is upstairs he goes into a room and starts looking through an opening in a closet. When he does he sees a vision of a young boy with a gun, which disappers. You see when the Sheriff was FBI he accidentally shot a boy, which made him quit and turn to small town life.

Aw! Look at his face. :(

Aw! Look at his face. 😦

Stu goes in the other room and finds a beautiful, dead woman. He sits next to her and puts his hand up her leg…

ew! Gross Yuck

What a perv!

Certified Creepo Ribbon

Then the Sheriff walks in. He lets it go, even though he is severely grossed out as he knows what Stu was doing, but he needs every man he can get as he has no idea what the situation is.

The Sheriff has Stu watch the hall as he continues checking things out. Stu comes on to Lisa who tells him flat out no, she is not digging that.

I don't think so

Dr. Jennifer joins the Sheriff and they discover that a bathroom locked from the inside (that has no other windows or doors) is empty, with something written on the mirror in lipstick. The writing says “Dr. Timothy Flyte–The Ancient Enemy“.

Phantoms Timothy Flyte Ancient Enemy mirror Note

 

The two have no idea who Dr. Flyte is but intend on finding out.  In another empty room they find a bunch of metal objects like jewelry, buttons, watches, gold teeth, a pacemaker, etc.; concluding that this thing, whatever it is strips a person completely of everything, if it chooses.

EW!

EW!

They go back into the lobby to regroup and figure out their next step. But then they suddenly hear a woman crying out “Help me!” and Deputy Steve rushes out to save her. The Sheriff follows him, but when he gets outside all that is left of Steve is his shoes and a gun.

What the

They head back to the Sheriff’s office and put the dead deputy in a body bag. They then call for help–military, Dr. Flyte, anybody, but the line was so bad they don’t know whether or not it went through.

AAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!

AAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!! [Note: from When a Stranger Calls not Phantoms]

Bryce and Stu go through the dept. and pull out all their ammunition getting ready for–whatever the thing is that is trying to attack them. The lights go out and the creature takes on a Alien/The Thing (1982) feel. The next thing you know, Stu is dead.

victim

Too be honest, good riddance. He was a creep and I didn’t like him.

IDon'tTrustHimGreatGatsby

They also put Stu in a body bag and wait out the night.

We then switch to another part of the country- Dr. Flyte. Dr. Flyte (Peter O’Toole) is a tabloid worker in New York City. He used to a professor at Oxford, but they let him go as they felt his writings were “too silly”.

Phantoms Swine Peter O' Toole

 

Two FBI agents ask him to go to the small, winter, town of Snowfield to help solve what the “thing” is.

Back in Snowfield the three survivors are trying to figure out what to do next. Lisa tries to take a nap while the Sheriff tells Dr. Jen about how the monster called up the incident with the young boy. The two are interrupted when Lisa asks the Sherif to walk with her to the bathroom. He checks it and finds it clear. Lisa begins to smoke when she hears a squealing noise coming out of the drain.

Psycho-Shower

She checks out the bathroom stalls (much like Scream) and finds the Deputy Stu there!

im-back

 

Scream-Casey-Becker-drew-barrymore-31896958-2560-1088

In the book the “Phantom thing” was more like the Blob from The Blob (1958); although it could take on the shape of other things, or create small phantom pieces of itself. In the film, however, the “Phantom” embodies the form of Stu, which is understandable from a filmmaker point of view. It doesn’t copying The Blob at all, as I mentioned earlier copying The Thing. Just like The Thing, the “phantom” takes on the appearance of something. This wasn’t a horrible decision as I bet it was easier to film. They also did a lot of blackout or limited lighting when the creature was in its true form, which allowed it to remain creepy as your imagination creates it. The director of It (1990)  should have used the same technique, it would have been a better film.

I didn’t really care for Liev Schreiber, and thought he could have been much creepier. Instead he just comes off as a pervert. This film has actually ruined him for me in all other films. When I watch Kate & LeopoldScream, Scream 2, Scream 3, Lee Daniel’s the Butler, or X-Men Origins: Wolverine; I keep expecting him to do something perverted to all the women.

Yes I am

Yes I am

Anyways, back to the story. So the Sheriff goes into the bathroom and can’t find anything. They go down to check the body bags, but both are empty.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

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

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

Meanwhile Dr. Flyte is on route to Snowfield with military General Leland Copperfield, some mobile labs, an armored strike van, etc–all ready to take on whatever the “thing” is. They ask Dr. Flyte about “the Ancient Enemy”. Dr. Flyte explains that there were creatures, he calls “Ancient Enemy” who are amoeboid shapeshifters. This Ancient Enemy rarely feeds, but when it does, the effects are devastating and it was theorized that the Enemy either caused or aided in the extinction of the dinosaurs, the destruction of the Mayan civilizationRoanoke disappearance, the missing army of Nanking, China in 1939, etc. And the town appears to have been built on the home of one of these “Ancient Enemies”.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

The group arrives to Snowfield and the three survivors come to meet the army. The next thing you know, “the thing” has taken out almost the whole team using its shape-shifting qualities and the pipes/sewers. Now these scenes are pretty intense. I was watching them and screaming and my roommates were all, are you ok? I highly recommend watching this film.

General Copperfield is last of the military to be killed; as a pair of oily black tentacles seeps up through the pavement, penetrates his hazmat suit, and smothers him.

[Note: From The Mist]

[Note: From The Mist]

This leaves Dr. Flyte, Sheriff Bryce, Jenny, and Lisa as the remaining survivors..

He’s dead but the “Phantom” uses his body as a mouthpiece and begins speaking to the crowd.

 “My Flesh. Study it. Write the gospel. But do not try to leave. Witnesses to the Miracle.”

Phantoms

The body then falls to the ground and an oily black substance comes out along with a gecko, of which the group is supposed to get a sample of. Dr. Flyte begins to analyze the sample, coming to the conclusion it has lived in the depths of the earth for eons, growing to immense size, and absorbing knowledge from its prey. It can separate off parts of Itself to send as drones, warriors, phantoms, etc.–having them assume the shapes of anything or anyone It has absorbed; even of people or monsters from memories and dreams.With these, It has manipulated Bryce, Jenny, and Lisa into bringing Dr. Flyte here, to be Its prophet, and to write Its gospel. For It has begun to think of Itself as God–or the Devil. Indestructible. All-Powerful. Immortal. Unstoppable.

This is bad. Very bad.

This is bad. Very bad.

Dr. Flyte’s analysis reveals that It is similar to oil and if they are able to make the same kind of bacteria that eats away at oil spills, they may just have a chance at stopping it. They create cultures and prepare for the final battle.

Dr. Flyte goes out and calls to the creature.

Fantomy_Phantoms_1998_1266246010-25163.jpg

He tells It that he needs to see all of it in order to write Its “gospel”. He says that the others are creating a weapon against It, that they don’t believe in It like he does. It appears first as a single person, but then becomes all 400 residents of the town, merging and melding into one swirling mass, which resolves Itself into an immense, hideous, upright millipede.

The Sheriff, Jenny and Lisa run and fire the guns loaded with the bacteria culture  into It. This causes It to scream.  Jenny and Lisa run for shelter into the nearby deputy’s office, to reload their guns but are pursued by a drone of Deputy Stu.

Deputy Wargle: Oh, you've got some guns, ladies, you wouldn't shoot an unarmed man, would you? [both women cock shotguns and point them at him] Deputy Wargle: That's a dumb question.

Deputy Wargle: Oh, you’ve got some guns, ladies, you wouldn’t shoot an unarmed man, would you? [both women cock shotguns and point them at him] That’s a dumb question.

They empty their shotguns into him, knocking him down, and blowing away huge chunks of his legs and arms. Tentacles shoot out of his arm and leg stumps. The girls run away and and he follows, but is killed by Dr. Jen as she shoots him with the last of the culture.

The bigger entity is falling apart and the Sheriff follows the last of It down into the sewer, finding him face to face with the boy that he killed. He hesitates, and while he does so, a tentacle shoots out of the boy’s mouth, and knocks him down. His gun with the culture is stolen by It. It pulls the vials out and starts taunting the Sheriff. In response to It’s mockings the Sheriff pulls out his gun and shoots the vials, causing the bacteria to spread all over.

Hello Sexy!

With one final ear-shattering scream It is gone, and Bryce makes his way back to the others. As a helicopter arrives to rescue them, Dr. Flyte announces to the others that the Entity has won after all: It wanted him to tell the world, and that’s just what he’s going to do. Everything seems to end well, or well enough. Dr. Flyte has his story and will win back his prestige; Sheriff Bryce  is no longer traumatized about killing the boy; Dr. Jen and Sheriff Bryce have found each other; and Lisa and Dr. Jen have bonded. Sounds as perfect an ending you can get for a horror film.

TheEnd_Title_2

Uh, uh uh. Not quite yet!

We switch to a scene in a bar where Dr. Flyte is in TV talking about It and how it may still be out there waiting. One of the guys in the bar turns to his companion and says its a lot of hooey. A strange laugh is heard and at the end of the bar is Deputy Stu Wrangle, showing that It is still alive.

dun-dun-duuuun

So it really was a good film, and I’m telling you the scenes with the creature are super creepy!!! You’ll love them if you love scary movies!

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So unlike the other facebook cover pages I have made (and you should have guessed by now that practically every post has one) I made two for this one as the first one wasn’t working out right. Here’s the second one for those of you interested.

1998_phantoms-

Comment below which you think is better!

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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 Unleash the Savage Instincts That Lie Hidden Within

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For more monster movies, go to Let Them Fight

For more films based on books, go tA Bit Pottery About Jane Austen

For more on Rose McGowan, go to What’s Your Favorite Scary Movie?

For more on Ben Affleck, go to Pot o’ Gold