Better Than Asprin

Yep sometimes I feel down and stressed.

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

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

But then I remember something that always helps me:

NervousBreakdownTea

Yep:

CupofTeaFeelBetter

After all:

whereteaishope

Yep the best medicine in life:

keepcalmputthekettleontea

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For more on team go to My Teaddiction (Tea Addiction)

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The After Party

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Every young girl knows that a dance is split up into three parts. 1) Prep: Getting ready with hair + makeup. 2) The Dance itself. And 3) The After Party. Now I’m not talking about an “after party, after party”, but when its over you hang with your girlfriends and hash over the whole events.

girlieButLoveit BuffyVS

It was just as true 203 years ago as it is today. Yep in Pride and Prejudice after the ball, the girls do what every young girl after a dance does, DISCUSS IT!

So everyone finds the ball a complete success.

Finally something GOOD!

Finally something GOOD!

Jane danced with Mr. Bingley twice! Not once but TWICE!!!

keanu Whoa

If you remember from my earlier post, First Impressions, I discussed how dancing showed you were open to getting married. The women you danced with, showed your interest in them. By dancing with Jane, Mr. Bingley declared to the world that he was most def interested in pursuing Jane. Kind of the equivalent of:

How_you_doin'

Mary was called one of the most accomplished ladies from the neighborhood.

Finally something GOOD!

Now if you remember from my post Parental Favoritism and Just Can’t Get a Break Mary always gets the short end of the stick.

mary_bennetCan't get a break

So finally, she is able to get a good word and be appreciated for talents. This is steering her away from having a breakdown and trying to destroy her village. Not everyone is that lucky to be complimented on their talents.

Exhibit A: The Phantom of the Opera

Phantom of the Opera

Exhibit B: Queen of Outer Space

Queen of outer space

Now Kitty never was without a partner. And what 15-year old isn’t pleased with that. Heck, who doesn’t love knowing that they are hot and in demand.

hot pretty sexy

The same goes for Lydia. No wallflower here. Although with Lydia she doesn’t just think she is hot, she thinks she is the best of the best.

DDontHateme cause beautiful boy meets world

And that leaves us with Elizabeth.

ouch Hermione

Yep poor, poor, Lizzie.

Sadface Batman

Yeah she didn’t have the best of the night. Yeah Darcy did a real number on her pride. But Lizzie like all great sisters, puts aside her feelings and is all about being happy for Jane.

Frozen Sacrifice self love you sisters

Besides, Elizabeth knows like any other girl who has had a bad time at a dance. There will be plenty more.

under capricorn ball

And you may meet a special someone:

stranger Twin peaks

Or just have an amazing time with your friends:

Dance fun friends photo model behavior DCOM

Yep, nothing to stress over. Just have fun!

Double double yay

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For more on Pride and Prejudice, go to Oh NO YOU DIDN’T!

For more on Elizabeth Bennet, go to First Impressions

For more on Jane Bennet, go to Parental Favoritism

For more on Mary Bennet, go to Just Can’t Get a Break

For more on Kitty Bennet, go to Flu Season

For more on Lydia Bennet, go to Food, Food, Food!

For more of my favorite songs, go to The Animal I Have Become

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In other news this marks my 400th post! That’s quite a lot. I can’t believe I’ve been able to accomplish that many. Yay Me! And Yay all of you who read this blog!

400 celebration monument

 

For post 300, go to That’s What You Get

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

Scream3_ver2

What do you know about trilogies? You mean like movie trilogies…Well, all I know about trilogies is that in the third one, all bets are off.

So welcome to another Scream-tastic Saturday! (For the previous Saturdays, go to Scream and Scream 2)

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

Yep the third installment in this now trilogy, Scream 3.

While this was a great horror parody, it wasn’t my favorite of the three. I thought it was okay, as it had Patrick Dempsey, but didn’t like how it was missing one of the best characters: Randy.

Randy

So this one is a complete throw out of left field, as it is the third film. This time we have the secret backstory that changes all that was ever given to us in the first two.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

In fact Wes Craven actually filmed three different endings and didn’t tell the cast which one he was going to use. It was one big surprise.

Scream 3 takes place three years after Scream 2. If you recall from Scream 2, Cotton Weary is exonerated and Sidney agreed to do that interview with him. Well, that really helped as now Cotton hosts his own nationally syndicated talk show, called 100% Cotton.

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

That’s really the name they went with? I know its catchy, but it sounds more like an underwear commercial than a real show.

felix_the_cat_laughing

Anyways, back to the plot. He gets a phone call that starts out benign, but then quickly turns deadly.

Look at that smile!

Cotton Weary: Who’s this?

Female Caller: Who’s this?

Cotton Weary: Who are you calling?

Female Caller: Oh, you know what, I’ve got the wrong number.

Cotton Weary: That’s okay.

Female Caller: Wait, your voice. You sound a lot like that guy on TV, uh, Cotton Weary.

Cotton Weary: I do huh?

Female Caller: Yeah, I think he’s got a really sexy voice.

Cotton Weary: [laughs] Okay, well, thank you.

Female Caller: Wait a minute. You are Cotton, aren’t you? Oh my God, I am talking to Cotton Weary.

Cotton Weary: [laugh] You caught me. Listen can you hold on for a minute? I got someone on the other line.

Female Caller: Yeah…

Cotton Weary: Hold on.

Cotton Weary: [switches to car phone] Andrea, I got someone on the other line. I’ll have to call you back [switches back to cell phone] So… you a 100% Cotton fan?

Female Caller: Yeah, 110%.

Cotton Weary: [chuckle] That’s very good. So, uh… Why don’t you tell me your name?

Female Caller: Ooh, you’re a naughty boy, Cotton. Now, what would your girlfriend think?

Cotton Weary: What makes you think I have a girlfriend?

Phone Voice: [click] I know you do. I’m right outside her bathroom door. She’s in the shower. She’s got a nice little… voice. Let’s go in for a closer look. Ooh, she’s very, very pretty, Cotton. A step up from Maureen Prescott. Speaking of which, let’s play a game. Answer right, your girlfriend lives, answer wrong she dies. Where’s Maureen’s daughter, Sidney?

Cotton Weary: Who the f*** is this?

Phone Voice: Someone who would kill to know where Sidney Prescott is. You’ve got connections. One chance, Cotton. Where is she?

Cotton Weary: Listen to me, you son of a b****, if you touch Christine, I’ll f****** kill you.

Phone Voice: Wrong answer! [click; dead line]

LOL Cotton and Cotton

LOL Cotton and Cotton 100% Cotton

Cotton rushes home to try and reach his girlfriend.

Now Christine the girlfriend is pretty stupid. She doesn’t lock her bathroom when she takes a shower? Who does that? Everyone does!

Ren Stevens: What? Honey, you're chased by six mutants, and you just decided to take a shower?

Ren Stevens: What? Honey, you’re chased by six mutants, and you just decided to take a shower?

Pretty much she gets killed, Psycho-style.

Psycho-Shower

Making her

Victim #1

Victim #1

Ghostface attacks!

Ghostface attacks!

Cotton is soon to follow.

Victim #2

Victim #2

Now that begs the question, where is Sidney? What happened to her?

Suspense have to know

So Sidney had a major breakdown and faced a lot of changes since the last film. Let’s review. She had a killer target her again. She thought it might be her boyfriend. She watched her best friend die. She watched her boyfriend die. Someone who she thought was her friend, turned out to be a “sleeper agent” and tried to murder her. She almost died.

ouch Hermione

Yeah…that’s a lot to deal with a lot.

I don't know what to do

In fact, so much to deal with that Sidney has moved very, very far away to a secluded spot and only a handful have an idea of where she is. What she does for a living is work with a suicide prevention hotline. She gets one call a day. Today’s call isn’t the usual…its THE caller.

When-a-Stranger-Calls-s01

When a Stranger Calls

She hears about what happened to Cotton and realizes, it’s happening again.

scream 2 start again

Currently in Hollywood they are creating another Stab film, Stab 3, based on the true events of Scream 2. Cotton was one of the producers, so the cops have been checking it out. One cop is Mark Kincaid, played by Patrick Dempsey. In fact just like Mark Wahlberg in The Lovely Bones, Dempsey was hired the night before and had to figure the character out without any real ideas of the script. Anyways, Kincaid has been using Gale Weathers for background info as they found a photo of Sidney’s mother Maureen at the crime scene. Gale journeys out to Hollywood and when she gets there she discovers Dewey is there. Yep, the two broke up as Dewey didn’t like how she treats people. He is working as a consultant for the film, and dating the actress playing Gale Weathers that looks just like her, Jennifer Jolie.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

 Meanwhile on the set of Stab 3, one of the blond bimbos enters an office looking for someone and gets murdered.

Victim #3

Victim #3

Yep, this killer wastes very little time as later at Jennifer Jolie’s house her bodyguard gets a phone call and is murdered by ghostface.

Victim #4

Victim #4

The bodies are just dropping like flies. I wasn’t going to post this, but I feel like I can’t go any farther as this song is running through my brain nonstop.

To add to the intensity of this particular Ghostface is that he then blows up Jennifer Jolie’s house

OMG

The killer tries to attack Gale, but Dewey saves her by shooting at him.

Meanwhile, Sidney’s back. The attacks and calls encouraged her to come back and help find the killer. She and Mark clash at first a bit.

Sidney: What do you know about trilogies?

Mark: You mean like movie trilogies?

Sidney: You seem to like movies, Detective.

Mark: Call me “Mark”, will you? ‘Cause I’m gonna keep calling you Sidney.

Sidney: I’ll call you “Mark” when you catch the killer, Detective.

Mark: Well, all I know about trilogies is that in the third one, all bets are off.

Sidney: Did you request this case?

Mark: No. They tend to put me on the ones that deal with the business. I grew up here and I know my way around the studios.

Sidney: Must be exciting. Beautiful place, beautiful people.

Mark: To me, Hollywood is about death.

Sidney: Excuse me?

Mark: I’m a homicide cop. When you see what I see day in and day out, the violence that people do to each other, you get haunted. I think you know about that.

Sidney: What do you mean?

Mark: I know what it’s like to see ghosts that don’t go away, to be watching a scary movie in your head, whether you want to or not, watching it alone.

Sidney: Ghosts are tough. You can’t shoot ghosts.

Mark: Can’t arrest ghosts. But the trick to keep from getting haunted is to be with people. You’re here, you’re not in hiding. You’ve done the right thing… Miss Prescott. What did you know about your Mother?

Sidney: I always thought I had the perfect Mom, the perfect family until I found out I was wrong. She had a secret life and I tried to understand that. And… soon as I thought… then I had more secrets. I don’t know who my Mom was.

Mark: You knew who she was to you. Here’s the deal: I’m off to search the set. I think that what you saw is real. That’s the good news.

Sidney: How’s that good news?

Mark: Because it means that we are dealing with a flesh and blood killer, and I know how to handle guys like that.

Sidney: Oh, yeah. How?

Mark: Catch him or kill him.

Sidney: Hey, Detective? What’s your favorite scary movie?

Mark: My life.

Sidney: Mine, too.”

And that brings up a very interesting concept. What are the rules for a trilogy? How should we do this? Last time we had Randy to lead us, but now what are we going to do? Poor Randy! Best character ever! Oh, Randy! Randy nooooooooo!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

So what Craven decided to do is to bring Randy into the film via video recording.

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

That’s how you gonna do it? That’s it? That’s really it?

Darcy P&P OMG Can't Even

 

The original idea was to have Randy survive the stabbing in Scream 2, his family having rescued him secretly. This was ultimately deemed to be too far-fetched so Randy was resurrected via a post-mortem video appearance instead. They knew they had to bring him back as the fans loved him. In fact Wes Craven got a ton of hate mail for killing off Randy, and thought this would appease the fans. Yeah you dunderheads, you made a big mistake.

big mistake

Well you know what would have been an even better idea? NOT KILLING HIM!!!!!!!!

Mhm great gatsby

So here we go. Rules for a trilogy.

So Gale is eager to do some investigative reporting and finds herself being followed by Jennifer Jolie. Jolie wants to really “get into” her role. Great for Jolie, bad for Gale.

Ugh

Ugh

I’m sure she would rather be punched in the face by Sidney.

Scream-Punch

So they go down to the archives and we have the funniest scene in the whole film.

Sidney also gets attacked by the killer.

Scream

She gets away and goes down to police headquarters to make a statement. At this point in time Sidney discovers that Mark Kincaid has a lot of newspaper clips and info on her. It creeps her out and makes her wonder whether or not he is the killer.

Scream 2 Doubts

But it turns out her story and survival had intrigued him and he fell for her. Just like Det. Lt. Mark McPherson in Laura (1944). Which causes this earlier statement to make a lot more sense.

“Mark: I’m gonna talk to the studio guys about those photos.

Detective Wallace: Yeah right, I know where you’re going.

Mark: Yeah keep an eye on Sidney.

Detective Wallace: I know where you’re going, you’re gonna get her some flowers and candy, right? Huh?

Mark: Gimme a break!”

You're_in_love_with_her

The main producer of the film, John Milton, invites everyone over for a cast party at his house. Unfortunately, they have been dragged to that house for one reason alone, the killer is going to kill them all!

dun-dun-duuuun

Time to prepare yourself.

Sidney in the parlor with a candlestick

Sidney in the parlor with a candlestick

Now this is where the bodies really start hitting the floor.

Dewey and Gale discover the film’s director, Roman, stuffed in a chest.

Victim #5

Victim #5

Angeline, an actress, runs off and is murdered.

Victim #6

Victim #6

Then Tyson (another actor)

Victim #7

Victim #7

And Jennifer

Victim #8

Victim #8

The killer then attacks Gale and Dewey, knocking them out and tying them up. In a surprising twist, Ghostface doesn’t murder them but uses them to bait Sidney to the house.

Sidney shoots him, but he ends up escaping. Kincaid comes in to save the day, but gets knocked out by the killer. The killer then chases Sidney and reveals himself to be Roman.

Say What

Yep he had faked his own death. Now you may be wondering why would a famous film director want to murder Sidney Prescott? Well it turns out that he is Maureen’s illegitimate son.

dun-dun-duuuun

This is actually radically different than any of the other Scream films. All the others have two killers; Scream-Billy & Stu, Scream 2-Mrs. Loomis & Mickey, Scream 4 had two but I won’t reveal until next week. Now the reason that this film had only one was that it was supposed to be the last film. That is until Wes got greedy and made the atrocity Scream 4 which I will review next week.

So know not only do we have the villain monologue, but the big reveal.

Phone Voice: You’re not going anywhere Sidney. It’s time you came to terms with me, and with mother. Maybe you never knew her at all Sidney… maybe you just can’t get past the surface of things.

Sidney: Who the hell are you?

Phone Voice: The other half of you. I searched for a mother too, an actress named “Reena Reynolds” tried to find her my whole LIFE, and four years ago I actually tracked her down. Knocked at her door thinking she’d welcome me with open arms, but she had a new life and a new name, Maureen Prescott! You were the only child she claimed Sidney. She shut me out into the cold forever! Her own son [takes off mask to reveal he is Roman Bridger] Roman Bridger, director, and brother. She slammed the door in my face, Sid. She said I was “Reena’s” child and Reena was dead… and then it struck me. What a good idea, so I watched her. I made a little movie, a little family film. Seems Maureen…”Mom”… she really got around. I mean Cotton was one thing; everybody knew about that. But Billy’s father – that was the key. Your boyfriend didn’t like seeing his daddy in my film too much. He didn’t like it at all. And once I supplied the motivation… all the kid needed was a few pointers. Have a partner to sell out incase you got caught, find someone to frame, it was like he was making a movie.

Sidney: You… this is all because of you.

Roman: I’m a director Sid, I direct.

Sidney: Ah.

Roman: I had no idea, that they were gonna make a film of their own. I mean intoducing Sidney the victim, Sidney the survivor, SIDNEY THE STAR!

He also reveals that John the producer raped Maureen, and Roman was their child. He kills John for revenge, bringing the body count to

Victim #8

Victim #8

Sidney is just tired of this.

boohoo_zps058c9fe1

Tired of hearing another killer blaming the circumstances of their life on her. Sidney berates Roman who gets angered enough to attack her leading to a fight. Roman manages to gain the upper hand but a distraction by Kincaid allows Sidney to grab his knife. He takes Kincaid’s gun and shoots her.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

However, it turns out that she is wearing a bulletproof vest. She uses the knife and stabs him several times in the back and heart. Dewey takes his gun and shoots him several times, making sure he gets in a headshot.

Gale-Randy-Billy-and-Sidney-scream-23148646-499-198

The four-Gale, Dewey, Kincaid, and Sidney head out to her secluded mountain home. There Dewey proposes to Gale, by carving out her book and placing the ring inside. Now I know this is “romantic”, but to me it sounds horrible. You just destroyed a book!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Sidney also starts a relationship with Kincaid, and it ends on a happy note. At last it is all over.

hereIgoagainWhitesnake

That is until this horrible thing comes up:

Scream-4-Intl-3

Well that was Scream 3. Tune in next week for the final chapter.

2000Scream-3

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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 Tuesday the 17th

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For more on the Scream Franchise, check out It’s Happening Again, Isn’t It?

For more trilogies, go to Life Finds a Way

For more on serial killers, go to You Think You Know Something, Don’t You?

For more horror parodies, go to A Deliciously Creepy Tale

For more on slasher films, go to Hello? Is There a Killer in My Kitchen?

For more on Patrick Dempsey, go to I Don’t Dance or Sing, Except When I’m With You

For more on Wes Craven, go to What’s Your Favorite Scary Movie?

For more on Whitesnake, go to Here I Go Again

For more of my fav songs, go to Rock You Like a Hurricane 

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

ring

“You will die in seven days…”

So many of you might remember the post I did a year ago on Ringu, the original Japanese film. I had watched Ringu because I had heard that it was far creepier and better version that the American one. However, I found that to be false, with The Ring being the creepier one of the two. This was mostly due to the actors, some story changes, and a better explanation of Samarra. But more than anything else, my own personal connection to the film (I’ll mention that at the end).

So I was home alone one night (my roommates were all out of town for the weekend) and decided that I would spend the night in watching films. I had spotted this at the library and decided that it was perfect film for the occasion. I decided that instead of watching it alone in the living room, I would watch it in my room with the lights off. You know, set the “creepy mood”.

Ren Stevens: What? Honey, you're chased by six mutants, and you just decided to take a shower?

So the story is pretty similar to the Japanese film. You have two girls who are talking about a cabin weekend that one of the girls, Katie, had gone to. Suddenly the topic of a cursed videotape comes up. If you watch this tape you will die in seven days. After her niece dies, the main character, Rachel (Naomi Watts) starts tracking down what caused her death and gets caught up in a supernatural mystery. (For more info check out Ringu or watch the film).

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So what made this film much creepier than the original? Let’s get started.

DeanSupernaturalLetsGetStarted

1. Lighting/Set Design

I’m not sure where the story takes place but it is always raining and gloomy. Plus the camera crew gave the whole movie this blue tint when filming which also adds to the creepiness/horror film feel to it.

2002_The_Ring_

 

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2. The Kid

In the first film Yoshi wasn’t really in the film that much. He had the nightmares and could hear his cousin “calling” to him, but that was mostly it. He watches the video, which leads his mother to try even harder to discover how to stop it. He then gets dropped off at his grandfather’s house for a bit and we don’t see him until the end of the film.

In the remake this kid is SUPER CREEPY

Gilmore girls creep

He’s kinda like Cole from The Sixth Sense, that is if Cole wasn’t a cutie. I mean this kid is an uber creep as he only talks in monotone, and doesn’t act like a kid at all-more like a 30 year old man. To top it off he even draws strange murderous pictures. Horrifying.

the-ring-she-never-sleeps

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

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

Certified Creepo Ribbon

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3) The Video

So The Ring came out four years after Ringu and had much better special effects, not gonna lie about that. And the video was much more creepy in this film. Freaky, emphasis on the FREAK.

ring-2002 TV

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4. Samara/Background Explanation

So in the original film we don’t get a full background on her. We find out that a professor was looking into studies of mental telepathy and other things like that. He found a woman that has this ability and the two end up having a child that for some reason is more powerful, and CRAZY! The main character’s ex-husband also just happens to have this ability. That’s it. That’s all we get.

Mal_huh

How does it pass down? Why does the husband have it? Is that why they got a divorce? Why was the girl so much stronger? Why did she kill all the horses?

whatsthedeal

In the remake they give her a weirder background that explains her murderous tendencies. She was almost drowned as a baby, taken away from her family, and then put into social services. She has a history of trying to get attention/be the center of attention. She was adopted by a couple that really wanted kids but she was unlike anything they had ever seen. She started to develop these powers that freaked out her parents as she was getting into their minds.

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

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

She goes to a psychiatric hospital and is questioned and treated, causing her to react as a kid would with anger. She kills her doctor and gets sent back home to the horse ranch.

To prevent her from harming anyone, they put her up in the barn away from everyone else with only a TV set. This makes her very angry.

addams family love and jewelry

She gets very jealous and kills all the horses by making them go insane. To her adoptive mother, Anna, those were her children. She loved them and cared for them. She has a complete mental breakdown and gets sent to a sanatarium. After she is released the family goes to the mountains and she kills Samarra by throwing her down a well, and them committing suicide herself.

It may be strange, but explains things a whole lot more than the original. Plus it is very creepy.

ring tv

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So personal connection.

As I mentioned earlier, I was home alone. I had 5 housemates; 3 were staying the night at their boyfriends house and 2 had gone home to see her parents. My actual roommate had gone home to see her parents and wasn’t coming back until the next day. Instead of chilling in the living room, I took my food into my bedroom, along with the film.

Ren Stevens: What? Honey, you're chased by six mutants, and you just decided to take a shower?

So I was watching the film and had just gotten to the part when Rachel has watched the tape and received the call that in seven days she will die. Just as she has hung up her phone, my phone rings!

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

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

I pause the film and reach for the phone, shakily saying hello as its ringing scared the bejeezus out of me.

japanring3

It was just my sister. She had an idea for something and wanted to bounce it off me.

Phew!

Phew!

So I go back to watching the film. As I reach the part when Samarra comes out of the TV

ring tv

My door starts to open.

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

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

So let me explain campus security. The dorms I was living in were like townhouses. They had 4 bedrooms-2 singles & 2 doubles. Every student was given an ID card that held campus money, allowed us to check out books, go into the rec center & dining hall, and most importantly our rooms. We had two doors to the dorms that were set to only accept the cards of the people of the house. Besides running your card through the slot (like a debit card) each member of the house had a unique four-digit number to gain access. A card wasn’t enough, you had to use your code as well. Plus the code had to match the card or else you were out of luck.

keanu Whoa

To make that even more impressive, every room was encoded to only accept the occupant’s card. My roommate and I were the only ones who could into my room, unless someone had one of our cards. (The codes were only for the front & back doors.)

So you can see why I was freaked out. Everyone had made plans to be gone, defintely be gone. But yet here was my door opening and someone or something entering.

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

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

It being really dark and the fact that the rooms were L-shaped (therefore making it hard to see “who” was exactly coming in through the door) didn’t help that much.

Of course, as I’m sure you all have figured out by now it was just my roommate. It turns out she had changed her mind and decided to come home early.

This experience made the film much more exciting, although anything that happened in the film afterward that last scare was pretty anti-climatic.

So It was a pretty great film and I suggest you check it out.

2002_The_Ring_

And I’m not just trying to pass it off to save myself from being killed. LOL

2002-thering

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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 You Think You Know Something, Do You?

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For more on Ringu, go to That Video…Is Not of This World

For more on real life mimicking horror films, go to Krueger Town 

For more evil children, go to He Who Walks Behind the Rows

For more on remakes, go to Let Them Fight

For more films that spanned sequels, go to It’s Happening Again, Isn’t It?

For more on Supernatural, go to I’m Batman!

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

shadowofadoubt2

“You think you know something, don’t you? You think you’re the clever little girl who knows something. There’s so much you don’t know, so much. What do you know, really? You’re just an ordinary little girl, living in an ordinary little town. You wake up every morning of your life and you know perfectly well that there’s nothing in the world to trouble you. You go through your ordinary little day, and at night you sleep your untroubled ordinary little sleep, filled with peaceful stupid dreams. And I brought you nightmares.”

So for my first Alfred Hitchcock film, I am going to review Shadow of a Doubt. This really surprised me as I never thought this would have been the first, (I was sure it would be Psycho). But I had such an urge to talk about it, that I had to follow it. Now this has never been considered one of Hitchcock’s greats, in fact it bombed at the office, but it was both Alfred Hitchcock’s and Teresa Wright’s favorite film.

I actually have a personal connection to this film myself. I used to go to college near Santa Rosa and one day for film class we were going to watch a psychological film. The one we chose wouldn’t work and I suggested that we had to watch an Alfred Hitchcock film, specifically Shadow of a Doubt. I had this urge and was pushing the film so hard, even though it is not one of my favorite Hitchcock films. It was only when we watched it, that I remembered that it was set and filmed in Santa Rosa. In fact, I have been to all the areas the film was set in.

So the film is supposed to be about a happy town, full of normal American people, but underneath this lies something horrible. This kind of thing was what David Lynch ended up doing and becoming famous for in his film Blue Velvet and TV series Twin Peaks.

TwinPeaks dark henious evil

So the film starts off with the extremely handsome Joseph Cotten, lying on a bed. His name is Charlie Oakley.

Cotten, Joseph (Shadow of a Doubt)_01 phone call

His landlady knocks on the door and tells him that there are two men looking for him. Charlie quickly packs some things up, gathers his money, and takes off. He makes plans to get out of the East coast, going heading to California to visit his sister Emma in Santa Rosa.

In Santa Rosa, we meet Charlie 2 (Teresa Wright), named after her Uncle Charlie. (From now on I’m going to say Charlie for Teresa Wright and Uncle Charlie for Joseph Cotten as otherwise it will be too confusing.) Anyways, Charlie has been complaining that life is boring. Nothing interesting ever happens in life.

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She finds out that her Uncle Charlie is coming and is ecstatic. The two of them have always shared a special bond. Out of everyone in their family, she feels that Charlie is the only one who really gets her.

he gets me

Uncle Charlie greets the family and not only bring life into the house but gifts. Charlie gets the most special gift of all, an emerald ring. Charlie notices an engraving of initials on the inside and asks Uncle Charlie what they stand for. He doesn’t know and blames the jeweler for selling him an old ring instead of a new one.

Sound suspicious

Sound suspicious

He keeps trying to push Charlie to let him get it re-engraved, but she refuses. At dinner, Emma is humming this song. It has been stuck in her head all day and she can’t remember what it is called. She asks around to everyone else, and her husband Joseph says that it is The Merry Widow Waltz. When Uncle Charlie hears this, he is startled and spills his wine.

shadowofadoubt unhappy

After dinner, Joseph’s friend comes over. Now this is an interesting subplot. The two of them are huge mystery fans and are constantly trying to create the perfect murder. This subplot always makes me laugh and it reminds me of a friend and I. We are always talking about the best way to kill someone and get away with it. I always go with the Secret Window way.

“Joseph Newton: We’re not talking about killing people. Herb’s talking about killing me and I’m talking about killing him.”

In fact, they remind me of Randy from Scream except with actual murders, than horror films.

Randy

They determine one of the best ways to kill someone is to disguise the murder as a suicide.

The next day, Uncle Charlie is reading the paper, when he sees a story that upsets him. He rips the page with the story on it, and turns it into a house for the kids, hiding the ripped story in his pocket. Ann and Roger think it’s are cool, but they have to dismantle it as their father hasn’t had a chance to look at the paper.

Charlie saw him hiding the torn pages and starts teasing her Uncle. She grabs them out of his pocket and tries to put them together. But before she can, Uncle Charlie gets angry and pushes her away. She becomes frightened, but Uncle Charlie consoles her,  telling her that it was a bad story about a friend.

tugs arm Shadow-Teresa-Wright-Schock-004-295px

Soon after, two men approach the family and let them know they have been chosen to be the feature family for a census agency on “typical American family-ness”. They will be coming to interview them and photograph their average lives.

BMW Average

Emma is really excited as Uncle Charlie will now be a part of the featured story. She tells Charlie about how she only has one photo of him. It was when he was a little boy, before he got in a horrible accident. After he recovered from the accident he never was the same again. Often getting into trouble.

Uncle Charlie says he will be staying in town for a while, and then begins acting strangely. At the bank he deposits forty thousand dollars in cash and makes all these jokes about the bank and Joseph (Charlie’s dad) embezzling funds. He also extremely avoids the census takers. He thinks they are up to something. Whenever they come to the house, he always leaves and won’t answer any questions.

paranoidAfterYou

When his picture gets taken, he becomes extremely angry and demands for the negative roll.

The younger of the two census workers, (Macdonald Carey), asks Charlie to be his guide of the town, and she agrees only to please her mother. When he gets her alone he tells her that he isn’t a census taker, but that instead he is Detective Jack Graham and that he is with the FBI. They are investigating “The Merry Widow Murderer”, a man who romances widows and murders them taking their money. He tells her that that they have two suspects. One of which is her Uncle Charlie.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

The next day Charlie is still reeling from the news and sleeps all day. She doesn’t want to believe her Uncle Charlie is capable of murder. However, she can’t help thinking about his suspicious behavior.

Sound suspicious

Sound suspicious

Charlie gets even more freaked out when Uncle Charlie gives a rant on widows.

800__shadow_of_a_doubt_blu-ray_04_intense stare angry upset mad creep

“Uncle Charlie: The cities are full of women, middle-aged widows, husbands, dead, husbands who’ve spent their lives making fortunes, working and working. And then they die and leave their money to their wives, their silly wives. And what do the wives do, these useless women? You see them in the hotels, the best hotels, every day by the thousands, drinking the money, eating the money, losing the money at bridge, playing all day and all night, smelling of money, proud of their jewelry but of nothing else, horrible, faded, fat, greedy women… Are they human or are they fat, wheezing animals, hmm? And what happens to animals when they get too fat and too old?”

Charlie suffers a breakdown as she can’t handle the thought that her Uncle is a murderer. That coupled with her father and Herb’s constant murder talk, ugh she just needs to get away. Uncle Charlie follows her and takes her to a bar to talk.

At the bar, he confronts her suspicions and tells her that he is considered for The Merry Widow Murderer”, but it isn’t him. It is just a coincidence.

Yes I am

Yes I am

Charlie listens, but something doesn’t sit right with her. She still feels suspicious. She sneaks into Uncle Charlie’s room to try and figure out what article he had ripped up.

shadow-of-a-doubt-room door break into

She can’t put the pieces back together, and instead heads to the library. She convinces the librarian to let her search the papers and discovers that “The Merry Widow Murderer” killed a famous entertainer. She notices that the initials of the woman match the ring Uncle Charlie gave her.

OMG

She goes to her uncle to confront him, and he asks her not to say anything. She agrees to wait as she knows it will hurt her mother.

Meanwhile, Jack is pushing Charlie to give him info on her Uncle, but she won’t say a thing. They sent the photo of Uncle Charlie back East but haven’t heard whether or not he is the guy the are actually after. The other suspect they were considering was killed fleeing from the police and many believe he is the murderer.

After this news, Jack goes to Charlie and tells her that he likes her. And that he would like to date her, maybe even marry her one day.

Say What

I know. He has been nice, but he never even seemed to show that he was that interested in her. He totally pulls a Mr. Darcy, completely dropping that bomb out of the blue.

mr darcy

Uncle Charlie is all smiles and it seems like everything is fine, but Charlie can’t shake an uneasy feeling.

This doesn't feel right.

This doesn’t feel right.

Soon Charlie suffers from an accident. As she is coming down the stairs one of the steps falls through causing her to fall. She checks later but can’t tell of any tampering.

Oh what a horrible accident.

Oh what a horrible accident.

Now these are some of the best scenes in the film. In the beginning you aren’t sure if Uncle Charlie is doing anything, whether they are accidents or not. I mean could he really be so cold-blooded as to kill his own niece?

Gilmore girls creep

Uncle Charlie is asked to give a public lecture and the whole family is going to go hear him speak. There isn’t enough room for them to go in one car, so they decide to send most in a taxi, with the Charlies going in the car. Charlie gets trapped in her garage with the car going. She calls for help, but the music Uncle Charlie is playing overpowers her screams.

Tuesdaythe17th scream ah

Luckily, Herb is coming by as he does everyday and hears her, freeing her.

The next day, Uncle Charlie decides that he is leaving. Everyone but Charlie is sad to see him go. As he gets on the train we see that he won’t be traveling alone, but a rich widow from the town. Every one comes on board to check out the train, with Uncle Charlie gets Charlie to stay longer to talk. The train starts going while she is on it. She tries to run off, but Uncle Charlie tries to push her off the train onto the track of an oncoming one.

shadow of a doubt attack

The two struggle and Charlie manages to overpower him, knocking him off the train.

There is a funeral for Uncle Charlie and Jack comes back. Charlie tells him the truth and why she kept it hidden from him. Together they resolve to keep Uncle Charlie’s crimes a secret.

You have to see this film. The story is great, the acting amazing, and the cinematography is just beautiful.

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

For the previous post, go to It’s Happening Again, Isn’t It?

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For more on Alfred Hitchcock, go to Horrorfest III: The Revenge

For more classic cinema, go to Feast Your Eyes On My Accursed Ugliness

For more serial killers, go to What’s Your Favorite Scary Movie?

For more psychological thrillers, go to A Deliciously Creepy Tale

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Happily Ever Aftermath

For more on Twin Peaks, go to Food, Food, Food!

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

So this Horrorfest, I am going to be doing something a little different. We are going to have “Screamtastic Saturdays”. Every Saturday in October going to be on a different Scream movie. So let’s kick it off with:

scream1

What’s your favorite scary movie?

*Spolier Alert*

So I really loved this movie. I have to say that Wes Craven as one of the horror kings totally tanked on Nightmare on Elm Street. This was by far, much better. One of the coolest things about this film is that it is a parody of horror films, while still being its own horror film.

So the beginning starts off with Drew Barrymore cooking popcorn and preparing for a fun night in watching scary movies with her boyfriend. Just like When A Stranger Calls, she receives a strange phone call and is at first into it, thinking it is just a joke.

scary movie mansfield park Scream

 

However, it slowly turns as the caller threatens Casey that he is going to kill her and her boyfriend.

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But she has a chance at being saved, all she has to do is answer who was the killer in Friday the 13th.

“Phone Voice: Name the killer in Friday the 13th.

Casey: Jason! Jason! Jason!

Phone Voice: I’m sorry. That’s the wrong answer!

Casey: No, it’s not. No it’s not. It was Jason.

Phone Voice: Afraid not. No way.

Casey: Listen, it was Jason! I saw that movie 20 g******* times!

Phone Voice: Then you should know that Jason’s mother, Mrs. Voorhees was the original killer. Jason didn’t show up until the sequel. I’m afraid that was a wrong answer.

Casey: [Weeping] You tricked me.

Phone Voice: Lucky for you there’s a bonus round, but poor Steve… I’m afraid he’s OUT!”

So Steve is murdered and Casey runs throughout the house trying to get away from the killer. Of which she doesn’t make it out and finds herself victim #1.

victim

And thus the body count begins…

So the killing of Drew Barrymore holds two significant things. One, she was one the most famous actress in the film, and was killed first. This was supposed to be a homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960), in which the most famous actress of the film, Janet Leigh, was only in the movie for a short while before she was killed. This was also supposed to be a parody of Craven’s film Nightmare on Elm Street, when the first character we meet, Tina (played by Amanda Wyss),is killed. Craven also had his character Casey wear white just like Tina in Nightmare on Elm Street.

The next day, the town Woodsboro is just ravanged by reporters who are eager to find out more about this murder, especially since it occurred almost exactly a year after their little town experienced a murder just as gruesome. The murder of Maureen Prescott by Cotton Weary.

Meanwhile, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) is trying to cope with everything that is going on.

Scream

She is having a really hard time with the anniversary of her mother’s death. When she hears about the murders and sees the reporters it brings the mess of the past year back to her. The memories just come flooding back.

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

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

One of her other big issues is her boyfriend Billy Loomis.

Billy-From-Scream-scream-1804906-547-342

 

Okay, I just have to go off on a tangent here: Billy is sooooooooooooo creepy looking. When I first saw this I was like he is toooootally the killer. I mean LOOK AT HIM! He has killer written alllll over him. Those eyes, they are super frigtening. And the way he talks? He tells Sidney that he was watching Silence of the Lambs and that made him think of her and want to come over and get funky. What a freak!

Certified Creepo Ribbon

IDon'tTrustHimGreatGatsby

(BTW it is another Psycho reference. Billy Loomis is a homage to Sam Loomis, Marion Crane’s boyfriend in Psycho; and Dr. Sam Loomis in Halloween.)

Anyways, so the two have been having issues since Sidney’s mom died. She was so traumatized by the event that she has isolated herself and found it hard to let anyone in again. Her best friend Tatum is cool with it as she understands she needs time to grieve, but Billy has been having a hard time backtracking from third base to the benches. Ladies, let me just say that if any guy ever tries to pressure into having sex when you aren’t ready, junk punch him and run away. You don’t need that loser in your life.

That day her father has to go out of town, leaving Sidney all alone in a big house.

Yep, gonna make references all night.

Yep, gonna make When a Stranger Calls  references all night.

She makes plans to meet up with Tatum and stay at her place, but falls asleep. Tatum is late picking her up as her cheerleading practice went way over. While Sidney is waiting she gets a phone call from the killer who starts harassing her. And she stupidly calls throughout the house trying to find him.

Killer Scary Movie

“Sidney Prescott: Can you see me right now?  Ah, okay. [puts a finger in her nose] What am I doing? Huh? Huh? What am I doing? Hello? [takes finger out] Nice try, Randy. Tell Tatum to hurry up, okay? Bye now.

Ghostface: IF YOU HANG UP ON ME, YOU’LL DIE JUST LIKE YOUR MOTHER! Do you want to die, Sidney? Your mother sure didn’t.

Sidney Prescott: F*** you, you cretin!”

Soon the killer comes in her house and she has to run away from him and try to get the police there. Billy shows up, climbing through her window. Sidney sees that he has a cellphone and freaks out, having the police cart him away.

Gilmore girls creep

So there are a couple places that were filmed in Santa Rosa, CA. One was the bathroom scene in which Sidney is attacked, the other is Tatum’s house which is right across the street from the house used in Pollyanna (1960). It is also across the street from the house used in Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt (1943). The house in the opening scene was next door to the house used in Cujo (1983).

Sidney spends the night at Tatum’s house and the next day is completely crazy. Billy was released as they had nothing to hold him. And they still are unable to find her father as he never checked into his hotel. Plus Gale Weathers, a reporter who has been harassing her for a year,  and all the other reporters are driving her crazy!

“Gale: There she is! Sidney, hi, what happened? Are you alright?

Tatum: She’s not answering any questions alright. Just leave us alone.

Sidney Prescott: No, no Tatum it’s OK. She’s just doing her job, right Gale?

Gale: That’s right.

Sidney Prescott: So how’s the book?

Gale: Oh it’ll be out later this year.

Sidney Prescott: Oh, I’ll look for it.

Gale: I’ll send you a copy.

[Sidney turns around a punches Gale in the face]”

Scream-Punch

Also at the school we have a little Wes Craven easter egg, as he dresses up as a janitor in a Freddy Krueger sweater.

So the principal decides to suspend school until further notice as it is just too risky for the students. After they all have left, he finds himself joining the body count as well, victim #2.

victim

The death of the principal was actually added to the film late into production. Bob Weinstein noticed there were 30 pgs in the script were nobody died and they decided that they needed another victim.

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

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

Billy’s friend Stu decides to throw a party and have all the kids in school come. I don’t understand why anyone’s parents would allow their kids to go out like that with A FREAKIN’ KILLER ON THE LOOSE. Come on people, Parent!!

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At the party, the kids are chillin’, drinking beer, watching horror films, etc. Billy and Sidney go upstairs and talk, resulting in the two having sex.

Meanwhile downstairs everyone is chillin’ while Tatum goes off to the garage to get more beer. The scene in the garage is the only weak link in the film. First of all when Tatum walks over to the garage door and it almost closes on her, that would never happen. My dad is a contractor and I remeber when I was a kid I thought the garage would close on me too. However, they design garage doors specfically to not do that. In fact they have a certain radius that if someone was to walk within that radius the door would stop. And come on she IS IN A FREAKIN’ GARAGE!!! Do you know how many weapons there are in that thing? She passes over a hoe, rake, and a shovel! You see all kinds of tools throughout their fight too. She could easly find something to attack him and win. Although I do have to give props to Wes for allowing Tatum to to put up such a great fight.

Victim #3

Victim #3

Back in the living room,  Randy is giving a rundown on how to survive a horror film,  (* are the rules that are given by the killer).

  1. You will not survive if you have sex
  2. You will not survive if you do drugs or drinks
  3. You will not survive if you say “I’ll be right back.”
  4. Everyone is a suspect
  5. *You will not survive if you ask “Who’s there.”*
  6. *You will not survive if you go out to investigate a strange noise*

While all this is going on, Gale and Tatum’s brother Officer Dewey, have been spying on the party. Gale has snuck a camera into the party, so that she can view everything from her van. She and Dewey both take a break though, “walking off” together where they come upon Sidney’s father’s abandoned car.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

Everyone back at the party gets the news that the principal is dead and had been strung up on the football field. Almost everyone leaves; with just Randy, Sidney, Billy, Stu, and Gale’s cameraman Kenny (in the van) staying behind .The killer comes out and starts attacking.

ghostface_scream

One of the best scenes is the scene where a drunk Randy is telling Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween to turn around while the killer is behind him. He constantly repeats, “Jamie, turn around. Turn around, Jamie!” as the killer is slowly creeping up behind him. The actor who plays Randy is also named Jamie (Jamie Kennedy) and the killer was currently behind him. This is also the only scene in which the  killer is actually one of the actors. Skeet Ulrich had asked specifically if he could wear the costume for one scene.

So Kenny and Dewey fall victim to his knife.

Victim #8

Victim #4&5

After Sidney and Billy are done having sex and have placed their clothes back on the killer charges in and stabs Billy. Sidney manages to run away and finds Tatum’s body.

As she continues running away she ends up getting in the way of Gale who was fleeing the killer from her van. Gale swerves to miss Sidney and crashes, getting knocked out. Sidney goes back to the house, taking the gun from the dying Dewey. She runs into Randy and Stu and is unsure who is the killer. She then runs into a wounded Billy and gives him the gun. Billy immediately shoots Randy and stands up.

Say What

Yep, Billy isn’t injured at all. In fact, it was all a ploy he is the real killer.

dun-dun-duuuun

Corn Syrup

Billy: Corn Syrup, just like in the real movies.

Yep, the whole time Billy and Stu have been the killers. From Sidney’s mom to everyone else.

“Sidney Prescott: Why? Why did you kill my mother?

Billy: Why? WHY! You hear that Stu? I think she wants a motive. Well I don’t really believe in motives Sid, I mean did Norman Bates have a motive?

Stu: No.

Billy: Did we ever find out why Hannibal Lecter like to eat people? DON’T THINK SO! See it’s a lot more scarier when there’s no motive, Sid. We did your Mom a favor, Sid. That woman was a slut-bag whore who flashed her s*** all over town like she was Sharon Stone or somethin’.

Stu: Yeah, we put her out of her misery, ’cause let’s face Sidney, your mother was no Sharon Stone,hmm?

Billy: Is that motive enough for you? How about this? Your slut mother was f****** my father and she’s the reason my mom moved out and abandoned me. [Sid looks astonished] How’s that for a motive? Maternal abandonment causes serious deviant behaviour. It certainly f***** you up. It made you have sex with a psychopath.”

Yep, and not only that the planned the whole thing out so that her father would take the blame, make it look like he had a mental breakdown on the anniversary of his wife’s death and started killing people. They had kidnapped him and bring him out for their final act. Billy and Stu planned that attack on Sidney to make any second arrest look false and questionable.

you're evil

Of course their plan will not be complete until they make themselves look like victims. Stu stabs Billy, and Billy stabs Stu. While the two are monologing and arguing they have seemed to forget one important thing.

 Sidney and her father have disappeared.

“Stu: S***…

Billy: What?

Stu: Oh, s***.

Billy: [They go into the kitchen to find Sidney and Mr. Prescott gone] Where are they? Where are they?

Stu: I don’t know, Billy, but I’m hurtin’, man!

Yep, just like they say in Dial M for Murder (1954), you can never plan the perfect murder. What sounds good on paper can never transfer to real life, because in real life there are just too many things that can go wrong.

“Margot Mary Wendice: Do you really believe in the perfect murder?

Mark Halliday: Mmm, yes, absolutely. On paper, that is. And I think I could, uh, plan one better than most people; but I doubt if I could carry it out.

Tony Wendice: Oh? Why not?

Mark Halliday: Well, because in stories things usually turn out the way the author wants them to; and in real life they don’t… always.”

So here Stu and Billy find themselves completely off script, and unsure…

[the phone rings]

Stu: Should I let the machine get it?

Billy: [answers it] Hello?

Sidney Prescott: Are you alone in the house?

Billy: B****! You b****, where the f*** are you?

Sidney Prescott: Not so fast, we’re going to play a little game. It’s called: Guess who just called the police and reported your sorry motherf******* a**!

[Stu is slowly collapsing to the floor]

Billy: Find her, you dips***! Get up!

Stu: I can’t, Billy. You already cut me too deep. I think I’m dying here, man!

Billy: [Billy gives Stu the phone] Talk to her. Talk to her.

Stu: Hello?

Sidney Prescott: Ah, Stu, Stu, Stu… What’s your motive? Billy’s got one. The police are on their way. What are you going to tell them?

Stu: Peer pressure. I’m far too sensitive.

Billy:[Billy takes the phone back] I’m going to rip you up, b****, just like your f****** mother!

Sidney Prescott: You’ve gotta find me first, you pansy-a** momma’s boy!”

Now the game of cat and mouse has changed with the hunted becoming the hunters.

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In the end Gale, Sidney, Dewey, Mr. Prescott, and Randy survive.

So that was Scream one of the best horror-parodies ever made. For more fun check out Scream in 30 sec with bunnies. And How It Should Have Ended

This film really brought back the slasher genre, as after this slasher remakes and slasher film numbers escalated. It also brought up the debate on whether or not violence in movies affected people and caused them to become more violent? The most important thing is that this film increased the use of caller ID and made such phone harassment much harder. Although not for me.

The other thing I realized in this film is that I am soooooo Randy.

Randy

I also realized that just like The Cable Guy, I’m only a few steps away from the crazy.

screamBilly

Well, that’s Scream. Tune in next Saturday for Scream 2.

scream

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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 In Their Proper Place

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For more on Scream, go to When Horror Doesn’t Stay on the Screen

For more on Wes Craven, go to Krueger Town

For more on phone harrasment, go to It’s Coming From Inside the House

For more films influenced by Alfred Hitchcock, go to Everyone’s Entitled to One Good Scare

For more on serial killers, go to Hello? Is There a Killer in My Kitchen?

For more on slasher films, go to Camp Blood

For more films that spanned numerous sequels, go to He Who Walks Behind the Rows

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

the wolf man

“Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.” 

This is such an amazing film as the story is excellent, the acting superb (Lon Chaney Jr. + Claude Rains). It is also a member of Universal’s Classic Monster Movie Collection, its buddies being The Phantom of the OperaFrankenstein,  The Bride of FrankensteinThe MummyDracula, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, etc. And this post means that I have finally, finally finished the list I set out to complete two years ago.

But what really makes this a spectacular film is that many of the modern myths of werewolves were originated in this film: such as a person becoming a werewolf through a bite; the only way to kill a werewolf is with a silver bullet; and changing into one during a full moon. These are all original concepts created by writer Curt Siodmak. Isn’t that amazing! Like The Mummy and The Creature from the Black Lagoon this film isn’t based on a book or any specific resource, which allowed the writers a lot of leeway in their work and creations.

So this isn’t the first werewolf film, as that was The Werewolf of London, which actually did rather poorly in theaters. This was the second werewolf horror film to be made and become the most famous. All the later depictions such as: The Howling, An American Werewolf in London, I Was a Teenage Werewolf, Van Helsing, The Wolfman (2010), etc.looked to it in creating their stories.

So the film was originally written for Boris Karloff, but he turned it down. And although I love that man [read my The Mummy (1932), Frankensteinor The Bride of Frankenstein post] I can’t imagine this film being as amazing with him as the title role. Lon Chaney Jr. was just superb. Lon Chaney Jr, was the son of the famous Lon Chaney (who I talk about in my Phantom of the Opera post) and interestingly the set that was used to film this movie was the same used for The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) which starred Lon Chaney Jr.’s  father, Lon Chaney.

Unlike other films, The Wolf Man is the only Universal monster to be played by the same actor in all his 1940s film appearances; Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943), House of Frankenstein (1944), House of Dracula (1945), and  Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948).

Now I love this movie and story but it is soooo sad as well. Here is a wonderful man pure of heart, who has the unfortunate luck of being bitten by a werewolf and can’t do anything to stop it. Unlike modern movies where the person can control it, change at will, etc; in the original when the man transformed into a wolf he literally transformed into becoming a beast and losing all his humanistic thought, reasoning, etc.

wolfman

So the film starts out with Lon Chaney Jr. as Lawrence Talbot returning home.

Look at this sweetheart

Look at this sweetheart

His older brother has died, and as he is the second son he will now inherit everything–money, title, family home, etc. More importantly, after the realization that his brother is no longer, Lawrence AKA Larry, is eager to rebuild his relationship with his father. They had previously parted on not the best terms (he wanted to be an engineer his father wanted him to be something else. He decided to run away to California, against his father’s wishes).

Larry reacquaints himself with the village, taking a deep interest in a particular shopkeeper, Gwen Conliffe, who is unfortunately engaged. However, she is equally interested and as Larry buys a silver-wolf handled cane the two make a date to meet up later that night and visit the gypsies that are camping nearby.

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  That night Larry meets up with Gwen and her friend Jenny. The three make off to the gypsies passing some wolfsbane along the way. Both girls repeat the old gypsy folklore about wolfsbane:

Even a man who is pure in heart

and says his prayers by night

may become a wolf when the wolfsbane blooms

and the autumn moon is bright

Now what is really interesting about this old piece of folklore is that it isn’t that old. This quote has been thought to be an Eastern European folk saying, but Siodmak admits that he was the one who made it up. Even though that might be true, it went  down in film history becoming a part of almost every future Werewolf film and recited in every future Universal film appearance of the Wolf Man. [It is quoted by Van Helsing, but one of the lines was changed to “The moon is shining bright” instead of “The autumn moon is bright“]

Meanwhile, in the gypsy camp one of them has a terrible secret. Bela, played by Bela Lugosi, is actually a werewolf and hiding it from everyone.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

When the group gets to the gypsy camp and have their fortunes read, Bela sees the pentagram on Jenny’s hand and knows that she’s next for death.

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

 

Bela runs off and the trio start walking home. Soon Jenny is attacked by a wolf and Larry tries to save her. He wrestles with the wolf and kills it by braining it with his cane. (It being silver can kill it) Unfortunately, he couldn’t save Jenny and during the battle, he ended up getting bit…

dun-dun-duuuun

Making him the next werewolf.

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

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

The next day the constable comes to visit, causing Larry to second guess himself as they found a dead Bela instead of a wolf!

Say What

They found Bela beat in the head, and Larry’s silver cane matches perfectly as the weapon.

Col. Paul Montford, chief constable: [showing Larry’s stick to him] Is this your walking stick?

Larry Talbot: Why, yes. That’s the stick I killed the wolf with.

[Sir John Talbot and Col. Montford look at Larry with great concern]

Sir John Talbot: Larry, Bela the gypsy was killed last night. Your walking stick was found next to the body.

Larry Talbot: You mean, Bela the fortune teller? But… I only saw a wolf.

Larry is completely confused as he knows that it was a wolf. And how does that explain the murder of Jenny? Which was done by a wolf? The constable tells him he is still investigating as he really doesn’t want to arrest the Lord’s son, especially since there are so many questions. He ultimately deems the incident an accident.

Larry on the other hand is extremely puzzled. Could he have killed Bela? But he saw a wolf he was bit by one. Except the mark can not be found!

confused

Larry needs answers and decides he will go see the Gypsy woman and not only apologize for her son’s death but ask her what is going on! Gwen and her fiancé Frank go with him.

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The gypsy woman, Maleva reveals that he did kill a wolf–a werewolf. Her son Bela was a werewolf and the only thing that could kill him was silver, silver like the silver on his cane.

Maleva: You killed the wolf.

Larry Talbot: Well, there’s no crime in that is there?

Maleva: The wolf was Bela.

Larry Talbot: You think I don’t know the difference between a wolf and a man?

Maleva: Bela turned into a wolf and you killed him. A werewolf can only be killed by a silver bullet, or a silver knife…[looks down at Larry’s walking stick]…or a stick with a silver handle.

Larry Talbot: You’re insane! I tell you, I killed a wolf! A PLAIN, ORDINARY WOLF!!!

Maleva: Whoever is bitten by a werewolf and lives becomes a werewolf himself.

Larry Talbot: Ah, don’t hand me that. You’re just wasting your time.

Maleva: The wolf bit you, didn’t he?

Larry Talbot: Yeah. Yeah he did!

Maleva: [Larry shows Maleva his chest wound concealed under his shirt] Go now – and heaven help you!”

 

Larry of course doesn’t believe her and leaves. That night he transforms into the WEREWOLF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now the transformation was laborious. The makeup took six hours and was the design by  Jack Pierce  for Henry Hull in Werewolf of London Hull had rejected it as he didn’t like how long the process would be to apply it. Chaney Jr. claimed he had to sit motionless for hours as the scenes were shot frame by frame. Pierce used grease paint, a rubber snout, wigs, and glued layers of yak hair to Chaney Jr.’s face. Larry’s dissolve transformation on screen only took seconds, while in actuality it took almost ten hours as they had to keep reapplying layers for the changing fur.

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That night the Wolf Man attacks a grave-digger, Richardson.

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The constable and the Doctor finds his ravaged body and wolf tracks.

Meanwhile, Larry finds himself in bed with wolf tracks all around and has finally decided that the gypsy women must be telling him the truth. He talks to his father who just thinks that he is in shock and doesn’t take any of the “werewolf nonsense” seriously. He even calls the doctor who deems it just a mild form of hysteria.

The Constable and doctor prepare the woods to catch the wolf so that it doesn’t kill another person. The nigh as Larry as the Wolf Man  steps in one of the traps and gets caught. Luckily the Gypsy woman frees him, as she had  felt sorry for his predicament.

Larry transforms back into a human and asks the Gypsy woman and for help. She gives him a charm that will protect him from turning into a werewolf and warns him not to give the charm to ANYONE ELSE AS IT WON’T WORK FOR ANYONE ELSE!

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He then runs off to see Gwen to tell her that he is leaving. He knows he has killed the others and doesn’t want to hurt anyone else.

“Larry Talbot: You wouldn’t wanna run away with a murderer wouldja?

Gwen Conliffe: Oh Larry, you’re not. You know you’re not.

Larry Talbot: I killed Bela. I killed Richardson. If I stay here any longer, you can’t tell who’ll be next.”

Gwen tries to get him to take her with him as she loves him, but Larry sees the mark of the pentagram on her hand and tells her he can’t. Instead he gives her the charm. YES THE CHARM  THAT IS ONLY SUPPOSED TO PROTECT HIM! Really Larry? REALLY??????!!!!!!

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YOU ARE MAKING THE  SAME FREAKIN’ MISTAKE THAT EVERY OTHER MONSTER FILM HERO DOES!

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DID YOU NOT HEAR THE WOMAN EARLIER? SHE SAID IT WILL WORK ONLY FOR YOU! ONLY FOR YOU!! ONLY YOU!!! YOU KEEP IT! What’s the point of going to a gypsy for help if you ARE NOT GOING TO LISTEN????!!!!!!! I mean this is such a classic mistake made by these men in these horror films. In Dracula, he gives the girl the cross charm that is supposed to protect only him, and then gets knocked out and is unable to keep her from being kidnapped. In The Mummy, he gives the girl the charm that is only supposed to protect him, and it doesn’t work for her. Instead Imohtep knocks him out and takes the girl anyway. MORAL OF THESE STORIES, KEEP THE DANG CHARM!!! DON’T GIVE IT AWAY!!! Alright! So if any of you are given a protective charm you freakin’ keep it!!! YOU HEAR ME????!!!!

And now that I got that little rant out of my system, let’s get back to the story.

So Larry goes to see his father and asks him to lock him up; tie him up in a chair, lock the door, etc and to go far, far, away as he doesn’t want him to be hurt. He also gives his father his silver cane as he knows that it will protect him.

Now this is why I hate modern interpretations of werewolves, except for The Wolfman (2010), as they never capture this aspect of the story. Here is a good man who has become evil, but he doesn’t want to be evil. It wasn’t like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in which Dr. Jekyll made a choice, or even The Phantom of the Opera where he suffered such horrible things and had a complete snap and broke down. This was a good man who wanted to fix bad things in his life but the timing was off and he too is caught up in the evil. Modern interpretations also never cover the heartbreaking scene as this with his dad. He knows he can’t control the evil and the last thing he does is try to protect the ones he loves, first Gwen and then his father. The most emotional is the scene with his father, as here is a man he has been fighting with, had a horrible relationship, but you see in this moment how much love he has for his father. He gives him the cane as he wants his father to be safe, no matter what. And you see how much his father loves him by taking the cane, even though he thinks Larry is delusional.

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Gwen is worried about Larry and goes looking for him, running into the woods even though the Gypsy warns her not to. I mean seriously, why don’t we listen to the Gypsies? They are gypsies, they know stuff.

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So Gwen runs out and into Larry, who has escaped from his room. But instead of the sweet, adorable, loving Larry we are confronted by the horrible beast.

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But before the werewolf can do anything, Sir John comes and hits him with the cane, killing him.

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The constable and doctor presume that Larry was killed trying to save Gwen, but Sir John knows the truth and now is left alone and has to bury his other son.

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Maleva: The way you walked was thorny though no fault of your own, but as the rain enters the soil, the river enters the sea, so tears run to a predestined end. Now you will have peace for eternity.”

right in the feels broken heart

Yep. I have to say that this is one of my all-time favorite horror films. Although it makes me want to cry every time. 

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So that was our kick-off piece. Stay tuned for many more wonderful pieces to come!

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For more on The Wolf Man (1941), go to Pink Elephants

For more on werewolves, go to A Halloween Hello from the Austen Men

For more monster movies, go to They’re Coming to Get You Barbara

For more on Claude Rains, go to Universal’s Classic Monster Movies

For more on Bela Lugosi, go to I Bid You Welcome

For more films that spanned countless sequels and remakes, go to Everyones Entitled to One Good Scare