It was a Horseman, a Dead One. Headless: Sleepy Hollow (1999)

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It was a headless horseman… But it was a headless horseman…you must believe me. It was a horseman, a dead one. Headless.

I saw this years ago with my sister. She probably shouldn’t have shown it to me as I was too young to be watching an “R” rated film, and all I mostly remember is being confused.

confused

Ichabod Crane was detective not a teacher?

What?

What?

The horseman didn’t follow the correct rules of not being allowed to cross over the bridge. That made me so mad as I had read the book!

Legend of Sleepy Hollow

And there were these weird flashbacks of Ichabod; lots of witchcraft; and the worst performance of Christopher Walken…I don’t know it didn’t make a lot of sense to me.

Whattheheck

So whenever I do Horrorfest, I always plan out ahead of time the things I will review and then because of life when I actually do the reviews, half the things I choose end up not making it into Horrorfest, but are changed out with other films. This film, however, was not one of those. From the beginning of Horrorfest I had wanted to review it.

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You see I had decided it was time to do a Tim Burton film, and choose Sleepy Hollow. I then ended up adding Corpse Bride into the mix as that film I just happened to see. So with Corpse Bride filling that quota, did I need to review Sleepy Hollow?

suspicious Hmm

Well , yes. You see I decided this year I am going to go through my old posts and do films I mention in them, along with remakes and sequels. Tying the old to the new. As I reviewed Disney’s Sleepy Hollow during the original Horrorfest, I decided to bring it back.

Ghosts are bad, but the one that's cursed, Is the Headless Horseman; he's the worst!

Ghosts are bad, but the one that’s cursed,
Is the Headless Horseman; he’s the worst!

So now as an adult, older I decided to watch it. And what did I think?

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

You as in the film

You as in the film

I thought it was horrible. First let’s look at Johnny Depp’s character Ichabod Crane. In New York he is “forward thinking” and “ahead of his time”.

as always

as always

Tim Burton really needs to move on from that theme it is boring to see it in every film he does. Anyway, Ichabod is a constable, police officer, but America didn’t have a police force until 1838, and New York didn’t have it until 1845. If the film takes place in 1779, he couldn’t be a police officer.

stupidmoranhmm_yes_i_see_youre_a_moron_trollcat

Does Burton do any historical research?

Or do anything

Or do anything

So he’s all advanced that no one understands him.

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He gives a powerful speech, but is sent to Dutch area of Sleepy Hollow to solve their murders.

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Now when he gets there he turns into the wimpiest person ever. He faints at everything, everything turns him into a shudder; he is brave enough to go into the forbidden woods but too afraid of a Legend. You can’t have him a scaredy-cat and super brave at the same time. It just makes no sense.

Mehsleepyhollownotimportant

Then we have this whole storyline that witches are good, the church is bad. Ichabod’s mother was a witch, or excuse me “a child of earth and nature” killed by his father the minister. Katrina Van Tassel, is a witch and they go on and on that witches are good, pure, kind, etc.

Young Masbath: A strange sort of witch, with a kind and loving heart. How can you think [her guilty]?

But then the villain of the film is a Witch! You constantly go on about witches being good and misunderstood, and end with your crazy, vengeful, psychopath villain being the thing you are defending.

SayWhat?BuffyVampireSlayernosense

And more importantly WHAT DOES WITCHES HAVE TO DO WITH THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN????!!!!

Ghosts are bad, but the one that's cursed, Is the Headless Horseman; he's the worst!

But it isn’t really the films fault per say. You know how everyone is obsessed with zombies? Well I know you thought the ’90s were only obsessed with dinosaurs and ninjas, but we also had a witches craze. There was The Witches, The Craft, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Hocus Pocus, The Crucible, The Blair Witch Project, Practical Magic, Halloweentown, and even Scooby-Doo got in the act with Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost.

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)allofthemwitches

So it doesn’t surprise me. I just think it is stupid that they can “control” the horseman and provide better barriers than “holy ground” or THE BRIDGE HE ISN’T SUPPOSED TO CROSS!!!

Yes I am still angry about it.

Yes I am still angry about it.

And Christopher Walken…

I love this man but he was a horrible Headless Horseman. He WASN’T scary! Not at all. All he did was go rah, rah. BORING! Now the Disney one, that was SCARY!

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

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

This one:

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

I don’t recommend it. Visually it is beautiful but that isn’t enough for me.

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

For the previous post, go to Dracula. Not Myth, Nor Ravings of a Mad Irish Novelist, Oh No, He’s Real: Dracula 2000 (2000)

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For more on Sleepy Hollow, go to A Fright on Halloween Night: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1949)

For more witches, go to A Book Considered Too Dangerous to Keep: The Magician’s Nephew, Midsomer Murders (2008)

For more Tim Burton films, go to He’s Married to a Corpse. He Has A Corpse Bride!: Corpse Bride (2005)

For more Johnny Depp, go to Whatever You Do Don’t Fall Asleep: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

For more Christina Ricci, go to Someone Very Special: The Addam’s Family Values (1993)

For more films based on books, go to I Came Upon a Shattered Glass Jar and Four Baby Turtles Crawling into a Strange Glowing Ooze: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

The Mad Killer: Dial 1119 (1950)

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Recently escaped from the hospital for the criminally insane…the Mad Killer, Gunther Wyckoff

So one of the librarians was processing a group of donated DVDs, and I just happened to spot Film Noir Classic Collection, Volume 5. It had eight films on it: Cornered (1945), Deadline at Dawn (1946), Desperate (1947), Armored Car Robbery (1950), Backfire (1950), Dial 1119 (1950), The Phenix City Story (1955), and Crime in the Streets (1956). 

After I mentioned it would be a good film to watch, they let me be the first one to check it out. Some of the films were good and some were okay. That happens in a collection.

Oh well

Oh well

I thought this movie was really exceptional and all because of Marshall Thompson, who plays Gunther Wyckoff. He was phenomenal in playing his part. He was able to be cold, calculating, creepy; but then have moments of appearing almost innocent and a troubled boy. Not as good as Anthony Perkins in Psycho, but close.

keanu Whoa

I haven’t found a lot of pictures so this will mostly contain ones from other films and reviews. But I don’t let that stop me, let’s begin our review.

DeanSupernaturalLetsGetStarted

The film starts off with gruntled newspaperman, Harrison “Harry” D. Barnes. Harry is tired of being paid so little and working his whole life to only be in the exact same place as he started. He tells his pal that he is quitting and heads off to the Oasis bar to drink up his troubles. Because of his early departure, he misses an important announcement that Gunther Wyckoff has escaped from his institution.

OMG gasp

Elsewhere in Terminal City, Helen is leaving to go on vacation with a friend of hers. She lives with her mother, taking care of her as she has a weak heart, but is sorely in need of a break. She heads out but instead of meeting up with a her girl friend, she instead is meeting Earl at the Oasis Bar. Earl is a married salesman and the two are planning to go away for the weekend.

Mmhm great gatsby

Meanwhile, Gunther Wyckoff is headed to Terminal City. Three years ago he murdered a woman, was found to be insane, and instead of being executed, resided in the institution. But now he is out.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

Next to him is a women traveling as well to Terminal City ands she notices that something is off about Wyckoff. Like most psychopaths he has no “normal” ways of interacting with other people.

Something about you just doesn't seem right.

Something about you just doesn’t seem right.

At the front of the bus, the driver has a gun for protection. They all take a five minute break to stretch and use the bathroom, and when they return to their traveling, the woman notices the gun is missing; and that the man next to her was the only one to remain on the bus during the break.

This is bad

This is bad

They reach Terminal City, the woman stays as long as she can and warns the driver in their native tongue about what has happened. After she leaves the driver approaches Wyckoff, and tells him to return the gun and clip. Wyckoff shoots him.

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Wyckoff is extremely creepy and scary as he is so emotionless, cold, and calculated. He doesn’t freak out, break a sweat, or worry; just demolishes what is in his way.

Gilmore girls creep

Wyckoff heads out to Dr. John E. Faron, police psychologist. When no one answers his knock, he decides to go to the nearby bar to wait. The Oasis Bar.

dun-dun-duuuun

In the bar we have Harry, Helen, and Earl; as mentioned before. Also there is Chuckles the extremely pessimistic, sarcastic, and grumpy bartender/owner. His assistant/waiter Skip is the exact opposite, pleasant, kind, and optimistic. Today he is extremely worried and frantic as his wife is about to have a baby and he doesn’t want to miss a thing. In fact he didn’t even want to come to work, but his wife made him go as the baby won’t be coming for a while. She’s going to regret that decision.

ouch Hermione

There is also Freddy, a bar floozy who is drunk all day and night on anything she can get and hits on any young guy that moves.

Laura what I want No good

All are talking while Wyckoff waits. Freddy tries to hit on a big, strong, young man; but when he leaves She turns toward Skip. Skip keeps calling to see if the baby has come yet, but no luck. Helen is trying to justify what she is doing as she is lonely and unsure about if she really wants to go away with a married man. Earl is trying to get Helen drunk so she can “relax” and “settle down.” Harry gets the call about the dead bus driver, but as he has “quit” his job, he decides not to go. Too bad.

This is bad

This is bad

Meanwhile as the newsmen and police are going crazy as they are worried about Wyckoff killing again and searching for him. They locate the woman who was sitting next to him to get confirmation, and when they do flash his picture on TV.

Ringu Watch TV

Chuckles is the only one who notices the TV news flash, and knows it is Wyckoff in his bar. He looks at his gun under the bar and heads down “cleaning” to grab it. But at the last minute he changes his mind and tells Skip to take over, while he “heads in the back to get Vermouth”. Big Mistake.

gameofthronesterriblemistakerob

He goes to the phone, but doesn’t count on Wyckoff being paranoid and very suspicious. He follows Chuckles and shoots him.

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Body count is at two already.

#2

#2

Afterwards, he shuts down the bar and gets the rest of the people together, they are now his hostages.

This is bad

This is bad

A couple of people walking by hear a scream from Helen, and tell the police. When an officer goes to investigate, Wyckoff shoots him in the leg.

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

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

Lieutenant “Whitey” Tallman heads out to handle the situation. They set up barriers on the street and try to figure a way in.

suspicious Hmm

Wyckoff calls the police and tells them he wants Dr. Faron in 25 minuetes or he will kill everyone in the bar.

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

Lt. Whitey is very upset over all this. He was the arresting officer, he worked hard to get Wyckoff convicted for his crimes; and to have him sent to a hospital instead and be out in three years is extremely upsetting. He is furious with Dr. Faron who was the one who provided the evidence and testimony that sent him free to the hospital rather than prison and the death penalty. He has no intention in trying to get Dr. Faron involved, but in finding another way to free the hostages.

I-got-this-reaction-gif

Dr. Faron is out walking when he comes upon the huge crowd of police, newspapermen, and bystanders. He finds out that he is needed ad goes to Lt. Whitey, but Whitey doesn’t want him involved at all.

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

Meanwhile the group inside is trying to figure out what to do. They recognize that the gun he has holds eight rounds, two of which have been used on killing Chuckles and shooting the policeman (the earlier third one hit the bus driver but they don’t know about it). They believe him to have six (really five) left; but then he pulls out another clip and puts it in. They discuss charging at him, but think that it is not a good idea and will get them all killed.

I don't know what to do

Outside the police have come up with an idea to sneak a smaller policeman into the air conditioning to shoot at Wyckoff. Which is a bit strange to go about it.

meettheRobinsonsPlannotthoughtthrough

Dr. Faron wants to go in and speak to Wyckoff, as he believes that he won’t harm him ad that he will be able to shock him out of his delusions ad bring him into reality. The Lt. says no.

You-serious?-Not-happening-babe!

Inside the bar Harry tries to get Wyckoff to let him go, as this is the story of the year; just like his previous exploits were. Wyckoff says no and starts going on about how the government is to blame for making him this way. They gave him a gun and uniform, trained him to kill,and expected him to come back into society. He is a killing machine because of them.

While that is going on, the police work hard to get through the air conditioning. But unbeknownst to them, Wyckoff has been looking at it all night, and when it turns off suddenly he notices, and shoots at it;

0dial_1119cshootgun

killing the policeman.

#3

#3

Freddy tries to seduce him, but no dice. Wyckoff sees right through her.

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

Wyckoff has them turn on the TV so that they can see what is happening outside. They see that the Dr is there but that the Lt. won’t let him in. Harry convinces him to let him call the newspaper, and that they will get the public going and force the police to let the doctor  in. Wyckoff lets him, but the newspaper ignores him, because of his earlier conversation, they think he is just drunk and going to mouth off.

really?

really?

Wyckoff s extremely angry and trying to determine what to do next. Outside the Lt. has decided to blow open the bar and cut the lights. While they are planning, Dr. Fanroe goes in to speak with Wyckodff.

I-got-this-reaction-gif

Dr. Fanroe tries to get Wyckoff to put down the gun down but he won’t listen. You see the only reason Wyckoff came to Terminal City was because he wants to kill Dr. Fanroe.

This is bad

This is bad

Wyckoff makes everyone sit at the bar while he deals with Dr. Fanroe. Freddy notices Chuckles’ gun under the counter.

Hmm...

Hmm…

Dr. Fanrie tries to bring Wyckoff back to reality, and here Thompson shines in his acting. We discover that Wyckoff was not a soldier. He always dreamed of being one and wanted to, but they wouldn’t let him as he didn’t pass the psych evaluation. He went crazy upset and killed.

0dial_1119cshootgunkiller

Wyckoff argues with Fanroe and kills him.

#4

#4

Afterwards he looks at his hostages trying to determine who is next. While doing so the phone rings. Skip afraid that it might be his wife, rushes at Wyckoff to knock him off balance. Meanwhile the cops have set the charge blown up the door and cut the lights. Wyvkoff picks up his gun and intends to shoot them all when before he can, Freddy shoots him.

Whattheheck

 

I have to admit I never saw that one coming. The drunk saving them all? Pretty cool ending as I never would have guessed that.

Oh geez

Oh geez

Afterwards the cops come in and the people all go their separate ways. Skip to the hospital to see his newly arrived eight pound baby. Helen goes home as she believes the whole thing was an intervention from God to keep her from sinning. Earl tries to pick up Freddy and she tuns him down flat, heading to a different bar. Harry calls the desk and starts to relate the story of all that occurred. The mad killer is dead.

TheEnd_Title_2

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

For the previous post, go to How To Survive A Horror Film

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For more film-noir, go to I Do Think You Are Confused Mrs. Bowman: Dangerous Crossing (1953)

For more “mad killers”, go to We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes: Psycho (1960)