Father Knows Best: The Stepfather (1987)

Last year when I reviewed The Stepfather 2009, I also planned on watching and reviewing this version as well. But it was late at night, the wind was blowing my cat wreath on my door making it sound as if someone was knocking, and the wind caused the tree branch by my bedroom window to slap the pane. As I started the film, Terry O’Quinn staring into the mirror after murdering his family scared me so that I had to put something fun on.

Later when I went to rewatch the film, it was no longer on Amazon prime for free. So I decided to wait.

This past May I had my niece for the weekend and usually we watch Kdramas, Cdramas, anime, or romantic comedies. But she also loves horror and was in the mood to watch something. As we flicked through what Amazon had to offer this film came up, and even though it was an “old film” (her words) she decided to give it a try. I told her is scared me the first time I tried watching it and after we both agreed it was way better than the remake. Terry O’Quinn just does such a great job at being creepy.

So this film is party based on John List, who murdered his family and assumed another identity, and partly on some of the issues the screenwriter, Donald E. Westlake was facing as a new stepfather to a teenage girl. However, while both things influenced the film, it isn’t really based on a specific incident.

The film begins with Terry O’Quinn having murdered his family and changing how he looks-shaving his beard, changing from glasses to contacts, etc. This scene is especially creepy as he stares into the mirror and into you, your eyes!

Creepy…

He packs up his things and heads out, passing by the butchered remains of his family. This is probably the most graphic scene of the film and really shows the character of the “Stepfather” as he calmly takes care of everything, not bothered or touched at all by the massacre he created. He leaves, takes the ferry, dumps a suitcase of incriminating evidence into the lake, heads to a new town, and creates a new identity.

A year has passed and the “Stepfather” is going by Jerry Blake, is a real estate agent for American Eagle Real Estate, and has married widow Susan Maine (Shelley Hack); becoming stepfather to Jill Maine (Jill Schoelen). Susan of course loves him and prepares a gourmet dinner every night with dessert. Jill on the other hand hates him, and has started acting out in school. She confides to her therapist that she hates being around Jerry (although has no specific concerns or issues that are harming her safety) and is trying to get expelled and sent to a boarding school away from him. He therapist encourages her to try and give Jerry another chance. Jill reluctantly agrees to.

Ugh…this guy

Meanwhile in Seattle, Jerry’s previous wife’s brother, James Ogilvie is obsessed with the case and trying to find “Henry” (what Jerry went by previously). He is living in his car and harasses the newspaper reporter who wrote about the crime and the police officers. Both tell him to move on, but the reporter does agree to write a new article and include a picture, to see if someone has seen “Henry”.

To be honest, Jim looks insane and his drifter lifestyle didn’t help him any. If I encountered him, I would have brushed him off as he sounds like a fanatic.

Back in Jerry’s world he is hosting a BBQ for his friends, clients, and neighbors. He gives a big speech about community and family-very sweet and heartwarming, but something Jill finds disgusting. At the BBQ one of the adults has a newspaper and they start discussing the article about the killing by “Henry”. The article has no picture, but even though there is no direct way to connect it to him, Jerry gets freaked out. He changed the subject to lighter things and turns the paper into a newspaper hat for one of the kids.

Afterwards he goes to the basement, his work area, and has a full on devolved freak out. He starts manically rambling, about his childhood. Originally, the story included scenes of Jerry’s past and how he was abused as a child, but I actually prefer the story with those scenes cut. I think that Quinn is expressive enough in the way he acts and behaves that you can tell he grew up in an unhappy home and is striving for his “perfect TV family”. In a lot of ways he reminds me of Jim Carrey’s character in The Cable Guy, although more murder-y.

Stephanie sees him there as she was sent to get ice cream from the freezer, and she gets really unnerved at seeing him like that. He tells her that he gets tired of always being perfect and the salesman, so he needed to unwind.

Yeah that was some weird angry venting going on. Stephanie leaves to the party but searches for the newspaper that seemed to upset him. She sees it is an article about the killer and writes to the newspaper to get information, convinced that Jerry is the killer. She shares her findings with her friend, but she isn’t convinced.

Meanwhile, Jim accosts the newspaper reporter for not including a picture, but he shares that his editor nixed it. Jim decides to continue his drifting and searching, getting closer to where Jerry is hiding out.

Stephanie waits for the mail to come, but one day Jerry comes homie earlier and steals it. He then goes to a photography studio and buys a print which he switches out and then places the envelope back in the mail. When Stephanie gets it, she is disappointed that it turns out to not be Jerry, although you think she would be happy that her stepfather isn’t a serial killer, but whatever.

Meanwhile, Dr. Bondurant, Jill’s therapist has wanted to meet with Jerry for a while. As Jerry knows the risk of speaking to the therapist, and having him figure him out, he has been avoiding him. Dr. Bondurant refuses to take no for an answer and sets up an appointment to buy a house under an assumed name.

Jerry starts off really charming and nice, but quickly figures out that Dr. Bondurant has no interest in getting a house, but is there to emotionally probe him.

Jerry Blake: I wanna ask you something. Are you interested in buying a house… Or are you interested in me?

Jerry can’t have that and the doctor is gone. After he has murdered him, Jerry searches his coat, expecting him to be a reporter or cop and is surprised to see he is the therapist. He quickly cleans up and dumps the body in the car, placing a rock on the gas pedal so it will crash and everyone will think it was a car accident.

Jerry tells Stephanie of the death (after he is told by the receptionist) and the two bond. They work on a bird house together and everything is good in the home…until Stephanie starts dating her friend and Jerry catches her kissing the boy. He yells and wants to call the police on him, but Sue convinces him not to. Stephanie is embarrassed and furious!

Jerry perfect family ideal is destroyed and he starts preparing himself for a new life. He quits his job, finds one in a new town, a place to rent, and a widow. Once he has everything prepared he decides it is time to end the ladies’ life.

Jim has finally tracked Jerry down and found his home. He speaks to Sue who won’t give out much information, causing Jim to leave and plan on coming back later. Sue then calls Jerry at work, only to discover he quit.

That night when Jerry comes home is an incredibly creepy scene. He keeps getting his multiple identities confused and he starts mixing them up. Kind of like that Criminal Minds episode when they have a similar situation in Miami.

Jerry tries to soothe the upset Sue, by promising her it was a receptionist’s mistake. But he tells her the wrong name! He then completely devolves, and Sue is confused and shocked.

Jerry Blake: Wait a minute, who am I here?

Sue: Jerry?

Jerry Blake: That’s right. Jerry Blake. Thanks honey.

But even though it looks like everything is calmed down, Jerry decides the time to strike is now and kill Sue, smacking her in the head with the phone and knocking her down the stairs. He then prepares to go after the dog, but changes tactics when Stephanie returns home.

However, the Blake/Maine family never locks their door, which seems weird for a killer who is always worried about people being after them-and Jim just walks right in.

Jerry is about to attack Stephanie, but Jim tries to come at him and Jerry slashes him instead. Stephanie, frightened, runs and tries to find a way out. As Jerry blocks the only exit out, she runs upstairs into the attic, where she is followed by Jerry.

Stephanie tries to find something to defend herself with but there is nothing. Jerry advances, but falls through a rotted section of the floor. Stephanie tries to escape, but Jerry recovers and comes after her again. All looks lost until Sue, who has managed to crawl up the stairs after being smacked in the head and thought dead, grabs the gun and shoots Jerry twice-Stephanie finishing up the job by stabbing him in the chest.

At the end, Stephanie is with her mom, hacking down the birdhouse Jerry made and destroying it. I’m sure Sue will never date again after that experience.

From Gilmore Girls

A very creepy film that is much better than the remake. And you know what I always say about that-the original is always better.

No Facebook cover for this one either.

For more on The Stepfather, go to How Much Do You Really Know About Him?: The Stepfather (2009)

For more serial killers, go to People Don’t Realize That There are Killers Among Them. People They Liked, Loved, Lived With, Worked With and Admired…: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019)

For more ‘80s films, go to Goofy Ghosts and a Treasure Hunt: Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers (1987)

Trapped in a Mansion in the Middle of Nowhere with a Psycho: The Cat and the Canary (1939)

“Trapped in a mansion in the middle of nowhere with a Psycho.”

This movie was sooooo good!

I saw it at the library when we were reorginizing and it sounded really interesting-a will, multiple people inheriting and fighting each other, locked in a house in the middle of nowhere, starring Paulette Goddard, Edith Head did the costumes, and it was early Bob Hope-so hopefully he won’t be too silly.

I have to watch it.

So the film is based off a play and it is one of those horror comedies that spoof horror films-you know like Arsenic and Old Lace or One Body Too Many.

Cyrus Norman was an eccentric millionaire, who insanity ran in his family. He passed away and determined that ten years from that date on midnight the will, will be read. They never say why-but I believe that he wanted certain family members dead, like in Mystery of the 13th Guest

10 years in this movie.

The night has came and the lawyer, Crosby arrives by canoe to the mansion, he will be stuck there until the next day as no boats run after midnight. Trapped like in House on Haunted Hill.

Haunted house!

Crosby goes there and is greeted by the creepiest housekeeper ever. She’s like Mrs. Danvers, Nancy, and Milly rolled into one. This is set in the Louisiana Bayou and she talks about talking to her master, and spirits, and roams the house soundlessly with a black cat. Just an uber creeper!

SUPER creeped

Crosby goes to where the will was stashed and finds not one, but TWO wills!

Hmm…interesting.

Hmmm…

The family starts showing up, all second and third cousins twice removed. We have two older sisters (40-50s age range) Cicily and Aunt Susan who arrive. Both are very unhappy to be out in the swamp-Susan is the older one, loud, aggressive, domineering-while Cicily is sweet, submissive, ad nervous.

Hmm…

Then the men arrive: Fred Blythe, grouchy and sarcastic; Charlie Wilder (Douglas Montgomery), handsome ladies man; and Wally Campbell (Bob Hope), actor, funnyman, and nervous talker. This part was actually created for him, an addition to the play.

They settle in for the will reading, yet there is one left-Joyce Norman (Paulette Goddard). Fred is in love with Joyce and tells all the others to back off of her. Charlie and Joyce used to have a thing but haven’t seen each other in years-he trying to ignite the flame again. And Wally and Joyce were friends when they were younger, he was always trying to help her out or protect her (secret crush).

More like a quadrilateral

The will is read with all the money going to the ones who have the last name Norman. That being only Joyce-she inherits everything.

Except there is one caveat. This family is rife with mental illness-if Joyce should  succumb to mental illness in one month or die-the money will go to another person in the other will.

What are you talking about??

That seems like an awful thing to do-the relatives are going to try and make her be declared insane, drive her insane, or kill her. What was he thinking!!!!!

I guess maybe he thought that there would be more heirs, but still-this seems to be a horrible idea.

So all are happy for Joyce, except Aunt Susan who immediately starts psychoanalyzing her-and Charlie who starts trying to reignite the flames and get her interested in him again-really. She just got the money. 

All have the stay in the house overnight together-and then things start taking a dark turn.

The creepy voodoo housekeeper gives Joyce a private message. Joyce then goes to get ready for bed when there is a knock on the door. It is a guard from the asylum down the way who has arrived to let them know that a manic got loose. The maniac has long claws and is called “The Cat”. He warns them to lock the doors and windows and he is going to check the bayou.

So we have crazy relatives, a million dollars, a creepy housekeeper, and an escapee from the insane asylum-things are getting good.

I have to watch it.

Meanwhile, Cosby has discovered something when searching through the files. He goes to tell Joyce, but before he can get the words out-he is kidnapped by someone who creeped through a secret passage.

Yes this house is full of secret passages, has a portrait with eyes that someone can watch you through, and was one of the influences of the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland. Yep, it’s that cool.

Someone’s creeping on Joyce…but who?

Joyce and Wally end up pairing up as he wants to hep her, and they discover a note about Cyrus’ hidden treasure-emerald and diamond necklace-that is on the property. They have to find the treasure, survive the night, and keep Joyce from being driven crazy by her family, and safe from the Cat.

This was an amazing film with great dialogue. I love the pace of the ’30s and ’40s films with such quick and pithy banter. This was just wonderful, I loved every minute of it and it didn’t disappoint. I highly recommend this and can watch it over and over.

For more on Haunted Houses, go to Creepy Demon Mask & Haunted Hampstead Heath House of Horrors!

For more hidden treasure, go to Catherine Morland’s Reading List: Cat Burglar Black

For more Horror-Comedy, go to What Do They Want You For? Murder: Silver Streak (1976)

 

Lifetime Didn’t Go Psycho Enough: Psycho Mother-in-Law (2019)

So I was just in a Lifetime-movie marathon mood (say that five times fast) and seeing what films I can get to watch free on Youtube. This popped up and I began watching.

But I was actually very disappointed in it, as I am with all these newer films. The ’80s and ’90s film were much better in story lines.

This had the potential to be better, but didn’t go as far as it could have.

Disappointed!

Sharon Vickers (Romy Rosemont) is a single mom who is all about her daughter, Amber (Victoria Diamond). But lately Amber has no time for her mother. She calls but only gets answering machines and hardly ever gets to speak to her. Amber just has no time for her mom anymore.

I’m not happy

This makes her sad, and angry. She is a hospice nurse, but you don’t want her as she kills her patients. Eeek!

But this day is different. Sharon goes home to find a message that her daughter is engaged to her boyfriend Luke (Matthew Raudsepp) and they are staying with Luke’s mother, Jill Jones (Kari Matchett). They invite Sharon to come and celebrate the engagement party and she goes.

The Bat

But all is not well with Sharon. She is pleased about Tom, but she does not like Jill. Jill is blond and perfect and trying to replace Sharon in Amber’s life.

No joke, I started thinking that Jill was the psycho-in-law, even though we had for real watched Sharon murder someone already.

Pamela Voorhees: [high voice] Kill her, Mommy! Kill her! Don’t let her get away, Mommy! Don’t let her live!
[normal voice]
Pamela Voorhees: I won’t, Jason. I won’t!

I mean Jill was so “kind” but was clearly trying to take over. She talks down to the mom and makes fun of her to everyone.

She has taken Amber dress shopping, caterer testing, and already has firmed down several wedding plans and they just got engaged like a day or two ago.

She manipulates Sharon out of everything-the wedding, Sharon’s wedding dress, any tradition at all-and takes all of Amber’s time with “work”.

Jill runs a powerful gallery and Amber is an artist, so Amber will do all she can to keep the contacts Jill promises and of course she wants her mother-in-law to like her. When Luke makes a joke about spending their first Christmas with Sharon after tasting her cooking, Jill goes full on angry and moves the conversation back in her court.

Amber decides to wear her mom’s dress, but Jill manipulates her into thinking it is ugly and will be ugly on her.

In fact, Amber makes a date to go with her mom wedding dress shopping, just to look and Jill crashes the party, offers to pay for a super expensive dress, and wipes the mom out of the picture completely.

The vacation ends and Sharon goes to leave, but returns to tear up the house. Unfortunately, Jill comes, and Sharon knocks her off the second floor.

Ouch

Here is where the film dies for me. Sharon takes Jill home to “nurse” her back to health as she has a broken leg, more a Misery nursing than anything else, and eventually plans to murder Jill in order to have Amber back. This just felt so overdone and out of line as what is her endgame? There is no coming back from torturing your soon to be in-law.

Or plot!

Now, I think Jill was also pretty psycho in her manipulation and cutting Sharon out of the picture. I mean Amber calls Jill more than her own mother!

How much more awesome that instead of Sharon being the psycho mother-in-law they both were psychos. What if instead of having a broken leg, Jill pretended and the two play against each other for their kids’ love and attention?

Hmmm?

I think that would be much better than a Misery reboot. What do you think?

To start Horrorfest VIII from the beginning, go to Count Dracula the Propagator of This Unspeakable Evil Has Disappeared. He Must Be Found and Destroyed!: Horror of Dracula (1958)

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

For more Lifetime Movies, go to Who Did I Marry?: The Stranger Beside Me (1995)

 

Take Your Stinking Paws Off Me, you D*** Dirty Ape!: Planet of the Apes (1968)

“Take your stinking paws off me, you d***** dirty ape!”

This is one of my parent’s favorite films so I grew up watching the whole series-although I only ever watched Beneath the Planet of the Apes once as it freaked the living daylights out of me.

I remember this film being a major part of my childhood and watching it again and again.

So back in 2016, they rereleased this in theaters and I took my mom for her birthday. When they rereleased Psycho (1960), I took notes in the theater (in the dark) and transcribed them into the post you can read.

I had planned to do the same here, as you know-kill two birds with one stone. Unfortunately, I lost the notebook and my notes.

I always planned to review it, but just hadn’t gotten around to it. But then when someone donated the full original series to the library, I thought what better time than the present to review the whole series? (Fingers crossed I can do it) And I plan (fingers crossed) to review a Planet of the Apes film every Wednesday.

I was going to watch the film, when unpacking some boxes I found my original notes.

So I plan to transcribe them.

Yes, notes I made three years ago, in the dark, in handwriting that my sister describes “as pretty to look at but hard to read”. Maybe its crazy, (yeah totally) but you know me-I love a challenge. So here we go!

First off, the makeup is amazing. This was before they had a category in the Oscars or else this would have won hands down.

It took a while to get this filmed made as everyone said no. No one would sign on until Charleston Heston agreed to play George Taylor. Both Edward G. Robinson and Burt Lancaster were considered for the part, but I can’t see anyone else but Heston as Taylor.

If it wasn’t for him this film never would have been made.

They had to create a special makeup, one that was porous so the people could sweat through, they sweated A LOT as this was filmed in a desert area.

So looking back, this film came out only one year before we go into outer space. Weird, huh.

So the film is set in 1972 Earth time, but on the ship, because of space travel, it is the year 3978. The musical theme is pretty creepy, setting you up well for the film that lies ahead.

Spooky…

Weird to think that while they are traveling, hundreds of years have passed.

“George Taylor: The men who sent us on this journey are long since dead and gone. You who are reading me now are a different breed – I hope a better one. I leave the 20th century with no regrets. But one more thing – if anybody’s listening, that is. Nothing scientific. It’s purely personal. But seen from out here everything seems different. Time bends. Space is boundless. It squashes a man’s ego. I feel lonely. That’s about it. Tell me, though. Does man, that marvel of the universe, that glorious paradox who sent me to the stars, still make war against his brother? Keep his neighbor’s children starving?

They end up crashing the ship and that’s as much as I can get from my notes. Too much time has passed, I can’t read what I was writing. I’m going to have to scrap this plan and rewatch it. I love the film, so it is no big loss.

That opening monologue makes w think of that Twilight Zone where the guy is speaking into his radio and he crash lands on the plane and meets the girl, calling her Eve.

It must be so weird to talk to these people, when the ones you knew and sent you on this mission have been dead for thousands of years.

So there are three men on the mission and one woman. Even as a kid I always thought that was odd and I found even more so as an adult. If they took their own “Adam and Eve” wouldn’t it make much more sense to have more than one woman?

The music intro with the names is so weird-a mix of spacey and tribal. It perfectly sets you up for the ride ahead.

As they are coming toward a planet the plane spins here and there-twist and turns as it crashes and jeez, is it painful to watch. It rather gives me a headache and in the theater I remember I felt a bit queasy.

I’m sick.

The three men survive, but the woman’s bed was cracked and she aged and died. When I was a kid I always felt she drew the short stick, but as an adult realizing that whole “Adam and Eve” plan, plus what is too come-I think she was actually pretty lucky.

The crash means they need to get out quick, so the abandon the girl to her watery grave and head out on a raft.

George Taylor: Okay we are here to stay.

How awful to be stuck on an unknown planet and to never be able to go back and no clue if there is anyone coming after you. I mean the whole Earth could have imploded after they were gone!

So I have watched this film a GAZILLION times, I mean I literally can’t tell you the number as it has been so many-I don’t even know. But this is the first time I have caught this scene when they are talking and Dodge says, “its not where we are but when we are.”

There were the seeds foreshadowing the end in this film all along.

It already did!

So all they have are supplies for three days, one gun, and a silver metal backpack. Why did they design it that way? It doesn’t look very logical, useful, or comfortable.

So as they climb to search for some mark of land or civilization in this desert, they talk  bit. They have been away from “their” Earth for over 2000 years. Landon has hope they could return and see their friends and family, but Taylor is more realistic. He thinks any shred of what they knew is gone (which makes a lot of sense. I’m writing this and the world has changed a lot from 19 AD) and  he finds no point in thinking about it as they can’t get back. (I want you all to remember how he feels as this point in the film).

Wherever, or whenever, they are all there is is empty land. Rocks, desert, and sand as far as the eye can see. Empty. Dry.

But they have the strangest weather-lightning and thunder no rain, no moon, clouds during the day. Where…when…are they?

Taylor and Landon fight-Landon the hopeful while Taylor the sarcastic. The way the two talk reminds me of that Twilight Zone episode when the guys crash land on he planet with the tiny people.

By the way have I mentioned that 1) I ABSOLUTELY love The Twilight Zone, and 2) Rod Serling helped write the screenplay for Planet of the Apes, and 3) Today just happens to be the anniversary of The Twilight Zone appearing on TV. Happy Anniversary to you, and thank you Rod Serling for being a true American treasure.

Sorry, back to the film. So Dodge finds a weed and gives them hope, where there is one there is another! And water!

As the day turns to night and their silhouettes stomp across the land the music starts up-and starts putting you in the mood that something is not right, something about this is about to be the opposite of what they wanted.

As they walk something is watching them top the cliffs? Friend or foe? You know me, I’m always go on the side of caution I think it is someone not to be trusted, a foe!

As they  continue they find these weird cross things…scarecrows? Upon closer inspection they are. They just march past them and it clear none of these guys were a historian or art historians or else they would know that these mean something bad and to turn away. See this is why historians are important!

Or historians

But because they aren’t they go charging past this warning and into the waterfall below, disrobe, bathe/swim-we see Charleton Heston booty.

Landon sees a footpeint in the mud-human footprint. They then spot someone stealing their clothes and they follow. They find a trail of their belongs wrecked and torn apart. Their clothes are in pieces but they do find enough to cover themselves to pass the censorship.

Although, now that I think about it. Weren’t these clothes supposed to be suitable for space travel? Why would they tear so easily?

Hmm…

We see humans hanging out in trees and cornstalks, collecting food, and eating fruit. They appear to be vegetarian. That’s good to know. If you end up on an unknown planet/area-its great if the people aren’t going to eat you.

Then a roar is heard and all scatter. Our three heros are at a loss, but if the natives are running for their lives-they figure they best get out too.

Something is coming, slashing the stalks, on horses. but what? Even though we know it is planet of the apes, I love how they drag it out and really played it up for us. So then when you see them, you are just like wow!

Even after all these years the makeup is amazing, they look so real. I know everyone and everything is so into CGI, but I don’t like CGI. I think it looks so fake and unreal to me. I like the old school Ray Harryhausen and the makeup effects done in this. It looks real and tangible. CGI always looks like it isn’t on the right plane. Like when you draw something but it is floating the in the midde of your paper instead of being on he ground with weight.

The apes hunt the humans catching them in nets, shooting a few. It is really amazing the way they mimic big game hunters.

All are captured and brought and carted to cages, Taylor gets hurt in the throat and can’t speak for a while.

As an adult watching this you see that there are a lot of undertones of other things going on in this movie. The doctor’s argue about funding, support, and promotions. The “quota system” has been abolished and yet there are those who rank on the bottom that stay there (the chimpanzees). The male doctor tells the Zira to try and get Dr. Zauis, who is in charge of funding to give them more as “you made it.” Almost as of he is insinuating that she got passed through because she is a female trying to fill a quota. Not every film can, but this is able to present real life issues in scifi.

Good job!

Dr. Zira is an animal psychologist, who won’t take anything from that other doctor-don’t mess with her. Dr. Zira is studying humans believing them to be more intelligent than the others believe. A lot of her thoughts and tests remind you of how they test apes and teach them sign language or other things. This film is that good.

Dr. Zauis is an orangutang and at the top of the power system. He wants everything to remain the same and tells Dr. Zira she is wasting her time-experiment on the brain more than anything else, He would prefer the human race to be exterminated as they ravage their crops. It makes me think of Wyoming and the debate between the farmers about the wolves among their cattle.

Dt. Zira tries to match up Taylor with the woman who they used to give him a blood transfusion. Its so weird that she is trying to breed them, but it is done with animals every day.

Dr. Cornelius is he fiancé of Dr. Zira, and played by Roddy McDowell who I just adore.

Taylor wants to talk to them, but he can’t as his throat is still healing, He tries to sign but they ignore him. He tries to write it on the dirt, but it is brushed away. He gets in a fight with another guy over his “mate”, and this scene always makes me think of Bambi with the deers.

Dr. Cornelius is an archeologist who wants to do another dig into pre-civilization. Dr. Zauis sees part of what Taylor wrote and doesn’t act too surprised about it covering it up. Interesting…

Hmmm…

So the Chimps are the intellectuals and scientists, the gorillas the muscle being the army and security, and the orangoutangs run everything in politics and the church.

Back at the cage Taylor steals Dr. Zira’s notepad and pencil when she comes close to the cage writing:

“MY NAME IS TAYLOR.”

She goes to show her fiance, but he doesn’t believe it. He thinks he was taught tricks like for the circus and it is crazy to believe he went to public school in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Falling out of the sky, that’s crazy.

You’re crazy!
Crazy, am I? We’ll see whether I’m crazy or not.

He builds a paper airplane and they are amazed, there are no planes or cars or such in their society. And even after seeing all that Cornelius still doesn’t believe he was in the forbidden zone (past the scarecrows) which no one can survive,

Dr Cornelius has an idea that apes evolved from humans and Dr. Zira thinks that Taylor  is proof and the will believe him as it is the truth.

Hhahahahahahahahjahhahahahahaha this is why you all need a historian.

Dr. Zira wants to shake the world, but Dr. Cornelius doesn’t feel the same way. He wants to be comfortable as their life is moving forward. Their discussion is interrupted by Dr. Zauis and his companion who came to see Dr. Cornelius.

Dr Zauis sees the airplane right away and destroys it. Hmmm…but again he’s not surprised. What does he know?

Hmm…

The next day the apes come for Taylor as Dr. Zauis wants him lobotomized. Hmm…what does he know?

Taylor however escapes. I have always loved this part. He runs through the village which is very basic and rocklike. It’s interesting how Dystopian stories are either super high-tech, or they take place in a world that has regressed. He run scaring people and attacking to try and escape.

He runs through the Flintstone like dwellings-outsmarting the apes at every turn. In the museum he finds his fellow astronaut, Dodge-taxidermied.

But while he runs and runs his luck does run out as he is surrounded by apes-having things thrown at him. They eventually catch him and then he yells out to everyone, in front of everyone-all shocked and amazed. One of my favorite parts.

He returns to his cage with his “mate”trying to talk to her but it is hard as she doesn’t speak.” Weeks later they separate them and take Taylor to the tribunal. All orangoutangs are the judges as they control everything.

They put Taylor in front and rip the clothes off Taylor. He stands there as they argue around him. He has rights as he’s a man. Taylor tries to defend himself, but they muzzle him.

I love when Taylor questions their “equality” as it seems some apes are more equal than others-Animal Farm reference.

Taylor writes a statement about him from being from outer space and they toss it. They refuse to believe anything he says. They search for Landon to back up his story, but his shipmate has been lobotomized.

[to Dr. Zaius after he finds a lobotomized Landon]

George Taylor: You did it. You cut up his brain, you bloody baboon!

They return to the “trial” and say he suffered a skull fracture. Yeah right, they are just suppressing the truth. Cornelius tries to help by sharing his idea that Taylor comes from the Forbidden Zone.

It already did!

He found proof of another culture before he apes, human. They think that Taylor came from there.

Dr. Zira tries to share, but the orangoutangs will not listen. She argues that if they are certain that he isn’t from space, the only logical explanation is that Taylor needs to be from our planet. So if he is from the planet than that means all huamns should have the same abilities.

That is not good,

Oh jeez what a can of worms.

They live him in there with Dr. Zauis who reveals he knows he is Taylor is more than what they were saying and that they are not only going to expriment and kill him, but he’s perfect to take down Dr. Cornelius and Zira. He tries to make a deal to figure out who his tribe is to try and take them down.

Dr. Zauis admits that they did know Landon talked but he wanted to protect their society and destroyed him. Dr. Zauis still doesn’t believe him from space. He gives him six hours to admit where his people are-or all are dead.

That night, a young chimpanzee comes with an order to move Taylor to the zoo. The chimp knocks out the gorilla guard, as he is revealed that he is Dr. Zira’s nephew Lucius.

Dr. Zira rocks!

They rescue his “female,” Nova a well. They give Taylor some clothes to wear, but he doesn’t want to as it stinks. Dr. Zira has to push him as most apes think all men look alike and if they have any hope of succeeding he needs to look the part.

I don’t know why he gets so whiney, they are trying to save him.

They drive away and meet up with Cornelious who brought extra horses for the humans. Cornelius ad Dr. Zira hav been indicted for hearesey. They decided they need to go out to the Forbidden Zone to find human remains to save themselves.

Taylor plans to go to go back to where his ship crashed, and asks about the river and the forbidden zone but no one knows why or where it goes. It was all determined long ago in the sacred scrolls.

Hmmm

A they travel and make camp, Taylor stops to shave his beard (why?). They are all amazed and Cornelius says it makes him look less intelligent.

Ouch, burn

I love Cornelius. He’s my favorite character as Roddy McDowell is awesome. Dr. Zauis and his apes follow them but Taylor is a great shot. He takes Dr. Zauis hostage. They strike a deal that if they have proof Zauis will let them off the hook. Lucius has to stay behind to watch the camp-and he acts like all angry teens. the man is trying to keep him down. Guess it doesn’t change which planet or decade you are from.

They go into the cave and find the ancient culture more advanced, like dark ages. So much technology has been lost through time. Dr. Zauis says that the Geologists on his staff would laugh at Cornelius’ dating-yeah because they are controlled by you.

They find a doll by the fossil of a man but no ape. Dr. Zauis just turns him down, but Taylor finds false teeth, fabricated heart valve, and eyeglasses

Nova plays with the doll and it says Mama. All I can think is it must have been a really well put together doll to last throughout so many years.

Wow

They then hear gunshots and go to try and help Lucius. Taylor fakes he is injured and takes Zauis hostage again. Taylor ties up Dr. Zauis while Zira and Cornelius are a little lost at what is happening.

Taylor points out that men were here first and that Dr. Zauis knews it all along. Dr. Zauis reveals that he is right.

Taylor decides to ride off and follow the shore. He invites Zira and Cornelius but they can’t leave, they can’t give up on their planet.

Taylor and Nova take off and I always like how this didn’t have a happy ending-they left it open ended. We don’t quite know what will happen next.

Hmm…

Dr. Zauis shares that the humans destroyed everything. The Forbidden Zone was destroyed when it used to be a paradise. But Taylor is still unsure. A planet where Apes evolved from men? Can that be? They take off into the forbidden zone.

Dr. Zauis seals up the cave and then decides to put Dr. Zira and Dr. Cornelius on trial for heresy.

Taylor and Nov ride off – and the landscape, but as they ride they find something so terrible it makes Taylor scream in shock.

“George Taylor: You maniacs, you blew it up. Damn you. Damn you all to hell.”

It is the head of the statue of liberty! He never left his planet. Dodge was right they went through time, not space!

So the writers wanted something big to end on-and this is highly disputed who really thought up the ending. The “official” answer is that they were trying to figure out how to show that they were on Earth the whole time and were having lunch at a deli in NYC and saw all the Statue of Liberty souvenirs and it struck them! The perfect way to show it was a destroyed Statue of Liberty.

It doesn’t matter to me, I love it and think it is just as amazing as when I first watched it.

Oops, almost forgot the Facebook banner:

For more Charlton Heston, go to Work Will Always Be There But You Might Not Be: The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)

For more Roddy McDowell, go to That Darn Cat

For more dystopian future films, go to This is a Bad One, the Worst Yet. I Need the Old Blade Runner…: Blade Runner (1982)

 

The Psychotic Episode: Boy Meets World (1999)

Boy Meets World was one of my favorite shows from the ’90s. I used to watch it anytime it was on. There are a lot of great episodes, especially ones for our Halloween countdown.

This episode comes from season 6. The gang are in college and Cory and Topanga are engaged. Story A is that Cory keeps having these nightmares about killing Shawn. Its kind of weird and a bit boring (to be honest). In the end the dreams symbolize what Cory will give up getting married, the path not taken.

The B story, that’s the one I remember and love. Jack is dating Rachel, the girl Eric also had fallen head over heels with. But since they are together, Eric moved out. He wants to watch the girl they love mack on their best friend?

He tries to move into his parent’s house, but no longer has a room as it is a nursery for his baby brother.

He tries Shawn and Cory, but no dice there either.

Then Topanga’s room, but nope there too.

He is sleeping in the Student Union when Jack ad Rachel find him. They try and bring him back, but anything would be better than having to constantly see the girl you love with your best friend.

He pleas for a roommate, he’s desperate when he gets an answer to his prayer. Another student, Adam is looking for a roommate.

It’s perfect!

So Eric checks out his new digs. It is not only a pretty nice apartment, its gorgeous, Eric only has to pay “whatever he can afford”, and there is a gorgeous neighbor Adam will delightfully introduce him to. Life is good for Eric.

Alright!

But then Eric sees why Adam can’t kept a roommate. Can’t sit in his dead mother’s chair.

Or his dead Uncle Dave’ couch.

Uhh…this is creepy

Adam calls him from a seat away and will only converse over a phone.

Then Adam brings out his pet parrot for Eric to meet and feed. She’s stuffed. Who does he sound like?

Boy/Man Child

This is getting to weird for Eric-he’s going out…but then Sheila, the neighbor comes over in only a towel and Eric stays.

Eric is actually coming around to living with Adam, the perks outweighing the weird.

But then Adam decides to introduce him to his mother. We hear Adam and his mother talking in the other room.

AAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That’s it-Eric’s out.

Good-bye

Hilarious and so well done. A great homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and just all around great episode. You should definitely check it out.

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to Which Husband Ran Off With Addie Ross?: A Letter to Three Wives (1949)

For more Boy Meets World, go to Simply Fantastic

For more on Eric Matthews, go to Men

For more on Norman Bates and Psycho, go toI Don’t Kill People Anymore: Psycho II (1983)