It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

It’s the end of the world

You know, I was having a hard time thinking of what movie to open with. What ’60s movie do I like?

Hmm…

Then I stupidly remembered The Birds. Of course!

It’s perfect!

This movie is one of the best Alfred Hitchcock movies ever. I simply adore this film so much. It has everything that makes up a good film. And I can just watch it over and over again.

So I don’t remember what exactly got me into Alfred Hitchcock, but I became obsessed with his films. I do know how I was introduced to The Birds. It was through Ann M. Martin, author of The Baby-Sitters Club.

Huh?

I loved the BSC books as a kid and read them all even belonging in the reading club that sent you two books a month and a little newsletter. I don’t remember if the newsletter or a book mentioned it, but I remember reading a note by Ann M. Martin about how she loved the film The Birds and because no one she knew had a VCR they could only watch it when it was on TV. Whenever it aired they would plan a sleepover and watch it with friends.

I can’t stop watching!

I became consumed with the idea of watching it, did and loved it. It was the first Alfred Hitchcock film I ever owned, me ordering it and planning on purchasing one every year on my birthday or Christmas and having the whole collection when I was an adult (did not happen sadly).

Later, a friend of mine. knowing how much I loved it, took me to Bodega Bay so I could see it in person and all the sites used in the film. It was so cool seeing everything and I later took many more trips out there. Here I am with the house that is used as a schoolhouse in the film. I blurred myself out as there are a lot of weirdos on the internet, no offense dear readers.

They also used to have a museum full of things from the movie and marketing/promotional materials, but it always had weird hours, then they closed it, then they had an awesome shop which doubled as a mini museum-but then the person died who owned it and the collection moved. Here I am with an item when they still had it.

Back in 2011, Tippi Hedren actually came out to do a promotional thing at Bodega Bay. I lived near there when I was going to school, but unfortunately I could not go and meet her as I had scheduled a trip home to be with family. However I had truly amazing and awesome friends who went out and stood in line and got her autograph my DVD. I tried to pay them back, but they would not let me know the price if it or let me do so.

I’m lucky

So while it was an amazing film done by an amazing director there is a sad twinge to the story as well. Alfred Hitchcock was obsessed with Tippi Hedren and controlled her, he wouldn’t let anyone talk to her-unless they were filming, and just was plan awful to her, abusing her really. She tried to talk to the studio heads but he was such a money maker they refused to do anything. And when she refused him, he blackballed her. Too bad she wasn’t able to have justice. If you would like to know more I really recommend reading Spellbound by Beauty: Alfred Hitchcock and His Leading Ladies by Donald Spoto

So that’s enough background, let’s move on to the review!

The film is based on a book by Daphne Du Maurier, this being the third of her works being published into a film-following Jamaica Inn and Rebecca. However, this story and her story have nothing in common besides birds attacking. And before we discuss the film, let’s watch the trailer.

So the film starts off in San Francisco where we have Melanie Daniels, Tippi Hedren, going into a bird shop to pick up her myna bird.

***little side note Alfred Hitchcock strolls on by***

****Second side note, by the way there is no music track-just bird noises****

*****And can I just say she is wearing a stunning green suit. I love it and wish I owned one just like it, although I have nowhere to wear it to.*****

Melanie notices a lot of birds in the air, thinking it odd, but moving along.

Huh?

Unfortunately her bird has not arrived yet. The shopkeeper goes to call and she waits along at the desk. In walks the gorgeous Rod Taylor, and Melanie decides the same thing. Pretending to be the shopkeeper so that she can talk to him and put the moves on him.

He wants lovebirds for his sister’s birthday. He can tell she is not a shopkeeper but is trying to embarrass her, asking her questions she has no clue to the answers. When he asks to see a love bird it escapes around the shop causing havoc. And the real shopkeeper comes out to try and catch it. He reveals to Melanie that he knows who she is and has been playing her the whole time. It turns out that she went to court over a broken glass window and he was there too. He’s a lawyer and believed she should have served time for what she did, not gone off scot-free because she is a wealthy woman with a famous father.

She’s offended, but not so that she takes down this handsome man’s license, has a friend of her father run the plate, buys him lovebirds,and tracks down the address of a Mr. Mitch Brenner.

She’s got it bad, and is slightly creepy-but I kind of understand as Rod Taylor is a dreamboat. Who wouldn’t want to run into him again.

She brings the birds to his house and plans to leave them outside with a cheeky note, but his neighbor informs him that Mitch is gone for the weekend to visit his family in Bodega Bay.

A little funny that neighbor knows so much, but hey this is the ’60s. People actually knew their neighbors.

So Melanie drives the curvy winding coast road to Bodega Bay, which I have done plenty of times, and I always thought it was weird that the birds never flap around but just move with the vehicle. They don’t act like normal birds. It has always been my theory that they are the demon seed that start the revolution against people. They are just too quiet and creepy.

This is the only video I could find. There was originally no music

She goes to the post office, which you can visit, so that she can find Mitch’s address. The postmaster shows her the way to go. When you go now everything is compeletly different, but you can still look across the water like she did.

The Tides restaurant still exists, although it has been redone as there was a fire. In fact they were allowed to use it for filming only if the main male character was named after the owner of the Tides, Mitch Brenner. So yes, that is how Rod Taylor’s character got his name.

Melanie asks for the name of Mitch’s sister, but the postmaster doesn’t know. He directs her to the school and the schoolteacher, Annie Hayworth (Suzanne Pleshette), to get the actual info. Turns out the name is Cathy.

Annie asks Melanie a few questions about her relationship to Mitch. Hmm, sounds like there is some history there.

Annie Hayworth: Did you drive up from San Francisco by the coast road?

Melanie Daniels: Yes.

Annie Hayworth: Nice drive.

Melanie Daniels: It’s very beautiful.

Annie Hayworth: Is that where you met Mitch?

Melanie Daniels: Yes.

Annie Hayworth: I guess that’s where everyone meets Mitch.

Melanie heads out into a rented boat with the birds. She sneaks up to their house in heels, not an easy feat, goes into the house and drops off the birds.

Now Tippi Hedren may be a beautiful woman but I would be extremely creeped out if someone did that to me. I mean she doesn’t even know him but tracked down not only Mitch’s home address, but boyhood address. A bit creepy and stalkerish.

Mitch, however, is besotted.

As Melanie heads back across the bay, Mitch takes his car to meet her.

******Can I stop and go on a slight sidebar here? Feel free to skip over if you wish. I just love Rod Taylor in that white sweater. I don’t know what it is but he is extra dreamy.

Drooling is over back to the movie*******

So Melanie gets dive-bombed by a gull, and pretty badly hurt and bleeding. Head wounds are the worst. Here is were I guess it starts, the first shot in the revolution.

******Side note: The man who asks Mitch what happened, is the real Mitch Brenner.*******

Back to the film. They go into the resturant where Mitch tends to her wounds. She questions him, wile he tries to get to why she came. Melanie tries to play off her stalkerish by saying it was on the way to visit Annie, the schoolteacher, but Mitch knows that its a lie, therefore confirming to us that there is something between Annie and him, or was.

Hmm…

Melanie tries to play it cool, but she can’t hide the fact she had the serious hots for him. Come on Melanie, you tracked him down-don’t try to be haughty.

Mitch’s mom Lydia comes in and is introduced to Melanie. Lydia is the original ice queen and horror future-mother-in-law. Ouch. And Jessica Tandy is a great actress, one line “Oh I see”, packed with serious weight. Let the games begin.

Ouch

Melanie is trying to head home but get tricked into coming to dinner as “she was staying the weekend” and won’t give up her lie. A girl has her pride after all.

She goes to Annie’s and wheedles staying there for the night. She tells Annie that she didn’t plan on staying long, which Annie replies she knows. That’s weighty right there, she knows as she didn’t plan on staying long either.

Melanie goes to dinner and meets cute little Cathy-friendly, cheery, adorable child. They mention that there is something wring with the chickens, They don’t like the feed…maybe because they are craving something else…like human flesh!

When Lydia calls her supplier it turns out her chickens aren’t the only ones on hunger strike. She agrees to see the farmer tomorrow to see if something is wrong with the chickens. And there is!

I love how Alfred Hitchcock plays the foreground and background against each other, both parts having things happen that go with the story, important, tension building, and just plan good.

We also found out that law and order Mitch is a defense attorney for “hoodlums and criminals”, interesting. Definitely a deep character.

Wow, there is more to him than I thought.

Cathy invites Melanie to her birthday party the next day, while in the kitchen Mitch and his mom start talking. They have a slight weird relationship as in someways his mom speaks to him as a child and in others their relationship is more spousal. Not that anything incestuous is going on, but as if that is the role that his mother put him in after his dad died.

We find out that there is a lot of interesting things in Melanie’s life. She jumps into fountains naked, tours Europe, and is always in the papers. A 1960s Sabrina van der Woodsen Debutante thats always doing something.

Mitch roots out the truth from Melanie about Annie, and starts goading her about her past misadventures, but Melanie isn’t having any of it. Good looks can only carry you so far Mitch.

Mitch Brenner: What about the letter you wrote me, is that a lie, too?

Melanie Daniels: No, I wrote the letter.

Mitch Brenner: Well what did it say?

Melanie Daniels: It said ‘Dear Mister Brenner, I think you need these lovebirds after all. They may help your personality.’

Mitch Brenner: But you tore it up?

Melanie Daniels: Yes.

Mitch Brenner: Why?

Melanie Daniels: Because it seemed stupid and foolish.

Mitch Brenner: Like jumping into a fountain in Rome?

Melanie Daniels: I told you what happened!

Mitch Brenner: You don’t expect me to believe that, do you?

Melanie Daniels: Oh, I don’t give a d*** what you believe!

Mitch Brenner: I’d still like to see you.

Melanie Daniels: Why?

Mitch Brenner: I think it might be fun.

Melanie Daniels: Well it might have been good enough in Rome, but it’s not good enough now.

Mitch Brenner: It is for me.

Melanie Daniels: Well not for me!

Mitch Brenner: What do you want?

Melanie Daniels: I thought you knew! I want to go through life jumping into fountains naked, good night!

We see the creepy birds watching from phone lines, congregating at the barn-waiting for the call to strike.

Not gulls but you understand the feeling.

Back at the house Annie and Melanie have brandy and Annie tells her her story and what happened. She met Mitch in college and fell in love, followed him here but Lydia got in the way. She kept them apart. She doesn’t want a daughter-in-law, she just wants her children. Annie didn’t want to lose him and stayed out here.

Then Mitch calls his ex-girlfriend for his new one. Ouch!

Poor girl

Melanie is apologized to and invited to the birthday party agreeing to come.

Both Annie and Melanie are surprised when a bird crashes into their door.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!

At the party Mitch takes Melanie off to the side with alcohol. She wants to head home as she has work. On Mondays and Wednesdays she works at the airport, on Tuesdays she takes classes, on Thursdays she has her club and lunches supporting a child through school, etc. Normal society things. Appears there is more depth to this party girl. Hmm…I wonder if the creators of Gossip Girl have ever watched this.

Hmm…

Mitch makes a joke about a mother’s care ad it turns out she has serious mother issues. Her mother abandoned them at age 11. A theme of mother’s issues is nothing new to Alfred Hitchcock as he himself had a ton and used the theme in many films, the most famous being Psycho.

At the party they are playing a game when the gulls show up and start attacking all the kids. Dive bombing and scratching. They try to help shoo them away and get everyone into the house.

Mitch is worried for Melanie ands invites her to stay the night there to be safe. And seriously, I think it is the love birds. Even with the cloth over them that should put them to bed as it is “night” they still squabble like crazy stopping only, when Cathy remarks on them. And just after, tons of sparrows come down the chimney attacking them. All cower in fear while Mitch tries to fight them off. Melanie moves Lydia and Cathy out of the room, to safety. After the attack and birds are gone they call the police, but there is nothing they can do about it.

The next morning, Lydia takes Cathy to school and then heads out to question the farmer about the chickens being sick. Lydia goes in looking for him and instead sees broken teacups, just like how hers were destroyed by the bird attack. The rooms are quiet and face the same destruction as hers and then she sees it!

Him, the dead birds, his eyes!

So freaky the first rime I saw it. Oh, and still remains a scene that terrifies most.

Traumatizing children for all time.

Lydia races home and leans on Mitch, telling him what happened. Mitch heads over to the police that are called when he and Melanie have some very tender intimate moments. Relationships speed up when danger mars your every moment.

Lydia is worried over Cathy, with the large windows at school and the broken ones at the dead body looming in her mind. We see another side of Lydia as well, more vulnerable, worried-maybe Mitch comes home not just to help his mom but because without his aid they would loose the land. Hmm…thats one thing I love about this film, on the surface it is one thing but there are many sides to all these characters.

Lydia asks Melanie to pick up Cathy as she is very worried about her and Melanie heads out right away. Melanie goes to the school, but decides to wait a bit until recess. The kids are singing and she stays outside when we have this amazing scene.

Melanie runs in and warns Annie about the jungle gym. Annie tells them they are conducting a fire drill as not to scare them and directs them to run to different places. Of course the birds attack. Poor kids.

Melanie ends up in the diner calling her newspaper mogul father and telling him the story of what happened, All listening to every word she is telling her father.

We are introduced to Mrs. Bundy (BUNDY AHH) who is an ornithologist and for the birds, Giving us some serious information on the birds.

Traveling Salesman: Gulls are scavengers, anyway. Most birds are. Get yourselves guns and wipe them off the face of the earth!

Mrs. Bundy: That would hardly be possible.

Deke Carter: Why not, Mrs. Bundy?

Mrs. Bundy: Because there are 8,650 species of birds in the world today, Mr. Carter. It is estimated that 5,750,000,000 birds live in the United States alone. The five continents of the world…

Traveling Salesman: Kill ’em all. Get rid of the messy animals.

Mrs. Bundy:…probably contain more than 100,000,000,000 birds!

We get a bit of debate as a Captain interjects that he also hates birds and wishes they were all gone, them having attacked one of his ship captains. Melanie states that the birds are killers after the kids. Everyone keeps talking down to Melanie as she tries to tell them that it wasn’t just a few but a ton and a series of different kinds.

Mitch shows up asking for Kathy, who is at Annies. Just as they argue the birds attack again. Mitch tells Melanie to stay behind as they take out a guy pumping gas causing it to flow over the ground. An unsuspecting smoker sets it off and boom.

This causes a big sign that the other birds can see and they all come in swarming. The pyre’s have been lit.

I’m in shock

All go out of the restaurant (Why? Don’t know) and we have the famous telephone scene.

They actually have a telephone booth and Tippi Hedren mannequin at one of the shops there and you can get a picture with it.

Mitch gets her out and they head back to the restaurant. Hiding with others. Mrs. Bundy, I notice you are quiet. Not talking down at her anymore are you?

One of them is hysterical, blaming Melanie. In a way I believe she is right. Although it isn’t Melanie, but those love birds.

Mitch and Melanie run to the schoolhouse to get Cathy finding Annie’s dead body.

Cathy is safely inside, but utterly traumatized. Mitch carries Annie inside and covers her with his coat. Then the three speed off to the Brenner house.

At the Brenner home, Mitch patches up the openings, prepping the house for an attack. He notices that there appears to be a pattern. They attack, disburse, regroup, attack again. Why?

Hmm…

Melanie tries to contact her father but the lines are cut. The birds isolating them and making it unable for them to reach anyone or get even local radio.

Lydia starts to freak out wanting answers, the tension exploding. All are succumbing to it.

Cathy wants the love birds with her, NOOOO nor those evil things. Even now they are probably plotting.

Now they wait, trapped. Kathy gets so anxious she makes herself sick. Then they wait again. Hearing them, being taunted by them.

I’m crazy

We have the first attack of gulls breaking windows and trying to peck through the door. Mitch being the one to take action and stop them. Then Melanie goes up to the attic.

Poor Melanie. they tend to her, but she is banged up. This scene was horrible to film. Seven days of birds being thrown at her, again and again.

Mitch uses this time of quiet to plan an escape. Melanie needs a hospital, so he and Cathy start getting things ready, not knowing what will face in the outside world or if they will be able to ever come back.

I like how Hitchcock ends the film with us not knowing if they make it out okay. We never know if everything will go back to normal. What or who caused this? I think it makes the film stronger and gives you the opportunity to create your own theory from each of his clues.  If they had given us an answer, it probably would have been lame no matter what was chosen, we would have found faults. Sometimes it is better just not knowing.

So there we go,  believe my theory or create your own. Either way watch the film.

This film changed how I look at birds. I never liked them before and hated them ever since. I’ll never look at another the same way again. Especially when they get in large groups or swarm overhead.

Not gulls but you understand the feeling.

After I showed this film to some friends who had never seen it, a few days later we were shopping at a store. As we are leaving, my one friend looks behind us at the store and goes ashen. She freaks out and tells us to run. As we are I look back and see a ton lined up on the store watching, then deciding to take off. We all ran as fast as we could to the car struggling in, and  speeding home. Nothing happened, but a film like this just sticks to you.

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So this kicks off the beginning of Horrorfest VII. I hope you enjoy it and the spooks. thrills, and chills that are to come.

For more on The Birds, go to Going on a Treasure Hunt

For more Alfred Hitchcock films, go to You’re a Detective, Let Me Give You a Tip. Don’t Wave Important Evidence in a Telephone Booth. They Have Glass Windows: Blackmail (1929)

For more Daphne de Maurier, go to That Place…There’s Queer Things Goes on There: Jamaica Inn (1939)

They’re Coming for Me Now…And Then They’ll Come for You: House on Haunted Hill (1959)

HOuseonHauntedHill

The ghosts are moving tonight, restless… hungry…In just a moment I’ll show you the only really haunted house in the world.

I have been trying to review this film since the first Horrorfest, but something always seems to gum up the works. This is one of my all time favorite horror films and my favorite Vincent Price film.

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Years ago I was at a yard sale, where I found this film, along with: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), The Wolf Man (1941), The Stepford Wives (1975), Rebecca (1940), The Phantom of the Opera (1943), North by Northwest (1959), Family Plot (1976), Lifeboat (1944), The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), Notorious (1946), and The Night of the Hunter (1955).  

I had never heard of this film, but if it has Vincent Price you know I’m all over it.

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Then I watched it and saw it is one of the best horror films ever made, with everything you could want:

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So do you dare continue on?

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So the film starts off with the scariest opening I have ever seen. All we have is a black screen and screaming from men and women.

screamhouseonhauntedhill

Can you imagine hearing that full volume in a darken theater?

shiver

I can imagine people were freaking out.

i'mscared

We then are met by Watson Pritchard (Elisha Cook Jr.) who warns us about the house and how we should stay away:

Watson Pritchard:The ghosts are moving tonight, restless… hungry. May I introduce myself? I’m Watson Pritchard. In just a moment I’ll show you the only really haunted house in the world. Since it was built a century ago, seven people, including my brother, have been murdered in it. Since then, I’ve owned the house. I only spent one night then and when they found me in the morning, I… I was almost dead.

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

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

We then cut to wealthy businessman Fredrick Loren (Vincent Price). He has rented the House on Haunted Hill for a party,

HOuseonHauntedhill

inviting five people to attend and promising them each $10,000 if they stay the whole night.

As soon as they pull up to the house, strange things begin happening. A chandelier almost kills a guest when it falls,

Phantom of the Opera chandelier

And another guest gets knocked unconscious,

Grimm

And it doesn’t stop there. It turns out that all is not happy with the Loren life. Fredrick is angry with his wife as he believes her to be a gold digger and trying to murder him.

Frederick Loren: Do you remember the fun we had when you poisoned me?

Annabelle Loren: [laughs] Something you ate, the doctor said.

Frederick Loren: Yes, arsenic on the rocks…[grabs AnnabelleAnnabelle, you’d do it again if you thought you’d get away with it, wouldn’t you?

But Annabelle (Carole Ohmart) says that he is a jealous, crazy psychopath who has already killed three wives and is going to add her to his dead list.

Annabelle Loren: My husband is sometimes insane with jealousy. Nothing matters to him!

Lance Schroeder: Would he hurt you?

Annabelle Loren: He would kill me if he could…You know, of course, that I’m his fourth wife. The first simply disappeared; the other two died…All his doctors said heart attacks. Two girls in their 20s. Lance… I don’t want to join them.

Who is telling the truth? Who is lying? And which is a killer?

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We are given the history of the house with its gruesome murders, from beheadings to being thrown in acid.

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

They are locked in with no way out, one guest is nearly strangled to death, one having a nervous breakdown, and one murdered!

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

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

Which one is the killer? Or is it a ghost?

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Watch it yourself to find out. I will not ruin the ending of this masterpiece.

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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 That’s What We’re Trying to Find out! We’re Trying to Find Out Who Killed Him, and Where, and With What!: Clue (1985)

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For more Vincent Price, go to No Mere Mortal Can Resist the Evil of the Thriller: Thriller (1983)

For more ghosts, go to Night on Bald Mountain: Fantasia (1940)

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So everyone:

Happy Halloween jack-o-lantern

By the time this posts, I know Horrorfest won’t be finished, so you know what I’ll be doing tonight; but whatever you do I hope you have fun, get candy, and stay safe!

Remember:

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Dracula. Not Myth, Nor Ravings of a Mad Irish Novelist, Oh No, He’s Real: Dracula 2000 (2000)

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Dracula. Dracula: not myth, nor ravings of a mad Irish novelist, oh no. He’s real, I assure you.

A long time ago, AMC used to do Fear Fridays. Every friday night at 8 they would show a horror film, and not stop until early Saturday morning. But then they pushed it back to 9, then 10, then 11, then 12, then 1 am, then 2 am; still calling it Fear Friday although it was actually Saturday morning. And then they just stopped doing it, which deeply saddened me as I saw many a good, creepy film those Friday nights.

Why did it end?

Why did it end?

This however, wasn’t one of those good movies.

Hate YOu

My sister and I saw this on one of those Friday nights and I hated this film. I thought it was dumb, stupid, boring, made no sense and couldn’t hold a candle to Bela Lugosi in Dracula (1931). And I vowed to never see it ever again.

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Last week, my friend and I were having a horror film marathon. We saw Once Bitten and then were in the mood for a more serious film. She was going through the list and wanted to see Dracula 2000 as she has never seen it before. I was like

No thank youhowaboutno

She then asked me what the film was about, if I could give her a summary, and I tried to tell her…

Uhhhhhhh

Uhhhhhhh

But I couldn’t remember. The only thing I could think of was that it had Johnny Lee Miller (who played Mr. Knightley in Emma (2009) and Edmund Bertram in Mansfield Park (1999) as the regular person thrust in the adventure (the only character I liked); Gerald Butler as Dracula (the reason I watched it the first time) but he was so young that it didn’t even look like him and I hated his character; a weird scene in the record store; and that I hated it. Why did I hate it, I couldn’t remember. The movie must have been so horrible I just wiped it from my memory banks.

Where

Since I couldn’t remember it, and thought maybe I was too harsh a judge, we decided to watch it and see if it was different this go round.

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I HATED IT!

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I thought it was horrible and stupid. So you know what that means! A countdown!!! Yes, let’s go over everything I liked (barely anything) to everything I hated (practically everything!)

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Synopsis:

The film is supposed to be Dracula set in modern times rather than 1831, so the year is 2000. In London, Matthew Van Helsing (Abraham’s descendent) has an antique store in which he is training Simon (Johnny Lee Miller). That night everyone but Matthew goes home, and unbeknownst to him his secretary Solina is part of a ring of thieves that breaks into his vault. They find nothing in there but crosses and a coffin, taking it as it must be valuable.

But something terrible lurks inside.

But something terrible lurks inside.

When Matthew discovers the theft, he goes after them, leaving Simon to watch over the business. However, Simon is worried about his mentor and follows him instead.

The thieves open the coffin and reveal that it is Dracula (Gerald Butler) who turns them all into vampires.

Renfield: He came and stood below my window in the moonlight. And he promised me things, not in words, but by doing them. Van Helsing: Doing them? Renfield: By making them happen. A red mist spread over the lawn, coming on like a flame of fire! And then he parted it, and I could see that there were thousands of rats, with their eyes blazing red,l ike his, only smaller. Then he held up his hand, and they all stopped, and I thought he seemed to be saying: "Rats! Rats! Rats! Thousands! Millions of them! All red-blood! All these will I give you! If you will obey me!" Van Helsing: What did he want you to do? Renfield: That which has already been done! [giggles sinisterly]

Renfield: He came and stood below my window in the moonlight. And he promised me things, not in words, but by doing them.
Van Helsing: Doing them?
Renfield: By making them happen. A red mist spread over the lawn, coming on like a flame of fire! And then he parted it, and I could see that there were thousands of rats, with their eyes blazing red,l ike his, only smaller. Then he held up his hand, and they all stopped, and I thought he seemed to be saying: “Rats! Rats! Rats! Thousands! Millions of them! All red-blood! All these will I give you! If you will obey me!”
Van Helsing: What did he want you to do?
Renfield: That which has already been done!
[giggles sinisterly]

He then heads to New Orleans, LA. There lives Mary Heller, a devout Catholic, who has had strange dreams/visions her whole life but they seem worse now than ever before. She keeps seeing this man, unsure of who he is, but us viewers know him as Dracula.

Dracula

Simon and Matthew team up and try to destroy the new vampires, Simon originally shocked but after being attacked admits they are real. Matthew then reveals his secret, he is really Abraham Van Helsing, the Van Helsing.

Count Dracula: Van Helsing. [Van Helsing turns to face Count Dracula] Count Dracula: Now that you have learned what you have learned, it would be well for you to return to your own country. Van Helsing: I prefer to remain and protect those whom you would destroy. Count Dracula: You are too late. My blood now flows through her veins. She will live through the centuries to come, as I have lived. Van Helsing: Should you escape us, Dracula. We know how to save Miss Mina's soul if not her life. Count Dracula: If she dies by day. But I shall see that she dies by night. Van Helsing: And I will have Carfax Abbey torn down, stone by stone, excavated a mile around. I will find your earth-box and drive that stake through your heart. Count Dracula: Come here. [Dracula raises his hand to hypnotise Van Helsing] Count Dracula: Come here...Your will is strong, Van Helsing. [Van Helsing reaches out for his crucifix as Dracula looms toward him] Count Dracula: More wolfbane? Van Helsing: More effective than wolfbane, Count. Count Dracula: Indeed. [Dracula lunges towards Van Helsing. Van Helsing holds up the crucifix. Dracula snarls and turns away. Van Helsing, in triumph, puts away the crucifix]

[Dracula lunges towards Van Helsing. Van Helsing holds up the crucifix. Dracula snarls and turns away. Van Helsing, in triumph, puts away the crucifix]

When he discovered nothing worked to kill Dracula, he imprisoned him in a coffin and took his blood to keep him young as he continued to try to find a way to destroy him. He was married and they had a daughter Mary, and in her blood is Dracula’s blood. When he told his wife the whole story, she left him and took his daughter to America.

And run fast

Dracula has lost his male vampires, but has three wives: Solina, the secretary; Valerie, a news reporter; and Lucy, Mary’s best friend. Simon and Helsing split up to look for Mary, Helsing being killed by Dracula and the wives at Mary’s house. Simon finds Mary and they escape, only for Mary to be captured later. Simon tries to help her; but is no match for all the vampires.

Dracula

Before Dracula turns Mary into a vampire, he reveals that he is Judas Iscariot and that is why he hates silver and crosses. He tried to hang himself, but the “rope broke” and God turned him into a vampire.

SayWhat?BuffyVampireSlayernosense

I know. He turns Mary into a vampire, but I guess her already vampire blood counteracts it as she is not his slave.

You-serious?-Not-happening-babe!

She saves Simon, kills Dracula, and decides to continue the family business (although if she killed Dracula it is over) turning into a female Blade, kinda-sorta.

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So What Was Good?

There was only one thing I liked in this entire film, and that was Johnny Lee Miller’s character, Simon.

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Simon was extremely likable because he was just a regular person thrown into this situation and trying to make sense of it. All his reactions are spot on to when he thinks people are crazy to finally becoming a butt-kicking vampire hunter. He is kind, compassionate, caring, intelligent, and extremely witty.

Marcus: [Simon produces a cross] Sorry sport. I’m an atheist.

Simon Sheppard: [a dagger pops out of the cross’ base] God loves you anyway.

The other thing I like about him was how he represented the everyman or everywoman. Here is a guy who has read old inscriptions, heard stories, studied antique weaponry, etc; but studying and hearing it is much different than having to use it, have the myths be real, and be expected to hunt down vampires. He tries his best as he discovers this new reality, and even though he makes mistakes, all is forgiven as he is us, the viewer, in a sense. I thought he was fun and the best thought out thing in the film.

I like it!

I like it!

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So What Was Bad?

Everything else. Seriously, I mean it. The rest of the film was absolutely horrid.

1) Too Many Stars

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Like Scre4m it is hard to focus on a plot of a film when you are being hit right and left with people who are really famous. In every scene it felt more like a game of “Which Star Will Pop Up Next” rather than watching a film about Dracula. I mean we have Shane West, Christopher Plummer, Johnny Lee Miller, Omar Epps, Nathan Fillion, Vitamin C, etc. When casting you really have to be careful and not have too many recognizable people, or else your audience will be going bug-eyed.

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2) For a Dracula film there isn’t a lot of Dracula in it.

Dracula

Dracula is supposed to be about Dracula; but Dracula actually has a small role in this film. And unlike previous films, Dracula wasn’t even played by a big star with top billing; instead they choose Gerald Butler who had very little on his acting resume at the time this film was made. To me that is incredibly strange as he is the main character, THE TITLE CHARACTER. He should be the star, the biggest personality. Instead Dracula has very little dialogue and spends most of his time just creepily staring at people.

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

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

I didn’t like that, not one bit. As much as I disliked Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and I did a lot, at least that one knew what to focus on, DRACULA! It was a weird decision made by the writers, and a bad one.

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3) Mary, Mary Quite Boring

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

Mary was so boring! I mean it what a yawnfest. All she did was cower, snivel, and act as if she was going to have a breakdown. Her character was bland and completely underdeveloped other than “good”, “Catholic”, and “British”. Now don’t get me wrong, the breakdown character can work but only in films where it is about psychological damage, like Rebecca, Gaslight or Under Capricorn, not a monster movie. In this type of film that kind of behavior is boring!

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4) Taking Blood to Live Longer, Yet He Doesn’t Become a Vampire

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In the book Dracula, the way to have someone become a vampire is to give them vampire blood. In this film Van Helsing keeps transfusing vampire blood into his body to live longer, but doesn’t become a vampire. That makes zero sense! If you ingest vampire blood you are a vampire. Pure and simple.

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5) Dracula is Judas

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Yes. It turns out the reason Dracula hates silver, crosses, bibles, Christianity, etc…is because he is Judas.

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Why would God turn him into a vampire? Why would God create a being that cannot be killed but kill his people making their souls unable to move on? That is just unbelievably dumb.

I mean if the devil was the one who did it, it would still be really dumb, but make a lil’ more sense.

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So yes it was dumb, incredibly dumb. Just stupid and horribly boring. My advice? Just skip it.

And after we finished the film, I asked my friend “What do you think of it?” Her response:

You as in the film

You as in the film

So there you go, not just 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 I’m…a Werewolf: Teen Wolf (1985)

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For more Dracula, go to We’ve Seen Dracula, the Wolf Man, and Frankenstein’s Monster: Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

For more vampire films, go to I Don’t Want to Be a Vampire. I’m a Day Person: Once Bitten (1985)

For more on Judas Iscariot, go to The Arrest

For more modern remakes, go to Heroes are Not Born, They’re Created: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

For more sucky remakes, go to Every Three Thousand Years, the Stars Align. Unleashing an Army of Monsters: TMNT (2007)

For more Gerald Butler, go to Pot o’ Gold: 17 Irish Heroes

There’ll Be Somebody With My Name…But She Won’t Be Me!: The Stepford Wives (1975)

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I won’t be here when you get back, don’t you see? It’s going to happen before then. Don’t ask me to explain it, I just know. There’ll be somebody with my name, and she’ll cook and clean like crazy, but she won’t take pictures, and she won’t be me! She’ll – she’ll, she’ll be like one of those the robots in Disneyland.

So first, happy 40th anniversary! February 12, 1975 brought this great film to us.

So one day I was spending the night at my friend’s house, and her grandmother had a massive movie collection, although nothing made past the ’90s. We were trying to figure out what to watch, when she chose The Stepford Wives (2005). I thought it was funny, and even bought it for myself when it was on sale for $5 at Wal-Mart.

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Then I was at a yard sale, where a friend who has a monster horror/mystery film collection was selling all the VHS he had just bought DVDs of. I saw The Stepford Wives (2004) and was shocked. There was another version of the film?

Say What

I bought it; along with Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), The Wolf Man (1941), Rebecca (1940), The Phantom of the Opera (1943), North by Northwest (1959), House on Haunted Hill (1950), Family Plot (1976), Lifeboat (1944), The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), Notorious (1946), and The Night of the Hunter (1955).  I really cleaned him out.

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Then one day, I decided to watch The Stepford Wives (1975). And I LOVED it! I thought it was sooooo much better than the remake, in fact I never even watch the 2005 version anymore. I really should just donate it to the library or thrift store.

So this film was based on a novel, in fact written by the same man who wrote Rosemary’s Baby, Ira Levin. Funny that I should review both films the same year. I didn’t even realize they were by the same person until right now.

Anyways, on with the review.

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The film starts out with Janna Eberheart (Katherine Ross) saying good-bye to her apartment they have been living in in the city.

Sadface Batman

She doesn’t want to leave, but moving to the suburbs will be better for her two young kids.

Now Katherine Ross is extremely beautiful, and her husband is only so-so. How did he score such a ringer? Not  to be mean, but he looks old and is balding, and looks like the type to get a beer gut.

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They are unpacking their stuff when a beautifully coiffed woman comes over with a casserole, Carol Van Sant. She walks and talks a bit weird, almost unearthly in grace.

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Later Walter is walking the dog and tells his neighbor, she cooks as good as looks.

Men

Men

So it turns out that Joanna definitely did not want to move. It was all her husband’s idea. He thinks it is safe, secure, and there is more room for the kids and Joanna to have dark room for her photography. Joanna is still not pleased.

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The next day Joanna’s kids take the bus to school. All the other kids are too perfect and not rowdy at all. Weird.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Now that the kids are gone, what is the city girl gonna do? She has tea, clearly bored.

StirsTea

She does get interviewed by neighborhood lady, who writes the women’s magazine. We found out that Walter Eberheart, her husband, is a lawyer; while is an inspiring photgrapher. The thing she misses most about New York? The noise.

The next day she goes to return the casserole dish to neighbor, when she sees a guy come up from behind and start feeling her up and kissing her. It is mid morning! Is that her husband? And what is he doing here instead of at work? Weird.

weird

That night Walter tells Joanna how he has met the other Stepford commuters. They invite him to Men’s Association. It has only one rule, men only. Joanna is not pleased.

Men

Men

We see that their relationships actually are having some problems that have been happening for a while.

Joanna Eberheart: You pretend we decide on things, but you have already decided on everything. You ask me if I want to move out of city, and I find you have already been looking. You ask me if I like this house place and I find that you have already made a down payment. You ask me about the men’s association and you have already joined. Why even bother to ask me at all.

When they go out grocery shopping, it seeems as if all the other women are more in control of their kids, have planned out their list better, being perfect; while  JOanna harried and forgetful.

Carol coming out of market, and gets into a car crash. She is taken by the ambulance, and keeps repeating herself over and over as if stuck on something.

Joanna Eberhart: [ambulance drives off] We may be new here, but isn’t Stepford Hospital that way?

Walter Eberhart: Oh, no, no, no, you’re wrong… No, no, you’re *not* wrong, the ambulance went *that* way, didn’t it?

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

That night Joanna wakes up in bed alone, and hears something downstairs. It is Walter in front of the fire, as he just got back from mens association. He is upset and drinking. What’s going on? Why is he so sad and upset? What did the men do?

suspicious Hmm

The next day Bobbie Markowe (Paula Prentiss) comes to see her after reading about her in the lady’s paper. You notice she is the only other woman wearing pants as well.

Bobbie is like Joanna. She moved her from New York, not her decision but her husbands. She isn’t perfectly coiffed and doesn’t have a spic and span house. She is normal and the two quickly become friends.

stepfordwivesweirdwhat is going on

That night Joanna is working in her dark room developing pictures. Walter calls and tells her the meeting will be at their house, in 20 mins. That’s really short notice to be given, what if the house was a mess? But i suppose those guys think a house should always be perfect.

After Walter gets off the phone, Dale, leader of the men;s association tells him he recognizes that Walter is not altogether sure, telling him not to worry the change is for the better.

Gilmore girls creep

So while Joanna is pouring teas and coffees, Dale is watching her, he likes seeing women in domestic settings.

Joanna Eberhart: Why do they call you Diz?

Dale Coba: Because I used to work at Disneyland.

Joanna Eberhart: No, really.

Dale Coba: That’s really. Don’t you believe me?

Joanna Eberhart: No.

Dale Coba: Why not?

Joanna Eberhart: You don’t look like someone who enjoys making other people happy.

Joanna sit in on the meeting, One guy draws Joanna, as the rest of the men talk about charity events they could do. The men are absolutely boring and horrible at planning and deciding on something. She goes to check on the kids to get out of there.

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

They all stop talking as soon as she leaves. Hmm…interesting.

When she comes back, the meeting breaks up and the guy gives her the drawing of her.

Ike Mazzard: [Handing drawing to Joanna] In case you’re wondering what I’ve been doing.

Joanna Eberhart: You’re not the Ike Mazzard are you?

Ike Mazzard: I’m afraid so.

Joanna Eberhart: Walter tell him, I’m just awful on names. You’ll have to forgive me. I used to gawk at all those girls in those magazines. You blighted my adolescence, you know that?

Walter Eberhart: [Grinning] I thought I benighted your adolescence.

Joanna doesn’t like the men, as she thinks they are boring. The women, besides Bobbie, are not friendly and also don’t seem to think that much beyond how they look or how to cook. She thinks her husband is acting weird by hanging with these people.

Dale give a barbecue, and Joanna and Bobbie dress casual; Joanna in a nice sundress and Bobbie in pants. However, all the other women are dressed SUPER fancy in long dresses. Joanna and Bobbie feel really out of place, but can’t quite put their finger on why exactly.

Joanna Eberheart: It’s all so dazzling, so why don’t I like it. I like it but I don’t like it. Does that make sense?

Carol starts talking to them, but keeps repeating herself. Something is not right with her. Is she drunk? Or is it something else?

Really?

The next day Carol comes and apologizes to Joanna and Bobbie. She explains that she used to be an alcoholic, one of the reasons why they moved out of the city, and the reason why I was acting weird last night. I had started drinking again. Her husband made her come apologize to the newcomers, didn’t want to frighten them off.

stepfordwivesweirdwhat is going on

So strange to Bobbie and Joanna. Both ladies did women’s liberation in New York and decide they need to start something here in Stepford. They start inviting women, but they don’t really care and don’t want to. One too busy ironing, one too busy baking, another shopping, etc.

The last person they see is Charmaine. She is relatively new, only been here a little bit longer than Bobbie. She heard that the girls wanted to start meeting, and wants to join as she has had a hard time connecting. She used to play tennis with one girl, but now she is far too busy cooking and cleaning.

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One of the men wants to do a speech experiment with her. Needs to know every place you have ever lived, and you have to read off a vocab list he made up. Joanna won’t do it, unless the wives come to her meeting.

Joanna Eberhart: I’m very busy…just like your wife. Bobby and I tried to involve her in one of our projects, but she had too much ironing. Maybe you could convince her. Kit Sundersen, too. If they could find the time for me… I could find it for you.

Claude Axhelm: Isn’t this uh… kind of blackmail, Joanna?

Joanna Eberhart: It’s what made this country great, Claude.

They have the Women’s Liberation meeting, but the other wives don’t seem really into it. Joanna starts by saying she thinks walter cares more about law than her. Charmaine says that she doesn’t think her husband ever loved her, but only married her because she looked right. After that emotional piece, one of the wives says she didn’t bake any thing yesteday  because she didn’t finish cleaning. Then all the “other wives” start talking about products they use, sounding like a commercial.

So weird.

Joanna goes out for a walk with her dog, when she is gone men come over and looking at room and all her stuff. They leave after their observations.

The next day, Bobbie and Joanna run into an older woman who tells them about a new family coming to Stepford, a black family. She says it doesn’t surprise her as Stepford is the most liberal place. Bobbie and Joanna are surprised and find out they used to have a ton of women’s groups, including a huge Women’s Liberation. What happened?

They go see Carol, who they discovered was the leader of the Women’s Liberation in Stepford. She tells them it died out because the women got bored.

Joanna Eberheart: Is it enough?

Carol Van Sant: It is enough for me, maybe not for you.

Joanna goes to New York to show some photographs to a gallery, but the owner turns her down. When she returns, she discovers that her dog is gone. She and Bobbie start driving around looking for him when they see Charmaine’s Tennis courts being destroyed!

Whattheheck

They go see her and she is dressed like other wives and acting like them. She only cares about making her husband happy. Fired the maid and wants to do all the cooking and cleaning herself. She’s letting her husband get the heated swimming pool that he always wanted.

what what'shappeningSupernatural

Both are freaking out about this. Bobbie is convinced that they must be poisoning the water or something. She wants to take a sample and give it to a trustworthy chemist, but doesn’t now any. Joanna does, and when they give it to him; there is nothing in the water.

Bobbie is scared.

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She wants to leave, and is planning on asking Dave tonight to move. She doesn’t want to become one of those women.

Creepy!

Creepy!

Joanna wants to leave, but Walter doesn’t. After a bit of pleading, he gives in. But is it too late to move?

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

They start looking in different areas together. Dave, Bobbie’s husband is mad about house hunting. He was so upset that he almost canceled their annual trip to plaza. Bobbie has Joanna take care of her kids.

The kids are crazy and loud, and Walter hates it. Joanna takes tons of photos while kids are playing. Joanna is working in the dark room making Walter have to care for the kids. He wants Joanna to take over as he is tired and can’t think of anything else to do. Joanna tells him too bad, she deals with it every day.

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Joanna goes to New York to get a gallery owner to look at them, thinks they are amazing.

Double double yay

Joanna goes to tell Bobbie about gallery accepting her work, but Bobbie doesn’t even care. She just wants to discuss clothes, looks, cleaning, all about taking care of Dave.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

They’ve gotten to her, and she is no longer the same.

Joanna tries to tell Walter what is going on, but he doesn’t understand and won’t listen. He just keeps telling her that she is crazy!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Joanna is going to leave, and planning on it today. Walter stops her, telling her they will move, but only if she sees someone. He tries to get her to see one in town, but she refuses. She wants to find her own person and someone far from Stepford.

Getting out of here

Getting out of here

Joanna visits a doctor far way, but is afraid to tell doctor the real reason why she wants to leave Stepford. Ater four months Charmain changed. After four months Bobbie chnged. And four months is how long Joanna has been in Stepford. She’s afraid that whatever changed them will change her as well.

Joanna Eberhart: I won’t be here when you get back, don’t you see? It’s going to happen before then. Don’t ask me to explain it, I just know. There’ll be somebody with my name, and she’ll cook and clean like crazy, but she won’t take pictures, and she won’t be me! She’ll – she’ll, she’ll be like one of those the robots in Disneyland.

Dr. Fancher: Alright, now listen. I’ll give you a prescription which you have filled, then you gather up your children and you GET THE HELL AWAY! Don’t tell your husband, don’t tell anyone, just go, wherever you feel safe. Now, do you have family?

Joanna Eberhart: They’re dead.

Dr. Fancher: Well, just drive, and stop some place. Then in a few days – I’ll be back on the 10th – you ring me, I’ll come to you, and we’ll sort this thing out. Now how does that sound?

Joanna comes home and plans to do just that. She goes upstairs looking for kids, but they are not here.

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Joanna wants to know where they are, but Walter won’t tell her. He tries to get her to go upstairs and lie down, grabbing her.

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They fight and Joanna breaks away, going upstairs and locking herself in. Oh no, just like in Rosemary’s Baby! But it didn’t save her!

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The phone starts blinking, and Joanna can see that he is talking to someone. While he is on it, she sneaks out of the house and heads off to Bobbies to look for her kids. But when she gets there, they aren’t there.

After she short circuts Bobbie, she heads back home. When she gets there, she smacks him in the head with a fireplace poker, demanding to know where her children are.

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He mutters “association” and Joanna decides to head out there. When she gets there she hears her children’s voices calling, follows the sound and it turns out to just be a recording. It was all a ploy to get Joanna there.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Joanna Eberheart: Why change the women?

Dale Coba: Because we can we make them perfect.

 But Joanna won’t just go down, she still has a lot of fight in her and takes off running. She gets lost in the hallways and opens a door to her bedroom.

what what'shappeningSupernatural

Camera slowly pans…………..tension building…………dun dun dun dun dun….and we see:

Her!!!! Brushing her hair with her black demon eyes. Robot Joanna. Body even more perfect. Probably one of the creepiest moments in any horror film, of all time there.

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

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

Next day all in supermarket, talking to each other.

And we end seeing that new family in town, fighting the same way everyone else did previously. They are next on list.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

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So after watching this a second time, there are a few things I have noticed and wanted to bring light to now that the “real” review is over.

1)The Husband was the one who wanted to move. So I wonder, did Walter know ahead of time that the town was like that? Is that why he choose Stepford out of any other suburb?

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2) The clothes are great with the differences. Joanna and Bobbie are the only ones “in” with current fashion. They wear jeans, crop tops, no bras, and show lots of skin with their mini skirts and shorts. Originally the directors wanted the robot women to be “playboy bunnies”, but I think it was better having them in nice, lacy dresses. It definitely shows an extreme difference between the “fixed” women and those “still in need of alterations”. Plus the women in those dresses, defintely is a throwback to not the ’50s, like most assume: but the turn of the century. I mean look at those clothes, throwback to a time when women really had no rights. Or at least that is my views on the whole thing.

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

For the previous post, go to Because I Am Mad, I Hate You. Because I Am Mad, I Have Betrayed You: Gaslight (1944)

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For more on evil robots, go to We’re Mad Scientists. We’re Monsters: Avengers, Age of Ultron (2015)

For more by Ira Levin, go to What Have You Done to Him?: Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

For more husbands that are more than what they seem, go to She Cries in the Night: The Screaming Skull (1958)

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

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She’ll come back…she’ll come back

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

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

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

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

So embarressed

So embarressed

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

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

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

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

love it

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

love it

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

Jenni: Will that be our room.

Eric: Will need some fixing first.

Jenni: Was that her room?

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

Rebecca (1940)

Rebecca (1940)

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

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

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

dun-dun-duuuun

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

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

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

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

weird

While the two are kissing, he sneaks away.

suspicious Hmm

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

keanu Whoa

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

Missing You

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

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

aw cry

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

Who is that?

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

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

rebeccapainting

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

Gilmore girls creep

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

dun-dun-duuuun

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

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

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

StarTrekBonesMcCoyPoorGirl PM

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

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

Reverend Snow: Didn’t Eric tell you?

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

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

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

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

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

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

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

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

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

That night Jenni hears loud bumping and clanging noises.

Who is that?

Who is that?

She calls to Eric, but he is not there.

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

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

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

Why is that in here?

Why is that in here?

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

rebeccapainting

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

Why is that in here?

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

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

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

dean whinchester shrug smile oh well

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

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

creep watching lovely bones Stanley tucci

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

Mickey: She cries in the night.

Jenni Whitmore: Dead people don’t cry Mickey!

Mickey: I heard her.

 Jenni Whitmore: Heard?

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

Who is that?

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

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

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

Gilmore girls creep

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

She turns around and sees a SKULL!!!!

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

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

Suddenly cuts appear on her hand!!!!

what what'shappeningSupernatural

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

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

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

i'mscared

Something is coming up the stairs!!!!!

OMG gasp

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

Suspense have to know

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

i'mscared

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

Whattheheck

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

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

Good-bye

Good-bye

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

The-Screaming-Skull-1958

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

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

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

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

They're watching her!

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

i'mscared

Jenni opens it and the skull is there!

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

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

what what'shappeningSupernatural

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

OMG gasp

She faints. And I don’t blame her.

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

shiver

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

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Is it all in her head?

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

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

Why is that in here?

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

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

weird

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

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

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

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

Why is that in here?

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

IDon'tTrustHimGreatGatsby

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

thorthrowhammerviolencejusticemebad

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

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

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

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

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

dun-dun-duuuun

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

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

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

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

The-Screaming-Skull-1958

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

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

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

what what'shappeningSupernatural

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

OMG gasp

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

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

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

Jerk

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

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

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

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

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

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

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

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

Where did it go?

Where did it go?

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

Whattheheck

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

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

Whattheheck

He throws a rock at the grave, angry.

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

the-screaming-skull-photo-crop

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

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

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

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

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

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

screamingskulldoorPhoto Jan 29, 4 36 06 PM

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

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

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

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

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

metropolis

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

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

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

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

TheEnd_Title_2

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

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Back to the facebook cover/mini posters.

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

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

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

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

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

That Place…There’s Queer Things Goes on There: Jamaica Inn (1939)

Jamaica-InnPOSTER1CROP6

That place – Jamaica Inn. It’s got a bad name. It’s not healthy, that’s why. There’s queer things goes on there.

Alfred Hitchcock, practically everyone knows the King of Suspense.

AlfredHitchcock

But while most know the films The Birds; Psycho, Vertigo, etc: a lot of his earlier films are ignored. So while these may not be everyone’s favorite, these are films I love and enjoy.

Jamaica Inn was the last film Alfred Hitchcock made in the U.K., with him moving to the United States after this picture was completed. While it is not considered one of Alfred Hitchcock’s best films, most people hate it even going as far to state it as his worst, I like it so I’m going to review it.

So the film is based on the historical fiction novel of the same name, written by Daphne du Marier (the same woman who wrote The Birds and Rebecca). Both she and Alfred Hitchcock were very displeased with the end result. Now why did this movie have so many problems? Charles Laughton.

jamaicainneatfooddinner

Now don’t get me wrong. He is a great actor, I mean look at his filmography. However, as he produced this he was able to call a lot of the shots, therefore not allowing Hitchcock to work his usual magic. Laughton changed the character chosen for him, forced Hitchcock to hire Maureen O’Hara, made Hitchcock reveal a twist earlier than planned, etc. It’s hard when someone usurps the director’s power.

But not everyone knows how to wield it.

But not everyone knows how to wield it.

Anyways, I’m going to review, because I like it.

So there! tongue sticking out pug

Now before we get into the review, let’s have a brief history lesson.

historyteach

This film takes place in the 1820 and involves a ship wrecking gang. Wrecking was a major economy booster and began as early as the 14th century, ending in the 20th century. Certain areas, such as Cromwell where this film takes place, gangs would cause ships to crash into the rocky shoreline, by either creating false lights or putting out the usual ones.

When the ships crashed, the gangs would then salvage the cargo, sell it, and kill the sailors to hide their crimes. It wasn’t until 1870, that rescuing the sailors brought in a reward.

In order to hide these activities, the wreckers would spread stories about ghost, phantoms, or other supernatural beings existing in the area.

Jamaica Inn is also based on a real inn and pub. It was known for its smugglers, pirates, and ghost stories.

Jamaica-InnPOSTER1CROP6

 So this film starts out with something a bit unusual, a prayer.

“O Lord we pray the–

not that wrecks should happen,

but that if they do happen

Thou wilt guide them–

to the coast of Cornwall,

for the benefit of the

poor inhabitants.

This real prayer for the 19th century shows how prevalent, wrecking/salvaging was.

DreadPirateRoberts Princess Bride

So the film starts out with the pirates (as they technically are as they are robbing/plundering ships) putting out the lights at Cromwell’s shore during a huge storm, causing them to crash. The crew go out and salvage everything, leaving no sailor alive.

wolfman dead bodies lots cart

The leader of this group is Joss Merlyn, also owner of Jamaica Inn. He picks the ships, sells the goods, divvies up the profits, and makes sure every man follows his orders. He’s not looking to head for the gallows.

Meanwhile, Mary Yellen is traveling from Ireland to Jamaica Inn.

what strange huh Jamaica Inn Mary Maureen O'Hara

Mary is played by Maureen O’Hara, in her first big role. She’s heading to Jamaica Inn to be with her Aunt Patience as her parents died and she has no where else to go. She’s heading in a cab, when suddenly it starts moving extremely fast and passes Jamaica Inn.

What's going on?

What’s going on?

She tries to get him to stop, but he refuses to listen. He’s afraid of Jamaica Inn, as he’s heard stories of ghosts, pirates, thieves, and worse. Instead he overshoots it by miles, dropping her off in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere.

jerk_alert32

Geez, how rude. I mean just living a women stranded in the middle of nowhere in the dark?

Jerk

Luckily, she isn’t too far from the Squire’s house, Sir Humphrey. She decides to head down there for help.

Meanwhile, Sir Humphrey is having a big dinner and fancy party for him and his friends.

jamaicainneatfooddinner

Now the Squire loves beautiful things. He’ll spend tons of money on a figurine, a horse, etc. Some of the ladies at the tale are interested in landing him, but they aren’t young or pretty enough for him.

uh-no-gif

Mary comes in from the cold and demands to see the Squire for help. Sir Humphrey is annoyed/intrigued at the intrusion sand makes a bet the girl will be ugly. However, when he sees her, he is stunned at her beauty.

swoon dreamy

He then tells her to remove her coat:

Gilmore girls creep

I’d be like “heck no!” I’m leaving my clothes on.

jerk

But, she agrees, and he says she looks stunning. That over and done with, she asks him for help to the Inn. Sir Humphrey doesn’t want her to go, as the inn is full of ruffians, no place for a pretty, young girl. He would rather she stay with him.

No thank youhowaboutno

Mary thanks him, but insists on going to the inn to be with her aunt Patience. Sir Humphrey agrees to help, and takes her to the inn.

When they arrive, Joss is creepily staring through the window at Mary.

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

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

She knocks at the door and when he opens it, he sticks a gun in her face.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Mary quickly tells him who she is, and then Joss tries to flirt with her, asking for a kiss.

I don't think so

Mary starts yelling at him and telling him to watch out, her uncle won’t stand for such rude treatment.

The jerk just laughs, and reveals he is her uncle.

ew! Gross Yuck

Luckily, Patience comes out and stops his attentions for the moment. Mary is shocked when she sees Patience, she used to be so beautiful, but now is a tired, pale, weary, slip of a thing.

What happened to you?

What happened to you?

You can tell by her pinched face that she is emotionally and physically abused by her husband.

Patience is happy to see her, but surprised. Apparently, they never received Mary’s letter telling of her parents death. They bring her in, with Joss making poor Patience carry the whole trunk. Mary goes to help, but Joss says no as he would hate to ruin a lady’s beautiful hands.

ew! Gross Yuck

How could he flirt like that in front of his wife? To her own niece?

Jerk

Mary has a fiery temper and yells at him. In return he picks up her trunk and throws it up the stairs, proving his strength. A true test of wills.

Don't mess with me!

Don’t mess with me!

Downstairs the crew are laughing and being rowdy, Joss having Patience take Mary into the kitchen so that she won’t find out what’s going on.

When Harry, Joss’ right hand man, hears of a pretty lady, he tries to go see her and put the moves on her.

howyoudoingfriendsjoey

But Joss tells everyone that Mary is hands off, only for him. I mean to his wife’s niece? What a jerk and mega creep.

Certified Creepo Ribbon

Back in the kitchen Mary and Patience are talking. Mary wants Patience to leave Joss, but she won’t. She ran away from him because she loved him, and even though he beats her, she still “loves” him. In reality, she has come to believe she deserves the beating, stuck in that cycle of abuse.

StarTrekBonesMcCoyPoorGirl PM

So back with the pirates.  A recent addition to the team, Jem Trehearne, has been starting a ruckus with the men.

JamaicaInnJemTrehearne

He believes there is a lot more going on then Joss is saying. He’s been keeping on eye on the merchandise ands how much they’ve received back and it is not adding up right. There is some that is being funneled elsewhere. Jem is also smart enough to realize there is no way Joss could fence these items on his own, there must be someone helping him. But who?

Sounds suspicious

Sounds suspicious

Joss sees how unsettled everyone is, and turns the suspicions back onto the crew; telling the group how easy it could be for one of them to take the product and waylay it, selling it later and keeping the profits. Now we have a witchunt, wtith everyone questioning each other.

miller-s-crucible-movie-ryder

He starts questioning how long each has been with him, coming up to Jem who has only been a part of the group for two months. Jem tries to turn it back to Joss and his mystery partner, but all have turned against him.

mob

Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

They seize Jem and search his pockets, finding gold. That settles it, he must hang.

CrucibleHanging

Before they can get started, Patience interrupts. She never would do such a thing, except Mary has just told her the Squire, Sir Humphrey, gave her a lift to the inn. She’s worried that him being there, he might have seen something.

Spoke too soon

He tells Patience to take Mary up to her room to finish dinner, let’s Harry take care of Jem, and then heads upstairs to a locked room.

Sounds suspicious

Sounds suspicious

And in there is the squire.

Say What

It turns out that Jem was right all along, there is someone else in charge, the squire.

This was an area of the film Hitchcock strongly disagreed with. He wanted to wait until the very end to do one of his famous reveals, us finding out that the Squire, supposed good guy was the real villain. But Laughton was a big star and he wanted more screen time, and as he was also producing the film, what he said went. It is interesting to see Hitchcock as he is starting out and then later on, when his word was the law. Even when it drove his actress crazy, like Tippi Hedren in The Birds.

Anyways, yes the real criminal mastermind is indeed the Squire, Sir Humphrey.

jamaicainneatfooddinner

Don’t let that pompous act fool you. He wines and dines the captains, finding out when ships carrying valuables are coming, sending word to Joss, who then gets the group out there to take care of it. Joss turns the goods over to the Squire, who sells the product taking a hefty cut, and giving the rest to be doled out the crewman. In some ways, this is very similar to Michael Crichton’s book Pirate Latitudes.

So Sir Humphrey is not happy with what he has, he thinks he deserves more.

minemineminepocahontas

Joss disagrees, warning him about the unruly crewman who think they are being created. They were lucky that Jem was a perfect scapegoat, but what if next time they men turn on him?

Them in this case

Them in this case

Squire tells him it doesn’t matter, and he better deal with the problem. They need to refocus as a new ship is coming in tomorrow night with lots of valuables.

Eyes on the prize

Eyes on the prize.

Joss tells Sir Humphrey about Mary, and that he will remove her from the equation. Sir Humphrey disagrees, as he wants Mary to stay, that is until he’s had her.

Mmhm great gatsby

Meanwhile, Jem has been knocked out and tied up. The crew are looking for the right beam to hang him, unknowingly choosing the exact one that lies under Mary’s room.

She overhears them talking about killing Jem, and watches them through a knothole, as they tie him up to the beam. One of the men, Dandy, really likes Jem’s buckles. Instead of waiting to play dice for them, Dandy grabs them and runs off, causing the others to chase him.

Run Away

With them out of the way, Mary takes her knife and starts sawing through the rope, trying to free Jem. After he drops to the ground, she sneaks out of her room and completes untying him. She wakes him up, and he tries to get her to come with him, but she has to stay for her aunt.

However, they quickly discover Jem is gone. Patience figures out that it is Mary.

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and tells her to run. She takes off but soon finds herself about to be caught, when Jem pulls her onto the roof.

How romantic

How romantic

How sweet, he couldn’t leave her behind to face everything on her own.

The two take off for the shore, Jem saying he knows a place they’ll be able to hide for a while.

Joss figures out who let Jem out, and sends everyone in teams to find them and kill them. He then goes to see the Squire to warn him.

Back at the squire’s home, we discover that he isn’t as rich as he’s been pretending to be.

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I also suspect that he suffers from being bipolar or some other disease. They way he switches so quickly from anger to joyful, there’s something disconnected up there.

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It turns out that his Butler is also starting to question what’s going on with the squire, as madness runs in his family.

Joss goes to him worried about what might happen with Jem and Mary, who they will tell. Sir Humphrey tells him to calm down as he is the only justice of the peace in the area. He kicks Joss out and tells him to focus on the ship wrecking.

Eyes on the prize

Eyes on the prize

He continues to yell at Joss, and also tells him to leave Mary alone. That girl is his.

All-Mine

The next day, Mary wakes up in the arms of Jem.

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She is suddenly freaked out as the realization of her choices hits her. She betrayed her family to save a man she doesn’t even know, a thief and pirate. She can never return to her Aunt’s home, all family is lost to her, and all she has is a pirate who could be cruel to her or hurt her.

I don't know what to do

She tries to sneak away, and steal the boat, but wakes Jem up, who is hurt at her not trusting him. I mean after all that you think they would have a bond.

Jem Trehearne: That’s women for you – save your life one minute, frightened of you the next. I guess I’m not a very pretty sight at the moment, but I don’t bite, you know.

While the two are arguing, the boat slips away and they are now stuck in a cave, and high tide will be upon them soon enough.

Reality Sucks

So now they are stuck. And in this scene we have some of the best banter. Jem is totally trying to make light of the situation. Mary, on the other hand, is angry at herself and the fact that everything is going wrong.

Jem Trehearne: Trust me to land myself with a woman. ‘Course, you did save my life.

Mary Yellen: I hope you make better use of it in the future.

Jem Trehearne: That’s a tall order for a desperate character like me.

Mary Yellen: No doubt.

Jem Trehearne: Smuggler and a cutthroat; that gives it.

Mary Yellen: Very likely.

Jem Trehearne: Do you think there’s any hope for me? Tell me, what all am I to do?

Mary Yellen: Anything you please.

Jem Trehearne: Well, I used to be a sailor. I can go back to sea.

Mary Yellen: I’m not in the least interested.

Jem Trehearne: You must be. Don’t forget you’re responsible for me.

Mary Yellen: I am not.

Jem Trehearne: Oh, yes. If weren’t for you I shouldn’t be here at all. You can’t deny that. When we’re safe in Trulo I’ll place myself entirely in your hands.

Mary Yellen: Oh, please be quiet.

I like Jem. I think he is sweet, funny, and pretty adorable while at the same time being a man of action, and having some honor. I wonder how he got mixed up with thieves?

The plot thickens

So while they are talking, they fail to realize that their lost boat has just given away their position. Harry and two other crew members, realize they are in the cave and throw down a rope, inviting them up. They’re trapped. Either they wait in the cave and drown when the high tide comes in. Or they are saved and killed by the pirates.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

But Jem won’t give up. He decides to instead have him and Mary swim to shore. They have a better chance of surviving the stormy sea, then staying in the cave where the men will let them drown or hang them.

They make it to shore, and Jem wants to go to town. Mary changes his mind, by pointing out the Squire’s mansion is so much closer.

Spoke too soon

When they get to the house, they interrupt a dinner with a captain.

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The two come in soaked and telling the squire about what’s going on. Mary is sent upstairs to change into dry things, stopping to ask the squire for clemency for Jem, while Jem is regulated in front of the fire as he is not important. Go ahead and freeze to death or catch the flu and die, you’re not important.

Mr.DarcyMoveAsidepeasants Pride and prejuice

But Jem will not be regulated to the side. He insists on speaking to the squire NOW. In fact he has something very important to show Sir Humphrey.

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His badge.

Say What

Yep Jem is not really a thief, he’s actual a cop and was just undercover trying to bust a ship wrecking ring. Before Sir Humphrey was just going to get rid of him or lock him up, but know that he is a cop with real officers knowing who he is and where he went. It’s time to change the game.

New plan

New plan

Mary overhears and runs over to the Inn to warn Patience, and try and get her to leave, but she won’t go. Soon Jem and Sir Humphrey arrive, Sir Humphrey playing along with Jem; as Jem deduces the how, where, and why of the whole situation. He just needs to figure out who the head man is.

WhoDoneItMystery?

He tries to persuade Joss to tell. This man is a tyrant that must be brought to justice!

Jem Trehearne: He [the head of the operation] remains aloof content to hire the scum of the coast to do his murderous work for him, thinking there’s no blood on his hands, but there is.

Jem leaves Joss with Sir Humphrey, as he goes to move the women upstairs. While he is gone Sir Humphrey warns Joss that tonight will have to be the last one, it would be best for both to take a little vacation. Then he hands over his gun.

Now think how much more awesome this scene would have been if this was the first time we realized that the Squire was the man they were working for. Hitchcock relly got gypped there. Oh, well.

So the men have heard Jem, and without Sir Humphrey as back up, the two are quickly captured and tied up.

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Joss puts Patience on guard with a gun, while asking Mary along, just in case she had the urge to free Jem again.

Jem puts on a brave face and tries to convince Patience that if she gives up the location of her husband, then it will help him serve less time. Patiene refuses.

No thank youhowaboutno

Sir Humphrey doesn’t even bother talking, getting out of the unknotted knots Joss tied on him and walking right out. After all, he has a ship to catch.

Jem is embarrassed and angry he could be tricked so easily, but continues to try to get Patience to set him free. But Patience says no, she loves Jem.

Laura what I want No good

Eventually something must have worked on her, as the next scene we see Jem free and out to get help.

Meanwhile Mary is out with the crewman. They put the beacon out and wait, but while all are preoccupied, Mary runs out to fix the beacon. She gets in a fight with one of the men, accidentally breaking the beacon and setting her cape on fire. She hangs that up and saves the ship.

The salvagers are very angry!

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Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

They grab her and start tearing at her clothes, making threats about what they will do. Joss comes into save her, but gets shot by Harry.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Mary manages to get his body to the inn. There Patience is heartbroken and tries to warn Mary that Joss wasn’t the real leader, there is someone worse, when she is shot!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Sir Humphrey shot her as he didn’t want her warning Mary about him. He then goes and ties her up, giving her a hooded cape to hide it, and takes her with him in his carriage.

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So Sir Humprey has completely succumbed to the insanity that runs in his family.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Jem is not too far behind the two, being able to get the regimental captain that was dining with Sir Humphrey earlier to use his troops to stop the men. They round up the ship wreckers and find the bodies of Joss and Patience. They set out to follow Humphrey’s trail.

At the ship, Sir Humphrey throws Mary inside a cabin. Telling her that she may have wanted to marry some normal, man and have a litter of kids, but that’s not what she should have. She should have the finer things with him.

Sir Humphrey: Good thing you have a man of sensibility, who’d rather see you dead first.

Certified Creepo Ribbon

Before Sir Humphrey can make good on his threats, the regiment arrives. He tries to take Mary as a hostage, but they are prepared to shoot any part of his body they can. In order to escape he climbs up the sails of the ship, choosing to jump off and commit suicide then be taken alive.

Mary is shaken over everything, with Jem taking her and comforting her.

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So was it as amazing as his later work? No. Was it still a good movie? Yes. I thought it was interesting, fun, a tad campy, but still entertaining.

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

For the previous post, go to The Story. We’re Living It. It’s Alive: The Brothers Grimm (2005)

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For more on Alfred Hitchcock, go to The Perfect Murder: Dial “M” for Murder (1954)

For more films based on a book, go to What Have We Done to Each Other?: Gone Girl (2014)

For more on Maureen O’Hara, go to At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heroes

 

Fantastic Fantasies

Benedict-Cumberbatch-people-obsessedFandom

Well here we are with part three of my fangirl posts. As shown above, I am obsessed with quite a few things and fangirl over them hard core. To make this easier on me and you, I have decided to break this up into a series of posts, with each fandom listed alphabetically. For post one, go to Fanning All Over the Place. For post two, go to Simply Fantastic.

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Alfred Hitchcock

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Alfred Hitchcock is my favorite absolute favorite director. I just love how the man thinks and what he creates. He is a true genius. Now I know he has some serious issues, like the way he treated the women he worked with, (especially Vera Miles and poor, poor Tipi Hedren); but that doesn’t change the fact that he was a true revolutionary. He not only created the psychological thriller genre, blending horror and mystery; but the first slasher horror genre, and influenced millions of writers and directors. Oh his works are just glorious. I’ve seen nearly every film he’s ever made and I just love him and all his work.

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This past year I reviewed three of his films for Horrorfest III and that is just the beginning. I hope to one day completely review every film he has ever done. For those of you who don’t know him, here is a short list of my favorites (that I recommend watching): Blackmail (1929), The 39 Steps (1935), The Lady Vanishes (1938), Rebecca (1940), Suspicion (1941), Shadow of a Doubt (1942), Lifeboat (1944), Spellbound (1945), Rope (1948), Under Capricorn (1949), Strangers on a Train (1950), Dial “M” for Murder (1954), Rear Window (1954), To Catch a Thief (1955), The Trouble With Harry (1955), North by Northwest (1959), Psycho (1960), The Birds (1963), Torn Curtain (1966), and Frenzy (1972)

Besides films you also have his TV show, Alfred Hitchcock Presents in which he picked some of the greatest writers of the day, for example Ray Bradbury. And as mentioned before many great actors were on his show: such as Claude Rains, Vincent Price, Joseph Cotten, etc. In fact, one of Steve McQueen’s early gigs was on that TV show. The show was similar The Twilight Zone, but unlike that show, you never knew if things would turn out good or bad for the main characters.

He is an amazing artist, using film as his medium, and I strongly recommend checking out anything that has his name on it.

For more on Alfred Hitchcock, go to The Perfect Murder: Dial “M” for Murder (1954)

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Criminal Minds

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Ah this show. How I love thee. Every Wednesday I would watch the new episode. It was set on stone. At least until my sophomore year at college, when classes I needed to take got in the way. 😦 Teachers just don’t understand.

So when I saw previews for this show, I was like I so gotta watch this. And for three reasons.

1) I was deeply interested in behavioral analysis. I mean you have just read how obsessed I was with Alfred Hitchcock. This show is logically the next step. In fact when I first went to college I studied psychology, hoping to work for the FBI one day. However, I hated the psychology classes as we kept having to talk about ourselves. I ended up switching to history as I wanted to talk about other people. I still love this show and what they do very much.

2) Thomas Gibson

So Handsome!!!

So Handsome!!!

Yep, if you have read my This Isn’t Love, This is Ectasy, post you know that I just find this man incredibly attractive. A fan from Dharma and Greg to Flintstones Viva Rock Vegas to Criminal Minds– I’ve got to watch them all. 🙂

Thomas Gibson plays the leader of the unit, Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner.

3) Inigo Montoya

inigo montoya PrincessBride kill my father prepare to die

Just kidding. It’s not Inigo Montoya, but the actor who played him, Mandy Patinkin. He plays the amazingly smart agent Jason Gideon.Patinkin left the show, as he felt the content was too dark, and was replaced by FBI Agent David Rossi. Rossi is okay, but Gideon was much better.

So the FBI unit is comprised of the leader Agent Hotchner and Gideon who I have already talked about. There is also Elle Greenaway, Cuban and the sexual predator profiler. She only lasts for the first season as she gets shot during a case, and after that can’t really deal with the stresses of the FBI. We have Derek Morgan (played by the very handsome Shermar Moore) and appears to be the standard tough guy, ex-athlethe, charming, ladies’ man-but you find out there is far more to him than what appears at first glance. Spencer Reid is a super genius and the youngest member of the unit. He is only 22 in the first episode but already has three PhDs, two BAs, and has a photographic memory. Reid is utterly adorable.

You're so cute

And you just can’t help but love him. Now Agent Hotch is the leader but Agent Jennifer “J.J.” Jareau is the liasion between the FBI and the town they move into to help out. She’s sweet, kind, adorable; and when the show dropped her the fans revolted, bringing her back. Rounding the team out is Penelope Garcia, the computer whiz and as quirky adorable as NCIS‘ Abby.

Now we head out to the character I hate. Emily Prentiss.

Hate YOu

She’s brought in to replace Greenaway after she leaves the BAU. She’s the daughter of a special agent and is too good. They make the character just too much that she is unreal and annoying. She knows like forty different languages and can speak them flawlessly, she used to work for Interpol, she is so “beautiful” that no guy can keep from asking her out, etc. It’s just too much. But one of the worse things about her, was when she first joined the show she would make fun of Reid.

you're evil

Reid is an adorable puppy. Anyone who is cruel to him has no soul.

But besides her, the show is amazing, the characters and storylines are truly great and I highly recommend it to anyone.

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CSI

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

CSI was a revolutionary show. It brought back the cop drama, but instead focusing on the forensic side of the investigations. Of course the show isn’t completely realistic as they immediately get lab results and always manage to find their killer in a day or two. But the show was really good as the characters and storylines worked really well.

So if Wednesday was reserved for Criminal Minds I would typically spend my Fridays with AMC watching reruns of CSI.

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Yep, they’re pretty exciting.

So the orginal show was just CSI and took place in Las Vegas, Nevada. Now besides some great storylines, the real reason this show was so awesome was Dr. Gilbert “Gil” Grissom played by William Peterson. He’s a forensic entomologist and was just great. He was always cool and collected, no matter how tense the situation got. He was also always a wiseguy (in wit and sarcasm). When he left, the show ended for me. It was just not the same. The show has gone through a lot of upheaval this past year;  losing their original characters, bringing in more and causing it to just not be for me anymore.

With the extreme popularity of CSI the producers decided to do a spin-off and create the same show in a different location. What was born was CSI:Miami. Now many people don’t like this, but I admit it. It was my favorite of the CSI franchise. It had some silly moments and silly characters, but I loved it most. My favorite character was Ryan Wolfe played by Jonathan Togo. He came in after one of the team members was killed. His beginnings are hard as the crew are still hurt over the death of their colleague and aren’t exactly warm to to him. He’s smart, detailed, funny, and hot. What more could you want?

 You also have the lead detective Horatio Caine, who is a very smart man, but more loved for his hilarious puns.

Hunch

And the third character I enjoyed, Eric Delko. He is the Derek Morgan of this show; strong, athletic, hot. He’s just a fun guy and I was one of the many fans upset with his death and happy when he overcame it and came back into the show.

Like CSI this show went through a  lot of dropping and adding characters and I stopped watching.

With the popularity of CSI and CSI: Miami, the producers decided to try again and created CSI: NY, but I never got into this version. It just didn’t appeal to me.

Now before I stop talking about this show, there is one more awesome thing that I have to mention. One of the most awesome things about this show is that they chose to use The Who songs for each show’s theme. CSI used Who Are YouCSI: Miami used Won’t Get Fooled Again, and CSI: NY used Baba O’Riley.

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Danosaurs

Danisnotonfire

This Youtube star is Dan from Danisnotonfire. It is a hilarious show as Dan just highlights funny moments and the awkwardness of his life.

AwkwrdSpecialtyCharlieBrown

 

Not to mention being entertaining, he is also  really cute and has an English accent! Definitely a win. His videos are all amazing, so I’m just going to post one of my favs, but I definitely suggest checking all his stuff out.

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Deathbats

avenged sevenfold hobbies m shadows

So if you have read some of my previous posts, you might already be aware of my Avenged Sevenfold obsession. It all started when my loser ex and I first started dating. He was obsessed with the band. He gave me one CD to listen to, but not the others; having promised to make “the perfect” playlist, burn CDs, and mail me care packages. Of course he never did. In fact he never sent me anything but I sent him stuff. Rude, huh.

Jerk

Anyways, when we broke up I was sad and decided that I was going to check out a bunch of Avenged Sevenfold CDs and listen to their music. I did and I became OBSESSED with them.

ThinkLikeBandTooMuchFamilyGuy

Now some of you may be asking, is the band really that good? Well I think so. I love the musical choices they make. One of my favorite things is that they are always trying something new and different, but it still remains uniquely them.

One thing I absolutely love is M. Shadows’ voice. It isn’t what mainstream would say is great, but totally works with the music created by the band. He’s also pretty hot.

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You also have Synyster Gates who is the attractive guitarist and an amazing musician.

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And Zachy Vengence. Killer name, killer looks, and killer talent. The trifecta!

AvengedSevenfold A7x Zacky Vengence

So here are a few of my favorite songs. I’ll only name a few so I don’t overwhelm you all. So some of my top, top favorites are: Unbound, Almost Easy, A Little Piece of Heaven, Seize the Day, Dear God, Flash of the Blade, Walk, Afterlife, Hail to the King, Nightmare, Welcome to the Family, Buried Alive, and So Far Away. There are plenty more to talk about, but that’s all for now.

AddictedtoAvengedSevenfold

For more on Avenged Sevenfold, go to Unbound

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Disney

Disney

So I am a HUGE Disney fan. I grew up on the films, TV shows, characters, etc. I am SUPER obsessed with it.

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I could go on and on about my favorite Disney things, but you know what? I’ve already done that. This summer I devoted all of June to 30 posts on Disney. I covered some of my favorite animated features, Disney Original Movies (DCOMs), Disney live action films, Disney songs, etc. To read more on it, check out 30 Day Challenge: Disney Edition. I’m thinking of doing it again as there is just so much Disney wonder and fantastica that needs to be covered.

One thing’s for sure, I’ll never be to old for it.

You'reNeverTooOldForDisney

For more on Disney, go to The Little Moreland

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Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

 

So Downton Abbey? How do I describe this phenomenon? Hmm….

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Just kidding, it is nowhere near as confusing as that.

So this show came out a few years ago and my mother wanted to watch the TV show, not me. She had been a fan of the series Upstairs, Downstairs, what Downton Abbey is a remake of. Both series chronicle the lives of the wealthy upstairs along with the servants downstairs. It didn’t sound that interesting to me, but my mom really wanted me to watch it. I did and fell in love with. Every Sunday night became tea and Downton Abbey.

mr knightley drinks tea

When the winter break ended and I returned to college, I got all my friends into it as well.

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At first they were like, “will I like this?” and I was like:

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They quickly became fans as well.

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So the first season begins with the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 and ends with the start of WWI in 1914. The second season picks up in WWI and ends 1919. The third season picks up in the same year and moves on into the 1920s.

So the manorhouse is Downton Abbey in England where the Crawley family live. Robert Crawley, Earl Grantham, and lord of the manor; Cora Crawley, his American wife; and their three daughters Mary, Edith, and Sybil. Robert’s mother, Dowager Countess Violet Crawley, doesn’t live there but visits most days.

The Dowager is amazingly funny and witty. She is a snob, but her snobbery is sometimes due to her naiveté of what lower classes do and go through. She is hilarious as her one-liners are amazing. She is practically everybody’s favorite character.

DowntonAbbeyDowagerCountessVioletCrawleyVulgarityisnoSubstituteforWit

Lord Grantham (Robert) is pretty traditional and takes the jobs of running the estate very seriously. Lady Cora clashes with the Dowager Countess and at many times finds herself at odds as she is not English, so she “doesn’t understand” things.

Then we have the three daughters. First is Mary who is the eldest and a whiney, spoiled brat. However, as the series progresses she does change as her circumstances cause her to realize how awful she is being and what she wants to be. As the series progresses you start to love her.

Next in line is Edith. Edith is a whiny brat as well. She is always jealous of her older sister’s beauty and attention. This causes her to constantly fight and find ways to ruin things for Mary, of which all end up troublesome for her.

And last is Sybil, who in my opinion is the best character of all. She is kind, considerate, sweet, funny, beautiful, and a real revolutionary. She wears a Middle Eastern outfit with pantaloons for her coming-out-party, gets involved with protests, meetings, radical theories, becomes an army nurse, and doesn’t care about someone’s station or name. She’s awesome.

DowntonAbeyLadyMary,Edith,Sybil

The series starts out with the Titanic sinking. On the Titanic was Mary’s first cousin and fiancé. Everyone in the Crawley family is upset because the estate is entailed, and with the cousin and his brother killed, no one knows to whom the estate goes next.

Let me back up a minute. Entailment was something that was done a lot in England. All the money, property, i.e. the whole estate was entailed to the next male heir.  Yep, and as we see the Crawleys have three girls. They had never worried about entailment as they always planned to have Mary married off to the cousin and none of the family would have to worry.

Now they have to discover the next male heir and hope to God that they can marry him off to their eldest daughter.

Enter Matthew Crawley

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Matthew Crawley is a lawyer and discovers that he is next to inherit and will become Lord Grantham, have a seat in Parliament, and own a large estate. He is flabbergasted at this, as he is just your average person. In fact he wants to refuse it, but gets talked into accepting it. The Dowager Countess and Lady Cora try to get Mary and Matthew together. Mary finds Matthew “too low class” and tries to get a rich man interested in her. Unfortunately, very few men are interested in a girl who’s fortune is entailed. Lady Cora and Lord Grantham are also trying to get Cora’s fortune/dowry out of the entailment. Edith is trying to foil all of Mary’s plans while at the same time trying her best to catch a rich man or hook Matthew. Sybil is Sybil. Matthew falls for Mary and tries to win her heart, but Mary has some issues to overcome before considering marriage to Matthew. At one point Cora becomes pregnant and we wonder if she may have a son and solve the whole problem. Murder, mystery, scheming, drama, and comedy galore! Of course before things can truly be resolved, WWI breaks out, changing everyone’s life as they know it.

Season 2 starts right out in WWI and portrays it as accurately as possible. Matthew finds himself in the trenches with some of the servants from Downton. Downton gets set up as a hospital for soldiers. Sybil is a nurse. Lord Grantham wants to fight but isn’t allowed to. And the series continues in keeping the drama, comedy, romance, and action. I won’t reveal any more or season three and four for those of you who haven’t checked it out and are interested.

Let me just say that if PBS really wanted money, this is all they would have to do.

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Now that is the upstairs, let’s take a look downstairs.

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We have Mr. Carson the Butler who runs the whole downstairs. He is stuck in his ways, but a truly lovable stick-in-the-mud.

Then there is Mrs. Hughes the head housekeeper. She runs the kitchen staff. She is no-nonsense and buisnesslike, but always has a soft spot and helps others.

Then we have Mr. Bates head valet (pronounced the English val-let not French va-lay). He is introduced to the household in episode one to the ire of the footman Thomas Barrow. Thomas thought that he would be the one to elevate in status and is upset at being passed over. Thomas tries to make life hard for Mr. Bates and turn everyone against him. Mr. Bates falls for Anna and the two have one of the best romances. They actually weren’t supposed to stay together, but the fans called for them. Power to the fans. Mr. Bates also has a lot of mystery and drama surrounding him.

Mrs. O’Brien is the lady’s maid and a cruel and calculating woman. She is a major snoop and always rooting out gossip.

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She only cares about her best interest and causes some serious problems for the family. She leaves after a secret she has comes out.

Anna is the sweetest, kindest, woman ever. She is one of the best characters, and I absolutely love her and Mr. Bates together. She is the head housemaid and Lady Mary’s confidant, often helping her out of some pretty bad scrapes. When Lady Mary marries, Anna  is elevated to Lady’s maid.

Thomas Barrow is the under-butler and he is a mean, horrible, cruel, bully. He picks on other footman and staff members, plays with girl’s hearts, spreads rumors, steals, etc. He leaves the household and goes off to war, which softens him a bit. After the war ends, he finds himself falling back into his old ways. He has a huge secret that is only known to a few.

William Mason is one of the kindest and most adorable footman ever, but leaves in the second season. He has a crush on the assistant cook, Daisy who doesn’t deserve him.

Alfred Nugent joins the household after William leaves. He is brought in to be a love triangle between Daisy and Ivy, but he’s very boring and bland.

Jimmy Kent is brought in and increases that love triangle to rhombus as his good looks, charm, and easygoing manner wins all the ladies’ hearts.

Moseley was Matthew’s butler and was supposed to go with him to war, but failed his exam. He moves into the Crawley manor when he can’t find himself another job as a butler. You see during and after the War, many families find themselves not having the money they once had. When he comes into the Crawley household, it is a little awkward as his function is a bit fuzzy.

Mrs. Patmore is the no-nonsense cook and an awesome character. She hilarious, sarcastic, and always hitting the nail on the head.

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She has this one great storyline in which she starts going blind and is afraid to tell anyone. She thinks that if they find out then she will be fired and what will she do next? Cooking is all she knows and cares about. When the Crawleys discover this, they actually pay for an operation to fix her eyes.

Daisy is my least favorite character. Ugh, she annoys me. She is in love with Thomas because she thinks his bullying is a sign of manliness. She never gets the hint that he is not interested in her, unless he can torment sweet William who has a crush on her. She uses William to try to make Thomas jealous, which instead only hurts William more. She falls for Alfred, who doesn’t care a fig for her. Her biggest role in the series is really just complaining. She complains ALL THE TIME. And like the teenage girl “this unfair” “I never get what I want” kind of complaining. I always just want her to shut up!

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Ivy is new and her only thing that defines her character is that she is a “modern” girl not afraid to let someone know that she likes them. Translation: She’s pretty fast.

Now the last character I’m going to talk about is Tom Branson who is in the middle of the upstairs and downstairs.

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Branson is the Irish chauffer. He is very interested in politics and Sybil. Yes, we have an mixed class romance. Now at first I didn’t like him as he was hotheaded, believed his opinions were the only right ones, wants to violently achieve Irish independence, etc. However, once he and Sybil ran off and eloped, he began to grow on me. After some traumatizing events, his personality changes as this personal destruction makes him realize that violence to achieve one’s goals is not the way. What else is really great is his friendship with Matthew, as the two really understand each other and trying to figure out your place. In fact his storyline if trying to see which “floor” he belongs in is really powerful.

 So after all that I bet you are wondering what else can be said about Downton Abbey? Well I found that Petula Clark did a really great job of sharing it, (that is of you make a few small changes):

When you’re alone and life is making you lonely you can always watch  Downtown Abbey. When you’ve got worries all the noise and the hurry seems to help I know, watch Downtown Abbey. You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares so watchDowntown Abbey. Things will be great when you’re watching Downtown Abbey. No finer place for sure. Downtown Abbey; everything’s waiting for you. Things will be great when you’re watching Downtown Abbey. Don’t wait a minute more watch Downtown Abbey.

For more on Downton Abbey, go to That’s What You Get

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w:outFandoms

 

For Part 1, go to Fanning All Over the Place

For Part 2, go to Simply Fantastic

And keep an eye out for Part 3!

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For more of my favorite artists and songs, go to In Love With the ’80s (Pink Tux to the Prom)

For more of my favorite quotes, go to When in Doubt