Count Dracula the Propagator of This Unspeakable Evil Has Disappeared. He Must Be Found and Destroyed!: Horror of Dracula (1958)

Since the death of Jonathan Harker Count Dracula the propagator of this unspeakable evil has disappeared. He must be found and destroyed!

So typically when I begin Horrorfest I always start and end with a movie I love. As my drama teacher always said “you want to start and end hot. The middle can be a failure but you want them going in to love it, and exiting to love it.”

This year I had a really hard time choosing a film to start with. I really wanted to do something from the 1940s, like Rebecca, The Phantom of the Opera (starring Claude Raines), or The Return of the Vampire, etc- but this year the pick needs to be from the 1950s. I also really wanted to start off with a Gothic film to honor Catherine Morland.

Eventually I decided on Horror of Dracula, as the Christopher Lee & Peter Cushing films are iconic, gothic, and not the classic classic monster films-but are Classic monster films.

This was called Dracula in England, but in the US it had to be changed to the Horror of Dracula as they still showed Dracula (1931) in theaters.

The only thing it, I have ever seen it before.

In fact don’t think I’ve reviewed any Hammer films yet, I didn’t grow up watching them but the classic universal films instead. I hope this goes well!

So as the film begins the credits rolls, and as I look at them I notice in the credits Michael Gough. I feel like I saw that name recently in something I watched…

Hmm…

I know he played Mr. Bennet in  version of Pride and Prejudice, but that’s not what I’m thinking of. Then it hits me! He’s Alfred in Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, and Batman and Robin. 

Anyways, we see a crypt! As we zoom into the tomb we spot a tomb and the coffin of Dracula!

But then blood squirts on it-weird.

We then move to the diary of Jonathan Harker. It is May 3, 1885. A carriage brings Jonathan to Castle Dracula as Jonathan narrates. He is going to see Dracula as he wants to make good money to marry his fiance.

Majorly

Yes, it turns out that this is not like the original novel, but that Jonathan has come to the Castle under false pretenses. He’s there for another plan-to hunt slay Dracula.

You could say he is Harker the Vampire Slayer!

The castle seemed fine in the warm afternoon sun, normal except no birds. Now I’m not a fan of birds, you know-but even I know thats not good.

That is not good,

The house is nice but I wish it was in black and white. It’s not so creepy when you see it in color, especially all the bright red. I mean look how creepy this is:

And then Dracula is not even there to greet him! What, no awesome scene?!?

So if you have been following me for a while, you know how I feel about remakes and sequels:

And so far I’m not liking the changes.

I’m not happy

Jonathan does find a note from Dracula, after all he is a gentleman:

My Dear Harker,

I am sorry I was unable to meet you. Eat well, make yourself comfortable.

Dracula

Jonathan eats and it actually reminds me of Beauty and the Beast, the original fairytale when he is left a note by the castle owner.

As he looks around the castle he meets a beautiful woman who begs him to take her awry from here. Jonathan introduces himself as the librarian come to catalog Dracula’s books. In this Jonathan is a librarian and not solicitor/real estate agent? I know I should be upset at the change but all I can think is that I’ll be able to add another library to my list.

So the woman runs off when Dracula (Christopher Lee) comes. This portrayal of Dracula is very interesting-he seems normal, and a regular guy. He is helpful by picking up his luggage and shows him to his room, him a count! I have to admit I like his portrayal. It’s not Lugosi, but its not bad.

I mean when Lugosi entered the room, you were instantly freaked out as something was not quite right in the castle. With Lee, nothing seems off about him. He is polite, kind-the perfect employer. It is a nice way to lull you in (I mean it is Dracula, I know he’s bad).

Dracula shows Harker to his room and leaves, as he has to go out of town. Harker starts  unpacking and the first thing he puts out is a picture of Mina, aw!

Dracula return to give him a key to the library, when he spots a picture of Harker’s fiancé, Lucy?? LUCY!!!

What’s the heck?

It’s supposed to be MINA!!! Ugh

Ugh! You can’t even get the names right.

After Dracula leaves, Harker sees his room is locked and he cant get out!!!

Harker starts to write in his journal-it’s weird because obviously something is not right in this home, but you still trust Dracula as Christopher Lee plays him so open.

Hmm…

That night Harker is drowsing when something is at his door. He can see the handle twisting! When he checks it he sees that it is unlocked so he walks out and downstairs to the library. There he finds the woman who begs him to help her!

Jonathan Harker: You make it very difficult for me. After all, I’m a guest here. If I’m to help you, I must have a reason.

Woman: A reason! You ask for a reason? Is it not reason enough that he locks me up in this house, holds me against my will? You can have no idea what an evil man he is… or of the terrible things he does!

He questions her more, but she can tell him nothing. Now this is very well done. I mean, like I said in the 1931 version Dracula is creepy from the beginning. In this, Dracula has bee so open and kind so when she says he’s evil you kind of feel unsure what to believe, as what she said and what we have seem of him don’t match up. (Except for you know, he’s Dracula)

Harker promises to help her and hugs her to comfort her, when she then goes right for his neck. She bites him, but Harker is saved when Dracula storms into the room.

That is not good,

Dracula and his Vampire bride fight with each other, as she wants Jonathan and Dracula wants him to be let alone. Harker tries to help her, while Dracula throws him off choking him until he is knocked out.

Ouch

He then carries his bride off through a secret door in the library bookshelves.

The next morning Harker wakes up in his room The door is locked from the utside and he cant get out. Was it all a dream?

Hmmm

No, he has the bite marks with bright red blood on his neck. Yeah the blood doesn’t look right. I think this would have been better in black and white.

He pulls his journal out of the chest of draws (which is pretty cool, it has all these different sizes on it.) He writes that he has become a victim of Dracula and prays that he will not become one of them and that if he fails, someone with the knowledge to do what is necessary will release his soul.

He decides to do what he has set out to do. He’s on a search to find the resting place of Dracula and destroy him!

He hides his journal in a hedge and then goes looking for Dracula’s tomb. As he walks around the set, it reminds me of the Dr. Jekyll and the Werewolf film I watched last year.

Harker finds the tomb, the girl is there as well. He unrolls his package which holds a stake and mallet to put the girl out of her misery. He should have done Dracula first instead of the girl so she wouldn’t wake him up. Dumb.

Night falls and the woman’s screams awaken Dracula. The girl turns into an old lady as she is now dead. Harker turns to stake Dracula, but he is GONE!!!

Bad things happen when you don’t listen

Always do the Prince of Darkness first boy. Who mentored you??

Seriously

Wait a sec…they aren’t going to kill Harker are they? The scene fades out so I am not sure if they locked him up in the tomb, or if Dracula killed him.

Hmm…

Back in the village pub a man walks in with aristocratic features and fancy gentlemen clothes who asks about Mr. Harker. It is Dr. Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) who questions the pub owners but they claim to know nothing.

The pub owner warns Van Helsing to get out of these strange parts, but Van Helsing won’t give up. The waitress, however, takes pity on him and Harker and gives Van Helsing the Harker’s diary that was found.

Van Helsing goes up to Dracula’s castle and sees a black hearse carriage carrying off a white coffin. This is obviously Dracula taking off.

Van Helsing goes into the castle searching for Harker, but finds him nowhere. He does find his room which has ben horribly disturbed. And the picture of Lucy  (it should be MINA), is gone! Oh no-Dracula took it! That means he has some nefarious purposes!

Oh no!

Van Helsing finds the tomb and steps inside. The dead female vampire is there, and Harker!???!! He’s a  vapmire?!!!!!! vampire???!!!!!! (sorry I was in such shock I couldn’t spell)

WHATTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But, but, but the story! What’s going to happen?

What’s going on?

Aww, Van Helsing picks up the stake and mallet and has to take care of his friend. That’s heartbreaking.

Van Helsing returns to tell Lucy that Harker died, but she is ill so he meets with her brother Arthur Holmwood (Michael Gough) and Mina (Melissa Stribling). Arthur doesn’t believe him-he finds everything suspicious. He is angry as they should have been told sooner.

Now this seems odd to me. Grief makes you angry, I know, but he seems to extra hate him. Van Helsing gives them the death certificate and is sent out.

Arthur’s wife tries to calm him down and they go to see Lucy. Poor Lucy! She has been ill and can’t wait for Jonathan to return. But he won’t be.

So when I was watching this I began counting off all the things they changed in this film. But I guess if they were competing with Dracula (1931) and Return of Dracula (1958), you want to do something new.

After Mina and Arthur leave, Lucy gets up. Is she faking being ill?

Nope!

Lucy goes to her window and opens the door, allowing the wind and leaves in. She then takes off her cross necklace, NOOOO don’t do that! And then waits in bed for her vampire lover.

Van Helsing is going through Harker’s diary while listening to his notes on killing vampires.This listening to his list is mostly for us-1) They can’t handle light, they can’t go out, 2) Garlic, they can’t stand it, and 3) The crucifix, the crucifix protects the human being but reveals the vampire or the vampire victim.

Van Helsing is determined to go and find & destroy Dracula!

Meanwhile, Dracul at this moment is with Lucy in her bed. He pulls up his cape and fade out.

That is not good,

Dr. Seward has been trying to help but is puzzled by why she is getting sicker. They think it is just anemia, and all I can think is too bad women wore such high collars or else they would spot the fang marks.

Mina Holmwood goes to see Van Helsing and confides her worries about Lucy. She was afflicted 10 days ago, the same time when Jonathan died…

Van Helsing goes to see Lucy, and spots the wounds on her neck right away. Mina noticed the wounds on the neck too, but thought she was stung by something.

Van Helsing tells Mina to leave the windows shut at night and to put Garlic flowers at the window and by her bed. He warns Mina to do what he says or else Lucy will die.

Lucy, however, doesn’t want them and begs the housekeepr Gerta to remove the flowers and to open the windows, and of course Gerta listens, NOOOOOO!!!

The next day Lucy is dead. Gerta admits she opened the widow and took the plants away. Arthur, however, doesn’t blame her. Instead he blames Van Helsing as he can’t stand him. But why blame Van Helsing? If anything, why not blame the doctor who was supposed to be treating them?

Van Helsing gives Arthur the diary to read so he can know the truth, and walks out.

That night the couple is grieving when a policeman comes with Tonya, Gerda’s daughter. Tonya tell Mina that Lucy was walking with her and then someone came and she took off.

That night arthur goes to the crypt and Lucy is GONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gasp!

So this movie has strayed heavily from the book and I have no clue what will happen next, beside of course Dracula and Van Helsing will eventually fight.

That night Tonya goes off with Lucy, who called to her. Lucy has giant fangs, but Tonya doesn’t see them. Arthur goes looking around, confused Then spots Lucy with Tonya. I like how she glides-unearthly walking.

Lucy tries to get Arthur, but Van Helsing is there! He puts the cross on Lucy’s forehead and it burns her. She runs into the crypt, with Arthur following. Van Helsing gives Tonya his coat and the crucifix as he goes after Arthur.

Van Helsing wants to let Lucy roam free to find Dracula, but Arthur won’t have that. So Van Helsing sends Tonya home with Arthur and then when he returns Van Helsing prepares to make sure she will not walk again but rest.

Arthur: [Van Helsing prepares to stake Lucy] Is there no other way? It’s horrible.

Doctor Van Helsing: Please try and understand this is not Lucy the sister you loved. It’s only a shell possessed and corrupted by the evil of Dracula. To liberate her soul and give her peace we must destroy that shell for all time. Believe me there is no other way.

So vampires are supposed to be staled through the heart, but here he does it under her left breast.

robinhoodSheriffofnottinghamhmm

Poor Arthur hes traumatized by the screams of his sister.

So now that he does not have a bride, Dracula will be on the hunt for another.

Dracula

Arthur reads Harker’s diary and decides to join Van Helsing to stop the evil. The first thing they need to do is find Dracula. The vampire must rest in his own soil during the day. They must travel to the border to discover where the coffin was going.

ThinkingHmmwriting

Hmm…

They leave Mina alone as they travel off.  Poor Mina. I hope Dracula doesn’t come after her.

Later that evening, long after the men have left a boy comes to the l door with a message-Arthur  says to go to 49 Fredricks Street. Okay I actually am not sure what street he said and I couldn’t find it online, but that’s what it sounded to me. Uh, oh. We know it not the guys, that means it must be:

Dracula

So over at Customs on the border, Van Helsing  is arguing with the clerk, but Arthur has had enough of that and  just bribes him.

ShutUpTake MY Money

49 Fredricks Street! Oh no, the same address given to Mina! The mortician’s address! The perfect place to hide a coffin.

Under Capricorn Aah oh no ugh

Oh no!

Mina searches for Arthur, which really shouldn’t she be more suspicious? Why would her husband send her to a mortuary? Especially one that is closed? She  searches the mortuary and finds the coffin, Dracula poking out.

Dracula

Arthur and Van Helsing return home but Mina isn’t there. They find her, but she’s pale, not herself, and covering her neck! She must have been bitten too.

1Star-Wars-Luke-NOOO-Not-my-father

The two go to the morticians but the coffin is GONE!!!!!!!!!!!

1Star-Wars-Luke-NOOO-Not-my-father

They return to the house unsure where he went. He could be anywhere.

Mina questions them but they tell her nothing! Jerks, maybe if you gave her the whle story she wouldn’t have been running to mortuaries and getting bit.

MeanGirls I know right!

Arthur is worried and gives her a cross to wear, but when she touches it she faints! It leaves a burn mark in her hand-she has been bit.

Arhthur is angry, but this time at himself.  He knows he should have listened to Van Helsing. They decide to leave her alone and watch for Dracula. That night they wait and watch.

That night all is quiet, so when they head indoors to check on Mina they are shocked to find her dead!

OMG gasp

What they be killing everybody! I am super into this movie and have no clue where it is going next!

Oh no, she’s still okay, they give her a blood transfusion.

You know for a Dracula movie, we don’t sped a lot of time with Dracula. It’s very different, but not in a bad way, as we focus on Ven Helsing and Dracula becomes more shadowy and unknown. He only talks to Jonathan Harker in this making it only a few lines of dialogue. Although I definitely prefer that over Dracula 2000.

I hate that movie.

After the transfusion Van Helsing makes Arthur go downstairs to get something to drink. Didn’t he just HAVE a transfusion-have Gerda fetch him some, or you go get him something. He should not be walking.

Both the men are shocked how Dracula could have gotten in, they were watching all the entrances and never spotted him. Arthur is convinced he can shape-shift, but Van Helsing assures him that is not the answer. Then what is?

Hmmm

They ask Gerda to fetch another bottle of wine, but she refuses as she doesn’t want to go down the the cellar, Mina told her not to. The answer hits Van Helsing and he goes  running down there and finds the coffin, BUT ITS EMPTY!!!! Dracla has outsmarted them, he’s awake and he’s trapped Van Helsing in!

Arthur gets Van Helsing out but they are too late as Dracula has carried Mina off!

Vn Helsing knows they have him on the run and with them having his coffin, the only Dracula can go is home to his castle they are off!

Back at the castle, Dracula digs a grave for Mina and throws her in, like she’s a doll, even though she’s still alive, Arthur and Helsing get there just in time.

This film really gets you going!

Dracula goes running up the stair followed by Helsing. But the house is vast with many nooks and crannies and secret passage ways. Sidenote: Except for the vampire trying to make you undead, this would be an awesome place to live!

Anyways, Helsing finds him and Dracula starts choking him. Helsing passes out!

And Dracula is going to bit him but, oh no Helsing faked it. The music is pumping along to bring the excitement as Helsing runs for the curtains and pulls them aside-causing the sun to come in and Dracula to turn to dust!  Dracula tries to stop him, but Van Helsing makes a crucifix out of candlesticks and stops him.

Ew, thisscene is great and crazy, like Indiana Jones.

With the vampire that turned her dead, Mina is back to normal. And the evil is dead.

or is it? I know the DVD I rented from the library has four Dracula films so he must come back. You can’t kill evil after all…

So what’d I think? I really liked it! You know me, I’m not one for you know remakes, but I enjoyed this a lot.

It strayed heavily from the book. But I guess with something that has been around a while and remade constantly you have to do something to make it surprising. I actually liked how we focused so much on Van Helsing, and I liked Michael Gough assisting as Arthur. 

I’m interested in watching the other films but I won’t be reviewing them this Horrorfest, I already have the whole month planned out.

It wouldn’t be Horrorfest without our facebook banner:

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

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

For more vampires, go to I’d Risk My Life to Save Yours: Earshot, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1999)

For more Van Helsing, go to I Bid You Welcome: Dracula (1931)

For more Peter Cushing, go to One of Our Guests is a Werewolf, I Know It.: The Beast Must Die (1974)

For more remakes, go to Did the Niece Poison Mrs. Harlowe?: The House of the Arrow (1953)

Or adieu in this case!

Did the Niece Poison Mrs. Harlowe?: The House of the Arrow (1953)

Did the niece poison Mrs. Harlowe?

So I have been wanting to watch this movie Gosford Park for a while and when I saw it was returned to the library-I was so excited! Unfortunately, it was dirty and would not play for me.

I didn’t have any other movie planned and decided to fill the place I would choose something that was on my Amazon Prime queue suggested list.

So this movie is based off a book and is the second remake, (3rd version of the story) filmed in and by a production crew in England.

On with the review!

The story takes place in France, the old stately Lady Harlowe, has just died. Her brother-in-law, Boris Waberski, thinks that he will inherit everything- he has even borrowed against his future gains-but to everyone’s surprise-the money is left to her adopted niece-Betty Harlowe!

Boris becomes so angry he accuses Betty of murdering his sister-in-law. They have the body exhumed and it turns out that she was poisoned.

Uh oh

Betty’s friend, Ann Upcott, is worried and sends to England for help. Jim Frobisher arrives to investigate, aiding the very intelligent and top french detective, Inspector Hanaud.

I found the story very boring

Meh.

And the inspector a complete rip off Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot in The Mysterious Affair at Styles. You have the accented inspector-“the greatest mind in the world” and an old manor house with a “locked room mystery” and puzzles. Except Poirot was much better.

I think it was incredibly boring and that the characters were just too bland. Skip the film if I were you.

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

For the previous post, go to Did the Niece Poison Mrs. Harlowe?: The House of the Arrow (1953)

For more private investigators, go to The Murderer is Never the One You Initially Suspect: Crooked House (2017)

For more remakes, go to Welcome to a New World of Gods and Monsters: The Mummy (2017)

Working My Way Back to You

Working My Way Back to You by The Spinners

This has always been one of my favorite songs. It is one that I love to listen to over and over again. Back in 2010, 2011, & 2013 I used to play it so much, I would annoy my roommates.

I think they were happy when I moved on to something else.

Finally!

So the song is about a guy who hurt his girlfriend-most likely cheating on her

And emotionally abusing her

Jerk

So she left:

After she’s gone, he realizes his love and is remorseful-works on himself and sets on winning her back.

Aw! How sweet!

We don’t know how it turns out. Does she forgive him? Or is she too hurt that it is done? It’s up to you to decide that.

It was written by Sandy Linzer and Denny Rendall and first recorded by Franki Valli & The Four Seasons in the 1960s. Now you all know I LOVE The Four Seasons.

They are amazing:

But I prefer The Spinners version.

Help me! I’m confused!

I know me, me, preferring a remake over the original.

So the lyrics are the same:

I’ll be working my way back to you, babe, with a burning love inside
Yeah, I’m working my way back to you, babe, and the happiness that died
I let it get away
(Been payin’ ev’ry day)
When you were so in love with me, I played around like I was free
Thought I could have my cake and eat it too, but how I cried over losin’ you
See me down and out, but I ain’t about to go living my life without you
For every day I made you cry
I’ll pay and girl, till the day that I die
I’ll keep working my way back to you, babe, with a burning love inside
Yeah, I’m working my way back to you, babe, and the happiness that died
I let it get away
(Been payin’ ev’ry day)
Oh, I used to love to make you cry
It made me feel like a man inside
If I’d been a man in reality, you’d be here, babe, lovin’ me
Now my nights are long and lonely, and I ain’t too strong, babe
I just miss you so
Girl, but you’re too proud, and you won’t give in
But when I think about all I could win
I’ll keep working my way back to you, babe, with a burning love inside
Yeah, I’m working my way back to you, babe, and the happiness that died
I let it get away
(Been payin’ ev’ry day)
My road is kind alone
I just gotta get back home
I’m really sorry for acting that way
I’m really sorry
Oh little girl I’m really sorry
For telling you lies for so long
Oh please forgive girl
Come on (give me a chance)
Won’t you forgive me, girl
Hey (let’s have romance)
Ooh, forgive me, girl (let’s try again)
Come on, forgive me, girl
I want you over and over
And over and over again
I’ll keep working my way back to you, babe
With a burning love inside
Yeah, I’m working my way back to you, babe
And the happiness that died
I let it get away
(Been paying every day)
I’ll keep working my way back to you, babe
But it is how it is sung/played. I don’t know, for some reason I believe the lead singer is heartbroken in The Spinners version. And I love the part when he sings the last part-it just feels so real and I like the part he kinda sings/cry of anguish.
What do you think?
For more of my favorite songs, go to Darcy’s ’80’s Power Song
For more on Franki Valli & The Four Seasons, go to The Strange Case of a Fangirl and Her Fandoms

Welcome to a New World of Gods and Monsters: The Mummy (2017)

Welcome to a new world of gods and monsters.

So I love The Mummy (1932)

And The Mummy (1999)

But this one was horrible!

Ugh.

The plot made no sense at all!!!

Help me! I’m confused!

There was no cool Egyptian stuff or history or action at all. It didn’t even take place in Egypt but in England!

And they threw in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and didn’t explain why:

This is pretty much how I felt through the whole film:

It was just horrible from beginning to end, didn’t explain, and I didn’t care about any of the characters. I’d rather watch him:

Or him:

Or her:

Or her:

Any day.

To start Horrorfest VI from the beginning, go to One of Our Guests is a Werewolf, I Know It.: The Beast Must Die (1974)

For the previous post, go to What Do They Want You For? Murder: Silver Streak (1976)

For more mummy films, go to A Modern Mummy: Under Wraps (1997)

For more Tom Cruise, go to Pot o’ Gold: 17 Irish Heroes

For The Mummy (1932), go to Eternal Punishment for Anyone Who Opens This Casket: The Mummy (1932)

For more Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, go to Man-Bat: On Leather Wings, Batman the Animated Series (1992)

For more sucky films, go to Have You Seen Megan Hipwell?: The Girl On the Train (2016)

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

The Darcy Monologues: Part I, The Regency

The Darcy Monolgues edited by Christina Boyd and written by Various

So I was contacted by Christina Boyd to do a honest review in return for a free copy of the ebook. I agreed as you know I will review anything Jane Austen.

This is so me

I promised to have the review posted by the 21st, which I saw as no problem as you know how fast I read.

But the day came closer and closer and I realized I hadn’t posted my review!

Let me say that when I first heard of the story, I thought it sounded interesting but had no idea what to expect.

Hmm…

Was it going to be a view of Darcy at different times in the story? Will they follow the original text or do their own thing? Hmm…

I began reading the book

But then I was sucked in:

Or story in this case.

So the book is a collection of monologues or short stories; told from the point of view of Mr. Darcy.

Some take place in the Regency time period, some take his point of view of the novel, some after the novel, and some asking the question of what would happen if..?

Hmm…

The book is divided into two collections: those that take place in the Regency time period and those that span all time periods. I have decided to review the first collection on the Regency time today, and the second one later on this week.

Death of a Bachelor by Caitlin Williams

This monologue tells of Mr. Darcy’s feelings as his wedding day grows closer and there will be an end to his bachelor ways. As his wedding occurs and they head out to London for their honeymoon, they get stranded at a less than fabulous inn in a blizzard. Will Darcy enjoy being married? Or will it be his biggest regret? And how can he fix his honeymoon to be memorable for all the right reasons?

Things I Pondered: The only thing I can see Janeites/Austenites getting upset over is when Darcy says that he has been with many women before Elizabeth. This is historically accurate, as gentlemen had more social freedom; however some might not care to have Darcy be anything than their version of a romantic hero. 

What I Like: I thought it was very well written and that Williams truly captured the spirits of the characters. I really enjoyed her story, especially as she was not graphic but allowed the reader to use their own imagination. 

From the Ashes by J. Marie Croft

This story takes place right after Darcy has proposed to Elizabeth, only to have her reject him in every way. We have Darcy as he goes through every emotion from anger to sadness at having his love refused.

Things I Pondered: Who is Richard? Is that supposed to be Colonel Fitzwilliam’s middle name or something?

What I Like: I thought that Croft truly captured the emotions of anyone who has been heartbroken and I found her portrayal of Mr. Darcy not only to be likable but 100% relatable, as who hasn’t gone through a painful rejection?

I thought that he might be a little more composed than her portrayal:

But I think the beauty of this piece is that Croft shows that temper Darcy spoke of in the original novel, giving it a strong connection to Austen’s work.

I also loved her character of Anne de Bourgh and if Croft wrote a novel that featured or continued this expanded character of Anne, I would read that in a heartbeat.

For more quotes from J. K. Rowling, go to Don’t Fear the Reaper

If Only a Dream by Joana Starnes

Mr. Darcy has been rejected by Elizabeth and is so upset after giving her the letter that he wants to leave Rosings Park and never see her again. However, things do not go according to plan as his Aunt Catherine de Bourgh’s ploy at faking a heart attack turns to a real malady when she trips on the stairs and breaks her ankle.

Now Darcy must remain there, as it is his nephewly duties; and as the Collins are such great neighbors that they (along with Elizabeth and her sister Maria) come over all the time. Will this constant proximity change things? Or drive a deeper wedge between Darcy and Elizabeth.

Things I Pondered: I didn’t like this story as much as having them fall in love so early cuts out a lot of growth in the characters, along with all the events that changed Elizabeth’s view on him and showed her own pride and prejudices.

What I Like: While I didn’t like losing so much of the story Starnes wrote the answer to this “What if” very well and provided an interesting twist: Lady Catherine’s plot to get her nephew to marry her daughter results in him marrying Elizabeth. Oh Lady Catherine, I think your conspiring days are over:

 I also liked this Anne de Bourgh character as she was interesting and witty. If Starnes decided to expand her version into a novel, I would definitely read it as well. 

Yep!

Clandestiny by KaraLynne Mackrory

This story takes place during the ball at Netherfield. Georgiana had only been attacked four months earlier by Mr. Wickham and Darcy is still upset over it. However, his mind is split between that and Elizabeth as he thinks she has feelings for him. Things take an interesting turn when a trap door brings the two together. Will this help the situation or only cause more issues?

Hmm…

Things I Pondered: By moving up them having that time when Darcy is less reserved and more himself, we miss out on all the meat of the story. It is cute, but too short and missing the whackam-sockum appeal of Jane Austen’s revelations as how all the characters connect.

What I Like: Even though I didn’t like how much was to be cut out of the story with this earlier connection, I still thought this was interesting to see what would have happened if Elizabeth saw the “real” Darcy earlier in the novel. This was a good part to do it in as her real only problem was that he hurt her feelings. After all she doesn’t know Wickham all that well and seeing Darcy behaving in a different way, more natural, and apologizing for his earlier rudeness would help sway her from the fake charm to the real deal. 

The Beast of Pemberley by Melanie Stanford

So in the past I have compared Pride and Prejudice with Beauty and the Beast :

But in this story, Stanford rewrites the story so that it is Beauty and the Beast, with all its magic and characters, but set in Regency England.

In this tale, Darcy has saved Pemberley and the village by standing in when Wickham (a powerful wizard) tried to destroy it. For his efforts he has been cursed with hideous scars, while each of his staff (Cogsworth, Lumiere, etc.) suffer from one scar. All he does is look in his magic mirror hoping that he might see something to lift him out of his depression and pain. He sees Elizabeth Bennet, and when her father plans to marry her off to Mr. Collins to pay his debts, Darcy steps in.

Things don’t go well as she refuses to have Darcy wear a mask, wanting to see his face:

But when wolves almost attack Elizabeth, Darcy manages to save her and after that things start improving.

Especially when he gives her the Pemberley library.

But will they be able to end the curse? Will Elizabeth ever see more in Darcy? Or just a Beast?

What I Like: I thought it was a cute fan service story. And when I say “fan service”, I mean this is something people have been talking about and wanted. It was a very fun and adorable read that I really enjoyed.

For more on Beauty and the Beast, go to Xactly Why I Think Beastly is An Xcellent Story

A Resentful Man by Lory Lilian

Mr. Darcy has proposed to Elizabeth, been rejected, and has left Rosings. He is celebrating Georgiana’s 16th birthday with the Bingleys and other family friends. They are heading back to Pemberley when Darcy decides to return ahead of schedule. When he gets there, who should he run into? Elizabeth and her aunt and uncle, the Gardiners. They spend the time together walking the grounds and talking. Will they be able to reconcile? Or will this just make things more awkward?

What I Like: I thought it was cute and adorable. 

In Terms of Perfect Composure by Susan Adriani

So the story starts off with a brief recap about all that happened. Lydia had run off with Wickham and he’s been paid off so that the reputation of the Bennet family would be saved. Darcy is having dinner with Mr. Gardiner, and the latter man is trying to find out why Darcy would help them out – is there an understanding he hasn’t been told? Darcy tells him about his proposal and how it went:

And how he still cares but has given up. Mr. Gardiner encourages him to try again, as he believes Elizabeth still has feelings for him. Darcy goes to stay at Netherfield and when he and Bingley visit the Bennets, as Bingley and Jane are now engaged, Darcy overhears Lady Catherine’s tirade at Elizabeth.

Will this bring them together or force them farther apart?

Things I Pondered: I don’t get why she has Elizabeth avoid Darcy as in the original novel, at this point in time she wants to see Darcy and be with him.

What I Like: I really enjoyed how she has Darcy build upon his relationship with the Gardiners when he is in town as he greatly enjoyed their company and this showed that to a further extent. I also like how the author made her Darcy expect nothing in return for his deeds in helping the Bennets as is closely followed how Austen’s Darcy was. 

Without Affection by Jan Hahn

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It has been fifty years since Darcy proposed to Elizabeth the second time and she accepted. The two are in their golden years and Darcy reflects back on his life, to a time he almost lost Elizabeth…

Elizabeth gives birth to their son and almost dies in the process. After the birth she has to rest, but while her body is weak her spirit is strong. Darcy is heartbroken and decides that he cannot, will not lose her. He is determined to have her never experience childbirth again and risk her life. But will Elizabeth comply to his plan or have her own ideas?

Things I Pondered: Darcy talks about how he knows little of women’s bodies and never thinks to consult with a doctor to see if she shouldn’t give birth. I thought it was strange as I imagine that a man with all his wealth and power would seek several people’s opinions.

What I Like: It was sweet to see them still so in love and talk about their great years together. Just adorable and a great way to end the first collection.

So what did I think?

Hmmm….

I enjoyed every one.

Yes there may have been changes I wouldn’t have done or things altered that weren’t my favorite, but those were really minute things. I found each of these tales to be extremely enjoyable and I loved looking at all the interpretations these authors gave to a story they and we love.

And no matter what changes, additions, etc  that the authors did, there is one very important thing that they all made sure to do. And that was to get inside the character’s head and actually give a voice to Darcy.

Wow!

Yes, you have heard me complain again and again about different writers never really ever go that far to bring Darcy to life, always stopping short in their interpretations.

But these authors don’t do that. Whatever changes they have made or ways they interpreted the characters; they tried to make sure they gave Darcy a personality and looked deep into him and how he would react to the situations, not through another’s eyes but through the depths of his spirits.

That is a hard feat to do I commend all of them:

I think all did a fantastic job in presenting “their” Darcy and I highly recommend you read this book.

But what do I feel about part two, Darcy and Elizabeth through time?

I guess you will just have to wait and read.

For more Mr. Darcy, go to Whether Presentable or Not, I Love Spending Time With You: Episode Four, Pride and Prejudice (1995)

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Prom & Prejudice

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to Brought Shame and Scandal to Pemberley: Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode Two (2013)

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to Suspense & Sensibility (Or First Impressions Revisited)

For more Jane Austen quotes, go to For Darkness Shows the Stars

You’re My Wife and the Mother of My Children: Move Over Darling (1963)

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So this film is a remake of the Cary Grant and Irene Dunne screwball comedy, My Favorite WifeNow you all know how I feel about remakes:

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But I actually really enjoyed this one. I mean Doris Day? Young James Garner? You can’t go wrong with that.

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Nick Arden’s (James Garnier) wife Ellen disappeared in a plane crash five years ago. After all the searching, wondering, and raising his daughters on his own; he decides that he has to face facts. Ellen is dead and never coming back. He needs to move on.

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He decides to have Ellen declared legally dead, marry Bianca, and head out on a honeymoon to Monterey.

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At the very moment those two are being married, Ellen (Doris Day) has just arrived on the California shore. It turns out she survived all those years on a desert island. They finally found her and she is eager to return home to her husband and children. However, when she gets to the house, her mother-in-law reveals what has happened.

Not good

Not good

Ellen hurries to get to Nick before he can consummate the marriage with his new wife. She gets to him in time, but Nick finds it difficult to tell Bianca what has occurred, especially as Bianca isn’t in the mood for talking.

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This turns into even more hilarious hijinks as Nick discovers his wife wasn’t alone on that island but with an adonis. He tries to search out the truth, while Ellen hires a nerdy shoe salesman to pretend to be her co-survivor. Will this family be able to straighten everything out or will Nick end up with not two, but zero wives?

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Most Romantic Moment: You’re My Wife and the Mother of My Children

**Spoiler Alert**

So the most romantic moment comes at the very end of the film. They have had a huge blowup in the courthouse: Nick is cleared of bigamy, Nick and Bianca are annulled, Ellen is declared legally alive, but Steven Burkett (Ellen’s co-islander) came and has disrupted the Ardens getting back together.

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Nick storms out of the courthouse and after beating up Steven and driving around Ellen has returned home unsure what to do. She is distraught over how it looks like she and Nicky are headed for divorce, and still afraid about what to do with the girls. She has wanted to tell them she is their mother, but hasn’t had the courage to do it. What if they hate her? They already have said they don’t need a mother, just their father.

I don't know what to do

She heads out to the backyard to talk to them, and finds out they already know. Their father told them and he is waiting with them in the pool for Ellen.

Aw!

Aw!

Now I know this may sound strange to be romantic, but it just shows how much he loves his wife and wants to be with her. I mean his kids were babies when she left, he  could tell them nothing and use that lack of time together as a selling point in court to get full custody.

So not only does he want them to continue to be a family; but he also wanted to spare her any pain or rejection; instead letting the kids know who she is and getting them excited to see her.

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That’s extremely romantic and caring.

aw thinkgonnacry

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To start Romance is in the Air: Part V, go to I Did It for You: Edward Scissorhands (1990)

For the previous post, go to I Know You Can Do This: Working Girl (1988)

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For more on James Garner, go to It’s Fantastico!

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

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.

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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