He’s dead. You saw it. I saw a man in a mask. It was him. I want to believe you, but I have to be sure. I can’t stop until I’m certain that he’s dead.
Happy Halloween Everyone!
As I mentioned in my Leprechaun post, back in 2017, as that year had a Friday the 13th in October I had an idea to review the sequels to different slasher films in on the Fridays, with of course Friday the 13th Part II, being reviewed on the actual Friday the 13th. Unfortunately, I never finished that Horrorfest or the films I had planned to review as I had some technological difficulties with my computer and the app wasn’t fully developed.
Instead I planned to review the two remaining films later, in hopes of trying to do it again the next time there was a Friday the 13th in October, 2023. In 2017, 2023 felt like it was forever away, but of course now it is next year. As Halloween II is the last of the slasher films I need to review before next year, I thought why not end on it? I especially feel it is full circle as my first year of blogging I ended onHalloween and now my 10th year of blogging I’m reviewing Halloween II.
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this film, all I remember is the “twist revelation”.
The film starts off with the end of Halloween. We see the last 10 minutes of the previous film when Michael Myers takes off and Laurie and Dr. Loomis are together. The best part of this opening is the music, John Carpenter really knew how to make something that sounded creepy!
Laurie gets sent to the hospital to be looked after her fight while Dr. Loomis is crazily searching for Michael Myers. He of course is busy killing, as several people hadn’t heard the news yet and haven’t taken any extra precautions.
At one point Dr. Loomis sees a man dressed up similar to Michael Myers, although from our viewpoint it is most definitely not him as the guy is smaller and the face mask not quite the same. He ends up getting chased by the Dr and Sheriff’s deputy, but while chase hit by another car and catches on fire. It happens so quickly I’m not sure why that happened.
So does that mean that the outfit he wears is an actual Halloween costume that can be easily purchased like in Scream? I thought it was one that Myers made himself?
One of the EMTs recognizes Laurie and gives her extra attention in the hospital. I know we should trust the EMTs but I’ve seen so many horror movies I don’t trust people, and I’m suspicious.
The police think that the case is over and that Michael has been killed, but Dr. Loomis is not so sure. He keeps saying he shot him six times and it did nothing. I know in the previous film he was supposed to bet he embodiment of the “boogeyman”, but in this he is actually of this Earth as we found in the end twist; so does that mean he sold his soul to the devil ? Or is he the Antichrist? Why does death not affect him?
This film the pacing is a little slow. In the previous film they build up the characters so we knew them and there was an emotional reaction when they were murdered. With this film we have a double barreled cat and mouse, Michael hunting and being hunted, but it die strong the same. I think because none of these characters do we really know enough to care about except Laurie.
Laurie is recuperating in the hospital when one of the nurses has a side remark that they are having trouble with the phone, oh no! It’s Michael!!!! He must be at the hospital.
The security guard goes to check it out and of course is killed. It isn’t really as surprising or as suspenseful as it was in the previous film. When the security guard is talking to the nurse in the radio while investigating, behind her in the window it looks like Michael Myers is waiting and watching. At first I thought it was him, but I think it was just a trick of the light. It would have been creepier if he was watching her.
I think that’s the issue. Michael is just running around while in the previous film he was watching and looking and that added to the tenseness and creepiness of the film. No one enjoys being stalked. In this we haven’t really seen him.
The police are busy as already tonight is Halloween and they have to worry about drunks, mischief makers, and the like; now they are searching for a serial killer, trying to talk down riots, and having to work with after tragedy hysteria.
The cops are pretty certain the man killed by car and fire was Michael Myers, even though Dr. Loomis insists it is not him. The deputy starts taking Loomis a little more seriously when some boys are searching for their friend who never made jr friend, a friend who is similar to the dead body found.
Meanwhile, Laurie is sleeping when some repressed memories resurface. She is adopted and her adopted mother wouldn’t tell her anything about her real parents.
Meanwhile a nurse and the gross EMT (not the one into Laurie but the one who talks bad about women) decide to sneak off to the therapy room to have sex. Michael sneaks in and ups the temperature. When the gross EMT goes to check it, Michael kills him. I actually like how they did this scene as we can hardly see it through the glass doors and there is no sound other than the thermal pools. He kills the girl too.
It turns out that Michael broke into the school and left a message. He’s after his sister, planning to kill her. But who is his sister? Did he kill her already or is he planning on killing her?
The EMT into Laurie goes to check on her and finds her in a cationic state. He calls a nurse and after she checks her she goes searching for the Dr. But it’s too late, he’s already dead! And the nurse is next. Nurse…did they ever say her name?
I mean I knelt that we don’t have a lot of time to introduce the characters as so much is happening in one night, Halloween, it would be nice if their was as I don’t know who and if these people are and by not knowing them their deaths little affect me.
Michael goes after Laurie, but when he tries to kill end her he find the bed full of pillows. It turns out that Laurie must of had a premonition or something as she escaped her room just in time.
Hospital staff can’t find her, but we the viewer know she is alive and hiding. The EMT and a nurse talk about what to do next and when their separate we see they were staining in front of a doctor’s screen, one where Michael was hiding behind. Michael kills the EMT before he can leave the hospital.
The nurse tries to leave but the car is dead. She plans to take Karen’s car but it has a flat tire. With nothing else to do, she goes back to the hospital where she finds Laurie, but is murdered.
Now it is Laurie versus Michael Round 2: New Location. Laurie tried to get away, squeezing through a window, up an elevator, and out the hospital. But is it enough?
Dr. Loomis has been recalled as they don’t want to get involved with the legalities. On the way out of town the person entrusted to ensure Loomis leaves let slip there was a secret file on Myers and it turns out Laurie is his sister! Loomis uses his gun to force them to go to the hospital to try and save Laurie.
Back with Laurie, Jimmy the EMT is alive? I thought he was killed? He tries to start the car. It can’t and dies? Passes out? I’m not sure which but he lands on the horn and gives away their position. Laurie gets out of the car but her adrenaline is going and she is weak and tired from the night. She see Dr. Loomis arrive and calls out to him, but he doesn’t see her. Instead she tries to get back into the hospital as Michael is after her again.
Dr. Loomis shoots again and seems to knock him out, but he’s not dead. Do you think he sacrificed his sister and parents’ lives in order to be immortal or unlikable? And that’s why he needs to kill Laurie?
Before when he was just an entity of evil I could see him being unlikable as evil never dies, but as a person with a family how come he can’t be killed?
Michael takes out the marshal and once again hunts Loomis and Laurie. Michael stand Loomis and tries to get Laurie but she shoots him in the face and this wounds him. Maybe tang is why he wants her dead, maybe his deal won’t he devil was that only those who share his blood can defeat him, home wanting to remove all those people?
Blinded by blood, Dr. Loomis uses this to gain some time by opening up ether and other aerosols. He tells Laurie to leave and then blows everything up. But Michael isn’t dead, you can’t really kill him…
So that end another Horrorfest!!! I hope you all enjoyed it!
I hope you all have a fantastic and safe Halloween!
I year ago it was Friday the 13th and all I could think about was watching scary movies. While I did I started thinking what movies would Catherine Morland and Henry Tilney like if they were real and lived today? I decided to put together a list of 30 film recommendations that our girl Catherine Morland or boy Henry Tilney would most certainly love!
This is a continuation from the original, Catherine Morland’s Viewing Listand will be another great 30 Gothic films or films with Gothic components. For those who are wondering what classifies something as a Gothic, here is the definition.
Gothic fiction, which is largely known by the subgenre of Gothic horror, is a genre or mode of literature and film that combines fiction and horror, death, and at times romance.
Any films I have already reviewed that fit for this list I will just list and link here, while any future film I review I will add a little note as to why it belongs on this list. I have 10 years worth of horror film reviews from my annual October Horrorfest, but I’m not sure how many of those will be on here. For now I’m going to put on the ones I have recently re-edited, and then will be adding more as time goes by. If you are looking for recommendations, be sure to check back later, and if you have a suggestion be sure to comment below!
It’s that time of the year again! Time for another Horrorfest, 31 days of horror, mystery, monsters, etc.
So I started Horrorfest back when I first began blogging. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with it, the direction I wanted to go in. Since I like to watch scary movies every day in October, I decided to review them, and I had so much I fun I continued every year.
I know some people aren’t interested in it or would think it has nothing to do with my blog’s title, but you know who would love it and be so into horror films?
When I started this, I used a lot of stills from the movies I was reviewing and ended up with a a bunch of photos I couldn’t reuse for future posts. Since then I try to add less, unless I think I can use it for future posts or that it is crucial to the story. Instead I reuse old photos and I try to caption each photo with what film it came from, but at times I forget.
Over the years I have established a set of rules and annual films categories. Every year I have enjoyed doing it although sometimes I have fallen behind because of life getting in the way. Usually I have the posts written, and it is just the editing that slows me down. If you have someone willing to edit your work-give them a lot of love, because it takes SO much time to do.
Rules are there must be at list one film or TV show episode:
Another tradition I added is dressing Jane up in costume every year. Last year I did the Dia de Los Muertos calaveras mask. This year I had a harder time deciding, and finally settled on, Jane the Vampire Slayer-because of the film I will be reviewing tomorrow:
Well, I hope you enjoy this year’s picks-so far we have vampires, ghosts, spooky old houses, buried treasure, aliens, and more!
You know, I was having a hard time thinking of what movie to open with. What ’60s movie do I like?
Then I stupidly remembered The Birds. Of course!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 time 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?
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.
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.
You’re not gonna believe this, but it was a giant… metal… man.
I love this movie!
It was one of my favorites as a kid and I used to watch it a LOT.
I got it for Christmas one year and was so happy, as it has been one of the best presents I’ve ever received.
It was rereleased in theaters this year to mark it’s 20th anniversary and I bought tickets immediately, taking my two nieces.
As I not only saw it recently in theaters, two weeks ago, but as this is it’s anniversary year, what better time then review it? Is this really a horror film, you might ask? Well yes, as it has aliens and a giant robot, it can definitely be considered a horror film. It also covers my yearly animated film feature review.
So our film is based on a book and is a historical fiction film, being set in 1957. Yes, we have the Cold War, threat of the atomic bomb, fear of aliens invading; all that good stuff.
So the film starts out with a ship trying to find shore in the a huge storm. They can’t find the lighthouse, then they do…BUT it is not a lighthouse! It’s a giant metal man!!!!
Back at the town, where the ship was headed we are introduced to our hero, Hogarth Hughes. His father was an air jet fighter who died during the war, (I’m assuming Korean War as his death seems more recent than WWII). Hogarth lives with his mom on their farmhouse, and she works as a waitress in the local diner. Hogarth is very smart, having been moved up to the 5th grade, but by skipping a grade he doesn’t fit in being bullied a lot.
So he is very lonely.
So Hogarth looks for companionship from animals, animals that his mother does not share a love for.
“Hogarth Hughes: Hey, mom! You won’t believe our good luck. Guess what I found?
Annie Hughes: Hogarth, we’ve been through this before. No pets.
Hogarth Hughes: But he’s not a pet, mom. He’s a friend.
Annie Hughes: Hogarth, we’ve got to rent a room this year if we’re gonna make ends meet, and no one wants to live in a place with shredded upholstery.
Hogarth Hughes: You’ll never know he’s there. I’ll keep him in a cage…
Annie Hughes: …until you feel sorry for him and set him free in the house. You remember the raccoon, Hogarth? [Shudders] Oooooh! I remember the raccoon.
Annie asks to see the squirrel, but it has escaped Hogarth’s makeshift cage. He starts looking for it, when he becomes distracted by Dean McCoppin and the sailor, Earl, who saw the robot earlier.
Let’s stop for a minute and talk about Dean. He is one if the coolest, and hottest, animated men. Junker as his day job, but really an artist, beatnik, and he drives a motorcycle. How much cooler can you get.
Sorry…so Dean and Earl are discussing what he saw.
Earl Stutz: I’m telling the truth, dang it! It came from outer space. I saw it! And it was headed toward land. I called the government in Washington. Maybe it was a sputnik, or… or an invader from Mars. That’s what it is, an invader from Mars! It was a spaceship of some kind. An unidentified flying object…
Man: Unidentified? Knowing you, Earl, I’d say it was either whiskey or beer. [Others join in laughing]
Dean McCoppin: Hey! I saw it too.
Man: I rest my case. [Others join in laughing]
Hogarth Hughes: I believe you. What if it is Sputnik, or a flying saucer from Mars? I bet we could find it.
Dean McCoppin: Sorry, kid. I didn’t really see anything. But if we don’t stick up for the kooks, who will?
While they are talking, Hogarth’s squirrel climbs into Dean’s pants. I wonder if that is where Disney got the idea for Phineas and Ferb?
Anyways, Annie gets in trouble and has to stay late, leaving Hogarth to his own devices. And we all know what that means for a young kid home alone: junk food and scary films.
Hogarth is watching a B Horror film about a scientist and evil brain, when the cable goes out.
Hogarth goes to investigate and sees that someone or something took a huge bite out of the TV antennae.
He gears up, and decides to head out in search for whatever did this. He starts walking around, and ends up near the power plant finding a GIANT ROBOT!!!!!
He sees it stuck in power cables and getting hurt by it, so Hogarth runs over and turns the plant off. Saving him. He then runs home as his mom is calling him. He decides the next day to go out looking for the Giant.
The next day, Hogarth brings some metal and his camera, hoping to capture a picture of the Giant. However, he falls asleep…and when he wakes up…
The two quickly become friends.
Meanwhile, ugh Kent Mansley has arrived in town. He’s the government man brought in to investigate this “metal man”.
Marv Loach: What department is that again?
Kent Mansley: Frankly, I’m not at liberty to divulge the particulars of the agency I work for, and all that that implies.
Marv Loach: You mean, national security?
Kent Mansley: Let me put it this way. Every so often things happen that can’t be rationalized in a conventional way. People wanna know their government has a response. I am that response.
It grows late in the day and Hogarth is unsure what to do with the robot. He decides to head home and come back tomorrow to hang out with the robot, but the robot won’t stop following.
“Hogarth Hughes: Well, goodbye. [Hogarth starts walking away, the Giant follows him] No, no. Me go, you stay. No following. Good. [Hogarth walks, the Giant still follows him] I told you! I’ll come back tomorrow! Now, stay! [Hogarth leaves, the Giant follows him] No, no, no! Bad robot!”
On the way, the Giant gets hungry and starts chewing on a railroad. Hogarth stops him and tells him to fix them. They manage to get everything together, but the Giant gets smacked and destroyed, flung apart. Hogarth is shocked to see him in massive pieces, but then…
He starts putting himself back together.
The race quickly to Hogarth’s barn where he can hide the GIant while he is being pieced together, and Hogarth can go in for dinner. What both don’t realize, is that a piece of the Giant has slipped away.
So yes, there’s that pesky Kent again. In fact he realizes that a broken BB gun he found at the power plant matches part of Hogarth’s name. This gets him very interested in the Hughes family.
Hogarth goes with the Iron Giant and brings him some comic books to read.
Hogarth Hughes: I thought you might like, you know, a bedtime story. I have some really cool ones. Mad Magazine – very funny. The Spirit – very cool. Boy’s Life – eh. Oh, here. This is Superman. He’s a lot like you. Crash-landed on Earth, didn’t know what he was doing… but he only uses his powers for good, never for evil. Remember that.
[Giant looks at a comic with a robot like himself on the cover]
Hogarth Hughes: Oh, that’s Atomo, the metal menace. He’s not a hero, he’s a villain. But you’re not like him. You’re a good guy, like Superman.
The Iron Giant: Super… man.
But the Giant is hungry. They go out looking for food and spot Dean trucking an old car to the junkyard.
As there is no way Dean will sleep through that, Hogarth has to show himself. Dean is fine with that and invites him in for coffee, espresso.
There Hogarth gets jacked up and talks Dean’s ear off, but eventually Dean hears the Giant and goes after it to protect Hogarth. Hogarth calms everyone down, and after a lot of whining, convinces Dean to house the Giant for a bit.
Hogarth goes home, but after all that needling it is time to get up.
So while Dean is trying to corrall the Giant into not eating his sculptures and helping him out, Hogarth has to deal with Kent.
Yes Kent has decided to rent the room Annie is offering, and follow Hogarth around trying to get info out of him.
Eventually Hogarth grows tired of it and does one of the funniest things in the movie.
Even though this is technically illegal, giving some laxatives without their knowledge, as it could kill him if too much is give, I just love how that enables him to get far away from Kent.
So the Giant, Hogarth, and Dean all have a lot of fun. The three are bonding, the Giant and Hogarth being the best of friends.
The Iron Giant: You die?
Hogarth Hughes: Well, yes, someday.
The Iron Giant: I die?
Hogarth Hughes: I don’t know. You’re made of metal, but you have feelings, and you think about things, and that means you have a soul. And souls don’t die.
The Iron Giant: Soul?
Hogarth Hughes: Mom says it’s something inside of all good things, and that it goes on forever and ever. [Hogarth leaves. The Iron Giant lays back to look at the stars]
The Iron Giant: Souls don’t die.
However, this is too good to last as Kent has been searching and found Hogarth’s camera. Even more so, he got a picture of Hogarth and the Giant.
That night when Hogarth comes home, Kent kidnaps him.
Yes! I know!!! What a psycho creep!
He questions Hogarth about the Giant, threatening his mom!
I know! Kent is one of the worst villians. HOw could you do that to a child??? A child!!!
Kent Mansley: Your mom’s working late tonight, Hogarth, so it’s just us guys, and we’re gonna have a little chat. Sit down! [shoves Hogarth onto a chair and shines a bright light on him] How’s that? A little too bright? Good. Forgive me, Hogarth. I wanted you to learn something.
Hogarth Hughes: What can I learn from you?
Kent Mansley: You can learn this, Hogarth. That I can do anything I want, whenever I want if I feel it’s in the people’s best interest. The giant metal man. Where is it?
Hogarth Hughes: I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Kent Mansley: You don’t? Does this ring a bell? [lays down the picture Hogarth took of the aluminum siding he used to lure the Giant] No? How about this? [lays down the photo Hogarth accidentally took of himself – with the Giant behind him]
Kent Mansley: You’ve been careless, Hogarth.
Hogarth Hughes: It doesn’t prove anything.
Kent Mansley: It’s enough to get the army here with one phone call.
Hogarth Hughes: Then what’s stopping you?
Kent Mansley: [angry] Where’s the giant? [Grabs Hogarth by the jaw] You can’t protect him, Hogarth, anymore than you can… protect your mother.
Hogarth Hughes: My mom?
Kent Mansley: It’s difficult to raise a boy all alone. We can make it more difficult. In fact, we can make it so difficult that it would be irresponsible for us to leave you in her care, and all that that implies. You’ll be taken away from her, Hogarth.
Hogarth Hughes: You can’t do that!
Kent Mansley: Oh, we can, and we will.
Hogarth Hughes: He’s at the junkyard. McCoppin’s Scrap off Culver Road.
Kent Mansley: The junkyard, of course! Food for the metal eater. I wouldn’t worry aboutthis, Hogarth. This isn’t really happening. It’s only… a bad dream. [puts a chloroform rag on Hogarth’s mouth, leaving him unconscious]
After this, there is a great scene where Kent is watching Hogarth to make sure he doesn’t let Dean know that the army is coming in. However, Hogarth manages to outsmart him and warn Dean.
So instead of seeing a space giant, they see an art piece.
Kent Mansley is chewed out and taken away with the rest of the army. Everything seems fine and good until Hogarth and the Giant start playing Atomo. When Hogarth points his fake gun at the Giant, it awaken some defense code and he attacks.
Dean McCoppin: Get back! I said get back! I mean it!
The Iron Giant: No. Stop. Wait.
Hogarth Hughes: It was an accident. He’s our friend.
Dean McCoppin: He’s a piece of hardware, Hogarth. Why did you think the army was here? He’s a weapon, a big… big gun that walks.
The Iron Giant: I… I not gun.
Dean McCoppin: Yeah? Then what’s that? [Points at huge hole the Giant’s ray left on a bus]
Dean McCoppin: You almost did that to Hogarth!
The Iron Giant: No! [Runs away]
Hogarth Hughes: Wait! [Runs after the Giant]
Dean realizes it was because of the toy gun, so he goes after Hogarth to help him find the Giant.
Meanwhile, the army sees the Iron Giant and go after him, even though he just saved two boys. Just like Mighty Joe Young, giant dudes just catch a break.
So Hogarth catches up, and the Giant picks him up and flys with him. The army sends missels after him, knocking them both to the ground, and Hogarth out cold. The Giant thinks Hogarth is dead and becomes angry, trying to take out the whole military.
If you look at his weaponry, you’ll notice the trio of weapons is created to resemble the aliens in The War of the Worlds (1953). This make it concrete that it is not from the Soviet Union, North Korea, China, etc; but definitely from outer space.
As no human weapons can stop him, the general agrees to listen to Kent and get the Nautilus ready with the bomb. However, as they are fighting, Hogarth awakens and escapes from his mom and Dean to save the GIant. He reminds the iIant:
Hogarth Hughes: [to the Giant, in battle mode] It’s bad to kill. Guns kill. And you don’t have to be a gun. You are what you choose to be. You choose. Choose.
Everything has calmed down, except for Mansley. He steals the radio, and tells them to launch the missile, something that will kill them all.
General Rogard: That missile is targeted to the giant’s current position! WHERE’S THE GIANT, MANSLEY?
Kent Mansley: Oooh… We can duck and cover! There’s a fallout shelter not far from…
General Rogard: There’s no way to survive this thing, you idiot!
Kent Mansley: You mean we’re all going to…
General Rogard: To die, Mansley. For our country.
Kent Mansley: Screw our country! I WANT TO LIVE!
The Giant stops him though. Everyone is sad at the fact they will explode, but the Giant decides it is time for him to take care of those he loves.
The Iron Giant: [as a nuclear missile is headed for Rockwell] I fix.
Hogarth Hughes: Giant?
The Iron Giant: Hogarth. I go. You stay. [lifts Hogarth’s chin with a finger and waves his other finger at him] No following.
Hogarth Hughes: I love you.
[the Giant takes off to intercept the rocket]
Awwwwww, it is soooooo sad!!!
The town is saved!
Afterwards, Dean and Annie have gotten together; Dean has made a statue in honor of the Giant; and Hogarth is now the most popular boy in town. But while everything is great, Hogarth is still sad. He misses the Giant.
He is given a package from the General, the only piece they have found of the giant, his mouth screw. Hogarth accepts it.
One night, the piece stats beeping, wanting out of the room. That means only one thing, the GIANT IS ALIVE!!! The pieces are coming together to rebuild him. 🙂
Such a truly great film. I don’t know why it isn’t more popular as it is truly amazing.