North by Northanger (Or, the Shades of Pemberley)

So a while back I told Christina Boyd this regency story idea I had to pass onto her writers. A regency group of ladies and gentlemen, maybe make them married or related so they could be together, traveling by coach and solving mysteries. A regency Scooby-Doo.

She politely declined and suggested that I should check out the Carrie Bebris’ Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mystery series. I told her I would think about it, but I wasn’t too keen on the idea.

You see I had read the first book Pride and Prescience (Or a Truth Universally Acknowledged) and loved it.

It was a fantastic mystery that left you wondering, was something supernatural going on? Or was Caroline Bingley’s new husband gaslighting her?

The next book, however, left me extremely disappointed.

Suspense and Sensibility (Or First Impressions Revisited) right away told you it was going to be the supernatural taking all the suspense out of it. Also the Dashwood sisters were hardly in the book, which strongly disappointed me.

I then decided to take a break, and went on reading and reviewing other things.

In July, every other day I asked a question on Instagram about Jane Austen characters and themes, such as what fashion from the Regency Era do wish we would be brought back, who had the best fashion, etc. One question I asked was what book adaption do you wish would be turned into a movie or a TV show? On thing I suggested was this series, even though I had only read two books, as I think the idea behind it was very strong.

After that I wanted to read the next book, especially as it is Northanger Abbey, but was busy with Rational Creatures and my rule is never read another Jane Austen adaption until you finish reviewing one. After that it was time to get ready for Horrorfest VIIIthen November was gone in a flash, and December was taken up with Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe, YULETIDE, and Holiday Mix Tape

But I resolved this year that I would somehow factor in reviewing a mystery every month, so there is no time like the present to review this.

Mystery, you say?

So here we go.

North by Northanger (Or the Shades of Pemberley) [Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mystery #3] by Carrie Bebris

So in the last book, Elizabeth found out she was pregnant and it is nearing her time. This is a joyous and strained situation, as the Darcys are pleased but at the same time Mr. Darcy is scared out of his mind as his mother died in childbirth.

But childbirth isn’t what is foremost on Elizabeth’s mind. You see Elizabeth is sensitive to the supernatural and is convinced that Pemberley has a ghost, and not just any ghost…Anne Darcy, Mr. Darcy’s mother.

Elizabeth doesn’t feel as if Anne is vindictive or angry, but feels her presence nonetheless. She has lived the year with everything exactly how it was, but has decided that the time has com to start doing things how she wants it.

She decides to shift the writing desk from its corner so that she can look out the window. After some hemming and hawing with the footmen they do, and a letter falls out. A letter from Anne Darcy to Elizabeth!

{An excerpt]

Pemberley

20 January 1796

Dear Mrs. Darcy,

Should this letter reach your eyes, it is because I no longer live to deliver its message in person. I know not who you are-what name you bore before taking that of Darcy. I know only that by addressing this letter to you, I write the woman who has wed my son. For that reason alone I entrust to you the stewardship of something most precious…I had at Fitzwilliam’s birth a…an heirloom from my own mother-I want it now, but it has become lost. If only I could find it, I would trust that I will be safely delivered. But I hid it too well, beyond my own reach. You-you must look if I cannot, for I want you to have it when…If you are my niece, my namesake Anne, know that I guarded myself from my sister, not from you-…Search for me…My daughter, the only one I may ever have, start with the knowledge that love conquers all. I am-

Your mother, 

Anne Darcy

Unfortunately, this letter, dated on Georgiana’s birthday and Lady Anne’s death day, only strengthens Darcy’s fears. It, however, baits Elizabeth’s curiosity. What was the object? Why couldn’t Lady Anne find it? Where is it?

Suspicious

We move along a few weeks where Elizabeth and Darcy have been visiting the Bingley’s for their youngest’s christening. However, they are in a hurry to leave as Lydia and Wickham have dropped by unexpectedly.

Elizabeth shares the contents of the letter she found with Jane, and Lydia overhears them mention a treasure, which Elizabeth strongly dissuades her of.

That’s not good.

The talk then turns to babies, of which Lydia is bored of. Of course, I don’t expect Lydia to ever have children, as if she has a baby she won’t be the baby anymore.

They are headed home by way of Bath, to meet the famous Dr. Severn, the man Darcy wants to have assist Elizabeth in her birth. He supposedly is the best in the nation, and very hard to get. They reach Bath and as they are about to take in the sights they run into an unexpected visitor. Lady Catherine.

Lady Catherine and Anne are there to take the healing waters for Anne. Lady Catherine is more civil as Elizabeth is carrying the future heir to Pemberley, but still bossy, judgemental, and of course loves to give advice and hear her own voice.

Blah, blah

They also receive a note from a Mr. Tilney.

No, not that Mr. Tilney- Captain Frederick Tilney.

I know. I was so disappointed. I want MY Mr. Tilney!

I want MY Mr. Tilney!

Anyways…

Edgar’s Buildings

Bath, 6 October

Dear Mr. Darcy,

My discovery of your name in the Pump Room book prompts me to write. Though we are strangers to each other, I believe our families are acquainted. My late mother, Mrs. Victor Tilney, enjoyed the friendship of one Lady Ann Darcy, whom I believe to be your mother.

Though I understand Lady Anne has also passed away, I would take great pleasure in meeting her son. Unfortunately, my military duties obligate me to depart Bath this very day. However, I plan to return to my country home in Gloucestershire by 18 October, and shall remain there for some time. I would consider myself honored to receive you and Mrs. Darcy at Northanger Abbey as my guests for a se’nnight whenever you make your return to Derbyshire.

I hope your response names the date upon which I will enjoy the pleasure of your company. I am

Yours most sincerely,

Captain Fredrick Tilney

I still want my Mr. Tilney Carrie Bebris. I am intrigued, but wil be sorely disppointed and unhappy if MY Mr. Tilney doesn’t show up.

Hmm…

Anyways, the Darcys are also intrigued and decide to go visit on their way home.

Elizabeth visits with Lady Catherine and does not have a good time, it made even more when Lady Catherine tries to send Darcy to France to go after his troublesome cousin. He sends his solicitor and the Darcys visit with Dr. Severn which should be called Dr. Severe or Dr. Ima Rude Jerk. He is an awful misogynist and just all around horrible and we all should hate him-except Darcy is still wowed by his education and success rate, getting him to agree to come to Derbyshire instead of Elizabeth giving birth in London.

[Sarcastic] Big whoop

Eventually they leave Bath, and head to Gloucestershire but find it not as impressive as Catherine did.

The weather is cold, gray, dismal, and stormy. The servants are strange and act like no servant they have ever known. They are given the late Mrs. Tilney’s rooms which haven’t been used in ages and there is jewelry and all her stuff in it. Their servants have disappeared and the housekeeper has no knowledge where they are, the food gross, their host never appears, the halls are cold and drafty, and the Darcys want to leave but are forced to stay the night.

After dinner, the housekeeper takes them to their host and the Darcy’s see a very bandaged, fat man, with only one eye and his mouth are exposed.

Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Okay, I know that wealthy people gained weight with the food they eat-but a narcissist like Fredrick Tilney? There is no way you can convince me he is fat. I’m sorry but I don’t believe it. This can’t be him. Something is afoot in this Abbey, I just don’t know what…

Hmm…

Tilney, (if he is Tilney which I remain unconvinced), apologizes for not being able to greet them or sit at dinner. He has no qualms that the rooms are full of things and thoroughly questions grills them about Lady Anne, her friendship with Mrs. Tilney, and if they have any correspondence.

Huh?

The Darcy’s are completely flummoxed as they didn’t even know of the friendship let alone bring anything with them.

Captain Tilney talks really weird. I mean he is only in the book Northanger Abbey for a little bit, but this feels all wrong. I’m not the only one who feels it, as Darcy and Elizabeth find themselves feeling extremely weirded out by everything and they decide to leave ASAP.

The next morning they leave, carefully maneuvering themselves out of any faux pas. They find their servants-who had taken ill (sounds like were slipped a Regency mickey)-and then a trunk disappears and it takes forever for it to be located. Finally they leave, Mr. Darcy with his cane and off they go without another thought of this strange side trip, sure to be a weird story to be shared with friends.

Or is it?!

They stop for the night and then are com upon by a constable, as they were sent an anonymous note that the Darcy’s stole jewelry and riches fom the Tilneys. They then are both arrested for theft.

What???!!!!!!!! But he’s Mr. Darcy??!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What?

OMGoodness what is happening right now?

Th constable searches Mr. Darcy’s cane and finds it opens up and reveals that it has the Tilney jewels in it.

First of all-that is so cool. I want a cane or umbrella with a secret compartment, or one where you take it apart and it is a sword that would be so cool. With a wolf’s head on it like in The Wolf Man (1941).

And second WHAT THE HECK? ARRESTED? JAIL? THE DARCYS??!!!

Darcy tries to convince them it isn’t his cane but one that looks like it as his cane has an imperfection in the grain-this one does’t it is a replica, but they don’t believe him.

They then return to Northanger Abbey to speak to Captain Tilney about everything and when they reach the Abbey they see that Captain Tilney is not there but Mr. Tilney arrives, the Henry Tilney, MY Mr. Tinley.

And we get the giant bomb…you see the Darcy’s want Captain Tilney to share what happened that night, but eh can’t. He’s dead.

WHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTT?????!!!!!!!!!

And that’s not all. Fredrick’s been dead for a while.

WHAT??!!

And that housekeeper they met? She doesn’t exist. She matches no description of any housekeeper that has ever been employed there and the most recent housekeeper was fired six weeks ago.

Huh?

WHAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTT?????

And the house has been shut up for a while.

WHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTT!!!!!!!?????

What is going on???

Okay, here I was undeniably hooked. I had to finish this story. Not only has Mr. Tilney entered the picture but we are in a serious web.

Ghosts?

Ghosts?

Or is there a human trying to frame the Darcys?

Hmmm…

And sidenote, is it horrible that after I got over the shock of Captain Tilney being dead, I kind of thought it was cool that Mr. Tilney would have Northanger Abbey. Does that make me a horrible person? I mean, I didn’t think that right away…it was after.

The local magistrate is being a bit of a jerk, enjoying the power he has over someone like Darcy and won’t release him. Darcy sends word to his solicitor, who unfortunately has been sent to France to take care of his cousin, but Elizabeth does the only thing they can do to free Darcy. Call the one person who no one could ever be able to go against.

No, no, no, no, no, not her.

Oh no!

Lady Catherine.

Lady Catherine comes, throws her weight around, and this guy is no match for her. She gets Darcy released and he’ll be back later for the trial. But unfortunately, Darcy isn’t just released he is released into Lady Catherine’s care and she is coming to Pemberley with them.

They are about to head home when Mr. Tilney comes back, yay! I was worried that he was only going to be in there for a moment. He apologizes for his behavior, and said that he let his grief, anger, and hurt get the best of him. He thought over what they said and realized that he does remember the Darcy name, as his mother was friends with a Mrs. Darcy and she provided great comfort in her life with his tyrannical and vampirish father.

He remembers meeting her once and knowing what he does of her and their estate, he can’t imagine that Darcy wold act this way and steal. He also found the “true” walking stick of Darcy’s.

Darcy shows them the letter they received from Captain Tilney and it is dated the day before he died in his own hand. However, when Tilney questions the Darcy’s the man could not be Fredrick (as he was dead on that date) but also the eye was the wrong color.

So who did this and why? What was their scheme? If they wanted the jewels why hide them in the walking stick? What could they have gained from delaying the Darcy’s and getting them caught up in this? Just trying to ruin their good name?

What is going on?

Tilney tried to get the lawsuit dropped, but the magistrate is just salivating over this and he will not do so. Ugh.

The Darcys leave for Pemberley, while Mr. Tilney plans on remaining at Northanger and continuing the investigation there and getting the estate handled. The two plan to keep in constant contact.

What? What? Where is Catherine? Why are they leaving? How come Tilney isn’t in the book more? NOOOO, why are we leaving Northanger…will we ever see him again?

BUt BUt BUt I Want more Mr. Tilney Wah, wah, wah…

Sorry I’m over it now. So Lizzy, Darcy, and Lady Catherine return to Pemberley and find it polluted. Yes a pest infestation has taken root since they have been away. A giant rat called Wickham.

What the HECK??!! Why would he even think to do that. I don’t know if Wickham is brave, audacious, or just plain stupid.

This guy,

Lydia immediately accosts Elizabeth for money, and Darcy catches Wickham with a servant girl, Jenny.  Not the welcome home they had wished for. Although, their presence does make Lady Catherine disappear to her bedroom. LOL.

Elizabth finds living with Lady Catherine to be extremely difficult, no surprise there, and tries to find ways of coping that do not include her starting a regency fight club or throwing her hot tea at Lady Catherine. She instead goes for walks, visiting Lady Anne’s garden, Our Lady’s Garden.

The next morning is All Hallow’s Eve and the gardner always leaves flowers on the graves. Elizabeth sees his shadow and head down to the collect the bouquets, dropping them off, only to discover that after she completes the task that the gardner had never made the bouquets, he was just about to. He laughs it off that it must be an assistant who readied them, but it gets Elizabeth thinking. Was it an assistant? Or a GHOST??

Meanwhile, Elizabeth has been curious over the correspondence with Mrs. Tilney and thought maybe there would be a clue to help find the missing heirloom. She asks for the correspondence to come downstairs from the attic, and discovers that there are NINE trunks!

OMGoodness, I have one “memory box” my grandma gave me, and when it gets too full I go through it and recycle the cards or toss them out. It is a small box I can’t imagine having nine!!

Elizabeth reads the letters and finds the ones of Lady Anne and the late Mr. Darcy’s courtship “Love conquers all” being their phrase.

Hmm…

They have the yearly Harvest Feast, and Elizabeth develops a slight nosebleed. The local midwife helps her, and talks to her about Lady’s Anne’s last pregnancy. She reveals that the object Elizabeth is looking for is a small Madonna and Child ivory statuette.

A clue!

Darcy finds her and becomes so worried about the blood, calling for the horrible doctor. Dr. Severn’s arrival makes Elizabeth have to clean up her room, and all the trunks are removed without her being able to finish going through them.

The doctor arrives angry that he was called in for a nosebleed and is a pompus jerk who doesn’t care a thing about what Elizabeth thinks, feels, or says.

Later Elizabeth has even more fun talking to Lady Catherine and finds out that the statuette was from back in the day when the family was Catholic. Lady Catherine wants it back, but Elizabeth refuses to give it to her if she finds it, intending to keep it. It is a battle of wits as both are searching high and low, in and out, and all over Pemberley.

Fight, fight, fight!

Elizabeth wants to read Lady Anne’s letter again but it has disappeared. Only later to reappear. That isn’t he only thing that is strange-is Elizabeth just having the pregnancy forgetfulness, is someone sabotaging her, or is there a spirit at play here?

At Pemberley.

Elizabeth then continues to go through the letters, finding the ones between Mrs. Tilney and Lady Anne. Those were so cute that they almost, ALMOST, but not quite, make up for the fact that there is no Catherine in this book so far. I am sorely disappointed.

Anyways, the letters are just adorable! It turns out that the statuette came from Northanger Abbey. There was a set of ten,  but they were hidden when the Church of England came into power. Mrs. Tilney encourages her to visit, and Lady Anne does, bringing the statue. Mrs. Tilney gives Lady Anne a strongbox to put the statue in, but General Tilney is not a happy camper. He does not like that Lady Anne has one, and he wants it, along with the other nine.

That’s not good.

Elizabeth shares her intel with Mr. Darcy and Mr. Darcy has seen the box before. He and Wickham found it years ago, in fact on the day Georgina was born. A box with a key that opens when you move the dials to create the right “password”. Wickham egged him on and they tried to unlock it. They search the fountain where it was years ago, but nothing is there.

They believe that Wickham might have come after it and that means Mr. Darcy must take a journey. Elizabeth stays behind with she and Georgiana comedically hiding the fact that Mr. Darcy has disappeared from Pemberley from Lady Catherine.

So Elizabeth continues to read the letters and learns more on the friendship, intent on finding where could this figurine be? Darcy heads off to find Wickham and still is trying to discover the truth of what happened in Northanger Abbey. Meanwhile, in Northanger Abbey Tilney is trying to solve the case too. When Darcy heads to Newcastle he finds the truth to everything and in a surprise twist, the villains are someone Austen readers should know.

Meanwhile, things continue to be strange in Pemberley. Is there a malicious person? Another member of the scheme? Or an evil spirit?

Hmmm…

This was extremely enjoyable and a very good mystery. I loved it.

The only thing that would be better would be if Catherine was in it and if there was more Mr. Tilney!

For more by Carrie Bebris, go to Five Jane Austen Adaptations That Should be Turned Into a Film or TV Show

For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to You Are My Fantasy: Austenland (2013)

For more on Northanger Abbey, go to Modesto Jane Con: Dressing the Regency Lady

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to YULETIDE: A Jane Austen-inspired Collection of Stories Audiobook

For more Northanger Abbey variations, go to Rational Creatures: Catherine Morland, Eleanor Tilney, & Lady Susan

For more mysteries, go to A Goblin in My Mailbox

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to Praying With Jane: 31 Days Through the Prayers of Jane Austen

 

To All the Ghouls I’ve Loved Before: The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo (1985)

It’s time for our annual Vincent Price pick!

I love Vincent Price-that voice, he’s amazing.

And today is the 26th anniversary of his death-I didn’t plan to post this day it just happened.

So this year I was having a hard time trying to pick a film or TV show he was in. Which ones could I get my hands on to view, which one to do…

Hmm…

Then my niece and I went to Redbox, I only ever go when I have my niece as she just loves picking out the movies. It reminds me how excited I used to get over Blockbuster and Hollywood Video.

There we were looking through the movies and I saw Scooby-Doo and the Curse of the 13th Ghost.

We checked it out and it got all my nostalgia going! So that answered the question of what to review this year:

To All the Ghouls I’ve Loved Before

So as I have said before I have always been a gigantic Scooby-Doo fan. I used to watch Scooby-Doo Where Are You?13 Ghosts of Scooby-DooA Pup Named Scooby-DooThe New Scooby-Doo Movies (in which Scooby-Doo meets the Harlarm Globetrotters, Cher, Sonny Bono, Batman, Robin, Josie & the Pussycats, etc.), The New Scooby-Doo, What’s New Scooby-Doo.

I had four birthday parties be Scooby-Doo themed, a huge collection of Scooby-Doo toys, from my own mystery machine and multiple Scooby-Doos; to a clock, clothes, books, and almost anything else you can think of.

fangirl casual fan diehard fan consume me love it

So I loved this show because of Scooby-Doo and Vincent Price. Yes, I was watching classics even back as a little kid. There is one thing I always thought was weird, whatever happened to Fred and Velma? How come they didn’t join the group on their adventures? They never said in the show (that I can remember) although they did answer in the new film.

Hmmm…

Anyways, let’s get started with the first episode: To All the Ghouls I’ve Loved Before.

 

So we start the episode off with Vincent Price as Vincent Van Ghoul, mystic, who narrates. 

I remember this used to get me so jazzed on Saturdays! It has been a long time since I’ve watched this though, especially the first episode-I don’t remember what it is about. Oh well, I will be pleasantly surprised!

So we start off in the Himalayan Mountains and enter an old spooky temple that is haunted by two ghosts. One ghost is taking a bath.

Why do ghosts need to take baths?

So these ghosts aren’t scary, but goofy like the ones in Casper or the Boo Brothers. They have awoken because the 13 ghosts in the chest are awake and have been acting up. The two want to sent them free, but can’t open the chests as it can only be done by the living.The chests glows red which means living people are on their way.

We cut away to the flying Mystery Machine where Shaggy and Scooby are flying Daphne and Scrappy-Doo to Hawaii. They end up over the Himalayas as they were looking at the wrong map.

Well Daphne its your own fault, you should have flown.

Seriously

The ghosts perform some magic to release the fuel and stop the plane. Gee, you think you could have come up with a better plan, ghouls? Like you do want them to be living, right?

They grab parachutes and jump out in comedic ways, you know Scooby and Shaggy. Daphne, however, takes over the plane and tries to land it.

Meanwhile, little boy and conman Flim-Flam has found himself in some serious trouble. He’s  been hocking a “miracle” elixir, and the townspeople want him out of town. He’s a bit of a charmer and tries to calm the crowd down but they aren’t buying it. But right when things get really bad the mystery machine comes through and he hitches a ride on Scooby’s parachute.

But they don’t escape for long as an officer arrests them and they go to court.

Like I don’t remember this first episode at all. They get thrown into court and sentenced to leave by sunset or else-plane or no plane.

When they get finished they can’t find their plane anywhere but tracks that lead to a temple. The ghosts have done it to trick them into opening the chest, but one of the ghosts locked it so they can’t get in after all.

These ghosts

Flim-Flam tells them not to worry as he will take them to his mystic friend who can help them. They go to a pub and find Vincent Van Ghoul.

I fangirled as a kid and still do as a adult watching this.

Vincent pulls out his crystal ball and gazes into it. He finds their plane but warns them the plane is in the temple but they must  under no circumstances go in. The temple holds evil, evil which cursed the town Each night when the moon rises the people turn into werewolves.

The townspeople overhear them, and now that they know-they cannot leave.

The townspeople swarm around them and make them sit and watch have them sit and get comfortable watching Ghoulio the Vampire perform. Daphne is drinking beer? Never mind, freshly squeezed wolfsbane. Scrappy says it turns people into werewolves, but it is supposed to protect you.

Daphne shrugs it off but then they hear a werewolf howl. They try to escape, but can’t and see all the townspeople turn into werewolves, including Daphne.

Shaggy and Scooby go running but find themselves in more trouble-you know those twos. They manage to escape with Flim-Flam and Scrappy down a sewer and Flim-Flam sprays Daphne with one of his magical elixirs and she’s back to normal. Shaggy and Daphne hug for a looooong time…are they together? But what about Daphne and Fred!

Anyways, the ghosts have drilled a hole and Daphne wants to go in the temple and get the plane. Scooby and Shaggy are actually the logical ones, not wanting to go in as they were warned, but the werewolves attack and they head into the temple to protect themselves.

Werewolves break in and chase them, but the ghosts help out Shaggy and Scooby to get them to the chests. Meanwhile, Flim-Flam saves people by spraying them with his bottles.

The Burgermeister shares the story of the 13th ghosts and how they caught them and imprisoned them in a chest , but before they sealed it the ghosts cursed them. This having to catch them all kinda makes me think of Danny Phantom.

Anyways, Scooby and Shaggy are trying to find a way out where they run into the two ghosts from earlier who have set up a fake TV show, Let’s Make ‘Em Squeal. Really guys? Really. How can you believe this? I mean this is a whole ‘nother level for you guys.

Although in their defense they did crash land and were just attacked by werewolves-this isn’t the strangest thing they have had to encounter.

They are given the choice of choosing between the plane or a doggy house.-but then they throw in option three-the box with amazing things inside…

Meanwhile, Flim-Flam, Daphne, and Scrappy are trying to find their plane. They are lost, but call on Vincent Van Ghoul who comes and warms them that a pair of ghosts stole it and are trying to trick them into opening the chest.

Of course when we switch to Scooby and Shaggy, they have been convinced to take the box, oh my gosh you guys.

They rest of the gang com running (minus Velma and Fred-ya still not over that), but are too late. They have released the 13 ghosts.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

The ghosts fly off into the world and now Shaggy ad Scooby must hunt after each ghost and trap the in the box. Vincent gives them a crustal ball, and Flim-Flam joins them as they set off around the world!

I have to say I really like Daphne’s outfit in this. It is very April O’Neil, even her haircut.

So what did I think? Well looking back It wasn’t the best of the episodes, it definitely was missing the fun chase scenes and Shaggy and Scooby dressing up in some ridiculous charade. But it was the pilot and does what is supposed to do. It sets up the series and I remember as a kid being hooked. I could not wait to watch it every Saturday and I remember hoping for the next episode waiting to see what happened. Did they catch them all? I have to admit, even as an adult it does hook you. It makes me want to finish watching the rest of the series.

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

For more Vincent Price, go to Basil of Baker Street: The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

For more Scooby-Doo, go to Nowhere to Hyde: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? (1970)

For more ghosts, go to They Look Like Regular People, So No One Except Us Knows They’re Monsters Inside.: R.I.P.D. (2013)

For more werewolves, go to Women are Like Werewolves

I’m a Barbie Girl

So today marks the 60th anniversary of Barbie! I am so excited as I love Barbie!

I know a lot of people complain about Barbie but I loved her. I used to save up my money and go buy new ones-I had a giant collection of them.

I never felt Barbie projected a bad image, I thought she was awesome as she was everything-and that I could be too.

Each one of my Barbies had their own name and personality, and did everything you could imagine. You see, I wanted to do and be everything-as a child I switched from day to day what kind of thing I wanted to do as a “grown up”. I don’t have all mine with me, they are in storage-for if I have kids one day-so here are all I can remember off the top of my head:

  • Corduroy Cool Barbie-I really wanted the Daphne doll as I was such a big Scooby-Doo fan, but my mother couldn’t buy it as it was too expensive. Instead I got this doll, who I named Linda, and she was a private eye. Often I would put the scarf around her head or neck as part of her disguise.
  • Teen Skipper: All Grown Up-She was my first doll and first Skipper doll, so she was the only one who kept the “Skipper” name. She was a teenager so she didn’t have a profession, but I do remember putting all those stickers on the headboard of my bed.
  • Western Stampin’ Barbie-I really wanted to be a cowgirl when I was little and loved Dolly Patron. This one was Dolly, named after the sing-a country singer, rancher, and a ribbon winning rodeo queen.
  • CEO Barbie-Her name was Wendy and she was CEO of a stationary company. This doll was cool as it came with a CD-Rom that let you make your own calendars, stationary, and design other paper products.
  • Fashion Designer Barbie– Her name was Ashley, after my best friend, and she created cool, comfortable, and stunning clothes.
  • Pilot BarbieSpring was the pilot of Barbie Air and went all over the world. Once her plane even crashed and we needed to solve a mystery of who sabotaged the plane and killed a passenger.
  • Totally Yoyo Skipper-I can’t remember what I called her, but she was the Yoyo champion of the world. That is until she was in a car accident and lost her hand (we got a new dog who ate it). Even though she faced tragedy, she never gave up but figured out a way to continue her dream.
  • Cool Blue Barbie and Extreme Green Skipper– I think it was because they wore overalls, but I had the Barbie, who’s name was Julie, and her daughter, Janey, own their own contracting company. They would paint houses, fix any hardware issues, and were basically mechanics (even though that doesn’t fall under contracting. Hey I was a little girl-I didn’t know.)
  • Birthday Party Barbie– Brittany was a party planner, birthdays being her specialty. As her lips were permanently fixed in that expression, she was also a part time lip model.
  • Kitty Fun– Kathryn, (named after another best friend) was a teenage cat trainer.
  • Glam ‘n Groom Barbie Teresa– I received these two for my birthday one year. This was my first Teresa doll so she stayed with that name, while Barbie was Katrina. The two had an animal grooming business and had gone to school in Paris (because of the ruffles and tutu clothes.) I was heartbroken when my friend’s sister broke my Teresa doll. After her death, Katrina kept up the business, hiring Kathryn to help out.
  • Jewel Teresa My friend’s mom bought me a new Teresa to replace the one broken. I LOVED this Teresa as to me this Teresa looked like me. Teresa was Latino, like me, and had dark hair with lighter skin-like me. It was wonderful having something like that after being bullied by others for not “looking Mexican enough”. This became my favorite doll of all.
  • Generation Girl Barbie– Her name was Gina and she wanted to be a director. She wrote and filmed her own movies; sometimes acting as well.
  • Generation Girl: Dance Party Barbie– Sister of Gina, named Gia, she wanted to be a photographer for National Geographic, Vogue, or Life Magazine. Until then, she would photograph still lifes, her family, friends, and worked on the school yearbook.
  • Generation Girl Tori– Tori was the national skateboard champion, and roller skated for fun. She was also a track star and excelled at all sports.
  • Secret Messages Barbie: Leah was a teen who loved mysteries and spy stories. She wanted to be a writer or FBI agent.
  • Sleeping Beauty Barbie– I fangirled so hard after watching the commercial for this doll. I loved Sleeping Beauty but there was nothing, no merch at all. Every year my Grandma used to give us $25 dollars for Christmas, which was a lot for pastor’s kids who never received allowance. I knew it was coming and begged and begged my mom to let me open it early and buy this doll. No dice. As soon as I opened the envelope on Christmas I constantly nagged my mom to take me to the store and buy it, but the answer was no again. The next day I woke up at the crack of dawn and continued to beg her to take me to the store. She agreed and we went to Walmart. I still remember running through the store, my mom tailing after me as I’m searching for the doll-of which there were only three on the shelf, grabbing it and trying to run to a cashier. After that I could not stop playing with it, and even had it sleep by my pillow.
  • Beyond Pink-This was the only Barbie I called Barbie as that was also her stage name. International Rock Star, singer, songwriter, lead guitarist, and grammy winning star. I remember being so jazzed about this as it came with the cassette Think Pink. I think I annoyed everyone in my family playing this over and over again.
  • Twirlin’ Makeup BarbieBrenda, the beautician and owned her own salon.
  • The Front Window Barbie– Collector’s Barbie and one my mom gave me when she knew I was old enough to understand this wasn’t for playing with. I named her Susan after Susan B. Antony, my hero.

I had a lot more, but if I keep going-I’ll be writing all night and the next day. My Barbies solved crimes, went camping, took trips around the world, got stranded on an island, reenacted all kinds of movies, were spies, superheroes, stumbled onto smugglers, were pirates, and more.

For someone growing up and the world saying you are limited in your choices, it was great having someone telling-you can be anything you want to be.

Happy 60th Barbie, Here’s to 60 More!

For more Barbie, go to I Made You A Bummed Out Box: Gone Glitter Part I, Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse (2012)

For more anniversaries, go to Maybe Christmas, He Thought, Doesn’t Come from a Store. Maybe Christmas…Perhaps…Means a Little Bit More: How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Nowhere to Hyde: Scooby-Doo Where Are You? (1970)

I have always been a gigantic Scooby-Doo fan. I used to watch Scooby-Doo Where Are You?13 Ghosts of Scooby-DooA Pup Named Scooby-DooThe New Scooby-Doo Movies (in which Scooby-Doo meets the Harlarm Globetrotters, Cher, Sonny Bono, Batman, Robin, Josie & the Pussycats, etc.), The New Scooby-Doo, What’s New Scooby-Doo.

My favorite of course was Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?. I used to watch the show all the time and had four birthday parties be Scooby-Doo themed. I had a huge collection of Scooby-Doo toys, from my own mystery machine and multiple Scooby-Doos; to a clock, clothes, books, and almost anything else you can think of.

fangirl casual fan diehard fan consume me love it

One of my favorite episodes is Nowhere to Hyde the first episode of the second season.

So the gang is hanging out at the Malt Shop, just relaxing. Meanwhile, a mysterious green ghost climbs the walls of the jewelry shop stealing a rare necklace from the Movart Collection of Rare Jewels. To escape the police, he hides in the Mystery Machine.

The teens head out in their van, who’s heater is currently not working. When they ask Scooby-Doo to give them their blanket in the back he discovers the hidden Hyde.

They all don’t believe Scooby-Doo at first, but when they see him they burst out of the van and go running.

They hide and watch him take off into the marshes. When they follow him they track him to an old dilapidated mansion. They go to the door and fall through a trapdoor into the basement-a science lab.

They encounter Dr. Jekyll who is the great-grandson of the Dr. Jekyll. He too tried some experiments, tested it on himself, and became Dr. Hyde. He is worried it might be happening again. Such a trustworthy, weary sounding Doctor. He reversed it, but is afraid it might be happening again-he might be becoming Hyde again.

The gang splits up to search for “Hyde”.

Scooby-Doo amd Shaggy head up to the attic and they find a spider web, bats, and a costume. It falls on Scooby-Doo who scares Shaggy. They think Hyde is after them-but realize it is just a costume.

Then the weirdest thing happens, Helga the housekeeper interrupts them and doesn’t even care. Why are the teens here? Why are they in the attic? She just yells at them for making it a mess and keeps on cleaning.

Meanwhile, the others are searching and find a newspaper article about how Helga used to be a famous trapeze artist-gee I wonder how she ended up here.

Scooby and Shaggy run into the library and are looking at some books and discover Hyde in the library.

They run and do a great bit pretending they are on TV, when the set is broken.

This doesn’t fool Hyde for long and they are running again, taking Velma with them down a laundry chute to the basement. There they find a feather duster like the one Helga had and decide to head to Helga’s room.

Hmmm….

There they find a can of phosphorous paint and a bottle of knockout drops. Shaggy discovers something and tries to tell them, but is taken by Hyde.

After they rescue Shaggy, he reveals he found four suction cups.

They set a trap and catch the crook. And it is….

Dr. Jekyll

Yes it seems as if he is nowhere as intelligent as his great-grandfather and his experiments created nothing. Instead he sought to make up by stealing jewelry. When he knew he was going to be found out he tried to frame Helga.

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 Ever Heard of the Tommyknockers?: The Tommyknockers (1993)

For more Scooby-Doo, go to A Dog’s Life: Chinese New Year

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

For more on thieves, go to The Curious Case and Crime of Jane Leigh-Perrot

A Dog’s Life: Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year goes from February 16-March 17 this year. Because the 17 is also Saint Patrick’s Day, I decided that I would post 8 of my favorite fictional dogs and 7 Irish heroes, posting both on the same day.

Alright!

Years of the Dogs are 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, and 2030. Some qualities of Dogs are loyal, honest, kind, cautious and prudent.  Dogs will do everything for the person who they think is most important. Dogs are not good at communication and it is difficult for them to convey their thoughts to others-often they seem to be stubborn. Dogs have good natures, are always ready to help others, and tend to be sarcastic.

Dogs are best with rabbits, but also compatible with rat, tiger, monkey, and pig.

So now onto the countdown.

8) Ambrosius from Labyrinth (1986)

Sarah accidentally wishes her little brother to be taken by the Goblin King. She has to go after him and complete a series of tasks to win him back before Midnight or else he is lost forever.

***Ambrosius***

An adorable sheepdog who is a strong, cute, and noble steed for his rider, Sir Didymus.

For more on Labyrinth, go to Changes, Turn and Face the Strange

7) Pooka from Anastasia (1997)

Anastasia is a fictional story based on the real life Romanov missing princess. In this story, Anastasia loses her memory during the rebellion, and is put into an orphanage where she is given the name Anya, and is released on her 18 birthday. She adopts a stray pup and meets two conmen, Dimitri and Vladimir, who try to dress her up as the lost princess to fool the Dowager Empress. Meanwhile, the evil Rasputin is trying to kill Anya and destroy every shred of the Romanov family.

***Pooka***

Pooka is an adorable little pup that becomes Anya’s friend and family member when she has no one. As Rasputin and his minions try to attack her, he does all he can to protect his girl.

For more on Anastasia, go to I’ll Always Be There When You Need Me: Anastasia (1997)

 

6) Asta from The Thin Man (1934)

Nick Charles is retired famous police detective, having left that life behind when he married the wealthy socialite and heiress, Nora. But it is hard to stay out of the game as cops, criminals, and old friends are always trying to bring him back in.

***Asta***

Asta is an adorable police pup that helps out his masters with protecting them and providing some fun comedic moments.

5) Toto from The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Dorothy Gale is a young girl in grey Kansas. She lives with her aunt and uncle on their farm, along with the farmhands. When their mean neighbor takes Dorothy’s dog away for snapping at her; Dorothy decides to grab her dog and run away. She gets caught up in a twister and ends up in the land of Oz. She ends up on a journey to find the Wizard to get home; pairing up with a Scarecrow, a Tin Man, a Cowardly Lion; and chased by the Wicked Witch of the West.

***Toto***

Toto is the best friend a gal could have. He protects Dorothy in everything-man neighbors, witches, and even against a lion. He keeps her company, he makes her life, and is just plain adorable.

For more on The Wizard of Oz, go to There’s a Cyclone Coming: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

4) Snoopy from Peanuts

Peanuts  is the story of a group of kids that are more adult than kids. Charlie Brown is often depressed and struggles with life, Linus philosophizes but still carries his security blanket, Lucy is bossy, mean, and a psychiatrist for a nickel, Charlie’s dog Snoopy who writes novels, imagines himself as a WWI flying ace, and more.

***Snoopy***

Snoopy is a cute, silly, prankster with a great imagination that makes every comic, film, and TV program hilarious.

For more on Peanuts, go to 25 Films of Christmas

3) Bruno from Cinderella (1950)

Cinderella was born wealthy, but after her father died the stepmother took all power away and set her as a servant. She has her animal friends and keeps her positivity. When the Prince has a ball, Cinderella does all she can to go.

***Bruno***

Bruno is an adorable and cute dog that tries to protect the farm and the animals. He hates the cat Lucifer, but tries to follow Cinderella’s commands and is friends and helpful to all. He is loyal to a fault and protects Cinderella as much as he can.

For more on Cinderella, go to Waiter, There’s Some Disney in My Jane Austen

2) Scooby-Doo from Scooby-Doo Where Are You & More

I used to watch Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?13 Ghosts of Scooby-DooA Pup Named Scooby-DooThe New Scooby-Doo Movies, The New Scooby-Doo, What’s New Scooby-Doo, Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School, Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf, Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers, Scooby-Doo! in Arabian Nights, Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders, Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase, etc.

Scooby-Doo is about a group of teenage friends who travel throughout the United States, and later the world, solving mysteries and having a great time.

***Scooby-Dooby Doo***

Scooby-Doo was adopted by Shaggy and is “his” dog, but in reality Scooby doesn’t even consider himself a dog as he is so advanced. Scooby can talk, think, and loves to eat. He often steals somebody’s meal, typically Shaggy. Scooby is a total coward, but in the end will come through for his friends, as long as he is given a Scooby snack. He assists Shaggy with the comedy, helping them accidentally foil any plans made by the criminals. He and Shaggy are the only characters to appear in every TV show & film.

For more on Scooby-Doo, go to The Cruel Giggling Ghoul: Teen Titans Go (2016)

1) Wishbone from Wishbone (1995-1998)

The show was about a dog named Wishbone, his master Joe and Joe’s mom (Joe’s dad passed away) along with Joe’s friends Sam and David. In every episode it covered something happening with the characters and related it to a classic novel that Wishbone was reading and would retell. When Wishbone would tell the story, he would always be the main character.

***Wishbone***

Wishbone was absolutely adorable, everyone wanted their own Jack Russell Terrier. Plus he was the best dog as he was kind, caring, loyal, helpful, and just perfectly trained. And most of all, he brought such a strong love of reading and reading the classics. After this show I read almost every book he mentioned, the children’s version of course.

For more on Wishbone, go to To Fandom With Love

For the 2017 Chinese New Year, go to Nobody calls me Chicken: Chinese New Year

For the 2016 post, go to A Little Monkey Business: Chinese New Year

For the 2015 post, go to Well I Feel Sheepish: Chinese New Year

For the 2014 post, go to A Horse’s Tale: Chinese New Year

For the 2013 list, go to Snakes on a Post: Chinese New Year

 

The Cruel Giggling Ghoul: Teen Titans Go (2016)

So you know what that means: Horror TV episodes Tuesday

I know this is a little odd, TV episodes on a Tuesday instead of Friday as I’ve been doing for the past few years?

Help me! I’m confused!

Well this year I decided to do something special for Friday the 13th, which means I can’t put my reviews of TV shows on Friday.

So instead we will be reviewing TV episodes on Tuesdays, TV Tuesdays.

Now I HATE Teen Titans Go.

I grew up watching the original Teen Titans and it was hilarious, fun, serious, dramatic, etc. Simply amazing! In this one they don’t even fight crime!!!

Huh?

Superheroes who don’t fight crime????!!!!!!!!

Yeah it is about them doing mundane “normal” people things or redoing movies/TV shows.

And none of the episodes really go together in a sequence.

I don’t usually care for it, but this particular episode was pretty funny.

So the gang: Robin, Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy, and Cyborg are headed to a nearby amusement park to see Lebron James perform. Right away I notice Beast Boy shapeshifting into a dog and Raven wearing something she doesn’t typically have on.

There are five in the group-two girls, two boys, and an animal (Beast Boy). It is clear what they are parodying:

Yes the gang of superheroes have come to the amusement park only to see it empty of customers. There is a giggling two-headed ghoul, who is awfully reminiscent of the Creeper:

It is really silly. You have the cameo of the famous celebrity, Lebron James, and him popping up everywhere dribbling. Which reminds me of the Harlem Globetrotters episode.

Robin gets to be Fred going off with Starfire (Daphne) and Raven (Velma).

And then Cyborg and Beast Boy do all the silly dress-up, out maneuvering, eating, etc that Shaggy and Scooby-Doo would do.

Yep it gave you all the stuff you loved of the original, poking fun at it in a good way. And who does it turns out to be? You have to watch and find out.

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 China is Here Mr. Burton. The Chang Sing, The Wing Kong, They’ve Been Fighting for Centuries: Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

For more on Scooby-Doo, go to To Kill a Fangirl

For more superheroes, go to I Always Knew and I Didn’t Care: Usual Suspects, Young Justice (2012)

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

For more TV episodes, go to The Hash-Slinging Slasher: Graveyard Shift, Spongebob Squarepants (2002)

How To Survive A Horror Film

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With Halloween approaching and the number of Horror films increasing, I thought it would be a good time to write a post on how to survive a horror film, just in case you happen upon this situation 😉 . Most of us have heard of the “Randy Rules” in Scream (1996), but in this we are going to look a bit more in depth in how to successfully survive a horror film.

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1) Do Not Try Out Witchcraft, Ouija Boards, or any of the Occult for “Fun.” You Will Be Messing with Forces You Have No Control Over

It is never good to mess with the occult, play around with witchcraft, or use the ouija board. When you do such things you are opening a door to a lot of stuff you don’t want to mess with. Often you open yourself or others to demon possession or evil spirits. It is best to just stay far away from such things.

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2) Do Not Make Deals With the Devil, Demons, or Other Supernatural Beings

Never, ever make a deal with the devil. It is like trying to mess with the occult or witchcraft, you are opening yourself up to serious trouble, and the devil will not like to loose his quarry. Besides, the deals/wishes you make never turn out exactly as you hope.

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3) Anything and Everything Can be a Weapon

One of the things that bothers me the most is when people are surrounded by potential weapons and don’t use them. I mean look at Scream (1996), when Tatum is in the garage and attacked by Ghostface, she tries to squeeze herself through a tiny hole to escape rather then use something, anything in the garage. I mean she is in a GARAGE!!! There are hundreds of potential weapons! USE THEM!!! That is one example, but seriously, use anything and everything.

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4) Don’t Stop Assaulting Your Attacker Until You are Sure They Are Not Going to Get Up

Now this is huge. In horror movies, if the person is able to outwit the killer and knock them out, they usually just leave it at that and take off. DON’T! You knock that sucker out until you are sure they are no longer going to try to injure you. Break their legs if necessary. Because if you don’t, they are just going to recover and come after you.

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5) If Someone Gives You a Protective Charm Do Not Give It Away

I have mentioned this in Dracula (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Wolf Man (1941), Scream 2 (1997), and many more. If someone gives you some kind of charm that is supposed to help you and only work for you, DO NOT GIVE IT AWAY!!!! It will only work FOR YOU!!!! That is why it was given TO YOU!! And if you give it away you are just going to get yourself and the person you were trying to help in serious trouble. Keep it and protect yourself so that you can actually help others, instead of accidentally killing them.

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6) Sex = Death

As Randy says in Scream, Sex = Death. Never overlook the purity angle, it is like a protective charm. If you don’t do it, you are less likely to die.

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7) Doctors are Almost Always Evil

Sometimes Doctors can be good people, but if you are in a horror film, forget it; they are usually evil. Such as Dr. Hartz from The Lady Vanishes (1938), he seems kindly and trying to help, but in reality just wants the main character to think they are going crazy! Same thing in Dr. Hollingshead from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947). Then you have doctors who commit horrible things in the name of science; like We have Dr. Frankenstein (from any Frankenstein film) who tries to create life and can’t control his monster. Or  there is Dr. Arthur Carrington from The Thing From Another World (1951), who almost kills everyone as he doesn’t care about human life but scientific discovery is what matters. Not to mention Dr. Alfred Brandon from I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957), who experiments on teenage boy. And lets not forget Dr. Hannibal Lecter, who eats people. I could go on, but there are too many examples to choose from.

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8) Do Not Spend the Night in an Abandoned or Haunted House, Psychiatric Hospital, or Carnival

I mean seriously. Just do not go there. Nothing good will ever, ever, ever come of it! I mean look at The Uninvited (1944), House on Haunted Hill (1959), House on Haunted Hill (1999), The Hunting (1963), The Haunting (1999), etc. I could go on and on, but let’s continue with our list.

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9) If There is a Curse on Something Do Not Touch It

I know curses, many laugh at them; but of you are in a horror film and you see something that says it is cursed DON’T TOUCH IT! It is better to live another day then to have yourself face all kinds of horrors.

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10) Do Not Drink Any Potions or Test An Experiment On Yourself

NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER test a potion or try an experiment on yourself. It always ends badly! I mean you have Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, The Fly, Batman’s Man-Bat he had to fight, even Goosebumps did an episode where the dad ended up creating a plant clone of himself. I know many don’t like animal testing or get under the stress of trying to accomplish something; but just stop! Don’t test yourself or else something bad will be created.

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11) If There is a Murderer Running Around, Do Not Go Out and Party

This drives me crazy! A murderer is running around killing people and people decide to: 1) not take any precautions; 2) go about their lives like nothing is different; and 3) party. If there is a murderer running around, yes it is good to be in a group (rule 12 & 17) but you shouldn’t be out partying, drinking (rule 13) or putting yourself in a dangerous situation.

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12) Never Split Up

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NEVER, EVER, EVER go anywhere by yourself. There is power in numbers! As a group you could take a killer down, versus as a couple or single. When you split up, all you do us make it easier for someone to kill you.

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13) Do Not Do Drugs or Drink

While some of you might enjoy that type of thing it is never a good idea in a horror film. Anytime you try something that will keep you from thinking clearly, you are in serious trouble as you are likely to make bad decisions that will lead to your death. It is better to just say no.

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14) Always Call the Police

If you are being attacked, threatened, harassed, etc.; call the police. Don’t try and take care of it yourself, don’t try to investigate, call FOR BACKUP! That’s their job!!! They have guns and can make an arrest!

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15) Never Say “I’ll Be Right Back”

Unlike the Terminator here, you won’t be back. Uttering these words is signing a death warrant, as soon as they leave your lips you become next on the killer/creature’s hit list.

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16) Never Say “Who’s There?”

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Never say “who’s there”. If the person was a friend, they wouldn’t be skulking around your house in the first place, trying to scare you. Instead they would knock, ring the doorbell, or call out to you. The only type of person who would be creeping in your house is one who intends on harming you. And if you call out “who’s there”, you’re just helping them find and kill you faster.

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17) Do Not Go Out to Investigate a Strange Noise

When you hear something strange outside, do not go out and look into it. You should wait for assistance or call in the police. If you try looking yourself, you are going to end up in a trap set by a monster, psychopath, murderer, etc. Besides, why unlock the door or turn off the alarm; allowing whatever is watching you the opportunity to come in and attack? Just stay inside snug like a bug.

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18) Do Not Use the Bathroom

Have you ever though of how vulnerable you are in the bathroom? Most have no windows to flee from or they aren’t the most accessible. Some do, but for most the only easy way out is the door, which is where most attackers will come through. Plus the reason you would be in the bathroom; shower or toilet, you won’t have any weapons to help you and it would be extremely easy to kill you. If you are in a horror film, just hold it or stay stinky. You are more likely to live that way.

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19) Never Go Off By Yourself

Like I said before, the less people around you, the easier you are to kill. If you go off on your own to investigate, look around, run away; you are just putting a giant target on your back. Stay together, it is safer.

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20) Always Look Behind You and Above You

Always take a 360 degree look around you. They may be behind, they may be in front, they may even be above you. Search every angle!!!

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21) Be Nice, A Person Scorned or Mistreated Can Do Horror-ble Things

In horror movies, there are lots of people who have been bullied so much and hurt by others they end up becoming homicidal maniacs. And who do they tend to attack first? The last person to hurt them. Look at The Phantom of the Opera (any version), Carrie (1976), Hangman’s Curse (2003), Heathers (1985), etc. So if you don’t want to end up being first on the hit list be kind to those you meet.

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22) If You Are a Girl Or Not White, Be Extra Cautious

Psychopaths and monsters love to kill/eat women and minorities. Because of this if you are either, or both; take extra steps to protect yourself. Be like Ben in Night of the Living Dead.

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23) Don’t Trust Anyone, They Are All Suspects

People can tell you all kinds of things, but that doesn’t mean they are telling the truth. If you find yourself in a horror film, don’t trust anyone. And I mean ANYONE!

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24) Never Judge a Book By its Cover

Never judge a book by its cover. Someone who seems sweet, innocent, impossible to commit cruel acts, etc; could secretly have evil intentions lurking under the adorable facade. Always be watchful and once again, trust NO ONE!

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25) Children can Be Evil too, Never Rule Them Out

When trying to figure out who the murderer is, never overlook kids. I mean sure some will be obvious in their creepiness, such as the one pictured above, but there are many who look innocent and sweet but are actually evil. Don’t be fooled!

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26) Never Try to Create Life

NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER try to create Life. It just does not go the way you plan. You can’t control the beasts you create and they just run amuck everywhere. I mean look at FrankensteinBride of Frankenstein, Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, Alien: Resurrection, the list goes on but I’ll stop here.

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27) Never Try to Control a Monster

In any horror film, whenever they create  life they always think they have complete control over it. Well, that never works out. You see, just because you made it doesn’t mean it will listen to you; every parent knows that. And more often than not, those creations will try and kill you.

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28) If Someone Tries to Make a Deal with You to Kill Someone, Do Not Think it is a Joke

Joking around with the idea of murder might be something you would do with a friend, but be careful, you never know how far they might take it.

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29) Listen to Urban Myths, They Tend to be Right

We all like to hear scary stories around a campfire and about areas. But if you are in a horror film, play very close attention as more often than not, the myths and legends turn out to be true or someone is copying them and making them true. It is always good to pay attention and know the details, it just might save your life.

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30) Never Think You Have Destroyed a Monster, They Always Find a Way to Come Back

You try to kill them and you think you do, but they always come back. Always make sure you keep an eye out for the sequel and their return.

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31) Don’t Be an Idiot

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Be smart! Don’t be stupid and do stupid things. Use your common sense! Bimbos and Mimbos are almost always the first to die.

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So there we are, 31 tips to help you survive a horror film. I hope they help you survive October.

This post is brought to you by a

horrornerd

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

Keep tuned for more horror film reviews!

To Kill a Fangirl

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

How do you kill a fangirl? Well there are quite a few ways: Let’s see…1) Kill off their favorite characters/have them leave the series

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

2) Have the wrong people end up together.

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3) Stop writing/take show off the air, especially if it ends without a finale

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4)When the character changes, does things they never would do

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5) When they start repeating the same things over and over

RIP Randy! Love you forever!!!!!!!

6) Season Finale/Last book that just ends, without tying everything up

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I could go on, but that’s not what this post is really about. Instead it is one of my fandom posts, about the fandoms I am in.

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So here we go!

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Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers

POWER RANGERS!!!! HECK YEAH!

I love it

Growing up the Power Rangers were awesome! Regular kids chosen to fight aliens and protect the earth, transforming into the Power Rangers and riding in robots called Zords.

My friends and I used to act out the adventures in the TV show, along with creating our own. My favorite was Kimberly, the pink ranger.

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And I loved Tommy the Green Ranger/Gold Ranger. He first starts off as bad, recruited to destroy the Rangers, but then redeems himself. He ends up losing his powers, and the Green Ranger is gone, coming back as the extremely awesome Gold Ranger. Not only was Tommy the best fighter, with the coolest weapons (eventually becoming the leader) but he was also super hot. I had such a crush on him.

swoon dreamy

They made a movie, The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie, were they had to fight a creature so terrible, Ivan Ooze, he takes down Zordon. I just loved that movie so much as a kid. I used to watch it over and over again.

watch movie over and over

I had the whole film memorized and we used to act it out all the time. In fact I remember getting in trouble once with a parent for dismantling the brooms so that one of us could have the noise sticks that Dulcea uses.

I watched Power Rangers up until Power Rangers: Mystic Force. When Kimberly and Jason left and they brought in Cat, it went down hill for me. The other seasons were alright, but the only one that was any good being Dino Thunder because they brought Tommy back.

I heard they are doing a movie reuniting most of the original cast and I hope they do!

pretty please beg

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The Partridge Family

So if you just read these fandom posts, you probably think I am some immortal being a teen in the ’70s as well as the ’90s; from all these ’70s shows I used to watch. Nope, I’m not a time traveler or vampire, I loved TV LAND, yep I used to watch it back when they showed old TV shows.

This show stared Shirley Jones as Shirley Partridge, widowed mother of five. When her kids want to try a record deal, she goes along and before you know it, they are a hit. They get a manager, a bus, and go touring all over the country.

This show also starred David Cassidy, Jones’ stepson, as the eldest child and heartthrob.

hot pretty sexy

I used to watch it every day and knew all the songs by The Partridge Family by heart. In fact this show had such a huge impact on me, that when I saw David Cassidy was going to be in a new musical series, Ruby & The RockitsIt was horrible writing, but I suffered through for my childhood nostalgia.

NostalgiaforWorldNeverKnown

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 The Rocky Series

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Aw Rocky. How I love you, and all your films. Well, except Creed as I have yet to see it. I started watching these films one 4th of July weekend when AMC had a marathon. I watched one, then another and another and another.

MyKindOfMarathon

And I loved them. Sylvester Stallone did a great job with this series.

Rocky (1976)

rocky

So let my start by wishing this film a very happy anniversary as it will be turning 40 on November 21st.

So the film Rocky was Slyvester Stallone’s first film. He was struggling as an actor, homeless, only having $106, and had even sold his dog. When the company was interested he wouldn’t give the script up until they agreed to have him as the star. They declined, but when they couldn’t get the script, they finally agreed.

It was shot in 28 days and had an extremely little budget. Stars had to share rooms, they filmed the street scenes guerilla style and with no permits or extras. Most of the wardrobe was furnished by the actors, and ones purchased were wrong. The lack of money for extras, caused them to rewrite some scenes and make due.

But not only was it nominated for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Screenplay, Best Sound, & Best Original Song; and won Best Picture, Best Director, & Best Film Editing: but it was the highest grossing film of the year. Not bad Stallone, not bad.

So Rocky is the story of Robert “Rocky” Balboa, a man who dreams of becoming a boxer star, going the distance, but has yet to get his chance. He works as an enforcer for a loan shark, but is too nice a guy to actually “enforce”. Everything changes when boxing star Apollo Creed decides that he wants to box an ordinary joe, giving a nobody the chance to be a somebody, and choosing Rocky. While Rocky works out for the chance of a lifetime, he dates his best friend’s sister, Adrian, becoming one of the sweetest couples in film history.

This story is not only amazing uplifting, as everyone can connect to a man trying to achieve his dreams, it has some truly poetic and realistic scenes. Besides the ice-skating with Adrian, and running up the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum (so great it gets parodied again and again), but the fact that Stallone choose to have Rocky loose the fight; showing his achievements in trying to be the true victory is truly poignant and fantastic.

This also had the incredible song, Gonna Fly Now written by Bill Conti as it’s theme. How can you not be inspired when listening to that?

Rocky II

After the first film, Apollo is angry at the way that Rocky held his own against him in the match. Apollo demands a rematch, as he wants to peove that he is the true champ, Rocky just a fluke. Meanwhile, since the fight Rocky has been boosted in popularity. He doesn’t want to fight Apollo again, but due to his goading and Rocky’s lack of money, he agrees. Can he truly go the distance? Can he be a contender?

Rocky III

This is the first of the film series to have a Survivor song in it, this one of course having the amazing Eye of the Tiger.

So it has been three years since Rocky II. Since then Rocky has had successful fights and an increase in wealth for him and his family. As they are unveiling a statue of him, he gets called out by Clubber Lang, played by Mr. T. When Rocky questions Mickey, he discovers that Clubber Lang’s accusations were correct. His fights were handpicked to protect him. Rocky doesn’t want to fight Lang, but when he pushes Mickey and causes him to have a heart attack, dying, Rocky knows he has no other chance then to avenge Mickey’s death. He asks Apollo Creed to train him, and the two team up to get that “eye of the tiger” back.

Rocky IV

Ivan Drago (Dolph Lungren) is a 6’5 Russian Boxer brought to America to promote the U.S.S.R.’s superiority. They throw out a challenge that he can beat anyone, and Apollo agrees to an exhibition match. Apollo arrives with a huge show stopping number done by James Brown. Drago doesn’t take this match as “just an exhibition” and kills Creed. With his best friend dead, Rocky decides he must avenge his death, traveling to Russia to fight Drago there.

Rocky V

After the fight with Drago, Rocky decides to retire from boxing. He had some permanent damage from the fight, and to add to the bad news he lost all his money due to a bad accountant. Rocky turns to training boxers, taking in a young guy off the street, Tommy Gunn. He helps him, and as Gunn starts moving up the ranks he catches the eye of another manager and leaves Rocky behind. Rocky is upset at the betryal, but Adraian tells him that Gunn is not worth it, as he doesn’t have any real heart. Gunn decides the only way to prove his true mettle is to take down Rocky. He tries to get him to fight, but Rocky won’t. When Gunn takes a sock at Paulie, Rocky changes his mind and starts training to cut him down.

Rocky Balboa (Rocky VI)

The sixth film takes place 20 years after the fifth film. One of the reasons Stallone decided to make this film, was that many people were dissatisfied with the ending of Rocky V, as it didn’t have a true wrap up to the series. In this Rocky is a widower, with an Italian resturant. He is in deep grief over the death of Adrian and has a struggling relationship with his son who wishes to be not known as Rocky’s son or have any connection to boxing. He reunites with grown up “Little Marie” from Rocky (1976).  Meanwhile ESPN has done a Deadliest Warrior type show in which they analyze boxers from past, running the stats, victories, and teaming them up with present boxers. When Rocky wins against Mason “The Line” Dixon, Dixon gets enraged and Rocky decides to take up boxing again. This prompts the fight of fights as the two head off.

A lot of people didn’t like this film, but I thought it was a cute shout out to the fans. I loved the way they decided to conclude it. If Rocky had lost the fight, it would have been horrible as no one wants to see an older man get beat up. And if Rocky had won, it would have been unbelievable. Having a tie was not only a call back to the first film’s idea that victory was in trying to achieve your dreams, but also a way to appease all.

As I wrote before I have yet to watch Creed, but I will hit on that when I watch it.

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Scooby-Doo

I LOVED SCOOBY-DOO

I love it

I used to watch Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, A Pup Named Scooby-DooThe New Scooby-Doo Movies (in which Scooby-Doo meets the Harlarm Globetrotters, Cher, Sonny Bono, Batman, Robin, Josie & the Pussycats, etc.), The New Scooby-Doo, What’s New Scooby-Doo.

My favorite of course was Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?. I used to watch the show all the time and had four birthday parties be Scooby-Doo themed. I had a huge collection of Scooby-Doo toys, from my own mystery machine and multiple Scooby-Doos; to a clock, clothes, books, and almost anything else you can think of.

fangirl casual fan diehard fan consume me love it

I also was a fan of the Scooby-Doo films. I loved Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School, Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf, Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers, Scooby-Doo! in Arabian Nights, Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders, Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase, etc.

I saw the two Scooby-Doo theatrical films and thought they were okay. The first had an alright storyline, but I didn’t like the thought of “real monsters” and felt they didn’t capture the heart of the show. Besides Freddie Prinze Jr. as Fred Jones and Sarah Michelle Geller as Daphne, I was sorely disappointed.

Something is not right!

So let’s talk about the characters:

Fred Jones

splitupScoobyDoo

Fred Jones was the leader of the teen group. He was always eager to get involved in a mystery and was a keen observer. His take charge attitude always made him be the one to figure out a plan to catch the cause of the crime, although Scooby or Shaggy’s antics would usually mess them up. He was the “straight man of the group” the one who complimented the crazy antics of Scooby and Shaggy, along with being the rock of the group.

Daphne Blake

makehimpayhairDaphneScoobyDoo

Daphne Blake is often thought of as the beautiful socialite who was only interested in looks and getting kidnapped. That is not true! While Daphne tends to be the one that got captured, if anyone gets kidnapped, it didn’t happen in every episode. She was also ntelligent, proving her worth in solving the crimes, alongside Fred and Velma.

*Fun Fact*-The Mystery Machine was actually Daphne’s 16th Birthday present. Why Fred is the one driving, I don’t know.

Velma Dinkley

Velma_Werewolves

Velma is the brain of the group, being the researcher and the one to find the final clue that ties everything together. Unlike Daphne, she is a more comedic character; having puns and great sarcastic wit. She also was always losing her glasses, struggling to see; they usually found by whatever creature they are hunting or her searching for them causing that creature to trip over her.

Norville “Shaggy” Rogers

Scooby-Doo

Now contrary to popular belief, Shaggy is not a drug addict. The creators of the show were trying to hit every group when they made the show; Fred the jock, Daphne the princess, Velma the brain, etc. As Shaggy can’t be the criminal, because they are solving crimes, they wanted him to be the type of new culture coming out that “surfer-“hey man”-hippieish-type-dude”. Shaggy is a sweet guy that is interested in food and music. He is a scaredy-cat, never wanting to get involved with monsters or criminals, but always there in the final stretch. He and Scooby played the comedic roles, always accidentally getting involved with something, accidentally bringing new evidence to light, or accidentally catching the criminals.

Scooby-Doo

scooby-Doo

Scooby-Doo was adopted by Shaggy and is “his” dog, but in reality Scooby doesn’t even consider himself a dog as he is so advanced. Scooby can talk, think, and loves to eat. He often steals somebody’s meal, typically Shaggy. Scooby is a total coward, but in the end will come through for his friends, as long as he is given a Scooby snack. He assists Shaggy with the comedy, helping them accidentally foil any plans made by the criminals. He and Shaggy are the only characters to appear in every TV show & film.

Scooby-Doo-Where-Are-You2

For more on Scooby-Doo, go to A Monster Race: Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf (1988)

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For the previous post, go to Portrait of a Fangirl

And Stay tuned for part 19

 

 

 

 

 

Back to the Supernatural

So Supernatural is a pretty great show.

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It has awesome writing, great action, and two hunky guys!

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Besides the many, many things that are awesome with this show, one thing I love is the film references.

MovieQuotes

So I’ve mentioned before that one of my favorite episodes is Monster Movie in which Dean and Sam combat classic film monsters.

Dean-Dracula-The-Delusional-Shapeshifter-in-Monster-Movie-supernatural-24166990-700-300

Well the my other most favorite episode? In the Beginning.

So as you all know one of my favorite films is Back to the Future.

I love it

And one of the many, many great scenes is when we see this:

Back to the future hey mcfly marty mcfly

So when they replicated that scene:

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I was so excited!

OMG gasp

In fact, in my excitement I flipped the table.

fliptablesangrysurprised

And somehow flung my glasses to the other side of the room.

OMG gasp

My friend and I both started laughing so hard we couldn’t see or even breathe. It took so long to find them with our laughing, lack of breath, and my blindness; that I started feeling like Velma.

Yep, it was a real experience. But hey, you know us fangirls:

Supernaturalfangirl

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For more on Supernatural, go to The Story, We’re Living it. It’s Alive: The Brothers Grimm (2005)

For more on Back to the Future, go to The Temporal Junction Point for the Entire Space-Time Continuum

Pride & Prescience (Or a Truth Universally Acknowledged)

Pride&Prescience

Pride & Prescience: Or a Truth Universally Acknowledged by Carrie Bebris

So as I’m sure you are aware, whether from reading my post Happy Birthday Pride & Prejudice; or perusing your local bookstore/library; there are a lot of sequels to Pride & Prejudice. But unlike those that write about the Darcy children, or married life of Lizzie & Darcy, this one is a mystery.

IndianaJonesHmmMaybe

Yeah, at first I wasn’t sure about it, but when I started reading it, I actually enjoyed it. I solved the mystery quickly, but it was very well written and worth reading. There were a few things I didn’t like, but I’ll save that until the end.

So are you ready to take on this mystery?

splitupScoobyDoo

So the book begins at the after-the-wedding-next-day-breakfast. Jane was just married to Bingley, and Elizabeth to Mr. Darcy. Elizabeth is happy about how everything went, and even more happy to be married to Darcy.

Double double yay

There is only one thing putting a damper on the event. Caroline Bingley.

hate her

Yep, Caroline has struck again. This time she has announced her engagement to an extremely wealthy,  American Southerner, Mr. Parrish.

How rude

Elizabeth is incredibly put out and part of her wants to say something, but instead she chooses to ignore it share her day, and just enjoy the fact that she is now Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy.

bekindBeright

However, Caroline’s sister’s do not adhere to this and even though it is Elizabeth’s wedding day, they delight in being cruel. Some people.

namesacceptselfShrek

The Darcy’s are planning on staying in Netherfield with the Bingley’s and then heading on to Pemberly as Elizabeth and Darcy are both eager to be home for the Christmas holidays.

heartPemberly

Unfortunately, Caroline Bingley once again throws a wrench in their plans. She is having the wedding this upcoming weekend in London.

you're evil

Yes it seems that Pemberly will have to wait. The Darcy’s have a duty to their friends and now relations, returning to the London house instead.

2013-11-27-bradpitt friends ugh slap face stupid

Oh well.

The house had been closed for the winter, and while the servants are hurriedly putting everything in its place, Elizabeth and Darcy head out for a hotel for dinner. There they meet some of Darcy’s friends, a part I really enjoyed as we don’t get to see that side in the Austen novel. More character depth is always welcome.

That is as long as it stays true to the original character. No secret adoptions, or having a child from a first marriage, or any of that nonsense.

Get it right

Get it right

There the Darcy’s find out from Lord Chatfield, Darcy’s friend, that Mr. Hurst, Caroline & Charles Bingley’s brother-in-law, has been making numerous bets and losing them. He did bet that Caroline would be engaged soon and must have been ecstatic when he heard the news of her and Mr. Parrish.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

The next day the two are off looking about London. One place they visit is the British Museum, which just opened with an exhibit on the supernatural.

TheDead

There are all sorts of items from the “New World”. Darcy is all practicality that it is nothing but silly superstitions, while Elizabeth wonders at the possibility of maybe there is more to it.

That Saturday, the Darcys find themselves at a dinner party being given by the Chatfields. Elizabeth finds herself seated next to Professor Julian Randolph; American, his field the supernatural, the one who donated the exhibit to the British Museum, and a close friend of Mr. Parrish.

coincidencegi

Professor Randolph has found himself forced to move from place to place, as universities find his work interesting, but not so to hire him full time. Elizabeth also notices his watch is no ordinary timepiece but covered in symbols, or “runes.”

suspicious  Hmm

After dinner the men and women are separated. In the smoking, brandy, and billiard room; Darcy finds himself accosted by Mr. Kendall. Mr. Kendall was an old partner of the late Mr. Bingley, Charles’ father, and embezzled from him. When the late Mr. Bingley discovered the subterfuge, he disbanded the partner ship, leaving Kendall with much more than he deserved. Even so, Kendall feels he has been cheated an has a lot of animosity for the Bingley’s, animosity that grows stronger as everyone believes Mr. Parrish thew over Miss Kendall for Miss Bingley.

ouch Hermione

Miss Kendall speaks to Elizabeth over a cup of tea, and tries to assure her that she is fine. But she isn’t. She spills tea everywhere and threatens that if Caroline and Mr. Parrish wed, Caroline will be very sorry.

notenoughChamomileTeaStopRage

Caroline’s wedding comes and is quite the shebang. Tons of people, mountains of food, opulent dresses, enormous rings. Everything she could ever want. The Darcys are happy that their London trip has reached a completion and go out to the theater that night as they plan to be leaving soon to the country and beloved Pemberley.

heartPemberly

After the play when they are heading home, they pass through a poor section of town, and who should they see? Caroline Parrish!

SayWhat?

Why would Caroline be there? And in her nightgown in the middle of the night? Darcy saves her from being mugged, and the two take her home. The whole trip there Caroline seems nothing like herself. Almost as if she was in a trance…or a zombie!

night of the living dead

After Darcy and Elizabeth return Caroline home, they can’t stop thinking how odd the whole thing was. Why would Caroline act in such a way? Mr. Parrish tried to reassure them that she must be sleepwalking, but the whole thing seems very odd.

strange things are afoot at the circle k

The next day, the Darcys head out to call on the Parrishes and see how Caroline is doing. There they discover that she has gone out riding. Riding! After a night like that you think she would be resting or something.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

And with Miss Kendall who practically confessed to hating Caroline’s guts.

Say What

As the Darcy’s are contemplating this, Caroline has fallen from her horse as it “mysteriously” bolted. Something is definitely not right here at all.

That's weird.

That’s weird.

Elizabeth goes to question Miss Kendall

Being questioned police Annex - Tierney, Gene (Laura)_03

But ends up getting nowhere.

Darcy and Elizabeth are finally ready to head off to Pemberley. They barely begin to make arrangements when…bum ba bum. You guessed it, they are stalled once again.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Caroline Bingley, oops Caroline Parrish (forgot she was married) was found with her wrists slashed in the kitchen. The doctor was able to save her, but he believes them to be self-inflicted.

That's weird.

That’s weird.

Caroline would never do such things, never. The Bingleys, Hursts, & Darcys find it extremely odd. Professor Randolph thinks it is just over-exhaustion from planning the Wedding of the Millennium in a week. Mr. Parrish decides to take her to his plantation in America for her to recover, but everyone nixes that idea. They know Caroline would just hate being sent there. Instead they are heading to Netherfield, the invitation extended to the Darcys, the Hursts, and Professor Randall, the hope being that all together could keep an eye on her and bring her former self back.

Let me just say that in this moment I thought the husband was behind it all. I wasn’t sure how just yet, but I was thinking drugs. To me, the fact that he married so quickly, and right after all this behavior starts up, and then he wants to remove her from her family to where he can either dispose her quickly in quite a few ways on the boat or in the U.S. He’s the one.

IDon'tTrustHimGreatGatsby

I mean she is extremely wealthy and is easy prey for a handsome man with charming qualities. I think he’s behind everything, because he wants her out of the way for her money.

Everyone thinks this is the perfect solution and set off for Nethefield. Upon arriving, Elizabeth can’t help to think this whole thing just seems off. Caroline with fragile nerves? She has the tenacity of a bear. Something is just not right.

wolfman 2010 inspector abberline hmm i've almost got it hugo weaving

But such thoughts are interrupted by the arrival of her mother. After she has invited all to dinner and left, Louisa Hurst tries to make fun of her with Caroline. But to Elizabeth and Jane’s shock, Caroline doesn’t make fun of her. Instead she just thanks the thoughtful gesture.

OMG

WHAT? CAROLINE IS ACTUALLY NICE!!!??? Now Elizabeth is certain something is definitely not right. Caroline would never miss out on an opportunity to make fun of the Bennets.

strange things are afoot at the circle k

On a side note, the whole Netherfield estate is run by people in need rather than trained servants. It’s pretty funny as I know that is exactly what Jane and Bingley would do. Too tenderhearted for their own good.

Anyways, back to the mystery. So Elizabeth heads over to the hothouse and sees Professor Randolph heavily concentrating on cutting leaves. He says they are spearmint and that he is using them to cure Caroline. He also keeps talking about the upcoming Winter Solstice.

Interesting, very interesting.

Interesting, very interesting.

Later that evening they all get into a discussion of reason vs. the supernatural. Professor Randolph is all for the unexplained, while Darcy is heavily a nay.

That night Elizabeth cannot sleep and hears something. She goes out and finds Caroline running around the hall. She tries to talk to her, but Caroline is just not responsive. Instead, Elizabeth deposits her with Mr. Parrish and goes back to her room. Is Caroline really sleepwalking? Why is all this happening so suddenly? (Well you all know what I think. It’s the husband.)

The next day the group set out for Longbourn, when the Bingley’s carriage overturns.

OMG

Jane and Bingley are okay, but they could have been killed. In fact, there coachman died. They all return to Netherfield and the local doctor is called in.

Now they believe the wheel probably came off for normal reasons, and that the Bingley’s nice but inexperienced help just didn’t realize it was in need of repairs. However, I am a devout mystery reader and was trained by the best, Agatha Christie, so I know that this is no mere coincidence, but someone was attempting to murder the Bingleys. I’m still gunning for Mr. Parrish, money as the motive.

Anyways, at the house it turns out that Mr. Kendall has been waiting quite some time to speak to Mr. Bingley. He arrived just after the group set off (meaning he could have tampered with the wheel, and then “arrived” after they all left to give himself an alibi.) Hmm…

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

Mr. Kendall doesn’t care that Mr. Bingley has just been in an accident but demands to see him. And of course, sweet Bingley agrees. Darcy also accompanies them, as he knows without him, Bingley would sign himself over.

Mr. Kendall once again starts charging the family with holding money that is rightfully his. He threatens to take them to court, when Darcy presents his trump card. The Bingleys have proof of his embezzlement and if they do go to court all of England will find out about that and the Kendalls will most likely have to either head to the continent (Europe) or the New World.

Gotcha!

Gotcha!

Mr Kendall is enraged and threatens that he will have his revenge on the Bingley family, no one can stop him. He then storms out, only to storm back in as extreme snow is forcing him to be unable to travel.

the irony iron

Elizabeth keeps dreaming of the carriage wheel falling off, seeing it vividly even though she never witnessed it. She wakes up, and feels that something is not quite right. It is the middle of the night, and all appears to be well, but Elizabeth decides to take a stroll through the house in hopes to calm her mind. She sees a light coming from the library and assumes it must be Bingley, but when she gets closer it is Mr. Kendall and he is rifling through Bingley’s desk. He must be looking for the embezzlement papers! She hides into the next room, until Kendall returns upstairs, and just as she is to go back to her room she spots Caroline. Once again Caroline is pulling a Mrs. Rochester and roaming the house at night. Elizabeth heads toward her to take her back to her room, but after Caroline spots her she returns on her own. Elizabeth goes back to her own room where she tells Darcy about Kendall.

Darcy decides to move the papers and the two go back to sleep. Just as Elizabeth has slipped off to dreamland, she is awakened once more by the calling if her name. She wakes up and realizes that it must have been a dream, but then sees that there is smoke in the room, and FIRE!

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

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

She wakes Darcy, and they quickly wake everyone else up, moving them out of the house. Mr. Bingley and Jane are alright, but they have the worst of the smoke damage as the fire was started outside their room. The Hursts are quite okay, as they were wakened before it was too bad in their wing. Mr. Kendall is also, unfortunately, well as is Mr. Parrish and Professor Randolph. But no one can find Caroline.

Mrs. Hurst is complaining about clothes and being put out, etc, etc. But Elizabeth stops listening as she realizes something very odd. When she was calling there was a fire, Mr. Kendall came running down the stairs, fully dressed. While everyone else is in their night clothes, he is the only one who is dressed right. Pretty strange for a man who had “gone to bed.” Hmmm….almost as if he had known…

Interesting, very interesting.

Interesting, very interesting.

The search for Caroline turns out to be a futile one. Yep, they had her with them the whole time. Caroline is strangely dressed in maid’s clothing, so in the confusion everyone assumed she was a maid. She is badly burned, especially her left hand. They try to question her, but once again Caroline can’t remember. Ever since this whole “thing” started Caroline has been suffering from blackouts. The worst part of the burn is her left fingers, and they try to remove her wedding ring, but Caroline won’t let them.

Mr. Parrish talks to Elizabeth aside from the group and tells her he fears he may have married Mrs. Rochester (not really that’s what I’m calling her). For those of you who have never read any books from the Bronte sisters, Mr. Parrish believes that Caroline may have set the fire and tried to murder her brother and sister-in-law. He now is considering the possibility that an insane asylum is the best way to go.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO! Insane asylums were horrible back in the day. Just horrible. And once you are committed, you would never come out. Men who wanted their wives only for their money, if they didn’t have family members willing to protect them, they would have them committed. Their word was stronger than the “insane” one. Horrible, horrible places. You can say there all kinds of things wrong with mental health facilities today, but none will ever be as bad as back then.

Darcy returns from leading the fire brigade. It turns out that the house wasn’t too damaged, the worst occuring at the master suite while the rest just need airing out from the smoke. The Hursts, Parrishs, Professor Randolph, and Jane go to Longbourn while the clean up is overseen by Darcy and Bingley. Elizabeth remains to be with Darcy, while Mr. Kendall stays as the sky looks bad, (in reality he wants to snoop more).

When Darcy investigates the fire, he finds pieces of Jane’s silver dress in the location of where it started. Weird how they got there as the dress was last seen hanging in the closet. Elizabeth also tells Darcy about her suspicions surrounding Mr. Kendall, and his explanation that he had “fallen asleep in his clothes.” She also tells him about Mr. Parrish’s suspicions of Caroline.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

After everyone has returned, Elizabeth overhears Caroline talking to someone and making fun of her family. While in the past this has angered Elizabeth, she readily welcomes it as it is a sign of the old Caroline. However, when she peeks into the room she sees that Caroline is actually talking to herself.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

Later Elizabeth is asked to sit in during one of Professor Randolph and Caroline’s sessions, as Professor Randolph can’t locate Mr. Parrish. He questions Caroline and she is her normal irritable self and in pain over her ring. Professor Randolph has spearmint around and speaks some phrases in a low voice.

That night is not fun at all. Mr. Kendall is completely rude and insulting. He makes digs at Caroline, insinuates that Mr. Parrish is not all that he seems but a rotter, and that Mr. Hurst is a river rat gambler.

Interesting, very interesting.

Interesting, very interesting.

Darcy and Elizabeth discuss Mr. Kendall’s comments. Could Mr. Hurst be gambling all his money away? Is Mr. Parrish a snake? Is Caroline too far gone for help?

Elizabeth starts thinking about why all this is happening. Could Mr. Hurst have gambled all his money away and is trying to kill Bingley, Jane, and Caroline so that he inherits? Could Mr. Kendall be trying to kill them all? Mr. Darcy is not wholly convinced, but decides to write to friends for some info on Hurst, and keep a close eye on Kendall.

Later, Elizabeth is working on needlework when she is approached by Mr. Parrish. He is attempting a custom he heard about in New Orleans about taking the hair of friends and family to create a good luck charm. He asks for her hair, but Elizabeth refuses, partly because she is not really a friend of Caroline, and because Darcy would be furious that she gave her hair to any man but him. You have to remember that giving of your hair symbolized a very close relationship. Usually the two were engaged, close friends, or related.

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Darcy and Bingley are discussing the repairs of the house and the landlord, when they set off to the billiard room to play pool. There they discover Hurst and Kendall playing, with Hurst not looking as if he is really enjoying himself. Hurst takes off, and Bingley is called away; leaving Darcy with Mr. Kendall.

Karen stop talking

Without any excuse, Darcy plays a game with Kendall. Mr. Kendall talks to Darcy about his dislike for Mr. Parrish. Apparently he was the one who stopped the engagement, contrary to what has been said around town. He thought that Mr. Parrish was too forward, asking his daughter for a lock of hair before he even declared himself. Luckily for Darcy, Mr. Parrish comes in and tells Darcy that Bingley needs him.

Elizabeth and Jane are looking at the poorly hung Christmas decorations. Elizabeth leaves her to grab her bonnet for a walk when she sees Mr. Randolph and Caroline having a session, alone, and no ordinary one. Leaves have been scattered all around her and Professor Randolph is speaking some strange words over her and pressing an object into her left hand. Caroline looked deathly pale. Elizabeth also starts feeling strange, as if the words are coming over her as well.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Elizabeth interrupts them and Professor Randolph acts very suspicious. Not answering any of Elizabeth’s questions at all. Elizabeth finds herself questioning, what this man is really about. Especially when he asks her to keep all that she has seen a secret from everyone.

So now they are up to three suspects.

  1. Mr. Kendall– He could be trying to kill the Bingleys because of the money he feels that he has been cheated out of. He also could be trying to get rid of Caroline because of his daughter being thrown over. Remember, his daughter was with Caroline when her horse bolted.
  2. Mr. Hurst– If his debts are as extremely high as Elizabeth suspects, he might be trying to kill his relations off for money.
  3. 3) Professor Randolph– Professor Randolph has been drifting from place to place as most don’t feel his studies are legitimate. Now that Caroline is crazy, he has room and board as the prime caretaker for Caroline. Maybe he is making her seem crazy, and could even be trying to make it look as if she set the fire, to only further cement Mr. Parrish’s need of him.

And of course my pick, 4) Mr. Parrish- He only married Caroline for her money and is trying to remove her from the picture. He is supposed to be extremely wealthy, but for some people what they have is never enough. Besides, he could be lying about how wealthy he is, or have hidden debt that they don’t know about.

IndianaJonesHmmMaybe

Elizabeth tells Mr. Parrish about the session she saw, and he becomes incensed. He yells at Professor Randolph, nearly knocking him down the stairs.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Mr. Parrish once again brings up the idea of placing Caroline in an insane asylum. To Elizabeth and Darcy’s shock, her family actually is considering doing it. They suggest getting her a nurse, but that idea is shot down. Professor Randolph doesn’t agree as he thinks that Carolin is improving. In fact, he believes a few more sessions with him will help her. But Parrish cuts him off, letting him know that his help is no longer necessary. In fact, as soon as the storm ends Professor Randolph is whole-heartedly invited to leave.

ouch Hermione

 Mr. Darcy receives a letter from his friend, regarding Mr. Hurst. Mr. Hurst had been gambling a lot and owes a whole ton of money. To makes things worse, Mr. Kendall bought up all his IOUs. Buying IOUs was very popular then. Let’s say Steve owes Tom, Dick, and Harry $5 each. George buys the IOUs from the three, paying what is owed. Now Steve owes George $15.  Not only was it beneficial to the person who was owed money, but the person who bought up the IOUs, espechially the big ones, was now in a position of power over the others.

Seeing as Hurst has huge debts, and now is indebted to Kendall, it makes him a much stronger suspect. He might be trying to kill the Bingleys to inherit or doing the dirty work of Mr. Kendall.

The plot thickens

The plot thickens

While the Darcys are going to ask Kendall more questions, they discover his body. Now the question who is trying to kill the Bingleys and who killed Kendall?

*******Attention*******

If you wish to not have the ending spoiled then stop reading. Know that I enjoyed this book immensely, except for a later “supernatural” part. I think that this is something all Austen fans should check out. For those who are okay with me telling them the end, continue.

So now things have changed. Either there are two murderers, one after the Bingleys and the other after Mr. Kendall, or this is one. But why and who?

  1. Mr. Hurst- As stated before, he could have been trying to kill the Bingleys either for the money or because Mr. Kendall is using his debts to force him too. He could have killed Kendall because of his debts to him or to stop him from trying to murder his extended family.
  2. Professor Randolph– Trying to kill the Bingleys, but making it look like Caroline in order to keep a position in the house. Maybe Mr. Kendall knew somthing about him? It’s a weak reason, I know.
  3. Mr. Parrish– Killing the Bingleys for money, killed Mr. Hurst because he knew more about him than Mr. Parrish wanted to be public.

Mrs. Hurst is excused from being a suspect as she is too stupid, and of course Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth, Jane, and Bingley aren’t suspects.

As they further search the crime scene, they discover signs written out in the dust on the floor, the same signs Elizabeth saw on Professor Randolph’s watch. The same watch in the dead man’s clutches

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

When Professor Randolph is questioned, he says that he misplaced his watch. But did he really? But if it was him, why would he leave signs on the ground that would clearly trace everything back to him?

Interesting, very interesting.

Interesting, very interesting.

Professor Randolph tries to get Elizabeth to give him his watch back as Darcy has it. Or forgive me, I forgot to mention that the constable is a bumbling fool and Mr. Darcy is the one who really takes charge of the situation.

Anyways, the rest of the group is questioned, but no one really has anything to help. Elizabeth speaks to Darcy about her suspicions of Professor Randolph. The pentagram symbol on the floor, the way he acted about the watch, the death on the winter solstice, etc. Elizabeth also believes that something unnatural is going on, she can feel it.

supernatural supernatural

Darcy doesn’t agree with her feelings, although he agrees the evidence is pointing toward Professor Randolph.

To only make things better, Miss Kendall descends on the house angry and demanding to know who murdered her father. And Professor Randolph has disappeared.

Of course

None of the maids want to be around Caroline as they are afraid that she is going to hurt them as she is “crazy.” Elizabeth goes in to talk to her and helps take the ring off that has been hurting her finger. As soon as the ring is off, it is as if Caroline has awaken from her haze, she tries to tell Elizabeth something, but is interrupted by Mr. Parrish, who promptly puts the ring back on.

Afterwards, Elizabeth finds herself questioning her suspicions of Professor Randolph. The watch seems to call to her, and she remembers that Professor Randolph had the watch on Caroline’s left hand. And that even though Caroline is right handed her left was injured. And that Caroline has been trying to get rid of the ring on her left hand. Hmm…

Interesting, very interesting.

Interesting, very interesting.

The ring! There is something in that ring. The last time Caroline was normal, she had removed her ring briefly. Professor Randolph must have enchanted it and is controlling her. Darcy doesn’t believe her, so Elizabeth sets off on her own to get that ring off Caroline’s finger on her own.

Darcy goes to look through Mr. Kendall’s things to see if there is something that might lead to the answers of his death. He comes upon Miss Kendall already looking through Mr. Kendall’s papers, and she hands Darcy a letter. The letter says that Mr. Parrish is not who he says he is but a conman known as Jack Diamond. He is a pickpocket, swindler, and murderer. Professor Randolph is a professor, like he said, and frequents pawn shops (unknown as why). Darcy puts all the pieces together, and sets off to find him.

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Meanwhile, Elizabeth goes to see Caroline, intent on removing the ring. She is interrupted by Mr. Parrish and shares her thoughts. Mr. Parrish is not happy as he was the one who cursed the ring. He has bewitched the wedding bands so that he controls Caroline. He killed Kendall too.

He has Caroline tie up Elizabeth, as he contemplates what to do with her. Elizabeth’s maid comes by looking for her, but Mr. Parrish gets rid if her.  Mr. Darcy forces himself in with Mr. Bingley’s pistol, but is forced to concede when he sees Elizabeth held up by knifepoint. Mr. Parrish tosses the gun to Caroline, having her watch over the two. Mr. Parrish decides he is going to take Elizabeth with him, and will ransom her for all of Darcy’s money.

you're evil

Footsteps come down the hallway and Mr. Parrish runs to the door, with the dagger to keep any from coming in. Darcy grabs the fireplace poker to use against him. As Caroline points the gun at Darcy, Elizabeth uses her weight to knock Caroline down. As everyone is struggling and fighting, Bingley and Professor Randolph come in. Mr. Parrish uses the “good luck amulet” to control Bingley and stop Professor Randolph. Professor Randolph yells at Elizabeth to use his amulet, the watch on Caroline. She does and reduces the power. Eventually all overpower Parrish and remove his objects of control.

Professor Randolph uses an oak rod from the museum exhibit, taps it on the objects and says a few words. He “removes” all the power from the objects. He explains that the rings were from the 16th century and that they had been commissioned by a marquis who was jealous of his wife. Professor Randolph wanted to purchase them, but had no money to do so. He met Mr. Parrish, who purchased the rings, paid for Professor Randolph to come with him to America, would possibly fund his next expedition, and could introduce him to other wealthy patrons. Parrish was also very interested in all his work and asked him a gazillion questions. Professor Randolph taught him a charm to make him not in complete control of those he has a lock of hair from, but able to make strong suggestions.

In the end the Darcys finally make it to Pemberley for Christmas

victorian_christmas room decorated for christmas

Mr. Parrish was imprisoned and Caroline began the process of a divorce. The Hursts debts forced them to depart for the continent. Jane and Bingley resumed life as normal, and began searching for a house to buy. Miss Kendall inherited everything from her father, and married. Professor Randolph was able to make it out of the whole drama okay. He believes that Elizabeth has “the power” and offers to help her any time be able to understand and control her gift.

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So I liked the book as I felt it stayed true to the characters, while at the same time Carrie Bebris was able to put her own spin on them. The mystery was good, even though I figured it out very fast. The only think I didn’t like was Elizabeth’s “supernatural” powers. I don’t like supernatural mysteries, so I would have kept that out, but otherwise it was very good novel and I’m looking forward to reading its sequel.

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For more Pride & Prejudice, go to Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart

For more retellings of Pride & Prejudice, go to The Accidental Bride

For more on works inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, go to Happy Birthday Pride & Prejudice

For more mysteries, go to A Whole Lot of Fanfare