A Man Without a Face: The Bat (1959)

thebat-final

“One of his victims who lived for a moment after she was found described the Bat as a man without a face.”

So every year I talk about how great Vincent Price is and how he has made truly amazing films in which he plays a terrifying, horrifying, and thrilling person.

VincentPrice

The past three years I just haven’t gotten around to reviewing any of his famous works (although I did review Laura last year.) So this year I decided it was time to finally review one of his horror-suspense films. So prepare yourself for:

sensationhorrorshock_VincentPrice

As I present to you The Bat!

So this is another film off the 50 Greatest Horror Classics Collection, like The Screaming Skull, Night of the Living Dead, etc. This film is based on a play written by Mary Roberts Rineheart. Now I’m not a huge fan of this author, I find her boring, but if Vincent Price is in it, it must be good.

VincentPrice

So we  begin our story looking at a beautiful mansion, The Oaks.

rebeccamansionmanderley

Here mystery writer Cornelia van Gorder is staying while she works on her newest novel. But the events that occur here are more mysterious and terrible than anything Cornelia has ever written.

Cornelia van Gorder: As an author I write tales of mystery and murder, but the things that have happened in this house are far more fantastic than any book I’ve ever had published.

Right away we are sucked in. What happened?

Suspense have to know

So Cornelia is having a hard time keeping her servants. There was a killer called “The Bat”, who was murdering people. There is a rumor that he is back and on the prowl.

Cornelia van Gorder: Why? What does it say about the Bat?

Lizzie Allen: His specialty seems to be killing women, my goodness, two of them in one night, all his victims died the same way, like their throats had been ripped open with steel claws.

Cornelia van Gorder: That’s charming, I’ll have to try it some time. [Lizzie stares at her weird]  In a book.

I guess he’s the pre-Freddy Kruegar.

Freddy Kruger

To make things even worse, he has been releasing rabid bats into the community.

a7x_deathbat_animation_by_xxdarksoraxx-d3eogbz

Now Cornelia doesn’t care if the servants are too scared to work there as she thinks the whole thing is silly. If everyone leaves, she’ll just replace them. She and her assistant Lizzie leave to run some errands.

When they reach the bank they meet a very surprised Victor Bailey, vice president to the bank. John Fleming, the bank president and owner of The Oaks, said he would never let the place.

never-say-never-in-front-of-fantasy_1279

Cornelia tells them that Mark was the one who actually rented it to them. They then meet Victor’s wife, Dale, who used to be his secretary. Lt. Andy Anderson also comes in and is introduced to Cornelia. Lt. Andy is on the bank board. Interesting…I didn’t think cops that much money.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

So Cornelia and Lizzie go off to do what they came to do. Suddenly Victor comes back extremely upset and takes aside Lt. Andy and Dale. It turns out the bank been looted over $1 million worth of securities!

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

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

But who could do this? Only Victor and Mr. Flemming have the keys!

suspicious Hmm

Victor wants to call him, but can’t as he is on vacation with his best friend, Dr. Malcolm Wells, on a huting trip on the deep woods with no phone.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

So then we switch to another scene of two men in a cabin. They are John Flemming and Dr. Malcolm (Vincent  Price).

John asks the doctor:

John Fleming: Doctor.

Dr. Malcolm Wells: Yes, John?

John Fleming: What would you do for half a million dollars?

Dr. Malcolm Wells: Anything short of murder.

John Fleming: Why not murder?

Dr. Malcolm Wells: Too messy.

John Fleming: Too great a risk?

Dr. Malcolm Wells: For half a million, yes.

John Fleming: I pinched a million from the bank.

JamaicaInnItwasYou

Yes John is the culprit. He embezzled $1 million dollars from the bank, framed Victor, and know is in the stage of how to disappear without anyone realizing he was the thief and hid all the money in his house. And that’s where the Doctor comes in.

John Flemming: I have a weak heart. What if you called and said I died, and then ship my body back. We don’t need an open casket.

Dr. Malcolm Wells: Where do we get a body?

John Flemming: We’ll provide one. We could kill Sam our guide. He’s a hermit and no one would care.

Dr. Malcolm Flemming: The local undertaker would know.

John Flemming: Not if we mess up his face.

Dr. Malcolm Flemming: Why do all this if you set up Bailey?

John Flemming: The jury might acquit. I am a logical suspect, and could try to disappear, but it is safer if I am dead.

Dr. Malcolm isn’t really feeling it, but John threatens he will kill him if he says no. Better for him to say yes and get a part of the money. While the two are talking, the woods catch on fire. John goes to investigate and when he turns around he sees Dr. Malcolm with a gun.

John Flemming: Doctor, we need to get out the back way. 

[Turns around and sees Dr. Malcolm pointing a gun at him]

Dr. Malcolm Wells: We will, as soon as I provide that body we’ve been talking about.

So back at the Oaks, Cornelia is trying to play solitaire but the lights keep flickering.

Never a good sign.

Never a good sign.

Lizzie comes in with the newspaper. Victor Bailey arrested for embezzlement, John Fleming is  dead, and Dr. Malcolm brings the body back to put in tomb this Friday.

Meanwhile, creepy things have been going on at the Oaks.

Lizzie Allen: This is his house, and ever since he [John Flemming] died, some funny things have happened here.

Cornelia van Gorder: For instance?

Lizzie Allen: The housekeeper, the cook and the butler said that they heard strange noises at night, and the upstairs maid swore she met a man without a face coming up the back stairs.

Cornelia van Gorder: Oh so that’s why they quit and left me to run this place without a staff.

Lizzie Allen: They didn’t tell you, Miss Gordy, but the truth is they were scared to stay.

Cornelia van Gorder: Why? What does it say about the Bat?

Lizzie Allen: His specialty seems to be killing women, my goodness, two of them in one night, all his victims died the same way, like their throats had been ripped open with steel claws.

Creepy!

Creepy!

So the two ladies are the only ones at home. They have a chauffeur, but he is gone for the night. To make matters worse, it is super windy and in an old house everything seems to rustle, move, and go bump in the night.

Lizzie Allen: [The wind is banging a shutter against the house] That ain’t nothing, just something bumping against the house. [Wind blows a door open and closedThat’s just the wind banging the door, pay no attention to it. Listen to this, One of his victims who lived for a moment after she was found described the Bat as a man without a face’. Honestly, Miss Gordy, I think that woman was exaggerating. [A tapestry blows against an open windowThat’s just the taphestry at the top of the stairs.

Cornelia van Gorder: I know, I know, I’ve heard it before on a windy night [Tapestry clinks a shaking suit of armorThat sounds as if someone were on the stairs, I know there isn’t, at least there shouldn’t be.

Lizzie Allen: Them’s just the noises you hear in any old house on a windy night.

Even though it’s probably nothing:

Gilmore girls creep

So while the two go upstairs and continue talking, we see a man at the front door, opening it and sticking his clawed hand in.

I guess a backwards wolfman?

They see it, lock the door and run upstairs calling the police. They think they are safe, but little do they know the Bat has cut a hole in the glass on the door and has come inside.

Scream-Casey-Becker-drew-barrymore-31896958-2560-1088

The officers are on there way, but Cornelia and Lizzie take extra measure. They not only lock the doors, but push all the furniture against the door. They think they are safe, but the transom over the door has no lock, or way for them to keep it closed. Cornelia decides to put something in front of it, that way if someone tries to come through there, they will set off her booby trap.

The two women are scared and decide to share the room that night. Lizzie goes to get her night items, but doesn’t know that the Bat is creeping outside her door.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

Luckily lightening flashes and shows the shadow:

thebat1959shadowclaw

Causing Lizzie to run back inside the room.

The police finally call back, saying they see nothing outside her house. She tells them he is inside now and shouts that she has a gun and is not afraid to use (she doesn’t really. Just trying to scare the Bat.)

The police search everywhere, but find nothing.

Whattheheck

Where did he go?

They go on guard outside, and the women try to sleep, but are having an extremely hard time.

i'mscared

Meanwhile, the Bat has opened the transom and released a bat into the room. It lands on Lizzie biting her, and then flying into the closet.

Lizzie is freaked!

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

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

So just knows she is going to get rabies and die.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

They call Dr. Malcolm, but the answering service can’t get a hold of him. They promise to keep trying and if still can’t will send another doctor.

Meanwhile, Dr. Malcolm is home. He is in his lab working on some experiments. He is studying and testing bats.

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But is he trying to study the bats to find a cure? Or is he trying to find a way to kill the women and get the million dollars John stole?

suspicious Hmm

Unbeknownst to the doctor, Lt. Andy is creeping around his house. He touches his car to see if it is hot from a recent drive, looks through the windows, etc.

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

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

While he is watching him, the service finally gets through and reaches the doctor. He puts the bat away and heads out to help.

While he is gone the Detective breaks into office, and looks around. He opens the window shades sees a bat. Does this mean he is the Bat?

a7x_deathbat_animation_by_xxdarksoraxx-d3eogbz

So it looks like they are trying to say that Dr. Malcolm is the Bat, but I don’t think he is the one as it is too obvious.

So the doctor goes to the house and examines Lizzy, asking for the bat to examine and see if it is rabid.

Dr. Malcolm Wells: Pity you are in this house. I don’t want to alarm you, but so many unexplainable things happen here. It has an apprehension of disaster.

He looks at the bat, but it is not rabid. He places him in his doctor bag and makes plans to return the next day. He starts to leave but sees someone, who’s there?

thebat1959shadowclaw

But it is just Lt. Andy. Should we sigh in relief or be afraid? Could he be the Bat?

suspicious Hmm

Lt. Andy asks a lots of questions.

Lt. Andy Anderson: How did a Bat get in?

Dr. Malcolm Wells: There are lots of ways for bats to get in a house

Lt. Andy Anderson: Well you should know.

What is he implying? A Bat lover? Or The Bat?!!!

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

The Detective notices the cut glass on the door and figures that must be how the bat got in.

Dr. Malcolm Wells: I phoned twice, weren’t you there Andy?

Lt. Andy Anderson: No, but they called me. I have a man patrolling outside.

Dr. Malcolm Wells: No one inside, Andy?

Lt. Andy Anderson: Why should there be?

That is a weird answer. There is a crazy man who tried to get in the house twice!!! There should be more policeman, not less.

So I definitely think it is not Vincent Price, as it is too obvious. From what little I have read of Mary Roberts Rineheart is she tells you a mystery, giving you limited knowledge so she can do some big reveal at the end.

Really?

Really?

In my personal expertise in film watching, Vincent Price is far too perfect to be the Bat. My money is on Lt. Andy or the nephew we have heard so much about, but have yet to see.

Hmm...

Hmm…

So the Lt. is quite sure that the Bat is not in the house as he suspects it is Dr. Malcolm, but decides to put someone in the house anyway.

The next day the Lt. goes to see Mark Flemming, John’s nephew. He has just bought all new office furniture. Is he squandering his inheritance? Nope he hasn’t received it yet. The Lt. finds that strange as he left the whole fortune to Mark? But it turns out that the whole fortune is missing. What happened to it?

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

Lt. Andy needs to find the missing million dollars.  All his money was in the securities stolen, if he can’t find the money, he’s out everything. He suspects John Flemming, even though the only fingerprints on it was Victors Bailey’s. To the Lt., he knows John is wily enough to plant everything. Besides the secretary has some new evidence she will give at trial.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

At the Oaks the next day, there is quite a party. The secretary is there, getting a book from Cornelia. Dale Bailey is also there, hoping they might figure out a way to save him. The Dr. also comes to check on Lizzie.

batparty

Cornelia has her chauffeur back and has a new employee, John’s old housekeeper Mrs. Patterson.

They start discussing who took the money, and Cornelia believes it was John who did it. Judy agrees as she saw something that made her suspect him. Cornelia suspects that if John were the one to do it, he would hide all the money in the house. There must be some secret room or safe.

Hmm...

Hmm…

They need the blueprints to look it up. Dale decides to call Mark and ask if he has any blueprints. Mark was speaking with Lt. Andy, and when he hears Dale ask for the blueprints, he knows she is after the loot. Mark promises to come over that night and look for the blueprints in the house, also promising to call the Lt. if he does find them.

That night the women  are having dinner when Mark comes over and lets himself in.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Weird. He was invited to the house so why is he sneaking around like a criminal. That means, he doesn’t want the girls to know he is there. He doesn’t want to share the blueprints, he wants them all to himself. But as he heads straight to the secret wall/compartment that holds them, the Bat starts creeping behind him.

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Mark finds blueprint, but the Bat kills him before he can ever make a sound. The Bat has the blueprints, but hears the women coming, and moves the clock in front of the compartment. He then takes off before the women spot him.

The women go to the room, where they hear the clock working, even though it hasn’t in ten years. Dale looks at it and notices that there os a door behind the clock. They move the clock and open the door to find…

Victim #14 &15

They call police, the Lt. isn’t there. They call him in his car and he goes on his way. The Doctor also heads out there, and finds that the body has been dead for half an hour. The bell rings, and it is Warner the Chauffeur/Butler. He had to use the front door as he lost his keys.

The Lt. question all the staff  and doesn’t trust Warner, as they have met before. Where or when cannot remember, but will eventually.

So who knew Mark was coming  the Lt. Andy, Warner, Judy, Dale, Lizzie, & Dr. Malcolm Hmm…

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

So that night all the women go to their rooms. Lt Andy promises to stay and protect them. But what if he is the Bat?

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

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

The Lt. promises they will be safe with him. Yeah right! No one is safe from the Bat!!

batclawcomingafter

Warner is watching the police and doctor as they head to the door. Could it be because he is the Bat?

hmm...

hmm…

The Dr. leaves, with the Lt. staying until the windows and doors are good, then promising to return in the morning.

WHY???? WHY???? If he knows the Bat has been coming around, why would he do that.

That night the Bat goes into the house. He cuts all the wires for the phones, making sure no calls will be made. He goes into a room being used for storage, the women have all their suitcases and trunks in there. He starts banging on the walls, hammering them to find the opening.

Meanwhile, the women all hear the noises which freaks them out. Cornelia tries to call the police but the phone won’t work.

dangerous crossingphoneringsscared

Meanwhile, Dale has decided she is going to investigate what that noise is. Her roommate Judy is trying to stop her, but Dale wants to save her husband, so she goes upstairs to look.

She goes to the room and tries to look inside, the Bat hiding behind the door. He pulls and tosses her in, running downstairs were Judy is, knocking her out of the way and down the stairs. Cornelia tosses something at his head, beaning him on the way out.

Shadow of a doubt stairs creepy look

Judy is dead.

The Lt. comes back and heads straight for Judy.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

They ask him where he went as he was, and he said he was following someone out the back.

suspicious Hmm

They go looking for everyone, and can’t find Warner. He comes inside and says he was following the Lt. to help him, getting brained and knocked out. Was he?

suspicious Hmm

It turns out that the Lt. finally remembers where he saw him before. On a circular for wanted men. Warner claims he was tried and found innocent. Just as they are talking, the Dr. shows up.  All three suspects in one area. But which one?

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

They ask the doctor what he is doing back here, and he tells them he was in a car accident, and his wheel fell off in the ditch. He came to get help, as his head is bleeding. Hmm…?

suspicious Hmm

We go back to Cornelia dictating the story. The next night she decided she was going to pursue this mystery alone. She saw the police downstairs asleep, and heads up to the room where the Bat was w0rking on the walls. All I can think is why didn’t they try open it up in the daytime?

While she goes up, we spot Warner walking around downstairs.

Meanwhile, The Bat is in the Doctor’s lab. He is leaving suicide note, planning on killing the Doc and lying all the blame on him. But just as he finishes, who should show up but the Doctor, who doesn’t take kindly to this plan. He threatens the Bat. It looks like the Doctor will be murdering him like he did John. The Bat races toward him and the two begin fighting. The Doctor is shot accidentally, Bat leaves having completed mission. I knew it wasn’t him.

Screen shot 2015-10-03 at 12.20.02 AM

Aw that’s sad, I liked the doctor, because I love Vincent Price. Too bad. 😦

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

That night, Lizzie wakes up looking for Corelia but can’t find her anywhere. She rushes downstairs and wakes the police officer up, looks like he’d been slipped a mickey tp be knocked out. She wakes up the housekeeper and asks her to fetch Warner.

WE NEED TO FIND CORNELIA!!!

WE NEED TO FIND CORNELIA!!!

So Cornelia is locked up in a secret room. The officer calls Lt. Andy but they are looking for him to investigate the murder of the Doctor. And it turns out that Warner is missing! Down to two! Who could it be???

They finally find Cornelia who is currently fainting from lack of air. When they get inside the Cop finds the control panel on wall and  a safe. But just then the garage catches on fire!

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

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

The detective wants to put it out, but Cornelia says to let it burn.

Cornelia van Gorder: Can’t you see that fire was set to get us out of the house?

Detective Davenport: Out of the hou… are you talking about the…

Cornelia van Gorder: Yes, yes, I’m talking about the Bat! Now that the lights are out, he’ll think his trick has worked, and we’ve gone, here’ll be here in a minute.

Detective Davenport: So will Lieutenant Anderson.

Cornelia van Gorder: I hope so but the Bat will be here first, and he’ll KILL AGAIN if we get in his way… we’ve got to be as clever as he is!

They wait in room, when the Bat comes creeping in door. The officer gets knocked out and the Bat is about to shoot the women, when he is shot in the back by someone…who?

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

It is Warner!!! He saved them!!! Yay, I liked him.

And we see the Bat was the Lt. after all. He did it so he could get his money back. The only question I have, was he the orginal murdering Bat? Or was that a persona he choose to throw suspicion off himself? I guess we won’t ever know.

TheEnd_Title_2

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Whoops! Almost forgot the banner/facebook cover/mini poster:

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

For the previous post, go to We’re Mad Scientists. We’re Monsters: Avengers, Age of Ultron (2015)

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For more on Vincent Price, go to Murder is My Favorite Crime: Laura (1944)

For more on the 50 Greatest Horror Classics Collection, go to She Cries in the Night: The Screaming Skull (1958)

For more films based on plays, go to I Do Think You Are Confused, Mrs. Bowman: Dangerous Crossing (1953)

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There are Thirteen Chairs at the Table…And That’s Unlucky: Mystery of the 13th Guest (1943)

Mystery_of_the_13th_Guest

There are thirteen chairs at the table.

Yeah, and that’s unlucky.

So I found this film on Amazon Instant Watch. It was an old film with not much of synopsis, but I thought I would take a gamble and try it out. If it sucked, I could just stop and watch something else; if it rocked, then I would have a new great movie to add to my list. A win-win situation.

dean whinchester shrug smile oh well

And as 13 plays a huge role in this film, I decided to post it on October 13 at 13:13pm (1:13 civilian time). 🙂

So the film starts out with a type of dun, dun, dun music across the credits making it dramatic and bringing out shivers.

dun-dun-duuuun

shiver

How come they don’t do that anymore? Today they do a voiceover, narration, or pop song to sell the soundtrack. *Sigh* The world we live in. I miss the dramatic flair we used to have.

So a girl (Helen Parrish) is coming to a house after it being closed up for thirteen years. Not only that, but she decides to go at like 12:00 am, why not wait until daylight?

Gilmore girls creep

She asks the cab to wait for her while she goes in the house. I wouldn’t want to, but he’s nice enough to.

She uses a flashlight to check out the rooms, when she notices a phone. A phone?

Mysteryofthe13thGuestPhone

Weird. Why would there be a phone in a house that’s been closed for thirteen years? And who would do it?

Sounds suspicious

Sounds suspicious

Unfortunately, the phone switchboard operator can’t give out that information. As the girl continues to walk around the house, she decides to try the lights and guess what? They work too.

Gilmore girls creep

Someone has been in the house. Someone has opened it up. But who? Who would do that? And why?!

weird

The girl doesn’t really think on it, as she has other things on her mind. She remembers the last dinner that was held here, thirteen years ago. In it she was given an envelope and asked to wait until her 21st birthday to open. That’s why she is here at 12:00am.

As she goes into the room she looks at the table and remembers where everyone was sitting.

Mysteryofthe13thGuestPhone

Grandpa was at the center, with her next to him, then Mr. Barksdale, Uncle Adam, Aunt Lucille, Uncle John, Harold, Aunt Martha, Tom, Marjory, Uncle Wayne, Aunt Joan, and the 13th guest…. The thirteen chair was empty.

hmmm...I wonder why?

hmmm…I wonder why?

Grandpa is sick and dying. He knows it is his last party and that most of the people at the table want him dead. He gives an envelope to Marie, the girl who is remembering, telling her not to open it until her 21st birthday, forcing everyone to wait until then.

Mysteryofthe13thGuest13years

Kind of harsh grandpa, but it is his money so he can do whatever he wants with it. In fact no one knows what is in the envelope, not even the lawyer. And now the time has finally come. She can open it.

Suspense have to know

So she opens it and the paper says:

13-13-13

whatsthedeal

What’s this supposed to be? A safety deposit box number? Code to a safe? Thanks a lot grandpa.

uh-no-gif

As she is looking at the  note, there is some creaking in the house. There is someone inside!!!!

Marie goes to make a phone call, leaving the room. Then we hear a gunshot and a scream!

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

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

The taxi driver is freaked out and takes off. He goes to the nearest phone and calls the cops. They head over, with Lead Detective Lt. Burke and his constantly asleep partner “Speed” Dugan. And seriously, he is always falling asleep.

WakeUpNoThankYou

He doesn’t seem to be a good detective at all. He should try another profession.

Meanwhile, whilst all that is going on, Uncle Adam has decided that the opening of the will, will bring out the worst in the family. He’s afraid that one of the remaining seven possible inheritors will try something, maybe even hurt Marie as she holds some kind of clue with that envelope.

Her in this case

Them in this case

He asks Private Investigator Johnny Smith (Dick Purcell) to get on the case and protect Marie.

Instantly I think, it will be one of those mysteries.

Mmhm great gatsby

It’s going to be one of those mysteries where the P.I. and girl will meet and he will fall for her and try to protect her. She’ll be as tough as nails, while still a damsel in distress.

herculesdamselindistresscanhandlegoodbyehaveaniceday

But in the end he will help her and she will fall for him. 🙂

MeanGirls I know right!

In the next scene the police detectives have come on the scene and discover Marie’s dead body.

Say What

Yes, dead body.

Whattheheck

NO, no, no, no, no, no, no ,no, no. She can’t be dead. She’s not dead, they must be mistaken. She has to end up with the P.I.

Mysteryofthe13thguestdead

The P.I. comes in and explains he was hired to protect the girl, and the detective tells him too bad, you are too late. She’s dead.

hold-up-wait-a-minute-let-me-put-some-pimpin-in-it

You can’t do that! You can’t go around switching things!!!! There’s a formula to this!!!!!!!!

Randy Scream

Sorry, back on track. Well…I guess…I guess they did kill her off. Weird, it’s like they pulled a Psycho before Psycho even came out. Weird. I thought Alfred Hitchcock was the first to do something like that.

rebeccaitwasallalie

Childhood broken.

Why

So it’s odd that she is in the chair instead if by the phone, were we, the viewer, last saw her. That means only one thing, this killer, whoever they are, purposely moved her to the table to send a message by placing her at the table. But what message?

themysteryofthe13thguest

So 13 has a lot of fears surrounding it. There is the superstition of “13 at Dinner”, the first to get up will die. Friday the 13th is supposed to be full of bad luck, and there is no 13th floor on most hotels and office buildings. A coven of witches was made of 13 people. There were 13 steps to the gallows.

So the doctor examines the body and is unsure how she died. His best guess, until he can really examine her, is that she died of electrocution.

ouch Hermione

The detectives haven’t figured out how they did it, but know there must be a conductor around here somewhere.

When the phone rings the detective goes to answer, but they are hung up on. While the phone company is tracing the call, one of the detectives reports that the lightbulbs in the room are all burned out, reaffirming that electrocution was what killed the girl and what is causing these issues.

You know what that means. Someones coming after you.

You know what that means. Bad things.

It turns out that the phone call was from the Lowry Hotel. Lt. Burke sends out his lazy or narcoleptic detective. But he can’t leave. Why? Someone stole their squad car.

stupidestThingeverheard

Why would you steal a squad car? Do you want to go to jsil?

So they put out an APB on the car and also grab the rest of the Morgan family.

They question Marie’s cousin Tom, and her brother Harold, [aka Bud]. They discover that Marie’s 21st birthday was the day before, and that’s why she opened up the house so late. They ask about where everyone was laid out, and the police find out that not only was there a missing guest, but that the killer placed Marie in the exact spot where she had been sitting on the night if the last dinner.

They ask them for a diagram to be better understand where everyone was sitting.

mysteryofthe13thguest

By now, they have figured out the caller was John Barksdale, the lawyer. He also was the one who had the phone plugged in and the lights turned on. He left the hotel at 1:00am and hasn’t been seen since.

Back at the mansion, Speed is on duty and has, you guessed it, fallen asleep.

StarWarsComaSleep

This makes it easy for John Barksdale to sneak into the house.

Somewhere in the house a shadow looms.

nosferatu_D

Barksdale heads straight to the library, and starts moving books around.

GirlWithBooksLibrary

As he does this, we see in a secret room the shadow turns out to be a masked man.

Mysteryofthe13thGuest

He makes the phone ring and when Barskdale touches the phone,

batmanBamSmackKaboom

Electrocuted!

Who is this masked person? Is it Uncle Wayne, Uncle Adam, Tom, or Harold?

WhoDoneItMystery?

 When Speed hears the noise in the house he takes off. The detectives return to the mansion where they find Barksdale dead, and seated in his place at the table.

Mysteryofthe13thGuest

 Johnny Smith is the only smart detective in this film, and he figures out that the killer is killing them off in the order they were seated at the table. That means that it has to be one of the original guests as how could anyone else know where they were.

But which one?

But which one?

But that’s not the biggest surprise of the day, Marie is alive!!!

Say What

YES! Marie is ALIVE. And guess who had it all figured out? Johnny Smith. He noticed scarring on the dead girl’s face, and suspected that she wasn’t really Marie but made to look like her. But who is behind it? And where has Marie been the whole time?

It turns out that Marie heard the scream and gunshot, and hid upstairs. When she thought it was safe she came out and saw herself, dead!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

She freaked out, stole the police car, and has been hiding out, afraid for her life. Lt. Burke finds it fishy, Johnny Smith however, believes her wholeheartedly, and is also extremely attracted to her.

howyoudoingfriendsjoey

They put her in a room as they discuss what this all means. She decides to sneak out to the library to call her brother.

NOOOO! Don’t do it Marie, it’s the DEATH PHONE!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

The music starts building!!!!!

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

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

But luckily, Johnny steps in and stops her. Good thing as the man in the mask was watching her and was going to kill her.

They round everyone up and put them in a room together. They talk about who the killer might be, with Marie saying she thinks it is Uncle Adam. I don’t know if she is serious or not, but that is way harsh.

Johnny warns Adam that the murderer is killing people in the order they sat at the table, so Adam better watch out as he is next.

Spoke too soon

So all of Marie’s relatives suck. None of them care about her, espechially Marjorie. The only one who seems happy to see her is her brother Harold.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

They are pretty horrible: bitter, brash, barbs flying all over, etc. Johnny Smith has had enough, and has them all arrested.

How can he do that? He’s not a cop? Whatever!

Johnny and the cops head back to the mansion where they find another dead body.

Victim #14 &15

It turns out to be Uncle Wayne. He showed up late as he came from California. It looks like the killer left the phone electrocution device on. They still haven’t found the machinery, so it must be in a secret room. That clinches it, it must be one of the orginal party people. But which one?

whatdoyouthinkTwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

They decide to release them all, and tail them.

Johnny Smith calls Marie and warns her not to share what was in the note, as someone is trying to kill for that information. And what does she do right after? Tell Harold and Tom that it was 13-13-13.

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

Come on, didn’t you just listen to what he said!

Every time!

Marjory spots her tail right away as Speed is no good at all. He ends up failing asleep in a cab heading to Atlantic City.

loser

The plastic surgeon hears of the story in the news, and comes down. They ask him if the man matches Barksdale’s appearance, but it turns out to not be him. They all head over to see Marie, but it turns out she isn’t there. She had received a message to go to the mansion to meet Johnny Smith. But Johnny Smith didn’t write any message.

Spoke too soon

This tends to happen in mysteries/thrillers/horror film/books a lot. I guess moral is to always double check that you are supposed to meet with that person.

As they are heading out to the mansion, the plastic surgeon sees a photo of Tom, and recognizes him as the man who brought the woman in.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

They all hurry to save Marie! They meet up with Tom at the mansion and it turns out he and Barksdale were in it together, in order to steal the fortune away. But, he claims to not be the killer. Hmm…

whatdoyouthinkTwilightzoneRealmartianpleasestandup

While Marie is trying to figure out where Johnny is, the masked man attacks her from behind, trying to bring her down the cellar in the second room.

Tuesdaythe17th scream ah

Luckily, Johnny and the police make it in time. They tear the library wall apart, and follow the masked man, taking him out and saving Marie.

And the masked man is……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

come on

Uncle Adam

Yep, his kindly all I want to help my niece was a lie. He wanted her dead, and everyone else, so he could have all the money.

And it turned out Marie knew it all along and so did Johnny Smith.

It turns out that the Grandpa left all his money to Marie. He thought the best way to protect Marie was to make everyone wait 13 years.  His thinking was that everyone would die or not care about who got the money after all that time. Oh the irony, as by doing that and making them wait, he did that he built up so much resentment that he almost caused her to be murdered.

the irony iron

And in the end Johnny and Marie get together. I KNEW IT!!!!!! Faith restored.

dean whinchester shrug smile oh well

So you might have noticed, they don’t solve the mystery of the 13th guest. This film is actually a remake of a 1930s film, which is based on a book. I’ll have to get a copy of those to see if they answer it.

The best of my knowledge the 13th guest is A) left empty because of the superstition that the first of 13 to rise will die within a year; B) the 13th guest is the devious side of Uncle Adam, or C) the 13th guest is a red herring.

Whether they solve the “mystery of the 13th guest” or not, this was a good film.

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1943Mysteryofthe13thGuest

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

For the previous post, go to Gypsy Justice: Thinner (1996)

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For more on the mystery side, go to A Haunting We Will Go: The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977)

For more films based on books, go to That Place…There’s Queer Things Goes On There: Jamaica Inn (1939

For more remakes done well, go to Beast or Man: The Wolfman (2010)

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In other news, this is my 600th post. Yay!

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This time, it only took me five months instead of six to reach that. Wow!

For my 500th post, go to Fantom of the Opera

For the 400th post, go to The After Party