Catherine Morland’s Reading List: The Murders in the Rue Morgue

So the idea of Catherine Morland’s Reading List came mostly from the fact that I am a huge Gothic fiction/mystery fan. Before I met Jane Austen I devoured all these books that I know, if Catherine was alive, she would have been reading.

It started with reading one, and then before I knew it I had a list of 30 I was planning on eventually reviewing. What can I say…

Of course, if you are into Gothic fiction, you have to be into Edgar Allan Poe

I LOVE Edgar Allan Poe. I grew up reading his short stories over and over and over again. It’s funny, but I actually got interested because of the Ray Bradbury short story “The Fall of the House of Usher” from The Martian Chronicles. The story references all these Edgar Allan Poe stories, so I had to read them-and after one I was hooked!

So with his stories, I’m going to review them one by one as there are sooooo many. It would be an incredibly looooooooooooooong post to do them all in one.

Today we are going to start with the first Edgar Allan Poe story I have ever read, AND one of my favorites!

This story and detective, C. Auguste Dupin, are also believed to be the first detective mystery story ever written (not first mystery-first detective mystery.) Dupin is thought to being the forerunner to Sherlock Holmes in his ways of observation and sleuthing, Many believe that Doyle copied Poe, even though Doyle insists that Holmes is based on a professor he had while attaining his medical degree.

Hmm…

Whether it is a copy or not, I don’t care. I love both-you know me:

Mystery, you say?

“The Murders in the Rue Morgue (C. Auguste Dupin Mysteries #1)” from The Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allen Poe

C. Auguste Dupin is from an old, established, wealthy family, but has lost all his money and is now poor. He still has a little bit of money, enough to let him live and afford his greatest vice, books.

Dupin lives with his friend, the nameless narrator, and astounds him with his deductive reasoning, being able to tell what he is thinking!

Wow!

One morning they look in the paper and see the headline EXTRAORDINARY MURDERS.

The night before Madame L’Espanaye and her daughter, residents of Rue Morgue, were heard screaming in the middle of the night. People heard and tried to get in, but every door and window was locked on the ground floor. They eventually gained access by using a crowbar.

When they came in the room they found it in incredible discord and destruction.

It gets pretty dark here, just a ***SPOILER ALERT***

The women were found with a razor caked with blood and the Madame’s gray tresses also dripping in blood, looking as if ripped from the head. Both women’s necks were cut so badly they were practically separated from their necks.

Horrifying!

Both women were also shoved up the chimney.

Everyone was questioned but no one knows why it was committed, who did it, or how. Everyone who came in heard the voice of whoever committed the act but could not understand the language. Some think it was Spanish, others Italian, etc.

Hmmm…

Dupin becomes interested in the case and follows it in all the papers. The only thing that was open was a window on one of the high stories. But how could anyone get in?

Hmmm

Dupin believes he has the case solved and places an ad in the newspaper to catch the killer. Has he figured it out? Who could have done such a horrible act?

Hmm…

I love this story and the ending is fantastic. I personally think this is the best of the Dupin mysteries, even though everyone always goes on about The Purloined Letter.

For more on Catherine Morland’s Reading List, go to Catherine Morland’s Reading List: The Inn at Half Moon Bay

For more gothic tales, go to Book Club Picks: Wuthering Heights

Horrorfest VII: Your New Nightmare

So tomorrow is October 1st, you know what that means:

HORRORFEST!!!!!!

31 Days of horror, suspense, mystery, film noir, monsters, ghosts, Alfred Hitchcock, Lifetime, aliens, witchcraft, murder, cyborgs, and more.

Last year Horrorfest was a bit of a downer. My charger broke and I tried to catch up but only was able to do like 17. This year I am working overtime to be sure that I have them all finished.

A couple years ago I put Jane Austen in a costume and added it to my Horrorfest tradition. Last year I Moreland dressed up as Sherlock Holmes, so I decided to have Jane do so this year.

For more Sherlock Holmes, go here.

So here we go!

To start Horrorfest from the beginning, go to I Don’t Belong in the World: Carnival of Souls (1962)

To start Horrorfest II from the beginning, go to There Are Many Strange Legends in the Amazon: The Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954)

To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart: The Wolf Man (1941)

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

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

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

 

Your Cases Have Indeed Been of the Greatest Interest to Me: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Day 3) C is for Childhood: Choose a book you used to check out repeatedly when you were a Child.

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So there are lots of books I used to read over and over again as a child.

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The ones I remember reading the most were The Chronicles of Narnia and the children’s version of The Phantom of the Opera.

But there is another book(s) that I used to read over and over, Sherlock Holmes short stories.

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As I have mentioned before, I grew up reading the Great Illustrated Classics series and that introduced me to the character Sherlock Holmes. After I read one children’s’ collection, I read every short story there was about him written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

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I even read stories based on him, like the Sherlock Holmes Solo Mysteries, (which was like Choose Your Own Adventure), and I was a giant fan of Basil of Baker Street.

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So yeah, I was obsessed.

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I thought Sherlock Holmes was so cool and wanted to be like him.

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The only thing I didn’t read were the Sherlock Holmes novels, I guess because my library didn’t have those available in children’s form. I actually didn’t read those until I was an adult.

Oh well.

Oh well.

I remember one day we were traveling somewhere and were listening to Sherlock Holmes on tape; and I was the only one in the car who had read the ones being read before hearing them on cassette. It was weird as a child to think I knew something my parents didn’t.

Thinking Hmm

So there are a lot of stories to choose from and of course I don’t have the time to talk bout them all. In fact out of all the stories I remember the most, they are from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, so I choose that collection over any other.

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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

So I will only pick three stories: A Scandal in Bohemia, The Man With the Twisted Lip, and The Adventure of the Copper Beeches.

***Spoilers***

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A Scandal in Bohemia

So many have probably read this story, seen the Sherlock version (which I hated), or heard of it.

I know this

I know this

A Bohemian Prince comes to Sherlock, first in disguise but of course Sherlock sees through that, to ask for his help. He is to be married, but before the engagement had sent letters and a photograph with the beautiful Irene Adler. He has tried to get it back through begging, payment, bribery, theft, etc; but nothing has netted it.

NO ONE

Sherlock does some reconnaissance on her and ends up being the witness at her wedding!

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Whattheheck

This strange turn of events doesn’t prepare Sherlock for how things will turn out for him.

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Sherlock continues on his plan, dressing up as a minister and having Watson create a fuss about fire in order to determine the secret hiding place of the photo. He sees it as she goes to protect it; and thinks the case is finished, preparing to return the next morning before she leaves.

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On the way home he is greeted by a young boy, one he does not know but that isn’t very odd, after all he is a known figure. People are always addressing him.

The next day the three men set out to retrieve the painting, and find Irene gone.

Say What

She left a note explaining that she thought there was something suspicious about the “minister”, dressed up as a boy to research him, and figured out the plan of Sherlock Holmes. Instead of allowing him to do his plan, she bests him by leaving that night instead of the next day.

Not good

Not good

She leaves the picture behind, as married she no longer needs it; forever going down in history as the one who bested the greatest detective, and becoming the woman. The only one that ever beat him.

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The Man With the Twisted Lip

A wife is worried about her missing husband and calls upon Sherlock Holmes to help her. One day her husband was at work and she was walking down the street running an errand when she just happened to look up at a building and sees her husband!

What's going on?

What’s going on?

He’s in a room above an opium den! And he is so scared!

OMG gasp

She rushes up there as quick as she can but no husband, only a disgusting, deformed, dirty man.

What

What

She calls the police and as they investigate they discover his clothes in the river, blood in the room, but no body. They believe him to have killed her husband but they can’t figure out what happened to the body. For now he sits in a jail cell, with nothing being able to get him to talk or bath.

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Sherlock is puzzled and looks into the history of the man, but there is little to be found. All he can find out is that he moved there and makes good money to care for his family.

Hmmm....

Hmmm….

Sherlock believes the husband has been killed, but then a letter turns up in his handwriting with his signet ring. Sherlock is stuck…

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Until he goes to the bathroom and solves the case by looking at a bar of soap.

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He goes to the jail where they are holding the man and force him to clean up, revealing that he is the husband.

OMG gasp

It turned out that he used to be a reporter and went undercover to write a story about beggars. He was a great actor and did so well at doing nothing, he ended up making more money that way than being the reporter.

Whattheheck

He continued this lifestyle, hoping to never be found out and was surprised to find his wife; reacting quickly and not thinking of his actions. Sherlock makes him stop the begging as it is against the law, and another case solved.

I'm on FIRE!

I’m on FIRE!

Ever since I read that story every time I see people beg, this story comes back to me. He made more money begging than working? It just shocked me and makes me wonder if people today are like that guy in the story.

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The Adventures of the Copper Beeches

Violet Hunter goes to Sherlock Holmes for advice about whether or not she should take a position as a governess They are willing to pay her £120, but she has to get her hair cut short. It seems odd as her previous position only paid £48.

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Nothing else seems amiss so Violet takes the job, Sherlock telling her to telegram him if they need anything.

After a fortnight (14 days), Sherlock gets a telegram. Things have gotten weirder since she started working at the house. They have her sit in the window wearing an electric blue dress and have her back to the window. After doing this for a while she hides a mirror in her handkerchief and sees a man staring up at her through the window.

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The child she is supposed to care for is a psychopath

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There is a mastiff that is always hungry and let out at night, keeping Violet from being able to leave in the evening.

She also comes upon a drawer with her her hair in it!

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

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

But it turns out to not be her hair but someone elses.

What?

What?

And then there is the mysterious wing that they can’t go in.

Never a good sign.

Never a good sign.

One day she sneaks in and she a shadow…

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It freaks her out so she hurriedly leaves and gets away as soon as she can to post the telegram.

Sherlock arrives with Watson in tow and the two investigate. It appears that the family has been hiding someone away. As Sherlock studies everything, he comes to the conclusion that the family’s daughter is the one they are hiding. They chose Violet because she could pass for the daughter and used her to get rid of the daughter’s fiancé.

They look in the room, but the daughter is missing. The father, Mr. Rucastle, gets angry at them and sets the dog out after him. The dog has been starved more than usual and kills Mr. Rucastle.

Afterwards, they find the daughter, Alice, and her fiancé. It turns out that when Alice came of age she came into money from her mother’s will. The father was trying to get the money, but when the daughter wouldn’t give it she became sick with brain fever.

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As thought earlier, he hired Violet to pretend to be Alice and get rid of him. After this experience all go their separate ways, with Violet later becoming a principal of a girls’ school.

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I liked this one because it was really creepy. The child is horrid, and the rest so mysterious.

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So those are just three out of the many wonderful Sherlock Holmes stories. If you haven’t read them, you should get started immediately. They are sure to wow you at every turn. And if you have read them already, they are always worth another read; no matter how many times you do it!

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to Why Everyone Should Read Gone With the Wind

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For more Sherlock Holmes, go to Fan-do or Fan-don’t. There is No Fan-try

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

For more Oscar Wilde quotes, go to When You Least Expect It

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Today’s Christmas Carol is Away in a Manger. 

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It was first published in 1883, and has stayed a popular carol since. Many attributed it to Martin Luther as being the writer, but that was discredited a long time ago. We don’t know who read it, but I’m sure Arthur Coan Doyle heard it so I thought it would be the perfect pairing with this book.

I love this song, as like the book reviewed, it was a big part of my childhood. It was probably the first Christmas Carol I ever learned and is one I sing every year.

The artist I choose was Bing Crosby, I just can’t get enough of him.

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For more Bing Crosby, go to The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)

For more Christmas Carols, go to We Wish You A Merry Christmas

Those Aren’t Men They Are the Living Dead: White Zombie (1932)

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We could have been killed. Worse than that we could have been caught. 

By those men?  Those aren’t men they are the living dead!

So zombie films have been extremely popular the last few years, they have encountered many changes; but they all owe it to this movie. Yes this is the first full length feature film about Zombies. Instead of biting or disease; this man makes Zombies through Voodoo, poison, drugs, and his eyes!

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I first became aware of this film when I watched 50 Greatest Horror Classics Collection. I know that I have been reviewing films I didn’t like these past few days, so here we go with one I do.

Now one things that this film doesn’t really do, is explain exactly how he does the zombie-fying and mind control. This was explained in the sequel, Revolt of the Zombies (1936)

This film has a very interesting background. The film was thought lost until found in the 1960s, there it went a serious court battle as multiple people fought for ownership.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

It only took eleven days to film but it was such a hit when it premiered. It did so well, that Lugosi regretted taking a salary instead of a percentage.

Vat have I done?

Vat have I done?

Well I think that is enough talking about it, shall we move on to the review?

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So the film starts off with a young couple, Neil Parker and his fiancé Madeline Short. They have just arrived in the West Indies. Neil has a job out there and went for Madeline. They planned to marry as soon as they touched the port, but they meet Charles Beaumont who presented them with a better job offer, and they are headed to his house and to be married tonight.

If only they knew what was coming.

If only they knew what was coming.

As they are driving in the buggy, they come upon a funeral in the middle of the road.

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It sounds strange, but they do that so people don’t dig them up and use them with voodoo, or turn them into zombies, the living dead.

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Then “Murder” Legendre, Bela Lugosi, come upon them with his group of Zombies. He steals Madeline’s scarf, and stares at her with his creepy eyes.

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The driver, fearful, takes off at the speed of light.

“Neil Parker: We could have been killed.

Driver: Worse than that we could have been caught!

Madeline Short: By those men?

Driver: Those aren’t men they are the living dead. Zombies!

The driver warns them they should leave, but the couple are suspicious of zombies actually existing. Yet at the at the same time:

Gilmore girls creep

They are startled when they come upon the minister, having arrived at the Beaumont mansion for their wedding. They ask about zombies, and the minister, Dr. Bruner,  says he has been a missionary there for over thirty years and he has seen a lot of strange things occur.

Hmm...

Hmm…

 

They tell Dr. Bruner about what happened, meeting Beaumont on the boat, the job, etc. The Dr. thinks this is very odd.

Something strange is going on

Something strange is going on

This Beaumont they describe is nothing like the selfish, pushy, take over man that he knows. Everything about their situation smells bad, and he warns the couple to leave as soon as possible.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

 

That makes TWO warnings! They need to leave!

And run fast

And run fast

When the couple arrives, Mr. Beaumont doesn’t want to see them.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

But then he changes his mind.

Okay this behavior means that there is something else going on here with Beaumont.

Certified Creepo Ribbon

The butler agrees it is for the best to approach them as the minister is questioning why Beaumont is being so kind. He greets them but then has to leave while everyone prepares for the upcoming wedding.

Madeline is getting ready when she looks out the window and sees Beaumont get into a buggy with a man. When we zoom there, the man is emotionless, glazed over, dead eyes, a zombie!

Night of the living dead zombie

Mr. Beaumont reaches a work area and sees 20 or 30 of these same walking dead. All empty eyed, slaves, and ZOMBIES!

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

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

Legendre greets Mr. Beaumont and puts out his hand, but is ignored as Beaumont sees him as “beneath” him. Legendre then explains about his little operation: about how the dead don’t care about long hours, breaks, food, money, etc. He tries to sell the idea to Beaumont, but business is not on his mind. Instead his mind is on Madeleine.

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He desperate to have her and is trying to get Legendre to stop the wedding. He thinks that if he took her away for a while she would change her mind. But Legendre does not think that will work, women will not forget so soon.

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Beaumont pleads with him to do something, anything!

Martin: Aren't you ashamed now? Aren't you? Spiders now, is it? Flies ain't good enough! Renfield: Flies? Flies? Poor puny things! Who wants to eat flies? Martin: You do, you loony! Renfield: Not when I can get nice fat spiders! Martin: All right, have it your own way

I must have her!

Legendre says that he has one way to do it..all Beaumont has to do is give her a tiny bit of this potion in her drink or on a flower and it will enable him to have what he desires.

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Beaumont doesn’t want to do it that way but Legendre tells him that is impossible, there is no other choice.

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That might Madeline is getting ready for her wedding, the church is all decorated. Mr. Beaumont walks her down the aisle pleading with her to marry him instead of her fiancé. Madeline kindly refuses.

See ya!

See ya!

He promises to stop, after one last thing, giving her a rose. Madeline accepts, but little does she know that rose has been tainted with poison and will bring only death!

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Madeline takes the hand of her love and the ceremony to twine them begins, but out in the courtyard Legendre lurks getting ready his magic.

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He takes the scarf he stole from her earlier, and wraps it around a wax candle. He looks like the devil with his beard and eyebrows.

Creepy!

Creepy!

He carves the wax candle, quickly creating the figure of a woman. And then he stares with his eyes…

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They all toast and are happy.

Neil Parker [Jokingly to Madeline] “Gypsy read my fortune.”

She looks into his cup and says “i see happiness, love, I see…” But then she sees Lugosi, with fiery demon eyes in her cup…

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

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

She then says “I see death”

Immediately she falls down, and we see Lugosi’s eyes, knowing he is controlling her body and spirit.

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A funeral is held and Madeline is to be buried.

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Neil goes to a bar to drink, upset, heartbroken and seeing her everywhere. All are happy while he is the one in utter misfortune.

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Her apparition appears to him, but he can’t reach her.

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That night Beaumont and Legendre are in the graveyard and they see zombies! Legendre isn’t surprised as they are his slaves. Many have fought against his spells, but Legendre overpowered them all and controls them.

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The zombies remove Madeline’s casket from the tomb. Just then they hear her husband, drunk, trying to approach the tomb screaming out her name. The zombies quickly take her away to conduct the ceremony elsewhere.

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Neil finds the grave empty and is distraught.

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Dr. Bruner explains that there are two ways this could happen.

  1. Her bones were taken away to be used in a ceremony by some natives on the island.
  2. Or she is not dead.

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Neil is in shock! Not dead? But he saw her! The doctor said!

Whattheheck

The minster agrees but he has seen so many strange things on the island, it could be possible!

suspicious Hmm

Neil thinks the idea of her being murdered so someone can steal her body is ridiculous. But then Dr. Bruner tries to explain that she isn’t really dead, but instead a type of parlor trick with drugs to make her appear dead.

WOW

WOW

But Neil doesn’t listen.

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Come on, LISTEN TO THIS MAN! If you had in the beginning you never would have gotten in this mess.

Seriously

Seriously

So Dr. Bruner explains about a type of drug that produces a deathlike sleep, only to have them “awaken later” and be a zombie, one of the “living dead. I knew about this as I had seen it before in The Four Feathers, and read about how historically some witch doctors would do this. Because of that, I figured out a majority of Sherlock Holmes (2009).

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They figure out that Beaumont must be the one behind this. Neil wants to take him to the authorities, but the minister reminds him they have no proof. Besides she died. No one would believe Beaumont pretended to kill her.

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Beaumont has what he wanted and has desired or does he? He has the beautiful body of Madeline but something is missing from her. Her spirit.

She is an empty tomb, a shell of who she was, and it is driving Beaumont crazy!!!

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He gives her the finest things money can buy, all that she could desire, but nothing changes in her eyes or look. Beaumont realizes his mistake and that he made a bad decision. He thought that just having her would be enough, but in reality he has nothing.

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Beaumont begs Legendre to bring Madeline back. Legendre warns that Madeline won’t be happy as he just tried to control her. In fact she will most likely be furious. But Beaumont doesn’t care, he needs her. Legendre promises to bring her back and then the two have a toast. Don’t drink, it is a trap!!!!

After the drink, Lugosi reveals that he has done the same to Beaumont which he did to Madeline. He does not want to bring her back, as he has other plans for her,ones that Beaumont might not agree to.

OMG gasp

Beaumont tries to get his butler to help him, but it is too late, he is under Legendre’s control as well.

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The zombies come and carry the butler away, tossing him off the cliff, and all that is left is Beaumont and Legendre.

Dr. Bruner takes Neil to see the witch doctor.

Whattheheck

Weird, right? He’s a minister. Doesn’t that go against what he represents?

Anyways, there they pick up a guide to take them up the mountain and to where Beaumont is housing Madeline. But Neil won’t listen.

That guy

That guy

Neil is trying to climb up the mountain but isn’t doing too well, he’s sick from a tropical disease or hangover.

Anyways, as they continue, you hear the vulture, the pet of Legendre; looming overhead, always watching. It reminds me of Maleficent’s bird in Sleeping Beauty.

Not gulls but you understand the feeling.

Neil and Dr, Bruner argue over whether he should climb the mountain, Dr. Bruner thinking he is too sick too. Then they see Madeline looking over the balcony.

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Neli calls out to Madeline hoping to reach her, but she still remains in her zombie state.

Beaumont has completely had a breakdown. No longer the powerful one, he too appears in a trance, the guilt of everything weighing down on him.

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Legendre gave him a special type of poison, he is awake but in a trance and can’t talk, can’t move, a slave and awake inside knowing what he is going through and feeling it.

The shots and angles of this are beautiful. From framing Lugosi in the cross architecture, the stairs, etc. There is some beautiful, early, cinematography at play here.

So Lugosi sees Neil creeping up the stairs, but he is not really looking like a threat, as he is practically unconscious. Lugosi takes his hands and tries to work his spells on him, with his eyes, the third eye.

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Madeliene wakes up from her bed and in a trance begins ro walk down thestairs. Searching, searching for what?

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Madeline being framed in a cross architecture while wearing cross on her dress is almost a virginal sacrifice. Beaumont sees Madeline and wants to help but has no control over his body. She takes a knife from the table.

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Legendre wants her to stab her husband Neil. She approaches him and is about to stab him when she stops. Something has come over her and she is unsure, but then Legendre’s eyes they call, her to do it,

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She is just about to stab Neil when she is stopped by a person grabbing her arm and removing the knife.

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A person dressed in black, who is it?

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Legendre continues to try and control her but it does not work. She runs and Neil chases after her.

She runs to the hillside and looks over the water about to jump but stopped by Neil. He is happy to have her but Madeline remains motionless. Legendre comes followed by his zombie army.

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

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

Neil has a gun and shoots at the zombies but it doesn’t stop them or produce blood, as they are already dead.

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The minster was the man in black! He smacks Lugosi in the head stopping him. All his zombies throw themselves over the cliff, as control is momentarily lost and they wish to remain dead! Madeline wakes up, the control has ended.

Double double yay

And all is good.

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But no Legendre awakens, he is not one to be easily thwarted and begins to exact his control.

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Neil and the minster chase after  him, but are stopped when he throws some magic dust, burning their eyes.

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

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

Beaumont creeps dow the steps, and we only see his shadow. He knocks Legendre over the cliff, his vulture/spirit guide thing going too.

Madeline is awaken and reunited with her love.

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And the bride and groom get to go off and have their honeymoon.

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A great film. You should definitely check it out.

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

For the previous post, go to What I Think You Will Think…You are Fully Under My Control: Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter (1966)

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For more zombie brides, go to He’s Married to a Corpse. He Has A Corpse Bride!: Corpse Bride (2005)

For more Bela Lugosi, go to I Bid You Welcome: Dracula (1931)

For more zombie films, go to Say Something Human: Warm Bodies (2013)

For more on The 50 Greatest Horror Classics, go to A Man Without a Face: The Bat (1959)

Fan-do or Fan-don’t. There is No Fan-try

So you all know how much I love Star Wars

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But I will not be taking about it today. Instead I will be talking about things I fandom over. Maybe this post will induce you to join me.

If you only knew the power of the Fandom!

If you only knew the power of the Fandom!

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7th Heaven

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What can I say about this show? Out of everything I ever watched or grew up watching; this was one of my favorites.

I love it

It is the story of a minister’s family, Reverend Camden, in small town Glen Oak, CA; and the trials, tribulations, fun, and everything in between that they go through.

One of the reasons why I enjoyed this show so much was because I am a preacher’s kid (p.k.), so I could completely relate to everything they had the characters go through. It was pretty real, except for the fact that the church has no youth group and the kids are never expected to help out in church.

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But the issues they face and the way the characters relate or rebel to the ministry; was spot on. The only thing I didn’t like was the last episode as it ended on a cliffhanger, and the last season was horrendous. They should have just stopped.

Stop stop it now!

If I had to pick a favorite character, when I was younger I loved Simon (David Gallagher). But now as an adult, I’m mad about Matt Camden (Barry Watson).

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He was hot, kind, smart, adorable, the perfect older brother, perfect boyfriend; just a total dream guy.

swoon dreamy

And if you rewatch or watch the first season, he is the pre-Jared Padalecki long-haired, tall, handsome actor. Just check out that hairdo.

I was so sad when it ended as it just didn’t mark the end of a series, and characters I love; but it was such a huge part of my childhood. It is always hard saying good-bye to something like that.

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For more on 7th Heaven, go to She’s Still Preoccupied With 1985

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Series of Unfortunate Events

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To remember when this book came out? It was an amazing series and I just loved it. I enjoyed how their was always good out of bad and the whole mysteriousness surrounding the V.F.D.

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I even went farther than just reading the series, but going as far as reading The Beatrice Letters and The Unauthorized Biography of Lemony Snicket.

I loved the series up to #10, The Slippery Slope, but after that the book was horrible. And when the revealed everything in #13 The End I was so disappointed.

But like 7th Heaven this was a huge part of my childhood, and I was so sad when it ended. However, I will be passing this on to my nieces and nephews.

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For more Lemony Snicket, go to I Hate Those Kinds of People

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Sherlock Holmes/ Sherlock

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So I am a HUGE fan of Sherlock Holmes mysteries, I’ve been reading them since I was a child and watching almost every version created. What can I say, I love Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

 

Go here to see who your biographer should have been.

Go here to see who your biographer should have been.

So my friend loved this TV show and tried to get me into it. I had started watching it, but saw the first episode on TV and thought it wasn’t quite right in how I picture Sherlock.

So I waited a few years, and then decided to watch it from the beginning. From there I realized it was pretty good. 

I love it

I thought that all the episodes were great except A Scandal in Belgravia, Irene Adler was just too weird.

But Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman were just perfect as Sherlock and Dr. Watson. I liked how Sherlock was a bit more rambunctious and impulsive, as his age and the wisdom that comes with it haven’t been reached yet. I liked how Dr. Watson was more active; not always instantly catching on to what was happening but taking part in trying to help solve and protect Sherlock.

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For more on Sherlock, go to England Dreamin’ On Such a Summer’s Day

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Sleeping Beauty

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I mentioned quite a few times how much I love this movie. I think it is a great plot, Aurora is an amazing character, and Prince Phillip the perfect prince.

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In fact I loved this film so much I was Aurora twice for Halloween, and my sister and I used to act it out all the time. I would be Aurora:

Sleeping Beauty

And she would be Maleficent.

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We would have to have Barbies or stuffed animals be the rest.

One of my favorite songs/scenes is Once Upon a Dream. So one of my favorite scenes from this movie is when they sing and dance to Once Upon a Dream. I remember I used to act this scene out by myself and with my barbie dolls. It was the first song I have ever memorized extremely quickly.  I used to sing this song ALL THE TIME. Just couldn’t stop.

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Yep, just one amazing film.

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

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Spider-man

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I am a huge Spider-man fan. I grew up watching the Spider-man hour in which the showed Spider-man and His Amazing Friends along with the ’90s cartoon. I loved that cartoon as it totally and completely captured everything I love about Spider-man. The sass, the fact that he is constantly struggling to go to school and provide for his aunt, trying to have a life and friends while be a super hero. Dealing with all this responsibility.

From this I moved to the comics and become a major fan and nerd.

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I have read the Spider-man Encyclopedia like 20 times. I own the ’60s (and best) comics. I just love this guy!

If he existed.

If he existed.

None of the films have really done him justice (I hate Andrew Garfield), but Spider-man will always be one of my major loves. And guess what? He’s perfect for me!

To see who should be your superhero BF click here.

To see who should be your superhero BF click here.

Yep he’s one of the best superheroes ever!

greatpower Spider-man

For more Spider-man, go to Oh What A Night

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I’m hoping that this will rise in you a desire to check them out.

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For the previous post, go to The Strange Case of a Fangirl and Her Fandoms

And Stay tuned for part 22

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For more Peter Pan, go to A Pirate’s Life is the Life for Me

For more Disney posts, go to A Little Monkey Business: Chinese New Year

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In other news, this is my 700th post!

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Only took five months to reach this milestone.

For the 600th post, go to There Are Thirteen Chairs at the Table…And That’s Unlucky: Mystery of the 13th Guest (1943)

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

A Man of Great Worth and Respectability

“[He] must be a man of great worth and respectability.

Yes, he is the kindest and best of men.”

-Sense & Sensibility (1995)

Wow, what a week. First David Bowie on Sunday and now we have lost one of the best actors to the same dreaded disease.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Oh Alan Rickman, how I miss you so. We are not ready for you to be gone from us.

Noo!

Noo!

Alan Rickman was an outstanding actor, no matter what he played you loved him. Part was his looks:

COL Brandonsexybeast

His amazing voice:

swoon dreamy

And his ability to breathe an incredible amount of life into these roles, so much that they seemed so real.

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So I decided to truly honor this great man, I’m going to countdown my top four favorite roles of his.

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4) Sheriff of Nottingham from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

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I know a lot of people make fun of Kevin Costner, for his lack of accent:

robin-hood

But I always loved this film. And one of my main reasons were because of Rickman’s incredible portrayal of the Sheriff.

Rickman originally was courted twice to play this, but turned it down until they gave him full control of his character. And he does it so perfectly. Crazy, evil, ambitious, logical, and somehow hilarious.

Favorite scene:

Sheriff of Nottingham: Locksley. I’ll cut your heart out with a spoon.

Robin Hood: Then it begins.

Guy of Gisborne: Why a spoon, cousin? Why not an axe?

Sheriff of Nottingham: Because it’s DULL, you twit. It’ll hurt more.

And being the awesomeness that he is, he went through 10 swords in that film. Just weren’t strong enough for him.

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3) Alexander Dane/Dr. Lazarus from Galaxy Quest

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This role is from the hilarious comedy and parody of Star TrekGalaxy Quest. 18 years ago the TV show Galaxy Quest was the hottest thing on the TV. Since then, none of the actors have been able to find much other work, being forced to be their characters for conventions, commercials, etc. One day they are transported to a real alien ship by aliens who believe their show to be “historical documents” asking for their help in fighting their enemy. They are forced to work together to save these people, in a most hilarious way.

In this film Alan Rickman’s character Alexander Dane the Spockish Dr. Lazarus, is a brooding, melancholy, mess who is dissatisfied with the way his life and career have gone. Sort of like Arthur Conan Doyle hating Sherlock Holmes, Dane feels the same way about Dr. Lazarus. However, as this group has to really fight, Dane proves that he is just as herioc and amazing as his fictional counterpart.

Favorite scene:

[Quellek has been shot, and is dying. Alexander rushes to him]

Alexander Dane: Quellek? [sees Quellek’s woundThat’s not too bad. We’ll get you to the medical quarters, and you’ll be fine.

Quellek: It has been my greatest pleasure to serve with you. I have been blessed, Sir. I… I… I…

Alexander Dane: Don’t speak, Quellek.

Quellek: You’ll forgive my impertinence, Sir, but even though we have never before met, I have always considered you as a father to me.

Alexander Dane: Quellek… by Grabthar’s hammer… by the Suns of Worvan… you shall be… avenged.

A sad scene, but one of the sweetest. He hates that line, but says it to his biggest fan; knowing he would appreciate it.

For more on Galaxy Quest, go to Don’t Give Up

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2) Professor Severus Snape from The Harry Potter Series

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This is the one you are probably the most familiar with. In the Harry Potter Series, Rickman plays the crotchety Professor Snape. Truth be told, if it wasn’t for Snape and Draco Malfoy I never would have become a fan of the Harry Potter Series. And if Snape wasn’t played by Alan Rickman, nothing would have induced me to watch or read.

Snape is first portrayed as evil (as Harry suspects him) but in reality is one great, although tragic man. Hurt, abused, bullied and tormented as a youth, his genius unappreciated, the love of his life choosing a popular and way uncooler guy; he was drawn into the false inclusiveness of the Death Eaters. Accidentally putting into motion the death of his love, he turned his back on the Death Eaters and redeemed himself.

However, when a new threat emerges he not only helps Harry by protecting him; although anonymously and ungraciously by Harry, along with becoming a double agent to get Dumbledore his information.

Even more tragic, he is willing to take the place of Draco, protecting him and keeping him from going down a dark path he could not return; dying for him and his students.

Favorite scene:

[Snape blasts Lockhart off his feet in a practice duel]

For more on Professor Severus Snape, go to A Bit Pottery About Jane Austen

For more on Harry Potter, go to The Fans and the Furious

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1)Colonel Brandon from Sense and Sensibility

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My favorite Alan Rickman role, and the best Colonel Brandon. This was actually the first film I ever saw Alan Rickman in, and my introduction to Jane Austen. I thank/blame Rickman for starting my life long obsession for the author. Thank you.

Colonel Brandon is one of the best Austen heroes. He has such a sad backstory, but still remains kind and good-hearted. When he was younger he fell in love with a girl, but his father broke them up. He went on to India, but she went down an awful life as she fell in love with a man who left her alone and pregnant. She died young, but Brandon took care of her child, raising it as his own. He then falls for Marianne, not caring that she had no fortune, but instead loving her mind and spirit. And even though she may not care for him, he still loves her from afar and wishes her well. When she is injured and caught in the rain, he carries her to safety. He is such a kind, generous, and one of the most amazing Austen men.

Even though some complain that Rickman was too old for the role, I don’t care. No one could create a more caring, compassionate, brave, kind, strong, amazing character the way he did.

Favorite scene:

[after a reading of Spenser’s The Faerie Queen]

Marianne: Shall we continue tomorrow?

Colonel Brandon: No, for I must away.

Marianne: [Worried] Away? Where?

Colonel Brandon: [Reassuring and playful] That I cannot tell you. It is a secret.

Marianne: [Pauses. Looks away, then looks back] You will not stay away long?

[Colonel Brandon can hardly believe that she cares for him. Shakes head no with smile]

 For more on Colonel Brandon, go to God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

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

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So that’s my countdown to one great man. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you will be missed and left us too soon.

Noo!

Noo!

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For more posts dedicated to a favorite artist/actor, go to Changes, Turn and Face the Strange

And Then There Was Two: A Study in Scarlet (1933)

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Three little Black Boys walking in the zoo; A big bear hugged one and then there were two.

So this film is based on the first Sherlock Holmes novel, A Study in Scarlet. However, the film doesn’t follow the book at all. When Hollywood wanted to purchase the film rights, it was cheaper to buy the name versus the actual story. They decided to save money and write their own story.

Not always the best idea

Not always the best idea

When I first watched this, on my mystery thriller binge that included Mystery of the 13th GuestI didn’t like it as it was too similar to And Then There Was None by Agatha Christie. It even uses the same poem about the 10 Little Indians although in this they are 10 Little Black Boys.

Same old thing.

Same old thing.

But then I found out something that surprised me…

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The Agatha Christie book was published six years after the film came out!

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Could Agatha Christie have copied a Sherlock Holmes film, that isn’t really written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

I’d rather not think about that. Moving on.

Reginald Owen stars as Sherlock Holmes. He is one of the few actors to play both roles of Watson and Holmes, so he isn’t the typical form of Sherlock Holmes. He’s a bit rounder in body, less angular in the face, and isn’t as intense about his deductions. In my honest opinion he is a bit wooden and a tad boring.

Not always the best idea

So some of you might be wondering why I would do a Sherlock Holmes film as you might not think it is horror. On the contrary we have a mysterious force killing people (perhaps a ghost?), and I think that qualifies it. In the future I’ll review some others, like the creepy one where he hunts a serial killer. For now, A Study in Scarlet.

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(BTW: There aren’t any pictures online that are good quality, and as I didn’t take any screenshots while watching all images will not be from the film.)

The film begins with some people on a train trying to get the person out of the the bathroom. No one answers so they send for someone to pull a ladder to look in through the high window. What they find is a dead man.

OMG gasp

In the next scene we are shown a newspaper advertisement with the following strange code:

692 3 7 13 7

Scarlet 23 4 76

Limehouse M

suspicious Hmm

Meanwhile, in a seedy looking area we have the beautiful, blonde, Eileen Forrester and her fiancé, John Stanford. She has been called to a meeting, and John had walked her there.

When we enter the room we see that it is a secret meeting, of what we don’t know. Besides Eileen we have five other men around the table, and one presiding. The man at the head calling the meeting to order is Thaddeus Merrydew.

They discuss business and plan to pay for the late members funeral, the man found dead on the train. Meanwhile, they all dislike the widowed wife, Mrs. Murphy and agree to give her nothing.

How rude

Meanwhile, a woman has decided she will go to 221A Baker Street to speak to Sherlock Holmes.

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

A? A! A?!

Whattheheck

How can you do a Sherlock Holmes adaption and get that wrong!!!! That’d be like changing Sherlock’s name to John or Daniel, or something. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!

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Anyways, inside Sherlock is having a look at that ad.

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692 3 7 13 7

Scarlet 23 4 76

Limehouse M

Dr. Watson bets Sherlock that he won’t solve it, and you know Sherlock, he can never back down from a challenge.

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In fact Sherlock says it is all rather simple. All you need is the right large book, something everyone would have a copy of…like the bible.

But before they can do research they are interrupted by Mrs. Murphy. She is upset because Mr. Merrydew has all her money. They’ve been married for five years, right after they met while both in Thailand. He would go to London to check on finances and was headed there, when he committed suicide.

Sadface Batman

Sherlock asks if there has been any changes recently, and Mrs. Murphy says the only odd thing she found was a note that contained lines from an old English nursery tale.

Six little Black Boys playing with a hive;
A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.

Sherlock Holmes assures Mrs. Murphy he will do his best and then he and Dr. Watson discuss it. Sherlock has tangled with Merrydew before, always trying to trap him and send him to prison, but so far he has managed to escape all his traps.

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Blast him!

Back at the meeting, everyone has left except Captain Pyke, Eileen, and Merrydew. While Captain Pyke starts heading out, Merrydew takes Eileen aside and warns her not to share anything going on with anyone, not even her fiancé. In fact she shouldn’t get married until this business is all settled.

Eileen finds that incredibly strange.

weird

But before she can seriously think on it bam! Captain Pyke is shot!

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

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

Merrydew tells Eileen to wait while he gets help, he runs down a bit but them stops and waits; checking his watch.

suspicious Hmm

While he is gone, Eileen gets attacked from behind, knocked out.

When she regains consciousness, Merrydew returns and asks what happened. As Eileen tells him of her attack she notices that the body is missing!

what what'shappeningSupernatural

Eileen wants to talk to the police, but Merrydew urges her to head home, saying it is better for her to not be involved. She listens and leaves.

Later Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, and the police are looking at the autopsy of the body of Captain Pyke.

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Sherlock notices a giant ring on the body. When they look through his personal effects they also find a note:

Five little Black Boys going in for law;
One got in Chancery and then there were four.

In comes his wife, a beautiful Chinese woman, played by Anna May Wong. The body was so badly destroyed, that she was only able to identify him by a family heirloom, a ring, that she gave him six years ago when they married. He never takes it off.

Sherlock questions her but doesn’t find out much. It does turn out that her lawyer is Merrydew. There’s that man involved once again!

Hmm...

Hmm…

We then see a list of people involved, those who had been originally a part of the deal, three of the names crossed out as they are dead.

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Next day one of the men from the group discovers a note at his desk:

Four little Black Boys going out to sea;
A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.

While the man is thinking of what he means, a man enters the room although we as a viewer only see his shadow.

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He shouts out, “No not you” and is then killed, shot in the head.

ouch Hermione

The police are stumped as to who or what has been doing these killings. They call in Sherlock who starts reviewing the area. He finds the note and also figures out by the way the man was killed was shot in the head, body dragged, rearranged and shot again so that it would like suicide rather than murder.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

He also deduces that the victim died from poison and supplies a description of the murderer: six feet tall, disproportionately small feet, florid complexion, square toed boots, and smoking a Trichinopoly cigar.

keanu Whoa

Sherlock heads out to visit with Merrydew and discuss things. When he reaches his office, Merrydew makes him wait forever.

How rude

He finally lets them in, offering a Trichinopoly cigar, but not one to Watson.

Jerk

Sherlock discusses Mrs. Murphy’s claim of inheritance but gets nowhere with Merrydew. He asks for paper and a pencil, using the time to snoop on his desk. He writes a note and gives it folded to Merrydew.

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A note that contains the numbers from the ad in the newspaper. This upsets Merrydew and proves to Sherlock he is on the right track.

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As they head out Sherlock reveals to Watson that his snooping found the book from the code, Whitaker’s Almanac. Watson brings up that Merrydew certainly fits the description provided by Sherlock, down to the small feet in square cut shoes. As they head out they also run into Mrs. Pyke.

Hmm...

Hmm…

Merrydew goes to see Eileen to tell her about the new meeting and make sure she comes. As they are talking they are interrupted by her fiancé Stanford.

Stanford feels something is not right and is rather upset over the whole thing.

Something is not right!

Something is not right!

Eileen decides to spill the story to him. Right before her father died, he asked Eileen to visit him. There he told her she had a great inheritance, tons of money coming her way; but only if she listens to Merrydew and does all that he asks of her.

While they are talking Stanford hears something.

hear that?

Outside a man is watching Eileen

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

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

Stanford scares him off, but is deeply unsettled. He goes to Sherlock Holmes and shares his fears about this strange black bearded man. Sherlock tells him to watch Eileen constantly, her life is in danger.

Sherlock moves on to his next step of research, looking through Whitaker’s Almanac and decoding it.

 Meeting of Scarlet Ring Tuesday

Holmes decides to take an even more proactive role and include his own message in the paper asking for info on the Scarlet Ring.

I-got-this-reaction-gif

The next day Sherlock travels in disguise to look at the Pyke family home. He hires a cab to get there, liquors up his driver, and pumps him for information. He finds out the Captain hasn’t been there in years. As a child he used to be a real terror, throwing bricks and injuring others.

Sherlock leaves cabbie and heads to the house. He sees that the house is for sale and pretends that he is interested.

I-got-this-reaction-gif

Unfortunately, the maid won’t stop following him around trying to help him.

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He pretends to have a heart attack and gets her to leave the house to find a doctor. With her out of the way, Sherlock can begin searching for trap doors or secret passages.

He finds a secret passage and a box of cigars the same brand as the one smoked by the assassin.

suspicious Hmm

At the Hotel Savoy, Mrs. Pyke is meeting with Mr. Wilson, a member of the “Scarlet ring”. She invites him for the weekend to “help put her finances in order”. He readily accepts.

AWESOME!!!

That night the Scarlet Ring meeting is in disarray. The remaining members of the ring are scared out of their minds.

IDon'tTrustHimGreatGatsby

Who will be next? Which one of the group is the killer? In fact, two start wondering if they should spill to Shelock. The waiting and being picked off one by one is torturing them.

Suspense have to know

Merrydew tries to bring order stating that it will be impossible to go to the police as they will then have to pay for their crime they committed. They’ve been waiting five years for a payout and now the dream of 1 million pounds divided equally among the survivors will be happening. Money is a powerful tool to get people to do things.

That night Stanford calls Holmes with his info. He and Watson head down to meet him. As they watch the door they see the men exit very suspicious, looking every where and trying to watch their back.

i'mscared

While they watch everyone leave, they notice that Eileen has not exited.

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

They rush in and find her knocked out on the ground, gas filling the room. Someone has tried to kill her too.

OMG gasp

Holmes sends her home with Stanford and heads back to Baker Street.

Back on Baker Street, Mr. Wilson heads over to Holmes’ place fearing for his life.

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

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

While that is happening the assassin meets with Merrydew. This is the best part of the film as it is revealed to not be Merrydew, but the man never talks or shows his face; all done from his point of view.

thebat1959shadowclaw

Back at Holmes’ place, Mr. Wilson comes and tells Holmes he was almost run down by a black bearded man. Sherlock surmises that the Scarlet Ring has to do with China, and is based on inheritance. He sends Wilson home to hide in the cellar, escorting him with Watson.

Wilson mentions that he will be heading to Mrs. Pyke’s tomorrow for the weekend, and Holmes warns him to plead a headache and hide in his room.

As they are heading out Sherlock finds a dead body on his doorstep.

What are you wearing?

As he looks at the body, he finds a not addressed to him.

Three little Black Boys walking in the zoo;
A big bear hugged one and then there were two.

The next day, Wilson goes to Mrs. Pyke’s home, with Sherlock and the police following. As they are about to set up the trap, Stanford comes in saying that Eileen has disappeared.

OhNOthisisgonnabebad

Stanford tells him how he recieved a telegram from Sherlock and tried to follow the instructions, but he didn’t understand them. When he returned to Eileen’s house, he found that she had left with a Chinese woman. After that he hurried to find Sherlock.

Sherlock & co. head out to the Grange, Captain Pike’s home, to head off the action.

I-got-this-reaction-gif

Eileen is inside with Mrs. Pyke and Mr. Wilson. Mrs. Pyke got her to come saying that Sherlock needed her here. It is late and they are waiting to hear from him. The door buzzes and a telegram comes for Eileen, Mrs. Pyke reviews it first and sees that it is blank.

This was sent by Sherlock to make sure Eileen was in the house.

Afterwards, Wilson decides that he will go to bed, Eileen agreeing to do likewise. Wilson warns her to be careful and lock her door.

i'mscared

Killer comes into the house and asks Mrs. Pyke about the plan. After he enters, Dr. Watson and Sherlock enter the house through the passage Sherlock found earlier.

Eileen’s room gets broken into and she faints while the man takes her down to the cellar.

draculacarrybody

Wilson heard Eileen cry out and Mrs. Pyke asks for his help, so he decides to ignore Sherlock’s advice and open the door. Meanwhile she and her manservant are planning on killing him.

Sherlock, Dr. Watson, & the officers come running in and save Eileen and Mr. Wilson. They then reveal who the real killer is.

dun-dun-duuuun

Captain Pyke!

I had thought it was odd how his wife had to identify him by ring alone. The Captain pretended to be dead, but was really killing everyone with Merrydew’s help. Merrydew comes on the scene and pretends he knows nothing, but is captured as well.

Sherlock knew the body was a fake as the hand had no marks from wearing the ring for six years.

Five years ago a collection of amazing jewels were stolen and have been sold off throughout the years, this was what the Scarlet Ring was. The thieves selling off the jewels, preparing to spilt the proceeds when the last one was gone. Captain Pyke got greedy and didn’t want to share; roping in Merrydew and his wife to assist him.

All is finished and another case solved for Sherlock Holmes

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I thought this was an okay film, not as good as the later ones were. I also didn’t care for the actor playing Sherlock. But it wasn’t horrible, just okay.

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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 Someone Has Erased His Memory: Total Recall (1990)

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For more on Sherlock Holmes, go to The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind