I Won the Cederberg Tea Giveaway + Book Club Picks: The Insanity of God

So a while back Cederberg Tea Company was doing a giveaway-you know me and free, I just can’t resist.

As I always say:

“Free is always good unless it is diseases.”

Anytime I see a giveaway I have to enter it.

So I commented I wanted Chai tea (as my entry) and won this package of Classic Red, Green Rooibos, Rooibos + Bourbon Vanilla, Rooibos + Chai, and Rooibos + Ginger.

Now I didn’t pay close attention when I entered the giveaway and didn’t realize it contained Rooibos in it. I avoid Rooibos after I had the one by Tea Forté, and it did not agree with me. I resolved to not drink any again, until I saw that this was Rooibos.

That’s not good.

Well I won it and needed to review it, so I decided to stop wasting time and start drinking some tea.

I drank some…and loved it!

The other one I had must have had something wrong with it or something, because these were fantastic. I expected to like the Chai, but was just blown away by the Rooibos + Bourbon Vanilla. I drank it and drank it, until I realized I only had one teabag left.

I mean you know how I feel about Earl Grey Tea:

But I was just drinking Rooibos + Bourbon Vanilla, at least until it was all gone.

The others were good too, but that one was the best!

Delicious!!!! I know I will definitely be ordering from them in the future.

For more giveaway posts, go to I Won the Madsen Creations Giveaway

For more tea posts, go to Iced Blackberry Infused Earl Grey Tea

So a few years back I was given a collection of five teas, A World of Teas. As I was about to try them out, I started thinking, which books would best suit the teas? After all nothing goes together better than a good book and a delicious tea.

And eat scones!

Since then I try my best to repeat it whenever I try out new teas. 🙂 As this is Chai teas and Rooibos, I tried to do my best to connect it with books that are set in Africa or India.

Tea #1: Classic Red

This Classic Red was a wonderful tea. It had everything you wanted in it and I enjoyed it so much I finished it before I realized it-picking up the cup to drink some more and finding it empty.

You can tell at first sip why it is a “classic”.

Around the World in 80 Days is one of my favorite books and an amazing classic. It is the story of mysterious, wealthy Phileas Fogg being bet to travel around the world in 80 days. It was to be an interesting challenge-made more so when he is mistaken to be a bank robber and followed by a detective; along with having some people try to sabotage him from winning. It has action, adventure, romance-everything you could want and more! It is a real page turner and keeps you on the edge of your seat to see if Phileas is going to make it or not!

One of my favorite parts is when they go to India and the group rescue Aouda, an Indian princess, from her dead husband’s evil relatives trying to sacrifice her so they can inherit everything. This is a great scene because in it we see Phileas change from his “mechanical” way of being (everything planned and thought out) as he steps out to help, becoming a “classic” hero. I love him and Aouda together-you know me and biracial relationships. A great book and great tea.

For more on Around the World in 80 Days, go to Happiness is Having a Library Card: Another 13 of the Best Fictional Libraries

Tea #2: Green Rooibos

This tea was exactly how I expected green tea to taste, no surprises-but I mean that in a good way. It’s nice to have something and know you are going to get exactly what you want to get.

This tea made me think of Death on the Nile. Death on the Nile isn’t my favorite Agatha Christie novel as to me there wasn’t any big surprises or truly innovative or amazing characters (except Cornelia Ruth Robson). But like this tea, sometimes you want the predictable, to get exactly as you expect.

The story is of Linnet, a wealthy woman, who marries her best friend’s boyfriend, Simon Doyle. For their honeymoon they go on a trip through the Nile, and of course run into Hercule Poirot (he never gets a vacation). He sees the former best friend, Jacqueline, threaten them and they ask Poirot for help. He declines, but warns Jacqueline to stop or else she will open herself to evil. She refuses and follows the Doyles on their boat trip on the Nile, joined by 11 other interesting characters. Linnet is found dead (of course), and everything points to the two characters who could not have done it. Who could the murderer be? Poirot is on the case.

For more on Agatha Christie, go to Shame Book Tag

Tea #3: Rooibos + Bourbon Vanilla

So I thought I would like this tea, as who doesn’t love vanilla? But OMGoodness I was not prepared for how amazing this tea was. It was so delicious I just drank it and drank it and before I knew it, I had drank it all up. It was sweet, wonderful, and smelled so good.

What I felt for the tea, I felt the same way about this book. When I saw the art deco style cover, I thought I would enjoy this mystery, but I didn’t realize how much I would love it. The story is of Perveen Mistry, female Indian lawyer, in the 1920s. She is sent out to a small princely state to speak to the Dowager Maharani (grandmother) and Maharani (mother) about the young Maharaja’s schooling. She is the only one who can as the ladies are observing purdah (and cannot speak to any men not related to them). Preveen travels out there and finds things are not well in the palace. The Dowager Maharani and the Maharani are both fighting for control, the circumstances of the older brother’s death are very suspicious, and Perveen believes the young prince might be next-especially after a monkey eats her bread and dies. Will Perveen be able to figure out who is responsible in time to save the prince, or will she be next?

Not only is this an intriguing mystery, but Perveen has an interesting and heartbreaking backstory. It was fantastic and so easy to have your attention captured-and keep flipping pages to find out what happens next.

Tea #4: Rooibos + Chai

This was absolutely delicious and just what I wanted in my chai tea-spicy but not too much, sweet but the right amount-i.e everything I wanted. It was so good that after I finished the bourbon one, the chai was gone just like that “snap”.

Like the tea, The Sign of the Four has everything you could want in a Sherlock Holmes mystery. You have a beautiful woman in need (Watson notes she is very attractive [he’s in love with her]), a disappeared father, jewels, a mysterious note, a secret treasure, a peculiar mansion, a villain with a wooden leg, a puzzling death, a bloodhound, and the sign of the four.

It is an amazing mystery, Holmes and Doyle at their finest, and like I said gives you everything your could want. It also is what I believe The Great Mouse Detective was based on, so if you love that movie-you’ll love this book.

For more on Sherlock Holmes, go to Your Cases Have Indeed Been of the Greatest Interest to Me: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Tea #5: Rooibos + Ginger

So I didn’t think I would like this tea as ginger tea is often too strong, but this was not overpowering but the right amount. It was enjoyable but still had a bit of a kick to it. It’s not something that I would drink all the time, but is perfect for every now and then or if I have a stomachache.

I felt this book was perfect to pair with it as it is a good story but the sam time has a “kick” to it that gets you thinking…I will actually discuss the book fully below.

So it has been over three months since I did a book club book review, I was only a few behind but then things happened and I fell behind.

 

I am 13 books behind…

I know, I know-stop looking at me like that. I just will have to try harder to catch up.

Hmmm…

Anyways…so quick recap for those who haven’t heard of my book club.

So as you all know I started a book club a few years ago, because you know me and books…

Every month we read a book and I do a little post on the book we read and discussed. What can I say, I just love books and need to be around others who feel the same.

There is no theme, other than with each month, a different member gets to pick a book, whichever one they want. This time our member chose:

The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected by Nik Ripken

So as I read this book 13 months ago, I was hoping to reread it as it had been a while and I wanted to make sure I got the timeline right. So I went to the book from the library…but it turns out the person who checked it out never returned it. Called (I work in the library) and sent notices but the book has not been returned.

Seriously??????!!!!!!!!!!!

I HATE when people do that!!!!!!

I then thought I would ask the other book club member, (one member had borrowed my library book) but she lent it to a friend who never gave it back.

So I’m doing this all based on what I remember from reading this 13 months ago, hopefully this go well. Right now I apologize for anything I write that is wrong.

So the first thing that struck me about this book, was the title. “Insanity of God”? What does that mean? Why did he choose that title?

The story starts off with Nik Ripken (a pseudonym) sharing how he came to know Christ. He was a kid that loved baseball, but God took a hold of his life and set him out on a new path.

He ends up going to a Christian college and meets and marries a pastor’s daughter. After both graduate, they both feel the strong call of the mission field and when they ask to be sent out, they are asked for their qualifications. For Nik, he quotes the Great Commission.

Matthew 28:19-20

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

That part made me laugh so hard.

As Nik hadn’t been raised in church he didn’t know what exactly was being asked. They want to know his education, spiritual journey, youth mission trips, background, etc-but Nik is confident in that the Great Commission tells you to go all throughout the world and he wants to answer the call.

If he was on his own he would have been denied, but his wife knows the lingo and what is being said so they are able to be sent out. They both have a heart for Africa and get sent to Somalia in 1992.

Nik and his wife aren’t able to have a “church” but are sent with an aid group, of which they try and preach to people but find it extremely difficult. Christianity is illegal and having a church is illegal, and anyone who becomes a Christian is often taken away and never seen again. Nik and his wife really struggle with questioning what they are they doing there, is it right being here? Are they helping people?

Things get more unsettled in the country, and the Somali Civil War breaks out. His charity group requests the UN to come take action, and when they do send help, he is one of the people that helps map out the unknown areas of Somalia. I remember him describing the villages and the horror-but one really sticks in my mind. There was a village that was full of kids and had no parents and one of parents with no children, so they went and took the kids to the adults.

Also it was really hard to get the people in need the supplies as the leaders and soldiers would steal them and sell them or use them, and the people would continue to go hungry and without. War is sad and hard.

Ripken’s father didn’t care for him becoming a minister, but when Black Hawk Down came out, he was suddenly proud of his son telling all his friends that Ripken made that happen-the military going in.

The first part of the book was on his mission trip and they later were moved out of Somalia into South Africa, but were moved again. A big milestone in their life and faith was when their son grew ill and because the conditions of their home they lived in aggravated it, their son died. After this, they became heartbroken and returned to the states.

They return to the United States and teach at a bible college to young adults going out into the missions but feel really mixed up. Did they help anyone? Going through trials and tribulations every day was hard and wore them out-how do they keep people going? How do they bloom, survive, and keep going when everything is bleak, when it would be easier to give up and go home?

Ripken then goes on a quest to get this information, to speak to people who have had to go to trials and survived still praising God.

There were two incidents in the quest that really struck me, and I can’t remember their names exactly-but I remember pieces.

The first one took place in Russia. This man was jailed during the communist reign, when Christianity was outlawed and the only religion allowed was the worship of the state. He was thrown in jail-often in isolation, but the thing that kept him going was writing down the word of God. He wrote verse after verse that he remembers, helping to lock it in his brain. The beatings, isolation, lack of food, cold, etc-it was all bearable when he could get a scrap and write something down. That is what got him through.

Ripken later goes to China and their he mets several secret churches, as the church is illegal there. These Christians actually delight in getting thrown in jail or having tribulations, as they feel that is a real marker of being a Christian and consider that is when they go to “school” and recieve their “theological education”. Before anyone can be a pastor they have to have been thrown in prison.

When Ripken leaves he asks what they need and all they want is bibles, a bible. He gives them his and they take the pieces apart and hand them off to different people so they have a book to memorize, and it reminded of how they memorized books in Fahrenheit 451.

It also makes me think of how lucky we are in the United States, how many bibles are available in my home, in my parent’s home, for free, online, in a phone app, etc-and here are people begging for a page.

Wow!

The rest of the book has different stories-and I enjoyed it. It defintely made you realize how lucky you are to be in the United States and how grateful we should be for everything we have, even in the midst of COVID-19.

At the end of the book, I concluded that the insanity was not in reference to God, him being insane, but how we feel as humans. We can only comprehend so much of what God’s plan is with our tiny human brain-it seems insane, but God has a plan for us-a bigger picture.

Hmmm…

For more Book Club Picks, go to Book Club Picks: Chasing the Wind

For more Christian novels, go to Praying With Jane: 31 Days Through the Prayers of Jane Austen

For more nonfiction, go to The History of England By a Partial Prejudiced and Ignorant Historian or is Jane Austen a Precursor to Drunk History?

For more bible verses, go to Literary Tea Parties

How Much Do You Really Know About Him?: The Stepfather (2009)

How Much Do You Really Know About Him?

In 2009, I was 17 years old. A senior applying to colleges, trying to figure out what to do next with my life-planning prom and other senior activities.

I remember when this film came out, it was a big deal at the time as Penn Badgley was super popular from Gossip Girl (it being in its third season) and this was to be his big film role (prior to this he was in John Tucker Must Die! as the little brother). I wasn’t super interested in it at the time- I was more angry about the Fame remake (which sucked as much as I had thought it would), that Where the Wild Things looked depressing instead of the fun book I remembered it being (it was both boring and depressing), and thought Dare, New Moon, and Avatar all sounded dumb. The only thing I was looking forward to was Robert Downey Jr. and Judd Law in Sherlock Holmes.

In fact I never probably would have even remembered anything about this movie, except my mom was so against it. But I was 17, I could watch whatever I wanted. I remember saying some smartmouth reply and getting in trouble for it.

I never did go see it in theaters as I didn’t really care about it.

Flashforward to the beginning of this year and I’m housesitting/catsitting for a friend who has cable-and not just cable, Lifetime!

I LOVE Lifetime and can’t help but watch the Lifetime movie channel. That day it was playing The Stepfather, so I decided what the hey? Why not check it out?

NO! NO! This was not good at all. I should have listened to my mom and passed this one by!

Yes, always listen to your mother!

So typically I do not review a movie without reviewing the original, but I didn’t get a chance to fit it in, so the review of the remake must go on.

So the film starts off with “the Stepfather” (Dylan Walsh) having killed his family and their dead bodies not even phasing him as he leaves and moves on to the next town to find his “new family”.

In the supermarket he meets Susan Harding (Sela Ward), with her two kids-Sean and Beth. He charms them quickly and he, now going by David Harris, and Susan begin a relationship.

If I’ve learned anything from movies and TV is the supermarket is nor the place for women to meet men. I mean the mom gets set up with a Vampire in Mom’s Got a Date With a Vampire, Susan gets with a serial killer, and Fran with a liar-guy is a hot dog vendor pretending t be a stock broker in The Nanny. Just cross that place off the list.

Don’t go there to look for men!

So David and Susan become engaged-which is something that really bothers me. I mean it is called The Stepfather, but David is NOT the stepfather. He and Susan live together, but they don’t marry. So why call it that? Because it is better than The Man My Mom Lived With or My Mom’s Evil Fiance or My Mom’s Serial Killer Boyfriend or Don’t Let Mom Marry the Serial KillerActually that last one sounds pretty good. It could be super serious teen drama or ’90s kids comedy-someone write a script, make a ton of money and give me 10% for the title.

Finally! This is almost over!

So anyways, it is the summer and Michael Harding (Penn Badgley) has just returned from military school. He was acting up after his parents’ divorced and was sent away. Depending on his behavior he can stay or will be shipped back.

Choose wisely.

He meets David and feels weird about the whole thing-everything has seemed to move toooo fast and he’s worried his mom might end up with another bad relationship-another guy like his dad.

Now here is where the film first failed with me. This film could have been a lot better if they went in a different direction then what they chose. Now I have never seen the original film this is based on, but think how much more horrifying if David seemed so nice, developed a great relationship with the kids, maybe even Michael opening up and sharing what happened with his dad-what he saw between his parents that made him not be able to stand his father and react so destructively. Then to have him realize David is not who he seems-I think much more interesting.

But instead David tries to bond with him but it is all so fake and creepy-Michael doesn’t tust him, second guesses him, and the suspense/mystery/horror is missing. We know David is a psycho and Michael knows it too-there is no buildup.

I mean Buffy the Vampire Slayer did this much better on their Ted episode. Buffy wanted to like her mother’s boyfriend, she tried to like him-but then felt something off-and she felt bad about being so down on her mom-convincing herself it was her problem not anything wrong with Ted. But then Ted starts being extremely controlling, he threatens her. He continues to treat her cruelly but others nicely, causing no one to believe her or make her think she is imagining it. It is emotional and mental abuse-and makes you wonder what will happen next.

That would have been a better path to take, but they didn’t do that.

Ugh!

Michael isn’t the only one who is unsure about David as Susan’s sister, Jackie, points out that there is a ton about David she knows zero about, although Jackie’s wife/girlfriend (it doesn’t state their exact relationship) thinks Jackie is being overprotective-as David’s hot. So what if they don’t know his family, religion, history, friends where he grew up, etc, and he’s not working-David’s hot.

Yeah, Susan really? I mean you are a single mom, don’t you want someone more stable for your kids? Don’t you think you want someone with a real job?

And David’s plan doesn’t make sense! He creates fake identities but has nothing to back him up? I mean he just plans to move from town to town with no social security number or anything and expect to work and live there? I mean they could have had him buy dead people’s identities and then have Michael do some research and stumble on to it! And then he presents it to his mom and she’s like, “oh that, it’s a common name that’s not him.” And then David doing something creepy like almost kill him, kind of like Joseph Cotton in Shadow of a Doubt when he starts sabotaging things around his niece because she knows too much, and everyone thinks she is just imagining things.

Anyways, one day Sean isn’t listening to Susan, so David decides to “discipline” and chokes him. When Sean and Beth visit their dad, he tells him and when Jay returns the kids he gets in a fistfight with David. Now this is my other issue with the movie-Jay confronts David about choking Sean and is freaking out and DAVID ADMITS IT and what does the mom do? Get angry at her EX-HUSBAND THE MAN PROTECTING HIS CHILD AND NOT THE MAN WHO JUST ADMITTED TO CHOKING OUT HER BABY. And afterwards Sean is all it my fault, and everyone is mad at Jay for making a scene and overreacting, and Sean apologizes to David and everyone is its okay, we forgive you. And later when Sean is freaking out, Michael is all its okay Sean David won’t hurt you again.

Uh, no. NO, NO, NO, NO! Jay was totally in the right and I completely 100% agree with his decision to pummel the guy ABUSING HIS child. And Susan, really? What is wrong with you! This man admitted to abusing your child because “he forgot what it was like being a father and discipling and maybe went too far. But don’t worry, he’ll learn how to do better, Uh, no! Get out of my house and out of my life and I am calling the police on you.”

WHAT!!!??

But Susan loves him. After that I checked out-I just couldn’t get over that scene. Now if they had David not admit to it, and change it around so it sounds like Sean is lying as he is upset at the changes, or Jay made it up, or twisted it in any way-I’ll buy that. But he admits it, and Susan cannot see the warning signs? Now I’ve been in an abusive relationship I now how they can meld your mind and practically brainwash you with their emotional and mental abuse- but your kids Susan! Your kids!!!

So Michael investigates, David goes on an anti-climatic killing spree, Michael’s girlfriend walks around in tiny clothes and bikinis, and the movie is just boring.

There is no suspense or buildup, no twists, it is all bland and very oatmeal-you know what you are getting and it happens-just as expected.

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

For more serial killers, go to It Should Have Been a Movie or a Miniseries: American Gothic (2016)

So with today’s topic and October being national domestic violence awareness month, I felt compelled to share this.

I Am a Survivor of Domestic Violence and I Know Help is Out There:

Are you being abused?

It’s abuse when someone who should care about you does or says things that hurt you or make you feel afraid, helpless or worthless. Here are only a few examples:

  • Slapping, hitting, punching, choking, grabbing, shoving, kicking you or your kids, your pets
  • Threatening you, your kids, friends, family or pets
  • Hitting, kicking, slamming walls, doors, furniture, possessions
  • Forcing you to have sex
  • Calling you names, swearing at you, yelling
  • Controlling all the money, even money you earn
  • Blaming you or your kids for everything
  • Putting you down, making you feel like nothing you do is ever good enough
  • Treating you like a servant or slave
  • Controlling where you go, what you do, what you wear
  • Controlling who you see, who you talk to
  • Humiliating you in front of other people
  • Refusing to let you leave the relationship

If you are in danger call 911, a local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.

 

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.

childreadingabkkid impression identity a part of us You've got mail meg ryan

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

matildalovetoreadeverything

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.

SherlockFanSupernaturalCrowleyList

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.

100pgs

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.

basilofbakerstreet

So yeah, I was obsessed.

NotaPsychopathFangirl

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

SherlockPoppedcollarcoolandmysterious

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!

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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.

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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.

my planisworkingStarWars

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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.

ISawHimFirstFictional

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

robinhoodSheriffofnottingham

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

galaxyquestrollseyesugh

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

Snape+Lily

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)

studyinscarletsherlockholmes

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…

MarshallHIMYMmindblown

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

what what'shappeningSupernatural

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.

studyinscarletsherlockholmes

(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!!!!

NotLiketheBook

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.

fliptablesangrysurprised

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.

bodysnatch3

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.

brothersgrimmbooklistwriting

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.

thebat1959shadowclaw

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

SherlockPoppedcollarcoolandmysterious

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

You Cannot Conquer It. It has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

Dr.Jekyll&MrHyde

“You became that monster tonight not of your own accord. It will happen again.

It never will. I’m sure of it. I’ll conquer it!

Too late. You cannot conquer it. It has conquered you!”

So Horrorfest this year got off to a rough start. It’s not that I wasn’t excited for it or not eager to review horror films, I was just floundering. I wasn’t sure what to do for it, I mean after all last year was the best Horrorfest I have ever done. It was planned out way in advance, was half done by the time October rolled around, had a werewolf theme, etc. How could I top that? What could I do? Should I do another theme? I was just so unsure.

I don't know what to do

So I thought and thought and begin reviewing and planning a few things. I don’t know if this year will be as good as last years, but here we go!!!

Horror Films

So of course the most difficult thing in every Horrorfest, is what movie to start with and which to end. The first year I did Carnival of Souls (1962) and Halloween (1978); the second year The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) and Children of the Corn (1984); and the third year The Wolf Man (1941) and The Wolfman (2010).

After a looooooooong deliberation, I finally chose my final post. That left the first post which created an even looooooooooooooonger debate. But I finally picked, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.

Dr.Jekyll&MrHyde

So before we start the review, let me give you a little background information. This film is based on the novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and is set in Victorian England. It was turned into a play, in which the writer added in two love interests; and then adapted into a silent film in the 1920s. This version is the first with sound, and while similar to the book has made quite a few changes. This film came out in 1931, and is a Pre-Code film. That means this film came out before the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) was created and started rating things. So this film has a lot of things that wouldn’t be acceptable later to show on the big screen, in fact when they rereleased it in theaters they had to cut part of the film (added back in on VHS & DVD).

keanu Whoa

This film also had some different ways of filming (more on that later) and landed Fredric March an Oscar for his performance. This was back when the Academy wasn’t so hoity-toity, today they wouldn’t nominate anyone in a horror film unless it was for makeup, sound, or film editing.

The Academy SUCKS!

The Academy SUCKS!

While in the book the story is told not through Dr. Jekykll, but his friend who discovers the whole story, they changed it so that all is through his point of view.

Anyways, lets begin the review.

So our film starts out with the credits and creepy organ music that sets the mood, and shivers down your spine!

shiver

We then are shown a pair of hands playing organ music. Oh early horror movies, you almost always had an organ in there somewhere.

phantom-of-the-opera

But unlike The Phantom of the Opera or Dracula, this music is light and airy, very sweet.

Dr. Jekyll (Fredric March) continues to play when his butler tells him that he must leave soon if he is to reach his lecture hall in time and teach his lesson. Dr. Jekyll doesn’t want to quit his playing, but gets up to go.

Now here is one of the things that director Rouben Mamoulian did much, much differently. The camera angles for the first three minutes of the film are shot from Dr. Jekyll’s point of view, we don’t see his face.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

I know. Very unusual but the effect works. We see him doing the mundane things and talking to his butler, but all I can think is what he looks like. I mean I know what Fredrich March looks like, but will he look the same here? Will they make him older like in the book? Will he be handsome? I just have got to see his face!!!!

Suspense have to know

And when we are finally shown it in the mirror:

DrJekyll&MrHyde

Wow, what a hunk.

swoon dreamy

So after we are shown his face we go back to seeing through his eyes. Throughout the film while they switch back and forth between first person and observer point of view, the film is a majority from an observer/third point of view like most films.

So Dr. Jekyll heads to the University in his horse-drawn carriage. And one thing you notice right away, everyone likes or admires him. His butler, the carriage driver, the students think he’s spectacular, and even the older scholars enjoy his lectures and ideas.

And I truly mean it

So Dr. Jekyll begins his lecture and it is not what anyone has expected. Instead of discussing a part of the physical body, he chooses to discuss the Soul of Man. Dr. Jekyll defines that every person has two pieces to them. One side is constantly striving for the nobility of life, morals, i.e. the “Good side”. The other only cares for satisfying their desires and giving in to temptation, i.e. the “Bad side”.

Both are in an eternal struggle:

Vampires Suck Shovel Fight

The Good side wants to be good all the time, but is constantly tempted to do evil. The Bad wants to do whatever it wants, but feels remorse at the things it does. Both are chained together, with one taking more control than the other, be it bad or good. What Dr. Jekyll proposes is to seperate the two, so that the bad can be destroyed and the good be the only left.

Say What

Everyone is appalled!What could he be thinking? Why would he even consider it?

In fact, Dr Jekyll has already started his experiment and research looks as if it could be possible.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

After the lecture ends, people are split in how they feel about it. The young students laugh it off as a joke, split the soul in two, not even possible. The older attendees are in complete shock! How dare he blaspheme and cross into God’s territory!!!

No thank youhowaboutno

Dr. Jekyll’s friend, Dr. Layon, warns him to give the whole thing up. That this will not end well at all for him. But Dr. Jekyll won’t listen, as he believes that science must push boundaries. There is no lines to consider, all is fair game.

Game of thrones jon Snow kit harrington I know how

Dr. Layon reminds Dr. Jekyll of the appointment they have with the Countess, but Dr. Jekyll tells him he’s not going, but heading to the poor’s hospital. Dr. Layon tells him that he must, certain things are expected of his caliber of gentlemen, but Dr. Jekyll refuses,

Dr. Jekyll: The things one can’t do are the things I want to.

So he goes to the hospital and helps a poor girl, put down her crutches and overcome her fear of walking. Dr. Jekyll would rather help someone who truly needs it, than a hypochondriac that just wants attention.

He is planning on operating on a woman, when Dr. Lanyon comes to bring him to dinner at General Carew’s house, with Jekyll’s fiancé Muriel. But Jekyll refuses dinner, saying he must operate now. So Dr. Lanyon leaves.

After dinner there is dancing and Muriel has had to do with other men, as Dr. Jekyll is still not there. He finally arrives, but Muriel is justifiably upset.

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She quickly forgives him and they go off to the garden to talk. Here we see another side of Dr. Jekyll. He’s no longer the cool, collected, serious doctor; but giddy, adorable, and in love. In fact he wants to get married now.

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It must be so strange for a genius who has been solely concentrated on science, logic, cold hard facts; to find himself with this sudden rush of emotion and desire. It’d be like if Sherlock Holmes met a woman he wanted to marry and have babies. So sudden, strange, and hard to control.

feelings

The General won’t let them marry immediately as he feels that such a short engagement would be indecent (hint: mean that his daughter is not a virgin, is pregnant, or has done other promiscuous/indecent things.) In his defense, he is trying to protect his daughter’s reputation, but this has disastrous results.

Spoke too soon

Dr. Jekyll is a man that once he gets an idea, strives constantly until he come to a conclusion or figured a solution to his problem. He isn’t used to “waiting”.

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To make this even worse, this is a man who has denied himself any kind of passionate emotions. He has always strived to be a good person, but even more so, he has denied himself all emotions for logic, science, etc. Now Muriel has awakened a side of him that he had locked up and all these emotions are coming out.

feelings

It is something that Dr. Jekyll has no way of gageing or keeping in check. And instead of having the ability to wait or hold on, he wants it NOW!

Now as I mentioned before, in the book Dr. Jekyll isn’t engaged, his only love was knowledge, science, etc.: so this question only applies to the film. But if the General allowed them to get married now, would Dr. Jekyll have continued his quest for splitting the soul? Or would he have been too preoccupied with married life?

The plot thickens

After Dr. Jekyll is shot down by the General, he and Dr. Layon leave. Dr. Jekyll is so angry and incensed that he is being denied. Why must we be unable to have the things we want?

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He is so angry he thinks about strangling him.

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While he and his friend are discussing this, he witnesses an altercation with a low-class woman and a low-class man. It might seem a little odd to us now to see such opulence next to such depravity, but a lot of cities were like that for a while, think of 42nd Street in New York, “where the underworld can meet the elite” [from musical 42nd Street].

The good doctor picks her up and carries her into her room. While the film never addresses it, or says exactly what she is, this woman, Ivy, is; but based on the way she acts (and the amount of men she is with) it is safe to say she is a prostitute. In later films and musicals, they make it more definite.

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Anyways, when he gets her in bed, she shows him where the man hurt her, bruising her leg, and not just her leg but upper thigh. Yep, this where the liberties of the pre-code begin.

He tells her all she needs is rest, and Ivy insinuates she’d like him in bed with her.

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He of course moves away from the bed, but Ivy hasn’t given up yet. She likes that he is a gentleman and gives him a strip tease before she gets into bed.

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She sticks out her bare leg, BARE LEG, for Dr. Jekyll to examine as her knee is “broken”. When he comes over, she kisses him, and Dr. Jekyll doesn’t stop the kiss.

As they are kissing, his friend walks in. They leave, with Ivey swinging her leg back and forth and inviting Jekyll to come back anytime.

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In fact as the two leave, her leg continues to swing back and forth over them slowly dissolving and showing how both men are still focused on it.

So the film presents these two women show the duality that Dr. Jekyll will become.

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On one hand we have brunette Muriel, demure, sweet, kind, innocence, a lady: that has awoken feelings of love that he has never been aware of before. On the other hand we have the low class, brassy, blonde, who is highly sexual. She has awakened a lust in him and he wants her to satisfy his longing, but doesn’t want anymore than that.

So he and his friend leave, with his friend appalled at his actions.

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Dr. Lanyon: Perhaps you’re forgetting, you’re engaged to Muriel.

Dr. Jekyll: Forgotten it? Can a man dying of thirst forget water? And do you know what would happen to that thirst if it were to be denied water?

Dr. Lanyon: If I understand you correctly, you sound almost indecent.

Now the problem in Dr. Jekyll’s case is not the Puritan viewpoints of the Victorian Era, a lot of people fall into that misconception. You see a man releasing his sexual drive with prostitutes was actually expected. Sex with a wife was viewed more for children, not “fun”. Dr. Jekyll’s problem is that he does not want to be a regular person who suffers from temptation and desire, he wants to be rid of it completely. He wants so badly to be perfectly good, hence all his charity work, and he wants to remove the ability to even “fall into sin”. Instead of having to make a choice, he wants to remove all need for morality as all would be good and make “good decisions.” He wants to be more than a mere, average, man.

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The problem is that what he strives for is impossible, he is only setting himself up for failure and going to cause an extreme downfall.

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Dr. Jekyll returns to his lab working day and night, not sleeping or eating, all in his quest to split the soul. He makes the potion and decides to test it on himself.

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But in his defense, he does pen a letter telling Muriel he loves her and that he died in the pursuit of science.

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If my love went this way, it wouldn’t make me happy but at least you know he was thinking of you.

So then he looks into the mirror and drinks the potion down.

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As he is doing that, he goes through all those emotions he has been trying to ignore: wrath, lust, greed-they all swarm around him.

He looks in the mirror and we see this ugly thing. Now Dr. Jekyll was a tall, strong, good-looking man . This side hasn’t been used as much so he’s hunched, shorter, also doesn’t look as strong as Jekyll does. He’s more animalistic, apelike, covered in hair, large giant teeth.

Now something you might have noticed is the large amount of mirrors in this movie. There are so many to symbolize the duality of man. The mirror only shows the outside of a person, not their true inner self. The mirror is supposed to show our reflection, but sometimes people see only what they wish to see, not what is really there. The mirror is the only way we are able to see what everyone else sees, and a way in which we can construct what we want people to see in us.

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I could go on longer, but let’s get back to the film.

So the first thing that his darker self, Mr. Hyde, does is cheer about how happy he is to be free. So long has Jekyll kept him crippled, living a good life, and denying the dark side. But now that he las let him out, will he be able to contain him again?

So Hyde is excited to be out and plans to roam the streets, when his butler knocks on the door. Hyde talks to him, but even though he is Dr. Jekyll, he doesn’t sound like him anymore. The butler is afraid and about to come in, so Dr. Jekyll changes back into his true self.

Dr. Jekyll has done it, he has actually done it.

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But while he is pleased his experiment worked, at the same time he is afraid to let the dark side out. But it starts haunting him, tempting him.

Star Wars Dark side power Darth vader

He goes to Muriel to plead with her to marry him now. He is afraid that without her, he might make some very bad decisions. But Muriel and her father are leaving for a trip to Bath for a week.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Muriel asks him to wait for her, and he agrees, but you can see in his face he doesn’t really want to wait. What he really wants is to be satisfied NOW!

Dr. Jekyll is in a tizzy. That swinging leg is still in his mind, along with his potion and he is worried that without Muriel to remind him of what he truly wants, he may give into the temptation.

He then receives a letter from Muriel stating that their week trip, is turning into a month.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Dr. Jekyll has been sitting in his lab, moping and withdrawn from society and his patients. His butler is worried for him and tells him he should go out.

Butler Poole: You should go out, sir. London offers many amusements for a gentlemen like you, sir.

Dr. Jekyll: Yes, but gentlemen like me daren’t take advantage of them, Poole. Gentlemen like me have to be very careful of what we do or say.

Now Poole, the Butler, is trying to get Jekyll to go to the opera, museum, see a play, visit with friends, etc.: something not in the house. But Dr. Jekyll think of those things? No. Immediately his mind goes straight to sex. He cannot control this emotions, and I think that if he could just admit to himself that he is a man and has faults, instead of trying to make himself be perfect being he wouldn’t struggle as hard. Yes Dr. Jekyll, you are good, but just because you are good doesn’t mean that you don’t have flaws, you need to accept that.

FlwsNOoneUseAgainstYou

And you know Dr. Jekyll could choose something else to do with his time, but that’s not what he wants. He wants to be with a woman. But he as Jekyll does not want to ruin his reputation, his good name, so instead he looks to another avenue.

Jekyll&Hyde

Man this transformation looks so painful, I wouldn’t want to do it. This time he looks even uglier, more monstrous, brutish.

Gilmore girls creep

He goes after Ivy, the girl who has awakened his lust. She’s not home but out at the nearby tavern, so Hyde heads there. Even the way that he moves is brutish and apelike.

He meets up with Ivy:

So he tries to be a “gentlemen” as that is what Ivy wants, but can’t pull it off as Hyde as he is too dark in his actions.

Certified Creepo Ribbon

He wants her to be his mistress and while Ivy refuses initially, Hyde makes it clear he gets what he wants.

Jekyll and Hyde

He grabs her acting like an animal, and threatens her. Tells her he loves her but all he wants is sex. In reality he doesn’t love her, he’s attracted to her but wants a placeholder for Muriel.

In the next scene we see Ivy has agreed to being a kept woman, but not because she wants a nice home or things, but because she is scared out of her mind that Hyde will kill her.

Hyde comes to visit her, and we see that he is taller, standing upright, and much stronger looking then before. He is also uglier. It seems that Jekyll has been living Hyde more and more making him much stronger than the good Jekyll side.

my planisworkingStarWars

As soon as Hyde enters the room, he heads straight to the bed, reading the paper. In there he notices that Muriel will be returning.

Spoke too soon

He forgot about that pesky fiancé of Jekyll, this means bad news for Hyde. Here we see that Dr. Jekyll has actually failed. He wanted to separate the two so that one can be destroyed and the good can only endure. But in fact that is not what has happened. Jekyll, when present is always conscious of his desires the Hyde. Hyde while bad and does what he wants, he too is conscious of the good Jekyll, not always choosing to follow. So he never split them, they still are in struggle, he just gave more of himself and power over to his dark side.

StarWarsDarker

In fact the only real difference is that he feels okay being bad as he is not “Dr. Jekyll”. No one knows who he is, so he can do whatever he wants. Kind of like those people who get on the internet and feel free to do whatever as no one knows who they are.

Anyways, so Hyde makes sure Ivy doesn’t think about leaving him, being emotionally, verbally, and physically abusive to her.

Jekyll and Hyde

Then he heads home as Dr. Jekyll wants out. Muriel is coming home, so he takes the potion and returns.

Jekyll&Hyde

But we see all is not well, as his eyes are CRAZED. Dr. Jekyll is losing the war and Hyde is taking over.

He goes to Muriel who is upset that he hasn’t answered any of her letters. He apologizes and tells her he has been sick in mind. He begs her to marry him now instead of later as he NEEDS her. She agrees and the beg her father, who finally gives in. They invite him for dinner the next night, when they will announce to everyone that the two are to be married the next month.

Finally something GOOD!

Finally something GOOD!

Meanwhile, back in Ivy’s house, her landlady is helping tend to her wounds done by Hyde. Dr. Jekyll, feeling remorse for what has happened has sent over £60. Ivy isn’t sure who Dr. Jekyll is, as she didn’t now the name of the doctor who saved her earlier, but decides to see this man in the hopes he can stop Hyde.

Dr. Jekyll goes home, happy and plays the organ. And this time it isn’t light and airy, but dark and creepy. Hyde is still lurking, strong.

phantom-of-the-opera organ

He is interrupted by Ivy who has come to see him. She begs him for help, ripping her top off to show him the whipping that Hyde gave her.

Spoke too soon

Heere Dr. Jekyll is forced to look at the consequences of his actions. He thought it would be okay to have the Hyde do what he wants, and Jekyll what he wants. But no, as both are a part of him, both are connected and cannot be separated.It was all an illusion to think so.

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Jekyll promises Ivy that Hyde is gone forever, he will never bother her again. And Dr. Jekyll intends to keep it that way as he is to wed Muriel, he no longer needs Hyde.

He's gone for good

He’s gone for good

But that’s where you are wrong Jekyll. You have given Hyde too much power, and now you will be unable to control him.

Dr. Jekyll walks to the General’s house for dinner when he spots a pretty robin singing. As he looks at him a cat eats him, which upsets Jekyll. And as that happens, Jekyll starts to become Hyde.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

You see Hyde cannot easily be kept down and he does not want to be. Jekyll has given him too much power and liberties. All he needs is for Jekyll to feel dark things: anger, greed, lust, violence, etc and Hyde will come out.

StarWatsDarkSide

I know some of you might be tired of all the Star Wars memes and quotes and think I need to cool my obsession, but in a way Star Wars is similar to Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, particularly Anakin Skywalker. Dr. Jekyll is a man that doesn’t quite follow the rules. There is a moral code to science he should follow, but chooses to ignore it and continue in his experiment, one that ends up having him release his dark side and live out all those emotions and desires with no thought on how this will affect others. With Anakin, he too follows his own code as he doesn’t agree with all the Jedi rules. One of which is not to marry as the powers you have, when tied to emotions, can do some pretty bad things. Both people give into those darker sides, ultimately completely going over to the dark side.

Anyways, so now with Hyde out, he heads over to see Ivy. Hyde hates Dr. Jekyll, as Dr. Jekyll has kept him contained for so long, and still tries to imprison him. Ivy going to him is the ultimate betrayal, and for that she must die.

Jekyll and Hyde

So as he is heading over there we get a great camera view. They split the screen so that in the upper left Hyde is heading off to get Ivy, and in the lower right, Muriel is waiting for Jekyll. As the camera pans in Muriel, we see that she not happy at all. Then Murial is in the lower left and Ivy is in the upper right, celebrating the end of Hyde.

DrJekyllMrHyde

Except Hyde is not quite finished:

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Hyde kills her, but as he is escaping, the others in the building have heard what he has done and follow him.

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Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

He sneaks to Dr. Jekyll’s house, but the butler won’t let him in. So he runs to the tavern and writes a note (as his handwriting is the same), asking his friend for chemicals and saying Hyde will pick up the package.

letter

His friend follows the instructions, but when Hyde comes, he won’t let him leave, unless he promises to take him to see Dr. Jekyll. As Hyde can’t, although let’s be honest Dr. Jekyll is coming through in this moment as he wants to be changed back, and takes the potion, warning his friend about what he will see.

Mr. Hyde: Think before you decide, I tell you! Do you want to be left as you are, or do you want your eyes and your soul to be blasted by a sight that would stagger the devil himself?

When the Dr. Lanyon sees the transformation, he is in utter shock.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

He tells him that he warned him not to do it, that he should have listened to him. Dr. Jekyll agrees, but says that he can control it now. That he will never, ever again become Hyde. Dr. Lanyon warns him that is not true. It is over, he is no longer in control.

Dr. Lanyon: You’re a rebel, and see what it has done for you. You’re in the power of this monster that you have created.

Dr. Jekyll: I’ll never take that drug again!

Dr. Lanyon: Yes, but you told me you became that monster tonight not of your own accord. It will happen again.

Dr. Jekyll: It never will. I’m sure of it. I’ll conquer it!

Dr. Lanyon: Too late. You cannot conquer it. It has conquered you!

They both agree that he must give Muriel up as he might kill her like he did Ivy. The next night he goes to Muriel and tells her that it is over.

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But Muriel doesn’t want to end the relationship, she loves him. But Dr. Jekyll knows it is best to set her free. She tries to hug, him and he doesn’t want her too, as he is afraid it will release Hyde, He is completely  broken in this scene as he loves her so much, but knows that any further involvement means death for her.

Dr. Jekyll: I have no soul. I’m beyond the pale. I’m one of the living dead!

She grabs him and they both sob, but then he leaves, and she continues to cry.

Under Capricorn Aah oh no ugh

As she is indoors crying, Jekyll changes into Hyde, and Hyde sneaks into the house attacking her. When she screams her father and butler came after Hyde, who attacks both of them, beating the father.

He runs home to change back into Jekyll, but it is too late. Dr. Lanyon looks after the General and sees the broken cane Hyde dropped, recognizing it as Dr. Jekyll’s.

They return to his house accusing him of being the murderer. When Dr. Jekyll becomes scared and angry, he turns back into Hyde.

You can’t help but feel bad for Dr. Jekyll. He was  a good man that wanted to do something for the good of all, but as they say: “The Road to Hell is paved with Good Intentions.”

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So marks the first post of Horrorfest and there are many good movies coming along. Stay tuned!

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As it has become a yearly tradition, my facebookcover/mini poster.

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For more mad scientists, go to Unleash the Savage Instincts that Lie Hidden Within: I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957)

For more on men creating monsters, go to In Their Proper Place: Metropolis (1927)

For more on Star Wars, go to Going on a Treasure Hunt

For more films based on books, go to What Have We Done to Each Other?: Gone Girl (2014)