Dracula. Not Myth, Nor Ravings of a Mad Irish Novelist, Oh No, He’s Real: Dracula 2000 (2000)

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Dracula. Dracula: not myth, nor ravings of a mad Irish novelist, oh no. He’s real, I assure you.

A long time ago, AMC used to do Fear Fridays. Every friday night at 8 they would show a horror film, and not stop until early Saturday morning. But then they pushed it back to 9, then 10, then 11, then 12, then 1 am, then 2 am; still calling it Fear Friday although it was actually Saturday morning. And then they just stopped doing it, which deeply saddened me as I saw many a good, creepy film those Friday nights.

Why did it end?

Why did it end?

This however, wasn’t one of those good movies.

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My sister and I saw this on one of those Friday nights and I hated this film. I thought it was dumb, stupid, boring, made no sense and couldn’t hold a candle to Bela Lugosi in Dracula (1931). And I vowed to never see it ever again.

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Last week, my friend and I were having a horror film marathon. We saw Once Bitten and then were in the mood for a more serious film. She was going through the list and wanted to see Dracula 2000 as she has never seen it before. I was like

No thank youhowaboutno

She then asked me what the film was about, if I could give her a summary, and I tried to tell her…

Uhhhhhhh

Uhhhhhhh

But I couldn’t remember. The only thing I could think of was that it had Johnny Lee Miller (who played Mr. Knightley in Emma (2009) and Edmund Bertram in Mansfield Park (1999) as the regular person thrust in the adventure (the only character I liked); Gerald Butler as Dracula (the reason I watched it the first time) but he was so young that it didn’t even look like him and I hated his character; a weird scene in the record store; and that I hated it. Why did I hate it, I couldn’t remember. The movie must have been so horrible I just wiped it from my memory banks.

Where

Since I couldn’t remember it, and thought maybe I was too harsh a judge, we decided to watch it and see if it was different this go round.

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I HATED IT!

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I thought it was horrible and stupid. So you know what that means! A countdown!!! Yes, let’s go over everything I liked (barely anything) to everything I hated (practically everything!)

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Synopsis:

The film is supposed to be Dracula set in modern times rather than 1831, so the year is 2000. In London, Matthew Van Helsing (Abraham’s descendent) has an antique store in which he is training Simon (Johnny Lee Miller). That night everyone but Matthew goes home, and unbeknownst to him his secretary Solina is part of a ring of thieves that breaks into his vault. They find nothing in there but crosses and a coffin, taking it as it must be valuable.

But something terrible lurks inside.

But something terrible lurks inside.

When Matthew discovers the theft, he goes after them, leaving Simon to watch over the business. However, Simon is worried about his mentor and follows him instead.

The thieves open the coffin and reveal that it is Dracula (Gerald Butler) who turns them all into vampires.

Renfield: He came and stood below my window in the moonlight. And he promised me things, not in words, but by doing them. Van Helsing: Doing them? Renfield: By making them happen. A red mist spread over the lawn, coming on like a flame of fire! And then he parted it, and I could see that there were thousands of rats, with their eyes blazing red,l ike his, only smaller. Then he held up his hand, and they all stopped, and I thought he seemed to be saying: "Rats! Rats! Rats! Thousands! Millions of them! All red-blood! All these will I give you! If you will obey me!" Van Helsing: What did he want you to do? Renfield: That which has already been done! [giggles sinisterly]

Renfield: He came and stood below my window in the moonlight. And he promised me things, not in words, but by doing them.
Van Helsing: Doing them?
Renfield: By making them happen. A red mist spread over the lawn, coming on like a flame of fire! And then he parted it, and I could see that there were thousands of rats, with their eyes blazing red,l ike his, only smaller. Then he held up his hand, and they all stopped, and I thought he seemed to be saying: “Rats! Rats! Rats! Thousands! Millions of them! All red-blood! All these will I give you! If you will obey me!”
Van Helsing: What did he want you to do?
Renfield: That which has already been done!
[giggles sinisterly]

He then heads to New Orleans, LA. There lives Mary Heller, a devout Catholic, who has had strange dreams/visions her whole life but they seem worse now than ever before. She keeps seeing this man, unsure of who he is, but us viewers know him as Dracula.

Dracula

Simon and Matthew team up and try to destroy the new vampires, Simon originally shocked but after being attacked admits they are real. Matthew then reveals his secret, he is really Abraham Van Helsing, the Van Helsing.

Count Dracula: Van Helsing. [Van Helsing turns to face Count Dracula] Count Dracula: Now that you have learned what you have learned, it would be well for you to return to your own country. Van Helsing: I prefer to remain and protect those whom you would destroy. Count Dracula: You are too late. My blood now flows through her veins. She will live through the centuries to come, as I have lived. Van Helsing: Should you escape us, Dracula. We know how to save Miss Mina's soul if not her life. Count Dracula: If she dies by day. But I shall see that she dies by night. Van Helsing: And I will have Carfax Abbey torn down, stone by stone, excavated a mile around. I will find your earth-box and drive that stake through your heart. Count Dracula: Come here. [Dracula raises his hand to hypnotise Van Helsing] Count Dracula: Come here...Your will is strong, Van Helsing. [Van Helsing reaches out for his crucifix as Dracula looms toward him] Count Dracula: More wolfbane? Van Helsing: More effective than wolfbane, Count. Count Dracula: Indeed. [Dracula lunges towards Van Helsing. Van Helsing holds up the crucifix. Dracula snarls and turns away. Van Helsing, in triumph, puts away the crucifix]

[Dracula lunges towards Van Helsing. Van Helsing holds up the crucifix. Dracula snarls and turns away. Van Helsing, in triumph, puts away the crucifix]

When he discovered nothing worked to kill Dracula, he imprisoned him in a coffin and took his blood to keep him young as he continued to try to find a way to destroy him. He was married and they had a daughter Mary, and in her blood is Dracula’s blood. When he told his wife the whole story, she left him and took his daughter to America.

And run fast

Dracula has lost his male vampires, but has three wives: Solina, the secretary; Valerie, a news reporter; and Lucy, Mary’s best friend. Simon and Helsing split up to look for Mary, Helsing being killed by Dracula and the wives at Mary’s house. Simon finds Mary and they escape, only for Mary to be captured later. Simon tries to help her; but is no match for all the vampires.

Dracula

Before Dracula turns Mary into a vampire, he reveals that he is Judas Iscariot and that is why he hates silver and crosses. He tried to hang himself, but the “rope broke” and God turned him into a vampire.

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I know. He turns Mary into a vampire, but I guess her already vampire blood counteracts it as she is not his slave.

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She saves Simon, kills Dracula, and decides to continue the family business (although if she killed Dracula it is over) turning into a female Blade, kinda-sorta.

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So What Was Good?

There was only one thing I liked in this entire film, and that was Johnny Lee Miller’s character, Simon.

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Simon was extremely likable because he was just a regular person thrown into this situation and trying to make sense of it. All his reactions are spot on to when he thinks people are crazy to finally becoming a butt-kicking vampire hunter. He is kind, compassionate, caring, intelligent, and extremely witty.

Marcus: [Simon produces a cross] Sorry sport. I’m an atheist.

Simon Sheppard: [a dagger pops out of the cross’ base] God loves you anyway.

The other thing I like about him was how he represented the everyman or everywoman. Here is a guy who has read old inscriptions, heard stories, studied antique weaponry, etc; but studying and hearing it is much different than having to use it, have the myths be real, and be expected to hunt down vampires. He tries his best as he discovers this new reality, and even though he makes mistakes, all is forgiven as he is us, the viewer, in a sense. I thought he was fun and the best thought out thing in the film.

I like it!

I like it!

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So What Was Bad?

Everything else. Seriously, I mean it. The rest of the film was absolutely horrid.

1) Too Many Stars

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Like Scre4m it is hard to focus on a plot of a film when you are being hit right and left with people who are really famous. In every scene it felt more like a game of “Which Star Will Pop Up Next” rather than watching a film about Dracula. I mean we have Shane West, Christopher Plummer, Johnny Lee Miller, Omar Epps, Nathan Fillion, Vitamin C, etc. When casting you really have to be careful and not have too many recognizable people, or else your audience will be going bug-eyed.

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2) For a Dracula film there isn’t a lot of Dracula in it.

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Dracula is supposed to be about Dracula; but Dracula actually has a small role in this film. And unlike previous films, Dracula wasn’t even played by a big star with top billing; instead they choose Gerald Butler who had very little on his acting resume at the time this film was made. To me that is incredibly strange as he is the main character, THE TITLE CHARACTER. He should be the star, the biggest personality. Instead Dracula has very little dialogue and spends most of his time just creepily staring at people.

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

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

I didn’t like that, not one bit. As much as I disliked Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and I did a lot, at least that one knew what to focus on, DRACULA! It was a weird decision made by the writers, and a bad one.

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3) Mary, Mary Quite Boring

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

Mary was so boring! I mean it what a yawnfest. All she did was cower, snivel, and act as if she was going to have a breakdown. Her character was bland and completely underdeveloped other than “good”, “Catholic”, and “British”. Now don’t get me wrong, the breakdown character can work but only in films where it is about psychological damage, like Rebecca, Gaslight or Under Capricorn, not a monster movie. In this type of film that kind of behavior is boring!

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4) Taking Blood to Live Longer, Yet He Doesn’t Become a Vampire

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In the book Dracula, the way to have someone become a vampire is to give them vampire blood. In this film Van Helsing keeps transfusing vampire blood into his body to live longer, but doesn’t become a vampire. That makes zero sense! If you ingest vampire blood you are a vampire. Pure and simple.

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5) Dracula is Judas

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Yes. It turns out the reason Dracula hates silver, crosses, bibles, Christianity, etc…is because he is Judas.

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Why would God turn him into a vampire? Why would God create a being that cannot be killed but kill his people making their souls unable to move on? That is just unbelievably dumb.

I mean if the devil was the one who did it, it would still be really dumb, but make a lil’ more sense.

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So yes it was dumb, incredibly dumb. Just stupid and horribly boring. My advice? Just skip it.

And after we finished the film, I asked my friend “What do you think of it?” Her response:

You as in the film

You as in the film

So there you go, not just me.

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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 I’m…a Werewolf: Teen Wolf (1985)

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For more Dracula, go to We’ve Seen Dracula, the Wolf Man, and Frankenstein’s Monster: Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

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

For more on Judas Iscariot, go to The Arrest

For more modern remakes, go to Heroes are Not Born, They’re Created: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

For more sucky remakes, go to Every Three Thousand Years, the Stars Align. Unleashing an Army of Monsters: TMNT (2007)

For more Gerald Butler, go to Pot o’ Gold: 17 Irish Heroes

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Beast or Man: The Wolfman (2010)

There is no sin in killing a beast, only in killing a man. But where does one begin and the other end?

So this year I decided to do something very, very different. Now the in the past, all Horrorfests have ended on a film that takes place on Halloween. This wasn’t a credence that I set out to make, it just kind of happened along the way. With Horrorfest I had always planned on ending on Halloween (1978)I knew it was the best way to end the first year with a big bang. Besides, that year I had done the other slasher films that spanned numerous sequels and remakes (Friday the 13th Nightmare on Elm Street). Horrorfest II I was trying to also end on a really great film that would produce the same kind of bang, and decided on Children of the Corn as that film was creepy. It also happened to take place on Halloween.

This year I was trying to decide what would be the best opener and closer. I was originally going to open with Metropolis as I had done a post in July referencing it. But after I wrote that post, it just didn’t speak to me as an opener. I started going through my drafts and that’s when I spotted The Wolf Man (1941)The Wolf Man has to be my favorite of the classic horror film monsters (along with The Phantom of the Opera). I hadn’t had a chance to review it yet, and since it was the last of the classics I decided it should be the opener.

the wolf man

Once I wrote that post, I was so excited. You see, I felt I really couldn’t to a post on any werewolf films until I had covered the first one. I thought it was only right to start with the original. With that done, I could move onto any other werewolf film I desired. The possibilities were endless.

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With the beginning finished, I then set my sights on the end. What could I do that would really pop? As I started thinking and looking, I saw my draft for The Wolfman (2010). And that’s when it hit me.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

I could end Horrorfest III with The Wolfman (2010). It could be like bookends!!!! In the beginning the original that started it all  and the end the newest rendition. !!! Yes!! It could work and it will. So here we are The Wolfman (2010).

Double double yay

So a little backstory before we begin the review. As you would have read in an older post, I love The Wolf Man (1941). It is one of my all-time favorite horror films. One day in my photography class, we were watching trailers of different films as we were looking at the cinematography and technique. My teacher was on a Mac which has Front Row, and shows you trailers of the past, present, and future films. One trailer I remember looking at was Nightmare on Elm Street (2010). I wasn’t planning on seeing it, as I hadn’t seen the original. But as we reached the end, I saw The Wolfman.

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I screamed ay my teacher, stop!! I want to see that. So we watched the trailer.

AWESOME!!! RIGHT!!! So I knew there were going to be changes, I knew it was going to be nowhere near as good as the original, but I was soooo pumped!! So I watched the trailer in February 2009, and saw the film was slated for that October. I couldn’t wait!!!

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I ticked off the months, but then in October I discovered it wasn’t out in theaters.

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Yep, there had been some production problems, so they pushed it back to February. FEBRUARY!!! V-Day weekend. I was upset, but what could I do? I just had to wait it out.

Laura Angry Mad Upset

But then February came and I decided that it would be my V-day present to myself. You see I have never had a boyfriend or date for V-day, so I always just buy myself whatever I want. It’s actually pretty nice as you don’t have to fight with anyone over where to go or what to see; and you are never, ever, ever, disappointed.

perfect plan

I asked a couple of friends who were also single and we bought tickets for opening night. I knew that I wouldn’t be 100% pleased, but I was looking forward to those improved transformation scenes.

So moving on to the review.

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So let’s go back in time. The year is 1891 and we are in England. Lawrence Talbot (Benicio del Toro) is the second son of Sir John Talbot (Anthony Hopkins). He and his dad had a lot of issues and problems so he left as soon as he could. Since then he has been a renowned Shakespearean actor, famous throughout all England for his Hamlet and Macbeth.

the wolfman play acting stage

He recieves a letter from a Gwen Conliffe (Emily Blunt). She was engaged to his older brother Ben, but he has been murdered. Not only was he murdered, but horribly mangled by something. When Lawrence gets the news, he immediately returns home for the funeral.

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When he gets there he sees his father and the two have a harsh welcome. Unlike The Wolf Man (1941), where father and son were trying to work on repairing their relationship, Sir John doesn’t care. He still has huge issues with his son not being what he wants him to be. The way that Sir John treats him, causes Lawrence to want to leave, and go far away…but he can’t. He has to properly say good-bye to his brother.

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Lawerence does try to get away from his father as he knows staying near him will just cause more fights. He also really wants to see his brother. So he heads down to the local slaughterhouse where the body is kept before burial.

ew! Gross Yuck

I know but you have to remember this is a small village in 19th century England. They didn’t have a mortuary to hold the body until burial. They also didn’t understand how diseases spread and that it is not a good idea to have a dead body near your food.

There at the slaughterhouse, the butcher gives Laurence his brother’s items, that is everything found on him at the time of his death.

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Later that night he heads over to the local pub for a drink and overhears the gossip on the murder. Most of the villagers blame a band of gypsies. Not long after they moved into the area, Ben was murdered. In fact, someone remembers a case occuring years earlier of gypsies moving into the area and dead bodies surfacing. As they discuss this, Laurence remembers that Ben had had a gypsy medallion on him.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

This is the first time that Laurence has ever met his brother’s fiance Gwen. Now for you Wolf Man fans, you should recognize that it is the same name given to Laurence’s love interest in the original film. Except in that film she was to marry the hunter/groundsman of the Talbot estates. Anyways, Laurence meets her and can instantly see why his brother fell for her, as he himself is attracted to her.

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Of course Lawrence is the most amazing, gentleman/good guy that he would never ever think of putting the moves on her. He does thank her for trying to be there for his father and for everything. He also let’s her know that if she ever needs him, he’ll be there for him.

Gwen is also attracted to him, and you really can’t blame her. If Benecio is in his early 40s, that means her husband to-be was hecka old. Also Benecio/Lawrence has this adorable hurt puppy dog look that makes you just want to show him he is special, and that you care for him. He looks so sad that it makes you just want to take him, and take care of him. Making sure is life is bright and never unhappy again. That look is killer on any girl as it flies through their best defenses. Major chink in the armor.

swoon dreamy

Sorry, digressing….So with Lawrence back, and the funeral over, Gwen decides to return to London. Laurence would like to leave too, but wth his brother’s death, he now is sole heir to the estate and the first son. When his father dies he will become Sir Lawrence and be expected to uphold all those duties (House of Lords most likely). This isn’t the life that Laurence wants, but at this moment he is too loaded with grief and confusion over his brother’s death that he doesn’t question or try to rebel.

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So with Gwen gone, and his father an emotionless robot who only cares about himself; Lawrence takes it upon himself to try and figure out what happened to his loving brother. Now Lawrence is putting on the black cowl and trying to become a vigilante or anything, he just wants some closure about his brother’s death. He heads down to the gypsy camp to try to get some answers.

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

Where were you the night in question?

That night is a full moon

attack Wolf Boy Meets World

Which as you’ve guessed it means trouble is going to be roaming about. Lawrence meets up with the gypsy woman Maleva, who tells him that something truly evil has attacked his brother.

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But before he can get anything more, the townspeople attack the village. They try to drive the gypsies from the area, and kill a dancing bear they believe to be the beast that killed Ben Talbot.

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Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

As they are attacking, a superhuman, wolfish creature descends upon the area and starts slaughtering people.

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And I’m not talking about just a few people, this is like a Scream sequel. The body count by the end of this film is in the double digits.

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Hey, my generation is the Millennials. They aren’t as classy, they need lots more blood and guts.

Anyways, the werewolf is attacking everyone, and Lawrence spots a young boy running into the woods. At the same time the werewolf spots the boy, causing Lawrence to put himself in the way in order to protect the child. As he does so, the wolf attacks him.

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And he gets bitten.

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Malvea find him and cares for him, despite the community telling her that it is better for all if they let him die. But Malvea can’t, she says he still is a man and deserves to be treated as such. She also states that only a loved one can kill him.

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Malvea honey, I don’t think so. Anyone can kill a werewolf as long as they have some kind of silver object. Nowhere is that in the original film, as if you read my post you would know that film revolutionized werewolf mythology. Click here to check it out now.

And besides that, is there nothing you can do for him? You are a cinematic gypsy in a horror film! You’re supposed to have a potion or herb or special thing that can protect you from turning. Now if you have read my DraculaThe Mummy, The Wolf Man, or Scream 2 posts, you know I make fun of the films when the guy is given a special charm to protect him but then stupidly turns it over to the girl he loves, EVEN THOUGH IT WILL NOT WORK FOR HER.

Every time!

Every time!

But I really enjoy that part of the film, as it humanizes the character and makes you adore them. I mean its sweet how much they love the girl in their life that if there is anything that can do to ward of the monster, they prefer them to have it. Even though by doing so they make things worse, hey it’s the thought that counts.

Frozen Sacrifice self love you sisters

I also hate how gypsies have been giving “B” standing in modern horror films. I mean without their supreme wisdom and knowledge in the supernatural, they are just nomadic people. In real life they are still awesome, in a  horror film? That’s just boring.

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

But I guess that’s just they way it is these days.

Sadface Batman

So where was I? Oh yeah, Lawrence has been bitten by the werewolf. He is moved back to Talbot Manor, and Gwen returns from London to nurse him back to health. While recovering he has really strange dreams. Lots of blood, murder, and even his mother appears. You see his mother died when he was very, very young and her death severely traumatized her as he discovered her dead body. But why would that death be haunting him now? Is it because of Ben? The slaughtered people seen in the gypsy camp? Or is it something else?

suspicious  Hmm

Lawrence actually heals pretty quickly, which he finds kind of odd. And that’s not the only thing that’s odd in the Talbot homestead. One day his father’s manservant, Singh (Art Malik), shows him a case of silver bullets and hints that something monstrous is walking through the woods.

Weird

Weird

He’s not the only one concerned. Inspector Abberline (Hugo Weaving) comes to town. Yes, yes I’m going to admit it. Any film with Hugo Weaving gets an 10x increase in awesome. I mean this guy is truly one of the most talented actors alive. When he ecomes a role you totally forget that he is Hugo Weaving and just think of him as that character. For me I’m always going, Hugo Weaving was in that film? Oh that’s who was that amazing character. I totally forgot that character was being played by an actor. I mean he is that  good. You have Agent Smith in The Matrix, Elrond in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, V in V for Vendetta, the Red Skull in Captain America: The First Avenger, and that’s just to name a few.

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

Anyways, Inspector Abberline comes to town to investigate. He already believes he knows who the killer is…Lawrence.

Yeah I don't understand it either

Seriously? Lawrence? A Murderer? Come on, this guy wouldn’t hurt a fly. I mean look at him, really look at him. There isn’t a murderous bone in his body! Besides, he just arrived in town so there is no way he could have murdered his brother. Dude, you’re dumb.

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But it isn’t completely ungrounded. You see, Lawrence has a history of “mental problems.” You see, I didn’t want to give you the full story so early, but Lawrence’s mother’s death really did a number on him. Now today, we would really try to help the child as we understand such events as those are highly traumatic and can cause serious issues. Then not so much. Lawrence discovered the body and was very upset. He was afraid and kept mentioning a monster had hurt her. Instead of trying to help his kid, Sir John sent him to an insane asylum, where he was tortured. And I mean torture. Many methods to improve these patients were electrotherapy, iron cuffs/collars, bloodletting, dipping the patient in hot or ice-cold water, and a gyrating chair “to shake up the blood and tissues of the body to restore equilibrium”. By the 1900s, many hospitals had added lobotomies to their lists of “cures”.

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

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

Yeah not fun. So Aberline thinks he is the perfect suspect. Laurence though, is having none of that.

Lawrence Talbot: I get your implication, and resent it. You’re clearly aware of my personal history, as I believe I’m aware of yours. Weren’t you in charge of the ripper case a couple of years back?

Det. Aberline: You’re a direct man. So I’ll be equally direct with you. I am not your enemy, Mr. Talbot. You’ve been seen as Hamlet, Macbeth, Richard III, all with that same face. A prudent man would ask who else might be living inside that head of yours?

Laurence doesn’t quite know what is going on and asks Gwen to leave as he’s worried something might happen to her. That night he follows his father, and watches him go down to the family crypt, to the area where his dead mother resides. There he finds a chair with restranints. His father locks the door and stays in the crypt, leaving a confused Laurence.

Weird

Weird

As Laurence turns to go inside, he becomes…The Wolfman!

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Now this was worth the price of admission. These transformation scenes are awesome!!!

Freakin’ sweet!

So now that he is a wolfman, he does what they all do. Ravage the countryside.

Film Title: The Wolfman Claw

The next day the Inspector comes for him and has him arrested to be sent back to the “mental hospital”

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

How horrible is that. I mean this has to be Laurence’s biggest fear, to be sent back to that horrible place. Poor guy. And I was doing some research last night, not only were insane asylums awful, but the one he has to go to, Bedlam, was one of the worst.

you're evil

Dr. Hoennegar, the leading physician, takes Laurence under his wing and subjects him to ice treatments, that is to be consistently dunked into ice water and left there for long periods of time.

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Can you imagine?

And oh joy, he also gets electroshock therapy.

Stupid, stupid

While he is incarcerated, Sir John comes to visit and tells him a story. You see Sir John is the cause of all this.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

Back in the day when he was younger and hunting in India, he heard this rumor about an unusual predator. He travels to the remote cave that the predator calls his home and while there was bit by a feral boy and became a victim of lycanthropy.

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Except, it was more than “imagining” he actually became a werewolf and began attacking things.

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That’s when Laurence realizes everything about his mother’s death makes total sense. He did see a beast kill her, but it was his father! His father killed his mother and then sent him to a mental institution!!! What a truly, truly evil man to allow his son to be tortured. And now for a second time!!!

you're evil

Now this was my biggest issue with the film. Every other part of the movie was actually pretty great. It was an amazing homage to the orginal film. Benecio del Toro was actually a huge fan of the original and tried to bring a lot of Lon Chaney Jr. into his acting. But the thing I absolutely hate was the changed relationship with his father.

HateEverythingthewomen

It just didn’t work in my opinion. I mean that is what truly made the original fantastic, was that everything in his life was going great, he was a great man; and this tragedy strikes that ruins everything. He and his father were finally, finally becoming close and working out all their issues. He had met a nice girl, even though she was engaged, and had hope for that relationship. He loved England and was getting back into the groove of it. But then this horrible thing happens and he has to say good-bye to it all. He knows he is going to die, but what does he do? He goes to his dad and makes sure that he has something to protect him. Because even though he has spent years hating and being angry at his father, he truly loves him. It’s just so wonderful and sad all at the same time

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

But having the dad the evil guy, I don’t know…it just makes the film feel as if it is missing a huge part of it. It doesn’t hit in the heart like the orginal.

But moving on, so his father murdered his mother and then sent the only witness to a torture chamber (mental hospital) to ensure that those memoris would never come to light as they are only crazy “child fantasies”.

you're evil

Since then, Sir John has had his manservant Singh has been locking him up so he doesn’t wreck havoc anymore. However, Ben was planning to leave with Gwen once they were married and this enraged Sir John. He wasn’t locked up that night and killed him to keep him from going away. He became so incensed with the power that he ran wild later, killing all in the gypsies camp and biting Laurence purposely.

Omg what a–

wordICan't say Toy Story

He did it on purpose because he wanted a fall guy. He wants to roam free as a werewolf and he allows his son to be caught and tortured. Argh!!! Urhg! this man! I;m so angry I can’t spell right. He needs a good sock in the face.

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After he finishes his story he leaves, intent on never returning.

Jerk

He deserves another punch.

dean_punching_supernatural

That night Laurence is taken to the observation room, where the good doctor presents him as a curio to his collegues. Unbeknowest to him, moonlight is coming through the window and landing on Laurence. This causes him to turn into….the Wolfman!

wolfman

This is one of the coolest scenes, but unfortunately I could only find it in Italian. Sorry! But you don’t really need to understand what they are saying to enjoy the effects/makeup.

Dr. Hoenneger: Ah, Mr. Talbot. We are here tonight to illustrate conclusively that Mr. Talbot’s fears are quite irrational. So, we will remain in this room together, and once Mr. Talbot has witnessed that the full moon holds no sway over him, that he remains a perfectly ordinary human being, he will have taken his first small step down the long road to mental recovery. We are all aware that Mr. Talbot has suffered quite traumatic personal experiences. He witnessed his mother’s self mutilations. His young mind, unable to accept it, created a fantastical truth, that his father is to blame. That is father is literally a monster. But, your father is not a werewolf. You were not bitten by a werewolf. You will not become a werewolf, any more than I will sprout wings and fly out of that window.

Freakin’ AWESOME

Totally fangirl over that.

Laurence runs away, being chased by the Inspector, and also wreaking havoc. There are some truly amazing shots of him by the bridge, on statues. Just plain awesome!

wolfman statue on tiop of werewolf

The next day he visits Gwen in her antique shop. They realize they have fallen in love, but Laurence knows nothing can come of it. He has to kill his father and himself in order to protect others.

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Inspector Abberline comes to see if Lawrence is there, but he is too late. Lawrence has already left for Talbot estate.

Gwen refuses to believe that they can’t be together. She starts studying lycanthropy and tracks down Maleva the gypsy for more advice. Maleva cannot help her, as there is no cure for werewolf.

Noo!

Noo!

Meanwhile, the Inspector has also headed back to the village and this time armed with silver bullets. That show in the Observation room must have finally convinced him that werewolves are real. Gwen also heads toward Talbot Hall.

Lawrence is the first to arrive and discovers a murdered Singh. He takes his gun loaded with the silver bullets and starts hunting his father.

Sir John Talbot: You have me at a disadvantage. It makes me happy.

Lawrence Talbot: What does?

Sir John Talbot: Well, seeing you here like this. My son returned. It is glorious, isn’t it?

Lawrence Talbot: No, it’s hell.

Sir John is a freak. He needs help. Serious help.

Anyways, it turns out there are no bullets in Singh’s gun, but blanks. Sir John did that on purpose as he will not be destroyed. Sir John attacks his son and the two begin fighting. The full moon comes up and transfroms them into werewolves. And yes, yes we have a werewolf fight. I personally thought it was a little cheesy (and dumb) but this is the millenal generation. And it is something the people want.

So after Laurence burns and decapiitates his father, Gwen walks into the house.

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

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

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GWEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The wolfman, Lawrence, attacks her. Luckily, the inspector had also just arrived on the scene. He tries to use his gun, but misses allowing him to be bit by the werewolf. Gwen steals the gun and takes off, being pursued by the wolfman.

wolfman 2010 hiding from wolfman

He chases her to a waterfall. With nowhere left to go, Gwen starts begging and pleading with the wolfman, hoping to get to Lawrence. Lawrence reason faintly returns to the beast, who hesitates. He then hears the sound of a posse coming to attack him.

mob

Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

While he is concentrated on them, Gwen shoots him through the heart.

Noo!

Noo!

Laurence changes back to his human form, and before he dies thanks Gwen for saving him.

Lawrence Talbot: [his eyes open after being shot by a silver bullet and transforming back into a human] Gwen?

Gwen Conliffe: [crying] I’m sorry…

Lawrence Talbot: It had to be this way.

Gwen Conliffe: I’m sorry.

Lawrence Talbot: [he holds her hand] Thank you. [Dies]

aw cry

The posse and an injured inspector arrive just as Laurence dies.

So that is The Wolfman. Now do I think it is as good as the original? HECK NO! But that does not mean it isn’t an awesome film. Besides that one thing that majorly irks me, I really enjoyed it. I thought it was a pretty awesome film. The cinematography is beautiful, the acting incredible, and those transformation scenes? Freakin’ awesome! And I did like how they moved the story to show how harshly “mental disabled” people were treated. And you know what? Most of the people who were in those didn’tr even have serious problems. They would throw in the homeless, those with learning disabilities, women of large fortune who had husands that wanted the money but not the girl, etc. It was horrible. Horrible.

But back to the film, I think it is a worthwile view. It may not be exactly how I imagined it, but you do have some great werewolves in this, and no Jacob ones. Real werewolves.

2010The Wolfman

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And so ends another Horrorfest. I am so pleased with this years as I was able to redeem myself from last year’s only half the month’s posts. 31 days of terror and woe once again. I hope you all enjoyed it. I wish you all a very happy, and safe, Halloween. May it be everything you wish it to be.

Happy Halloween jack-o-lantern

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To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart

For the previous post, go to The Perfect Murder

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For more on werewolves, go to Werewolves Roam Among Us

For more monster movies, go to There’s Nothing Out There. Nothing in the Mist

For more on 19th century England, go to The Past of a Man

For more on insane asylum, go to I Bid You Welcome

For more remakes, go to Don’t F*** With the Original

Werewolves Roam Among Us: Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman (2000)

werewolf

Mr. Talbot is a werewolf! And I’m not going to rest until I prove it.

I love this film! It’s one of my favorite Halloween specials. I used to watch this every year as they would air it on Cartoon Network as part of their Saturday Night Creature Double Features, pairing it up with Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet Frankenstein.

So Alvin is a huge Monster movie fan (just like me :D).

Universal Monster Movie Horror

The film starts off with Alvin having horrible nightmares of meeting the Wolfman.

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And wakes up screaming!

Tuesdaythe17th scream ah

Simon and Dave think that Alvin is watching far too many horror films. Hey he is just doing his part in protecting America.

Horror Films

Alvin doesn’t like his new neighbor, Lawrence Talbot and thinks he is a werewolf!

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And you guys didn’t miss that. It is the same name from the original Wolf Man film.

At school, Theodore isn’t having the best time. A kid Nathan is bullying him. Alvin sticks up for Theodore, but he can’t be with him all the time. The principal calls Dave in talk about this, but neither has the best plan of attack as Theodore won’t report it.

There is a problem with Alvin though. They are worried that he is a little too obsessed with monsters. He is the lead in the play version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. Dave tells Alvin that if he catches him “monster hunting” around his neighbor, he is going to kiss his part good-bye.

Good-bye

Good-bye

Alvin doesn’t stop and loses his part, although he tries to weasel his way out.

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The principal decides to give the lead to Theodore in hopes that it will help boost his self-esteem.

Its-so-crazy it just mightwork

Losing the part doesn’t stop Alvin as he and Simon still search to discover if there are werewolves. And if their neighbor is one.

Wolf Science

Theodore is trying to become a Mr. Hyde that everyone desires, but isn’t doing the best job. He’s just too sweet to play someone so evil.  Eleanor offers to help him out, which is a dream come true for Theodore as he is majorly crushing on her.

That night Theordore walks home and he gets bit by a dog.

attack Wolf Boy Meets World

The next day Theodore is acting strangely…

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

He is more assertive. He gives Eleanor a token of his love. He stands up to Nathan. He even is a perfect Mr. Hyde. But it doesn’t stop there, Theodore ends up becoming meaner and meaner. The Theodore we all knew and loved has almost completely disappeared.

Smooth werewolf

In fact he changes so much that he becomes a werewolf.

“[Theodore has turned into a werewolf but is acting playful]

Simon: He’s like a-a-a puppy.

Alvin: A werewolf puppy.”

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They try to figure out what to do to change him back, but keep coming up with nil. They then decide to contact a psychic gypsy woman for help.

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She tells them that Theodore has been changing rapidly and is close to becoming a full on werewolf…FOREVER!!! The only way to stop the full on transformation is to knock him around with a silver cane while he is still in the “puppy stage”.

Alvin breaks into Mr. Talbot’s house to steal his cane to use on Theodore. However, he accidentally bangs into Dave, who takes it away to return it. As Dave goes to returns the cane it becomes night. And not just night, but a night with a full moon. This causes Mr. Talbot to transform.

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Dave runs away and tries to get to the school to warn and protect the kids, but accidentally knocks himself out in the process.

At the school Theodore transforms into a werewolf and starts attacking Eleanor, but sees the necklace that he gave her and remembers his feelings. He flees into the forest and Eleanor follows. So does Mr. Talbot.

dun-dun-duuuun

Theodore attacks Mr. Talbot to protect Eleanor and the two get involved in a werewolf battle. The two biting each actually cures them both and turns them into humans. The crowds believe to be part of the play and applaud. And it’s a wrap! Mr. Talbot becomes the next principal.

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It’s a great film for kids and adults. Not only is it a tasteful remake, but it is also is a hilarious cartoon.

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To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart

For the previous post, go to Don’t F*** With the Original

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For more on Alvin and the Chipmunks Meet the Wolfman, go to Part X: The Movie List That Would Not Die!

For more on Alvin and the Chipmunks, go to On the 6th,5th,4th,3rd,2nd, & 1st Days ‘Til Christmas

For more on The Wolf Man (1941), go to Who’s Afraid of Cory Wolf?

For more on werewolves, go to Monster Movie

For more monster movies, go to You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

For more films based on cartoons, go to Redone Done Right

For more modern remakes, go to Keep Clear Of the Moor. Beware the Moon

Even a Man Pure of Heart: The Wolf Man (1941)

the wolf man

“Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.” 

This is such an amazing film as the story is excellent, the acting superb (Lon Chaney Jr. + Claude Rains). It is also a member of Universal’s Classic Monster Movie Collection, its buddies being The Phantom of the OperaFrankenstein,  The Bride of FrankensteinThe MummyDracula, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, etc. And this post means that I have finally, finally finished the list I set out to complete two years ago.

But what really makes this a spectacular film is that many of the modern myths of werewolves were originated in this film: such as a person becoming a werewolf through a bite; the only way to kill a werewolf is with a silver bullet; and changing into one during a full moon. These are all original concepts created by writer Curt Siodmak. Isn’t that amazing! Like The Mummy and The Creature from the Black Lagoon this film isn’t based on a book or any specific resource, which allowed the writers a lot of leeway in their work and creations.

So this isn’t the first werewolf film, as that was The Werewolf of London, which actually did rather poorly in theaters. This was the second werewolf horror film to be made and become the most famous. All the later depictions such as: The Howling, An American Werewolf in London, I Was a Teenage Werewolf, Van Helsing, The Wolfman (2010), etc.looked to it in creating their stories.

So the film was originally written for Boris Karloff, but he turned it down. And although I love that man [read my The Mummy (1932), Frankensteinor The Bride of Frankenstein post] I can’t imagine this film being as amazing with him as the title role. Lon Chaney Jr. was just superb. Lon Chaney Jr, was the son of the famous Lon Chaney (who I talk about in my Phantom of the Opera post) and interestingly the set that was used to film this movie was the same used for The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) which starred Lon Chaney Jr.’s  father, Lon Chaney.

Unlike other films, The Wolf Man is the only Universal monster to be played by the same actor in all his 1940s film appearances; Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943), House of Frankenstein (1944), House of Dracula (1945), and  Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948).

Now I love this movie and story but it is soooo sad as well. Here is a wonderful man pure of heart, who has the unfortunate luck of being bitten by a werewolf and can’t do anything to stop it. Unlike modern movies where the person can control it, change at will, etc; in the original when the man transformed into a wolf he literally transformed into becoming a beast and losing all his humanistic thought, reasoning, etc.

wolfman

So the film starts out with Lon Chaney Jr. as Lawrence Talbot returning home.

Look at this sweetheart

Look at this sweetheart

His older brother has died, and as he is the second son he will now inherit everything–money, title, family home, etc. More importantly, after the realization that his brother is no longer, Lawrence AKA Larry, is eager to rebuild his relationship with his father. They had previously parted on not the best terms (he wanted to be an engineer his father wanted him to be something else. He decided to run away to California, against his father’s wishes).

Larry reacquaints himself with the village, taking a deep interest in a particular shopkeeper, Gwen Conliffe, who is unfortunately engaged. However, she is equally interested and as Larry buys a silver-wolf handled cane the two make a date to meet up later that night and visit the gypsies that are camping nearby.

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  That night Larry meets up with Gwen and her friend Jenny. The three make off to the gypsies passing some wolfsbane along the way. Both girls repeat the old gypsy folklore about wolfsbane:

Even a man who is pure in heart

and says his prayers by night

may become a wolf when the wolfsbane blooms

and the autumn moon is bright

Now what is really interesting about this old piece of folklore is that it isn’t that old. This quote has been thought to be an Eastern European folk saying, but Siodmak admits that he was the one who made it up. Even though that might be true, it went  down in film history becoming a part of almost every future Werewolf film and recited in every future Universal film appearance of the Wolf Man. [It is quoted by Van Helsing, but one of the lines was changed to “The moon is shining bright” instead of “The autumn moon is bright“]

Meanwhile, in the gypsy camp one of them has a terrible secret. Bela, played by Bela Lugosi, is actually a werewolf and hiding it from everyone.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

When the group gets to the gypsy camp and have their fortunes read, Bela sees the pentagram on Jenny’s hand and knows that she’s next for death.

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

 

Bela runs off and the trio start walking home. Soon Jenny is attacked by a wolf and Larry tries to save her. He wrestles with the wolf and kills it by braining it with his cane. (It being silver can kill it) Unfortunately, he couldn’t save Jenny and during the battle, he ended up getting bit…

dun-dun-duuuun

Making him the next werewolf.

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

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

The next day the constable comes to visit, causing Larry to second guess himself as they found a dead Bela instead of a wolf!

Say What

They found Bela beat in the head, and Larry’s silver cane matches perfectly as the weapon.

Col. Paul Montford, chief constable: [showing Larry’s stick to him] Is this your walking stick?

Larry Talbot: Why, yes. That’s the stick I killed the wolf with.

[Sir John Talbot and Col. Montford look at Larry with great concern]

Sir John Talbot: Larry, Bela the gypsy was killed last night. Your walking stick was found next to the body.

Larry Talbot: You mean, Bela the fortune teller? But… I only saw a wolf.

Larry is completely confused as he knows that it was a wolf. And how does that explain the murder of Jenny? Which was done by a wolf? The constable tells him he is still investigating as he really doesn’t want to arrest the Lord’s son, especially since there are so many questions. He ultimately deems the incident an accident.

Larry on the other hand is extremely puzzled. Could he have killed Bela? But he saw a wolf he was bit by one. Except the mark can not be found!

confused

Larry needs answers and decides he will go see the Gypsy woman and not only apologize for her son’s death but ask her what is going on! Gwen and her fiancé Frank go with him.

Wolf Man 1941 5

The gypsy woman, Maleva reveals that he did kill a wolf–a werewolf. Her son Bela was a werewolf and the only thing that could kill him was silver, silver like the silver on his cane.

Maleva: You killed the wolf.

Larry Talbot: Well, there’s no crime in that is there?

Maleva: The wolf was Bela.

Larry Talbot: You think I don’t know the difference between a wolf and a man?

Maleva: Bela turned into a wolf and you killed him. A werewolf can only be killed by a silver bullet, or a silver knife…[looks down at Larry’s walking stick]…or a stick with a silver handle.

Larry Talbot: You’re insane! I tell you, I killed a wolf! A PLAIN, ORDINARY WOLF!!!

Maleva: Whoever is bitten by a werewolf and lives becomes a werewolf himself.

Larry Talbot: Ah, don’t hand me that. You’re just wasting your time.

Maleva: The wolf bit you, didn’t he?

Larry Talbot: Yeah. Yeah he did!

Maleva: [Larry shows Maleva his chest wound concealed under his shirt] Go now – and heaven help you!”

 

Larry of course doesn’t believe her and leaves. That night he transforms into the WEREWOLF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now the transformation was laborious. The makeup took six hours and was the design by  Jack Pierce  for Henry Hull in Werewolf of London Hull had rejected it as he didn’t like how long the process would be to apply it. Chaney Jr. claimed he had to sit motionless for hours as the scenes were shot frame by frame. Pierce used grease paint, a rubber snout, wigs, and glued layers of yak hair to Chaney Jr.’s face. Larry’s dissolve transformation on screen only took seconds, while in actuality it took almost ten hours as they had to keep reapplying layers for the changing fur.

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That night the Wolf Man attacks a grave-digger, Richardson.

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The constable and the Doctor finds his ravaged body and wolf tracks.

Meanwhile, Larry finds himself in bed with wolf tracks all around and has finally decided that the gypsy women must be telling him the truth. He talks to his father who just thinks that he is in shock and doesn’t take any of the “werewolf nonsense” seriously. He even calls the doctor who deems it just a mild form of hysteria.

The Constable and doctor prepare the woods to catch the wolf so that it doesn’t kill another person. The nigh as Larry as the Wolf Man  steps in one of the traps and gets caught. Luckily the Gypsy woman frees him, as she had  felt sorry for his predicament.

Larry transforms back into a human and asks the Gypsy woman and for help. She gives him a charm that will protect him from turning into a werewolf and warns him not to give the charm to ANYONE ELSE AS IT WON’T WORK FOR ANYONE ELSE!

the_wolf_man_1941_larry_is_talking_to_gwen

He then runs off to see Gwen to tell her that he is leaving. He knows he has killed the others and doesn’t want to hurt anyone else.

“Larry Talbot: You wouldn’t wanna run away with a murderer wouldja?

Gwen Conliffe: Oh Larry, you’re not. You know you’re not.

Larry Talbot: I killed Bela. I killed Richardson. If I stay here any longer, you can’t tell who’ll be next.”

Gwen tries to get him to take her with him as she loves him, but Larry sees the mark of the pentagram on her hand and tells her he can’t. Instead he gives her the charm. YES THE CHARM  THAT IS ONLY SUPPOSED TO PROTECT HIM! Really Larry? REALLY??????!!!!!!

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

YOU ARE MAKING THE  SAME FREAKIN’ MISTAKE THAT EVERY OTHER MONSTER FILM HERO DOES!

princess Bride Victim to classic blunder Vizzini

DID YOU NOT HEAR THE WOMAN EARLIER? SHE SAID IT WILL WORK ONLY FOR YOU! ONLY FOR YOU!! ONLY YOU!!! YOU KEEP IT! What’s the point of going to a gypsy for help if you ARE NOT GOING TO LISTEN????!!!!!!! I mean this is such a classic mistake made by these men in these horror films. In Dracula, he gives the girl the cross charm that is supposed to protect only him, and then gets knocked out and is unable to keep her from being kidnapped. In The Mummy, he gives the girl the charm that is only supposed to protect him, and it doesn’t work for her. Instead Imohtep knocks him out and takes the girl anyway. MORAL OF THESE STORIES, KEEP THE DANG CHARM!!! DON’T GIVE IT AWAY!!! Alright! So if any of you are given a protective charm you freakin’ keep it!!! YOU HEAR ME????!!!!

And now that I got that little rant out of my system, let’s get back to the story.

So Larry goes to see his father and asks him to lock him up; tie him up in a chair, lock the door, etc and to go far, far, away as he doesn’t want him to be hurt. He also gives his father his silver cane as he knows that it will protect him.

Now this is why I hate modern interpretations of werewolves, except for The Wolfman (2010), as they never capture this aspect of the story. Here is a good man who has become evil, but he doesn’t want to be evil. It wasn’t like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in which Dr. Jekyll made a choice, or even The Phantom of the Opera where he suffered such horrible things and had a complete snap and broke down. This was a good man who wanted to fix bad things in his life but the timing was off and he too is caught up in the evil. Modern interpretations also never cover the heartbreaking scene as this with his dad. He knows he can’t control the evil and the last thing he does is try to protect the ones he loves, first Gwen and then his father. The most emotional is the scene with his father, as here is a man he has been fighting with, had a horrible relationship, but you see in this moment how much love he has for his father. He gives him the cane as he wants his father to be safe, no matter what. And you see how much his father loves him by taking the cane, even though he thinks Larry is delusional.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying

Gwen is worried about Larry and goes looking for him, running into the woods even though the Gypsy warns her not to. I mean seriously, why don’t we listen to the Gypsies? They are gypsies, they know stuff.

should-have-listened-to-me

So Gwen runs out and into Larry, who has escaped from his room. But instead of the sweet, adorable, loving Larry we are confronted by the horrible beast.

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But before the werewolf can do anything, Sir John comes and hits him with the cane, killing him.

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The constable and doctor presume that Larry was killed trying to save Gwen, but Sir John knows the truth and now is left alone and has to bury his other son.

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Maleva: The way you walked was thorny though no fault of your own, but as the rain enters the soil, the river enters the sea, so tears run to a predestined end. Now you will have peace for eternity.”

right in the feels broken heart

Yep. I have to say that this is one of my all-time favorite horror films. Although it makes me want to cry every time. 

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So that was our kick-off piece. Stay tuned for many more wonderful pieces to come!

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For more on The Wolf Man (1941), go to Pink Elephants

For more on werewolves, go to A Halloween Hello from the Austen Men

For more monster movies, go to They’re Coming to Get You Barbara

For more on Claude Rains, go to Universal’s Classic Monster Movies

For more on Bela Lugosi, go to I Bid You Welcome

For more films that spanned countless sequels and remakes, go to Everyones Entitled to One Good Scare

A Horse’s Tale: Chinese New Year

So last year to celebrate the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Snake, I did 13 (because it was 2013) of my favorite snake moments from films, Snakes on a Post.  Last year I couldn’t post on the actual first day of the New Year because of my Romance is in the Air posts got in the way. This year, the Chinese New Year falls on the 31st of January, so I decided to do 14 of my favorite horse characters from films and books (which was a bit harder than expected). I created it in the same style of my Saint Patrick’s Day and 25 Films of Christmas posts, as it is harder to choose a “horsey moment” from a film than a “snake one”.

HorseCard

Horses were born in the years 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, & 2014.

Horses are a bunch of contradictions. They are cool & hot-blooded, hard-nosed & humble, impatient & tolerant, but above all a hard worker and self-relient.  Horses work well in groups but prefer to work by themselves.

In social settings they are cheerful, charismatic, & overly talkative; but they are often the first to depart, usually because they feel too ‘”penned in”. They are happiest in large crowds and open spaces. In romance they have a need for intimacy & belonging. They often fill pressured in fulfilling family obligations, and remain at heart rebellious creatures.

They tend to do poorly with finances and budgets. Horses love to travel and are suited for careers as adventurers, poets, travel writers, or politicians.

Horses are compatible with Tigers, Dogs, & Sheep.

Famous people who were horses were Louisa May Alcott, Davy Crockett, James Dean, Clint Eastwood, Ella Fitzgerald, Harrison Ford, Aretha Franklin, Janet Jackson,Genghis Khan,  Paul McCarthy,  Teddy Roosevelt, & Mike Tyson.

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So here we go:

Had to add it in!

Had to add it in!

Horse & horseshoes

chester

14) Chester

Chester is a wild mustang that is trying to find a family. He tries to go off with the cowboys that are capturing wild horses, but they won’t take him because he seems too tame. He then goes into the city to try and find a place of belonging; going on the carousal, pretending to be a statue, etc.

Best Horse Ever: Chester

I LOVED this book as a child, that is the real reason why its on this list. I used to read it ALL the time. Chester is an adorable horse who just wants to belong. As a kid you are heartbroken at all the rejection he faces, but even though that happens Chester is never cynical at life, but just keeps trying to find his place and belonging in life. I always wanted Chester as my own, to a five-year old he just seemed like the greatest horse ever.

Horse & horseshoes

bill_the–pony

13) The Fellowship of the Ring

The Fellowship of the Ring tells the story of a young hobbit, Frodo, who is given the task of making a treacherous journey across Middle-Earth to Mount Doom, to destroy the Ring of Power. He is joined by: three other hobbits, Sam, Merry, and Pippin; Aragorn, a man and the next ruler of Gondor; Gandalf the Grey, a Wizard; Gimli, the dwarf; Legolas the elf; and Boromir, a man and son of the Ruling Steward of the realm of Gondor; creating a “Fellowship of the Ring”.

Best Horse Ever: Bill the Pony

Bill is bought at the Prancing Pony, to replace the horses stolen from the group. Bill, is Sam’s pony, who Sam loves and tenderly cares for as he does everything. Bill travels with the group to Moria, but has to be left behind as he couldn’t go through the mine with the others. Bill is attacked and thought dead, but returns to Bree. He finds Sam again and is there for him forever, always a noble and trusty steed.

Horse & horseshoes

Altivo

12) The Road to El Dorado

Two conmen, Miguel and Tulio, accidentally sneak aboard Cortez’s ship heading for the Americas. They try to escape without notice and find themselves in a boat with Cortez’s horse Altivo. When they arrive in South America, they use a map they won in a poker game to find El Dorado, the City of Gold. The three discover it and are mistaken as gods. They then have to fight the evil high priest and protect the city and people from being overtaken by the Cortez’s conquistadors.

Best Horse Ever: Altivo

Altivo is an extremely intelligent horse. When the two guys are trapped on the ship, they try to get Altivo to find them something to break open the bars in exchange for an apple, but he does better than that, he fetches them the keys. And Altivo always steps in to help the guys when they need him.

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shadowfax

11) The Two Towers The Return of the King

The Two Towers– The fellowship has been split up. Frodo and Sam have seperated from the group and are lead by Gollum, one who has been corrupted by the evil of the ring and determined to get it back. Pippin and Merry have been captured by Orcs, managing to escape from them and flee into the Fangorn Forest. Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli are on the trail of the captured Hobbits when they meet up with an old friend and set out to help Rohan win against the evil of Sauron.

The Return of the King–The last book of the series. The Shadow of Mordor and Sauron’s power grows across the land, and the companions of the Ring are still involved in separate adventures, but the battle draws them all together in Gondor. Pippin and Gandalf are in the capital, Minas Tirith, to prepare the kingdom. The call of help has been sent out, and the neighboring kingdoms send aid. Aragorn, who has been revealed as the heir of Gondor, has been helping Rohan in their fight. He, Legolas, and Gimli seperate from them and head into the mountains to recruit the Army of the Dead. Merry has joined the Rohan army and prepares to enter battle. Frodo and Sam face the challenge of navigating Mordor to complete the quest of destroying the ring.

Best Horse Ever: Shadowfax

Shadowfax plays a substantial role in both The Two Towers and The Return of the King. He is a  Mearasa horse of high intelligence, strength, and has a long lifespan. He is a beautiful, silver, stallion and can understand the speech of men. He is brave, smart, and can run faster than any other horse in Middle-Earth. Like any true wild animal, he is not easily broken. Shadowfax allows no one but  Gandalf to ride him. The two share such a strong bond that Shadowfax follows Gandalf to the West so that the two will never have to be parted.

Horse & horseshoes

Bullseye

10) Toy Story 2

Having survived the new toy Buzz Lightyear and the move across town, all the toys are settling in nicely as a family. However, things take a turn for the worst when an injured Woody gets left at home instead of being taken to cowboy camp, and then accidentaly placed in a yard sale and stolen. Al, the thief, is trying to complete Woody’s Roundup to sale to a collecter in Japan. At Al’s home, Woody meets the other members of the gang; Jesse, a cowgirl; Stinky Pete, the prospector; and Bullseye, Woody’s trusty steed. Buzz and the rest of the gang come to save him, but when they get there Woody is not so sure he wants to return home.

Best Horse Ever: Bullseye

Bullseye is so adorable, he is like a giant puppy. Bullseye is always trying to help out the other members of the gang; like trying to get Woody his arm, helping play the record, etc. He is disheartened at the thought of Woody going back to Andy, as he is so sad to lose him. Later, he helps both Woody and Buzz try and save Jesse from being taken to Japan, riding “like the wind” to reach the airplane that was carrying her off in time. Always loyal and one you can count on. 🙂

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Khan–Mulan

9) Mulan

When the Huns invade China and every family is requested to send men to the front, Mulan makes a decision that puts her whole life at peril. She decides to dress up as a man and take her father’s place, pretending to be his son. She is aided by Mushu, a dragon pretending to have powers; Cricket, supposdly lucky, and Khan, her trusted horse. Mulan discovers that there is more to being in the army and a man in this zany animation.

Best Horse Ever: Khan

Khan is an amazing horse. He charges off with Mulan for battle, never complaining about entering the fray. He not only carries Mulan on his back but also the supplies of the Chinese army. He cares strongly for Mulan, going for her when there is an avalanche, to giving up his blanket and using his body to keeping her warm. Everyone hopes their pet loves them 1/10th of the love that Khan gives out.

Horse & horseshoesachilles Hunchback of Notre Dame

8) Achilles Hunchback of Notre Dame

Quasimodo lives in the Notre Dame bell tower. The only one who knows of his existence is the evil and cruel Judge Frollo. He escapes one day to go to the Festival of Fools meeting Esmerelda a beautiful gypsy. He is discovered and thrown in the stocks. Esmerelda defys Frollo and frees him, assisted by Captain Phoebus. Esmerelda hides away in Notre Dame to save herself from Frollo’s wrath, and becomes better friends with Quasimodo and Phoebus. Quasimodo must make a choice on whether to help his friends or betray the only father figure he has ever known. In the end, Frollo wages a war on the gypsys, Esmerelda, and Notre Dame. Quasimodo and Captain Phoebus lead a battle against him, and free all from his horrible grasp.

Best Horse Ever: Achilles

Achilles is Captain Phoebus’ horse and one amazing animal. He is always there for his master, helping at all times; mostly through his having learned the command to “heel”. When ever Phoebus says Achilles heel (a pun on the mythological hero), Achilles sits on the enemy; saving Esmerelda and others. He is so cute and adorable.

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Tangled-Maximus

7) Tangled

Tangled is a retelling of RapunzelIn the story, Rapunzel has been locked away by a witch, Mother Gothel, because her hair contains healing properties. A thief, Flynn Rider, has just stolen the King’s crown and is being chased by the palace guards, when he stops at Rapunzel’s tower to lose them. Overpowered by Rapunzel and her trusty cast iron frying pan, the two strike a deal in which Flynn will take Rapunzel to the kingdom to see the “floating lights” and in exchange Rapunzel will return the crown to him. Along the way they are aided by other bandits and the head guard’s  horse, Maximus; while being chased by the castle guards, Flynn’s ex-partners-in-crime, and Mother Gothel.

Best Horse Ever: Maximus

While Maximus is on the “bad” side, as we are all rooting for Flynn, he soon joins our heros in their quest. He is the only “officer” who is able to follow the duo and strikes a deal that he will not arrest Flynn until after he has granted Rapunzel’s quest. (Rapunzel should go into sales, she is a real wheeler-dealer.) Maximus becomes friends with Rapunzel and her chameleon Pascal, joining in on all the events that Rapunzel wants to partake in. He even grows to like Flynn, rescuing him after he is arrested and sentenced to death. The pair then ride off to save Rapunzel from the evil Mother Gothel. So even though Maximus wants to uphold the law and do what is right, even he understands when one is in a gray area and has to throw out the rule book.

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Samsonsleepingbeauty

6) Sleeping Beauty

Aurora was given the gifts of beauty and grace from her fairy godmothers, but was also cursed with death. While her third godmother couldn’t reverse the spell she changed it so that when she is sixteen and pricks her finger she will not die, only fall asleep, and will wake with true love’s first kiss. All the sewing spindles are burned and Aurora is hidden away in the forest until her sixteen birthday has ended. However, even with such precautions, Aurora still falls prey to her curse. Prince Phillip, her true love, has been locked away by the evil Witch, Maleficent. The fairy’s free him and he has to battle thorn bushes and a dragon to save her.

Best Horse Ever: Samson

First let me say Aurora was always my favorite princess and Prince Phillip my fav prince (more on him later). I LOVE this film! ( I LOVE him!) Sorry, had to get that out of my system, anyways,  Samson is Prince Phillip’s horse. We are first introduced to him when Phillip hears Aurora singing in the forest. Now Samson is pretty smart, and doesn’t want to follow the voice for fear that it belongs to an evil fairy, wood nymph, siren, or other magical creature that could enchant and hurt his master. However, like any guy, Samson is easily persuaded when he is offered an extra amount of food. Samson is a great horse that cares for Phillip, helping him escape Maleficent’s lair, riding through the thorn bushes (major ouch), and fighting Maleficent in her dragon form.

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Spirit-Stallion-of-the-Cimarron

5) Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron

Spirit is a mustang and the leader of his herd. The story follows his capture by the U.S. Army, escape and time with the Lakota people, recapture by the U.S. army (this time having to help construct the railroad), and his return to the herd.

Best Horse Ever: Spirit

First let me say I HATE Matt Damon. I HATE his acting with a passion. I don’t really know why, but he just annoys me to a great extent. I can only stomach a few movies with him; The Brother’s Grimm (I didn’t recognize him the first time with the wig he wears), Ocean’s Eleven (he acts like a stupid kid who doesn’t know anything and that works for me), and The Departed (because he’s a rat and Mark Wahlberg shoots him). Now you may be asking yourself, what does Matt Damon have to do with Spirit? Well, this is the fourth Matt Damon movie that I like, mostly because for the longest time I didn’t realize that Matt Damon played Spirit. Spirit is a great horse, as he never allows himself to be broken by anyone, but prizes his freedom above all else. He suffers through adversity, pain, etc; but continues to push through until he makes it out and into freedom. He falls for another horse, Rain, and when she is injured he stays by her side, until he is captured and forced to return to the U.S. calvary camp. Later, when they are both freed again, Spirit takes Rain off to join his herd.

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Topthorn War HOrse

4) Topthorn War Horse

War Horse tells the story of young Joey being bought by a poor farmer and raised by his son. To cover costs the father sells the horse to the British Army. There Joey becomes friends with a fellow officer’s horse. The two’s owners are killed and they are taken into the German army, saved by some officers, found by French countrymen, retaken by the German army, and used to move machinary. Joey survives, but Topthorn doesn’t make it.

Best Horse Ever: Topthorn

Topthorn is not only a beautiful horse but a loyal one. At first he dislikes Joey, but the two quickly become best friends. When Joey is taken and to be separated from him, Topthorn goes after him to make sure he is okay. Topthorn never lets anything happen  to his pal Joey, put always puts himself first to save him from any pain.

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3) Black Beauty Black Beauty

This is a great book that has had many films versions made of it.

Black Beauty tales the story of a beautiful black horse and his adventures in life. He starts off with a good master, and gets sold and passed around, sometimes treated well and other times mistreated by his owners. The reason that Anna Sewell wrote the novel was to bring awareness of the mistreatement that animals, espechially horses were facing in Victorian England; abuse, whippings, bearing rein (a strap used to keep horses’ heads high, fashionable in Victorian England but painful and damaging to a horse’s neck), and the use of blinkers on horses.

Best Horse Ever: Black Beauty

Black Beauty is always kind and helpful to his masters, even when the owners are harmful and abusing him. Beauty saves John Manly, his caretaker, in the beginning of the novel. Later, when he is caught in a barn fire, he won’t leave until his friend Ginger is taken care of. He’s just a beautiful and caring animal.

Horse & horseshoesboxer–Animal–farm

2) Animal Farm

Orwell’s dystopian “fairy tale” is an allegory for Communist Russia. In the story, Old Major (Lenin), a pig, convinces the other the animals that they need to get rid of their parasitical human rulers.   The animals do so, lead by Snowball and Napoleon. They decide that they will rule their farm fairly and justly, with all being equal. All seems good, until Snowball is driven out and Napoleon (Stalin) institutes himself as ruler of the farm, backed by his canine army (KGB). Under Napoleon’s rule, equality no longer exists as the pigs are elevated to higher positions and not made to work as hard as the others. The farm and the original ideals of Old Major soon begin to die off and become problematic to all.

Best Horse Ever: Boxer (spoiler alert: Do not read the next paragraph if you wish to read the book and do not want any part of the plot given away)

Boxer’s story is so, so sad. I loved him but was heartbroken when he died. 😥 Now Boxer might not be the smartest, but he has the most caring heart of all. Boxer, symbolizes the working class of Russia that gets shafted with Communism, caring and trying to do the best for his farm and fellow mammals. He always tries to work harder and carry his extensive load and others. He often goes without food, giving his share to the others, as he is a strong horse and can go without. The pigs see him as a threat as his strength and popularity could really cause a revolution, that is if Boxer contained any guile at all. The saddest thing ever is that he works so hard for the farm and others, and instead of being rewarded with a pasture to live out the rest of his life, they send him to the knackers to be turned into glue. 😥 OMG that part made me bawl like a baby.

Horse & horseshoeswarhorse5

1) Joey War Horse (2011)

War Horse tells the story of young Joey being bought by a poor farmer and raised by his son. To cover costs the father sells the horse to the British Army. There Joey becomes friends with a fellow officer’s horse. The two’s owners are killed and they are taken into the German army, saved by some officers, found by French countrymen, retaken by the German army, and used to move machinary. In the end Joey is reunited with his master.

Best Horse Ever: Joey

Albert’s father buys Joey to get back at his landlord, but finds himself at a loss of what to do as Joey is not a farm horse. Albert takes Joey out and trains him, first caring and getting him to trust him; along with teaching him to answer his whistle. The two form a strong bond, and while no one believes they can do it; Albert still encourages Joey and his support causes Joey to plow through that field. HOwever, due to an unexpected storm the family loses their crops and have to sell the horse. There Joey takes care of his new master, until he is captured by the German army. By this time Joey and Topthorn have become friends, and while Topthorn will do anything for Joey; Joey will do anything for Topthorn. One of the best/saddest scenes is when the two are captured by the German army a second time and forced to cart machinery (similar to Spirit and his railroad building); a process that severely damages and kills the horses; Joey steps in for Topthorn. At this time, Topthorn had been severely injured and wouldn’t last long, but Joey steps in to save him. Although the evil commanding officer kills Topthorn anyway, jerk! Later, after Joey has been saved and reunited with Albert, he is put up for auction (as is the rule) and bought by someone else. But Joey doesn’t want to leave. He wants to be with Albert, because he really loves and cares for him. He is freed and sets off with Albert, proving that some bonds can never be broken.

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I hope this year is an amazing one! 🙂