Mr. Hyde Versus the Werewolf: Dr. Jekyll Versus the Werewolf (1972)

Mr. Hyde versus the Werewolf

So I was shelving in the library and came across this film. I love Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and werewolves, so of course I had to see it.

This film was a low budget movie from the ’70s and it is bad-very bad. It is actually sixth in the series about Count Waldemar Daninsky-noble turned werewolf.

It starts off with newly wed couple-Justine (Shirley Corrigan) and Imre Kosta (José Marco) are celebrating with friends before their honeymoon, one friend being Dr. Henry Jekyll (Jack Taylor)-the grandson of the Dr. Jekyll.

They couple are planning to travel to Kosta’s home in Transylvania for their honeymoon, so that Kosta can visit his fatherland and parent’s grave. Jekyll jokingly warns them about vampires and werewolves-the storm outside crashing through the window on that last one.

You all know what that means-foreshadowing.

When the couple returns to Transylvania, Justine does not enjoy it-screaming at everything that surprises her. Annoying.

Ugh

They get warned against visiting the old gravesite, where Kosta’s parents are buried, as gangs hang out there and it is next to the Black Castle where the monster werewolf lives.

They go anyway and Justine asks how Kosta’s parents died-interesting as it is odd she never asked him that before. He reveals that his parents were murdered, hacked to death. He only survived because he was at his aunt and uncle’s house staying the night. They took him to England and he has never looked back.

So I’m thinking that maybe the werewolf is connected to this-but they are interrupted when a gang tries to hijack their car. Kosta goes to stop them and is murdered. Well…he had a short time. And I guess we never find out about his parents-why even include their murder if it has nothing else to do with the story?

Anyways, Justin screams again as the gang attacks her planning on raping her. Now her screaming makes sense but it is really annoying. But a werewolf arrives and saves her stabbing one of the gang members.

Stabbing.

Yes-a werewolf stabbing his victim. Stabbing. STABBING. staaabbbing. Doesn’t matter how many times I say it, it still sounds stupid.

So Justine wakes up after fainting in a completely new outfit-weird. When did she change…or who changed her? She sees her dead husband and Waldemar Daninsky (Paul Naschy) the werewolf. She runs and screams again.

Ugh!

He and his housekeeper, who everyone in town believes to be a witch, explain everything to her. Justine wants to leave but they have to wait until the full moon ends.

The relatives of the dead gang member decide to get their revenge, but are no match for the werewolf. Afterwards, Justine and Waldemar head to England. There Justine asks Dr. Jekyll for his help-but he doesn’t believe her. Justine begs him to help the man she loves and he agrees after he has seen and studied the man for himself.

Wow she is in love with Waldemar. I know her husband died but she’s been married a week and has fallen in love with some other guy she just met? Wow;

Waldemar heads to the clinic, but gets stuck in an elevator with a nurse. They are in there for two hours when he turns and kills her.

After that-Henry is convinced. They go out to the country to his other lab. He comes up with the idea to inject Waldemar with the serum that turned the original Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde. It will fight against the werewolf, but hopefully will be stronger and Waldemar will become Mr. Hyde. Then they will inject him with the antidote and Waldemar will be back to normal.

Henry’s nurse and the his booty call, doesn’t like this idea. She wants them to use the serum to control and world domination-etc. He refuses and she becomes very angry-she’s tired of being second fiddle to Justine who doesn’t even care for him-and now with science choosing Justine again. That’s it!

The next full moon Dr. Jekyll tries his experiment and it works-Waldemar turns into Hyde. He looks more like the Spencer Tracey version than the Fredrich March version. He even magically gets a cane and caped jacket-like something a Victorian would wear.

Dr. Jekyll is pleased with how it has gone and ready to inject the antidote, when the nurse turns on him an injects him. She releases Hyde.

Justine finds Dr. Jekyll and helps him to a bed for his final moments. He warns her that she must destroy the rest of the serum as Hyde will want it to stay alive. He also warns her he didn’t finish, so when the fill moon rises again-Hyde will become a werewolf. Justine follows his instructions with the lab.

When Hyde returns to the lab he becomes enraged that Justine slipped through their fingers and that the serum is gone. He kills the nurse and then goes off to the city to get “pleasure and women.” He also kills a drunk.

He goes to a club and gets a girl extra hot and interested in him-why? Don’t know. He looks so odd like a Victorian man in the ’70s but hey she’s into him. She steps away from the table and he transforms back into Waldemar. Of which the girl is very angry, I guess she thought Hyde was more attractive.

Waldemar becomes the werewolf and goes on a rampage. He finds Justine, somehow, who screams again. Ugh.

But she does kill him, very Emily Blunt in The Wolfman (2010). And that is the end.

Yeah, not that good. The best part was when Dr. Jekyll and the wolfman interact but it doesn’t last long. If we had more-it would have been better. Why is it that the best film to do a mashup of monsters thus far that I have seen is Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein? You think it would be easy to make a great monster mashup but no.

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to Basil of Baker Street: The Great Mouse Detective (1986)

For more Dr. Jekyll, go to Welcome to a New World of Gods and Monsters: The Mummy (2017)

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

For more werewolves, go to One of Our Guests is a Werewolf, I Know It.: The Beast Must Die (1974)

I Found this Blank Book of Stitched Together Pages…I’ll Record the Details of Our Confinement: Book of a Thousand Days

Day 4) D is for Diary: Choose a novel or memoir in Diary form

Now I’ve never really been a diary person, whether writing or reading. In fact I had a diary when I was younger and on every page the only thing I wrote was “I wish I had a cat,” then going on to describe what I wanted the cat to look like and then ending every entry with “I hope my sister doesn’t find my diary and read it.”

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So diaries, yeah were not all that interesting to me. I thought that I never did anything worth writing down or when I was older couldn’t find the right words to express what I was feeling or thinking. And the same goes for reading diaries. A lot of times I found them hard to get into.

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The only ones I really cared for were the Dear America or the Royal Diary book series; but even that only went so far. And besides, I only read them as I really liked history.

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So I started to think what book to use when I suddenly remembered a book in a diary format that I just adored:

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Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

I was first introduced to Shannon Hale when I stumbled onto her junior/young adult fiction book, The Princess Academy in the stacks at my local library years ago.

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I thought it was so good that I decided to read her other books as well (and purchase my own copy of the book, plus two for young ladies I know). I liked The Goose Girl, thought Austenland had some great parts to it (will be reviewing soon), but really fell in love with Midnight in Austenland and Book of a Thousand Days.

So Book of a Thousand Days is based on the fairy tale “Maid Maleen” by the Brothers Grimm. The story is that of “true bride”; one bride is false while the other was the one who was truly promised to the prince to be married, having to do tasks or try to prove her claim. Now while her work is based on this, the story is just so phenomenal. I don’t know how such a small tale could inspire her to create this amazing book.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

but that’s enough going on with how great the book is, let’s get into the story!

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Don't fall.

Part I: The Tower

So the story takes place in a world not unlike ours but really has no exactly recognizable Earthly location or time period.

The place is the Eight Realms, of which lords and ladies rule. Between the Norther Wastelands and the Southern desert we have Vera’s Blessing, Carthen’s Prayer, Pride of Nibus, Goda’s Second Gift, Thoughts of Under, Titor’s Garden, Song for Evela, and Beloved of Ris. All realms are named after the different gods and goddess in the pantheon the people worship.

In the middle of the realms is the Sacred Mountain and the Steppes, the place our main character comes from, but not exactly where the tale begins. As this is a diary format, we begin in the middle and have to stop to go back to the beginning.

So the book begins with Day 1; Dashti and Lady Saren are  being shut up in a tower for seven years.

What

What

I know, immediately you find yourself sucked in. What? Why?

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Lady Saren’s father is bricking them in and has placed guards outside to make sure the girls can’t leave. He has decided that this is the right punishment for Saren’s disobedience. He has left enough food in there to last seven years (hopefully), upon a certain date they will be allowed out once again.

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Lady Saren’s father is the ruler of Titon’s Garden and has turned an old lookout tower into their prison. Lady Saren just spends her time crying, shrieking, and always saying she is hungry. Dashti is Saren’s maid and after the last few years of harsh living on the Steppes she is amazed and grateful for the bounty that has been given to them, although saddened at losing the sky.

There is so much food in the tower, more than Dashti has ever seen in her life, with milk delivered everyday by the guards, and tons of parchment so Dashti can write her story.

Thinking Hmm

On Day 11 we are given the story of their predicament. Dashti was raised as a Mucker on the Steppes. Muckers are herders who live with the sheep, yaks, etc.; in harsh muddy and rocky conditions. Her father died when she was a baby and her brothers abandoned the family when she was eight. She and her mother did all they could the next seven years to survive; earning enough for food mostly by living on the outskirts of society and through the healing songs they sing.

After her mother died, Dashti came to the city to try and find work, being unable to survive without a clan in the Steppes. She was taken to be trained as a lady’a maid where she learned reading, writing, sums, etc. The day she graduates from this training, and takes the oath of servitude,  she goes to Lady’s Saren’s to be her maid and fins herself being taken along on this tower punishment.

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Lady Saren’s father wishes her to marry the Lord Khaser, ruler of Thoughts of Under, and was furious to find out that she had betrothed herself to Khan Tegus of Song for Evela. Wanting to crush his daughter’s will he decides to imprison her in the tower.

What jerks

What jerks

Dsahti tries to help her mistress, but none of the songs help. Everyday Saren lives in mortal fear of Lord Khaser? But why?

suspicious Hmm

One day Khan Tegus comes to see them. Dashti tries to get Saren to talk to him, but she refuses as she is too frightened. She sends Dashi in her place as it turns out not only have the two not seen each other since they were much younger, but have only conversed in letters.

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He’s never heard her voice really, so he won’t recognize Dashti as an impostor. They communicate through the flap the girls receive their milk in, but the way it is makes it impossible to be seen.

Dashti has no idea how gentry speak to each other as she has grown up on the Steppes, but just is herself. Never feeling special as she was born with red splotches along the side of her face and arm, nonetheless she has a beautiful and kind spirit:

TrueBeautyWhoYOuAre

She also has a fun nature which harmonizes with Tegus perfectly.

He wants to rescue the women but knows that if he did it would bring a war between the two,  and he’d rather not fight Saren’s father and brother. Instead, Khan Tegus stays for several days and speaks to Dashti at night when the guards are asleep.  Their relationship is so adorable I just love it. Ship is locked, loaded and has sailed.

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Both characters love to laugh, and as Tegus loves Dashti’s laugh he continues to try and bring it.

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Dashti can hear in Tegus’ voice that he has an old wound that ails him and sings him a mucker song. No one knows why, but these songs have a way of creating relief in others, a balm of deep healing for their wound or worry. Of course it doesn’t work for everyone as you have to both be open to the Mucker singing to you and be open about what your true wound is, whether it goes deeper than just a physical injury.

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Khan Tegus must return home, although he is extremely reluctant to do so, as he wants to not only stay, but free his love (which as you can guess is rapidly becoming Dashti over the true Lady Saren). He must go, but before he leaves, he gives Dashti a kitten; and in return Dashti gives him her shirt.

How cute

How cute

As they days go on, the girls talk about memories and history to amuse themselves. Dashti remembers when a shaman stayed with them once, and how he had he power to shape shift into a fox, while Saren counters with telling Dashti that once the realms were united under one Khan, who’s seat of power was Song for Evela. But now all are broken up with individual rulers, Khan Tegus being called Khan is a continuance of title from those days. This opens up Dashti’s mind as so little education into history is given on the Steppes.

The days pass with very little happening, until Day 158. Lord Khaser comes and threatens the girls; his voice and demeanor being truly terrifying. Here is an incredibly scary villain, one of the most frightening, sadistic, and cruel.

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On day 223 Lord Khaser returns. When Saren once again refuses to marry him he throws fiery chips. The girls have to run and try to put them out before they are cooked.

Not good

Not good

Lord Khaser tells them that Saren must agree to marry him now and leave with his troops or will have to wait out her six years in the tower. Instead of answering, Saren dumps her chamber pot out the flap and right into Lord Khaser’s face.

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But their laughter is short-lived as that night the guards are attacked by…something. It doesn’t sound like a battle but a living nightmare. When something tries to attack them, a wolf like creature, My Lord the cat jumps out to save the girls and isn’t seen again.

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With the cat gone the rats come back and try to get their food. No guards for help, they need to stretch their food as much as they can. Not to mention the biggest rat of all, Lady Saren is trying to eat everything she can.

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Dashti does all she can but Saren is completely set on the fact that they won’t make it much longer. Now being stuck in a tower with someone you may die with, means that you reveal all kinds of things about yourself. And here Hale is fantastic in creating these two complex and real characters. Dashti: humble, kind, serving, helpful, with a thirst for knowledge and a foundation of common sense. Saren on the other hand has been constantly belittled by her father, told she is an empty flower pot, had her dreams scoffed at, and told her only lot in life is to marry gentry and create more gentry.

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Day 928- Men come to the tower. The guards were killed but Saren’s family never sent anyone, strangely.

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The men come and talk about a beautiful lady in a tower, trying to get in there and get her. As they go around the tower trying to break in, Dashti  has a knife and is prepared to fight for her life and Lady Saren’s.

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The men don’t make it in, but Dashti decides with the food supply dwindling from heat, rats, and Saren; they need to get out. She checks the cellar for where the rats come in, finds a hole and decides to attack it with everything she has until they can finally get out.

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Part 2: The Adventure Thereafter

So the two don’t leave right away. After Dashti increases a crack in the cellar, they remain because of Saren’s “delicate nature”.

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Now being taken out of the tower she freaks out that they are going to be burnt up by the sun. It is a slow process but Dashti helps to motivate her to leave the tower.

But they find greater disappointment in the world. Everything has been destroyed, burned, and knocked down.

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The only thing they find is a yak, which Dashti names Mucker. The three then head out to Song for Evela to appeal to Khan Tegus for help.

After what seems like endless days of emptiness they end up finding other people on the outskirts of Song for Evela. They tell them the news of Lord Khaser who has wiped out Titor’s Garden and is currently making war with Goda’s Second Gift.

Not good

Not good

Dashti tries to get Saren to go to Khan Tegus, but nothing will convince her to. Finally Dashti is so tired and all she can think is her love for the yak who helped them survive. Instead of trading the yak, or tying to procure employment; she gifts the yak to Khan Tegus. As they turn to leave, they find themselves hired. And now they work in the kitchen palace not to far from the Khan that holds Dashti’s heart.

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The other girls in the kitchen don’t like Saren, now called Sar. She doesn’t know what she is doing and moves very slow. One girl, Gal, is thirteen and is from Goda’s Second Gift. She was sent out before Lord Khaser came and has no clue what has happened to her parents or whether they are alive. Qacha is the other kitchen girl, a mucker like Dashti, who had managed to escape Khaser with her father and brother.

Life in the castle is tiring, but Dashti is used to hard work. She tries time and time again to get Saren to go to the Khan, but she refuses.

No thank youhowaboutno

One day, Dashti has a free afternoon and goes out to see a traveling show. She hears the story of the skinwalkers who offer their spirits to become shapeshifters. Before they can gain the ability to transform and have the characteristics of the beast; they must kill a close relation, the more they love them the more powerful they are.

Not good

Not good

After that story she leaves to see Mucker in the stable.

One day Dashti just happens to see Khan Tegus and seeing his handsome face brings back all the memories of what they spent together and causes her to fall in love all over again.

iLoveyou

Dashti wonders what he thinks of her, or Lady Saren really, but then she gets the shock of her lifetime: Khan Tegus is to wed Lady Vachir, ruler of Beloved if Ris in order to crete strong allies against Lord Khaser.

Whattheheck

To make things even worse, Lord Khaser has defeated Goda’s Second Gift and will be coming for Song of Evela before long.

One day the housekeeper of the palace calls for a mucker girl to help the Khan who is feeling bad. All the girls want Dashti to go as her talent is better than others as she melds the different healing songs together to heal throughout the body and soul.

She is afraid to go to him, as he might recognize her voice or the songs; but he doesn’t. Sadly.

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She gets called again and does the healing song but recognizes the hurt isn’t in his leg like he said, but there is another pain in his body. At first Khan Tegus refuses this additional help, but calls her once again. She sings another song for healing and surprises the Khan with her ability to read and write.

Before you know it she is moved up from the kitchen and has her own room! She continues to work for Khan tegus, scribbling away and content.

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One day she is called to help heal the Khan’a best friend. He’s been badly wounded by an assassin and the shaman attending says there is nothing else to be done. At first Dashti gives up, as she is no real healer; but when Khan Tegus calls her again, she is going to do all she can to help him.

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Dashti uses the songs to help his friend, and his soul returns to his body, out of the danger zone. The two them talk with Tegus granting her the use of his untitled name.

How cute

How cute

Dashti gets the biggest surprise of her life when My Lord the cat returns to them!

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Lady Saren grows more and more unhappy, making Dashti tired and annoyed. But then Saren asks Dashti to kill her. All the pain Khaser has caused is bundled up inside her, as she feels guilty that she is to blame. Dashti does the only thing she can do, give the cat to Lady Saren.

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While the Khan has left days ago to fight and there is no news on that accord, Saren has done much better. Having someone to love her unconditionally and not be cruel to her has really changed her demeanor.

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But then bad news comes. Lady Vachir returns with her ladies and so does Khan Tegus, severely wounded. Dashti wants to help him, but the shaman’s try to get rid of her. Dashti won’t give up and continues. After days of singing, the Khan is finally better.

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While Dashti and Tegus continue to enjoy each other’s company. But bad news looms. Lady Vachir does not like Dashti and tries to discredit her, and Lord Khaser has arrived.

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As they try to figure out what to do, Dashti remembers some strange things Saren said about Khaser being a beast. She goes to see her and try to get the story out about him. When Saren was twelve she and her father visited Lord Khaser. One night he calls her saying that her father needed her and took off his clothes, being naked before her. In the moonlight, he changed from man to wolf.

Film Title: The Wolfman Claw

Dashti goes to the war council and it turns out that Lord Khaser is trying to make a deal. He will kill 100 villagers unless they give him Lady Saren or Khan Tegus. As they try and figure out what to do, Dashti speaks up. Months ago Saren made Dashti promise to tell Khan Tegus she was Saren, to protect her. Dashti refused, but as she swore the oath and believes it to be the only way to save her Khan, she says she is Lady Saren, and has been going by her maid’s name. At first they are confused, but as she knows all that transpired in the tower, they decide she must be who she says she is. Tegus is ecstatic that Dashti is his true bride.

Yes!

Yes!

Dashti is given a grand room, and Saren to be her maid; but Saren wants to go back to the kitchen where she feels safe and useful. Dashti, on the other hand, has to figure out what to do about Khaser. She has revealed to them his transformation powers, but how can they use that to stop him? Besides Khaser has seen Saren and knows she isn’t her.

I don't know what to do

That night Dashti gets an idea. She goes to Batu who doesn’t want to help her, but as Dashti won’t give up he quickly finds himself with no choice in the matter.

Dashti goes out to battle, naked and barefoot so that  Khaser knows she is a woman with no weapon.  Khaser thinks it is a trick, but then is convinced that she is all she says. Dashti tells him she will sing a song of submission, but instead sings the song of the wolf.

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Khaser then transforms in front of everyone.

The wolf goes to attack Dashti, breaking her leg when he pounces on her; but before he could attack her more, one of his men shoots an arrow at him. The wolf heads to his men and starts attacking them, ripping out the throats of two men. Soon everyone attacks him, and the wolf is killed, falling on Dashti and crushing her once again. Khaser’s right hand man tries to continue the battle, but without their wolf warrior all is over for now.

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After all that excitement there is the question who will marry Khan Tegus. Lady Vachir is the betrothed, and has the right to have killed any that would come between. However, if the chiefs decide that Saren’s betrothal was first, then she will get to wed him. Only problem with that, all think Dashti is Saren. And Sar is Dashti. Very big mess.

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The chief’s choose Saren, and Tegus sets the wedding for nine days hence as he wants to marry her NOW. Dashti calls Saren and tries to fix this tangled web, but Saren refuses to tell the truth. Dashti cannot wed him in another’s name. She leaves a note and this diary and decides to flee.

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Dashti stops at the kitchen to explain to the girls and  Saren why she must leave. But Lady Vachir has been watching and listening, and found out the lie, preparing to kill Dashti. Before that happens, Saren comes bringing Tegus. Dashti is thrown in a cell while they prepare to figure out what the truth is in the mess.

Not good

Not good

Tegus goes to see her but feels lost. Everything with Dashti seems right, yet she isn’t Saren and it seems Vachir’s claim is right, and she should die. Dashti gives him her diary and prepares for her end.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

Then comes the trial. The chief’s use all the entries in which Dashti complained about Saren and talked about her love for Tegus. They use it to prove Vachir’s right to kill her, but then Tegus speaks up.

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He reads all the times she didn’t want to be Saren but did as was commanded by her mistress. He then goes on to read how she destroyed Khaser. He also brings up the mucker way of doing things, such as offering a animal and if it is received by another family then they become part of that family. When she offered the yak and Tegus accepted, Dashti, under Mucker law, became part of Tegus’ family.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

That is not enough for Vachir, but then Tegus pulls out his secret weapon; Saren. Saren defends Dashti, calling her a sister and being powerful in her presence and defense. Tegus leads the way, and they find her innocent.

Prince Eric lose her

Vachir is unhappy, leaving as quicklyt as she can. Tegus and Saren are to be wed, but Saren passes her bethrothel on to her sister, Dashti.

Double double yay

The two are married and live happily ever after.

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I loved this book as Dashti is an amazing character. All she can see is she is worthless because she was born with red splotches on her face and arm and thinks she will never be fit to marry anyone, never have true love. She is blinded by her physical features, but we see the amazing strong, phenomenal person she is.

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She is intelligent, able to care for herself and others, a good cook, brave, kind, compassionate, etc. The best person, amazing. But how often do we too have the same issue where we can’t see how amazing we are, instead only looking at our flaws or measuring our worth based on what our outside looks like instead of our hearts.

InnerBeauty

Besides the character of Dashti, I just adore this rest of the book and the relationship between all the characters. I read it again and again and again and again! I just can’t get enough if it.

OW

Thank you Shannon Hale.

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

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For more on Book of a Thousand Days, go to A World of Teas

For more retellings of Fairy Tales, go to The Story, We’re Living it. It’s Alive: The Brothers Grimm (2005)

For more shapesifters, go to Monster Movie: Supernatural (2008)

For more Virginia Woolf quotes, go to Six Degrees of Separation

For more Fred Rogers’ quotes, go to If Only You Could See

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

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So I was trying to think of a Christmas Carol that goes with this book and settled on Go Tell it on the Mountain. It is an African-American spiritual song by John Wesley Work, Jr., written in 1865.

This song always makes me think of my childhood as I remember learning it when I was in Sunday school. It is a fun and great song.

I remember when I first heard it, it was sung by a woman but I couldn’t remember exactly who it was. I decided on Mahalia Jackson as she is a great singer and her rendition is one of the most famous.

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For more Christmas Carols, go to Harvest Pumpkin Scones

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

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“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!

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

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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:

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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.

ChristianSlaterHeathers

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.

ChristianSlaterHeathers

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.

Ryan-Gosling-Oh-No-You-Didnt-Half-Nelson

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.

perfect plan

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.

Jekyll&Hyde

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.

DrJekyll&MrHyde

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.

FrankensteinFeelliketobeGod

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)

Horrorfest IV: The Curse

HalloweenStartsNow

Sorry, sorry, for the messy posting and the lack of posting. I have just been so excited for Horrorfest and trying to get everything ready in between work and all my other commitments.

So October is upon us, and while:

 

EverydayHalloweenHorrorfanOctober

October is the penultimate.

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So what do I have planned for you this year? Every year has had something extra planned, beyond just reviewing horror film. In Horrorfest (2012), I reviewed what I call the Big Three in remakes & sequels, Friday the 13th (1980), Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)and Halloween (1978)

I see more sequels and remakes coming in the future.

I see more sequels and remakes coming in the future.

The year after that, Horrorfest II: Return of the Terror and Woe, I posted on the odd days of October. I also reviewed all three Jurassic Park films: Jurassic Park, The Lost Worldand Jurassic Park III

It was great

It was great

Then last year, Horrorfest III: The Revenge was the best Horrorfest I have ever done. I was able to get it halfway completed, before October 1st even came around. Last year I did a Werewolf theme: I started with The Wolf Man (1941) and ended with The Wolfman (2010), and making nine out of the thirty-one reviews Werewolf related.

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And I also reviewed all four films in the Scream series: Scream, Scream 2, Scream 3and Scre4m.

Randy Scream

And I reviewed three Alfred Hitchcock films: Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Under Capricorn (1949)and Dial “M” for Murder (1954). Yes, I had to make up for lost time.

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I even finally got around to reviewing a Vincent Price film, Laura (1944)

Laura Interviewing Shelby

So what do I have planned for this year? Well you’ll just have to wait to find out.

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After all:

BetterWhenScared friday the 13th jason voorhes

So stay tuned for 31 days of terror, woe, mystery, murder, monsters, mad scientists, vampires, witches, robots, stalkers, serial killers, and much, much more!

Happy Halloween jack-o-lantern

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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 Creatures in the Amazon: Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

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

I Survived!

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I survived, did you?

So this year’s Horrorfest was very, very different. After last year’s issues, I started writing this in May. This was the first time I have ever fully planned out a Horrorfest, as I had all the films picked and almost all finished by September.

So for the past two years, you have heard me say how I haven’t been able to complete all of Universal’s Classic Monster Films. Well I finally did it.  Wooot!!!

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Once I wrote that post, I was so excited. You see, I felt I really couldn’t do 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. And I did. I decided to end Horrorfest with The Wolfman (2010). But then I decided to take it one step further. About every five episodes has a werewolf in it. It was a howling good time.

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I also decided to do When a Stranger Calls, because of the phone harassment I had experienced. I took this one step further by doing  all four of the Scream films, along with the Alfred Hitchcock film Dial “M” for Murder.

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Speaking of Alfred Hitchcock, after hearing me complain for two years about trying to review one of his films, I have reviewed not one, not two, but three Alfred Hitchcock films. I was only planning on doing Under Capricorn, because I was planning on talking about Samson Flunky for St. Patrick’s Day 2015. I ended up doing Shadow of a Doubt as it just entered my mind and Dial “M” for Murder. Still haven’t gotten around to Psycho. Well, there’s always next year.

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So every year I mention wanting to do  Vincent Price films; like House on Haunted Hill. The Tomb of Ligeia, The Pit and the Pendulum, etc. I didn’t get around to any of those famous Vincent Price films, but I did do a film with him in it. I went over Laura (1944), which is when he is really young.

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So I hope you all enjoyed it! I did. But then everyday to me is October.

EverydayHalloweenHorrorfanOctober

 

So I usually put in a poll to see what you all you like, but I decided that I don’t care. I liked them all. Instead I’m just going to list them below for some of you who might have missed them.

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

It’s Coming From Inside the House: When A Stranger Calls (2006)

In Their Proper Place: Metropolis (1927)

What’s Your Favorite Scary Movie?: Scream (1996)

I’ll Be Back: The Terminator (1984)

Let Them Fight: Godzilla (2014)

Unleash the Savage Instincts that Lie Hidden Within: I Was A Teenage Werewolf (1957)

What is This Thing?: Phantoms (1998)

Only A Woman: Queen of Outer Space (1958)

Happily Ever Aftermath: Grimm (2012)

It’s Happening Again, Isn’t It?: Scream 2 (1997)

You Think You Know Something, Don’t You?: Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

You Will Die in Seven Days: The Ring (2002)

Keep Clear Of the Moor. Beware the Moon: An American Werewolf in London (1981)

I Was Here For A Moment. And Then I Was Gone: The Lovely Bones (2009)

Part X: The Movie List That Would Not Die

Tuesday the 17th: Psych (2009)

All I Know About Trilogies is That in the Third One, All Bets are Off: Scream 3 (2000)

Who’s Afraid of Cory Wolf: Boy Meets World (1994)

But the Book, It Will Never Close…: Along Came a Spider (2001)

Every Time I Bring a Girl Over, You Try to Eat Her!: Vampires Suck (2010)

Murder is My Favorite Crime: Laura (1944)

Monster Movie: Supernatural (2008)

You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat: Jaws (1975)

Don’t F*** With the Original: Scre4m (2011)

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

The Past of a Man: Under Capricorn (1949)

There’s Nothing Out There. Nothing in the Mist: The Mist (2007)

What Have We Done to Each Other?: Gone Girl (2014)

The Perfect Murder: Dial “M” for Murder (1954)

Beast or Man: The Wolfman (2010)

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.

excited

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.

220px-Wolfman-final-small

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!!!

excited

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

Mr-DarcyexcuseMe

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.

DeanSupernaturalLetsGetStarted

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.

The-Wolfman-2010-image-the-wolfman-2010-36269300-1280-696

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.

the wolfman funeral 2010

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.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

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.

Gwen-and-Lawrence-the-wolfman-2010-32634613-1280-688

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.

The-Wolfman-2010-image-the-wolfman-2010-36269300-1280-696

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.

Wolf Man 1941 5

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.

mob

Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

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

wolfman-strangle

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.

wolfman dead bodies lots cart

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.

wolfman-strangle

And he gets bitten.

dun-dun-duuuun

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.

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

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.

felix_the_cat_laughing

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!

wolf

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.

the-wolfman-2010-freezing-therapy

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.

wolfman

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

wolfman

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.

dean_punching_supernatural

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.

the_wolf_man_1941_larry_is_talking_to_gwen

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

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.

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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.

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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 night 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!

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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??????!!!!!!

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

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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.

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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.

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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