We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes: Psycho (1960)

PSYCHO

It’s not like my mother is a maniac or a raving thing. She just goes a little mad sometimes. We all go a little mad sometimes. Haven’t you?

So this Horrorfest IV, we are doing something different. For Horrorfest (the original) we ended on Halloween (of course) as we had looked at the big 3 of horror film producing sequels: Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, & Halloween. On Horrorfest II, we had to cut our reviews in half due to my schedule and ending with a film that takes place on Halloween (along with our yearly Stephen King film review), Children of the Corn. And of course I don’t think anything will top last years “theme” of Werewolves, starting with The Wolf Man (1941) and ending with it’s remake The Wolfman (2010). This year I decided it was time to finally review one of my favorite films, the one I have been talking about again and again, Psycho (1960).

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I love this film, in fact it was one of my early introductions to the ultimate, obsessive, fangirling that I would do over Alfred Hitchcock.

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My first film was The Birds. I loved it and knew I wanted to see everything he made. That second film that completely made me in love with his works, was Psycho (1960).

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The first time I saw this film was on AMC. When they were announcing the line up, they played this song.

So whenever I hear this song I think of the film, and vice-a-versa.

So if you are wondering if this is going to be an extremely long post all about how much I love this film, like my review of Jaws, then you are right. I love this film so let’s get started.

**Spoiler Alert**

(Although this movie is fifty-five years old, so if you haven’t seen it already, then shame on you)

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PSYCHO

This year marks the 55th anniversary of Psycho, and select theaters brought it back. And as I was lucky that mine did, I immediately bought tickets and went to see it.

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Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) is remarkable for many things. It is considered his first horror film, and while not the first slasher film in history, it is the first American slasher film, influencing countless director’s and movies.

While many adore this film today, it  had quite a few problems getting it off the ground in 1960. Alfred Hitchcock read the novel Psycho, by Robert Bloch, and immediately saw the benefits of turning this into a film. Unfortunately, Paramount Pictures did not. They cut the budget down to $800,000, hoping that Hitchcock would stop this idea of making a “dirty”, “smut” film; but he would not be deterred. Hitchcock used more of Universal to make the film, which is why in the end they won the rights.

AWESOME!!!

Oh yeah

Instead Hitchcock gave up his usual pay, taking over 30% of the profits on sales. As the film did amazingly well in theaters he made a bundle.

Hitchcock bought the book for $9,000 anonymously, and then went on to buy up every book out there to try and keep the ending a secret. He used most of the crew from his show Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and made everyone promise to keep the film as secret as possible. He didn’t tell any the ending until filming, a technique that would be copied in other films, like the Scream franchise.

To begin with how different this film was, let’s start with the trailer. It was over six minutes long, much longer than any trailer made then or now.

But it was great and gets you pumped for the film.

So the first thing we are introduced is to is the credits, with the famous score.

The music just drags you in sending shivers down your spine.

shiver

Now the actors we see on here, we all know today, but at the time the only real famous person was Janet “Scream Queen” Leigh. Part of this was due to the cut budget of Hitchcock, but he also wanted a different style and to use unknowns instead of huge stars.

Prior to this movie Anthony Perkins was being groomed to being a big star. In 1953, he debuted in The Actress and in 1956, Friendly Persuasion, won him best supporting actor. That all changed with Psycho. After this movie he became famous, but also typecasted.

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Vera Miles was in a few things but also hadn’t been cemented as a “Star”.  Alfred Hitchcock liked her looks, and more, planning on giving her the lead in Vertigo (1958), but when she became pregnant and had to drop out, he couldn’t stand her. He thought she did it on purpose and was upset that she made him recast. The only ever worked together on this film.

ouch Hermione

Before Psycho, John Gavin was known for the remake in Imitation of Life (1959)Psycho made him famous (along with Spartacus).

Anyways, back to the film!

PSYCHO

So we are introduced to the city of Phoenix, Arizona; where our film takes place, December 11th. I had never realized this until I saw the film this most recent time, but I don’t recall ever seeing any Christmas decorations anywhere. Not in the homes of the characters or offices. Supposedly the reason why it was set in December was because of the Christmas decorations in Phoenix but I didn’t spot any. I’ll just have to look again. But you know what that means? That this can be a Christmas film! I smell a new tradition!!!!

Bishop's wife christmas tree

So the film opens with Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) and Samuel Loomis (John Gavin) in bed together. Sam is half naked baring his chest and Marion is in her bra and slip.

keanu Whoa

Yeah, something like this is not shocking for today (I mean look at Game of Thrones) but you didn’t see anything like this after the motion picture code association (MPAA) was created. We saw plenty in the late 1960s early 1970s when the code lost its fierce control. But in 1960, oh ho ho. This was super raunchy!

This part always makes me sad as all Marion wants is to be married to Sam. Sam, however, wants to wait a few years. He is still paying his ex-wife alimony, paying off his father’s debts, and lives over the hardware store he owns in Fairvale, CA.

Now Fairvale doesn’t exist, as it was all shot on the Universal backlot or in a soundstage. I originally thought it took place in Fairfield CA as they sound the same and that would make a lot of sense. But in a later scene I saw a map of Shasta County, so I think that Fairvale is supposed to be Redding.

Then again I could be wrong.

Then again I could be wrong.

So Sam does not want to be married for a few years, and it horrible to be leading her on like that with weekend trips every now and then; stolen lunch hours. That is not a complete relationship. Marion hates it as she wants to be a respectable woman.

Marion Crane: Oh, we can see each other. We can even have dinner but respectably in my house with my mother’s picture on the mantel and my sister helping me broil a big steak for three.

Sam Loomis: And after the steak, do we send Sister to the movies? Turn mama’s picture to the wall?

Sam tells her that them marrying now is a bad idea, but  Marion doesn’t care. She would do it all for him. He jokes that maybe she should move on, but when she agrees he quickly is worried. They part on good terms, making plans for the next visit. Neither are incandescently happy, but that’s love.

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Marion heads back to work at the real estate agency. As she comes through the doors, you can spot Alfred Hitchcock in a cowboy hat standing outside the window. Hitchcock knew people would spend the whole film searching for him, so he wanted it out of the way as soon as possible.

Back at the Agency, Marion checks in with her associate secretary, Caroline (played by Pat Hitchcock, Alfred’s daughter). Caroline is married, which makes Marion feel as if everyone in the world is married but her.

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In walks her boss, Mr. Lowery, and their new client, Tom Cassidy, a rich oilman. He is paying $40,000, in cash, to buy his daughter a house for her and her soon-to-be husband.

Tom Cassidy: I’m buying this house for my baby’s wedding present. Forty thousand dollars, cash! Now, that’s… not buying happiness. That’s just… buying off unhappiness [waves money in front of MarionI never carry more than I can afford to lose! Count ’em.

Caroline: I declare!

Tom Cassidy: [staring at Marion] I don’t! That’s how I get to keep it!

He then goes on to flirt with Marion, disgustingly.

ew! Gross Yuck

Cassidy then makes a comment about Mr. Lowery being able to afford air conditioning. Can you imagine being in Arizona without air conditioning? It would drive ANY person insane!

Marion is asked to take the money to the bank, while the boss and Mr. Cassidy get their drink on. Marion has a headache, and asks to go home after she drops the money off, her boss lets her and she heads on her way.

The next shot we see is the money on Marion’s bed, next to a suitcase.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

What a great shot, Hitchcock defintely knows his stuff.

So yes Marian stole $40,000. That would be around $350,000 today. That’s a lot of money.

keanu Whoa

On one hand you kind of understand Marion. She is so tired of her life, all she wants is to be with Sam, now and always. She thinks she can take the money, pay his debt, and they can live happily ever after. But she is not thinking clearly, what about when they discover the money is gone? They will know it is her.

She decides to drive to see Sam. When she gets stopped at a light who should she see but her boss!!!

Under Capricorn Aah oh no ugh

This is when the score starts up again, heightening the intensity!

shiver

Marian is driving, but starts to fall asleep. She pulls off on the side of the road.

She is awakened the next day by a CHP officer (California Highway Patrol) . Now this police officer is very scary. He is wearing sunglasses and never takes them off, giving him almost a robotic look. Super creepy as you can’t see the expression on his face or his eyes.

Now Marion doesn’t help her case as she acts super suspicious, being cold, curt, and trying to take off.

suspicious Hmm

You can see here that Marion is not a rule breaker. She’s always been a good girl, and as this is her first time breaking the rules she is doing poorly at “being bad”.

The CHP follow her, but turns off in Gorman, CA while she continues to Bakersfield. There, she decides to change cars. The salesman is so sweet, and adorable, but as Marian is in such a hurry, he starts to wonder about her too.

suspicious Hmm

This is not good Marion, as if anyone is to come later and ask questions about you, you would be remembered. Not only for acting weird, but also because it’s Janet Leigh.

As she is there, up comes the CHP. Too bad Marion looks as good as she does, the cop could spot her right away.

see cute guy look

Marion buys a newspaper, looking for news of the stolen money but is relieved to find nothing. It is too early for that, but you understand how scared she is.

As she is looking at the cars I can’t help but notice that, man those cars are dirt cheap. $957 for a 3 year old car? I wish they were that cheap now.

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Anyways, the cop continues to watch her from across the street. This only makes Marion more nervous and suspicious sounding. In fact the car salesman starts to wonder if she is trying to get rid of a stolen car.

The paperwork is completed, Marion paying $700 of the $40,000 and trading in her car. She then takes off, only to be stopped because she forgot her luggae in her haste. This gives the cop plenty of time to see her plates.

Spoke too soon

Poor Marion, she’s not a master criminal mind.

She heads off, but as she drives all she can hear in her head how terribly everything has gone and how it will all blow up in her face in the end.

All she can do is keep driving, hanging on to the hope that when she gets with Sam everything will be okay.

Unfortunately, it begins to rain and Marian being from Arizonia, doesn’t know how to drive in Northern California winter rains. So she has to pull over at the nearby motel she finds.

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The property consists of a giant Victorian mansion on the hill, with twelve rooms down the way.  The house was designed after Edward Hopper’s painting, House by the Railroad, it wasn’t supposed to be creepy but a part of early Americana. But as we only really see the house at night, except for once at the end, and because if the events that later transpire; this all looks uber creepy.

Gilmore girls creep

After the fire occurred on the Universal backlot (the same one that destroyed Back to the Future’s clock tower), this building and the motel was declared a historic landmark and can never be destroyed or taken done (unless by a non-human disaster). Isn’t that great, that will be there forever!

We are then introduced to Norman Bates, son of the motel owner, and played by Anthony Perkins.

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see cute guy look

When I saw Norman I was like whoa!!!! That guy is hot!!!!!

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So cute with his boyish charm. He looks as if he is in his early twenties (was actually 27) and just utterly adorable. Perkins was chosen for being a gentle, stammering, handsome young man: the ultimate all-American boy next door. You just want to give him a hug. At one point during the filming, Perkins asked Hitchcock if playing Norman Bates would be a bad career move and Hitchcock told him it might be. He was right as it killed his career, but he was just too perfect as Norman, the movie would not have worked without him.

Anyways, so Norman tells Marion that he can give her a room, and that there is a diner up the way, right outside of Fairvale, which is only 15 miles away.

Say What

15 miles!!! If only it hadn’t rained, she’d be with Sam right now.

Marion signs in under a false name, Marie Samuels, and says she is from Los Angeles. After careful consideration, Norman gives her key #1.

He takes her into the room and shows her around the closet, desk with stationary, bathroom etc. When it comes to the bed, he actually stumbles over the words, being too bashful.

You're so cute

He’s so young, and adorable. He has such a sweet little boy smile, so adorable. Those things are fatal to me as they just make me smile in return. I let down all my defenses.

Phew!

So Norman knows Marion is hungry and probably does not want to travel out in the storm coming down, so he offers to make her dinner, sandwiches, and have her come down to the house.  Marian agrees.

After he leaves, Marion looks around the room for a place to hide the money. Where should she put it that’s not obvious? Where?

Hmm...

Hmm…

She finally settles on hiding the cash in the newspaper. As she waits for Norman to finish making the sandwich, she overhears Norman and his mother yelling in the house.

Norma Bates: No! I tell you no! I won’t have you bringing some young girl in for supper! By candlelight, I suppose, in the cheap, erotic fashion of young men with cheap, erotic minds!

Norman Bates: Mother, please…!

Norma Bates: And then what? After supper? Music? Whispers?

Norman Bates: Mother, she’s just a stranger. She’s hungry, and it’s raining out!

Norma Bates: “Mother, she’s just a stranger”! As if men don’t desire strangers! As if… ohh, I refuse to speak of disgusting things, because they disgust me! You understand, boy? Go on, go tell her she’ll not be appeasing her ugly appetite with MY food… or my son! Or do I have tell her because you don’t have the guts! Huh, boy? You have the guts, boy?

Norman Bates: Shut up! Shut up!

Man his mother is horrible. She is evil and cruel, treating him like he’s a little boy instead of a grown man. Mean old woman, I wonder if she was abusive in other ways than emotional/verbal. There are some deep issues here.

Norman takes off down to the motel bringing the sandwiches. Marion reveals that she heard everything, and Norman offers for them to eat here instead. Marian moves aside so that he can come in the room, but he can’t. He sees the bed in the room, and stops.

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It makes him too uncomfortable, so he ends up inviting her into his office, and then the parlor.

Here is where we see a lot of Norman’s issues. His mother has cuckholded him so that he is still a child in many ways, but at the same time a grown man with grown man like interests. He likes Marian but also a bit freaked as well. Marion on the other hand is a grown woman and not squeamish about sharing a room to eat, even though the major feature is the bed.

Boy/Man Child

Boy/Man Child

They go into the parlor which is full of birds, taxidermied ones. Now this used to always freak me out, but after working in a museum last year and being around a lot of taxidermied animals it’s not that bad. Did you catch that not as bad,meaning it is still creepy.

Gilmore girls creep

So while he and Marian are back in the parlor he tries hard to be “adult”, but keeps stammering as he hasn’t ever entertained anyone before.

Norman Bates: You-you eat like a bird.

Marion Crane: [Looking around at the stuffed birds while eating] And you’d know, of course.

Norman Bates: No, not really. Anyway, I hear the expression ‘eats like a bird’ – it-it’s really a [stammers] fals-fals-fals-falsity. Because birds really eat a tremendous lot. But -I-I don’t really know anything about birds. My hobby is stuffing things. You know – taxidermy.

You're so cute

The two then discuss Norman’s mother.

It turns out that Norman’s father died when he was only five years old and his mother had to raise him all on her own. She met a man and when she found out her boyfriend was married, became broken. He mentions something interesting here, that this guy could have made mother do “anything”. Maybe get rid of him or kick him out even? Hmm……..

suspicious Hmm

The conversation moves on:

So this saying was actually used first in the film The Awful Truth starring Irene Dunne and Cary Grant. In it Irene is about to complete her divorce to Cary and marry a mamby-pamby mamma’s boy, who when Irene leaves him, goes off with his mom as after all “A boy’s best friend is his mother.” It of course was made famous by Psycho

Marian tries to give helpful advice, but Norman is not in agreement.

In that moment we see something lurking below that boyish charm and sweet face. Something dark.

suspicious Hmm

You may notice the theme of “mother issues” in this film. Norman and his mom have serious issues, which may extend to her not only being emotionally abusive but physically as well. Possibly molestation, but we are not sure. Hitchcock himself had a lot of issues with his own mother, her forcing him to stand at the foot of her bed for hours as punishment. The screenwriter, was currently in therapy for his own issues with his mother when he wrote this script. And Anthony Perkins also had mother issues and an early life eerily similar to Norman’s. His father died when he was five, and he also was raised by a controlling and cruel woman.

Weird

Freaky

They end their talk and Marian tells him she needs to go to bed as she has a long drive back to Phionex. She also gives him her real name. He says goodnight and double checks the book seeing that she lied.

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Marian heads next door, and Norman doesn’t leave yet. Instead he decides to take a look at Marian changing.

You know I have seen this movie like a million times and on the big screen is the first time I have ever noticed the painting that Norman uses to hide the hole he peeks through, it is Susannah and the Elders   by Giovan Battista Tiepolo. The story of Susannah and the Elders is that Susannah is a young and beautiful woman. She sends her attendents away as she takes a bath, and two voyeuristic elders, watch and lust after her.  They try to blackmail her into having sex with them, saying they will lie that she was meeting a lover. When she refuses, they try to put Susannah to death, but the prophet Daniel intervenes and saves her. It works with the whole voyeuristic theme the film has going.

Looking at that I notice there are a lot of naked women paintings and scultptures in the house. Who picked these? Norman? Unlikely. His mother? Even unlikelier. The lover? Most likely. But weird that his mother would allow such things.

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Norman heads back to the house and is about to go upstairs, but stops. Where was he going before? To see his mother? Go to bed? He heads to the kitchen instead and thinks.

After speaking to Norman, Marian has a change of heart. She decides to head home and turn herself in, hoping they will be lenient. She does a few sums, and determines that she has $39300 left. As she rips it up and dumps it down the toilet and decides to take a shower.

This short scene involving the toilet took forever to get approved. In fact, this is the first american film to show a toilet in a movie.

Weird

Weird

I notice as she shuts the bathroom door, there is NO lock on the door.

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She goes to take the shower and we have the scariest and one of the best scenes ever!

So intense and scary!!! I mean think of it, the shower os the most vulnerable place you could be at. You are naked, and have nothing to cover yourself up, nothing to use to defend yourself. In fact Janet Leigh said she was so freaked out when she saw herself murdered, that she never took a shower again. Opting only for baths.

Psycho-Shower

There are tons of myths surrounding this shower scene and I am going to set the record straight. So the filming of this scene took a whole week to get it just how perfectionist Alfred Hitchcock wanted it, this was 1/4 of the total time it took to make the entire film.

Janet Leigh filmed most of this scene. She wore pasties to cover her privates, but the warm water from the shower melted them, and Alfred Hitchcock kept on filming. She did have a stunt double, who did some nudes, and she was sadly murdered the same way in real life as shown on screen.

Psycho-Shower

And whoa this was a huge move to make. Killing the most famous person off? This was not done at the time, not at all.

When Norman discovers his mother covered in blood, he runs down to check on Marion. He finds her dead and freaks out, almost becoming sick.

I don't know what to do

He looks all around trying to compose himself, when he decides to put her body and belongings in the trunk of her car and cleans up the bathroom. He puts all her belongings in it, but forgets the newspaper. A car drives up, which surprises him, so much that he looks back in the room and grabs the paper. He then takes the car to the swamp to dump.

I just love that moment when it doesn’t go down right away and he freaks out. What will he do if it doesn’t sink. But it does, and he is relieved. The end.

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A week later, Sam is sitting in his office writing a letter to Marian. On the small screen they have always shown this too quickly for me to read the whole thing. This time I was able to see everything and in the letter, Sam apologizes to Marian and says he doesn’t want to wait a few years but wants to marry her now.

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If only he had asked her sooner! If only she had waited a week. If only, if only, if only.  😦

Lila comes in and introduces herself to Sam. She questions him about Marion and whether he and her were in it together, but Sam has no idea what’s going on.

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Private Investigator Arbogast comes on the scene. He was hired by Mr. Lowrey and Cassidy to find Marion, hoping she would give the money back and that they wouldn’t have to bring in the police.

Sam denies knowing where Marion is, and Arbogast tells him that he will find Marion, one way or another.

He goes around asking at ever motel, hotel, and boarding house in the area. Each one says no. He spots the Bates Motel, and goes in to speak with Norman.

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Norman is sitting on the porch eating Kandy Korn, as it says on his candy bag. Where’s he getting this in December? I guess it could have been leftover from Halloween. This was Norman’s personal touch, to add even more of a boyish charm.

Arbogast interrogates Norman, and I notice Norman speaks in a lot of clichés and metaphors. It’s probably due to him being only with his mother and never with peers.

He starts to clean the rooms, but skips door number one. He knows what went in that room and doesn’t want to think about it.

Arbogast follows and looks up at the house. He sees a figure, and questions Norman again. At first Norman says no one is there, but then says that it is his mother. Arbogast thinks Norman is hiding Marian, and infers that she seduced him, which angers Norman.

Milton Arbogast: Now, if this Marion Crane were here… you wouldn’t be hiding her would you?

Norman Bates: No.

Milton Arbogast: Not even if she paid you?

Norman Bates: No.

Milton Arbogast: All right, then lets say for the sake of argument that she needed your help and that she made you out to be a fool in helping her…

Norman Bates: Well, I’m not a fool. And I’m not capable of being fooled! Not even by a woman.

Milton Arbogast: I mean no slur on your manhood.

Norman Bates: She might have fooled me, but she didn’t fool my mother.

Norman is angry. Arbogast wants to speak to his mother, but Norman says no. As Norman is angry his face is put in more shadow and he loses that boyish charm and innocence, looking much darker.

Creepy!

Creepy!

Arbogast starts to head back to Lila and Sam, but stops and calls Lila from a phone booth. He tells her what Norman said, that Marion was here and then left, but it doesn’t feel right.

The plot thickens

He decides to go back to speak to Mrs. Bates, promising to be back in an hour. As he drives back to the motel, we see Norman there. Arbogast starts up to the house going through the back and leaving the door open, checking the front and bottom floor. When he can’t find anything, he heads upstairs. As he walks up, he gets attacked.

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Dead.

#2

#2

Back at the store, Lila and Sam are waiting for Arbogast. It has been hours and he hasn’t shown, with Lila getting really impatient.

I'mwaitingPrincessBride

She is determined to head down to the motel to find out if her sister was there. Sam tells her to wait while he calls, but she is heading out the door. Sam stops her and agrees, he will go and look for Arbogast and she should stay here in case he returns.

All I can think is, man Lila is intense in what she wants. If she had been the one dating Sam, then she would have been married a long time ago.

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Sam gets there but can’t find Arbogast or Norman anywhere. We see Norman by the swamp. Yep, dumping another body and car. Whoa, Norman really stepped into it this time. If it weren’t for the money, they wouldn’t be lookingthis intensely for her.

When Sam gets back and finds out that Arbogast still hasn’t returned, he and Lila head to the Sheriff’s house. They tell the Sheriff everything, but he doesn’t really seem to take them seriously.

Sheriff Al Chambers: Your detective told you he couldn’t come right back because he was goin’ to question Norman Bates’ mother. Right?

Lila Crane: Yes.

Sheriff Al Chambers: Norman Bates’ mother has been dead and buried in Greenlawn Cenetery for the past ten years!

Eliza Chambers: I helped Norman pick out the dress she was buried in. Periwinkle blue.

Sheriff Al Chambers: ‘Tain’t only local history, Sam. It’s the only case of murder and suicide on Fairvale ledgers.

Sam Loomis: You mean the old woman I saw tonight wasn’t Mrs. Bates?

Sheriff Al Chambers: Now wait a minute, Sam, are you *sure* you saw an old woman?

Sam Loomis: Yes! In the house behind the motel! I called and I pounded, but she just ignored me!

Sheriff Al Chambers: You mean to tell me you saw Norman Bates’ mother?

Lila Crane: It had to be – because Arbogast said so too. And the young man wouldn’t let him see her because she was too ill.

Sheriff Al Chambers: Well, if the woman up there is Mrs. Bates… who’s that woman buried out in Greenlawn Cemetery?

SHE’S DEAD??????!!!!!!!!!!!

Say What

Ten years? Ten years dead?

Whattheheck

And if she’s not dead but in the house, who’s in the cemetery?

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Norman knows that there will be more people coming. They came for Marion, and they will follow Arbogast as well. So he moves his mother to the fruit cellar to hide.

Norman Bates: Now mother, I’m going to uh, bring something up…

Norma Bates: Haha… I am sorry, boy, but you do manage to look ludicrous when you give me orders.

Norman Bates: Please, mother.

Norma Bates: No! I will not hide in the fruit cellar! Ha! You think I’m fruity, huh? I’m staying right here. This is my room and no one will drag me out of it, least of all my big, bold son!

Norman Bates: They’ll come now, mother! He came after the girl, and now someone will come after him. Please mother, it’s just for a few days, just for a few days so they won’t find you!

Norma Bates: “Just for a few days”? In that dark, dank fruit cellar? No! You hid me there once, boy, and you’ll not do it again, not ever again; now get out! I told you to get out, boy.

Norman Bates: I’ll carry you, mother.

Norma Bates: Norman! What do you think you’re doing? Don’t you touch me, don’t! NORMAN! Put me down, put me down, I can walk on my own…

This is probably the first time he has ever stood up to his mother in his life.

The next day, Lila and Sam head over to the church to go over to the Bates residence with the sheriff. To their surprise, the sheriff has already gone, and found nothing.

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Lila and Sam are unsatisfied and decide to go over there themselves. They check in as man and wife, and hide out in their room until the coast is clear.

The two sneak into room one, where they search every inch to find any trace of Marian. In the bathroom, they discover a slip of paper in Marian’s handwriting. Lila is excited, but Sam dashes that by telling her it doesn’t really help as Norman admitted that she came there. They need proof of what occurred next.

They decide to split up, with Sam distracting Norman, while Lila questions the mother. As Sam walks out, it turns out Norman is standing in the doorway of the office.

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He must have heard them, I mean right? Right?

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Anyways, Sam distracts him as Lila heads up the hill.

All I can think is that what the Sheriff said to them did not seem to register. He and his wife say that the mother is dead. Do they think it is a lie? She faked her death? She never died? Another body is in the casket?

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As Lila looks upstairs, she spots the mother’s room. It has a deep indentation in the bed, creepy mirrors everywhere, brass hands, etc.

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She goes into another room and sees that it is Norman. And the bedroom is weird. It is itty-bitty. In a giant house, why would he be given a room the size of a cell?

All he has is baby toys, and they all look sad. Like I seriously think he was abused as a child. Look at his doll. The rabbit that sits on the bed with him. Why would an almost 30 year old man sleep with a stuffed animal, unless he was abused as a child.

The music he listens to is Beethoven’s Eroica. I used to think it was used because it was a letter away from Erotica, but after looking into the backstory, it was written for Napoleon, and supposed to signify all a man is, powerful, brave, strong; what Norman wished to be.

She then spots a book with no title. I always wondered what the book signified, and discovered that books then that were pornographic were published titleless.

ew! Gross Yuck

This whole scene in the room is supposed to show the duality of Norman, a grown man, but still a child in so many, many ways.

Norman realizes that Sam has been distracting him, and knocks him out, then running for home. Lila spots Norman coming, and hides in the downstairs. That’s when she notices the fruit cellar and heads down.

When she gets there we have one of the best reveals ever!

So the sheriff takes him down to the jail, an they call in the psychiatrist to find out what was going on.

Dr. Fred Richmond: No. I got the whole story – but not from Norman. I got it – from his mother. Norman Bates no longer exists. He only half-existed to begin with. And now, the other half has taken over. Probably for all time.

Lila Crane: Did he kill my sister?

Dr. Fred Richmond: Yes, – and no.

Dr. Fred Richmond: Now to understand it the way I understood it, hearing it from the mother… that is, from the mother half of Norman’s mind… you have to go back ten years, to the time when Norman murdered his mother and her lover. Now he was already dangerously disturbed, had been ever since his father died. His mother was a clinging, demanding woman, and for years the two of them lived as if there was no one else in the world. Then she met a man… and it seemed to Norman that she ‘threw him over’ for this man. Now that pushed him over the line and he killed ’em both. Matricide is probably the most unbearable crime of all… most unbearable to the son who commits it. So he had to erase the crime, at least in his own mind. He stole her corpse. A weighted coffin was buried. He hid the body in the fruit cellar. Even treated it to keep it as well as it would keep. And that still wasn’t enough. She was there! But she was a corpse. So he began to think and speak for her, give her half his time, so to speak. At times he could be both personalities, carry on conversations. At other times, the mother half took over completely. Now he was never all Norman, but he was often only mother. And because he was so pathologically jealous of her, he assumed that she was jealous of him. Therefore, if he felt a strong attraction to any other woman, the mother side of him would go wild. [Points finger at Lila Crane] When he met your sister, he was touched by her… aroused by her. He wanted her. That set off the ‘jealous mother’ and ‘mother killed the girl’! Now after the murder, Norman returned as if from a deep sleep. And like a dutiful son, covered up all traces of the crime he was convinced his mother had committed!

Sam asks about the clothes, definitely weirded out by seeing Norman in that getup. And I agree, he was totally creepy looking.

Officer: He’s a tranvestite!

Dr. Fred Richmond: Ah, not exactly. A man who dresses in women’s clothing in order to achieve a sexual change, or satisfaction, is a transvestite. But in Norman’s case, he was simply doing everything possible to keep alive the illusion of his mother being alive. And when reality came too close, when danger or desire threatened that illusion – he dressed up, even to a cheap wig he bought. He’d walk about the house, sit in her chair, speak in her voice. He tried to be his mother! And, uh… now he is. [pauseNow, that’s what I meant when I said I got the story from the mother. You see, when the mind houses two personalities, there’s always a conflict, a battle. In Norman’s case, the battle is over… and the dominant personality has won.

Sheriff Al Chambers: And the forty thousand dollars? Who got that?

Dr. Fred Richmond: The swamp. These were crimes of passion, not profit.

Everyone’s like:

Say What

It wasn’t about the money at all? Yes folks, that is this film’s MacGuffin. A MacGuffin is something that the characters search for or aspire for, but in the end, has nothing really to do with the actual plot.

This last scene is my favorite as it is soooo creepy.

That moment when he smiles, it sends shivers down my spine.

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So Mrs. Bates is evil. Pure evil. She was abusive to Norman throughout his life, and now throwing him under the bus. Pure evil.

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So before we en I thought I would include some thoughts I had about Norman now that I’ve revealed the “truth” about him

1)When Norman chooses the parlor over the bedroom, I wonder if the Norman side “knew” it was best not to get to close as it might awaken mother sooner and “she” might do something drastic?

2)When he gets angry about institutionalizing his mother is it the dutiful son Norman that is angry, or his “mother”?

3) When Norman tells Marion he can’t leave, if he does then his mother will die all over again. Poor Norman, stuck in an endless cycle of abuse.

4) When Norman sees that Marion gave a false name in the book, do you think that “mother” found her an easier person to kill as no one was likely to connect that Marie Samuels to anyone? Do you think it made her more suspicious of her character?

5)I wonder if Marion had stayed up later with Norman would that have changed things? Would “Mother” have failed to come out? Or would she have come out earlier?

They are nothing with any real answer, but just something to ponder on and ask your cinephile friends.

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I know you guys know that this post isn’t going to end. Like Jaws, I have a LOT to say. So in Universal Studios, when I took the backlot tour, they showed us a scene from Psycho. As they have declared the site historical, they also decided to have someone act out a scene from the movie every time a tram goes by. And it is awesome!

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And so ends another Horrorfest. I know it has been crazy this year, as personal issues made me fall behind in posting. In fact, by the time this airs I still might not have caught up. However, what I was able to do was a lot of fun, and 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 IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It Has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

For the previous post, go to Man-Bat: On Leather Wings, Batman the Animated Series

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For more on Alfred Hitchcock, go to What Are the 39 Steps?: The 39 Steps (1935)

For more films based on books, go to Someone Has Erased His Memory: Total Recall (1990)

For more psychos, go to Tuesday the 17th: Psych (2009)

For more slasher films, go to Don’t F*** the Original: Scre4m (2011)

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A Haunting We Will Go: The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977)

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Why would they all come back?

So this year I am doing something a bit different. I decided that every Friday this year I will review a TV episode instead of a film. I know it kind of goes against the grain, but I just feel bad for those awesome shows that try to make really creepy Halloween episodes or just have great episodes that fit for this. Their still horror, so they count.

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So this episode is from the TV series, The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries. This show came out in the 1970s, the first season alternating every week between the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. The second season saw four crossover episodes, and only three Nancy Drew as the actresses playing her, left the series. Season three was reworked to be just the Hardy Boys. It was a good series while it lasted, I just wish there had been more. If you are interested in watching, all these episodes are currently on youtube, here’s the link if you want to watch this one.

So on to the review:

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At the beginning of every episode we see the Universal logo. I’ve always wondered why they haven’t remade it, I would watch it. But then again they would probably mess it up like they did with Nancy Drew (2007) film.

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So then we have the awesome intro and amazing intro music.

I love the setup, the book covers in the background, and that music. Ooh! It sends shivers up an down my spine and gets me in the mood for a mystery.

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So the first thing we see is a woman, yelling at Nancy Drew (Pamela Sue Martin) about knowing who she is and pulling a knife on her!

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But it turns out that it is just a rehearsal for a play they are doing. Yep, they are tearing down the old theater in River Heights, and using the property to build a youth center. It was Nancy’s idea to put on a play Murder in the 4th Act. 

Unlike the book series, Ned and Nancy’s relationship isn’t clearly defined. Are they going out? Or just good friends? He seems more into her than she into him. As much as I like book Ned, I have to be honest and admit I love the idea of Nancy Drew and Frank Hardy, especially in this series. OTP of the TV series.

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Anyways, so Ned is a bit of an egotistical jerk in the TV series than the book, and this episode is no different. He sent some telegrams to some famous actors: Thelma March, Hollywood actress; Alex Richmond, game show host; Danny Day, TV actor, and Seth Taylor, news anchor- and they all agreed to come. Ned thinks it is because of his brilliance, Nancy thinks it is a bit odd. Why would these famous people be willing to give up their time for free to help a youth center?

The woman Nancy was rehearsing with, Janet Mustane (Pippa Scott), used to perform with these people, choosing to remain in River Heights instead of going off to “bigger things”. She does not seem happy about all those people coming back. Wonder why?

suspicious Hmm

Nancy decides to clean up the stage area and make sure that everything is nice for the “famous” people. As she looks around stage, their is a shadowy figure above her on the catwalk.

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No it’s not him, :(. However there is a story that the theater is haunted by “The Phantom”.

Well, whoever or whatever this is, they decide to take down the chandelier and almost get Nancy with it.

Bad Stuff happens when you don't listen

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

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

Nancy was able to get out of the way in time, but starts thinking that something inky is going on. She checks the cord and sees that it isn’t frayed or old, but was cut.

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No one believes her though. So its up to Nancy to figure it out.

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The team split up to check over the theater more thoroughly.

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Nancy heads down into the prop room to see if she can figure out what is bringing everyone back. As she is looking, she finds an old playbill from the orginal opening of the play. And it turns out, all of those who are coming back, including Janet, were in the original performance.

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Weird

Weird

So they all show up, but no one can pay the cab, leaving Ned to foot the bill. How odd. How can such huge entertainment giants have no money? Hmmm….

suspicious Hmm

Something else strange is that they all seem to hate each other.

Hate YOu

If they dislike each other, why would they come back to perform with each others? And stay in the hotel across the alley (Janet’s place) rooming with each other?

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

So they start practicing, when Seth decides that he can’t do the scene without a pipe. He heads down to the prop room, but the lights won’t work.

You know what that means. Someones coming after you.

You know what that means. Someone’s coming after you.

But instead of looking for a prop he tries to open the window. While he is doing that, our mystery person or ghost knocks a statue over, trying to hurt him.

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

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

He’s fine, but Nancy wonders if there is more going on. Janet is convinced that the Phantom did it, and everyone else thinks it was just an accident; but Nancy knows that something is not adding up.

suspicious Hmm

She notices the light was unscrewed so it wouldn’t work, and that the window is opened. The window shouldn’t be unlocked as Ned checked it earlier, so Nancy is convinced someone came through there. Seth tells her it is stuck, so no one could get through it.

Wait a second!

Wait a second!

Now how would he know that? He was looking for a prop. He must have tried to open the window, but why?

suspicious Hmm

Later that night Nancy tries to get Ned, her friend George Fayne, and her Dad, Carson Drew to investigate with her to find out what is going on, but no wants to help. None are convinced that there is anything more to it then an old building that is falling apart. In fact Mr. Drew thinks they should move the play somewhere else, as that building is probably too old.

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But Nancy is convinced there is far more to the tale and won’t give up. She notices how all the actors are completely hostile to each other, and there has to be another reason why they would all come that isn’t nostalgia. But what?

The plot thickens

The plot thickens

That night the four visiting actors sneak out of their rooms and head over to the theater. They head down into the prop room and start taking it apart.

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That night, unbeknownst to them, Ned decides to head over and check the place out. You see Ned is very full of himself (I cannot repeat this enough, he is not like that in the book series) and decides that he needs to recheck the light plan as his genius must reflect well on the actors. When he gets there he runs into Julia and Alex disposing of the bricks from the prop room wall.

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This is one of the funniest scenes in the whole episode. Ned asks them what they are doing, and Alex tells him he needs the bricks to make a bed for his back, it is the only thing that can help him sleep. Ned finds it weird, but who is he to question it? He tries to head into the theater, but Julia stops him telling him he needs to go to bed and be well-rested. He says he doesn’t need to because he is young, and then Julia gets offended.

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She yells at him, are you calling me old?

I don't think so

And Ned, like a typical male, knows that it is no time to argue but vamoose.

Run Away

The next day, Nancy discovers the actors all asleep in the dressing room. They wonder what the heck is going on? Ned wakes them up and as they head upstairs to the stage, Ned tells Nancy about everything that happened the night before. Now Nancy is 100%s sure something is up, but what?

strange things are afoot at the circle k

So while they are talking the actors are having their own discussion. They are a bit worried about Nancy as she is always watching them.

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The other thing that is making them act crazy is they are all completely broke. Everyone has been paying a blackmailer for something they haven’t discussed, just yet. They know one of them must be the blackmailer, but which one is doing it?

suspicious Hmm

So they rehearse, and just as they are about to break up for lunch, a light comes crashing down, nearly hitting some people.

Phantom of the Opera chandelier

Everyone thinks that it is just another accident in an old theater, but Nancy feels that these accidents are too deliberate. As if someone was purposely attacking the people performing. But which one is doing it?

WhoDoneItMystery?

So Nancy tries to get Ned and Mr. Carson to back her again, but they still just think all the mishaps are from an old building falling apart, not a saboteur. Ned says that he heard a door shut and he thinks someone might have been there, but wasn’t sure. George disagrees as she thinks it is the Phantom!

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Nancy decides to put together a plan. She gets some phosphoric paint, and starts painting the areas in the prop room to discover who might be this “Phantom” messing with things.

Afterwards, the actors return and she puts her plan into motion. She turns off the lights and has George turn on the blacklight….and it shows that EVERYONE has the paint on them.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

THEY ALL ARE A PART OF IT!!!

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

So Nancy overhears them talking and decides there is much more to this story. Time to head to the library and do some research.

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They find the newspaper article and get some answers.

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So Jason Hall went from town to town raising money and investors for the show, promising it would be an amazing thing. In fact he really took River Heights, Nancy’s hometown, for a ride. The play closed before it opened, and it turned out that Jason took off with it all!!!! Or at least that’s what people think because he just disappeared. It turned out that he never had New York critics coming, that he intended to take everyone for a ride. But is that it, or is there more to the story?

suspicious Hmm

She starts thinking about it and everything starts coming together: the disappearance of Jason Hall, they all hate each other, they all are poor, etc. They must have done something to Jason. Someone is blackmailing them and they have no more money left. When they heard that the theater was going to be destroyed they must have decided to come back and clear up whatever evidence  they have before it comes to light with the destruction.

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Nancy thinks she has it figured out, now all she needs is to find the hard evidence to prove her theory.

While they are looking, the actors have been trying very hard to finish what they started. At last they have opened up the wall, and pulled out a sarcophagus. It turns out that Nancy was right. They did kill Jason, they hid the body in the sarcophagus, and sealed up the wall. They have been digging to get it out, so that their crime would not be discovered. And they have finally accomplished it.

When Ned spots them carrying it out, they tell him that Mr. Drew said they could have whatever props they wanted, and Seth wanted this one.

hardyboysnancydrewmysteries

Nancy sees Ned who tells her about the sarcophagus and Nancy knows instantly, that must be where they put body. She tells her dad, who decides to call in the Sheriff.

As the group is gathered to open it, in walks the Sheriff. He demands to open it and when they do, they discover………………..

come on

Bricks.

Say What

Yes everyone is shocked! What happened? Where is the body?

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Everyone but the actors are sent on home, and they talk amongst themselves. Danny thinks that one of them came back and moved the body, only pretending to help dig it out, but which one did it?

WhoDoneItMystery?

That night is the performance and the mystery is bothering Nancy. Who is the blackmailer? What happened to Jason? Who has been sabotaging the theater?

The plot thickens

She finally comes to the conclusion that the only solution that fits, is if Jason IS the blackmailer. Think about it: he somehow recovered from whatever they did to think they killed him and has been blackmailing them since. He must also be the person who has been sabotaging the theater. Yes that has to be it! Before she can tell Ned and everyone her cue comes, and she has to go onstage.

She goes onstage, and has to give everyone champagne, as she plays a maid. As she is giving out the glasses, she smells something odd.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Poison!

Spoke too soon

Nancy stops the play, crushing the glasses and keeping everyone from drinking them. She then yells at George to put on the blacklight. As they scan the audience, they spot one man covered in phosphorus paint. They get him.

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They pull off wig, fake glasses, and pretend nose. And discover that it is Jason. He has been alive the whole time.

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Afterwards the crew met up so Nancy can get the whole story.

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It turned out that Jason was a hustler and conman. He took the money for investing in the play and sent it to a private account in the Cayman Islands. He was planning in leaving the actors holding the bag, and having to pay for his crimes. They discovered this and argued with him, Jason fell and hit his head. They thought they killed him, so they buried the body in the wall, like in Edgar Allen Poe’s story The Black Cat. He escaped at one point and began blackmailing them, while the whole time they thought it was one of the five.

With everything done, the actors decide to finally stop bickering and continue in the play until enough money is raised for the youth center. Another case solved by Nancy Drew!

TheEnd_Title_2

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

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For more Nancy Drew, go to I’m So FANcy!

For more mysteries, go to Murder is My Favorite Crime: Laura (1944)

For more TV series based on books, go to Happily Ever Aftermath: Grimm (2012)

Back in Time: Happy 30th Anniversary Back to the Future

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Hooray! Today marks the 30th anniversary of my favorite movie ever, and one of the higest grossing films of 1985! Back to the Future!

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How do I describe how awesome this movie is? I mean it it so amazing!

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I just love, love, love it.

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Now what is incredible about this film is that Steven Spielberg and Rob Zemeckis really wanted Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly. The only problem? He was working on the TV show Family Ties, which refused to give him a hiatus. Michael J. Fox was too sweet to leave the show that gave him a chance when no one would, (read more in his memoir Lucky Man), but also wanted to do the film. What’s a guy to do?

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When the two directors wouldn’t leave him alone and sent him a script, which Michael J. Fox absolutely loved, he went back to Family Ties and asked again. This time they agreeed to it, BUT it had to be done on Michael J. Fox’s time. So he would go to the studio in the morning, work all day on Family Ties, a car would pick him up, and he would work late into the early morning on Back to the Future.

Back to the future hey mcfly marty mcfly

Michael J. Fox talks about how at some times he would become horribly confused and forget which movie he was in. That schedule had to be excruciating, but Mike, we all thank you for the glorious end project you did. You are Marty, and you were amazing! (Still are)

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And of course his gamble paid off as the film made him a huge star. Look you can even buy an action figure of him.

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So Let me briefly recap the film series for anyone who hasn’t seen it.

The film is a combo of Science-fiction, historical fiction, the ’50s, and the ’80s. All things I love and hold dear. Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), is the youngest of the McFly household and growing up in 1985. He wants to be a musician but is afraid of failing. He’s close friends with amateur scientist and millionare, Dr. Emmet Brown, Doc for short. Doc has finally created the time machine he’s been working on for 30 years. And put it in a Delorean.

Back to the Future time machine delorean marty mcfly doc

Before he can set out on his trip through time, Doc is killed by the terrorists he bamboozled for uranium (needed to work the time machine). Marty jumps in the car and takes off, accidentally going back to 1955 and messing up his parent meeting and their love at first sight moment. If he doesn’t get them back together, he’s history.

What’s not to love? Comedy, romance, science-fiction, great music, clothes, 2 songs by Huey Lewis (and a cameo), Michael J. Fox? Plus amazing gags!

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So is this is fantastic film? Oh, yes!

love it

And I watch it over, and over, and over…

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After the first time I saw this film, I immediately became obsessed with it. I memorized every single line in the films. I would comb through the TV listings, and watch it every, single time it came on. One time I even got up at 4:00 am! That’s commitment right there. And why not be obsessed with it? Duh, it’s AWESOME!

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I visited Universal Studios in 2012 and was devastated to see that they had hardly anything from Back to the Future. The clock tower was destroyed in that big fire, the ride had been taken out for “newer” things, and you couldn’t find any cool souvenirs. When I went in 2013, things were different. Universal Studios has a studio museum that they constantly move props in and out and they had a whole Back to the Future collection. I was having a ball, in fact I wanted to climb over the plexiglass and sit in the Deloran.

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Here are the clock tower building plans

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And the beautiful car

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Yes that was so amazing! And today, to honor this cinematic classic, I am going to marathon the three films! 🙂 And I suggest you do the same.

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Yep, we are going to go back in time.

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For more Back to the Future, go to Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads

For more anniversary posts, go to You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Screen: Happy 40th to Jaws

For more ’80s films, go to Don’t You Forget About Me

Fanning All Over the Place

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Yes, its true.

I am such a fangirl and have so many, many, many fandoms that I belong to. They take over my life! I mean if you think of all the hours that are put into being a massive fan, it’s astounding!

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Here is a list of  things (alphabetically) that constantly take over my life. I’m actually breaking this up into a series of posts, as just one was tooooo much.

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Anne of Green Gables Series

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I love Anne of Green Gables. It is one of my most favorite book series and books turned into films. The book takes place in Canada in the early 20th century. Marilla and Matthew Cuthburt, two elderly people, have decided to take in an orphan boy to help take care of their farm, Green Gables. When Matthew goes to pick the orphan up, he finds a girl instead of a boy! A redhead named Anne. Anne proves to be widely entertaining, spirited, imaginative and a whole lot of fun.

Anne is just so awesome how she is always trying to find a kindred spirit and using her optimism and sweetness in everyday life. She also has an overactive imagination and gets herself into the best scrapes.

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All my friends say that I am just like her, which I have to say is definitely true. While I’m missing the red hair; I most definitely have the same temper, imagination, and tendency to get into accidents/scrapes.

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Yep I totally would have whacked him too!

So the first book Anne of Green Gables, is about her life as she lives on Prince Edward Island. You get introduced to her character along with meeting the rest of the people who live on the island. She studies hard and ends up getting a scholarship to college, but things happen that makes her decide to wait and become a teacher for the present.

In its sequel Anne of Avonlea, it chronicles her time as a teacher on the island, and her desire to become a writer. She continues to get into scrapes, even though she that being older should make her wiser. Her family also takes in twins, Daisy and Davy, to raise.

In Anne of the Island, Anne goes to college and it chronicles her years there. She also gets six proposals.Yes, not one, not two, not even three, but six!

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In the end, she agrees to marry one of her suitors. I won’t tell you who, as you have to read!

Anne of Windy Poplars she can’t get married right away as her fiancé is still in school. She goes to Windy Poplars to teach and has to contend with the politics of the areas, as certain “old families” run the roost.

Anne’s House of Dreams Anne is married and has to deal with the issues of early marriage, running a home, and eventually kids. But that doesn’t stop her from her earlier imaginative games and friendmaking.

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Anne of Ingleside details her married life, spotlights her children, and visits old friends and flames.

Besides the wonderful, imaginative, and fun Anne; you also have one of the best romantic heros ever. Gilbert Blythe.

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Yep, I’m Anne. I know I say stuff like that all the time, but if I had to pick a fictional character I’m really like, it is her. We are the same although I live about a hundred years later than her. (Yeah an exact 100 years, spooky).

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Which means that Gilbert is absolutely perfect for me. Still looking for him. Someday I’ll find him.

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Definitely check out the books and the films. Just an FYI the films move away from the stories, and the first two are the only good ones.

For more on the Anne of Green Gables seriesgo to Part XI: A Movie Lines List’s Excellent Adventure

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Austenite/Janeite

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Do I really need to explain this? I mean look at the title of my blog and half the things I write about. I am a huge Austenite and love everything Jane Austen.

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Jane Austen was an amazing woman who faced all kinds of adversary. She grew up with money, but ended up living in poverty. She fell in love with a high class man, but his family intervened and sent him away. She was given another opportunity to marry a wealthy man that would have saved her and her family from destitution, but  she couldn’t marry him as she didn’t love him.

Love Passion

She continued to wait for her true love; although he never walked back into her life. Her first book she ever wrote, Northanger Abbey (then called Lady Susan) was published post-mortem. Her second novel and the most famous, Pride and Prejudice, was turned down several times before being published. In fact, it was published after she wrote her third novel, Sense and Sensibility.

Austen wrote not only great stories that have stood the test of time, but wrote about real issues and her more radical thoughts/philosophies, that wouldn’t be as easily accepted if spoken in person.

There is so much more I could say, but that would take several posts to fill it up. I recommend reading On the 10th Day ‘Til Christmas: Merry Christnas from the Austen Novels to read more of my love for Jane Austen’s work and her characters.

the-austenite-prayerElinorDashwoodAnneElliotElizabethBennetDarcy

For more on Jane Austen, go to Opening With…

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The Avengers

AvengersvsMagicMike

Now I may be one of the few that are far more interested  in The Avengers than Magic Mike but I see that as a good thing. The Avengers are another part of the Marvel (now Disney) family. The comic originated in the ’60s, with the team consisting of Iron Man, Ant Man, Wasp, Thor, Hulk, & Captain America. Superheros from all the Marvel comics have joined up as team members through the years, such as Kitty Pryde and Wolverine from the X-Men. Even solo acts like Spider-man, have joined up for a while.

Now the film was amazing. The Avengers is one of the best superhero films to come out.They did an outstanding job as the film gave each superhero its chance to shine and made it about them as a whole, instead of one individual (that’s how it’s done X-Men. Yeah I’m looking at your 2000 series that was really only about Wolverine). Plus you have some extremely hunky guys. There is Chris Evans as Captain America, Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, and Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk.

DANisnotonfireAvengersobsessed

LOVE IT!! Check it out!

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Back to the Future

back to the future

I LOVE Back to the Future. Words cannot describe what this film means to me.

momentsintime

After the first time I saw this film, I immediately became obsessed with it. I memorized every single line in the films. I would comb through the TV listings, and watch it every, single time it came on. One time I even got up at 4:00 am! That’s commitment right there. And why not be obsessed with it? Duh, it’s AWESOME!

Backtothefutureheymcflyanybodyhomehello

The film is a combo of Science-fiction, historical fiction, the ’50s, and the ’80s. All things I love and hold dear. Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), is the youngest of the McFly household and growing up in 1985. He wants to be a musician but is afraid of failing. He’s close friends with amateur scientist and millionare, Dr. Emmet Brown, Doc for short. Doc has finally created the time machine he’s been working on for 30 years. And put it in a Delorean.

Back to the Future time machine delorean marty mcfly doc

Before he can set out on his trip through time, Doc is killed by the terrorists he bamboozled for uranium. Marty jumps in the car and takes off, accidentally going back to 1955 and messing up his parent’s meetup. If he doesn’t get them back together, he’s history.

What’s not to love? Comedy, romance, science-fiction, great music, clothes, Michael J. Fox? Plus amazing gags!

starwarsBack2theFuture

This film was a hit and followed by two more films. In Part II Marty goes to 2015 to fix something, but indadvertedly causes his present to be destroyed. When he goes back to 1985, he finds out his father is dead, mom is married to Biff, and the whole town is run by Biff and is a hell hole. He then has to go back to 1955 in order to refix the time stream. But, it won’t be as easy as before, he can’t run into himself or else the whole time-space continuum will be destroyed!

Part III, Marty discovers that the Doc from 1985 has gone back to 1885. He then has to get the 1955 Doc to help him out and send him to 1885. When he gets there, he discovers that Biff’s however many grand pappy, “Mad Dog” Tanner, is planning on killing Doc.

backtothefutureGoodBafDoc

They not only have to figure a way to get back without any modern convinces, but to make the issue even harder…Doc falls in love with a 1885 woman. Will they survive the Old West? Will Marty ever get back to 1985? Watch to find out!

Great mix of the ’80s & Western film

I visited Universal Studios in 2012 and was devastated to see that they had hardly anything from Back to the Future. The clock tower was destroyed in that big fire, the ride had been taken out for “newer” things, and you couldn’t find any cool souvenirs. When I went in 2013, things were different. Universal Studios has a studio museum that they constantly move props in and out and they had a whole Back to the Future collection. I was having a ball, in fact I wanted to climb over the plexiglass and sit in the Deloran.

Here are the clock tower building plans

BacktotheFuture clock tower blueprints

And the beautiful car

Backtothefuture delorian universal studios

For more on Back to the Future, go to Just a Friendly Reminderhearts banner

Batman

batman

So I love Batman. He will always be my favorite of the DC comics. And I like all the Batmans!

So here we have a man who’s parent’s die and cause him to become a vigilante; always hoping to finally destroy crime as that was the thing that killed his parents. He is a billionaire, but other than that a normal person. I mean, unlike Superman who has a gazillion powers, Batman relies on his mind, martial arts, and inventions.

Batmanjustice

He also has his strain of the double life. Just like Sir Percy Blakeney aka The Scarlet Pimpernel, Don Diego de la Vega aka Zorro, and Francisco Domingo Carlos Andres Sebastián d’Anconia from Atlas Shrugged. Batman knows that this charade of a playboy not only hides his intelligence, but the fact that he is be a main piece in destroying the crime. It has to be hard to be thought of and treated “as the richest man and the most spectacularly worthless playboy on Earth” (pg. 56, Atlas Shrugged). But Batman knows that it is a must to continue his work.

Sadface Batman

So there are many versions of Batman and I pretty much love them all.

So besides the comic books you have Batman (1966 – 1968), starring Adam West. This is a hilarious show as it just makes you giggle. It’s fantastically corny.

Then you have Batman (1989) starring the handsome and wonderful Michael Keaton. In this we have Batman taken to the big screen in a darker way, with none other than the Creeper McCreepy Creep Jack Nicholson as the Joker. He is one of the best as his uber creepiness in real life was magnified on the screen. A great film, you should check out.

In Batman Returns, Michael Keaton is back and facing up against Christopher Walken, the Penguin, and Catwoman. I never really liked the penguin’s part in this film, but Michelle Pfeiffer is the best Catwoman ever. Halle Berry and Anne Hathaway wish they could be as awesome as her. Definitely worth seeing for her and Michael Keaton.

Batman Forever totally sucked. Val Klimer is too stiff and monotone as Batman, Nicole Kidman the therapist is a sex-crazed woman who needs to help solve her own issues before getting into others, and Tommy Lee Jones as Two-Face is just…no wrong. Wrong. The only bright spot is Jim Carrey as the Riddler. He was absolutely perfect, and the only reason I watch this film.

That’s probably how most of us fans would act when we meet out idol.

Batman and Robin is…its a mess. I know it. It is full of puns, lots of stuff makes zero sense, but I LOVE IT! I can’t explain it. I find it absolutely hilarious. I love Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze. Its more of a parody, and I love it.

Besides that you have a some great cartoon series that came out. Such as Batman: The Animated Series. This has to be one of the best versions of Batman ever made. It really develops into the psyche and relationships of Bruce, Dick, Barbara, Comissioner Gordon, etc. Plus you have great villans like the Joker, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, etc. It is definitely worth a watch, and it is free on Amazon Instant Watch. I have my own favorite episodes, but Nostalgia Critic really hits on the best ones in the series (although I would add Harley & Ivy episode to that list).

Then we have Batman Beyond. In this they took the story to a different level. It was very dark and used the colors black and red only. It takes place in 2039, and Bruce is all alone. All his old friends have died or left him alone. Terry McGinnis gets involved with Bruce accidentally, and eventually Bruce trains him to become the new Batman and avenger of Gotham City.

Intense!

And then we have the new Batman films. Now I really liked Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. I didn’t like The Dark Knight Rises however, but I’m like the only one. I just couldn’t get into it and hate how they chose to end with Bane after the Joker. Come on now, seriously. But I thought the first film was great. The only issue I had with the second film was that they didn’t give Two-Face enough screentime, and that he didn’t argue with himself as much as he should have. He didn’t have the same rooted issues. But all in all they were really good.

Batman-Begins

And I’m super pumped for Batman vs. Superman. Bring on the bat!

Batman NaNaNaNa

For more on Batman, go to That Girl is Poison

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Bones

bones

I love Bones because of one reason really, FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth played by David Boreanaz.

BonesBoothHotNiceBod

He is AMAZING!

SeeleyBoothLionheartFBIHardFists

Bones is about forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan (Emily Deschanel) who gets hired by the FBI as a consultant to help them solve cases. There is also an amazing secondary cast: wild, artistic, Angela Montenegro who does facial reconstruction; Dr. Jack Hodgins, an entomologist who spurned his family’s wealth and “buisness” to study science; Dr. Zack Addy, genius graduate student who is unfamilar with “social norms”; and Dr. Lance Sweets, the young, handsome, FBI psychologist who helps them out.  It is a great show, that I highly recommend.

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Ah, the life of a fangirl

fangirl casual fan diehard fan consume me love it

Stay tuned for Part 2!

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For more on my fangirlness, go to How I Differ from Others

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Peeta Please!

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

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You’re gonna need a bigger boat…

Jaws really is revolutionary movie. It is an amazing piece of cinema that breaks a lot of previous horror film rules. It focuses on both the people and the creature they are trying to kill. The camera uses are unparalleled. Instead of constantly being shown the shark (as it malfunctioned a lot) it is filmed from the shark’s point of  [something down later in Friday the 13th (1980)] which adds to the terror of the film.

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

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!

This also was the first “summer blockbuster” film. It opened on 409 screens nationwide (unusual for the time) and quickly became the highest grossing film of all time. Previous to Jaws, they would show the film on a few screens and then move the picture around. This mass-screening, all-over at the same time became so popular that it set the standard for what film companies do today. Jaws lost its place as the highest grossing film of all time in 1977 when Star Wars IV: A New Hope came out.

This film also brought a huge interest in sharks and marine biology. Now previous to this film you had monster movies and horror films that were about sea creatures attacking. Films such as The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms were you have some radioactive created creature that is ginormous and attacks the world. Or the mythological fishman from The Creature from the Black LagoonGodzilla, being another radioactively changed creature that is trying to destroy or protect the city. It Came From Beneath the Sea a giant octopus that causes havoc and destruction. The Monster that Challenged the World where giant mollusks come out of a crevice in the ground and try to kill everyone. But have you noticed something? All of these are large creatures, most of the time accidentally or purposely genetically altered. Or fake, such as the fishman. None of these were an actual creature that you could come into contact with…like a great white shark. Not only is Bruce (the shark in the film, named after Steven Spielberg’s lawyer) something real and normal-sized; but he’s just freaky! The book and the film both present actual data (although more studies proved some of the behavior previously associated with great whites are false) and an actual creature you could come upon. I mean great white sharks have over 300 teeth, they can get to be over 21 feet long, they are pretty fast swimmers, can jump out of the water, and are constant eating machines. How could you not be afraid?

Shark Jaws

But just like Spielberg’s other film Jurassic Park made dinosaurs the “it” thing (and they have been ever since, although never as on top as in the ’90s) Jaws made sharks really cool. And they remain so. I remember back in grade school sharks were just so awesome! We had a guy come to our class that did a whole presentation on sharks, and everyone was riveted. And people still remain so. Sharks will never stop being cool. I mean after all, ever summer we have a week devoted to them, Shark Week, on the Discovery channel. Buzzfeed even did a quiz on “What Type of Shark are You”. And did I take this quiz  you may ask? You bet I did!

To see what type you are, go here.

To see what type you are, go here.

Yep, Jaws is pretty amazing. So I’m sure you are now ready for the review, but I’m not about to go there just yet. So Jaws is based on the book by the same name, authored by Peter Benchley. The book was okay, but I preferred the movie. Unlike the book Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton; Jaws the book doesn’t hold a candle to the film version. This mostly has to do with the way they create the characters in the book. Hooper in the film is a an arrogant-rich kid, but you like him because he really gets involved in his work, and loses some of that stigma as the film progresses. In the book he is always annoying and he has an affair with Brody’s wife. The whole affair took away from the storyline and seemed tossed in, rather than attempting to flow.

Now the film on the other hand, follow the story pretty closely, but takes out the extra action not really needed. Plus the people they chose where just perfect. Roy Scheider was an amazing Chief Brody, balancing being a tough police chief, with a scared i-don’t-know-what-to-do everyday person. Richard Dreyfuss, as I mentioned earlier, smoked it as Hooper the marine biologist/rich kid. And Robert Shaw. No one will ever hold a candle to your Quint, no matter how the world may try.

thats-how-its-done

So now let’s get back to film review-wait, wait wait. Let me say one last thing. So it feels really weird to be talking about this film without mentioning a few more memories. So let me say I have seen every Jaws film created, even the incredibly horrible ones (as pretty much each sequel was). I actually watched them all at a really young age with my older sister Paige. They were doing a movie marathon and we sat down and saw them all (which took a long time as these are not short films). When I was older, I actually couldn’t remember the finer points of the film, the biggest thing that stuck in my mind was the SeaWorld underwater tunnels and shark attack in Jaws 3-D.

Now every 4th of July I used to do the same thing. I would watch the Twilight Zone marathons that they would show on the SciFi, now SyFy, channel. (I know, I know. I’m a huge fan, but have yet to review any episode for a Horrorfest. I promise I will do at least one next year.) SyFy stopped doing this for a while (they have since brought it back but every year is iffy). Now AMC does some movie marathons on the 4th of July that usually had some patriotic feeling (like Rocky). One year they did a Jaws marathon, as the 4th of July plays a huge role in the film. I watched it that year and loved it all over again. Now my tradition trades off between Twilight Zone and Jaws every 4th of July.

love it

So now we are seriously back on to the film review.

Shark Jaws

First let’s set the mood. It is the summer of 1975. Many families, young adults, teens, etc. are vacationing at beaches. Amity Island (where our story takes place) is one such beach. It is located on the east coast (a sort of Martha’s Vineyard that poor and rich can afford). On this particular night there are quite a few college age kids having bonfires on the beach. They are drinking beer, toking up (it is the ’70s), etc. One guy, Tom Cassidy, spots a blonde, Chrissie. The two run off away from the crowd to “be alone”.

Mhm great gatsby

As they get far from the crowds, Chrissie begins stripping and invites Tom in for some moonlight skinny dipping. She dives in right away and Tom tries to follow. However, he is far too bombed and collapses on the beach.

Chrissie is unaware and continues to swim. This is the last swim she will ever take.

The next day we are introduced to Martin Brody, the new Chief of Police. Brody is a native of New York City, but he and his family moved out to take over the Amity Island police force as they thought it would be easier, simpler and less deadly.

the irony iron

Anyways, we’ll get into that later. So Chief Brody (Scheider) has been called to go looking for Chrissie. He and his deputy Hendricks, go down to the beach to search for clues. It doesn’t take them long until they discover her corpse.

victim

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

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

Back at the police station he gets asked to deal with the usual cases of the day; kids karate chopping down fences and other stuff. It seems to be business as usual until the report comes back. It states Shark Attack.

What!

Immediately, Brodie runs to the hardware store to pick up materials to make sign to close the beaches.

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However, the Mayor doesn’t like that. He knows that if word gets around that there are sharks in the water he can say good-bye to all those summer dollars.

Good-bye

Good-bye

Without that money, the winter will be hard on everyone. These people depend on the summer dollars to keep the island going year round. The Mayor convinces the coroner to “take a second look” of which causes the coroner to determine he had made “a mistake”. There was no shark attack, just a boating accident as she swam into a propeller.

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

Since that is the decision, Brody can’t do anything but allow the beaches to remain open. But this is all against his better judgement.

BadFeelings

But hey, he is a newcomer that lives in a small town. He has to play the politics. Even if they have dire consequences.

dun-dun-duuuun

So as time goes on more tourists come to the island. The beaches are stock full of visitors. Brody is worried and nervously scans the water. Everything is fine…until it isn’t.

I just love that scene when they zoom into Brodie’s face. It is fantastic. So Bruce sure did a number.

Shark Jaws

After her son’s death, Mrs. Kitner issues a $3000 reward for the capture of the shark. The town holds a meeting in which Brody lets them know he contacted someone from the Oceanographic Institute for advice. Brody wants to close down the beaches, but no one will listen. The fighting is interrupted by Quint, in one of the best scenes.

So great it was spoofed:

Brody goes home and orders his children to go nowhere near the water, even though his son Michael just got a new boat. Brody’s wife Ellen thinks he is overreacting, that is until she looks at the pictures in his shark book. She then firmly decides that staying out of the water is a great idea.

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

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

With such a high bounty, everyone wants to kill the shark. Expert fishermen from all over. Average joes. Everybody.

Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) comes to town, as he is the person from the Oceanographic Institute. He has an interesting background. Hooper was a rich boy that was into science and became a marine biologist. This can often be something that is hard to fund, so his parents + trust fund really come in handy.

Anyways, once Brody finds out who he is, has has him take a look at the remains.

“[Hooper is examining the remains of the first victim – describes the post-mortem into his tape recorder]

Hooper: The height and weight of the victim can only be estimated from the partial remains. The torso has been severed in mid-thorax; there are no major organs remaining…Right arm has been severed above the elbow with massive tissue loss in the upper musculature… partially denuded bone remaining…[to the m.e. and Brody] This was no boat accident! [to Brody] Did you notify the Coast Guard about this?

Brody: No. It was only local jurisdiction.

Hooper: [continues post-mortem] The left arm, head, shoulders, sternum and portions of the rib cage are intact…[to Brody] Do not smoke in here, thank you very much. [lifts up the severed arm] This is what happens. It indicates the non-frenzied feeding of a large squalus – possibly Longimanus or Isurus glauca. Now… the enormous amount of tissue loss prevents any detailed analysis; however the attacking squalus must be considerably larger than any normal squalus found in these waters. Didn’t you get on a boat and check out these waters?

Brody: No.

Hooper: Well, this is not a boat accident! And it wasn’t any propeller; and it wasn’t any coral reef; and it wasn’t Jack the Ripper! It was a shark.

Conclusion: Shark

Shark Jaws

Meanwhile, out on the ocean, some fishermen have caught a large shark. Everyone is happy to see it and that the reign of terror is over. The monster has been slain.

Double double yay

Hooper steps up to investigate the shark:

Jaws-wrong-shark-dreyfuss-scheider

And tells everyone that it is the wrong shark. It is a tiger shark, not a great white. The bite radius is all wrong. They decide to keep the beaches closed until they can cut him open and see if the remains are inside it. Before they leave, Mrs. Kinter arrives and  slaps Brody across the face. She heard about the deaths and how they suspected sharks were in the area and blames Brody for everything.

Now Brody just takes this as he blames himself, but I always hated that. It wasn’t his fault! He wanted to stop them from keeping the beaches open. It was the greedy, evil mayor who wouldn’t listen.

Mayor from Buffy the vampire slayer

Mayor from Buffy the vampire slayer

Well, I guess he could be much worse.

So Hooper joins the Brody clan for dinner. Now in the book, Ellen knew Hooper’s older brother and the two just spent the time reminiscing. They later had an affair. Luckily Speilberg was smart enough to cut that out, and they instead discuss the situation. Hooper explains that a rogue shark will often claim territory to an area where the feeding is good and will remain there until the food source is gone. In order to protect the town, they decide they need to get down there and cut that shark open.

No human remains means that the real shark is out there. Bruce? Where are you hiding?

da dum Jaws

Here I am!

Here I am!

Hooper decides they have to go out that night as the Great White Shark is a night feeder. Now Brody hates the water, as we mentioned earlier, but goes out with Hooper. Using Hooper’s fancy equipment, they pick up a fishing boat, that Brody recognizes as Ben Gardner’s. Hooper dives under and finds one big surprise.

The next morning Brody and Hooper try to get the Mayor to listen to them, but all the Mayor is thinking about is the graffiti on the Amity Island billboard.

Sign from Universal Studios Backstage Tour

Sign from Universal Studios Backstage Tour

Hooper has figured out that the shark that is attacking is a great white. The evidence all points to it and they need to close the beaches down. But the mayor won’t listen to him. Hooper lost the Great White Shark tooth he found and the Mayor sees it as tooo convinent. He believes that Hooper is just trying to spread a sensation as he wants to be written up in the National Geographic or something. However, that’s not the real truth. To be honest, the Mayor is just thinking about making money over saving lives.

Bad things happen when you don't listen

Bad things happen when you don’t listen

July 4th the beaches are flooded. This is not good, not good at all. Brody, Hooper, and the cops are constantly patrolling the beaches, but all are on edge as they are waiting…waiting for the shark to attack.

come on

Michael, Brody’s son, wants to go in the water, but Brody won’t let him. He tells him to go to the estuary instead as it is safer.

You never learn

You never learn

Suddenly a shark fin appears in the water

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

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!

But it turns out to be just a prank. Some stupid kids decided to dress as a shark. Seriously guys, what were you thinking?

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

While everyone is watching this and dealing with it…not too far away something happens.

da dum Jaws

A girl painting down by the estuary see’s a shark. She starts crying out the word, but most think it is a hoax. Brody starts to head over, but when he hears his son is down there he runs like crazy.

Now this is a great scene but I can’t find a good clip of it online. You’ll just have to watch the film! So Michael and his friends get capsized along with another guy. The shark devours tons of people, including the man that tried to help them.

Here I am!

Here I am!

Michael makes it out okay, but suffers severely from shock. Brody takes him to the hospital and yells at the Mayor, demanding that he pay all of Quints commands and let’s him kill the shark.

So the three set out to catch that fish, even though they face some issues. Quint wants to go it alone, but Brody insists that he and Hooper have to come along. Quints dislikes Hooper as he sees him as some rich boy having fun with daddy’s money, not a real fisherman or worker like Quint. Quint also dislikes having Brody as he knows nothing about fish or fishing, but at least he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty. Hooper is tired of the all the “you don’t know nothing, kid” crap he is getting from Quint and also annoyed at Brody. Brody has a fear of the water that he is trying to overcome, managing two grown men who are acting like children, and is afraid that he might not make it home to see family. There is a lot of stuff going on.

What!

 Once at sea they start getting ready for the hunt. Baiting lines. Chumming the water. And that is when we have the most famous lines from the film uttered. (You know it wasn’t even scripted. Scheider just uttered it in the heat of the moment.)

And that is when the real hunting begins!

That night the guys get drunk and start bonding. Singing drinking songs. Comparing scars and wounds. You know, the typical guy stuff. But that’s when things get serious and Quint describes his hatred for sharks.

At this moment, its not about the money. It’s not about the fame. Quint has become Captain Ahab, and he wants his whale…or shark in this case.

In fact this is one of the most dramatic scenes in the film as you get the underlying reason why this is so important to him. Of course as it is one of the most famous scenes, it has to be parodied.

Back to the film. The next day the hunt continues. They try and take the shark but Bruce proves to more powerful than they expected. They tried to reel it on, but it nearly capsized the Orca. Hooper decides to be lowered down in a shark cage to shoot Bruce with a harpoon filled with strychnine nitrate.

Hooper manages to escape the shark. This was were he was supposed to die, but then Speilberg changed his mind. After attacking Hooper, Bruce decides to go after the ship.

Jaws Shark attack

Pic of the shark from the Universal Backstage Tour ride

He crushes it and causes it to lean toward him. Brody and Quint struggle to hold on, but Quint loses his grip and finds himself in the belly of the beast.

jaws-6

Brody takes on killing the shark all by himself. This is why Brody is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One Shark Week on Discovery channel they actually tested out everything in the film. They discovered that if you shot a tank from the 1970s you could blow up a shark. You just have to shoot it right.

Hooper finally gets his act together and meets up with Brody, the two creating a raft and swimming off in the distance.

“I used to be afraid of the water,” Brody admits.

“I can’t imagine why,” Hooper replies.

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But that’s not the end of the post. Oh, no we still have a bit more to cover. 🙂

So for my 20th birthday, my parents told me we could do whatever I wanted. It was the last time they were going to throw a party for me. I really wanted to go to Disneyland as the last time I had gone was when I was 12 (I went recently and will do a post on what it was like later). I decided on Universal Studios as it was much cheaper, and they were having a special for their anniversary that you buy a pass, you get in free for the year! Sweet!

So as we entered the gates, I was asked by a worker to fill out a survey for a free gift. You know me and free.

free stuff

So I did and we got to skip the lines for the Backstage Studio Tour! Whooooooooooo!!!!!

Double double yay

So you see all kinds of cool things on that tour, but I’m not going to speak on everything. We gotta stay Jaws focused here. So at one point we drive to Amity Island.

Sign from Universal Studios Backstage Tour

Sign from Universal Studios Backstage Tour

We see the fake shark that they thought was Bruce but wasn’t.

Jaws

Then we things get intense. Bruce attacks!

Jaws Shark attack

There were actually three Bruces created for the film. The first one is passed along museums, the second is at Universal studios, and the third privately owned. After Bruce attacks, they blow him up!

Jaws

It’s so intense! The flames feel so close! It’s AWESOME!

love it

Later I got to see Brody’s actual costume in the Universal Pictures Museum (that’s where I saw the Marty McFly one from Back to the Future: Part III).

Jaws

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But that’s not the end! So the other day a friend and I were discussing Jaws and Bruce’s motives.

Anjelica: Is this a horror movie? Or is it an animal, drama/history movie about a misunderstood shark that only wants hugs from others, but his eating disorder and anger issues gets in the way?

Me: Horror film. He is purposely hunting down Brody and his family, as seen in the sequels.

Anjelica: “Hunting down” or passionately pursuing the family he always wanted to have. Jaws should just befriend, Orca: The Killer Whale. lol

Me: I have changed my view on Bruce the shark. So Quint was in a shark attack but survived. He was supposed to die in it but somehow cheated death. Bruce is a supernatural entity (that’s why he can’t really die and comes back in the 3 sequels) in the guise of a shark that has been hunting him down to right that past wrong. He finally succeeds in killing him and is supposed to take Hooper too (as he dies in the book and original draft of the script) but Brody gets in the way. In fact Brody manages to destroy his “earthly form”. Then Bruce becomes angry and falls from his post (like Davy Jones in the Pirates films) and starts hunting for Brody, along with taking down all of his family.

So there we have it. I have officially joined the dark side. I have fully become a tumblr with that last comment.

Star Wars Dark side power Darth vader

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So there we go. One of the best horror films that have affected us as people so strongly. People are afraid to swim because of this movie. Ever summer one week on the Discovery Channel is devoted to sharks. The theme is so AWESOME!!!!! I mean every time you go in water you have to hum it.

Jaws

It is one amazing film. If you haven’t seen it, watch it. If you have seen it, watch it again.

Jaws

And that’s the real end. I swear. Hope you enjoyed it!

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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 Monster Movie

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For more on Jaws, go to Part X: The Movie List That Would Not Die

For more shark attacks, go to For All the Men Who Wonder What It’s Like

For more on hunting a monster, go to Let Them Fight

For more monster movies, go to Keep Clear Of the Moor. Beware the Moon

For more films based on a book, go to Murder is My Favorite Crime

For more films that spanned sequels, go to You Will Die in Seven Days

For more in Universal Studios, go to There Are Many Strange Legends in the Amazon

For more quizzes, go to I’m Batman!

For more on Star Wars, go to Part IX: Adventures in Movie Lines

For more Buffy the Vampire Slayer, go to Every Time I Bring a Girl Over, You Try to Eat Her!

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.

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

Look at this sweetheart

Look at this sweetheart

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

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

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

Even a man who is pure in heart

and says his prayers by night

may become a wolf when the wolfsbane blooms

and the autumn moon is bright

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

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

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

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

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

 

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

dun-dun-duuuun

Making him the next werewolf.

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

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

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

Say What

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

confused

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

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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 nigh as Larry as the Wolf Man  steps in one of the traps and gets caught. Luckily the Gypsy woman frees him, as she had  felt sorry for his predicament.

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

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

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

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

princess Bride Victim to classic blunder Vizzini

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

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

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

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

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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

There Are Many Strange Legends in the Amazon: The Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954)

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There are many strange legends in the Amazon. Even I, Lucas, have heard the legend of a man-fish

I LOVE this movie! ❤ It is one of my favorite B Horror films and Monster movies. It is a member of Universal’s Classic Monster Movie Collection, its buddies being The Phantom of the OperaFrankenstein,  The Bride of Frankenstein, The MummyDracula, The Wolfman, etc.

The producer of this film got the idea for the story from a  myth he was told about a half-fish and half-human race in the Amazon River. He wanted to go with a Beauty and the Beast type vibe, but having an ending that was more reminiscent of King Kong

Last October I created my own “poster” and changed my cover photo on facebook every day in honor of Halloween. This is it.

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Love it! ❤

So the film begins when a fossil of a skeletal hand with webbed fingers is found in the Amazon.

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Thinking this is the link between human evolution from sea to land Dr. Carl Maia goes to his former student Dr. David Reed to have him look into it.

From left to right Dr. David Reed (Richard Carlson), David's girfriend and collegue Kay Lawrence (Julie Adams), Dr. Mark Williams (Richard Denning), & Dr. Edwin Thompson (Whit Bissell)Moreno)

From left to right Dr. David Reed (Richard Carlson), David’s girfriend and collegue Kay Lawrence (Julie Adams), Dr. Mark Williams (Richard Denning), & Dr. Edwin Thompson (Whit Bissell)

David persuades his boss Dr. Mark Williams that they should look into it. It could mean fame, fortune, etc, the possibilities are endless for the ones who find out more.

That night we the viewer see a clawed, webbed, hand emerge from the inky black lagoon

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Followed by screams of terror. We know what that means. The diggers es muerte.

Meanwhile the scientists are blissfully unaware of what lies before them, they all go aboard the ship the Rita with a silly (comical relief) Captain Lucas.

rita

Now when I went to Universal Studios in May 2012, in the special effects show they had the boat Rita and picked a family to go on it and show how they would make it look as if the ship was moving down a river when it actually wasn’t. I wanted them to pick my family, but they said only families of four and there were only three of us there. 😥

Anyways, so as the group travels down the Amazon, problems arise. It turns out that David isn’t the only one who likes Kay. Mark has a thing for her as well, but Kay only has eyes for David.

Love Triangle!

Love Triangle!

When they arrive at the camp, they find the rest of Dr. Carl’s team dead, having been utterly clawed up. Everyone assumes that a jaguar did it, but Captain Lucas is pretty sure that something more sinister is afoot.

Meanwhile, Kay is off by herself roaming about. Seriously, in practically every horror film there is always that one character that decides they are going to be stupid and go off somwhere on their own and almost gets or does get killed. In Kay’s case she is pretty lucky. The creature notices her and we see his clawed hand come for her foot when she is called back by the others.

I really love how they don't show his face right away. That always adds to the effect of the horror film.

I really love how they don’t show his face right away. That always adds to the effect of the horror film.

The team isn’t able to find any remains that they thought they would, and Mark is very upset that they have nothing. He threatens to cut all funding, but David is able to convince him that they should go downriver and check the Black Lagoon where the river ends. David figures that cliffside where the hand was found probably eroded and went downstream. Lucas doesn’t like the idea of going  down into the Black Lagoon and neither does his crew. They have heard many, many, many stories about that place.

“Lucas: I can tell you something about this place. The boys around here call it ‘The Black Lagoon’; a paradise. Only they say nobody has ever come back to prove it.”

This part of the film always reminds me of King Kong. How all the crew members care for Kay, very similar to how they care for Ann.

Mark and David go diving and collect rocks. There we see that the tension between the two is more than just Kay. Mark is VERY ambitious and tends to take credit for others work. Kay talks David down and decides to go for a swim. Dun-Dun! Dun-Dun! Dun-dun-da-da! Dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun, da-na-na!

THE CREATURE TRIES TO GRAB HER!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is also the part where we are finally able to see what the creature looks like. He’s pretty creepy. The person who played him, Ricou Browning, was a professional diver and swimmer and played the Creature whenever he was underwater. The director said that since the Creature had gills, air bubbles couldn’t come out from his mouth or nose. Browning was required to hold his breath for up to 4 mins and his costume was designed without an air tank. Eeep! that’s pretty crazy! They things they did back in the day.

The Creature’s design was based on old 17th C woodcuts, the Sea Monk and the Sea Bishop.

That scene when Kay is swimming always makes me think of Jaws as well. I bet Steven Spielberg was influenced by it.

Kay gets called back before the creature can do anything, and everyone prepares to go out, but they are stopped by the monster. In a Finding Nemo-esque way, where he pulls on a net and messes with the ship. When they pull up the net they see a ginormous hole in it, and a claw.

David and Mark decide to go after it, Mark carrying a harpoon gun. David is against this as he wants to capture the monster alive so that they can study it. Mark thinks it is better to just destroy it and live.

Look at these Hunky men! :)

Look at these Hunky men! 🙂

The go swimming and see the creature. Mark tries to hit it with his gun, which angers David. When they return to the boat, they can hardly believe what they saw and ran into, trying to describe it to the others. Kay doesn’t find it too far fetched, reminding everyone that some fish can breathe air. Mark goes to print the pics David took with his underwater camera. To their disappointment, nothing can be seen at all. However, they don’t have to be disappointed long as the creature has come on board the ship!

IT'S BEHIND!!!!!

IT’S BEHIND!!!!!

They manage to fight him off, but they know they have to capture him or else he will kill them all. They try and drug the water and fish in hopes that he will eat them and knockout. That day and night they wait for him.

The creature manages to sneak on the ship.

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Kay’s screams alert the rest of the crew and they scare the creature away by using light. He is having trouble as the drugs are stating to affect him. David and Mark chase after him and discover his underground grotto. The creature manages to kill one more person before he passes out. They tie him up in a net and take him onto the boat. They lock him up in a cage, but that doesn’t hold him for long. Dr. Edwin tries to save Kay by thrusting himself in front of her as a shield, but the Creature attempts to strangle him. Kay throws a lantern on the creature and sets him on fire. Scaring the monster off.

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See fire is the way to go. It scares off Zombies, Frankenstein, the Wolfman, etc.

After this, David convinces everyone that they need to leave. They try, but as they are attempting to exit the lagoon, they discover a ton of felled trees block their way. Mark, being the guy he is, decides to go after the Creature and capture him. Of course now the Creature takes him down.

The Creature then jumps onto the boat and carries Kay away.

David goes after his lady love, taking Mark’s harpoon gun with him.

David and Kay get out, but the creature manages to follow them. They shoot him and he retreats floating in the water, but is he really dead? Or just recuperating?

NEVER SAY DIE!

NEVER SAY DIE!

Actually before the script was finished, plans had already been made to leave the Creature’s fate uncertain at the end of the picture, in order to leave an opening for a sequel. Which it had. Two of them, but neither was as good as the original deal.

The Creature has been such a huge thing in our culture. There was the parody Creature from the Haunted Sea (1961), has a part in The Munsters, makes an apperance in Scooby-Doo & the Ghoul School, makes an apperance in The Nightmare Before Christmas song “Town Meeting”, Lagoona Blue from Monster High is the daughter of the Creature, Gary Larson did a hilarious comic,  and Jenny Clack, from the University of Cambridge, discovered a fossil amphibian named it Eucritta melanolimnetes,  which means (literally) “the creature from the black lagoon”.

Click here to watch it free online.

Hope you enjoyed the first post of Horrorfest. 😀

I just found this pic online and thought you all would love it.

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So this artist José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros did a series of disney mash-ups, my favs being the horror films. To see more go to Disnified Horror.

Finally a mate that can live with me in my lagoon.

Finally a mate that can live with me in my lagoon.