It’s Time for All Good Little Ghouls to Return Home

So here ends another Horrorfest: 31 reviews of films and/or TV episodes that are mysteries, horror, film-noir, suspense, monsters, thrillers, etc.

I started doing this because I watch something for Halloween everyday in October, and it was an easy leap to blog about it. I know some people don’t think I should as it has “nothing” to do with Jane Austen. That may be true, but I do know one character who would enjoy Halloween and Horror films.

Every year I start off with a little planning: first film, last film, Tim Burton film, Vincent Price, a film/TV episode from every decade, etc.- And everything else is just whatever I happened to watch.

Interestingly, they always end up to being completely unplanned but somehow go together.

Wow!

The first thing we seemed to have a lot this October is Vampires. We had Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Meet Dracula: Part I, The Hardy Boys/ Nancy Drew Meet Dracula: Part II, Northanger Abbey and Return of the Vampire,

From The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula

This year’s theme is “mysteries” to tie in with it being the 100th anniversary of Agatha Christie’s The Mysterious Affair at Styles. That being the year’s theme, I reviewed quite a few mysteries, such as: Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, Batman Returns, Criminal Minds, Ellery Queen, The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Meet Dracula: Part I, The Hardy Boys/ Nancy Drew Meet Dracula: Part II, Knives OutMiss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears, Raising Hope, Rear Window, and Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers.

We also had a few dystopian futures with Fahrenheit 451, Ghost in the Shell, and Mad Max.

Watching neighbors and it leading them to being involved in a mystery with Men at Work, Raising Hope, and Rear Window.

I also included Jane Austen when I ended this year with a review of Northanger Abbey.

Along with trying to encourage others to #CelebrateHalloweenwithNorthangerAbbey something I think I will continue every year.

And of course our Annual films:

  • A movie or TV episode from every decade from the 1930s-2020s
  • Alfred Hitchcock with Rear Window
  • Animated Film with Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers (1987)
  • Disney with The Moon-Spinners
  • Lifetime/TV Film with The Stranger Beside Me (2003)
  • Stephen King with Sleepwalkers
  • Tim Burton with Batman Returns
  • Vincent Price with The Adventure of the Sinister Scenario: Ellery Queen (1976)

The full list of films and TV episodes reviewed for Horrorfest IX:

The Cat and the Canary (1939)

The Return of the Vampire (1943)

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

Rear Window (1954)

The Blob (1958)

The Moon-Spinners (1964)

Fahrenheit 451 (1966)

“The Adventure of the Sinister Scenario” from Ellery Queen (1976)

“The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula, Part I”: from The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977)

“The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula, Part II”:  fromThe Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977)

Mad Max (1979)

Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers (1987)

My Mom’s a Werewolf (1989)

Men at Work (1990)

Batman Returns (1992)

Sleepwalkers (1992)

Bon Voyage (2003)

The Stranger Beside Me (2003)

“North Mammon” from Criminal Minds (2006)

Northanger Abbey (2007)

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (2009)

Epidemiology”: from Community (2010)

Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, Endless Night (2013)

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)

Murder She Hoped: Raising Hope (2013)

Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019)

High Seas Season Two (2019)

Knives Out (2019)

High Seas Season Three (2020)

Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears (2020)

 

 

You’re Mother is a Shadowhunter…Like You: The Mortal Instruments, City of Bones (2013)

I don’t understand what any of this has to do with my mom.

Your mother was a shadowhunter, like him; like you.

So about a year ago, I read the book City of Bones (Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare. I decided to read it as it is SUPER popular at the library. The book is returned and gets checked out as soon as it is shelved.

After I finished it…I was not pleased at all and I could not get the appeal.

It kind of felt like a mashup between Supernatural and Harry Potter. And it MOST definitely was not better than The Hunger Games. 

Seriously, they thought that?!

It was an okay story, but it went overload on the cultural references. Like these kids are into fantasy and Scifi, I get it-but when you just reference or quote things constantly to fill in your story instead of developing the characters-that’s where I have issues.

Not for me.

Plus I found the character Simon, Clary’s best friend, to be super annoying, and I wanted her to end up with Jace the shadowhunter she meets-as the author is constantly putting them together, but it turns out that they are brother and sister?

I mean why would you construct a story that way to want two characters to get together and then be all, psych they are brother and sister.

Why, why would you do that. Ugh, it made me feel disgusting after reading it.

Or are they? Could Valentine be lying?

Hmm…is it her?

Yeah, not interested in reading more…

So I was scrolling through my streaming sites, and the film popped up and I thought, why not? There was nothing else on. Let’s see how they did the film.

Hmm…

So Clary Fray (Lily Collins) is a normal 16-year old. She lives with her mother as her father passed away years ago. Her family is rounded out by her best friend Simon, who has a huge crush on her that she can’t see, and her mother’s best friend Luke Garroway (Aiden Turner).

Wait, what?

AIDEN TURNER is in this?

For those of you who don’t know-Aiden Turner is an Irish actor who is immensely talented and has the best looking curly hair I have ever seen. I became a fan of him and his hair after watching Poldark, so I was excited. As I said, it’s been over a year since I read the book, but I do remember Luke playing a crucial role in the end of the book and I couldn’t wait to see Aiden Turner.

Clary and Simon go out to a coffee poetry night. Clary sees this “hot” blonde guy and decides to be spontaneous and go to the club he is going to. To be fair it wasn’t just because of the guy-her mother has sheltered her, her whole life and tht coupled with her mom calling her again about when she will be home and her turning 16-she decides to have fun. The hot gut was the final push.

At the club she sees him with a girl and a guy and watches the group as they approach a man and kill it.

What!

She hurries away but its too late. Life has changed forever.

She has realized the “reality” of her world and its not going away. Clary gets in a fight with her mom, and later Jocelyn Fray (Lena Headey) calls Clary and warns her not to come back. Jocelyn is kidnapped and the apartment torn apart. Clary returns home, but is attacked by some wolflike creature. Jace, the boy from the club, comes and saves her.

Where is everyone?

He saves Clary and tells her the creature was a demon, as was the man the night before. Jace is a shadowhunter, shadowhunters are a race of mortals who have angelic blood. They reside in the shadow world but cross over to the mortal realm to hunt demons, vampires, werewolves, etc. Shadowhunters can only be created by being born of a shadowhunter or turned into one by The Mortal Cup.

As you have guessed it, Jocelyn is a shadowhunter, meaning that Clary is too. That is why she could see Jace and his friends and no else could. They question the neighbor, a witch, and discover that people are after the mortal cup and believe she has it.

That’s not good.

They need a ride and Simon drives her and Jace over to Luke’s to get more information. Simon is less annoying in this, but is still annoying. And surprise, surprise he hates Jace as Jace is clearly into Clary.

The actors weren’t bad but Lily Collins and the guy who plays Jace have like zero chemistry. In the book they actually connected better.

They reach the antique shop to look for Luke, and find him being beat up. He tells the two guys (the ones who kidnapped Jocelyn) that he cares nothing for the Frays and only wants the cup too. If they let him go he will be able to find it.

The crew leave him-RUDE, like geez Clary this guy was a surrogate dad and you watched him get beat up and did nothing.

So Jace knows they won’t be safe in the city and takes them to the Shadowhunter Institute. On the outside the muggles mundanes see a dilapidated broken down church, but on the inside it is a beautiful building with weapons.

There she meets Alex (Kevin Zeggers) and Isabella Lightwood, and Hodge who runs the institute. The three of the Shadowhunters are on earth because of what their parent’s did. Years ago, Valentine Morgensten’s father was killed by a werewolf and that set him on dark path. He wanted to destroy all downworlders (demons, werewolves, vampires, etc) even ones that were not breaking the law or the Accords. He was aided by the Lightwoods and intended on starting the killing when the next Accord signing was set up. They were stopped and punishment ended up with them being sent from Idris, their home in the Shaddoworld to New York City. Later Jace was sent to live with them. Hodge on the other hand is banished to never be able to return to Idris.

Valentine was experimenting with The Mortal Cup to become more powerful, but he was believed to be dead. With them searching for the cup and coming after Jocelyn, he must have returned.

That’s not good.

Hodge tells Jace to take Clary to the Silent Brothers so they can reveal her memories. When she gets there she discovers that there is a lock on her memories only one person could do that-Magnus Bane.

Magnus Bane is the high Warlock in the area and is just happening to be throwing a killer party. Of course poor Clary knows nothing about fashion and wears boring clothes so we have a makeover by Isabella.

After the makeover all the boys are upset- Jace has been struck by cupid, Simon is mad that Jace is into Clary, and Alec has a thing for Jace and doesn’t like that he is into Clary.

They head to the party and Clary goes off with Magnus. Magnus tells her that her mother wanted to keep her safe and used to take her to appointments regularly. It was getting harder for the block to stay as she growing older and they missed the latest appointment which was to be on her birthday. Magnus tells her he can’t do anything but that without the last session in time everything and all her powers will develop.

Well, thanks for that I guess.

Well that was a useless detour-except Simon gets kidnapped as he is turned into mouse and stolen by vampires. The gang has to go after him and fight, only surviving when they are saved by werwolves.

So about here I was checked out of the film. I like that they had pared down the pop culture references but to be honest this movie is really boring. It was just too much like things you’d seen before you know. I wouldn’t be able to give specifics but it was like a large order of deja vu.

Back at the institute Simon recuperates while Jace and Clary grow closer. Clary is a prolific artists and it turns out that her Shadowhunter powers are very interesting. She can draw something and pull it off the page, or put an ordinary object on into paper. That gets her thinking…

Hmmm…

Jace, Clary, and Simon all have a spat as they are in a triangle-Simon likes Clary, and Clary likes the attention but she likes Jace who likes Clary, but Jace doesn’t like how close Clary and Simon are, etc.

Blah, blah

Clary thinks about her abilities inherited from her mom and realizes she has seen a painting by her mom of The Mortal Cup. It was on set of tarot cards her mom made or their neighbor, the witch.

Jace, Alec, Isabella, and Clary head to her neighbors to get the cup-but she is possessed by a demon. They fight and get the cup, but Alec is wounded. At the institute Isabella blames Clary as Alec is wounded badly, so badly they have to call Magnus as he is the only one who could do anything.

That’s not good.

Clary gives the cup to Hodge, who betrays them by bringing Valentine into their word-he’s been biding his time working for him, the Death Eaters, as long believed dead leader is back.

Oh, wow…

Valentine is back and played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, oh I had a huge crush on him in the ’90s.

From Bend It Like Beckham

So Valentine reveals that he is Clary’s father. Clary has special abilities she isn’t aware of as he experimented on her when she was a fetus with angel blood and his son (her brother) with demon blood. I am really disappointed that he isn’t in the film that long and second his character is top comical. He’s chewing the scenery in every shot-and he’s not usually like this, so I blame the director.

So Clary is asked by her father to join the dark side him but she refuses, She puts the cup back in the card and travels through a portal to Luke’s. Meanwhile, Valentine bring Jocelyn to the institute and tries to figure out how to turn his daughter. Hodge comes up with the plan to lie to Jocelyn and Clary that Jace is the dead son Jonathan. I’m glad they made it clear in this that the incest is a lie-although it is still a weird plot.

Apparently, in a later book it is revealed that Valentine faked his and his older son Jonathan’s death and took the identify of Michael Wayland becoming a recluse. Michael and his wife had died, Valentine has been experimenting on Jace’s mother without her knowledge and when she died he saved the child and raised it. Jonathan had extra demon blood and Jace extra angel blood.

Hmm…

So they get to Luke’s shop and he reveals that he is a werewolf (Valentine was trying to get rid of him and took him on a hunt to get him turned into one and killed). Luke has always loved her mother and traveled with her to this world to protect her. He reveals information about Valentine and tells her that he lied to the the men torturing him to protect them. After he escaped he fought with another werewolf and gained a pack, them being the ones that saved them with the vampires.

The werewolves and few shadowhunters team up to take Valentine down.

Back at the institute, Valentine has brought demons in to help him and the Shadowhunters and werewolves do their best to fight him off. Simon discovers Jocelyn in a comalike state in the crypt of the church and tries to revive her. Valentine and Jace fight, but Jace stops when he is told that Valentine is his father.

He stops fighting, as that’s his “dad”, but Clary defeats Valentine and tricks him by giving him a fake cup ands him through the portal. Later Jace goes to see Clary and invites her back in to the Shadowhunter world-telling her he doesn’t think they are really siblings.

That doesn’t change it, still…

This wasn’t that good of a story. I think it was better in some ways than the book, but it was boring. It felt like a Star Wars, Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, Supernatural, Buffy the Vampire Slayer smoothie-and not in a good way. I liked Aiden Turner-although I wish he was in it more. Otherwise, meh.

For more demons, go to Suspense & Sensibility (Or First Impressions Revisited)

For more on angels, go to Book Club Picks: This Present Darkness

For more Teen Horror films, go to Just Because I’m a Vampire Doesn’t Mean I’m Bloodthirsty: Cirque du Freak, The Vampire’s Assistant (2009)

For more on Lena Headey, go to The Story, We’re Living it. It’s Alive: The Brothers Grimm (2005)

For more on Jonathan Rhys Meyers, go to Lookin’ Over a Four-Leaf Clover: 17 More Irish Heroes

Just Because I’m a Vampire Doesn’t Mean I’m Bloodthirsty: Cirque du Freak, The Vampire’s Assistant (2009)

Just because I’m a vampire doesn’t mean I’m bloodthirsty. It’s not about what you are. It’s about who you are.

So with COVID19, the library building has been closed, giving staff the opportunity to work on some projects we have been wanting to do. One project that was given to me was to reorganize the YA section by book series. As I was reorganizing them I came across the Darren Shan/Cirque du Freak series. Because the series had two names (mentioned on different books) it took a google search to see what was the official name, it turned out it had a UK series (the Saga of Darren Shan) and they changed the name in the US (Cirque du Freak)

I also discovered that the first book was made into a movie starring Josh Hutcherson in 2009.

I looked it up as I was completely surprised. I had zero memory of this movie coming out, even though Josh Hutcherson was a big name in the 2000s.The film intrigued me, but we didn’t have a copy because someone checked it out and never returned it.

So a few months later I was thinking of how I would like to see it and decided to search it across my streaming sites and found it on Netflix.

So the story starts with Darren Shan, normal 16 year old boy in a nuclear family-and a bit of a coward. His best friend is Steve, they have been friends since Steve saved Darren from being beat up years ago. Steve is a sad creature-his mother is an alcoholic, no one likes him except Darren, and the only reason he goes to school is to be with his friend. So young and to have so little to live for.

So sad.

They are going to school when they find flyers for a Cirque du Freak freak show. They decide to sneak out that night and go watch it.

When they get there, it is very strange show. They thought it would be fakes pretending, but things are too weird to be fake. One act, Larten Creepsley (John C. Reilly), performs with an incredibly poisonous spider, Madame Octa.Darren loved bugs, espechially spiders and he wants her.

Now Steve is a giant vampire fan and looking at Larten he recognizes him from his vampire book. He points him out to Darren who thinks Steve just has an overactive imagination from reading too many vampire books. Overactive imagination from too many books coupled with vampires-guess what popped in my head?

Darren goes to get Madame Octa, the spider-but before he can escape Larten comes in the room. He is with his friend Gavner Purl, (Willem Defoe), the two talk about vampire business and the Vampaneze, the rivals of the vampires who are bloodthirsty and cruel in their killings. They are interrupted by Steve who wants them to turn him into a vampire.

Nosferatu

This part was really sad to me as Steve shares he has nothing in life but his best friend Darren. Life sucks and he thinks being a vampire is the only way to get a better life, a family. Poor Steve.

Life is grey…

Larten and his friend refuse, telling him that he is evil, full of evil blood. They are really cruel and cold and Steve leaves-threatening them that they will be sorry.

Darren runs off with Madame Octa and right into Mr. Tiny and the Vampaneze Murlough. Mr. Tiny takes a bit of his blood and is interested in him, while Murlough sees him as not worth his time. They drop him off at home.

After they all leave, Darren sneaks out with the spider and takes him home. The next day he brings the spider to school-why? Steve finds him with it and Darren shares that he heard him. He tries to get Steve to talk about it, having not realized how bad Steve was feeling and what he was going through. Steve shrugs it off and tries to get a closer look at the spider.

As he is looking at it, the bell rings and he drops the cage and the spider escapes. Darren tries to get it while Steve tries to squish it. The spider bites Steve and he is in the hospital doing poorly. Darren goes to Larten and begs him to help. Larten doesn’t care, but finally agrees as long as Darren becomes his Vampire assistant.

You know I just want to pause here and say, for years I have said vampires and spiders should go together as spiders basically kill their prey in the exact same way that Vampires do. It makes perfect sense and I’m glad Darren Shan used that in his books (yes the author named the main character after himself).

Anyways, Darren agrees and after Larten administers the antidote Darren takes off.

Hurry!

Darren thinks he can go back on his word, but he starts behaving strange. This scene reminds me of Once Bitten when Jim Carrey’s character acts all weird after his vampire bite.

After Darren almost attacks his sister he realizes that he can’t do this and plans to go with Larten. Larten agrees and throws him out the window.

Larten Crepsley: Nice night, actually. [pointing up, causing Darren to look awayIs that the Little Dipper or the big one? I can never remember it. [breaks Darren’s neck and throws him downSorry about that. I had to do that or they would never believe you were dead. Don’t worry. There’s no damage to your spinal cord. And I’ll sneak into the funeral home and fix your broken neck. Oh, and… sorry about this next part.

Darren is buried, and all come to his funeral. Steve is espechially broken up as now he has no one. He decides he can’t leave his boy languishing in the afterlife and gives Darren his cellphone. While he does he sees the mark of the vampire and knows what happened-Larten said no to him but chose Darren. This makes Steve very upset.

I’m glad the mark is on the hand and not the upper thigh like in Once BittenThat’d be awkward.

Larten digs Darren up the next day and is attacked by Murtagh of the Vampaneze. Larten manages to fight him and they take off with Vampire speed. Larten takes him to where the Cirque resides and he meets the snake boy, Evra Von, and Rebecca, the monkey girl.

Meanwhile, Steve is upset and is considering suicide as he has no one to care for him anymore. Mr Tiny approaches him and Steve is turned into a Vampanze.

So we have teenage Vampire and Vampaneze, this has fulfilled some plan of Mr. Tiny. And when Steve takes Darren’s family and girlfriend to draw him out-you know a fight is going to go down. Vampire vs. Vampaneze, Friend vs. Friend-who will win. You’ll have to watch to see how it turns out.

{Picture from Ringu)

So I really enjoyed it.

I really liked the actors and the special effects. I think they did a good job giving it this macabre look and feel, but still having it in a colorful world. I’m sad I missed it in theaters.

So the nice thing about this is that they don’t just throw vampire lore out the window and create new stuff, they instead keep some aspects of Vampire lore. I like that they weren’t forgetting what’s come before.

I actually liked the fight scenes. I didn’t think I would, but I thought they were well done.

I really loved the costumes-the flowy trench coats, the red pleather coat Darren wears after he becomes a vampire, etc. Larten’s clothes had an old fashioned feel to them, like how the Addams dress in The Addams Family. Darren’s clothes are more modern but still have an old fashioned feel.

Josh Hutcherson as Steve really surprised me. When I read he was in it, I thought he was going to play Darren. It is a little weird seeing him in this role, as it wasn’t the part he usually played, but I guess he was trying to break out of the Little Manhattan, Zathura, Firehouse Dog, etc box.

I know Steve is supposed to be “the bad one”, but having just seen the films and not read the books-I felt really bad for his character. Life is pretty awful for him and the only one who keeps him balanced is his friend Darren, who then “dies” and “betrays” him by becoming the vampire he always wanted to be.

He is pretty creepy, although when the Vampaneze take him to be their leader, I laughed as there is a movie, I can’t remember which one, they say “Steve isn’t a scary name”.

I don’t know why the film wasn’t a bigger hit. I thought it was a fun story, a nice blend of macabre and comedy, and had great costumes.

The only thing I didn’t really like was the end. They left it open as you can clearly see that they definitely planned to make more films. It’s not horrible but it does have a clunky ending. But other than that I thought it was good, and I really wish I had seen it in theaters.

For more Vampire films, go to Time for You to Awaken, Master. Time for You to Go Out: The Return of the Vampire (1943)

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

For more Teen Horror films, go to Once, There Was Even a Man Who Had Scissors for Hands: Edward Scissorhands (1990)

For more Josh Hutcherson, go to I’ll Do All I Can to Keep You Safe: Catching Fire (2013)

Time for You to Awaken, Master. Time for You to Go Out: The Return of the Vampire (1943)

“Time for you to awaken, Master. Time for you to go out.”

So last year I was lamenting that I couldn’t think of any films I wanted to open Horrofest with from the 1950s as that was the year I was going to start with. I mentioned some films I really wanted to do, but both came out in the 1940s.

So as this year it is time to start off with a 1940s film, I was like why not do one of the ones I mentioned in last year’s post? I already reviewed Rebecca last year, so I chose The Return of the Vampire. 

I loooove this movie!

I saw it year ago on TCM and it has stayed with me my whole life. You know a movie is good when it hooks you years ago and you stay hooked.

The film was just so engaging and has beautiful cinematography. Plus it also has Bela Lugosi! You cannot go wrong with him in anything, let alone in a Vampire flick. I just love him.

So this film was actually supposed to be a Dracula sequel, but Universal threatened to sue Columbia Studios so they changed it to The Return of the Vampire and instead of Count Dracula, we have Armand Tesla.

We start this film during WWI with a vampire Armand Tesla (Bela Lugosi) stalking the streets of London and using the war as a cover-who cares about people suffering from anemia and a few deaths when there is a war on?!

But someone does, Lady Jane Ainsley (Frieda Inescort) and her colleague Professor Walter Saunders (Gilbert Emery) run a clinic and are baffled by the anemia.

Hmm…

Tesla is furious and uses his slave, a werewolf formally known as Andreas Obry, and the two break into the clinic. When he can’t finish his off his former victim he decides to make Saunders pay and goes after his granddaughter.

Professor Saunders, meanwhile, has concluded that the victim was attacked by a vampire. The victim dies and when Saunders goes home he sees a man feasting on his granddaughter. The vampire flees and Saunders saves his granddaughter Nikki (Nina Foch) by giving her a blood transfusion. While her life is saved for now, she will always be in danger. The vampire will continue to search for her to finish the job, and he will also be able to control her.

Professor Saunders and Lady Jane search for the Vampire in order to stake it and kill it.

They search out the local cemetery in order to search out the Vampire. They are both attacked by a werewolf who is being controlled by the Vampire-but once they stake the vampire the werewolf returns to his normal form of Andreas Obry.

Wow!

Professor Saunders and Lady Jane know that the only way to keep a vampire dead is make sure the stake isn’t removed from the heart-remove the stake revive the vampire. They bury the coffin and make sure it is well hidden.

Time moves forward and the year is now 1942. Nikki has fully recovered from her experience, having no knowledge of the attack and is engaged to Lady Jane’s son John (Roland Varno). Andreas Obry has recovered from his experience and has become an assistant to Lady Jane.

You know thinking about this movie in 2020 it is really cool that the Vampire hunter/Doctor is a woman. I mean you wouldn’t expect it in the 1940s, and you certainly don’t see it in modern vampire stories (except Buffy the Vampire Slayer), but she basically is Van Helsing. Not the Hugh Jackman version, but the original one from the 1930s.

Of course what comes to mind is Jane the Vampire Hunter:

So Professor Saunders has passed way and Lady Jane decides to share about the vampire with Scotland Yard detective Sir Fredrick Fleet (Miles Mander) . He doesn’t take her seriously, but he does take the murder of a man seriously. He wanted to arrest Lady Jane, but she convinces him to check the body. If it is a regular man, he will be decomposed. If a vampire-his body will not have aged a day.

Stay the same age forever…

Lady Jane is going to show Sir Fleet but then a bombing raid occurs. One of the bombs hits the cemetery and a lot of bodies are dug up and two gravediggers are set to put all to right. When they come across Tesla’s body they find the stake in the heart and feel bad for the man. They pull it out and the Vampire returns!

The first thing Tesla does is contact his slave telepathically as he will need his help in moving the coffin and such. He calls to his former slave and werewolf Andreas.

Armand Tesla: [Offscreen, as Andreas walks in the woods] Andreas! [Andreas can’t locate the sourceAndreas!

Andreas Obry: [Suddenly seeing Tesla] You! You have no power over me! That was ended many years ago! I’m no longer your slave! Dr. Ainsley has cleansed me of all the evil you forced upon me! You can’t bring it back! You can’t! I won’t let you! I won’t!

Armand Tesla: You’re a fool, Andreas! A complete, utter fool! Your fate is to be what you are – as mine is to be what I am… your Master! [In a commanding toneCome here!

Andreas Obry: I won’t! [He moans]

Armand Tesla: [Commandingly] Look at me, Andreas! [There is a closeup of Tesla’s eyesLook at me!

Andreas Obry: [after Andreas undergoes a metamorphosis into a werewolf] Andreas, come here! [Subserviently] Master, you have returned.

This is a fantastic scene, as you see Andreas really trying! He really, really wants to believe it is true that has overcome this. Looking at this as an adult it resonates so well as you have met people trying to overcome things, thinking they have, but then something happens and they are right back at the bottom again-addiction, toxic relationships, etc. It is extremely well done and poor, poor Andreas.

Now that Andreas is controlled by Tesla he sets him out for his first mission protect the coffin and find him a new identity. Andreas comes across a scientist recently escaped from a concentration camp, Hugo Bruckner. Dr. Hugo Bruckner was freed by help of the Resistance, something Lady Jane is a part of, and will be working with her. Man this vampire is extremely evil to murder a concentration camp survivor.

Tesla takes on the identity and slips into the Ainsleys’ and Nikki’s life. Some of you might wonder why Lady Jane doesn’t recognize him, but she only fought him that one time over twenty years ago, and at night in a foggy cemetery.

Lady Jane is throwing Nikki and her son an engagement party. Sir Fleet shows up and Lady Jane takes the Professor Saunder’s manuscript and locks it up, not wanting Nikki to ever find out about what happened. Tesla/Bruckner shows up, is introduced, and given free reign of Lady Jane’s office and laboratory. He uses this time to steal Saunders’ manuscript, the one Sir Fleet read. All are charmed by him except Sir Fleet, as he feels something is not quite right.

The next night the manuscript is somehow left in Nikki’s room and she reads it and finds out the truth. The Tesla calls to her…and the next day she has been drained of blood! Oh no!

Then they… then my mom made me stop watching it.

I know I was soooooo invested. What happens next? Will Nikki be alright? How will they defeat Tesla? I don’t recall exactly how old I was but this was well before google and we didn’t have TiVo or any blank tapes I could use to record, although my mother wouldn’t have let me as we were leaving the house and they weren’t going to leave the TV on with no one home. So I had to scan the newspaper and TV guide until it was on TV again.

So after she was drained of blood they transfused her. She survives but as we saw in The Horror of Dracula last year, that can only last so long. They need to find this vampire and kill it!

Stake through the heart.

Lady Jane starts to investigate and questions the grave robbers when the body cannot be found. She and Fleet also search Bruckner’s room and discovers the mirrors are all set down and a ring that she recalls from Tesla.

Fleet had had Andreas followed ad he was seen trying to change into a werewolf and found with Bruckner’s effects, his real effects.

Meanwhile, Nikki and John are attacked and Nikki starts to believe she has been transformed into a vampire. She pleads with John to stay away as she doesn’t want to hurt him. But you know these men in this old classic horror films-it doesn’t matter they are staying in this relationship and with the girl. How guys aren’t like that now? Most guys I know would be out in no time at all.

In reality, Tesla has been feeding. Tesla attacks Lady Jane, but she carries a cross and uses it to deflect him.

Wow!

So there are two amazing things I noticed about this scene. First can we just stop and appreciate that Lady Jane has a giant organ. Man, you are a girl after my own heart. I can’t play the organ but if I had money I would want a giant one and learn how to play it. Then I could be my own version of The Phantom of the Opera. 

Second-I love how in this scene she seems so meek and mild-and then bam-she’s got the cross and she flings it out at him. Lady Jane is awesome!

That’s awesome

Later that night Tesla calls Nikki to him again and she and Andreas answer the call. Meanwhile, Lady Jane ad Sir Fleet have decided to follow them. They come upon them in the cemetery but a raid interrupts their pursuit, although Fleet shoots Andreas, mortally wounding him. Andreas begs his master to save him, but Tesla coldly refuses.

Andreas Obry: Heal me, Master. I am hurt!

Armand Tesla: What is that to me?

This was so exciting when I watched it. First of all I really wanted to know what happened after waiting so long. Secondly this scene has the vampire, the damsel, bombs, a gun-you just didn’t know what would happen next!

Tesla leaving Andreas to die is the wake to reality he needs. He grabs a nearby cross and thrusts it at Tesla, coming between him and his victim-Nikki. A bomb hits and the sun comes up, melting Tesla to nothing.

Wow!

This is one of the first films to show a vampire disintegrating like this. It was actually censored in England for being too graphic. Oh, 1940s-if you saw the stuff we have today, although I have to say it was pretty yuck.

Of course Nikki and John get their happy ending, and Lady Jane stays awesome.

It was fantastic! I just loved it and you know who else would have if she existed-Catherine Morland.

You know it.

Please note that this is being said sarcastically.

So that’s our start with Horrorfest IX what else will it bring? Who knows! I start every year off with a plan but you know how that goes-anything can happen! Stay Spooky people!

For more Vampire films, go to Count Dracula the Propagator of This Unspeakable Evil Has Disappeared. He Must Be Found and Destroyed!: Horror of Dracula (1958)

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

For more WWII, go to Catherine Morland’s Reading List: The Distant Hours

Horrorfest IX: The Spookiest Time of the Year

It’s that time of the year again! Time for another Horrorfest, 31 days of horror, mystery, monsters, etc.

So I started Horrorfest back when I first began blogging. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with it, the direction I wanted to go in. Since I like to watch scary movies every day in October, I decided to review them, and I had so much I fun I continued every year.

I know some people aren’t interested in it or would think it has nothing to do with my blog’s title, but you know who would love it and be so into horror films?

When I started this, I used a lot of stills from the movies I was reviewing and ended up with a a bunch of photos I couldn’t reuse for future posts. Since then I try to add less, unless I think I can use it for future posts or that it is crucial to the story. Instead I reuse old photos and I try to caption each photo with what film it came from, but at times I forget.

Over the years I have established a set of rules and annual films categories. Every year I have enjoyed doing it although sometimes I have fallen behind because of life getting in the way. Usually I have the posts written, and it is just the editing that slows me down. If you have someone willing to edit your work-give them a lot of love, because it takes SO much time to do.

Rules are there must be at list one film or TV show episode:

  • From every decade (1930s-2020)
  • by Alfred Hitchcock‘s
  • that is animated 
  • made by Disney
  • by Stephen King
  • by Tim Burton
  • starring Vincent Price
  • that is something Jane Austen related

The Jane Austen one is the hardest to do, although last year I had several. We had Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans with Alta Mar AKA High Seas,Death By Persuasion” from Midsomer Murders, Rebecca, and Strong Woman Bong Soonalong with the film that led to Sense and Sensibility (1995) being made-Dead Again

Another tradition I added is dressing Jane up in costume every year. Last year I did the Dia de Los Muertos calaveras mask. This year I had a harder time deciding, and finally settled on, Jane the Vampire Slayer-because of the film I will be reviewing tomorrow:

Well, I hope you enjoy this year’s picks-so far we have vampires, ghosts, spooky old houses, buried treasure, aliens, and more!

For the original Horrorfest, go to I Don’t Belong in the World: Carnival of Souls (1962)

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

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

For Horrorfest IV, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

For Horrorfest V, go to Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

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

For Horrorfest VII, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

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