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)

 

 

Count Dracula the Propagator of This Unspeakable Evil Has Disappeared. He Must Be Found and Destroyed!: Horror of Dracula (1958)

Since the death of Jonathan Harker Count Dracula the propagator of this unspeakable evil has disappeared. He must be found and destroyed!

So typically when I begin Horrorfest I always start and end with a movie I love. As my drama teacher always said “you want to start and end hot. The middle can be a failure but you want them going in to love it, and exiting to love it.”

This year I had a really hard time choosing a film to start with. I really wanted to do something from the 1940s, like Rebecca, The Phantom of the Opera (starring Claude Raines), or The Return of the Vampire, etc- but this year the pick needs to be from the 1950s. I also really wanted to start off with a Gothic film to honor Catherine Morland.

Eventually I decided on Horror of Dracula, as the Christopher Lee & Peter Cushing films are iconic, gothic, and not the classic classic monster films-but are Classic monster films.

This was called Dracula in England, but in the US it had to be changed to the Horror of Dracula as they still showed Dracula (1931) in theaters.

The only thing it, I have ever seen it before.

In fact don’t think I’ve reviewed any Hammer films yet, I didn’t grow up watching them but the classic universal films instead. I hope this goes well!

So as the film begins the credits rolls, and as I look at them I notice in the credits Michael Gough. I feel like I saw that name recently in something I watched…

Hmm…

I know he played Mr. Bennet in  version of Pride and Prejudice, but that’s not what I’m thinking of. Then it hits me! He’s Alfred in Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, and Batman and Robin. 

Anyways, we see a crypt! As we zoom into the tomb we spot a tomb and the coffin of Dracula!

But then blood squirts on it-weird.

We then move to the diary of Jonathan Harker. It is May 3, 1885. A carriage brings Jonathan to Castle Dracula as Jonathan narrates. He is going to see Dracula as he wants to make good money to marry his fiance.

Majorly

Yes, it turns out that this is not like the original novel, but that Jonathan has come to the Castle under false pretenses. He’s there for another plan-to hunt slay Dracula.

You could say he is Harker the Vampire Slayer!

The castle seemed fine in the warm afternoon sun, normal except no birds. Now I’m not a fan of birds, you know-but even I know thats not good.

That is not good,

The house is nice but I wish it was in black and white. It’s not so creepy when you see it in color, especially all the bright red. I mean look how creepy this is:

And then Dracula is not even there to greet him! What, no awesome scene?!?

So if you have been following me for a while, you know how I feel about remakes and sequels:

And so far I’m not liking the changes.

I’m not happy

Jonathan does find a note from Dracula, after all he is a gentleman:

My Dear Harker,

I am sorry I was unable to meet you. Eat well, make yourself comfortable.

Dracula

Jonathan eats and it actually reminds me of Beauty and the Beast, the original fairytale when he is left a note by the castle owner.

As he looks around the castle he meets a beautiful woman who begs him to take her awry from here. Jonathan introduces himself as the librarian come to catalog Dracula’s books. In this Jonathan is a librarian and not solicitor/real estate agent? I know I should be upset at the change but all I can think is that I’ll be able to add another library to my list.

So the woman runs off when Dracula (Christopher Lee) comes. This portrayal of Dracula is very interesting-he seems normal, and a regular guy. He is helpful by picking up his luggage and shows him to his room, him a count! I have to admit I like his portrayal. It’s not Lugosi, but its not bad.

I mean when Lugosi entered the room, you were instantly freaked out as something was not quite right in the castle. With Lee, nothing seems off about him. He is polite, kind-the perfect employer. It is a nice way to lull you in (I mean it is Dracula, I know he’s bad).

Dracula shows Harker to his room and leaves, as he has to go out of town. Harker starts  unpacking and the first thing he puts out is a picture of Mina, aw!

Dracula return to give him a key to the library, when he spots a picture of Harker’s fiancé, Lucy?? LUCY!!!

What’s the heck?

It’s supposed to be MINA!!! Ugh

Ugh! You can’t even get the names right.

After Dracula leaves, Harker sees his room is locked and he cant get out!!!

Harker starts to write in his journal-it’s weird because obviously something is not right in this home, but you still trust Dracula as Christopher Lee plays him so open.

Hmm…

That night Harker is drowsing when something is at his door. He can see the handle twisting! When he checks it he sees that it is unlocked so he walks out and downstairs to the library. There he finds the woman who begs him to help her!

Jonathan Harker: You make it very difficult for me. After all, I’m a guest here. If I’m to help you, I must have a reason.

Woman: A reason! You ask for a reason? Is it not reason enough that he locks me up in this house, holds me against my will? You can have no idea what an evil man he is… or of the terrible things he does!

He questions her more, but she can tell him nothing. Now this is very well done. I mean, like I said in the 1931 version Dracula is creepy from the beginning. In this, Dracula has bee so open and kind so when she says he’s evil you kind of feel unsure what to believe, as what she said and what we have seem of him don’t match up. (Except for you know, he’s Dracula)

Harker promises to help her and hugs her to comfort her, when she then goes right for his neck. She bites him, but Harker is saved when Dracula storms into the room.

That is not good,

Dracula and his Vampire bride fight with each other, as she wants Jonathan and Dracula wants him to be let alone. Harker tries to help her, while Dracula throws him off choking him until he is knocked out.

Ouch

He then carries his bride off through a secret door in the library bookshelves.

The next morning Harker wakes up in his room The door is locked from the utside and he cant get out. Was it all a dream?

Hmmm

No, he has the bite marks with bright red blood on his neck. Yeah the blood doesn’t look right. I think this would have been better in black and white.

He pulls his journal out of the chest of draws (which is pretty cool, it has all these different sizes on it.) He writes that he has become a victim of Dracula and prays that he will not become one of them and that if he fails, someone with the knowledge to do what is necessary will release his soul.

He decides to do what he has set out to do. He’s on a search to find the resting place of Dracula and destroy him!

He hides his journal in a hedge and then goes looking for Dracula’s tomb. As he walks around the set, it reminds me of the Dr. Jekyll and the Werewolf film I watched last year.

Harker finds the tomb, the girl is there as well. He unrolls his package which holds a stake and mallet to put the girl out of her misery. He should have done Dracula first instead of the girl so she wouldn’t wake him up. Dumb.

Night falls and the woman’s screams awaken Dracula. The girl turns into an old lady as she is now dead. Harker turns to stake Dracula, but he is GONE!!!

Bad things happen when you don’t listen

Always do the Prince of Darkness first boy. Who mentored you??

Seriously

Wait a sec…they aren’t going to kill Harker are they? The scene fades out so I am not sure if they locked him up in the tomb, or if Dracula killed him.

Hmm…

Back in the village pub a man walks in with aristocratic features and fancy gentlemen clothes who asks about Mr. Harker. It is Dr. Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) who questions the pub owners but they claim to know nothing.

The pub owner warns Van Helsing to get out of these strange parts, but Van Helsing won’t give up. The waitress, however, takes pity on him and Harker and gives Van Helsing the Harker’s diary that was found.

Van Helsing goes up to Dracula’s castle and sees a black hearse carriage carrying off a white coffin. This is obviously Dracula taking off.

Van Helsing goes into the castle searching for Harker, but finds him nowhere. He does find his room which has ben horribly disturbed. And the picture of Lucy  (it should be MINA), is gone! Oh no-Dracula took it! That means he has some nefarious purposes!

Oh no!

Van Helsing finds the tomb and steps inside. The dead female vampire is there, and Harker!???!! He’s a  vapmire?!!!!!! vampire???!!!!!! (sorry I was in such shock I couldn’t spell)

WHATTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But, but, but the story! What’s going to happen?

What’s going on?

Aww, Van Helsing picks up the stake and mallet and has to take care of his friend. That’s heartbreaking.

Van Helsing returns to tell Lucy that Harker died, but she is ill so he meets with her brother Arthur Holmwood (Michael Gough) and Mina (Melissa Stribling). Arthur doesn’t believe him-he finds everything suspicious. He is angry as they should have been told sooner.

Now this seems odd to me. Grief makes you angry, I know, but he seems to extra hate him. Van Helsing gives them the death certificate and is sent out.

Arthur’s wife tries to calm him down and they go to see Lucy. Poor Lucy! She has been ill and can’t wait for Jonathan to return. But he won’t be.

So when I was watching this I began counting off all the things they changed in this film. But I guess if they were competing with Dracula (1931) and Return of Dracula (1958), you want to do something new.

After Mina and Arthur leave, Lucy gets up. Is she faking being ill?

Nope!

Lucy goes to her window and opens the door, allowing the wind and leaves in. She then takes off her cross necklace, NOOOO don’t do that! And then waits in bed for her vampire lover.

Van Helsing is going through Harker’s diary while listening to his notes on killing vampires.This listening to his list is mostly for us-1) They can’t handle light, they can’t go out, 2) Garlic, they can’t stand it, and 3) The crucifix, the crucifix protects the human being but reveals the vampire or the vampire victim.

Van Helsing is determined to go and find & destroy Dracula!

Meanwhile, Dracul at this moment is with Lucy in her bed. He pulls up his cape and fade out.

That is not good,

Dr. Seward has been trying to help but is puzzled by why she is getting sicker. They think it is just anemia, and all I can think is too bad women wore such high collars or else they would spot the fang marks.

Mina Holmwood goes to see Van Helsing and confides her worries about Lucy. She was afflicted 10 days ago, the same time when Jonathan died…

Van Helsing goes to see Lucy, and spots the wounds on her neck right away. Mina noticed the wounds on the neck too, but thought she was stung by something.

Van Helsing tells Mina to leave the windows shut at night and to put Garlic flowers at the window and by her bed. He warns Mina to do what he says or else Lucy will die.

Lucy, however, doesn’t want them and begs the housekeepr Gerta to remove the flowers and to open the windows, and of course Gerta listens, NOOOOOO!!!

The next day Lucy is dead. Gerta admits she opened the widow and took the plants away. Arthur, however, doesn’t blame her. Instead he blames Van Helsing as he can’t stand him. But why blame Van Helsing? If anything, why not blame the doctor who was supposed to be treating them?

Van Helsing gives Arthur the diary to read so he can know the truth, and walks out.

That night the couple is grieving when a policeman comes with Tonya, Gerda’s daughter. Tonya tell Mina that Lucy was walking with her and then someone came and she took off.

That night arthur goes to the crypt and Lucy is GONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gasp!

So this movie has strayed heavily from the book and I have no clue what will happen next, beside of course Dracula and Van Helsing will eventually fight.

That night Tonya goes off with Lucy, who called to her. Lucy has giant fangs, but Tonya doesn’t see them. Arthur goes looking around, confused Then spots Lucy with Tonya. I like how she glides-unearthly walking.

Lucy tries to get Arthur, but Van Helsing is there! He puts the cross on Lucy’s forehead and it burns her. She runs into the crypt, with Arthur following. Van Helsing gives Tonya his coat and the crucifix as he goes after Arthur.

Van Helsing wants to let Lucy roam free to find Dracula, but Arthur won’t have that. So Van Helsing sends Tonya home with Arthur and then when he returns Van Helsing prepares to make sure she will not walk again but rest.

Arthur: [Van Helsing prepares to stake Lucy] Is there no other way? It’s horrible.

Doctor Van Helsing: Please try and understand this is not Lucy the sister you loved. It’s only a shell possessed and corrupted by the evil of Dracula. To liberate her soul and give her peace we must destroy that shell for all time. Believe me there is no other way.

So vampires are supposed to be staled through the heart, but here he does it under her left breast.

robinhoodSheriffofnottinghamhmm

Poor Arthur hes traumatized by the screams of his sister.

So now that he does not have a bride, Dracula will be on the hunt for another.

Dracula

Arthur reads Harker’s diary and decides to join Van Helsing to stop the evil. The first thing they need to do is find Dracula. The vampire must rest in his own soil during the day. They must travel to the border to discover where the coffin was going.

ThinkingHmmwriting

Hmm…

They leave Mina alone as they travel off.  Poor Mina. I hope Dracula doesn’t come after her.

Later that evening, long after the men have left a boy comes to the l door with a message-Arthur  says to go to 49 Fredricks Street. Okay I actually am not sure what street he said and I couldn’t find it online, but that’s what it sounded to me. Uh, oh. We know it not the guys, that means it must be:

Dracula

So over at Customs on the border, Van Helsing  is arguing with the clerk, but Arthur has had enough of that and  just bribes him.

ShutUpTake MY Money

49 Fredricks Street! Oh no, the same address given to Mina! The mortician’s address! The perfect place to hide a coffin.

Under Capricorn Aah oh no ugh

Oh no!

Mina searches for Arthur, which really shouldn’t she be more suspicious? Why would her husband send her to a mortuary? Especially one that is closed? She  searches the mortuary and finds the coffin, Dracula poking out.

Dracula

Arthur and Van Helsing return home but Mina isn’t there. They find her, but she’s pale, not herself, and covering her neck! She must have been bitten too.

1Star-Wars-Luke-NOOO-Not-my-father

The two go to the morticians but the coffin is GONE!!!!!!!!!!!

1Star-Wars-Luke-NOOO-Not-my-father

They return to the house unsure where he went. He could be anywhere.

Mina questions them but they tell her nothing! Jerks, maybe if you gave her the whle story she wouldn’t have been running to mortuaries and getting bit.

MeanGirls I know right!

Arthur is worried and gives her a cross to wear, but when she touches it she faints! It leaves a burn mark in her hand-she has been bit.

Arhthur is angry, but this time at himself.  He knows he should have listened to Van Helsing. They decide to leave her alone and watch for Dracula. That night they wait and watch.

That night all is quiet, so when they head indoors to check on Mina they are shocked to find her dead!

OMG gasp

What they be killing everybody! I am super into this movie and have no clue where it is going next!

Oh no, she’s still okay, they give her a blood transfusion.

You know for a Dracula movie, we don’t sped a lot of time with Dracula. It’s very different, but not in a bad way, as we focus on Ven Helsing and Dracula becomes more shadowy and unknown. He only talks to Jonathan Harker in this making it only a few lines of dialogue. Although I definitely prefer that over Dracula 2000.

I hate that movie.

After the transfusion Van Helsing makes Arthur go downstairs to get something to drink. Didn’t he just HAVE a transfusion-have Gerda fetch him some, or you go get him something. He should not be walking.

Both the men are shocked how Dracula could have gotten in, they were watching all the entrances and never spotted him. Arthur is convinced he can shape-shift, but Van Helsing assures him that is not the answer. Then what is?

Hmmm

They ask Gerda to fetch another bottle of wine, but she refuses as she doesn’t want to go down the the cellar, Mina told her not to. The answer hits Van Helsing and he goes  running down there and finds the coffin, BUT ITS EMPTY!!!! Dracla has outsmarted them, he’s awake and he’s trapped Van Helsing in!

Arthur gets Van Helsing out but they are too late as Dracula has carried Mina off!

Vn Helsing knows they have him on the run and with them having his coffin, the only Dracula can go is home to his castle they are off!

Back at the castle, Dracula digs a grave for Mina and throws her in, like she’s a doll, even though she’s still alive, Arthur and Helsing get there just in time.

This film really gets you going!

Dracula goes running up the stair followed by Helsing. But the house is vast with many nooks and crannies and secret passage ways. Sidenote: Except for the vampire trying to make you undead, this would be an awesome place to live!

Anyways, Helsing finds him and Dracula starts choking him. Helsing passes out!

And Dracula is going to bit him but, oh no Helsing faked it. The music is pumping along to bring the excitement as Helsing runs for the curtains and pulls them aside-causing the sun to come in and Dracula to turn to dust!  Dracula tries to stop him, but Van Helsing makes a crucifix out of candlesticks and stops him.

Ew, thisscene is great and crazy, like Indiana Jones.

With the vampire that turned her dead, Mina is back to normal. And the evil is dead.

or is it? I know the DVD I rented from the library has four Dracula films so he must come back. You can’t kill evil after all…

So what’d I think? I really liked it! You know me, I’m not one for you know remakes, but I enjoyed this a lot.

It strayed heavily from the book. But I guess with something that has been around a while and remade constantly you have to do something to make it surprising. I actually liked how we focused so much on Van Helsing, and I liked Michael Gough assisting as Arthur. 

I’m interested in watching the other films but I won’t be reviewing them this Horrorfest, I already have the whole month planned out.

It wouldn’t be Horrorfest without our facebook banner:

So this kicks off the beginning of Horrorfest ViII. I hope you enjoy it and the spooks, thrills, and chills that are to come.

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

For more vampires, go to I’d Risk My Life to Save Yours: Earshot, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1999)

For more Van Helsing, go to I Bid You Welcome: Dracula (1931)

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

For more remakes, go to Did the Niece Poison Mrs. Harlowe?: The House of the Arrow (1953)

Or adieu in this case!

Scarlet Night: Archie’s Weird Mysteries (2000)


 

So you know what today is:

So that means it is time to review a TV episode for TV Tuesday

Vampires are coming to Riverdale

This came on the VHS with Attack of the Killer Spuds. This was a pretty good series of episodes, although I thought the end made no sense.

So this storyline is told in three parts; a Vampire Tale in Three Acts. Originally I was going to do them all together, but I have been trying to review this since the first Horrorfest, and every time I find mysef unable to do it . That’s six years of trying.

Wow

So I have decided that I will review each episode individually. I know that makes it a little odd to have so many TV episodes, but I am ready to get this done.

halloween banner

ScarletNightArchieRiverdaleVampires

Act One: Scarlet Night

“Cross of silver, ray of light, in ender’s hand, shall end the night”

The film starts out with Veronica having this strange dream of a Vampire attacking her, only to destroy him with an antique cross necklace. She laughs off the freak only to be scared by a redheaded girl.

The next day she is telling Betty about her dream, mostly laughing it off. They meet up with Jughead and Archie. Then a new girl enters the scene

Redhead Ah!

A new girl has moved to town, and she looks exactly like the girl in Veronica’s dream.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Her name is Scarlet Helsing (like Van Helsing) and she promptly takes Archie off to discuss his article and her own “weird mysteries”.

Hmm…

This makes Veronica very angry.

that girl is going after my man she is going to wish she was never born

Betty and Veronica are determined to get Archie back, Betty going on the computer to research her, while Veronica decides to follow them.

stalker

Veronica is driving around not paying attention to anything, when she crashes right into Dr. Strange’s Mystical Shop. No, it’s not the Dr. Strange, although he does remind me of him, Dr. Beaumont is the proprietor. As Veronica is picking up Dr. Beaumont’s spilled items, she sees a necklace, an amulet to be exact.

archieiverdalevampiresarchieweirdmysteriesscarletnightnecklace

Just like the one in her dream.

thisisheavybacktothefuture

Dr. Beaumont tells Veronica that it is the Ender’s Stone.

“Cross of silver,

Ray of light,

In Ender’s Hand,

Shall end the night.”

He tells Veronica that there is a prophecy, that on Halloween this year, the sun will set and never rise again, beginning the reign of the Vampires!

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

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

Meanwhile, in Pop’s Chocklit Shop, Scarlet is telling Archie the same thing. She has been researching the event and discovered that the only one who can save them is the Ender using the Sun stone or Amulet. Scarlet doesn’t know who the Ender is, as the book wasn’t complete. BUT does know that it is a girl.

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

Does this sound familiar to you?

The plot thickens

How about her?

Buffy-the-Vampire-Slayer

buffyvampireslayerTed

Yes, this series of episodes are a parody of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. While the Master looks like the Master in Buffy the Vampire (TV Series), the rest of it resembles more of the 1992 film than the show.

In the 1992 film, Buffy was a valley girl, uber rich, and a cheerleader who only cared about fashion. In Archie’s Weird Mysteries (AWM), Veronica talks in a valley girl voice, is uber rich, and a cheerleader who only cares about fashion. Both don’t want to be a Slayer or Ender, trying to pass it off to others, but find themselves accepting the role when push comes to shove.

buffythevampireslayer

Also the way the Vampires look and float everywhere resembles the 1992 film more than the TV show.

All right, let’s get back to the review.

So Dr. Beaumont, after hearing Veronica’s dream, decides that she must be the chosen one. He gives her the amulet and takes off.

run-away

Veronica does not want the amulet or to be the chosen one.

No thank youhowaboutno

She decides to head over to Pops to find Archie. After all, he’s the Weird Mystery expert, he should know what to do.

While Archie and Veronica are talking in the parking lot, two vampires come up behind them and begin chasing them, trying to bite them.

Dean-Dracula-The-Delusional-Shapeshifter-in-Monster-Movie-supernatural-24166990-700-300

They manage to climb a building, but when the Vampires follow them there, they jump off, using a vampire to break their fall.

Back on solid ground, they spot Dr. Beaumont’s Shop, and as he forgot to lock the door, they hide inside it. Veronica is even more convinced that she is not the Ender, and gives the necklace to Archie. But while inside Veronica spots an open book. She reads the pages and sees another prophecy about the Ender.

“Raven and Red upon their heads,

Destiny awakens,

One girl is the Ender,

While the other is mistaken.”

rchieiverdalevampiresarchieweirdmysteriesscarletnightnecklacebook

Before she can think about what it means, Archie tells her the coast is clear and that they should make a run for it. They discover that it was really a trap, as the Vampires are waiting outside the doors. The Vampires attack, but they manage to fight them off and run.

Run Away

As they run, they run right into Scarlet.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

How did she just happen upon them? Sounds suspicious. I think she’s evil.

you're evil

Scarlet takes down the Vampires, knocking them out. When Archie asks how she found them, she tells him she was “lucky” and that she has been following Archie to “help him.” Yeah, I don’t think so. This girl is crazy. Step away, step far, far, away.

Her in this case

Her in this case

And following him? Hello stalker.

stalker

Archie needs to hang out with Betty more, she’s the only normal one here.

Anyways, Veronica is convinced that any girl who can beat up a couple of Vampires, must be the Ender. She decides to head home, while Archie and Scarlet go to his place.

Back at Veronica’s mansion, Betty calls. It turns out that she has some very interesting news about Scarlet from her old school. It is really old, as Scarlet went to high school over 200 years ago!

OMG

That means only one thing. She is a Vampire!!!

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

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

Veronica collects her things and sets out for Archie’s place.

Back at the Andrews residence, Archie gives Scarlet the amulet, telling her that he thinks she is the Ender. Scarlet refuses, Archie argues and while he is doing so, he notices something weird. Scarlett has no refecltion in the mirror!!!

Say What

Scarket is a vampire!!!

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

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

Scarlet can walk around during the day, like the other vampire minions, as long as she stays in her human form. It was her job to find and kill the Ender, so that nothing stood between the Master and the Eternal night. He needs Eternal night as he cannot roam during the day. As Scarlet has revealed all, she settles down to feed on Archie.

Dean-Dracula-The-Delusional-Shapeshifter-in-Monster-Movie-supernatural-24166990-700-300

When she is stopped by…Jughead with a hamburger!

SayWhat?BuffyVampireSlayernosense

Yes, Jughead stuffs a GARLIC hamburger in Scarlet’s mouth, while he, Betty, and Veronica pull Archie out of the house through the window. Archie grabbing the necklace on his way out.

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

Veronica quickly grabs the necklace and thrusts it upwards, using it to kill the vampires. Archie & the gang have not only won, but Veronica discovered she is capable of much more than shopping.

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Or is IT?

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

For the previous post, go to Welcome to a New World of Gods and Monsters: The Mummy (2017)

For more on Archie’s Weird Mysteries, go to When Potatoes Go Bad: Attack of the Killer Spuds (1999)

For more on Archie Comics, go to Simply Fantastic

For more on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, go to I’d Risk My Life to Save Yours: Earshot, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1999)

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

Pride & Prejudice & Zombies

Day 26) Z is for Zombie: Choose a Zombie Retelling of a Classic Novel

Zombies

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies #1) by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

When I saw what Z stood for I knew that this was going to be the book I was going to review for it. First of all I have read very little Zombie themed books as that is just not really what I am in to. And secondly, pass up a chance to talk about Jane Austen?

Like that's happen

So I remember when this book was first released. It was right as the teen book world was moving out of wizards (Harry Potter) and Vampires (Twlight, Vampire Diaries, Vampire Academy, etc.), and was searching for a new thing to fill this niche. They settled on Zombies.

ZombiefilmsTheWalkinDead

But not just Zombies. They decided to take it one step further and pair it with Jane Austen.

AA_KnightleyDisapproved

And not just her. After this book, almost every classic was getting some kind of overhaul. We had Little Vampire Women, Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters, Jane Eyre: Vampire Slayers, etc.

Bad Sequels psycho-1960-alfred-hitchcock-janet-leigh-pic-21

It was a pretty bad time.

Ew Yuck Gross

Anyways, back to this book. So when it first came out it was a big hit. Everyone was talking about it. Everyone was reading it. The library was backlogged in holds.

ineedthis

I wasn’t really interested until my friend Elise recommended it to me. She really liked it and told me she would let me borrow her book. I was a bit wary as I didn’t understand why Austen needed any “makeover” or “spin” as her books were amazing the way they are. But I’m a sucker for a free book and borrowed it.

blanceTea&Books

I should have remembered:

notwopersonsreadthesamebook

So I read it. And how did I feel afterwards?

Guy you suck!

You suck!

I HATED this book. I thought it was badly done and the parts inserted by Seth Grahame-Smith were horribly written. And a lot of it made no sense.

Whattheheck

But that was seven years ago. Could I still feel the same way?

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

Let’s see!

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13 Days Later

I HATE THIS BOOK!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IT IS HORRIBLE! JUST HORRIBLE? HOW CAN PEOPLE LIKE IT? THEY RUIN AUSTEN. Grahame-Smith IS HORRIBLE! EVERYTHING IS HORRIBLE. HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

wordICan't say Toy Story

I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT….I could go on for hours.

immatureHowIfeelBones

But you don’t want to hear that over and over, instead let’s dissect everything I hated about this book.

DeanSupernaturalLetsGetStarted

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A) So Seth Grahame-Smith takes Jane Austen’s work and doesn’t really write a new story but just swaps out pieces for zombies.

really?

Really?

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B) Mr. Bennet’s Motivation

So the first biggest problem is Mr. Bennet not wanting his daughters married but “engaged in the deadly arts”. But that doesn’t change that the house and money all revert to their cousin because the estate is entailed.

Lady-Mary-DOWNTONABBEYENTAILMENTSUCKS

So if these girls don’t get married how will they live?

Seriously

Seriously

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C) Mr. Bennet Hates His Children

And the way Mr. Bennet hates his daughters? He didn’t hate them in the original book. He thought they were silly and not worth his time, but he didn’t have an outright hatred for them like in here.

That's not how it was in the book!

That’s not how it was in the book!

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D) The “Warrior” Code

In this world “the warrior code demanded she avenge her honor” for the insult that Darcy gave her when he said she wasn’t handsome enough for her. If they can kill for that why didn’t Darcy just kill Wickham?

ooh!

ooh!

I mean it makes no sense. Yeah, he doesn’t want what happened to his sister to taint her or make her an outcast in society, but in this world you can kill someone for an insult. Why didn’t he just kill Wickham and make up that he said an insult. The rules of this world just don’t work.

uh-no-gifuhno

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E) Elizabeth is a Jerk

Lizzie is so freakin’ cruel. She is incredibly mean to her sisters and everyone around her. Just downright cruel.

you're evil

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F) More “Rules” of Society That Don’t Make Sense

It is “unladylike” to bring more serious weapons than daggers and knives to a ball, but is okay for them to kill, flip around, kicking and showing off their lady parts (no underwear like us), etc. Wow Grahame-Smith you aren’t confusing at all.

confused

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G) No Knowledge of Martial Arts

Does Grahame-Smith know anything about martial arts? He has Elizabeth get into a crane position to attack the zombies, but then does a chop on the thigh. That makes no sense at all. Crane positions are for kicking, kicking! Why would you get ready like that and then chop on the leg? It is completely weird and wasteful of energy.

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H) None of the Characters Have a Heart

Mrs Bennet says all Charlotte Lucas deserves is a “crust of bread washed down with a cup of loneliness.” You see? Grahame-Smith is so cruel. None of these people were that mean. They all had faults but they wren’t downright heartless. How does removing the heart and soul of the characters make them better? Huh, Grahame-Smith? How. Well I’ll tell you, it doesn’t. It makes it horrible.

Or an author

Or an author

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I) Mr. Bennet is Abusive

Seriously, the way Mr. Bennet talks to his wife is downright abusive. Thanks Grahame-Smith for ruining a fantastic book.

I don't like it 11

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J) You Need to Reevaluate Your Career Choices

All the girls say that they could make great lives as assassins, bodyguards, or mercenaries. Really? Really? You think with all those in the military eventually coming out of the service that won’t be a problem? And how many people need a bodyguard or assassin? And if they are rich enough to hire assassins, bodyguards or mercenaries, why wouldn’t they just get ninjas from Japan or something? And to top it all off you are really only trained to kill zombies, not people. Slow moving, barely threatening zombies. Not the same thing at all. You don’t have the same training for the others.

Night of the living dead zombie

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K) You Can Pretty Much Kill Anyone for Anything

Mary almost kills Mr. Collins when he insinuates that one of them did the cooking. Now, don’t get me wrong, that is a serious insult. He implies that they are so poor they have to take on the role of a servant putting them on the same level of a domestic. But hey, if that is open for murder why didn’t Darcy just kill Wickham? I mean seriously, I just keep circling back to that.

Why?

Eh?

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L) People Do Not Understand the Levels of Class

I hate how everyone praises that Mr. Bennet says the girls aren’t trained in the kitchen but are trained as warriors. Only one problem, they were never trained for the kitchen. They were too wealthy for that. I blame the Pride & Prejudice (2005), in which they are made to look really dirty,  muddy, with animals running all over the place. They made them look really poor, but the Bennet family wasn’t. They were well-off; the only problem was the estate was entailed and the wealth they had wasn’t theirs to keep, like in Sense & Sensibility. And the reason there is an issue with marrying Mr. Darcy is that his aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, is in line for the throne. I mean a lot of people would have to die, but still hypothetically she could become the next queen of England. That means it would eventually come down to him, so who he marries is a big deal.

Get it right!!!!!

Get it right!!!!!

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M) Why Wasn’t There a Duel?

So we have Wickham’s big pack of lies about Darcy and how he dishonored himself and Wickham by not giving him the legacy that was originally promised. One issue with that, if in this world you can kill someone for insults why didn’t Wickham do a duel with Darcy or kill him? Why doesn’t Elizabeth think of that?

BraveheartVictorySwordinAir

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N) All the Innuendo

The sexual innuendo. Come on Grahame-Smith, is sex all you think about. I feel like the girls in Grease 2, refocus your mind.

And that’s what makes Austen so great. She didn’t need cheap paltry things. She created a fantastic novel full of great wit and amazing work. Every sentience piece of art, delightful storytelling, Grahame-Smith not so much.

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O) Front Lines? You Mean No Lines

Elizabeth writes to her aunt that she is on the front lines of battle and prefers it to marriage, love, and family. Only one issue she’s on the front lines of nothing. She’s just hanging out in the country. Front lines would be the battlefield with the soldiers, but Elizabeth isn’t a soldier! She talks as if hired by crown but why isn’t she paid? And she’s only battling the village zombies she’s not even out there fighting where the hordes are coming from. Get off your high horse.

Seriously

Seriously

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P) Why/Where Did the Zombies Come From?

And that’s another thing that bothers me. Why did this happen? How? Why don;t they ever explain?

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Q) Grahame-Smith is a Child

Grahame-Smith is a ten-year old boy. I mean think about it. His obsession with body fluids (poop, pee, vomit, farts, etc.) and likes saying balls as much as he can. It’s the only explanation.

Seriously

Seriously

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R) Charlotte a Zombie?

I hated how they turned Charlotte into a zombie. I thought that was a dumb decision. How can no one notice but Elizabeth? Really?!

stupidmoranhmm_yes_i_see_youre_a_moron_trollcat

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S) Fifty-Five? Schfifty-Five

Fifty-Five years of zombie attacks? How are there that many zombies in existence to keep living? Why did zombies even start? Explain!!!!

totalrecallmachinedestroyargh

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T) The Battle Scenes are the Worse

Let’s talk about my least favorite part-when Elizabeth fights the ninjas. First the way that Lady Catherine talks about being taught by Ninjas. False, ninjutsu wasn’t something you were taught, but passed through families as they were assassins.

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Second Elizabeth fights at least three of them according to the illustration, but when she takes the time to strangle one with its own intestine why didn’t the other ninjas kill her?

Really?

Really?

The second ninja she blocks the throwing stars, and then grabs the last one midair and throws it back unharmed. You grab something moving that fast that sharp, no way. She would have cut her hand. And hands bleed like crazy.

ouch Hermione

The third ninja she just throws her katana and kills him. That easy?! Really Catherine with all her money and fame, that’s the best she could hire.

I don't think so

Oh, and I forgot. Elizabeth did that all blindfolded. Hmm, maybe she was hit by the same radioactive stuff that Daredevil was hit with because I don’t think she could have done that.

uh-no-gifuhno

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U) Elizabeth is a Cannibal?

She rips the heart out of the ninja and starts eating it. First that is serious zombie signs right there, I would have killed her. And second, eating human parts, i.e. a cannibal, makes you go crazy and get extremely sick. She should be totally insane right now.

I'm crazy

I’m crazy

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V) Grahame-Smith’s Mind

Ball joke after ball joke and now fingering? Austen is rolling over in her grave. If she became a zombie and hunted Grahame-Smith down, I wouldn’t mind at all.

immatureHowIfeelBones

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W) Why Won’t They Explain About the Zombies?

They travel to the Orient multiple times? Is the zombie plague just in Europe? Western Europe? In America as well? It would be nice if Grahame-Smith gave a moment to EXPLAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

fliptablesangrysurprised

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X) Who?

On pg. 169 Jane and Elizabeth punish Catherine? Catherine who? Do they mean Kitty? Why call her Catherine suddenly? Strange.

SayWhat?BuffyVampireSlayernosense

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Y) Grahame-Smith Does Not Understand Women or Sisters

Elizabeth dreams of cutting off Lydia’s head? Really? Grahame-Smith doesn’t really know how to write female characters or sisters. First he has Elizabeth being mean to Jane, then Mary, and then Lydia. So completely cruel. And that is one of my biggest problems with this book. I hate Elizabeth! She is mean, cruel, harsh, rude, judgmental, and just downright nasty. I dislike her and don’t want to read more about her as I just can’t stand her. Yes Grahame-Smith, you actually took a character I lived and made me hate her. Good job.

dialMforMurder Killer Hate

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Z) Not Hatred, Circumstances

In this book Grahame-Smith makes Mr. Bennet hate Mrs. Bennet as he finds her stupid and dumb. That’s not how it was in the real book. Mr. Bennet married Mrs. Bennet and didn’t realize that they werent well suited until much later on. They lived well together, spending all the money as no need to save, they will have sons. When no sons came each went to the opposite extreme. Mrs. Bennet became so worried and crazed over her “failure” that she threw all her efforts into trying to catch husbands. That’s why she puts the girls “out” all at once, she wants them settled as soon as possible or they will be worse off then the Dashwood sisters. Mr. Bennet took the failure of no male heir and money a different way, he isolated himself in his library and books, trying to escape reality. They didn’t hate each other, they just didn’t really suit each other, drawing farther and farther apart.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

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AA) Elizabeth is a Freak

Elizabeth enjoys listening to the screams of burning zombies. What a sadist and creep.

Gilmore girls creep

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BB) Return of the Bad Fight Scenes

The fight between Lady Catherine and Elizabeth is horrible as well. Leaping all over the place like they are taking part in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or something, The way Lady Catherine attacks, Elizabeth should be dead. Elizabeth stabs Lady Catherine in the stomach but Lady Catherine survives? What, that isn’t even possible. She’s dead, end of story.

stupidestThingeverheard

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CC) Ew, Yuck, and Gross

Words some Catherine’s lips “After I behead her, ninjas you can do what you want with the body”, Grahame-Smith has some serious issues.

Certified Creepo Ribbon

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So yeah I hated it.

Hate YOu

Grahame-Smith just plagiarized someone else’s work changing a few words here and there and making it horrible. Grahame-Smith offends me to my very core. Destroying talented writing with his scribbles.

This is what I would like to do to him

This is what I would like to do to him

Grahame-Smith doesn’t even know how to write. His characters are unlikeable, story underdeveloped, and just all around bad, bad, bad.  Only one thing left to do:

DissedP&P

This is one book you should defintely skip!

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to Why I Still Love My Fair Godmother

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For more on Pride & Prejudice, go to Austenland

For more Pride & Prejudice variations, go to Is Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade Really Just Pride & Prejudice?

For more books based on Jane Austen, go to Midnight in Austenland

For more Zombies, go to No Mere Mortal Can Resist the Evil of the Thriller: Thriller (1983)

You Can’t Kill It, It Always Comes Back

So Horrorfest V is over.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

I know. It is hard to let go of October.

EverydayHalloweenHorrorfanOctober

But while Horrorfest is over for now, you can never truly kill it. It always comes back. Specifically next October with Horrorfest VI. 

Horror Films

It never ceases to amaze me how every October I plan out 26 film reviews, 4 TV reviews, and one post on my personal thoughts; yet what I start off with never matches up with the end result.

The-best-laid-schemes-of-mice-and-men-often-go-awry-erobertFrost

So let’s go over what this Horrorfest V was all about.

HorrorfilmCan'tlookaway

So I started planning my Horrorfest with lots of ’40s films, but it ended up being all about the ’80s. What can I say? You know I love it.

I LOVE the '80s

I LOVE the ’80s

We had Ghostbusters, Thriller, Cat’s Eye, Once Bitten, Teen Wolf, and Clue

And you all remember how I said I wanted to do something different this year? Well I did. This was the most I have ever reviewed Horror-Comedies.

It is horror and funny at the same time!

It is horrorfying and funny at the same time!

We had Ghostbusters, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Once Bitten, Clue, and Teen Wolf.

clueshoutingshouting

My free post, on whatever horror thing I wished to write about, was 31 tips on How to Survive a Horror Film. I got the idea last year, but couldn’t put it into play until this year. I hope it was helpful. 🙂

So Alfred Hitchcock,

trainblackmail2alfredhitchcocktrainread

we only covered one of his films, and it was one of the oldest ones he created. I strayed from what had become a tradition of three as I felt I didn’t want to use his works too quickly. Which film will I review next year? I’m not sure. I was toying with maybe doing one of his last films like Frenzy or Family Plot. Then again, The Birds have been on my list from the beginning and I still haven’t reviewed it. I guess we will see what happens next year.

Ringu Watch TV

So we reviewed a TV episode every Friday in October. This year we had a serial killer Wallace & Gromit episode, a cannibalistic killer in Bones, a murderer in Death Comes to Pemberley, and a teenage boy with incredible powers in Star Trek.

We also had our Turtle Saturdays

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Starting with the 2014 version, to 2007, and then going over the original 1990 version and its sequel in 1991. It might not be what most consider horror, but I think it works as each film involves mutation, two have monsters, and one a whole lot of scientific experiments.

So we saw a group of monsters I haven’t really spent a whole lot of posts reviewing, and that is:

Zombies!

Zombies!

We started with the Corpse Bride; then went on to the first zombie film, White Zombie; and ended on Michael Jackson’s Thriller. I had thought about doing Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, but as I haven’t reviewed the book I decided to wait on the film.

Then we had our usual Stephen King film, with Cat’s Eye. Not one I’d planned on reviewing, but happened to see and add to the lineup.

Who knew?

Who knew?

I finally got around to taking on a Tim Burton film, and actually reviewed two, not one. We had the Corpse Bride and Sleepy Hollow. Still haven’t done Edward Scissorhands. Maybe next year.

We also did a lot of teen monster films. There was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with teen turtles; Thriller with teen zombies; Once Bitten with teen vampires; and a teen werewolf in Teen Wolf.

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We also had vampires and Dracula coming back with Once Bitten, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, and Dracula 2000.

This Horrorfest was very different than the ones prior as I reviewed a lot of films and TV shows I had never seen before such as: Wallace & Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death, When a Stranger Calls (1979), Jeepers Creepers, Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter, Cat’s Eye, Death Comes to Pemberley, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Backfire, Dial 1119, Let Me Call You Sweetheart, Corpse Bride, The Cheerleader Murders, & The Girl on the Train; along with films and TV shows I hadn’t seen in years, such as: Fantasia: Night on Bald Mountain and Sleepy Hollow. That was about half the reviews!

AMAZING!

AMAZING!

This also was the first time I could really include Jane Austen in my Horrorfest, not with a made up post but actually review an Austen item.

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I was planning on reviewing Pride & Prejudice & Zombies along with Death Comes to Pemberley, but as I said before, I decided to push it back.

And then there is Vincent Price

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I reviewed two films with him: Thriller and the film I have been talking about reviewing since the first HorrorfestHouse on Haunted Hill. 

Double double yay

So if you missed a day, or are interested in every item I covered; here is the complete list:

How To Survive A Horror Film

You’re a Detective, Let Me Give You a Tip. Don’t Wave Important Evidence in a Telephone Booth. They Have Glass Windows: Blackmail (1929)

Those Aren’t Men They Are the Living Dead: White Zombie (1932)

Night on Bald Mountain: Fantasia (1940)

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

It’s A Hard World: Backfire (1950)

The Mad Killer: Dial 1119 (1950)

They’re Coming for Me Now…And Then They’ll Come for You: House on Haunted Hill (1959)

What I Think You Will Think…You are Fully Under My Control: Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter (1966)

 I Can Make You all Go Away! Any Time I Want To!: Charlie X, Star Trek (1966)

Have You Checked the Children: When a Stranger Calls (1979)

No Mere Mortal Can Resist the Evil of the Thriller: Thriller (1983)

Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

That’s What We’re Trying to Find out! We’re Trying to Find Out Who Killed Him, and Where, and With What!: Clue (1985)

I Don’t Want to Be a Vampire. I’m a Day Person: Once Bitten (1985)

I’m…a Werewolf: Teen Wolf (1985)

I’ll Be Watching You: Cat’s Eye (1987)

I Came Upon a Shattered Glass Jar and Four Baby Turtles Crawling into a Strange Glowing Ooze: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

But If Any of It Fell Into the Wrong Hands…:Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II, Secret of the Ooze (1991)

That Face-I’ve Seen Her Before…: Let Me Call You Sweetheart (1997)

It was a Horseman, a Dead One. Headless: Sleepy Hollow (1999)

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

Every Twenty-Third Spring for Twenty Three Days, it Gets to Eat: Jeepers Creepers (2001)

He’s Married to a Corpse. He Has A Corpse Bride!: Corpse Bride (2005)

Every Three Thousand Years, the Stars Align. Unleashing an Army of Monsters: TMNT (2007)

A Matter of Loaf and Death: Wallace and Gromit (2008)

The Butcher of Burtonsville High: The Death of the Queen Bee, Bones (2010)

A Murder Has Been Committed on Your Property: Death Comes to Pemberley, Episode One (2013)

Heroes are Not Born, They’re Created: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

It Was the Curse. My Curse: The Cheerleader Murders (2016)

Have You Seen Megan Hipwell?: The Girl On the Train (2016)

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

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

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

Why did it end?

Why did it end?

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

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

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

No thank youhowaboutno

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

Uhhhhhhh

Uhhhhhhh

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

Where

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

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I HATED IT!

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

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Synopsis:

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

But something terrible lurks inside.

But something terrible lurks inside.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And run fast

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

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

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

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

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So What Was Good?

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

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

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

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

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

I like it!

I like it!

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So What Was Bad?

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

1) Too Many Stars

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

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

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

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

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

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

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3) Mary, Mary Quite Boring

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

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

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

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

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5) Dracula is Judas

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

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

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

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

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

You as in the film

You as in the film

So there you go, not just me.

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To start Horrorfest V from the beginning, go to Who You Gonna Call?: Ghostbusters (1984)

For the previous post, go to I’m…a Werewolf: Teen Wolf (1985)

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

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

For more on Judas Iscariot, go to The Arrest

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

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

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