A Spy Ring, A Killer Virus, and a Body Double Trying to Steal Carolina’s Life: High Seas Season Three (2020)

So last year my friend and I started watching Alta Mar/High Seas after watching the trailer as it looked really good. We were both thoroughly pleased as it was AMAZING and we couldn’t stop until we finished it.

The story is of two sisters, Eva and Carolina Villanueve. They lost their father, their home country of Spain was greatly changed because of WWII, and both ladies are looking for something new. Carolina had been running the family business, but decided to sell the company and is planning to marry Fernando Fábregas (owner of the ocean liner the Barbara de Braganza). Her sister Eva doesn’t like the changes Carolina is making but is still supporting her. She is also traveling on the Barbara de Braganza to Brazil to meet with a publisher interested in her book.

On our way!

They are on their way to the ship’s dock and hit a woman, a woman running away from an abusive man with powerful connections. Eva takes pity on her, ignores Carolina, and sneaks her aboard as a stowaway. However, this woman is not who she says she is and the sisters are in for quite the journey.

Someone is murdered on the ship, and it turns out their uncle Pedro and family friend Dr. Rojas have some secret they are keeping from the girls, their stowaway vanishes, someone they thought was dead is alive, and more. All this while they are on a ship in the middle of the ocean-you can see how it makes for one fantastic season.

While the first season was amazing, the second was horrible. First Mate Nicolás and Eva have fallen in love and tons of fangirls were ecstatic, but in season 2 they broke them up as Nicolás’ wife turned out to be alive.

Carolina found out that her husband was going to run off before the wedding, but his girlfriend disappeared-murdered. So yeah, their marriage isn’t going that great. And it turned out that Francesca their surrogate mother and housekeeper murdered Rosa Marin.

Veronica broke up with Sebastian, he lost all his money [although they say that’s not why they broke up], and she got with Dimas (he deserves better).

Let’s see…what else happened? Oh yes, Clara committed suicide as she couldn’t handle her rape, killing her rapist (it was in self-defense), and the rapist’s wife/co-killer going after her boyfriend.

So…yeah I hated Season 3, not as much as Season 2 as it did have one amazing storyline. But it was cut short and just not good as a whole.

***Spoilers***

So  we start off with the series with Coronavirus type disease floating in the ocean-weird choice.

What??

So Eva has had her book published and goes into a bookstore to look at it, so happy and pleased! There she is approached by a man going by “Fabio” who is a spy and needs to get on the ship and look at the passports as they are searching for a scientist or his helper who created a killer virus. She agrees, although I don’t know why she would after all that she and her sister have been through, you think they would be the most least trusting people on the planet. Wouldn’t you? I mean the first girl was a crazy lady after gold, the second was a fake psychic trying to drive her sister crazy, plus both their father and surrogate mother were crazy and killed people.

She and Carolina should be like how Sydney was at the beginning of Scream 3 not wanting to befriend or trust anyone.

I don’t trust her.

They prepare to be off.

Let’s go!

Meanwhile in the ship we have Nicolás who is there with his wife Chantel. I tried to hate her but she was tortured in the concentration camps, so….yeah I can’t. Nicolás actually is hardly in this as the other ship’s captain disappears. Nicolás is still first mate, although I don’t know why they let the previous captain keep his job when he was going crazy in the previous seasons, but anyway-so he is set to take care of that ship and is in the first episode, a little in the middle, and then just in the end. What the heck? Why wasn’t he in this.

I watch for Nicolás and Eva, not Eva and Fabio. 

Ugh…

So Pierre (Clara’s former fiance) is moved up to first mate.

So this other ship belongs to Carolina. She put her half of the fortune from selling her father’s company into her own ships. She is still married to Fernando but is freezing him out. I love it as Fernando actually treats her good and tries anything he can to get her to warm up and she is just an Ice Queen. You deserve it Fernando.

So Fabio and his supervising agent come, and they can’t tell anything from the passports. The other agent recognizes someone on the boat and dies-they don’t know who the person is, and now Fabio is stuck on the ship with Eva. He’s supposed to be her love interest I guess, but I don’t like him. Ugh, Fabio get out.

So Carolina has the most interesting storyline. So there is another group interested in the virus-the ship’s new doctor, Dr. Ayala, (we had to replace the murdering one from Season 1 +2), is traveling with a friend of their Uncle Pedro, Carmen. Carmen is taking the trip with her very sick and injured daughter Diana. She’s covered in bandages so we can’t see her. You know what that means-she’s not sick but just disguising herself.

Hmm…

I’m right of course as it turns out she has had surgery to look just like Carolina. Alejandra Onieva is a fantastic actress in her movements and her manner as she goes from street tough Diana to classy Carolina. The whole reason behind her appearance is to befriend Eva and get information out of her.

Diana does what she is told, but she also likes Carolina’s life. She likes the money, the clothes, the husband, etc. Fernando is enthused to have his wife want to be with him, although he feels uncertain about. Whenever he poses a question Diana distracts him. One day he finds a mole on her shoulder that he was 100% sure she didn’t have, but then…like always-she convinces him to focus on other things.

From The Great Gatsby

So Diana continues with her job, taking anything Eva shares and working against her and Fabio. However, she wants to change the terms-she wants Carolina’s life. The doctor doesn’t care, but Carmen is starting to have second thoughts.

Eva notices things are weird too as Carolina has seemed to forget everything that happened in the previous cruise. However, the drugs on the real Carolina have rubbed off a bit that she tries to communicate with Veronique, who’s been assigned as “Diana’s” special nurse. Veronique worries about “Diana” as she seems scared of her mother and the doctor. One day she is really troubled that she returns with help and when she comes back with help, they can’t find “Diana”, they go searching and finds Carolina/Diana trying to kill her…Carolina/Diana?  Who is the real Carolina, Eva has to figure it out, you know after she gets over the shock of seeing two of her sister.

Where is going on?

And I liked Fernando in this, which surprised me as I hated him the last two seasons. He was really trying to make things right with his wife. When he sees the real Carolina and how they had been drugging her.m, he is so upset and worried for her. That was cute.

So yeah, the Carolina and Diana storyline was the best as it sucked me in right away and never let go.

I just had to know what was going to happen next!

So they are after the virus, meanwhile Pierre has made the captain think he is crazy, and has taken over the ship with a plan made with the new first mate. You see-Pierre wanted to ruin Natalia Fábregas and teamed up with the first mate to destroy the company, but it turns out they are terrorists with the virus and planning to unleash it on the ship. They give it to Carolina, but it turns out it was really given to Diana instead.

Hmm…

Nicolas comes and turns everything on the ship right, as Pierre and his people had taken over and mutined. It’s like really fast, snap that’s over.

Well…

Dr. Ayala turns out to be the evil torturous doctor from the concentration camps that hurt Chantel, but they need him as they need a doctor to make an antidote. And surprise, surprise he does in like no time at all from the blood of maid Alex, who is the creator of the virus and had already taken the antidote. And not only is he able to an antidote with the few supplies they had around on the ship, but he creates enough to save everyone onboard. But that doesn’t save them as Mexico bombs the ship as they can’t stand having the people come in and possibly spread the virus. Like why wouldn’t they contact them first.

Eva and Nicholas rush together, but he is stabbed by Alex who survives all the blood being drawn from her, which is literally impossible.

There is no way. I have been with friends who had a little blood drawn and they couldn’t handle driving, let alone running and stabbing someone.

And don’t get me started on Nicolás’ death. First of all I am angry and appalled as I loved Nicolás and wanted him and Eva to somehow be reunited. And secondly I am extremely angry that is all they give us. To be honest if that’s all they were going to do, why didn’t they just not have him come back? He could have told Eva he loves her but as his wife is alive he is taking a job on another ship or he could have written a letter or telegram? And who’s great idea was it to write Fabio? He was boring and we knew nothing about him, and there was zero chemistry. I was extremely disappointed and heartbroken.

The ship goes down destroyed, just like my hopes and dreams of another seeason to love.

For more on High Seas, go to A Psychic Arrives and a Ghost Haunts the Ship: High Seas Season Two (2019)

For more spy stories, go to Murder, False Imprisonment, Nuclear Bombs, and Nazi Spies: Bon Voyage (2003)

Gort! Klaatu Barada Nikto!: The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

Gort! Klaatu Barada Nikto!

So I wrote the outline of  this review on March 21, 2020, back when we were all first told to quarantine because of the COVID-19 virus.

Every time they said the words “quarantine”, “shelter in place”, and seeing the lack of people driving at 6pm-made me think of this movie-as essentially the world was “standing still” (although there is still a line at Starbucks and the McDonald’s drive thru.)

While watching the movie there are quite a few things people say, that if you just replace the spaceman/alien with virus it actually applies. Their hysteria, the anger at the government, how each country reacts differently in what they do-but all panicking.

I first saw this movie on TCM or AMC, I can’t remember which, during one summer vacation. I remember it had to be summer because I was home that day and the movie channel had set the film to play so that it lined up with the 12:00 power going out at 12:00pm that day.

I really loved it the film, and of course later bought my own DVD of it. When the new one came out I watched it and was severely disappointed. The story just didn’t work as he came to help the planet-as humans needed to change or they would be destroyed-but to me it just didn’t work. This one makes a lot more sense.

It is 1951 and everything is normal until a flying saucer comes flying across the sky and lands in Washington D.C.

People all over the world are listening to the news and panicking!

To increase the sense of reality, some of the most famous broadcast journalists of the time were hired to do cameos as themselves. These included Gabriel Heatter, H.V. Kaltenborn, Drew Pearson and Elmer Davis. I had to look this up as the only one I recognized was Elmer Davis.

Meanwhile, out of the saucer comes a spaceman and a giant robot. Of course the military are there and they freak out about it, shooting him and getting their guns blasted by the robot, Gort.

The robot Gort was played by a 7ft. tall doorman, cast only for his height. He looks impressive next to Michael Rennie (the actor playing the spaceman) as Rennie is quite tall (6’4)

The Day the Earth Stood Still

The spaceman’s name is Klaatu and he leaves Gort and the spaceship behind when the army takes him to the hospital. He has a humanoid like body, is over 100 years old, and heals quickly from gunshot fire.

The studio originally wanted a big name to play Klaatu, but was later convinced by the director to use Rennie, a relatively unknown actor at the time. I think Rennie was perfect as he was taller than any other man in the film, he has a voice that shows strength and power without being overbearing, and he is able to convey so much in slight movements. No one else could have done as great a job.

The army tries to break into the spaceship and destroy the robot, but nothing they have is strong enough.

Klaatu wants to meet with all the world leaders as he has a very important message, but unfortunately people are not so willing. Russia will only come to the summit if it is in Russia, England won’t unless it is in England, and so on and so on. I don’t know why they don’t do it in the United Nations building in NYC but whatever-world leaders just can’t get their act together.

Klaatu also wants to see the people-the ordinary ones-but the government won’t let him out. Just like in Escape from Planet of the Apes-the government control everything because they are afraid.

Klaatu waits until night and sneaks out-he gets some clothes, a briefcase, and finds a room to rent-going by the name “Carpenter”.

In the boarding house, the boarders are all crowded around the TV and are scared, watching about the escaped spaceman. When Michael Rennie comes into the room all shadowed and tall, he does look creepy. Especially with his height and the fact he doesn’t say anything right away.

Like something out of a horror film, it makes you think of the panic people get so quickly-like The Monsters on Maple Street or the COVID-19 panic (you remember the sanitizer and wipes hoarding).

The boarders are nice but worried and freaked out.

George Barley: Why doesn’t the government do something, that’s what I’d like to know.

Mr. Krull: What can they do, they’re only people just like us.

George Barley: People my foot, they’re democrats.

People complaining about the politicians running things? Doesn’t look like things have changed much.

Helen (Patricia Neal) is the mother of Bobby and before the spaceman visited she and her boyfriend, Tom Stevens (Hugh Marlowe), were supposed to go on a day trip. She wants to take Bobby along as she doesn’t have anyone to watch him- as everyone is prepping for the end of the world.

Now Tom is the worst guy ever. He doesn’t want Bobby to go on their trip and when the new boarder, who NO ONE knows ANYTHING about wants to watch Bobby he is like sure let’s go.

Dump Tom. Seriously, this new guy could be a pedophile, molester, or just crazy -you have no clue who he is. And if your boyfriend is willing to pass your child off to the first person he meets, dump him! He’s obviously not a good boyfriend or stepfather material.

Of course they say yes, so innocent in the 1950s, and Bobby and Klaatu go check out the sites. Bobby takes him to the Lincoln Memorial, Arlington Cemetery, etc-which is fine, but watching this as an adult I think it is a little odd. Like wouldn’t a kid want to show him something they think is cool? I mean he looks like he is 10, wouldn’t there be something more kid-friendly he wants to go to? An amusement park?

He does mention the movies in which Klaatu wants to treat him, but Klaatu only has diamonds-the currency of his people. He trades the diamond for Bobby’s $2 so he can pay for the movie tickets.

When he trades the two dollars for the diamond, Bobby says:

Bobby: Let’s not tell mom about this.

Klaatu: Why not?

Bobby: She doesn’t like me to steal from people.

This kid is hilarious and adorable.

Klaatu and Bobby also go check out the spaceship, where we get this great line that sums up my feelings regarding people’s extreme reactions to COVID-19-you know buying mass quantities and hoarding them, spraying themselves with Lysol, etc.

Reporter: I suppose you are just as scared as the rest of us.

Klaatu: In a different way, perhaps. I am fearful when I see people substituting fear for reason.

Klaatu asks Bobby who is the greatest man on Earth today, Bobby says the spaceman, and I’m surprised he didn’t say a baseball player or superhero, If someone had asked me question at Bobby’s age I would have said Spider-Man.

After Bobby thinks about it, he picks his mother’s boss, Professor Barnhardt and they stop at his house. He’s out, but Klaatu solves part of an equation-as his calling card, and the two head home.

Later that evening Helen comes back and Tom proposes to her. Ugh.

Ugh, this guy.

She wants to think about it, but he wants her to answer now as he has to go to Chicago Monday. Like triple UGh! this guy is the worst Helen! I know it is hard for a single mom but you can do so much better. Tom continues to be a total jerk as he gets all jealous and angry about them making a big deal over how sweet Carpenter/Klaatu was to take Bobby out. Oh so now you are all protective, asking “what do you know about him”. It didn’t matter when you wanted to take off with your girl but now it is an issue? You ARE THE WORST.

As the film progresses Helen and Klaatu are starting to become friends but you can tell there are deeper feelings stirring underneath the surface. They apparently filmed more of them talking and showing those feelings develop, but had to cut it. I think what the film has, portrayed their relationship beautifully in the way Helen and Klaatu look at each other-their voice inflection, the slight touches between them. I always thought they fell for each other, but just couldn’t be together.

Goverment agents come and fetch Klaatu to see Professor Barnhardt and he reveals who he is and that his mission is of the upmost importance. Barnhardt wants to help him and he will have all kinds of scientists from round the world come, but he worries that even seeing him and hearing they won’t believe. He asks him to do something to show the power-but something in which people won’t be hurt.

Hmm…

That night Klaatu returns to the boarding house, borrowing a flashlight from Bobby. He goes to bed and Bobby goes up too, as his mom leaving to go out with ugh Tim. BLEH!

I hate him basically

As Bobby is heading to bed he sees Klaatu turning the light off-that sparks Bobby’s attention as Klaatu told Bobby that he needed a flashlight because the lightbulb in his room went out. Bobby decides to follow him and watches as he heads down to the spaceship and goes inside.

Bobby runs home and into his mother who is upset about him not being in bed. He tries to tell her about the spaceman, but she and Tom don’t believe him.Tom goes upstairs to prove Klaatu is there, but when he goes to the room it is empty. He pokes around-not cool Tim, not cool-and finds a diamond. He brings it down and goes on about how he doesn’t like Klaatu, he is trouble, a robber, etc. Oh, but you trusted him to watch Bobby! What a jerk! DUMP Him!!!!!

This dude, ugh!

First of all-why would you assume he is a thief and not a diamond salesman or he could just own a diamond as some people do? I mean the US was in a housing crisis after WWII maybe he has money and is staying at the boarding house until he finds a house of his own? Huh?

Secondly, where was this protectiveness earlier when you were throwing the kid at him since you didn’t want to be bothered by having a child along on your romantic weekend? EH!!??

You jerk!

Yeah, he’s a real jerk Helen-let him go.

The next day Klaatu speaks to Bobby and realizing that he has figured out who he is, he goes to see Helen so that she can keep the secret until he has the summit with the scientists.

Meanwhile, Tom took the diamond to have it appraised and it is declared to be something out of this world. Tom is excited as he sees fame, glory, and dollar signs.

Klaatu has tracked Helen down and the two become trapped in an elevator as Klaatu’s plan has gone into effect. From 12-12:30 everything electrical stops (except planes in flight, hospitals, etc)-no phones, no cars, no anything-making it the day the Earth stood still.

When we had those huge summer storms that resulted in California burning, the power went out for the whole day and it made me think of this part of the film.

As they are traped in the elevator, Klaatu tells Helen who he is and the importance of the meeting. She agrees to help him-he is going to stay at the boarding house until it is time to meet-while she tries to track down Tom, and convinces him keep quiet.

Tom however does not want to keep quiet and has decided to call the army. Helen tries to tell him they need the summit for the safety of their world, but he doesn’t care.

Helen: What about the rest of the world?

Tom: I don’t care about the rest of the world! [Seeing her shocked expression You’ll feel different when you read about me in the papers.

Helen: I feel different now.

And Helen dumps him.

YYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!! WOOHOOO YIPPEE!!

Good job Helen. You know you should be thankful for this as if Klaatu hadn’t come into your lives you probably would have married this horrible human being.

Klaatu and Helen go away from the boarding house as it is no longer safe and head to Professor Barnhardt’s house. Klaatu cautions her that if anything should happen to him, she must go to Gort and tell him “Klaatu barada nikto!”

Klaatu of course gets shot by the military, as we fear what we do not understand and often shoot first in these movies. And Helen hurries to the spaceship.

When she gets there Gort destroys two guards and then carries her into the spaceship. I hate the posters that showcase this as the illustration looks nothing like the actress. In the posters they always have her in a sweetheart pink dress which is nothing like what Neal actually wears as Helen. I mean she has her nice dress from work, but it is just an average dress with a high collar.

Seriously!

Gort goes off and gets Klaatu bringing him to the spaceship and back to life.

[Klaatu is revived by Gort after being fatally shot]

Helen: I – I thought you were…

Klaatu: I was.

Helen: You mean… he has the power of life and death?

Klaatu: No. That power is reserved to the Almighty Spirit. This technique, in some cases, can restore life for a limited period.

Helen: But… how long?

Klaatu: You mean how long will I live? That no one can tell.

Klaatu then gives his speech before he, the spaceship, and Gort are all whisked away.

Klaatu: I am leaving soon, and you will forgive me if I speak bluntly. The universe grows smaller every day, and the threat of aggression by any group, anywhere, can no longer be tolerated…I came here to give you these facts. It is no concern of ours how you run your own planet, but if you threaten to extend your violence, this Earth of yours will be reduced to a burned-out cinder. Your choice is simple: join us and live in peace, or pursue your present course and face obliteration. We shall be waiting for your answer. The decision rests with you.

Powerful way to end a film. I’m sure after WWII this really resonated with a lot of people. I, of course enjoy it, and hope you all did too.

For more on aliens, go to They’re Moving From Planet to Planet…After They’ve Consumed Every Natural Resource They Move On…and We’re Next: Independence Day (1999)

For more Michael Rennie, go to I Do Think You Are Confused Mrs. Bowman: Dangerous Crossing (1953)

For more with Hugh Marlowe, Will We Survive the Night?: Rawhide (1951)

They’re Moving From Planet to Planet…After They’ve Consumed Every Natural Resource They Move On…and We’re Next: Independence Day (1999)

They’re like locusts. They’re moving from planet to planet… their whole civilization. After they’ve consumed every natural resource they move on… and we’re next.”

I had never seen this movie all the way through. The only parts I had seen was when Bill Pullman gives his speech on a top movie presidents’ list they had on TV Guide in honor of the 4th of July, and of course-that last line about fireworks by Will Smith.

Well it was time to finally take a watch.

On July 2, 1996 an enormous alien ship takes place outside major cities all around the world, this impacts our four groups of characters.

Russell Casse is a Vietnam veteran and former pilot. He has a crop-dusting company, but due to his alcoholism he doesn’t do anything well. He and his family notice the ships and move their trailer out of there.

Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) is a marine and fighter pilot who dreams of being a NASA pilot. He lives with his stripper girlfriend and her son. He’s supposed to have the weekend off, but when he sees the ships-he heads to base.

David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) is a MIT-educated technological expert. He is still in love with his ex-wife and grumpy/mad at the world. He doesn’t believe the alien stories at first but after he sees it with his own eyes he starts focusing on their communications sent. He discovers that it is a countdown and travels with his dad to Washington D.C. to warn his wife.

President Thomas J. Whitmore, (Bill Pullman) is being crucified in the press as he was a War Hero who knows zip about running a country in a “peaceful world”. He is prepared to spend the holiday with his daughter (as his wife is out of town for work) and best friend/communications director, Constance Spano (David’s wife).

David warns the President and the group manage to just barely make it out before the click is zero and all the ships disintegrate the cities.

They send the military in to shoot, like Captain Steve Miller, but the alien’s advanced weaponry is too much for them. All are killed, except Miller. He manages to knock an alien out and carry it with him. He meets up with the Casse family and they head for Area 51.

Miller’s girlfriend, Jasmine (the stripper), manages to save herself and her son. They pull out with a few survivors they find in LA (including the president’s wife) and head off to Miller’s base. They find it destroyed,and drive off-heading to Area 51.

Air Force One-containing David, his father, Spano, and the President-head to Area 51 after a UFO conspiracy is revealed. It turns out that an alien ships such as these we see today landed in 1947, and the government has been testing and studying it under, Dr. Brackish Okun.

When the Dr. studies Miller’s alien, it wakes up. It uses Okun to speak, controlling him, then kills him. Later it merges with the President to read his mind. But when the Secret Service kill the alien, it turns out that the President was able to get into his mind as well and knows thier plans.

They’re here already! You’re next! You’re next, You’re next…!

Nothing they have seem to stop the aliens, but then David comes up with a plan. They will inject a virus into the mother ship and it will cause the forcefields to go down and allow them to stop them.

David and Miller volunteer to head up to space-with the President calling in every single person who has flown a plane before to help fight, including himself.

Will they succeed?

Watch to Find Out!

Such an amazing film. I was totally sucked into it. I couldn’t stop watching and will be seeing this either every 4th of July or October.

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

For the previous post, go to It Should Have Been a Movie or a Miniseries: American Gothic (2016)

For more aliens, go to A Survivor… Unclouded By Conscience, Remorse, or Delusions of Morality: Alien (1979)

For more Bill Pullman, go to A Tender Toll-Booth Token: While You Were Sleeping (1995)

For more Jeff Goldblum, go to Just Follow the Screams: The Lost World (1997)