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

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

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

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

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

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

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Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

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

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

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

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

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

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Don't fall.

Part I: The Tower

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

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

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

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

What

What

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

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

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

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

Thinking Hmm

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

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

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

What jerks

What jerks

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

suspicious Hmm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How cute

How cute

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

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

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

Not good

Not good

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Part 2: The Adventure Thereafter

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

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

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

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

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

Not good

Not good

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

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

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

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

Not good

Not good

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How cute

How cute

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes!

Yes!

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

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

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

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Khaser then transforms in front of everyone.

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

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

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

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

Not good

Not good

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

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

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

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

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

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The two are married and live happily ever after.

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

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

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

OW

Thank you Shannon Hale.

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

For the previous post, go to Your Cases Have Indeed Been of the Greatest Interest to Me: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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For more Christmas Carols, go to Harvest Pumpkin Scones

Beast or Man: The Wolfman (2010)

There is no sin in killing a beast, only in killing a man. But where does one begin and the other end?

So this year I decided to do something very, very different. Now the in the past, all Horrorfests have ended on a film that takes place on Halloween. This wasn’t a credence that I set out to make, it just kind of happened along the way. With Horrorfest I had always planned on ending on Halloween (1978)I knew it was the best way to end the first year with a big bang. Besides, that year I had done the other slasher films that spanned numerous sequels and remakes (Friday the 13th Nightmare on Elm Street). Horrorfest II I was trying to also end on a really great film that would produce the same kind of bang, and decided on Children of the Corn as that film was creepy. It also happened to take place on Halloween.

This year I was trying to decide what would be the best opener and closer. I was originally going to open with Metropolis as I had done a post in July referencing it. But after I wrote that post, it just didn’t speak to me as an opener. I started going through my drafts and that’s when I spotted The Wolf Man (1941)The Wolf Man has to be my favorite of the classic horror film monsters (along with The Phantom of the Opera). I hadn’t had a chance to review it yet, and since it was the last of the classics I decided it should be the opener.

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Once I wrote that post, I was so excited. You see, I felt I really couldn’t to a post on any werewolf films until I had covered the first one. I thought it was only right to start with the original. With that done, I could move onto any other werewolf film I desired. The possibilities were endless.

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With the beginning finished, I then set my sights on the end. What could I do that would really pop? As I started thinking and looking, I saw my draft for The Wolfman (2010). And that’s when it hit me.

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I could end Horrorfest III with The Wolfman (2010). It could be like bookends!!!! In the beginning the original that started it all  and the end the newest rendition. !!! Yes!! It could work and it will. So here we are The Wolfman (2010).

Double double yay

So a little backstory before we begin the review. As you would have read in an older post, I love The Wolf Man (1941). It is one of my all-time favorite horror films. One day in my photography class, we were watching trailers of different films as we were looking at the cinematography and technique. My teacher was on a Mac which has Front Row, and shows you trailers of the past, present, and future films. One trailer I remember looking at was Nightmare on Elm Street (2010). I wasn’t planning on seeing it, as I hadn’t seen the original. But as we reached the end, I saw The Wolfman.

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I screamed ay my teacher, stop!! I want to see that. So we watched the trailer.

AWESOME!!! RIGHT!!! So I knew there were going to be changes, I knew it was going to be nowhere near as good as the original, but I was soooo pumped!! So I watched the trailer in February 2009, and saw the film was slated for that October. I couldn’t wait!!!

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

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Yep, there had been some production problems, so they pushed it back to February. FEBRUARY!!! V-Day weekend. I was upset, but what could I do? I just had to wait it out.

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But then February came and I decided that it would be my V-day present to myself. You see I have never had a boyfriend or date for V-day, so I always just buy myself whatever I want. It’s actually pretty nice as you don’t have to fight with anyone over where to go or what to see; and you are never, ever, ever, disappointed.

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I asked a couple of friends who were also single and we bought tickets for opening night. I knew that I wouldn’t be 100% pleased, but I was looking forward to those improved transformation scenes.

So moving on to the review.

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So let’s go back in time. The year is 1891 and we are in England. Lawrence Talbot (Benicio del Toro) is the second son of Sir John Talbot (Anthony Hopkins). He and his dad had a lot of issues and problems so he left as soon as he could. Since then he has been a renowned Shakespearean actor, famous throughout all England for his Hamlet and Macbeth.

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He recieves a letter from a Gwen Conliffe (Emily Blunt). She was engaged to his older brother Ben, but he has been murdered. Not only was he murdered, but horribly mangled by something. When Lawrence gets the news, he immediately returns home for the funeral.

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When he gets there he sees his father and the two have a harsh welcome. Unlike The Wolf Man (1941), where father and son were trying to work on repairing their relationship, Sir John doesn’t care. He still has huge issues with his son not being what he wants him to be. The way that Sir John treats him, causes Lawrence to want to leave, and go far away…but he can’t. He has to properly say good-bye to his brother.

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Lawerence does try to get away from his father as he knows staying near him will just cause more fights. He also really wants to see his brother. So he heads down to the local slaughterhouse where the body is kept before burial.

ew! Gross Yuck

I know but you have to remember this is a small village in 19th century England. They didn’t have a mortuary to hold the body until burial. They also didn’t understand how diseases spread and that it is not a good idea to have a dead body near your food.

There at the slaughterhouse, the butcher gives Laurence his brother’s items, that is everything found on him at the time of his death.

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Later that night he heads over to the local pub for a drink and overhears the gossip on the murder. Most of the villagers blame a band of gypsies. Not long after they moved into the area, Ben was murdered. In fact, someone remembers a case occuring years earlier of gypsies moving into the area and dead bodies surfacing. As they discuss this, Laurence remembers that Ben had had a gypsy medallion on him.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

This is the first time that Laurence has ever met his brother’s fiance Gwen. Now for you Wolf Man fans, you should recognize that it is the same name given to Laurence’s love interest in the original film. Except in that film she was to marry the hunter/groundsman of the Talbot estates. Anyways, Laurence meets her and can instantly see why his brother fell for her, as he himself is attracted to her.

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Of course Lawrence is the most amazing, gentleman/good guy that he would never ever think of putting the moves on her. He does thank her for trying to be there for his father and for everything. He also let’s her know that if she ever needs him, he’ll be there for him.

Gwen is also attracted to him, and you really can’t blame her. If Benecio is in his early 40s, that means her husband to-be was hecka old. Also Benecio/Lawrence has this adorable hurt puppy dog look that makes you just want to show him he is special, and that you care for him. He looks so sad that it makes you just want to take him, and take care of him. Making sure is life is bright and never unhappy again. That look is killer on any girl as it flies through their best defenses. Major chink in the armor.

swoon dreamy

Sorry, digressing….So with Lawrence back, and the funeral over, Gwen decides to return to London. Laurence would like to leave too, but wth his brother’s death, he now is sole heir to the estate and the first son. When his father dies he will become Sir Lawrence and be expected to uphold all those duties (House of Lords most likely). This isn’t the life that Laurence wants, but at this moment he is too loaded with grief and confusion over his brother’s death that he doesn’t question or try to rebel.

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

So with Gwen gone, and his father an emotionless robot who only cares about himself; Lawrence takes it upon himself to try and figure out what happened to his loving brother. Now Lawrence is putting on the black cowl and trying to become a vigilante or anything, he just wants some closure about his brother’s death. He heads down to the gypsy camp to try to get some answers.

Being questioned police Annex - Tierney, Gene (Laura)_03

Where were you the night in question?

That night is a full moon

attack Wolf Boy Meets World

Which as you’ve guessed it means trouble is going to be roaming about. Lawrence meets up with the gypsy woman Maleva, who tells him that something truly evil has attacked his brother.

Wolf Man 1941 5

But before he can get anything more, the townspeople attack the village. They try to drive the gypsies from the area, and kill a dancing bear they believe to be the beast that killed Ben Talbot.

mob

Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

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

wolfman-strangle

And I’m not talking about just a few people, this is like a Scream sequel. The body count by the end of this film is in the double digits.

wolfman dead bodies lots cart

Hey, my generation is the Millennials. They aren’t as classy, they need lots more blood and guts.

Anyways, the werewolf is attacking everyone, and Lawrence spots a young boy running into the woods. At the same time the werewolf spots the boy, causing Lawrence to put himself in the way in order to protect the child. As he does so, the wolf attacks him.

wolfman-strangle

And he gets bitten.

dun-dun-duuuun

Malvea find him and cares for him, despite the community telling her that it is better for all if they let him die. But Malvea can’t, she says he still is a man and deserves to be treated as such. She also states that only a loved one can kill him.

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

Malvea honey, I don’t think so. Anyone can kill a werewolf as long as they have some kind of silver object. Nowhere is that in the original film, as if you read my post you would know that film revolutionized werewolf mythology. Click here to check it out now.

And besides that, is there nothing you can do for him? You are a cinematic gypsy in a horror film! You’re supposed to have a potion or herb or special thing that can protect you from turning. Now if you have read my DraculaThe Mummy, The Wolf Man, or Scream 2 posts, you know I make fun of the films when the guy is given a special charm to protect him but then stupidly turns it over to the girl he loves, EVEN THOUGH IT WILL NOT WORK FOR HER.

Every time!

Every time!

But I really enjoy that part of the film, as it humanizes the character and makes you adore them. I mean its sweet how much they love the girl in their life that if there is anything that can do to ward of the monster, they prefer them to have it. Even though by doing so they make things worse, hey it’s the thought that counts.

Frozen Sacrifice self love you sisters

I also hate how gypsies have been giving “B” standing in modern horror films. I mean without their supreme wisdom and knowledge in the supernatural, they are just nomadic people. In real life they are still awesome, in a  horror film? That’s just boring.

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

But I guess that’s just they way it is these days.

Sadface Batman

So where was I? Oh yeah, Lawrence has been bitten by the werewolf. He is moved back to Talbot Manor, and Gwen returns from London to nurse him back to health. While recovering he has really strange dreams. Lots of blood, murder, and even his mother appears. You see his mother died when he was very, very young and her death severely traumatized her as he discovered her dead body. But why would that death be haunting him now? Is it because of Ben? The slaughtered people seen in the gypsy camp? Or is it something else?

suspicious  Hmm

Lawrence actually heals pretty quickly, which he finds kind of odd. And that’s not the only thing that’s odd in the Talbot homestead. One day his father’s manservant, Singh (Art Malik), shows him a case of silver bullets and hints that something monstrous is walking through the woods.

Weird

Weird

He’s not the only one concerned. Inspector Abberline (Hugo Weaving) comes to town. Yes, yes I’m going to admit it. Any film with Hugo Weaving gets an 10x increase in awesome. I mean this guy is truly one of the most talented actors alive. When he ecomes a role you totally forget that he is Hugo Weaving and just think of him as that character. For me I’m always going, Hugo Weaving was in that film? Oh that’s who was that amazing character. I totally forgot that character was being played by an actor. I mean he is that  good. You have Agent Smith in The Matrix, Elrond in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, V in V for Vendetta, the Red Skull in Captain America: The First Avenger, and that’s just to name a few.

wolfman 2010 inspector abberline hmm i've almost got it hugo weaving

Anyways, Inspector Abberline comes to town to investigate. He already believes he knows who the killer is…Lawrence.

Yeah I don't understand it either

Seriously? Lawrence? A Murderer? Come on, this guy wouldn’t hurt a fly. I mean look at him, really look at him. There isn’t a murderous bone in his body! Besides, he just arrived in town so there is no way he could have murdered his brother. Dude, you’re dumb.

felix_the_cat_laughing

But it isn’t completely ungrounded. You see, Lawrence has a history of “mental problems.” You see, I didn’t want to give you the full story so early, but Lawrence’s mother’s death really did a number on him. Now today, we would really try to help the child as we understand such events as those are highly traumatic and can cause serious issues. Then not so much. Lawrence discovered the body and was very upset. He was afraid and kept mentioning a monster had hurt her. Instead of trying to help his kid, Sir John sent him to an insane asylum, where he was tortured. And I mean torture. Many methods to improve these patients were electrotherapy, iron cuffs/collars, bloodletting, dipping the patient in hot or ice-cold water, and a gyrating chair “to shake up the blood and tissues of the body to restore equilibrium”. By the 1900s, many hospitals had added lobotomies to their lists of “cures”.

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

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

Yeah not fun. So Aberline thinks he is the perfect suspect. Laurence though, is having none of that.

Lawrence Talbot: I get your implication, and resent it. You’re clearly aware of my personal history, as I believe I’m aware of yours. Weren’t you in charge of the ripper case a couple of years back?

Det. Aberline: You’re a direct man. So I’ll be equally direct with you. I am not your enemy, Mr. Talbot. You’ve been seen as Hamlet, Macbeth, Richard III, all with that same face. A prudent man would ask who else might be living inside that head of yours?

Laurence doesn’t quite know what is going on and asks Gwen to leave as he’s worried something might happen to her. That night he follows his father, and watches him go down to the family crypt, to the area where his dead mother resides. There he finds a chair with restranints. His father locks the door and stays in the crypt, leaving a confused Laurence.

Weird

Weird

As Laurence turns to go inside, he becomes…The Wolfman!

wolf

Now this was worth the price of admission. These transformation scenes are awesome!!!

Freakin’ sweet!

So now that he is a wolfman, he does what they all do. Ravage the countryside.

Film Title: The Wolfman Claw

The next day the Inspector comes for him and has him arrested to be sent back to the “mental hospital”

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

How horrible is that. I mean this has to be Laurence’s biggest fear, to be sent back to that horrible place. Poor guy. And I was doing some research last night, not only were insane asylums awful, but the one he has to go to, Bedlam, was one of the worst.

you're evil

Dr. Hoennegar, the leading physician, takes Laurence under his wing and subjects him to ice treatments, that is to be consistently dunked into ice water and left there for long periods of time.

the-wolfman-2010-freezing-therapy

Can you imagine?

And oh joy, he also gets electroshock therapy.

Stupid, stupid

While he is incarcerated, Sir John comes to visit and tells him a story. You see Sir John is the cause of all this.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow

Back in the day when he was younger and hunting in India, he heard this rumor about an unusual predator. He travels to the remote cave that the predator calls his home and while there was bit by a feral boy and became a victim of lycanthropy.

wolfman

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

wolfman

That’s when Laurence realizes everything about his mother’s death makes total sense. He did see a beast kill her, but it was his father! His father killed his mother and then sent him to a mental institution!!! What a truly, truly evil man to allow his son to be tortured. And now for a second time!!!

you're evil

Now this was my biggest issue with the film. Every other part of the movie was actually pretty great. It was an amazing homage to the orginal film. Benecio del Toro was actually a huge fan of the original and tried to bring a lot of Lon Chaney Jr. into his acting. But the thing I absolutely hate was the changed relationship with his father.

HateEverythingthewomen

It just didn’t work in my opinion. I mean that is what truly made the original fantastic, was that everything in his life was going great, he was a great man; and this tragedy strikes that ruins everything. He and his father were finally, finally becoming close and working out all their issues. He had met a nice girl, even though she was engaged, and had hope for that relationship. He loved England and was getting back into the groove of it. But then this horrible thing happens and he has to say good-bye to it all. He knows he is going to die, but what does he do? He goes to his dad and makes sure that he has something to protect him. Because even though he has spent years hating and being angry at his father, he truly loves him. It’s just so wonderful and sad all at the same time

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

But having the dad the evil guy, I don’t know…it just makes the film feel as if it is missing a huge part of it. It doesn’t hit in the heart like the orginal.

But moving on, so his father murdered his mother and then sent the only witness to a torture chamber (mental hospital) to ensure that those memoris would never come to light as they are only crazy “child fantasies”.

you're evil

Since then, Sir John has had his manservant Singh has been locking him up so he doesn’t wreck havoc anymore. However, Ben was planning to leave with Gwen once they were married and this enraged Sir John. He wasn’t locked up that night and killed him to keep him from going away. He became so incensed with the power that he ran wild later, killing all in the gypsies camp and biting Laurence purposely.

Omg what a–

wordICan't say Toy Story

He did it on purpose because he wanted a fall guy. He wants to roam free as a werewolf and he allows his son to be caught and tortured. Argh!!! Urhg! this man! I;m so angry I can’t spell right. He needs a good sock in the face.

dean_punching_supernatural

After he finishes his story he leaves, intent on never returning.

Jerk

He deserves another punch.

dean_punching_supernatural

That night Laurence is taken to the observation room, where the good doctor presents him as a curio to his collegues. Unbeknowest to him, moonlight is coming through the window and landing on Laurence. This causes him to turn into….the Wolfman!

wolfman

This is one of the coolest scenes, but unfortunately I could only find it in Italian. Sorry! But you don’t really need to understand what they are saying to enjoy the effects/makeup.

Dr. Hoenneger: Ah, Mr. Talbot. We are here tonight to illustrate conclusively that Mr. Talbot’s fears are quite irrational. So, we will remain in this room together, and once Mr. Talbot has witnessed that the full moon holds no sway over him, that he remains a perfectly ordinary human being, he will have taken his first small step down the long road to mental recovery. We are all aware that Mr. Talbot has suffered quite traumatic personal experiences. He witnessed his mother’s self mutilations. His young mind, unable to accept it, created a fantastical truth, that his father is to blame. That is father is literally a monster. But, your father is not a werewolf. You were not bitten by a werewolf. You will not become a werewolf, any more than I will sprout wings and fly out of that window.

Freakin’ AWESOME

Totally fangirl over that.

Laurence runs away, being chased by the Inspector, and also wreaking havoc. There are some truly amazing shots of him by the bridge, on statues. Just plain awesome!

wolfman statue on tiop of werewolf

The next day he visits Gwen in her antique shop. They realize they have fallen in love, but Laurence knows nothing can come of it. He has to kill his father and himself in order to protect others.

the_wolf_man_1941_larry_is_talking_to_gwen

Inspector Abberline comes to see if Lawrence is there, but he is too late. Lawrence has already left for Talbot estate.

Gwen refuses to believe that they can’t be together. She starts studying lycanthropy and tracks down Maleva the gypsy for more advice. Maleva cannot help her, as there is no cure for werewolf.

Noo!

Noo!

Meanwhile, the Inspector has also headed back to the village and this time armed with silver bullets. That show in the Observation room must have finally convinced him that werewolves are real. Gwen also heads toward Talbot Hall.

Lawrence is the first to arrive and discovers a murdered Singh. He takes his gun loaded with the silver bullets and starts hunting his father.

Sir John Talbot: You have me at a disadvantage. It makes me happy.

Lawrence Talbot: What does?

Sir John Talbot: Well, seeing you here like this. My son returned. It is glorious, isn’t it?

Lawrence Talbot: No, it’s hell.

Sir John is a freak. He needs help. Serious help.

Anyways, it turns out there are no bullets in Singh’s gun, but blanks. Sir John did that on purpose as he will not be destroyed. Sir John attacks his son and the two begin fighting. The full moon comes up and transfroms them into werewolves. And yes, yes we have a werewolf fight. I personally thought it was a little cheesy (and dumb) but this is the millenal generation. And it is something the people want.

So after Laurence burns and decapiitates his father, Gwen walks into the house.

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

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

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GWEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The wolfman, Lawrence, attacks her. Luckily, the inspector had also just arrived on the scene. He tries to use his gun, but misses allowing him to be bit by the werewolf. Gwen steals the gun and takes off, being pursued by the wolfman.

wolfman 2010 hiding from wolfman

He chases her to a waterfall. With nowhere left to go, Gwen starts begging and pleading with the wolfman, hoping to get to Lawrence. Lawrence reason faintly returns to the beast, who hesitates. He then hears the sound of a posse coming to attack him.

mob

Grab your torches and sharpen your pitchforks!

While he is concentrated on them, Gwen shoots him through the heart.

Noo!

Noo!

Laurence changes back to his human form, and before he dies thanks Gwen for saving him.

Lawrence Talbot: [his eyes open after being shot by a silver bullet and transforming back into a human] Gwen?

Gwen Conliffe: [crying] I’m sorry…

Lawrence Talbot: It had to be this way.

Gwen Conliffe: I’m sorry.

Lawrence Talbot: [he holds her hand] Thank you. [Dies]

aw cry

The posse and an injured inspector arrive just as Laurence dies.

So that is The Wolfman. Now do I think it is as good as the original? HECK NO! But that does not mean it isn’t an awesome film. Besides that one thing that majorly irks me, I really enjoyed it. I thought it was a pretty awesome film. The cinematography is beautiful, the acting incredible, and those transformation scenes? Freakin’ awesome! And I did like how they moved the story to show how harshly “mental disabled” people were treated. And you know what? Most of the people who were in those didn’tr even have serious problems. They would throw in the homeless, those with learning disabilities, women of large fortune who had husands that wanted the money but not the girl, etc. It was horrible. Horrible.

But back to the film, I think it is a worthwile view. It may not be exactly how I imagined it, but you do have some great werewolves in this, and no Jacob ones. Real werewolves.

2010The Wolfman

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And so ends another Horrorfest. I am so pleased with this years as I was able to redeem myself from last year’s only half the month’s posts. 31 days of terror and woe once again. I hope you all enjoyed it. I wish you all a very happy, and safe, Halloween. May it be everything you wish it to be.

Happy Halloween jack-o-lantern

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To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart

For the previous post, go to The Perfect Murder

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For more on werewolves, go to Werewolves Roam Among Us

For more monster movies, go to There’s Nothing Out There. Nothing in the Mist

For more on 19th century England, go to The Past of a Man

For more on insane asylum, go to I Bid You Welcome

For more remakes, go to Don’t F*** With the Original

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

 

I_Was_A_Teenage_Werewolf

I’m going to TRANSFORM him, and unleash the savage instincts that lie hidden within… 

So this is another werewolf film, and a B horror film, that doesn’t end well. And to be perfectly honest that’s how I like them.

Say What

As depressing as that sounds, I like it when the werewolf story ends like that that because it’s closer to the original story. Here we have a good man, who has been turned into something he doesn’t want to be and can’t control. It’s sad and poetic at the same time.

The_Wolf_Man_4Crying sad

So the big reason I watched this film was because it first of all was about a werewolf, which you all know I love. And it stars Michael Landon.

Michael Landon

So the story is about Tony Rivers (Michael Landon) a boy who is known for losing his temper. His dad is constantly telling him he should get help for his anger problems, but Tony won’t listen. He doesn’t believe he has any issues at all. After a really bad fight on campus with a classmate, the police get involved. The Detective urges Tony to meet up with a psychologist. The thing that really pushes him to reform is his girlfriend Arlene (Yvonne Lime). She tells him he has too many issues and she can’t date a guy like that. At a party that night he attacks his friend when he surprises him, and that pushes him into seeking help from the acclaimed Dr. Alfred Brandon.

i-was-a-teenage-werewolf

Now this is what makes the whole story so sad. He is earnestly trying to get help and fix his problems, but everything goes bad as he turns to the evil Doctor. I tell ya, I don’t trust doctors (unless they are Michael Rennie), as they always turn out evil. Dr. Hartz from The Lady Vanishes (1938), Dr. Hollingshead from The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947), Dr. Einstein from Arsenic and Old Lace (1944),  Dr. Arthur Carrington from The Thing From Another World (1951), and that’s just to name a few.

No thank you

Anyways, so the Dr. Brandon has no intention of helping Tony out. Instead he wants to experiment on him, testing out this serum he created to bring out people’s primitive instincts. His assistant tries to convince him not to, but Dr. Brandon won’t listen.

“Dr Hugo Wagner: But you’re sacrificing a human life!

Dr Alfred Brandon: Do you cry over a guinea pig? This boy is a free police case. We’re probably saving him from the gas chamber.

Dr Hugo Wagner: But the boy is so young, the transformation horrible –

Dr Alfred Brandon: And you call yourself a scientist! That’s why you’ve never been more than an assistant.”

you're evil

That night the teens all go hangout at a party. One of the guys, Frank, is killed while he is walking home from the party.

Victim #1

Victim #1

The next day the police are studying the scene and trying to figure out what could have done this. The police station’s janitor, an emigrant from the Carpathian Mountains, looks at the photos and determines that it was a werewolf that did it. In his hometown “human beings possessed by wolves” are common, so he declares that nothing else could have killed the boy.

wolfman

The next day, Tony goes back for a second session in which he tells the doctor that he feels like something is wrong with him. The doctor brushes it off and Tony continues on his way. That day his principal calls him into her office and tells him how happy she is with the improvement. She is going to recommend him entry to the State University.

padme-youre-breaking-my-heart-gif-1

I know this won’t end well

It really gets me because he is so hopeful and sweet, yet you know, you know nothing will end well.

ouch Hermione

So Tony is happy, now that he has a future and a ticket to be something. As he walks to class the bell rings, triggering his transformation.

Teenage_werewolf

And he attacks Theresa, his classmate, who is practicing nearby.

I was aTeenage_Werewolf_by_BryanBaugh

Victim #2

Victim #2

Tony flees for his life, and even though he looks wolfish, people recognize him and put out an APB. A reporter goes to his father and girlfriend to find out more about him and get a scoop. Meanwhile, the police follow Tony, siccing dogs after him, but Tony takes them down.

I was a teenage werewolf

In the morning, Tony wakes up in his true form. He tries to talk to Arlene but can’t get anywhere with her as she is too freaked. He then runs down to Dr. Brandon’s office to get his help.  Dr. Brandon lies to Tony, telling him he will help him but in reality injects him with the serum. Tony starts to transform when the phone rings and it causes Tony to go berserk, attacking the Dr. and assistant. Right then the police charge in and take Tony out (even though they don’t use silver bullets. Although they don’t need to as he isn’t a true werewolf but a manmade one). When they do so, Tony returns. But dead.

Doesn’t it just get you in the feels?

right in the feels broken heart

It’s just so sad. He wanted the help, he wanted to be better; but just went to the wrong person and everything in his life went downhill.

aw cry

This was one of the films created by studios to branch into the teenage crowd. They would do “Creature Double Features” at movie theaters (as shown in The Blob) and drive ins. They were usually short films and teenagers were the focal characters as that was who they were trying to appeal to. Other films were The Blob (1958), Invasion of the Saucer MenI Was a Teenage FrankensteinBlood of DraculaHow to Make a MonsterVillage of the Giantsetc. 

Here is a facebook cover I made one year, as part of my countdown to Halloween

1957i_was_teenage_werewolf

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To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart

For the previous post, go to Let Them Fight

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For more on werewolves, go to A Monster Race

For more mad scientists, go to In Their Proper Place

For more remakes given a teenage twist, go to You’re Just Too Good To Be True