The Mad Scientist Blogathon

What is it about “mad scientists ” that is so appealing to film audiences? Is it their crazy ideas that fascinates?  Or maybe, it is their passion for possibilities of the unthinkable.  Real scientists like Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla, or Leonardo Da Vinci were thought “mad” at times too. Their ideas shocked their contemporaries; and yet, their passions eventually changed our perception of our world which resulted in changing our lives for the better too. It is only natural that we find ourselves drawn to these “mad” geniuses. Christina Wehner and Ruth from Silver Screenings  invited bloggers to write a post about a mad scientist from the movies. Please use the link  below to read more blogs on movie scientists of all sorts:

https://christinawehner.wordpress.co

https://silverscreenings.org/2017/09/10/movie-scientist-blogathon-day-3-recap-the-lonely/

My original “mad scientist” was Doctor Frankenstein from the Mary Shelley’s book and from the multiple film incarnations of him. I also love comedies. Logically, I was going to write a post about Mel Brooks‘ Hilarious Young Frankenstein. However, as I was watching Igor (pronounced I-Gor not E-Gor) looking for a human brain, I had a better idea…Brains….the Human brain.

What if Dr. Frankenstein took the brain and put in in a dead body? I mean a body that wasn’t pieced together from many body parts. Just pick a whole dead body and put in a “good” brain.  Or, as Brain Surgeon Doctor Micheal Hfuhruhurr (Steve Martin) said:

Ladies and gentlemen, I can envision a day when the brains of brilliant men can be kept alive in the bodies of dumb people.

So instead of Young Frankenstein (1974), my post will be about another hilarious movie scientist, Dr. Hfuhruhurr, in the film, The Man Wiith Two Brains (1983).  This is the third of four movies that Carl Reiner directed that starred comedic, mastermind Steve Martin:

  1. The Jerk (1979)
  2. Dead Men Don’t Ware Plaid (1982)
  3. The Man With Two Brains (1983)
  4. All of Me (1984)

The three comedy writers who wrote The Man With Two Brains also wrote the screenplay for Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid: Carl Reiner, Steve Martin and George Gale. This movie mostly spoofs  horror films of by gone years. I feel it is only proper to mention each of the films since they not only inspired The Man With Two Brains; but, they have “mad” scientists who should not be ignored in a blog that honors them.

  • Donavan’s Brain (1953)
  • Blood Devils (1970)
  • They Saved Hitler’s Brian (1968)
  • The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1983)

A Brief look of these Four Horror Movies that Influenced The Man With Two Brains: All movie trailers are added at the end of this post. 

This first one, Donovan’s Brain, stars Nancy Davis. I think this is interesting because she will become the future First Lady married to President Ronald Reagan. In this film, she is marry to a kindly doctor who keeps a criminal’s brain alive; however, the evil brain slowly takes over the doctor’s mind and body.

The second movie is known as Blood Devils in the United States and Beast of Blood in the United Kingdom. This one is a rare treat because it is a Filipino Horror flick that is Dubbed in English. This movie has a disfigured evil doctor on an island who loves making zombies by transplanting heads. He keeps the head and body of a man-beast alive. The head controls its detached body. The last scene in this movie trailer is a funny due to the dubbing process.

Third movie has one of the most unique titles that I ever heard: They Saved Hitler’s Brain. Besides the title, the making of this movie is unique too.  They had a theatrical release of this 70-minute movie in 1963. Then in 1968, the movie distributor asked UCLA students to add 20-minutes more footage to the ending. This was adapted for television. According to this movie, Hitler didn’t shoot himself in the head. His Nazis henchmen smuggled his living head to an island near a country, Mandoras , in South America to be attached when the Third Reich could be revived. Hence, it prompted another movie title: The Madmen of Mandoras.

The last horror film to influence the comedy writers of The Man With Two Brains is The Brain That Would Not Die (1983).  This time the mad scientist has a girlfriend whose head is decapitated in a car wreck.  He keeps her head alive while she begs him to allow her to die. When he tells her he knows what he is doing because he has done it before.  Even though he created a living mess with the poor guy.  She really begins to hate her boyfriend as he goes lurking for a body to attach to her head.  He is little choosy too because his looks for victims at a burlesque show and a beauty pageant. The head really hates it when he decides to killed an old ex-girlfriend for a body. The head nags him so much, he tapes her mouth shut.

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These four movies influenced the making of The Man With Two Brains. In this film, we meet “mad scientist” or should I say mad Brain Surgeon, Doctor Hfuhruhurr who perfected the “cranial screw-top” brain surgery. He describes his over inflated talents  to a reporter in this way:

My brilliant research in brain transplantation is unsurpassed, and will probably make my name live beyond eternity.

When he asks the reporter to read his statement back, he asked him to remove the word “probably” because it made him sound to “wishy, washy.”

Dr. Hfuhruhurr is a widower who still grieves for the lost of his wife and soul mate. He explains to the reporter that a gardener, Ramon, gave him a Barbie doll that was made with his dead wife’s hair. He keeps the doll on the dash of his car. While driving he explains to the reporter. Suddenly, he accidentally hits Delores Bennett ( Kathleen Turner) with his car. He immediately goes to help her and tells a four-year little girl, who witnessed the accident, to go for help. Carl Reiner says this is his favorite scene in the whole movie because that amazing little girl, who could not read, memorized her lines so well that the scene was shot in one take.  The following video is that scene and many more chuckles too.

He operates to save her life. I love the cats that keep showing up during surgery.  Doctor “H” yells at them to “Scat! Damn cats around here.” Little does he know, Delores is a recent widower. She is looking for another wealthy man to marry in order to scam him from all of his money; until, he “accidentally” dies and will leave her even more money through his insurance which is left to her through his Will.

Kathleen Turner is so smooth, sexy, and decadent in this movie.  It was an eye opener for audiences to see her in a comedy after seeing her explosive portrayal as Matty Walker in noir thriller, Body Heat (1983). She claimed she wanted to do a comedy because Delores is so outrageous and “it wasn’t a token female role.”  Besides, the fact she could work with creative funny men like Reiner and Martin must have attracted her too.

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They marry.  But you feel this gold digger is going to be wife in name only. After the preacher pronounces them man and wife and that he may kiss the bride, she turns her cheek to the Doctor ” H” to kiss and says, “Not now.”  He is sexually frustrated for six weeks; before, he tells his new wife that he is going on  a business trip that can easily be a substitute for a honeymoon too. They travel to Venice where unbeknownst to them there is an “elevator killer” terrorizing the women of the city.  Here he meets another “mad scientist” Doctor Alfred Necessiter (David Warner). I love to watch Warner’s work in anything.  He is such a great actor.

Doctor Necessiter discovered a radical technique to store living brains of the victims of the Elevator Killer. Because the killer injects the victims with window cleaner, it allows the doctor to keep the brain alive. However, the brains only have a limited time to live in the liquid before it dies. In addition, he has perfected a method of transplanting a human brain in a gorilla.

While visiting the Necessiter, Dr. H finds he can communicate with one of the ladies brains. She has the sweetest voice (uncredited Sissy Spacek) and although, no one can hear hear her she communicates to Dr. H using telepathy. He is intrigued and wants to help her out of her darkness. He later learns the brain’s name is Annie Uumellmahaye. You just know by the unusual names that they are meant for each other: Hfuhruhurr and Uumellmahaye 💖

Carl Reiner wanted Annie and Dr. H to have a loving romance that time and memories could not prevent. He believes “Random Harvest” (1942) to be the greatest of movie love story. It stars Greer Garson and Ronald Colman This movie inspired the greatest romance of man and brain in the movie.

 

He decides to kidnap Annie and keep her until he finds a suitable dead body to attach her head. The trip to the morgue turns up some pretty bad options. He confessed to Dr. Necessiter  “I cannot F**k a gorilla.” Unfortunately, Dr. “H” decides to murder a woman for her body.

One of the funniest moments in this film is when jealous Delores follows her husband who goes out on a date with Annie’s stolen brain. Their confrontation is hilarious.

I am not going to spoil this movie but writing what happens from this point. I will say it has more surprises; and, it stays hilarious to the end.  Michael Hfuhruhurr represents all kinds of scientist.  He is good, mad and lonely. He is a perfect match for the Scientists Blogathon (2017).  Again, thank you Christina Wehner and Ruth from Silver Screenings for allowing me to add this post late, despite Hurricane Irma (2017). I have decided to watch all five of these horror flicks Halloween week, one for each day.

I hope you will enjoy watching this very funny horror movie.  If you want to read more about a variety of film scientists in this Blogathon, please use the following links below.

https://christinawehner.wordpress.com

https://silverscreenings.org/2017/09/10/movie-scientist-blogathon-day-3-recap-the-lonely/

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The Man With Two Brains was inspired by the following movies. Here are the Trailers

 

 

Carl Reiner said he loved the movie, Random Harvest (1942). It is a tender love story. That tenderness inspired him as he help write somebody of the movie script for Man With Two Brains (1987).

Reference Links:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085894/

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/brain_that_wouldnt_die

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0265870/

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0065456/

http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/17516/Donovan-s-Brain/

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Random_Harvest_(film)

 

 

 

 

The 2017 Reel Infatuation Blogathon: Jamie and Claire Fraser

My literary crush is actually on a married couple.  A husband and wife team by the names of Jamie and Claire Fraser from the book series Outlander.  It may sound a bit odd to have a crush on a couple; but, it is more common than you think. They are not my first couple crush.  My first couple crush was on 1980s T.V. show, Hart to Hart.  Then another couple crush came from watching The Thin Man movies on TMC.

 

 

All these couples have some common elements in their relationships. Their spouse is their best friend, they live an adventurous life, and there is always some mystery or act they must perform to protect each other or society as a whole.  I loved the dynamics of their relationship and especially their intimacy or chemistry. They are ways smart, witty and fashionable.  I am in good company with this particular infatuation of Jamie and Claire Fraser because there are millions of fans following  Outlander books by brilliant author Diana Gabaldon and its adaptation on the cable network, Starz.

Outlander (1991) is not only the first book of the series, it is Gabaldon’s first novel too. Can you believe it? An author’s first book becomes a best seller and still is a best seller today. It happens but not often. Presently, there are a total of eight books in this historical, multi-genre series. Fans are thrilled by the near release of a Book 9, and promised Book 10 before the series is completed  As a matter of fact, Book #9, Go Tell The Bees That I am Gone, is a work in progress. No release date in 2017 has been announced. However, Gabaldon graciously posts excerpts of this book, for her fans, as she continues to work on it. To view them on her site, just click on the link below:

http://www.dianagabaldon.com/books/outlander-series/book-nine-outlander-series/

 

I and all fans are forever grateful for Gabaldon’s literary genius in the creation of these two fictional characters: Scottish Highlander, Jamie Fraser and his time travelling wife, Claire Randall.  To understand their phenomenal affect on women, it is important to analyze the entirety of Jamie and Claire’s characters, the circumstances that brought them together; and the kind of relationship they eventually develop.

The story begins:

Claire Randall (played by the lovely and talented Caitriona Balfe) is a married WWII combat nurse, who after the war, is trying to rekindle the magic that was in her marriage, before the war. She and her husband, Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies), plan a romantic trip to Scotland.  It is there that she accidentally time travels from 1945 to 1743.

How does this time travel come about?

Frank Randall was a MI6 operative (a British Spy/Special Forces) during WWII.  After the War, Frank becomes a history professor at Oxford. But, before he starts his new civilian job, he takes Claire on a second honeymoon to be reacquainted as a couple. They arrive on their second honeymoon in Scotland on Halloween (Samhain day: Ghosts of the dead are able to mingle with the living).

Unfortunately, un-romantic Frank spends most of his time doing research on his own family’s history.  There are times when Claire must persuade her husband to abandon his research for more intimate, physical couplings with her. In other words, he seems to be slightly resistant to take the opportunities to have sex with his wife. I wonder if he is hiding something? Maybe the fact he was or is a spy makes me suspicious of him.

On a rainy night, as Frank is returning (alone) to his and Claire’s room, he literally bumps into the ghost of 18th century of Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan).  Frank finds Jamie staring up at a second story window.  Through the window, he can see Claire as she brushes her curly hair. Frank is totally shaken when the spirit passes so close as to pass through his shoulder. When he later discusses the incident to Claire, he reluctantly confesses that he might have seen a ghost. Then on second thought, he asks Claire if she tended a Scottish soldier. At first Claire remembers one that was scared of needles.  Then, she realizes Frank is asking her if she had a Scottish lover.

Many fans love Frank as a character; and, I admire the actor, Tobias Menzies, who skillfully plays both roles as lovely Frank and his villainous ancestor, Black Jack Randall; but, I suspect there is something inherently wrong with Frank’s character.

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While Frank searches through dusty old records with his friend, Reverend Wakefield (James Fleet), Claire tries to keep busy by searching for medicinal herbs. Mrs Graham (Tracey Wikinson) who is the housekeeper for Reverend Wakefield sees how bored Claire is and invites her to tea in the kitchen.  For a bit of fun, Mrs. Graham offers to read the tea leaves at the bottom of Claire’s cup.  The reading is very confusing to Mrs Graham; but, she continues to reveal it to Claire. She tells Claire that she will be married to two men at the same time, (bigamy?).  Also during this tea reading, Claire is informed that her husband (Which husband?) will not “stray from her bed” to be with other women (Boy, did she get that wrong). So much for tea readings!

Frank decides to do some voyeurism just before dawn. He is told by the Reverend Wakefield that on the Autumn solstice, a local ladies club (Druids) dress in white with lanterns, dance and sing, welcoming the new season.  Mrs Graham is one of them. He convinces Claire to secretly watch this ancient ritual with him.  They hide as they watch this mysterious performance. Once it is over, they begin to investigate the Standing Stones in an area called Craigh na Dun where all of this took place. Claire finds some very pretty blue flowers, maybe Forget-Me-Nots, growing very close to the face of one Stone. When one of the young dancing girls returns, they hide again and soon leave to keep from being discovered. Later, Frank announces he has more documents to research with Reverend Wakefield.  While they research, Claire decides to go back to the Stones alone and gather samples of those blue flowers.

Once, she begins to gather them, she hears a humming noise coming from the Stones. She places her hands on the stone and feels a vibration. Then, she feels herself falling among chaos and screams. The noise and pain is so overwhelming she passes out. When she awakes, the terrain has changed and her car is missing. Then, in disbelief, she sees British soldiers running through the woods. Next thing she knows, they are shooting at her.  While trying to escape, she runs into their captain, Black Jack Randall.  At first she is confused and thinks it is Frank. But after he assaults her, she definitely knows: he may look like Frank, but this man isn’t Frank.

Outlander 2014
Outlander 2014

She is saved by a stinky Highlander.  As Randall attempts to rape her, the Highlander comes up from behind and knocks him out.  Then, he grabs Claire and covers her mouth to keep her quite. A British patrol is very close.  Even though Claire is fighting for her life, the Highlander does not want to be discovered, so, he knocks her out with pummel of his sword as he hides them behind a tree as the British patrols passes them undetected. He then places her limp body on his horse.

Jamie Fraser Meets Claire Randall

He takes her to a cottage that is full of stinky, dirty Highlanders hiding from the British. These men are as shocked to see her as she is to see them. They are trying to find a logicial reason for her strange appearance: Claire, in her soiled 20th century dress, must be in her undergarments.  She is indecent; and, therefore, she must be a whore.  As she stands there in shock and being gawked at, she overheard a few of them discussing a young lad’s injuries.  Soon, their leader, Dougal, turns his attention to her and tries to figure out if she is a French spy or a whore.

He knows they have precious little time before they will be found by he British; so, he must make quick decisions about the lad and the strange looking lass. The young man’s shoulder is out of place and is in too much pain to guide a horse.  They are willing to take the chance to cripple him in order to set his shoulder or else they must leave him behind.  At first, Claire tries to keep quite, but the healer/nurse in her will not stand by and allow them to break the young man’s bones.  She yells at them to stop.  And like the combat nurse, she is, she takes over and properly sets Jamie Fraser’s shoulder.  Their first date is riding on horse together, in the rain, for two days.  That is when I knew that I was totally hooked on their love story.

In Season I, Claire befriends the love smitten Jamie.  He thinks she is a recent widow which explains, to him, why she is so sad and cries for Frank.  Claire needs Jamie to help her get back to Craigh na Dun and the Standing Stones. She must travel back to the future and back to Frank.

However, sadistic Captain Black Randall demands the right to arrest her and to interrogate her as a French spy. Jamie reveals his dark history with the Captain.  He tells Claire that he is a wanted for murder. Black Jack had Jamie arrested for stopping him for trying to rape Jenny (Jamie’s sister). That charge was for Obstruction of Justice.  They whipped him and then arrested him.  While Jamie is imprisoned, Black Jack has him fogged with a hundred lashes two separate times within a week.  Most men would have died from the injuries.   Jamie was flogged once for trying to escape and once for stealing a loaf of bread. He finally escapes for a second time; but, a soldier is killed during the process and Jamie is blamed.

To keep Claire safe from Black Jack, Jamie agrees to marry her.  With Claire as a Scottish citizen, Black Jack would need permission from the laird (Jamie’s uncle) or chieftain of the clan territory before he could arrest her. All awhile, Claire is still trying to figure out how to get back to the standing stones; so, she can go back to Frank and her 20th century life.  At this point, Claire and Jamie have become best friends. He has become her only trusted friend. But, she does not love him. Yes, she finds herself falling in love with him despite her best efforts not too.

To keep her out of the clutches of the evil Captain, she does marry Jamie. Soon she finds herself making the choice to stay with jamie in a dangerous time period or going back to the future with its comforts and Frank.  Let’s s face it, 20th century Claire really sticks out in 18th century Scotland; and, it does not take long for the locals to find a reason for Claire’s odd ways; so, they accuse her of being a witch. When Claire confesses to Jamie that she is not a witch but a time traveller, Jamie believes her, but; jokingly says it would have been easier to help her if she had been a witch.  All of this action takes place during  the first half of season I.  In Season II (book #2 Dragonfly in Amber), we find the Fraser’s living in France trying to stop the disastrous Jacobite Rebellion and Claire’s return to the 20th century.  Season III (book #3 Voyager) begins this Fall of 2017. Here we will see what the couple has been up during their 20 year separation; and, their reunion with much more adventures in store for them.

 

Jamie and Claire love each other, unconditionally. Jamie loves Claire when she endangers their lives, swears like a soldier, tests his patience over her devotion to Frank, or tells him outlandish stories about time travelling and the future. He loves her when he questions her sanity or believes she might be a witch.  He is there, through it all, for her.  He believes and trusts her. If actions speak louder than words, then Jamie has proved his love and devotion from the sheer number of times he risks his own life to save hers.

But the same can be said of Claire.  She too risks her life to save his.  As a combat nurse, she learned early the dangers of helping people, risking your life for stranger or fellow solider. It is in her DNA. Jamie is not as stranger. She would never have a second thought to die for him, if need be.  They give 150% to each other. Claire made a difficult decision in choosing Jamie over Frank.  She not only changed husbands but a whole way of life that is much harsher and dangerous compared to the life she left.

They nearly always puts the other one first. Not only do they risks their life for each other, they are willing to live a painful life without each other, if it will keep their unborn child safe.  Again, they prove this when Jamie painfully guides Claire to Craigh na Dun and the Standing Stones in order for her to go back to her time, not once, but twice!

Outlander Season 2 2016

Even when they are separated by 200 years, and haven’t seen each other for 20 years, their love for each other only grows stronger. In contrast, Frank and Claire were separated by a few war years and needed a second honeymoon to try to rekindle the magic in their relationship. When death beckons either Jamie or Claire to leave this world, it is their love for each other that holds them back and from crossing over. Their relationship is made up of  loyalty, faithfulness, trust, love, forgiveness and bravery.

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Jamie and Claire Fraser give hope to every potential relationship that true love does exists; but, it only happens with the “right” person. Frank was a good man; but, not the right man for Claire.

Jamie and Claire Fraser’s relationship also reminds us that it is possible to be happy in an unhappy situation and having a true friend maybe more valued than having a lover.  It is important for a person to be well loved, and feel home in the arms of their love one…at home and in a safer place.  For the millions of fans like myself, Jamie and Claire’s relationship represents our desire to be home, with our love; so, no matter where we are or where we go, as long as we share that mutual love, we are home.

This is a post for the 2017 Reel Infatuation Blogathon hosted by Ruth of Silver Screenings and Maedez from Font and Frock. From June 23rd through the 25th, use the following link to find more postings on character crushes ❤️

https://reelinfatuation.wordpress.com/

Reel Infatuation 2017

I started blogging last June of 2016. My second post, Why is Jamie Fraser the King of Men? would have been my first Blogathon entry; but, I missed the date for The 2016 Reel Infatuation Blogathon. This year, I did not want to make that same mistake. So, I saved some bits from last year and wrote some new bits for this year; and, the result is this post. My crush is on a fictional couple:  Outlander’s Claire and Jamie Fraser. Thank you Madeza from Front and Frock and Ruth from Silver Screenings, they have graciously extended the invitation for for this post.

 

 

Where Would We Be Without Villains? The Great Villain Blogaton 2017

Seriously, why would Billionaire Bruce Wayne ever need to put on the Batman suit if it wasn’t for the flavor of the week, villain?  Of course, he could wear it for Halloween or to attend a ComicCon convention, or even if he is a bit kinky in the bedroom.  But let’s face it, without a villain, a big part of who Wayne is would fade away.  The Batman would retire and not be needed anymore. He would probably end up as a CEO of various corporations worrying about profit margins and his trophy wife’s spending budget. The fact is that day agendas of the superrich is not as exciting as stopping a maniac from destroying the world.  The spice of life is making the world a better place for everyone and all living creatures. Simply, in the world of the arts, we need villains; so, men and women can become heroes.

One of my favorite Batman (1966 -1968) villains is Vincent Price as the Egghead.  To me, Price is the ultimate Villain.  He has great screen present with that low menacing voice and an evil laugh to die for. According to many actors, playing a villain is a lot of fun.  I used to laugh at how Egghead loved to pronounce words that started with “ex” as egg.  Like the word, excellent would be pronounced egg-cellent or egg-actly for exactly.  There is a humorous story about Price on the Batman set. He actually started an egg fight with the other actors and crew.  Price must have been a lot of fun to work with.  I often wondered if they cast him as Egghead because he was a was an actual gourmet chef, besides being an remarkable actor. Sometimes, villains can resemble other villains too.  Don’t you think Tom Hardy’s Bad boy Bronson looks a little like Egghead in these pictures?

Now that I have established the need for villains, on to the next questions: How is a villain defined; and, what is an example of a great villain? To find a working definition, I used the meaning of the word, nemesis.  In Greek mythology, Nemesis is the Greek goddess of indignation against undeserved good fortune. She is the goddess of fairness and a balanced proportion of reward.  In other words, she is the goddess of “sour grapes” and “that’s not fair” emotions.  This is the basic ingredient to the making of a villain.  It is also something that all humans have experienced, to some degree.

So, I believe it is safe to say that there must be a little villain in all of us.  You probably heard the Native American story of two dogs fighting within the soul of every man.  One is evil and the other is good. The kind of man you are depends on which dog wins the fight: one is a hero and the other is a villain.

Maybe this is why we have such guilty pleasure while watching our favorite villain on film.  The elements of a great villain is purely conjecture. However, I believe they must share similar characteristics with the hero.  Usually, they have:

  1. A Brilliant Mind
  2. Are Wealthy (at some point)
  3. Obsessive
  4. Have Unique Personality Traits
  5. Ingenious Plans and Strategies
  6. Some Minions or A Sidekick
  7. A Public or Secret Identity
  8. A Strong sense of a Wrong that must be Righted
  9. A Willingness To Sacrifice All In Order To Win

My favorite film villains are on a long list.  However, as I mentioned before, Vincent Price is at the top.  Price appeared in over 100 movies and has over 200 film credits to his name. They range from documentaries to voice overs. His voice overs include Saturday Morning cartoons, Scooby-Doo and the Thirteen Ghosts (1985);  animated Disney movie, The Great Mouse Detective (1986) and Tim Burton’s short Vincent (1982). This also includes work in the music industry.  For instance, his voice was recorded on rocker Alice Cooper’s Welcome To My Nightmare album and in pop star Michael Jackson’s Thriller (1982).

When it comes to film acting,  he is in superb company with the likes of Sir Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.  As a matter of fact, all three of them appeared in two horror movies together: Scream and Scream Again (1970) and House of Long Shadows (1983). Lee and Price were in a total of 4 films together and shared the same birthday, May 27th.  Price is ten years senior to Lee. Crushing’s birthday was May 26th and was 2 years younger than Price.

With a film career that spanned over 50 years, there are many great movies starring the villainous Price. To choose only one as a favorite is near impossible. However, there is one movie that I thought went beyond the pale in regards to horror movies. I first saw it in the 80s even though it came out in 1971: The Abominable Dr. Phibes.

This movie is described as a comedy-horror movie.  I did laugh quite often watching it, as well as being shocked and “grossed out…”   Yes, it truly was a lot of fun. The movie begins with a hooded dark figure who is playing a console organ on a platform with a red curtain background.  After all the credits roll by, the hooded figure finishes his song and steps off the platform onto a ballroom floor.

There are some doll-like figures with various musical instruments in their hands.  He (Phibes) places coin in a slot and turns a crank. They start to play their instruments while he begins to lead the small orchestra into playing a beautiful melody.  Then, a door opens and a gorgeous exotic women (Virginia North) sauntered down the steps. She approaches the conductor (Price); and, they begin to waltz around the room as the orchestra of robot dolls continues to play.

Once this new tune stops, the lady leaves.  The hooded figure lowers a covered bird-cage through a hole in the ballroom floor.  On the lower level is a car garage.  We see a fashionably dress lady receiving the cage.  As she places it in a car, the dark hooded man takes a seat in the back of the car.

In the next scene, an elderly gentleman is reading a newspaper in bed. His apartment is lavishly furnished.  Once he is asleep, we see a ceiling skylight window being slowly opened.  Gloved hands are gently lowering the covered bird-cage into his room. A few minutes later, the empty cage and its cover is pulled up by the same rope that lowered it into the room. The sleeping gentleman is awaken by an odd scratchy, sucky noise.  Soon, we see him being attacked by bats. The man is bitten to death by hundreds of bats in his London flat.

When Scotland Yard shows up, they are completely shocked and puzzled by the bats in his room and with the manner of his death. As inspector Trout (Peter Jeffery) says it: He was shredded to death.  Right here in the heart of London. Tom, the other inspector, remarks that it is the second strange death of a doctor in a week.  The other doctor/victim was discovered with boils all over his body made from Bee stings.  Inspector Trout asks: Bees in his Library?

So, 34 minutes into the movie, we have 4 doctors murdered in bizarre ways; and, Dr. Phibes has not uttered the first word; but, his music is great.  During another murder, a clue is found by the inspectors.  A necklace with a Hebrew symbol etched on an emblem was accidentally dropped at one of the crime scenes. It symbolized one of the ten curses/ plagues that God delivered to a pharaoh of ancient Egypt.  Which is kind of funny because Vincent Price played a baddie working for the same pharaoh in The Ten Commandments (1956) with Charlton Heston.

The inspectors are told by Dr. Vesalius, Joseph Cotton, that he found the connection to all murdered doctors, which included himself.  We learn that nine doctors had the same patient; Victoria Phibes; and, she died six minutes into surgery. Her husband, Dr. Phibes, raced to the hospital to be by her side; but, had a car accident.  His car plummets over a cliff, catches fire and blows up. Vesailus was the head surgeon.

Did he really die in that accident? Was that Dr. Phibes body in the coffin?  Or, was it someone else? It has been suggested that this is a spoof about avenging oneself against the medical industry.  In light of the medical profession today, I can understand the analogy.  Just a note, this is not the first time Price and Cotton were in the same movie. Cotton starred in Laura (1944) along with costar Price.

Without spoiling the ending for those who have not seen this film, I really urge you to watch this 70s movie classic.  Yes, it is dated; and, yes, the graphics may look silly compared to today’s films made with CGI and green screens; however, it is still a fun experience to watch and when it is all said and done, that is all that matters anyway.

This post is part of The Great Villain Blogathon 2017.   Please read about more film Villains using the following links.  Many thanks to the three blog sites who hosted The Great Villain  Blogathan 2017: Shadows and Satin, Sliver Screenings and Speakeasy.

https://hqofk.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/the-great-villain-blogathon-2017-day-2-recap/

https://shadowsandsatin.wordpress.com

The Great Villain Blogathon 2017 – Day 2 Recap

Villains 2017

I do not own any of these images

References

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villain

 

Blogger Tags and Mentions

  • Dear Blogger,

You have been Tagged along with 7 other bloggers for recognition of your posts about the Entertainment Industry.

This is the 2017 Mentions and Tag Event


I too was Tagged by another Blogger, Realweegiemidget or Gill, as I know her.  She is a wonderful blogger and friend who has taken me under her wing as a newbie blogger.  Without her, I may have not have had the courage to blog. Like all of you, I love movies; so before I blogged, I followed Gill’s hilarious and informative posts on movies and T.V. shows. Most of her movie reviews are from the 1980s to the present. I have learn much from this “expat” from Scotland who lives in Finland with her Darlin’ husband and super cool Step-Dudes. I have to mention that she gave me an appreciation for the T.V. Show Dallas through her bloggings and Dallas Blogathon.

Now, that you know who Tagged me, most of you are probably wondering what this is all about.  Okay, in a nutshell, according to the forces of the universe in Social Media, getting your blog Mentioned and Tagged is a good thing. It could expose your site to more readers. Plus, it helps us to better network within our blogging community. In addition, it allows bloggers to say a friendly Hello and get to know some of their peers.   Either way, it is a fun way to recognize other bloggers wh you love to read.

I hope you join in the fun and write a post (copy and paste, if you like) and Tag 8 other bloggers. In your post please say who tagged you (me) and something kind about my blog or why you follow me. Below, I will share with you all, my category favorites.

Remember, the 8 Bloggers you Tag will Tag you back and share something about your blog in their post. Once you post your favorite films in the list provided, don’t forget to tag me too. I look forward to reading your lists!

Please copy and paste as much as you like of this post to help you organize your Tagging post for others, especially the questions template for the various categories. There is a “clean” one at the end of this post.

Here are My Movie Mentions/ Fravorites:

Note: The first 3 questions are Christmas/ Ho;iday Related..even though we are in 2017 ….movies can be of any genre or year.

  1. All I Want For Christmas is You/ Which DVD/Blu-Ray would you like to receive this year?

I love these old classic horror films. These two collections will come out in May of 2017 on Blue-Ray.  Both have 6 movies a piece. The last movie has Abbott and Costello meeting these monsters.

A) The Mummy Complete Legacy Collection (2017)  There are six Movies from 1932 – 1955. .

B) Dracula Complete Legacy Collection (2017)  There are six Movies from 1931 – 1938.

2) Jingle Bell Rock/ What is your Favorite soundtrack or song from a Christmas film?

A) Charlie Brown Christmas  (1965) I love the soundtrack to this television special; so, I had to include it. Guaraldi’s  music really sets the mood while you are wrapping presents.

B) Scrooge (1970) Great songs to compliment Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol. Strangely, my favorite tune is “Thank you Very Much.” It is sung in a possible future at Scrooge’s funeral…meaning, he done a nice thing by dying.  Horrible I Know; but, great song.

 

3) Let it Snow/ What are your 3 of your favorite Holiday Movies? 

A) Christmas Vacation (1989) Need I say more.  This one hit home about family gatherings over the Holidays. It humorously captured the stress of the Holiday.  When Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) frantically declares that his family was on “the threshold of Hell,” I knew that this was my number # 1 Christmas movie.

B) The Lost Christmas (2011) This is an unusual Holiday movie.  It is gritty, mysterious and magical at the same time. Eddie Izzard stars as a homeless man who wakes up without prior knowledge about himself; but, who understands and “knows things” about the perfect strangers around him.

C) Miracle on 34th Street (1947) Edmund Gwen’s portrayal of St. Nick is perfect. I used to believe that he was Santa Claus, moonlighting on a movie set.  This lovely story of a child’s need to believe in Santa Claus is just sublime.  Watching adorable Natalie Wood, and the beautiful Maureen O’Hara and handsome, John Payne only adds to the charm of this sweet Christmas movie.

4) Donald Trump/ List A film that divides opinion…

I picked Locke (2014) as my dividing movie. During the whole movie, Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) is driving his car on a journey that he is not sure he wants to take; but, he knows he must.  We listen in on his phone conversations for 90 minutes as he is pressured to meet several deadlines at the same time. We listen in as he solves problems and makes life altering decisions with people from every corner of his life, past and present.

I thought it was a brilliant piece film making; and, Tom Hardy’s performance is totally mesmerizing and believable as Locke. I admired Ivan Locke; and, more importantly, I cared for him. Hardy deserved at least a nod from the Academy for this performance.

Even though I loved the creative way this movie was made, not every one felt the same way.  Many thought it was boring and a total waste of time. Hence, a movie that divides us.

5) Brexit/ What is your Favorite British Film…

Shakespeare in Love (1998) has all the things I love to see in a movie: the Arts, romance, humor, history, great acting, lovely costumes, and gorgeous settings.  And as if that was not enough, Shakespeare’s sonnets and poetry 🙂

6) Fidel Castro | A film that divides opinion…/ Which film do consider as culturally significant?

The Big Lembowski (1998) is a comedy/crime drama by the Cohen Brothers.  It was a flop when it was first released.  It was ten years later before it became a cult movie. Now, this movie has a c following that the Rocky Horror Picture Show people would envy.  The Dude (Jeff Bridges) just wants to get his frickin’ rug back:  That’s all, mannnn. It’s all about the Dude and his friends who just want to bowl; but life keeps throwing unexpected bowling balls curve balls at their “just is” happy philosophy.  But, the “Dude Abides” after a decade and now, according to the Rolling Stone, The Big Lembowski is “the most most worshipped comedy of its generation.” That rocks!

7) Starbucks/ What is your Favorite Film Franchise?

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Yes, it is coming back for a 5th installment.  The action packed franchise will once again save the world. Too bad all the adventure is in the past.    Reports have confirmed the Older Indy (Harrison Ford) will be cracking his whip once more for his fans as he dodges snakes and crazy fascists.

8) McDonald’s Happy Meal/ Your Favorite Childhood Film?

Doctor Suess’ book is wonderful as it teaches children (and some adults) the true meaning of the Christmas spirit.  I adore the television version of How The Ginch Stole Christmas (1964) and Ron Howard’s movie The Ginch (2000) version with Funny man, Jim Carry.

9) ‘Cheeky Nandos’/ What is your Favorite Comedy?A

Mel Brooks is a comedic genius.  He spoofed two classic horror movies, Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935) in this one movie. Due to this comedy, I still cannot listen to the song, Puttin’ on The Ritz, without busting out in laughter. RIP Peter Boyle, Gene Wilder, Marty Feldmen, Terri Garr, Madeline Kahn, and Kenneth Mars.

10) A Must See MovieWhich  film would you want all of your followers to watch?

Any movie with John Garfield.  No great actor should ever be forgotten.

And The Tagged Bloggers Are:

  1. Ruth at Silver Screenings
  2. Mike at Mike’s Take on The Movies
  3. Crystal at In Old Days of Classic Hollywood
  4. Auroras at Once Upon a Screen
  5. Kristina at Speakeasy
  6. Kgothatjo at KG’s Movie Rants
  7. Charlene at Charlene’s Mostly Classic Movie Reviews
  8. Fritzi at Movies Silently

So looking forward to reading your replies… now you’ve been tagged!!!!

And the template…. Cut and Paste (or write in your time)

All I Want For Christmas is You | Which DVD/Blu-Ray would you like to receive this year?

Jingle Bell Rock | Favorite soundtrack or song from a Christmas film?

Let it Snow | 3 of your favorite Christmas films…

Donald Trump | A film that divides opinion…

Brexit | Favorite British Film…

Fidel Castro | A film that divides opinion… A film considered culturally significant

Starbucks | Favorite Film Franchise…

McDonald’s Happy Meal | Favorite Childhood Film…

‘Cheeky Nandos’ | Favorite Comedy

One film you want all of your followers to watch…

Why is Jamie Fraser the King of Men? The Reel Infatuation Blogathon

What literary character do I have a crush?  That’s an easy question to answer.  It is Highlander-warrior, James Fraser. To be exact, Outlander’s James Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser (JAMMF). I can confidently say that I am not alone in this sentiment.  There are millions of fans of the Outlander books by author Diana Gabaldon and its adaptation for a television series on the cable network, Starz.

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Before the first episode aired, Starz promoted the show with several film “shorts.”  These are approximately ten-minute sneak peeks and “behind the scenes” look at the upcoming new show.  Ron Moore (producer, writer) reveled that he thought the most difficult role to cast would be Jamie Fraser. Why? Moore claims that Jamie Fraser is “Bigger than life…he is the King of Men.”  This was the first time I heard Jamie Fraser described in this way. Ironically, this role was not hardest to cast; but, it was the easiest to cast. That is, after Sam Heughan’s Skype interview, and the viewing of his audition tape. The search for Jamie was over. It was over almost as soon as it began.

Not only is Outlander (1991) the first book of the series, it is Gabaldon’s first novel too. Presently, there are a total of eight books in this historical multi-genre series. Fans are thrilled by the promise of a planned total of ten books before the series is completed  As a matter of fact, Book #9, Go Tell The Bees That I am Gone, is a work in progress. No release date in 2017 has been announced. However, Gabaldon graciously posts excerpts of this book, for her fans, as she continues to work on it. To view them on her site, just click on the link below:

http://www.dianagabaldon.com/books/outlander-series/book-nine-outlander-series/

 

So Who Is This Fictional Character: Jamie Fraser?

JAMMF is an 18th century Highlander. He possesses numerous traits and talents.  Here is a list of a few: He is brave, loyal, extremely intelligent, funny, resourceful, educated, mysterious, nobel, an outlaw, honest, has a high tolerance to pain, Scot-stubborn, and completely loveable.  There are weaknesses too; for instance, he is tone-deaf (cannot hear the variations of the notes in music or pleasantly sing a tune), he cannot travel over large bodies water without becoming deathly seasick, and he cannot blink with only one eye.  His physical attributes are varied: he has dark red hair, dark blue eyes, wide smile, stands 6’4″, has a charismatic personality, has a very hot internal body temperature, his back is severely scarred from 200 lashes given as punishment, and is drop dead gorgeous. His magnetism is so strong that most women, and a few men as well, would love to assist him in the removal of his kilt.

 

As magnificent as fictional Jamie Fraser sounds, Sam Heughan’s brilliant portrayal is nearly as remarkable. Jamie’s particular mannerisms are not missed in Heughan’s performances.  It is so eerily perfect that many fans confuse Heughan, the actor, with Jamie, the book character.  Despite this, most critics overlook his screen presence as nothing more than eye candy. Which is a shame because Heughan is definitely a skilled professional who does an astonishing job.  One day in the near future, I hope he will be given the acting accolades he deserves.

So is Heughan’s portrayal of Jamie that remarkable that millions of women around the world are in love with Jamie/Sam?

In part, yes! But, to give proper credit where it is due, you have to look at Gabaldon’s literary genius in the creation of two fictional characters: Jamie and his time travelling wife, Claire.  To understand this phenomenal effect on women, it is important to analyze the entirety of Jamie and Claire characters, the circumstances that brought them together; and the kind of relationship they eventually develop.

The story begins:

Claire Randall (played by the lovely and talented Caitriona Balfe) is a WWII combat nurse. She accidentally time travels from 1945 to 1743. How does this time travel come about?

 

Claire is married to Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies) who was a MI6 operative (a British Spy/Special Forces) during WWII.  After the War, Frank becomes a history professor at Oxford. But, before he starts his new civilian job, he takes Claire on a second honeymoon to be reacquainted as a couple, after the years of separation. They arrive on their second honeymoon in Scotland on Halloween (Samhain day: Ghosts of the dead are able to mingle with the living). Unfortunately, un-romantic Frank spends most of his time doing research on his own family’s history.  There are times when Claire must persuade her husband to abandon his research for more intimate, physical couplings with her. In other words, he seems to be slightly resistant to take the opportunities to have sex with his wife. I wonder if he is hiding something?

 

On a rainy night, as Frank is returning (alone) to his and Claire’s room, he literally bumps into the ghost of 18th century of Jamie Fraser.  Frank finds Jamie staring up at a second story window.  Through the window, he can see Claire as she brushes her curly hair. Frank is totally shaken when the spirit passes so close as to pass through his shoulder. When he later discusses the incident to Claire, he reluctantly confesses that it might have been a ghost; but, on second thought, he suggests that Claire might have had a Scottish lover.  Many fans love Frank as a character; and, I admire the actor, Tobias Menzies, who skillfully plays both roles as lovely Frank and his villainous ancestor, Black Jack Randall; but, I suspect there is something inherently wrong with Frank’s character.

 

While Frank searches through dusty old records with his friend, Reverend Wakefield (James Fleet), Claire tries to keep busy by searching for medicinal herbs. It is while she is having her tea leaves read by Mrs Graham (Tracey Wikinson) who is the housekeeper for Reverend Wakefield.  During the reading of tea leaves that lay in the bottom of the Claire’s cup, she learns she will be married to two men at the same time, bigamy?  Also during this tea reading, Claire is informed that her husband will not stray to other women’s beds (Boy, did she get that wrong). So much for tea readings!

Frank insists on doing some of his own voyeurism just before dawn. He is told by the Reverend Wakefield that on the Autumn solstice, the ladies dress in white with lanterns, dance and sing, welcoming the new season.  He and Claire hide as they watch this mysterious and ancient ritual.  Once it is over, they begin to investigate the Standing Stones where this all took place.  Claire finds some very pretty blue flowers, maybe Forget-me-nots, growing very close to the face of one Stone. They leave quickly, when one of the girls return.   Later, Frank announces he has more documents to research.  Claire decides to go back to the Stones alone and gather samples of those blue flowers.

Once, she begins to gather them, she hears a humming noise coming from the Stones. She places her hands on the stone and feels the vibration. Then, she feels she is falling among chaos and screams. The noise and pain is so overwhelming she passes out. When she awakes, the terrain has changed. Her car is missing. She sees British soldiers running through the woods. Then, she is being shot at and chased by them. She runs into their captain, Black Jack Randall.  At first she is confused and thinks it is Frank. But after he assaults her and nearly rapes her, she definitely knows: he may look like Frank, but that ain’t Frank.

She is saved by a stinky Highlander.  He grabs her behind a tree trying to avoid passing soldiers. Claire tries to scream for help before he cold cocks her in the head with the cluff of his sword.  She is taken to a cottage, full of stinky men who sees her dirty 20th century dress as an undergarment…indecent…whore?  Here, she hears them discusses a young lady’s injuries.  When their leader, Dougal, tries to figure out if she is a spy or what, he knows the British is near; and, they must leave as soon as possible. The young man’s shoulder is out of place.  They may cripple him trying to set it.  If they don’t set it, they have to leave him behind.  At first, Claire tries to keep quite, but the healer/nurse in her will not allow them to break his bones.  She yells at them to stop.  And like the combat nurse, she is, she takes over and properly sets Jamie Fraser’s shoulder.  Their first date…riding on horse, together in the rain for two days.  That is when I knew that I was totally hooked on their story.

Have I lost you yet?

So, again I ask what is it that makes James Fraser so irresistible to happily married Claire? If you look at the some facts concerning Jamie Frazer you might wonder if she has lost her mind.  You certainly would question giving him the honorable description of The King of Men.

 

Here is a brief list of some reasons why Jamie Fraser’s title should be questioned.  First, he is a British outlaw, fought as a mercenary for the French army, a coo (cow) thief, a spanker of Claire’s bottom, penniless, stubborn, a flirtatious tease (he is a virgin), he is easily roused (constant horny mode), no plans for the future, lives off his relatives, gets seriously hurt a lot, is superstitious, and he gives his body over to Frank’s super great-granddad to rape and torture even though he will be hanged the next day. That is just in the first book.

Warning! 🚫 Possible Spoilers ahead 🔺 for those who have not read all 8 Books

In later books, he marries a woman (Laoghaire) who nearly has Claire burned at the stake for being a witch; he has sex with an 18-year-old engaged girl (she blackmailed him to bed her) that produces a son he cannot claim, he begrudgingly befriends a gay British officer who is in love with him who just so happens to be the commander of the prison he is being held in as a traitor; he murders a prison guard, but not out of self-defense; he leaves wife #2 but sends her money out of guilt, he lives in a brothel, he is a smuggler, he has numerous aliases; and, he composes and prints traitorous material.

He also tells lies that would shame a politician;  he encourages his runaway nephew to stay with him while the boy’s parents (his sister and best friend’s child) are frantically looking for him; he keeps his second marriage a secret from Claire; and, he nearly beats an innocent man to death for mistakenly believing he raped his daughter.
Does this sound like the King of Men? Far from it!

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So, why is it, with all these flaws and imperfections, do women find James Fraser so irresistible? Does he possess some magical spell that he casts over our hearts or maybe he possesses a spark of the divine in his words? Maybe in a way, he does all of this, for Claire. In my opinion, James Fraser’s secret isn’t that he is the King of Men. In fact, his flaws are very human and can be be found to some extent in Every Man.

outlander-writing

Jamie loves Claire unconditionally. No matter if she endangers their lives, swears like a soldier, tests his patience over her devotion to Frank, or tells him outlandish stories about time travelling and the future; to the point he questions her sanity or believes she might be a witch.  He is there, through it all, for her.  He believes and trusts her. If actions speak louder than words, then Jamie has proved his love and devotion from the sheer number of times he risks his own life to save hers.

He nearly always puts her first. Not only does he risks his life for her, he is willing to live a horrible life alone without her, if it will keep her and their child safe.  Again, he proves this when he painfully guides her to the Standing Stones in order for her to go back to her time and Frank, not once, but twice!

Outlander Season 2 2016

Even when death beckons him to leave this world, it is his love for Claire that makes him stay. Jamie is loyal, faithful, intelligent, loving, and caring to his family and friends. He is a hard worker, a good provider, open-minded, and inquisitive. However, what he is not is perfect!

 

James Fraser gives hope to every women, and man, that true love does exists; but, it only happens with the “right” person. This can be exemplified by Jamie Fraser’s second marriage.

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Obviously, he wasn’t made to love Loaghaire even though she “thought” he was the love of her life. To “land” Jamie, she even schemes to place Claire in harms way and out of her way.  Loaghaire loved the idea of loving Jamie and being married to him. To Loaghaire that’s all that was needed. Jamie feelings would naturally match her own; or, so she thought. That’s the problem. She worked hard “to get him.”  Once she got him, it did not take her long to feel the void within her marriage.  Unlike Claire and Jamie, she did not feel at home, or safe when they embraced or made love.

According to Loaghaire, Jamie didn’t need her; instead, she knew deep down in her heart that he still ached for Claire. Loaghaire felt miserable in her marriage and avoided sex at all costs.  Sadly, Jamie tried to please her but failed. Again, if both partners are not equally committed, emotionally, they will soon feel alone in a failed relationship.

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Jamie and Claire Fraser’s relationship remind us that it is possible to be with a flawed someone who is a true friend. A person that we feel well loved by and always at home with.
For the millions of fans like myself, yes, we swoon, we even lust a bit after Jamie Fraser because he carries with him our desire and wish to be wholly loved. To be home, with our love, no matter where we are or where we go, as long as we share that mutual love, together.

 

This is a post for the 2017 Reel Infatuation Blogathon hosted by Ruth of Silver Screenings and Maedez from A Small Life. From June 23rd through the 25th, use the following link to find more postings on character crushes ❤️

https://reelinfatuation.wordpress.com/

I do not own any of the images or pictures on this post.