Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Hundred-Foot Journey


I'm sure you've noticed my brief mentionings of my fellow movie blogger/close friend Psycholiloquy in past movie posts. We met on Instagram about 7 months ago and instantly clicked over our shared love of movies, Godzilla, and many other things. He's been really good about recommending good movies for me to watch, and one of those movies was The Hundred Foot Journey. He went to see it in theaters and afterwards he immediately told me I needed to see it. Well, me being lazy and bad at prioritizing, I forget to catch this one in theaters. But thanks to another unnecessary shopping spree at Target, I picked up a copy and now call that moment the greatest thing I've ever done in my life to date! Thank you Psycholiloquy!

The Kadam family is in the middle of a major transition. Once owners of a successful restaurant in their hometown of Mumbai, India their livelihood was stolen from them one night when their restaurant burned to the ground with Mama Kadam still inside the building. With Papa (Om Puri) feeling lost and unsure of what to do next, he packed up the entire family and set out for a fresh start in Europe. With his talented chef son Hassan (Manish Dayal), his business savvy son Mansur (Amit Shah), Hassan's sister Mahira (Farzana Dua Elahe), and the youngest two children Mukthar (Dillon Mitra) and Aisha (Aria Pandya); everyone boarded a ship with their few belongings to England. But Papa was not content with England, it held no promise for their traditional Indian style cooking. So Papa loaded up their car car, packed the family inside, and off they set to find the perfect nesting spot.

They had a good life where they made good food in India, and
now it is time to move on. 

The Kadam family basically went on a tour of the beautiful European countryside, it was lovely to see and exciting to experience such different cities...but Papa showed no sign of stopping. Until one day, their little car's brakes gave out and the Kadam family car went barrelling down the one-lane unpaved road before skidding to a stop on a hillside. Hassan and Mansur finally had enough! Papa could not keep flying around the country with their family cramped into a tiny beater car! They needed a home, they needed to start over! And just over the crest of the hill that their tired little car has broken down on, lies the small French village of St. Antonin. And it's this little town that ends up being the answer to their family's prayers.

No more roaming for the Kadam family!

Saved by a beautiful young woman named Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), the family finds a hotel to stay in for the night and a man to fix their car in the morning. But the next day, the family doesn't pile into the car and hit the road. Instead, Hassan finds his father poking around a rundown villa with a SALE sign on the front wall and before anyone can change his mind Papa goes and buys the villa with the intention of turning it into their next restaurant. Sure, the Kadams have finally settled down...but is this the right place? French people don't eat Indian food, they have a whole style of cooking all their own! And it's world renowned! But aside from the people of St. Antonin likely having so interest in Indian food, the Kadam's villa happens to sit across the street from the town's only restaurant: Saule Pleureur. And it's not just any restaurant, it's a locally renowned restaurant that proudly boasts its prized Michelin Star status. The Minister of France HIMSELF dines there! Can this Indian family even begin to compete with Saule Pleureur? Well, Papa has decided that it's worth a shot.

The family throws themselves into fixing up their restaurant, cleaning out their courtyard and installing a traditional Tandoori oven...but through all their hustle and bustle they manage to catch the attention of Madame Mallory. Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren) is the proud owner of the Saule Pleureur and has absolutely flawless taste when it comes to French food. She took over the restaurant after her husband passed away and since then it has become her reason for living. And while she wouldn't lower her standards to call the Kadam family competition, she still can't help being as snooty as possible to them. Papa and Hassan try to extend offers of friendship, but the Madame will have none of it. But this rivalry doesn't truly become personal until opening day when the Madame goes into the market and buys all the key ingredients needed in Hassan's dishes! This means war! Papa and Hassan are determined to make Maison Mumbai, their restaurant, succeed! But Hassan is also nervous about this vindictive rivalry that is going on between his father and the Madame. Hassan has an incredible love for cooking, he wants to learn more and progress and grow...and cooking for someone like Madame Mallory will greatly help him do that. But can Hassan spread his wings without also hurting his family?

Is it possible for Hassan to have the best of both worlds? 

Beautiful, delicious, and heartwarming - all perfect words to describe The Hundred-Foot Journey. Any movie about food and cooking is always going to get an A+ in my book, but this one gets even more points for its vibrancy! I love the romantic setting in France and the ever-present French cuisine...but then there's that dazzling spark of vivid Indian food and music that amps up the pace of this movie, it's so much fun! And mouth-watering too, I'm seriously craving Indian food even though I've never tried it. The only issue I had with this movie was that I didn't know what era it was taking place it. The village where the story of this movie is told is so quaint and vintage, it reminds me of the movie Chocolat, which takes place in the 60s, but then the transition over to things happening in Paris, France shows smart phones and high tech cooking equipment. That was a little confusing, but overall this movie is a sweet triumph and I highly recommend it for everyone who loves a great feel good movie. And with producers like Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg - I'm dead serious - you know this movie is nothing short of exquisite!

This movie is brilliantly beautiful and I am so happy that I took a 
chance on it!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Maximum Overdrive


FINALLY!!! MORE MOVIES INVOLVING BIG TRUCKS!!!!!! I was going to watch the 1988 movie Uninvited because it has some kind of nasty demonic cat in it...but I've been watching trashy movies involving monsters for the past couple Trash-Tastic Thursdays. I need to switch it up! Maximum Overdrive has been on my list of movies to see for a while now, both for my own enjoyment and for a future Trashgasm post. But I've also wanted to check out this movie because its loosely based on Stephen King's short story 'Trucks' from his anthology Night Shift. I've shied away from his writing a little bit, but I used to be the biggest Stephen King junkie and I totally remember being floored by that story! And the movie definitely lived up to my expectations.

Earth is trapped in a bit of a pickle - a large comet hurdling through space has encapsulated our world in its tail. Which is a truly spectacular phenomenon in itself, but its having a bizarre effect on the planet. But not in the way you'd think. Animals aren't behaving strangely, plants aren't dying, and the ozone layer is still intact. What is acting up though, are the machines of earth. ATMs, cars, electric knives, vending machines...basically anything with a motor has magically gained its own consciousness and is retaliating against humans! And our prime example of this is happening at the Dixie Boy truck stop just off the main highway.

These trucks are hauling some KILLER cargo! Ha ha!

At the Dixie Boy, there are plenty of machines around. There's pinball machines in the game room, kitchen appliances in the restaurant, and the parking lot is packed with trucks whose drivers are fueling up. And everything starts to happen at once. A dingbat waitress is attacked by an electric knife in the kitchen, a man passing through the game room helps himself to the mountains of cigarettes that are vomited out of the vending machines...but then there are the trucks. The fleet of semis come roaring to life and start a convoy that parades around the truck stop at top speeds, any time anyone inside the building tries to leave one of the trucks breaks away to try and run them down. What are they supposed to do? They can't stop the machines...and this whole comet tail thing won't blow over for a week! Will anyone at the Dixie Boy make it out alive? Or are they at the mercy of the monster machines?

These robots aren't messing around!

This was a COOL movie! I love cheesy 80s movies, and this movie was very gooey! I loved the killer trucks, and the bad attitudes of the truck stop employees - one of which is played by Emilio Estevez! And I must say, he is a total hunk. And this whole movie is set to a gritty AC/DC exclusive soundtrack, this totally sets a badass tone for the movie. To give you an idea of what you're getting into with Maximum Overdrive, think of the Transformers movies, but instead of transforming these trucks take on the attitude of the mysterious truck driver in Duel. Super cool stuff, and it stays so close to Stephen King's short story - there's nothing but win to be found in this movie!

THURSDAY NIGHT IS THE BEST NIGHT TO TUNE IN TO REAL PUNK RADIO!! Home to the Thursday Night Wrecking Pit, Real Punk Radio is your Thursday night destination for the best in Psychobilly radio programming. Starting tonight at 6pm PT Gone Mental will be kicking off the evening, and then at 7pm PT Zorch Radio takes over the reigns and rides out the evening til 10pm with the best in Psychotronic rock n' roll. Make sure to tune in to the Thursday Night Wrecking Pit tonight! Sadly, I am going to be taking a bit of a break from Zorch Radio while I do some work stuff for a couple of weeks so I will not be talking about my experience with Maximum Overdrive during the Trash-Tastic Minute tonight. But you still need your weekly dose of Psychobilly tunes, so make sure to tune in to Real Punk Radio tonight!

A proud member of the Thursday Night Wrecking Pit!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Maneater of Hydra


While vacationing in Europe, a group of tourists are corralled by an tour guide who is advertising a trip to an exotic island off the mainland that will offer a vacation experience unlike anything they've ever experienced in their lives! This island is home to a man named Baron Von Weser (Cameron Mitchell) who extensively studies botany and has turned the entire island into a haven for his research. The island includes a lavish guest house, green houses, and enormous gardens that sprawl all over the grounds - and the Baron is more than happy to show off his beautiful work to the expected guests. Aboard the ship we have Mr. James Robinson (Rolf Von Nauckhoff) and his permiscuous wife Cora (Kai Fischer), grumpy Mrs. Calahan (Matilde Munoz Sampedro), fellow botany enthusiast Dr. Julius Demerist (Herman Nehlsen), and a small handful of other guests. They board the ferry, and it's off to the Baron's island they go!

Party hard guys...

Once on the island, the guests are met by the very stern and creepy Baron Von Weser who is creepily invested in his plants and his research...which seems odd considering that he's a vegetarian. He sternly scolds his guests when they do things like take pictures of the inside of his home, or make motions to touch some of his rare plants. He promises that he's only looking out for their safety - after all, many of his plants of carnivorous and dangerous. But things start getting creepy and weird right off the bat. First at dinner, when the guests are served cucumbers that taste exactly like beef. And then some of the guests start turning up dead!! Baron Von Weser tries to calm the group and tell them that everything is alright...but then the phone lines to the mainland are suddenly disconnected. The guests are now trapped! And there's a killer in their midst! Will they survive one more night on the island? Or are they all doomed to meet their fate at the hands of this killer that remains hidden in plain sight?

Being killed off by plants? Jeez guys, get it together!

I was at a total loss of what to watch this Trash-Tastic Thursday! After watching Mutant Girls Squad last week, I haven't been in the mood to delve back into the world of trash just yet, but I can't let you loyal readers down! And the only person who makes trash better, is the Mistress of the Darkness herself: Elvira! Her cute, quirky attitude always helps me crawl my way through the slimiest of trash, and Maneater of Hydra was no different. Minus the fact that she kept saying "Heeeee-dra" instead of "Hiiiiii-dra". Have I been pronouncing Hydra wrong all these years? Aside from the pronunciation of the title though, this movie is god awful! From the overbearing and jilted soundtrack - seriously, the tracks often just stop playing and the movie is left in awkward silence - to the bad voice overs and non-descriptive death scenes, this movie is definitely a pain to get through. And in a movie about killer plants, I definitely had hoped for much more. Oh well, I guess I'll just leave amusing killer plants to The Little Shop of Horrors from now on.

Thank you for being there Elvira, you make every bad movie so enjoyably fun!

THURSDAY NIGHT IS THE BEST NIGHT TO TUNE IN TO REAL PUNK RADIO!! Home to the Thursday Night Wrecking Pit, Real Punk Radio is your Thursday night destination for the best in Psychobilly radio programming. Starting tonight at 6pm PT Gone Mental will be kicking off the evening, and then at 7pm PT Zorch Radio takes over the reigns and rides out the evening til 10pm with the best in Psychotronic rock n' roll. Make sure to tune in to the Thursday Night Wrecking Pit tonight, where I will be talking about my experience with Maneater of Hydra during the Trash-Tastic Minute on Zorch Radio. So make sure to tune in to Real Punk Radio tonight!

Radio done right every Thursday night!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Jeepers Creepers


I have been legitimately avoiding this movie for years now. Back in 2003, or around that time, I was regularly spending the night at my friend Jamie's house. We were both in middle school and I liked going over to her house because her mom let us stay up late watching movies and if we didn't like what she made for dinner - her cooking was gross, it's the reason I hate chicken pot pie to this day - she would let us order pizza. Those were the days! Well Jamie was one of the youngest of 9 siblings, most of which were brothers, and they loved watching scary movies. One night we were snuggled into the pull-out couch in Jamie's living room when one of her brothers said we should watch Jeepers Creepers, they said it was awesome and super scary! I only got a few minutes into the movie before diving into my sleeping bag and setting up camp there for the rest of the movie - I was terrified! But the time has come. With Netflix literally shoving this movie in my face, I decided that it's now or never. I shall conquer my fears! But now, instead of feeling triumphant - or like my fear was warranted - I feel confused...

Darry (Justin Long) and his sister Trish (Gina Philips) are driving home for their spring break, doing all the typical things that siblings on road trips do. License plate games, judging weirdos they pass on the sides of the road, reminiscing about their childhood - they need to get all the entertainment they can while driving down these practically barren country roads. The only bit of excitement they really do have is when they're nearly run off the road by some whacko in a rusted-out ancient truck with a train horn. But aside from nearly becoming streaks on his bumper, they have no other real source of excitement. Until they get further down the road. The miles of open fields is broken up by a run-down church in a random patch of trees where they happen to see that rusted out truck again! But what's worse than seeing this maniac...is seeing him taking a sheet-wrapped object, roughly the size of a human, and dumping it down a large drainage pipe!!

This trip started off so fun too!

Darry and Trish speed off down the road, but Darry cannot let this go. Sure, this guy tried to run them off the road and kill them...but what if that was a body?? And worse still, if it was a body, what if it was still alive and they're just driving away when they could be doing something to save that person? Trish puts her foot down, NO! There is NO WAY they are going to turn their car around and risk getting murdered by some creep in a rusty truck! But Darry manages to wear Trish down and they creep back to the abandoned church and find that the truck is gone, perfect! Darry tries shining a flashlight down the pipe but he can't see much down there, but in his attempt to see better he manages to fall down the pipe to the dirt floor below...and there's no way he can climb back out of the pipe. Great. But at least now he can get a look around and find out if that really was a body. But Darry isn't mentally prepared for what he finds in the underground.

I still don't get how he lost a shoe during this part...

Darry does find the sheet-wrapped thing, and YES! It IS a body! And YES! It IS still alive!! But the man wrapped in the sheet shortly dies after Darry unwraps him...but it doesn't look like he would have had much of a chance anyways. His mouth is sewn shut and there was a huge gash on the man's chest that had also been crudely sewn up with twine. But this isn't the worst horror that Darry sees. Scattered on wooden tables, he finds ancient dusty leather bound books and candles and other creepy looking paraphernalia. But what's more terrifying still, lies in the next room. The next room is a much like the last, minus the fact that the walls are covered with preserved naked bodies that have been sewn together and adhered to the walls and ceiling!! Whoever this guy is, he's a total sicko!! And he needs to be brought to justice immediately!!

Darry... I don't think you're ready to see this...

Darry finds a way out of the hole in the ground, and as he and Trish are about to speed away from the church THE TRUCK COMES BACK!! Trish puts her foot to the floor and guns it! The first inhabited place they come across is a diner/gas station that they rush into demanding that someone call the police. Being simple country folk, no one takes these silly college kids seriously...except for one woman. This woman, Jezelle (Patricia Belcher), is a psychic who helps the police find missing bodies...and she knows a little bit about this man that Trish and Darry have been running into. Well, at least, they THOUGHT it was a man. Jezelle is sad to say that this thing is actually an unholy creature (played by Jonathan Breck) - possibly a demon - and it goes on rampages for 30 days at a time. The creature attacks people and devours the part of it that it needs most. Eyes to see, ears to hear, lungs to breathe... But now it is locked on Darry and Trish's scent. And it won't stop chasing them until it has consumed the part of them it wants most. Jezelle's only warning to the siblings is to keep on their radio - the second they heard the song "Jeepers Creepers", they know to run. That song means the beast is coming for them...

Trust me...this is only a TASTE (no pun intended) of what this guy
will do to you!

Sooo....I'm feeling pretty let down. Once more, I was SUPER freaked out at the beginning of the movie. Up to the point that Darry finds the cave covered in bodies, I was losing my mind with fear! But then the creature appeared. And I got confused. I thought this movie was supposed to be really freaky, but the man/monster was really hokey and pretty silly. So for the later half of the movie, I was able to relax a lot more and even started nodding off toward the end. But what probably shocks me more than the fact that this movie was dumb, is the fact that is has 2 whole sequels!! Really??? I give up on the universe now. This movie would definitely deliver a scare for younger horror fans, middle and high school age, but as for adults it doesn't pack a major punch.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Other Woman


A good marriage is usually built on the founding pillars of love, understanding, trust, and honesty. But for Jack and Emilia, their relationship started out a little less than honest. Jack (Scott Cohen) was trapped in a loveless marriage with a shrill and controlling woman named Carolyn (Lisa Kudrow), they had less of a marriage and more of a domestic partnership. The only thing that really held them together was their young son William (Charlie Tahan), but Jack still yearned for that true love feeling that tends to come with marriage. And that was the desire that pushed him into Emilia's arms.

He just couldn't help himself...

Emilia (Natalie Portman) was a young law student working as a file clerk at Jack's firm who happened to be put on a case with Jack one weekend. It was an out of town trip and the twosome had rooms in a hotel and everything. The first night there, after having a fancy dinner, Jack followed Emilia up to her room...and he didn't leave. From there the two started seeing each other in secret, it was technically okay because Jack's divorce was being processed and he was soon to be a free man anyway. And then, only weeks after his divorce clears, Emilia reveals to him that she's pregnant to which Jack does the honorable thing and marries her. They're already in love, so why not look at it as they're just speeding the process along?

Emilia moves into Jack's spacious apartment, and into his life. At first, it seems like Jack and Emilia are all destined for a happily ever after. But life isn't that simple. William is not happy about Emilia becoming part of their family, he hates that she isn't structured and regimented like his mother and that she doesn't take anything seriously. Emilia tries her best to get along with William...but after her baby is born there is no way that is going to happen. Three days after giving birth to a beautiful baby girl, Emilia's daughter Isabella passes away and Emilia is shattered with grief. She doesn't know how to handle a child as blunt and demanding as William, when her own baby has been taken from her. Jack tries to be sympathetic to Emilia's pain, but she keeps shutting him out...what is he supposed to do?

Just like that, their happy little family was torn apart. 

The hard thing with grief is that if it's not dealt with properly, the person who is struggling tends to hurt the ones they love the most. Which is exactly what Emilia does. She is so sensitive to everything her friends and family say to her, and she doesn't think before she lashes out at them. She screams at William for speaking his mind, he's a kid after all. She tortures Jack with her cruel quips when she finds out that his ex-wife Carolyn is pregnant and set to marry someone else. Emilia even yells at her own mother (Debra Monk) for daring to take back her father (Michael Cristofer) who had cheated on her earlier in their marriage. And despite the fact that Emilia is hurting, and her family knows this, she is doing nothing to stop her rampage and she is pushing everyone away. Yes, she lost her baby. But can she handle losing her husband, stepson, and everyone else in her life too?

Keep pushing Emilia. Just see what happens. 

Shame on you Netflix! Just because a movie is highly dramatic and depressing doesn't mean that it deserves 5 stars!! I was expecting a depressing movie, yes, but I wasn't expecting something so tumultuously irritating. Movies about affairs and broken relationships are never easy to watch, and some don't even have happy endings, but this movie was just like a depression sandwich deep-fried in tears. Natalie Portman's character is extremely self-centered and hard to feel bad for, in the beginning of the movie I was on her side but toward the middle of the movie I was rooting for her husband to walk out on her. She's not realistic, and she's also not likable which made this movie really tough to stay interested in. If you do enjoy hyper dramatic movies, I would recommend giving it a try and seeing what you think. But overall, I wouldn't consider watching this ever again.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Terminator 2: Judgement Day


WARNING!!! MAJOR SPOILER ALERTS AHEAD!!!

If you haven't seen the first Terminator movie, you need to stop reading this and do so NOW!! I am about to drop some major bombs that will totally ruin the ending of the first movie, I will have no angry readers here! So pick up that 2-pack DVD set that I know you have and get to watching, especially since the second movie is so flipping AWESOME and you need to watch it as soon as possible!!

Or in my case, the ultra fancy VHS 2-pack!!

When we last left Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) in the first Terminator movie, she had just squished the evil Cyborg (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) who was trying to kill her. Yay! Now Sarah's unborn child will grow up to lead the human revolution against the robots! But it's not as easy as all that. After surviving her close encounter with the Terminator and knowing what her future has in store for her, Sarah gave birth to her son John and all through his young childhood she taught him about his purpose in life. She taught him about the evil Skynet and the robots and how he was mankind's only hope for survival in the year 2029. And while Sarah was doing everything she could to prepare John for his future, she didn't do a great job keeping an eye out for his present. And that's how she ended up getting arrested while trying to blow up a computer lab.

Mother of the Year award? Maybe not...

After her arrest, Sarah was institutionalized at a mental hospital because she wouldn't stop spouting off nonsense about robots versus humans - how are they supposed to know that she's speaking the truth? And since Sarah has been thrown in the slammer, little John is sent to grow up in foster care. John (Edward Furlong) grows up to be a rowdy little preteen who has total disdain for his foster parents, who are actually very nice people. He likes his rock and roll music loud, his dirt bike fast, and his trouble-making best friend to sport a gnarly mullet. He feels completely abandoned by his whacko mom...but he's going to start crying for mommy soon when he sees the man who comes looking for him.

At the arcade one day, a cop (Robert Patrick) is seen walking around to all the kids and asking if they've seen John. The guy even has a picture of him! John's mullet-adorning pal tries to create a distraction, but the cop chases John out of the backdoor of the arcade...and that is where John is intercepted by the Terminator! The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger), instead of attacking John, pulls out a shotgun and fires at the cop! Wait. What's happening right now? But wait....the cop doesn't die! He stands right back up, and in his chest where he was shot you can see that he's made of...silver? Metal? But the bullet holes are being filled in and disappearing. What is he and what is happening? But before John can ask too many questions, the cop starts coming for him again. And the Terminator scoops him up and they race to safety.

Talk about the best guardian angel EVER!!

Once out of harm's way, which takes a really long time and a crazy high speed chase, the Terminator tells John what is happening. He was sent back from the year 2029, the future, in order to protect the boy. As we all know, John is going to be the leader of the revolution against the robots and Skynet in the future. But this cop, who is actually a more advanced Terminator model, has been sent back in time by the robots to kill John and keep him from saving mankind. And while the last Terminator was destroyed when Sarah crushed it in an industrial machine, this new advanced Terminator is made of liquid metal and come bounce back and reform from literally any attack. Great! So now John is on the run from this liquid Cyborg, being protected by an older model of Cyborg....and basically just needs to stay alive. It won't be easy. But John and his Terminator pal are not going to go down without a fight!

Seriously though, how do you kill something made out of LIQUID METAL?!?!

This movie was so killer, and an amazing sequel to the first Terminator movie. Just like the first, this movie has insanely awesome action sequences but I loved the action in this movie all the more because it had more car chases. I love me some car chases! And unlike the first movie, this movie has a lot more comedy in it. The awkward bond that forms between John and his Terminator is adorable, it reminds me of Terrorvision when the teens try to teach the alien about pizza and video games. Its a cute comic relief from all the action and the sense of impending doom. The graphics in this movie are much improved from the first, the addition of the liquid metal robot was INSANE! But I do have to say that while this movie is 2 hours long, it FELT long too. Time didn't speed by like it should have, and there were parts in the movie that made the whole story feel like it was lagging just a little bit. But overall, this movie was AMAZING!! I am a firm believer in the Terminator fandom, my life is complete!

This movie was such a fun watch, do I dare see 
what Terminator Salvation is all about? 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Elephant Man


David Lynch.....we meet again.... I first saw this movie when I was a junior in high school. My drama teacher had my class do some scenes from the play The Elephant Man, and after our couple days or weeks of working on and performing our scenes, he had us watch this movie. David Lynch was very insistent on it being known that this movie was its own entity and based on the real life story of John Merrick - The Elephant Man - and not based on the play. I'm sure being exposed to both the play and the movie was supposed to be some kind of exercise in comparing and contrasting these two works but I just remember being amazed by this movie. And I'm still amazed by this movie! But I need to give David Lynch a little bit of credit....thank you for not Lynch-ing up this movie, I really enjoyed it!

Dr. Frederick Treves (Sir Anthony Hopkins) is a practicing physician at the London Hospital during the Victorian era in Great Britain. He is a highly successful man, but he's also a tenacious man looking for ways to further his career while also giving the best possible care to his patients. And the time has come once more when a real challenge has been laid in his pathway, but he has to be careful. A travelling sideshow act run by a man named Mr. Bytes (Freddie Jones) has rolled into town and features many of the usual oddities one would find at a sideshow: tattooed men and bearded ladies and dwarves. But this particular show carries another attraction that Dr. Treves is interested in seeing for himself: The Elephant Man.

He's a man of science, but Frederick Treves has much yet to learn.

The Elephant Man's real name is John Merrick. He is 21 years old, and he has had the extreme misfortune of growing up with a hideously disfiguring medical condition. He has enormous growths that cover and disfigure 90% of his body, he is barely recognizable as a human but brings in lots of money in his sideshow. Dr. Treves approaches the proprietor of the sideshow - Mr. Bytes - and asks if he may examine John Merrick and report his findings to the committee of the hospital. Dr. Treves is given permission, and does an extensive examination of John's body which he then presents his findings on. But this is not where Dr. Treves' work with John ends. Several nights later, the doctor is fetched by a young boy to come check on John Merrick who is breathing in an unusual way. Dr. Treves finds that John has been brutally beaten and is suffering from pneumonia. Without hesitation, Dr. Treves scoops the disfigured man out of Mr. Bytes' cruel arms and takes him to the hospital where he confines him to the isolation ward so his appearance won't alarm any of the other patients.

A warm room and a comfortable bed...all new things to John Merrick.

Now, Dr. Treves wasn't supposed to admit John without consulting with the head of the hospital and sure enough he is caught trying to sneak a bowl of oatmeal up to the man. Dr. Treves tries convincing the head of the hospital that John is a man more than worthy of special care, and that he is of value to the hospital! He's not a mute-dumb idiot with an unsightly physical exterior, he's capable of speech and conversation too! Sure, Dr. Treves is only guessing at this...but after "training" John to say a few choice phrases to prove his worth, he comes to find that John actually could speak on his own and has his own story to tell. Well excellent! Now John can definitely stay! And what commences after this discovery is truly extraordinary.

"...forever and ever, amen."
"I didn't teach him that part!"

John Merrick's incredible tale and his kind demeanor become well known in the British social circle. After a story is printed in the morning newspaper about his incredible escape from his horrible former life, John finds himself being visited by wealthy society snobs and even actresses from the most prestigious theaters. John is given beautiful gifts and is fawned over for his manners and kindness - he's almost treated like a child since he has never really experienced things like friendship before. He is given suits to wear to the theater and even invites friends to have tea in his room at the hospital, which he has furnished into his home. John Merrick has come a long way from when Dr. Treves first found him in the gutter all those years ago. His life is full, he is happy. But could there be more?

A life far richer than he could have ever imagined!

This movie is honestly an amazing piece of film, I kind of hate the American Film Institute for not inducting it into their 100 Greatest Movies of All Time. The script and story is beautiful, especially John Merrick's character. Despite his hideous appearance, your heart softens and melts for him - he's so sweet! But you can definitely tell that this is a David Lynch movie - from the opening scenes with elephants stomping around and women screaming, and especially in the make-up effects that were used to create John Merrick's appearance. I hate to say it, but the make-up is SO Eraserhead! Overall, I would highly recommend this movie for everyone to watch. It's a total classic, and it's actually scheduled to get a reboot in 2016. Here's hoping that the remake is as poignant and romantic as the original!