And speaking of Angelica Houston, we get the idea in the film that Miss Slighcarp is completely bald, as a witch in The Witches.
Which would make sense with its Victorian period setting. All the villains seem randy somehow. And Mr Grimshaw is a very leech drunk. The two child performers are really good as well. Exceptionally well-cast. Ren: I was really surprised and pleased by how much Bonnie both looked and acted like I imagined her in the book. Ren: They have perhaps a slightly more realistic relationship in the film, than in the book.
Ren: Yeah. Adam: Who has fallen on hard times, but still wants to keep the level of respectability up. Ren: Apart from possibly poor Orphan Joey, who is sacrificed to the waters of the laundry. Adam: Yeah! I was really banking on him actually being okay. I was rather shocked by that. But then very shortly after, a rather less sympathetic older boy called Rupert is rollered to death!
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Audio clip from The Wolves of Willoughby Chase: sinister music, clunking machinery noises, screaming and then cheering. So, as well as a desire to be a mouse…. Adam: So if Alex does get transformed into a mouse, you know what to do with hir. Get used to it! Ren: Well you know beef brisket, the dish, I thought that could be a cool nickname for her. Adam: Like if she was in a gang? Or… the mafia. If you want to write some fan-fic spinoff. Ren: There are. The villains really enjoy scaring the kids, and say that children have been forced to eat their own vomit.
Which was particularly unpleasant. One of my favourite retorts though is from Bonnie. Bonnie throws a lot of shade, basically, in this film. Adam: So this film is in its entirety on YouTube, and I suspect it might be quite hard to come by otherwise. It really is quite good! If anything, it only added to the manic energy of the film!
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Ren: That must have been quite an experience. Adam: What even are they?! And not only does she get exploded, she then gets eaten by wolves. Adam: Which does look a little bit dangerous for the child actor involved, I thought. Like the little girl in Baron Munchausen. Ren: Yes, apparently Terry Gilliam was not at all concerned for her safety during the filming of that one. I know that the death filming The Twilight Zone movie which was produced by Spielberg made a big change in child acting labour laws, basically.
We were talking about transformation of houses and the home changing from a place of comfort into a place of horror, which is definitely present in The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.
Adam: In the film the home is established early on as a real place of family and comfort. Rightly or wrongly. Ren: I liked that too. Ren: Gross, yeah. But Mrs Brisket and Miss Slighcarp are completely mercilesss. Ren: They seem to revel in the fact that children have no power and no-one to turn to to protect them.
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Like a Mr Squeers or something. Ren: And of course the other source of horror is the wolves themselves, of which there is less in the book but they definitely make their presence known. I wondered if you wanted to read the part where Sylvia is on the train and the wolf jumps through the window:. As if in contradiction of his words a sad and sinister howling now arose beyond the windows, and Sylvia, pressing her face against the dark pane, saw that they were passing through a thickly wooded region where snow lay deep on the ground.
Across this white carpet she could just discern a ragged multitude pouring, out of which arose, from time to time, this terrible cry. She was almost petrified with fear and sat clutching Annabelle in a cold and trembling hand. At length she summoned up strength to whisper:.
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Sylvia was not much comforted by this. She moved along to the middle of the seat and huddled there, glancing fearfully first to one side and then to the other.
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The strange man seemed quite undisturbed by the repeated onslaught of the wolves which followed. He took a pinch of snuff, remarked that it was all a great nuisance and they would be late, and composed himself to sleep again. He had just begun to snore when a discomposing incident occurred. The window beside him, which must have been insecurely fastened, was not proof against the continuous impact of the frenzied and ravenous animals.
The catch suddenly slipped, and the window fell open with a crash, its glass shivering into fragments. Sylvia screamed. Another instant, and a wolf precipitated itself through the aperture thus formed. It turned snarling on the sleeping stranger, who started awake with an oath, and very adroitly flung his cloak over the animal. He then seized one of the shattered pieces of glass lying on the floor and stabbed the imprisoned beast through the cloak.
It fell dead. He extracted the dead wolf from the folds of the cloak and tipped its body, with some exertion, out through the broken window. There was a chorus of snarling and yelping outside, and then the wolves seemed to take fright at the appearance of their dead comrade, for Sylvia saw them coursing away over the snow.
And it happens very abruptly!
Ren: And also it shows more presence of mind and quick reflexes that you expect from Mr Grimshaw given the rest of his characterisation. It did remind me actually, you mentioned Box of Delights and obviously with the TV series it starts on the train with the sinister priest showing off his magic tricks to the boy, and it reminded me a little bit of that.
Adam: But I think it the book generally has quite frightening rhythms. This attractive piece by William Byrd was written to honour Peregrine Bertie, the Tudor soldier, who had returned safely from the wars against Spain. It is often Always read the accompanying technical description! Robert Descombes, orgue historique d'Orgelet.
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