31 October, 2010

Spooky Halloween Special!!! Part Three.

Thrilling conclusion to our three part mini-series! Hold onto your hats!!!

Frank and Joe drop Nancy off at the hotel, then conveniently forget they agreed that they were all working together so that they can return to the castle. Then! A bat appears! Spooooky! As they walk around in the castle's caverns, a certain pale-handed bachelor begins to follow them around. Then, just as he's about to reach out and grab Joe, Joe... walks away. This dude has to be the world's least committed vampire.

The next morning, Frank, Nancy, Joe and Bess go for a stroll around town to find that people are hanging up wreaths of garlic all over the place. Worst. Christmas decoration. Ever. The four of them decide that Allison Troy is still the best clue they have to the missing paintings, so while he's singing Joe searches the trunk of his car, and Nancy and Frank search his room. Joe finds nothing, but Nancy finds a briefcase stuffed with what I assume is some kind of thieving equipment.

Allison's thieving gear: screwdrivers, wire, syringe.
My make-up bag has the exact same contents.

The Nancy and Frank flirt a little.

Frank: Do you always get like this when you're excited?
Nancy: Oh, you'll know when I'm excited.
Frank: I look forward to that.
The conversation is so deadpan that you can almost feel the UST, if by UST you mean "boredom".

The townspeople form a mob roughly reminiscent of the one their forefathers would have formed to kill the original Dracula, right down to what I assume is traditional Transylvanian dress (which looks suspiciously Bavarian.) Of course, they think they are after the original Dracula, so I suppose they have some excuse. Apparenly Dracs is angry because of the rock concert going on in his castle. One of the mob actually suggests they burn the castle. This is not only hilarious, but also impractical, as the castle is made out of stone, but I guess the point of mobs is that they're angry, violent, and stupid. Spooky!

Stavlin addresses the crowd and points out that there haven't actually been any killings. He's also apparently the community inspector, which - isn't he Romanian? Is Transylvania in Romania? Why does everyone there speak with a German accent, then? These are the questions that keep me awake at night.

A mist starts to rise. I guess a country that has daily thunderstorms can handle a little mist in the evening. The Mayor invites Frank, Nancy, and Stavlin back to his apartments so that they can talk. Turns out he lives in part of an old prison, and the mayoral chambers are built like a fortress! Stavlin says that whoever attacked Fenton and the hotel-owner couldn't possibly attack the Mayor there. When Frank asks why he thinks the Mayor might be attacked, he says it's because it was the Mayor and town council who plotted Dracula's downfall originally. Fenton was just an unfortunate accident, according to Stavlin.

The conversation turns, and Nancy says she thought the burglary tools in Allison Troy's room were a little too conveniently placed. Stavlin thanks them for the information and leaves, after which the Mayor reluctantly agrees that he will stay in his fortressed-up mayoral office for the night, to avoid attack. He locks all the doors and bars the windows and I bet anything there's a secret passage. Back at the hotel, Nancy goes to bed while Frank waits up for Joe. Spooky!

Joe and Bess return from Joe's last gig. I would like to assure my readers that
what you can see is mist from the sky, not dope smoke from the van.

Then, Nancy is attacked by a bat.

She seems to be terrified, which I assume is a ploy because Nancy Goddamn Drew is not scared of any freaking bat. She actually throws a lamp at it. Frank and Joe bust down her door and rescue her, though. Frank points out that her window was barred from the inside, so that someone must have put the bat into her room. The only other explanation being that it was actually a vampire. The other other explanation is that the bat actually tunnelled its way into her room, up through the floor, but for some reason no one mentions that.

Stavlin shows up and tells them that Dracula isn't a myth, he's real! Stavlin is really starting to get on my nerves. Then the mayor's maid rushes in and says that something has happened to him. Spooky! They break into the mayor's apartments and find him slumped onto his desk, two puncture marks on his neck. The phantom bicycle repairer strikes again! Oooh! Or, you know, the vampire. The mayor is still alive, though! And the next day Stavlin arrests of Allison Troy, for the trail of art thefts across Europe.

Turns out that as well as the burglary kit, they found floor plans of the Louvre in Allison Troy's car! Seems like a done deal, right? Wrong! Because when Joe searched Allison's car the night before, there was nothing there. And Bess kept her eyes on Allison and his manager all night, and none of them were acting suspiciously. So someone planted the plans in the car, and the tool kit in his room. Spooky! But why? And more importantly, who?

The Mayor, of course! If no one could possibly have got into his room, then he must have done it to himself! That actually makes sense, but given that this is Stavlin's idea, and not Nancy's or the Hardy Boys', I'm guessing the Mayor's innocent. Well, that and the fact that he couldn't possibly have attacked the hotel owner because it would have meant being in two places at once. And that probably people would have noticed if he kept popping out of the country and returning with priceless artworks.

Anyway, with the mayor now under arrest, the townspeople ask Stavlin if he will be mayor. Spooky!
Stavlin: I? No, I have no political ambitions. [deprecating chuckle]
That is totally something that someone who was all along plotting to become mayor would say! Otherwise he would LOL no them properly, rather than allow himself to be quickly convinced in an entirely rehearsed manner.

Nancy doesn't believe Stavlin either, you can tell.
And, as an aside, Frank is wearing more blusher than Nancy.

Mystery apparently solved, the detectives say their goodbyes. This involves Joe and Bess necking while Frank and Nancy stare at each other saying, "Well. Uh, it's been nice meeting you and all..."

Frank and Joe drive back up to the castle, because Frank feels like there's still some loose ends. He heads down to the caverns, where Dracula's tomb is sealed behind a door with Dracula's crest on it. Except that it's not really sealed, because there's a hidden lever on the crest that opens it! Spooky! And inside the tomb? The stolen art! And also a coffin. Frank opens it to see what's inside. In case you're wondering, a skeleton. Ooooh!

Then! Stavlin turns up! And the boys have worked out that the connection between the attacks and the thefts is Stavlin himself. He was being forced to retire, so he was stealing the paintings in order to retire with a little money. He used the castle as his own private retreat, until Allison Troy rented the venue and Fenton Hardy turned up. The attack on the mayor was staged - Stavlin drugged him and then, when he'd rushed to his rescue, drew the puncture marks on his neck while the Hardys were distracted.

Stavlin traps the Hardys and threatens to push them down a gaping hole that just sort of appears in the floor. I guess the hows and whys of that aren't really important. But Nancy, Bess and a recovered Fenton rush to their rescue, and it is Stavlin who falls down the hole! But the Hardys rescue him. Man, I totally took all the dramatic tension out of that scene.

Stavlin is arrested, and it seems like everything's been wrapped up! Except for that UST between Frank and Nancy.

And... except for the fact that Stavlin doesn't have a reflection...


I hope you have enjoyed this ~Spooky Special~. Expect some Trixie Belden goodness in the near future. And Happy Halloween!

30 October, 2010

Spooky Halloween Special!!! Part Two.

Our spooky Halloween Special continues! Are you ready? Then I'll begin.

Nancy takes a look at Fenton's notebook and ascertains that he has a series of dates in it - that correspond to the dates of concerts performed by rock star Allison Troy. I always thought Alison was a girl's name, but I expect if I said that to Alice Cooper he'd beat the crap out of me with his guitar. Apparently, each of the art thefts took place during the concerts.

Frank tells Nancy that she's meddling in their father's case and she LOLs at him. Then Joe suggests that him and Frank go to Transylvania and liaise with her in Munich, but she tells him she's going to Transylvania. Right now, in fact.

Frank, Joe and the band arrive in Transylvania and have a look at the castle. There's another thunderstorm. That crazy Transylvanian atmospheric pressure. While they're outside, there's someone moving about... inside. We don't get to see his face, but he's very pale. Not to scare anyone, but I think he might be a vampire!!!

Vampires drink blood, are allergic to sunlight, and love their bling.

When they get to their hotel, they find Stavlin there, chilling with the locals and complaining about kids these days, etc. Spooky! The mayor of the town suggests that Stavlin isn't really angry about the rockfest so much as he scared of someone... or something. Stavlin makes the Hardys promise that he'll come to them if they find any news of their father. When they register at the hotel, they see that their father had signed in the hotel, sometime earlier. The boys decide to talk to Allison Troy himself.

The rock concert is about the lamest concert I've ever seen. You know the way old men dance at weddings? Yeah, that's how hardcore this concert is. Spooky! Allison's lyrics are pretty great though: "Good for nothing, bad in bed / Nobody likes you and you're better off dead / Goodbye, goodbye."
Rock musicians: super hardcore.

Allison warns them that nobody - but nobody! - is allowed down to the caverns below the castle. So the Mayor decides to go down to the caverns. Then Fenton's bearded companion warns him that it's super dangerous. Oh, those superstitious bearded companions! Stavlin also warns against it. Spooky! Turns out Joe can actually sing, so he takes to the stage while Frank investigates. Nancy and Bess arrive; Bess thinks Joe is totally hot. They take off into the caverns, too.

The mayor's party is the first to take a wrong turn. They end up by a door marked with Dracula's crest. The bearded companion panics, and the others laugh at him, but they follow him away from it anyway. The mayor notices that, as the leave, the stone roof starts to crumble. Then the door starts to open... The party goes through a torture chamber and one of them - the hotel owner - starts to lag behind. A ringed hand reaches for him...

Frank stumbles across the hotel owner's body. He's in one of the cells, unconscous but alive. Unfortunately, while he's in the cell, someone with a pale ringed hand decides to lock him in. Then Bess and Nancy arrive on the scene - just in time to see that the hotel owner has two small puncture wounds on the base of his neck! Some kind of bicycle wheel repaire gone horribly wrong, perhaps? Bess runs for a doctor while Nancy picks the lock with a hairpin. With this knew, spooky angle to the mystery, Nancy and Frank agree to start working together.

Not pictured: Nancy holding Frank's testicles in a vice-like grip. Who's the Alpha Male now, huh?

Joe's unimpressed that Nancy has joined them, until she reveals that she thinks she's found their father. He was found by some monks, and the reason Interpol hadn't found him was that he only had ID with his alias on it with him. Obviously! Luckily, Nancy is smarter than Interpol. Frank and Joe visit Fenton, and Frank tries really hard to emote. He's been unconscious for at least four days. Turns out he's got the same puncture wound. Spooky! Then Frank, Joe and Nancy all pretend not to believe in vampires, and drive off into the night.


But first, a small mystery! Allison's audience are all dressed in spooky costume for the occasion. That's all well and fine, but what the hell is this guy dressed as?

29 October, 2010

Spooky Halloween Special!!! Part One.

I've been gone for a while, I know. And I'm sorry! To make it up to you, my loyal reader(s), for the next three nights I will be presenting something very special. And seasonal. Yes, it's the episode of the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries where the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew meet Dracula! The episode is called: "Meet Dracula". It's right there on the tin!

Our story opens in Transylvania. Oooh! Spoooooky! The Hardy Boys' father, the dashing Fenton Hardy, drives up a dark, spooky road with a bearded companion. The bearded companion explains that he's been the only one to drive this way for many, many years. But now an American rock singer is coming and... I guess he's going to be using the road, too? At last, they reveal where they are driving to - a castle! A very square, jail-like castle. The music swells dramatically. A wolf howls in the distance. A thunderstorm starts. I guess Transylvania's been hit by a warm front, with westerlies blowing straight from the Isle of Clich├ęs.

Spooky! Well, sort of spooky. Well, if you squint a bit, and tilt your head to the left...

The bearded companion warns Fenton not to go inside, and then abandons him at the castle gates. Fenton chuckles, dashingly. Oh, those bearded companions! How superstitious they are. Fenton goes in anyway, because he's a HARDY, dammit. A bat appears, but Fenton is wearing a trenchcoat and totally dapper boots, so he's not scared. He comes to some kind of courtyard and the music swells once more. This is so spooky, you guys. I'm on the edge of my seat. Then he finds a gargoyle. Oooh! Another bat appears. Or possibly the same one, it's kind of hard to tell if you're not intimately acquainted with bats. Fenton, surprised, drops his torch... into a pile of bones! Man, this castle has everything.

Being a great lover of musical theatre, Fenton knows to keep his hand at the level of his eyes.

Then Fenton is knocked out by a shadow. DUN DUN DUN!

Two weeks later, Paris. Frank and Joe are following every lead they can to try and find their father. They arrive at Fenton's hotel room to find a Romanian detective, Hans Stavlin, going through their father's things. Turns out Fenton was working with Interpol on an international art theft case. Interpol has zero leads on the case or on Fenton's whereabouts. Interpol sound pretty useless all-round. Spooky! Stavlin suggests they go back to the States, but the Hardys find their father's notebook, which includes a memo of a meeting in a Munich hotel.

Guys I have read like a million Hardy Boys books, and at no point have they ever described the fabulousness that is these boys' hair. Spooky!

The boys decide to go undercover so they... join a band. Obviously. The band's heading to the Transylvanian Dracula Festival, which! Coincidentally! Is also mentioned in Fenton's notebook!

In Munich, the boy check into their father's hotel room, then go out to get something to eat. Then - Nancy Drew arrives, with Bess! Spooky! She's travelling under the name "Miss Fredericks" and is alarmed to hear that there is a rock group staying in her room. So she gets the bellhop to take their bags away. (There's this whole joke about how the bellhop is a former Nazi. It's reeeeeally not much of a joke.) Frank sees the bellhop taking the bags away, and tells him to take them back. When he hears it's two ladies in the room, he asks the bellhop to take their bags back down to the lobby. Nancy catches him at it and sends him back up. Hilarious! I mean, spooky!

Nancy and the Hardys end up in the same elevator together. Frank tries to flirt, but Nancy brushes him off. They reach their (shared) room, and Frank tries to pick up Nancy's luggage, so she judo flips him. Nancy is awesome. But, finally, they realise that they're actually all there to see each other, and they start discussing the case.

Frank: still macking on Nancy. Joe: Has a nice arse. Spooky!