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Sunday, October 25, 2009


Halloween(a.k.a All Hallows' Eve) celebrated on the 31st of October, is around the corner. Countries who practice this ancient Celtic-originated ceremony would no doubt do so the usual way; home-made Jack O' Lanterns outside houses or perched on windows,  children dressing in costumes and going trick or treating, children/adults attending
 Halloween parties and organised bonfires and of course, watching horror movies and Halloween TV specials. Just as some  movies are made for Christmas- THE SANTA CLAUSE, SANTA WHO?, HOME ALONE, FRED CLAUS, JINGLE ALL THE WAY, DECK THE HALLS- Hollywood has a long history of making horror movies most people would put aside for Halloween night. Now that our Nija people have adopted Halloween, I plan on 'marking it ' by watching a few horror movies myself (and hopefully get some sleep after I'm done) and read a few ghost stories as well- frankly I feel reading horror is far scarier than actually WATCHING it. For those who are into horror films , I recommend the following to watch on Halloween. In no particular order...

John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN featuring a much younger Jamie Lee Curtis, who played a very unfortuante girl being stalked by a mysterious killer credited as 'The Shape' but later known to be her terribly demented older brother Michael Myers who'd killed their sister on Halloween night when he was a mere boy of 6 (by the way, it was NO accident)

Then we have Alfred Hitchock's PSYCHO, the main character played by Jamie Lee Curtis' mumsie, the late Janet Leigh, who stole money from her boss and ran away. During a stormy night, she stopped by a Motel and is welcomed by the handsome but rather weird owner, Norman Bates. While taking a shower, something very terrible happened...

CARRIE based on Stephen King's first published novel, about a cruelly treated girl, Carrie White, who got her revenge on her tormentors, including her sadistic mother, through telekinesis. The main character was played by Sissy Spacek(one of the very few actresses to be nominated for an Oscar for performing in a horror movie) and it also featured a young John Travolta in his first big role.

Wes Craven's A NIGTMARE ON ELMSTREET as well as its  7 sequels. Robert Englund (who also played a lecturer in Urban Legend) played the terrifying Freddy Krueger, a killer who returned from the dead as an undead dreammaster to get revenge on the people of Elm Street by killing their children in their sleep i.e he occurred in their nightmares, if caught in the dream before sleeper work up, the person was history. It was in this film that Johnny Depp made his debut.

THE FOG, also by John Carpenter, starring Adrienne Barbeau and  featuring  mother and daughter Janet Leigh and Jamie Lee Curtis , is  about the revengeful ghosts of a leper colony(who were wrongfully robbed and murdered by Antoinio Bay's 6 founding fathers) who appear  out of a mysterious onimous fog that sweeps through  the town, during its 100th anniversary. Their mission? Take the lives of 6 townspeople- substitutes of the 6 conspirators who had actually founded the town using the stolen gold. A remake was made in 2005.

THE AMTYVILLE HORROR is a must watch because it is based on true events recorded in a novel of the same name. It is the first of  the Amityville Horror saga  and starred James Brolin, husband of  Barbara Streisand.  Becuase of the terrible events  associated with the house in this weird story, the movie was shot in another house similar in appearance as the Amityville authorities denied permission( i read somewhere that the real reason was because they were scared to use the actual house, besides that, the house's address was later changed to discourage sightseers from visiting it). The house's creepy quarter round front windows were also removed, making it look less eerie at night.
The story began several years back after a crazy man executed his entire family in the same house. 13 months  later, the Lutz family moved in but never got any peace in their new home because of an apparent evil presence in the house. After 28 days of terror, they fled the house, leaving all their personal things behind and moved to San Diego. It brought about a lot of controvesy to date.
Trivia: George Lutz passed away on May 16th, 2006 and Katy Lutz(who's marriage with George ended  in the mid 80s) died in 2004.

INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, the first story under Anne Rice's VAMPIRE CHRONICLES was actually the first time I ever saw  Brad Pitt. He played a vampire who (I think unwisely) narrated his life story to a  journalist. While coping with the death of his wife and child, Louis made an aquaintance with a vampire, Lestat played by Tom Cruise  who offered him eternal life by bitting him and turning Louis into a vampire. It also featured Kirsten Dunst as Louis and Lestat's companion and Antonio Banderas as the vampire, Armand. This movie was followed by the  adaptation of the third vampire chronicle, QUEEN OF THE DAMNED (Aaliyah's final film, released after her untimely death).

THE SIXTH SENSE, about a psychologist(Bruce Willis) who has to treat a nine year old boy who claimed he could see dead people. First sceptical, Dr. Crowe later realised the child was telling the truth...

And last but not least,  Don Mancini's CHILD'S PLAY and its sequels,  featuring Brad Dourif as the voice of the demonic doll, Chucky and Charles Lee Ray, the killer who transferred his soul into the doll in the first place- after a police officer shot him, using it as a means to escape and then hunt for another human body to be reborn in. His unfortunate first target in 3 of  the films is Andy- whose mother had bought the doll from a peddler for his birthday. What a BIG MISTAKE!


Saturday, October 10, 2009


The very first time I came across her name was in 1999. I had to buy one of her books to read for my Literature paper in JAMB. It was entitled SECOND-CLASS CITIZEN. It was a pirated copy and not even complete but a very interesting read; about an Igbo woman who moved to England to join her husband who was studying Law. Being a black immigrant in 60s London was no walk on the beach at all, as she soon found out not to mention married to a tyrant who did nothing to look after her and their children. Things came to a head when she decided to become a writer and wrote her first novel, only for her husband to burn the whole thing up as a way of reminding her who was the head of the household. After that incident and more beatings, she left with their kids(including an unborn one) and later filed for a divorce; which she was granted along with full custody of the children.
Last year,durin the annnual International Book Fair at the University of Lagos, I bought some of her other books; THE SLAVE GIRL, THE JOYS OF MOTHERHOOD and her autobiography, HEAD ABOVE WATER. I also saw one , THE BRIDE PRICE, the same name of the burnt manuscript in SECOND-CLASS CITIZEN! Could it be???
I read part of HEAD ABOVE WATER and realised that the character Adah, was Mrs. Emecheta herself... it was her who'd gone through all that- struggling as a librarian to feed 5 kids, married to a creep, living in a ghetto, having to cope in a racist society, it was her all along! My heart went out to her right there and then.
Today, I found an original copy of 'Second-Class citizen' and 'The Rape of Shavi', a little easier these days because more people have decided to go back to their roots- reading more of our African Literature, not that there's anything wrong with Western Literature, mind. I have a friend who went a far as to buy SECOND CLASS CITIZEN online, her books potray women living in oppression, poverty and male domination; by this, in my opinion,she cuts grim but realistic situations and very real characters, especially her main character,Nnu Ego, in THE JOYS OF MOTHERHOOD(the title by the way is sarcastic, read the book and you'll find out why).

After her divorce, she continued working very hard; librarian, sociology student, social worker,sociologist author/playwright- THE SLAVE GIRL won the Jock Campbell Award, 2 plays on BBC television, children's books, I can just go on.
Today, she's a well travelled lecturer besides being a novelist and was awarded Order Of The British Empire(OBE)in 2005.

She is the epitome of the strength and perseverance God had given her and I salute her for it.

Sunday, October 04, 2009


Well so far so good; Raquel & Tonio seem to always work out their problems each passing day. But die-hard telenovela fans know better than to sit easy- a mistake my family made when we first watched NO ONE BUT YOU several years ago. Raquel and Tonio(thanks to a lot of third party interference) had more and more problems that threatened their marriage greatly and it
took a lot of strength from the couple to overcome them. Max had another plan to wrestle
Raquel away from his step-brother & sworn enemy and he was going to use an unlikely source, Raquel's sister, Martha.

Maura, Tonio's spiteful ex, also had something else in mind and the funny thing is, it began as a prank but started an unexpected chain reaction. Read on...
N.B: once again, for the final episode of LA REVANCHA, PLS CLICK HERE
The next morning, Maura, smarting over what Tonio had told her informed her younger sister
Carla about it. Carla had a sudden idea...
Luis(one of the chauffeurs and Max's henchman) and Martha went for a drive and Luis suggested she take the wheel and learn how to drive. Martha eagerly accepted and to her surprise found it easy. Daniel consoled Chucho who was still upset; he wasn't at all sure Tonio would help him again after hearing about the previous night's debacle. Daniel is still confident Raquel would be able to influence Tonio, for his sake. At the mansion, Raquel and Tonio are having breakfast. She remarked they've been married for a month now yet she still didn't even
know more about his line of work. He asked if she was interested in the business but she wasn't,
she was more interested in him. She suddenly asked what had run through his mind the fateful night he  first saw her.
Tonio looked at her seriously and said he'd thought,' who is this beautiful woman?'
Raquel laughed and asked him to be serious, but he insisted that he was and he'd fallen in love with her each passing day. He then asked her what she'd thought when looking at his photograph. Embarrassed, she asked how he knew about that.
He replied Ernest, the servant who had given it to her, told him. She explained that she had wanted to see how the real Antonio looked like and had found him attractive and felt sorry his life had suddenly been cut short, it came as a surprise to find him alive. As they smiled at each other, Ramon appeared with the phone, Raquel had a call from Guadalajara. Raquel took it from
him and said 'hello?'
No answer. That was because it was Carla on the other line; she grinned at Maura then hung up.
Very puzzled, Raquel stared at the receiver, saying that the person had hung up without answering. Tonio asked Ramon if the caller had given a name. Ramon replied the person was calling for a Mr. Roberto Aguirre. She said she didn't know him. Tonio is surprised as well but accepted the answer. (trust me folks, that fictional chap caused more trouble than you could ever imagine).
Meanwhile, Max and Luis met in his room; he asked if Martha had been going out with Luis as planned ; he said yes and he's found an actor willing to go with the plan they'd hatched. Max ordered him to make sure Martha agreed to go on a date with him as soon as possible for everything to work. They left the room and went outside; Raquel, alone in the living room, watched them leave. Daniel tentatively, from the look on his daughter's face, she still wasn't pleased with the trouble he caused.
Tonio paid another visit to Oscar, who still felt hostile towards Raquel. Tonio insisted he wasn't a  love struck little boy; he knew what he was doing and he and Raquel loved each other very much. Oscar asked him if he planned on having children with her; the answer was a firm yes, though they were yet to discuss the topic- Raquel was going to be the mother of his children. With that, he left.
But later in the day, Tonio, unable to concentrate at work, called the house. Ramon gave the
phone to Raquel, she asked if all was well. Tonio said nothing was wrong, she knew why he was calling... Raquel blushed red. He asked her what she was doing and she replied she was waiting for him to come home. He then told her to instruct Ramon to start the yacht; they would go on a
boat ride that afternoon. He hung up, after saying he loved her. Raquel put down the phone and went to the kitchen.
After another talk with Daniel, Chucho decided to approach Tonio himself but hoped Raquel would still put in a good word. Martha agreed to go on a date with Luis. Raquel and Tonio spent a very romantic and pleasant afternoon in the yacht. Meanwhile, Maura told Rodrigo about the prank because she wanted to take it further; she asked Rodrigo to get someone to pose as Roberto Egere over the phone. He agreed to do it.
On getting back to the house, Raquel was informed that some flowers had arrived for her and Mr. Egere had called again. Tonio told Raquel that he had sent the flowers but he wanted to know who this Roberto was. Raquel again said she didn't know any Roberto Aguirre, maybe it was a crank caller. Tonio believed her but by nature he was rather jealous and possessive, so these strange calls didn't please him at all. In his study, he asked Pablo to find out all he could about Roberto Aguirre.
Later he joined Raquel in her room, where she was admiring the flowers he'd sent her and suggested she'd enjoy them the same way if they and her things were moved into his room.
Going downstairs they found Chucho, who pleaded with them to help him again; reminding Tonio how he'd saved him, he was willing to do anything around the house. They decided to give him a servant's job and he thanked them gratefully.

Luis met with the man who was to carry out the plan Max had hatched, which would involve Martha.
Raquel and Tonio finally started sharing the same room instead of going back and forth all the time. Raquel also decided to pay him a visit at his office and see how he worked. Chucho eagerly started work as a servant, very proud of his clean
clean, white uniform.
Later in the day, Raquel arrived at Tonio's office- Pablo watched her admiringly as Tonio showed her some blue prints of a hotel being built for a client.
In the evening, Martha prepared for her date, lying to her sister that she was going out with Claudio and some of his friends. She and Luis had an uneventful time at the restaurant and nightclub and drove home afterwards. Half way there, Luis suggested she tried her budding driving skills again, which she happily agreed to and took the wheel. As she drove slowly along the road, the hired actor came out of the bushes and pretended to trip, falling against the front of the car and onto the ground.Martha screamed and pulled over. Luis got out, pretended to examine the man and ran back into the car, saying the stranger was dead. Martha is very frightened at what she'd done- Luis took over the wheel and they drove off. However, someone had seen the whole thing! As the man began to get up, who should hurry over to him but Chucho, who was returning from his visit to Mercedes(or Meche as he preferred calling her) and Gabriel. He hurried to the man, asking if he was alright. The man ran away instead of answering him, much to his surprise. Martha was consoled by Luis, who led her into the house then told Max everything had worked according to plan. Meanwhile Chucho, getting back, is very puzzled to find the runaway car parked outside the mansion...

Friday, October 02, 2009

Raquel's embarassment: it gets worse

Tonio was told the whole story by Raquel. Evil Max told him what he'd already done, clearly pleased at his ex- girlfriend's discomfort. Raquel and Tonio go to the guest bungalow to ask Daniel what really happened. Tonio is very angry with Raquel for keeping such a thing from him and asked her to go back to the mansion; which she did quietly. Back in the Big House, Raquel scolded Max for mentioning the incident in front of Tonio in the first place,  angrily brushes  his hand off her cheek and  stormed into her room. Daniel narrated the whole story, filled with remorse he'd embarrassed his daughter and pleaded with Tonio to arrange for Chucho and Mercedes' bail. Getting back to the house, Tonio called Pablo and sent him to the police station to pay the bail. He then went up to Raquel's room; she asked if he was still angry with her, he replied yes.

What really made him cross was that his wife had felt too scared to confide in him after his promise of always looking after her; why had she lied to him, of all people? She humbly apologised to him- she had felt too ashamed to tell him as it was scandalous to the family she'd just joined and was still trying to adjust in. Tonio understood what she meant and forgave her but made her promise never to be too scared to confide in him, he was her husband after all. She eagerly promised, filled with relief. Tonio decided they would go out for lunch and to Max's anger, they left the house, hand in hand- Raquel throwing a brief look of triumph at Max.
As the couple were having a cosy time at the restaurant, Maura and Rod stopped by their table; Raquel managed to control her fury as her rival kissed Tonio on the lips again but abruptly walked out on them when Maura (deliberately tactless) mentioned the unfortunate incident; she'd read about it in the papers. Tonio of course had to go after his wife.
Back home, Raquel is furious; she told Tonio she couldn't stand Maura at all, it was bad enough

she flirted shamelessly with him but now she'd started humiliating her in public. Vicki appeared with the day's newspaper in her hand and showed the couple the article; she couldn't understand how the press got wind of it since Max had assured her he'd fended them off at the station. Raquel is very upset at the whole thing and her husband consoled her, telling her to think of more positive things, like himself- making her smile. He kissed her and surprised her by saying he was going to Maura's house. When she asked why, he replied it was time he straightened things out and left. Camilla came in to confirm what she'd heard but neither her brother nor her sister-in-law deigned to discuss it with her, Tonio walked out. Camilla however asked Vicki and was disgusted at the smear Raquel's father had caused. Raquel had to leave the room.
Pablo got to the station and bailed Chucho, Mercedes and her friend out. Chucho asked him if Tonio had sent him money; was coldly told no. Chucho escorted Mercedes to her little house and was introduced to her bed ridden brother, Gabriel(Lucia Mendez's real-life brother, Abraham Mendez) - he had lost the use of his legs after hit by a bus some months back.
At Maura's house, Tonio was blunt with her; he was tired of her deliberately offending Raquel all the time , he loved his wife very much. What he and Maura once had was over and from now on she must treat his wife with the respect she deserved and stop causing mischief. He took his leave, Maura sullen and angry at what he'd said.
Back at the mansion, Tonio found Raquel outside waiting for him despite it drizzling. She asked him what he'd told Maura. He replied, 'that I love you.'

As they kiss passionately, neither of them notice Evil Max watching them, sheer bitterness and rage written all over his face...
Daniel was delighted to see Chucho out of jail. Chucho was still upset about the loss of his precious money. Daniel promised to talk to Raquel in the morning.