Thursday, 28 July 2011

Sleepy Hollow (1999)

Written by Axemaster July 28 2011
Rating 8.5 out of 10

Director   -   Tim Burton

Johnny Depp   -   Ichabod Crane
Christina Ricci - Kristina Van Tassel
Miranda Richardson - Lady Van Tassel/Crone
Micheal Gambon  -  Baltus Van Tassel
Casper Van Dien  Brom Van Brunt
Christopher Walken - Hessian Horseman
Christopher Lee  -  Burgomaster

                         Okay all you lovers of the "Classic" tales of Ghosts and Ghouls from yesteryear !! Axemasters in the Dungeon with a cool one for you tonight !! ............... Sleepy Hollow !! As a kid I can remember waiting all year till Halloween rolled around for the Walt Disney cartoon version of Washington Irvings , "The Ledgend Of Sleepy Hollow" to be aired on TV ! (Yeah , I'm that old okay !) I just couldn't get enough of Old Ichabod , riding to beat the devil ! Or in this case ..... The Headless Horseman ! So naturally , back when this flick came out , I was there !!
"Captain Jack Who !!??"
This being Tim Burtons take on the tale , in my opinion made it even better !! Here's the story line in a nut shell ..........................

              Its the year 1799 and the American revolution is only twenty years gone . Not too far from memory for most anyway . However , the folks in the town of Sleepy Hollow , are reliving part of the revolution every night after dark !! The Headless Horseman part !! (Gulp !) The opening scene shows a regal old carriage racing along a dark misty road . The regal looking old passenger is Peter Vangharrett . He's delivering some important papers to New York . (Its a long ride to the city I guess !! ) The night turns suddenly stormy ! Lightening flashes and thunder crashes , and out of no where , we hear a different kind of thunder , hoofs beating the ground !!!
We hear the ring of cold steel as a sword is drawn from a scabbard !! Old Peter is freaking out big time in the back of his carriage !! (Wouldn't you !?? Sheesh !) We hear the sword slice through the air and old Peter shoves his head out of the carriage for a peek ! His driver has lost his head !! (There are a lot of decaps in this flick!! Gotta love Tim Burton !) Old Peter Bails out and takes a midnight jog through a
"I Said Double Expresso Dam You !!"
corn field . He stops in front of a creepy (Burtonish) Scarecrow , and
well , he runs into the same blade that just got his driver !! Off comes Old Peters head , paper work undelivered !
     Cut to a scene of New York city , when it really was New ! Constable Ichabod Crane , is pulling a body from the river . (Yes in this version Ichabod is a cop , not a school teacher !) Ichabod is a believer in scientific evidence ! A man well before his time ! Kind of like a seventeenth century CSI guy ! Naturally , he gets some flack from the other cops and judges , as they think , he's a nut ! So it is that he is handed the case of three decapitations in the town of Sleepy Hollow . The Burgomaster (Christopher Lee !) challenges Ichabod to head to Sleepy Hollow , and solve the case with his special , new methods !! Ichabod excepts the challenge and heads off ! He arrives in the small village and discovers everyone in fear of an avenging Headless Horseman , riding the dark roads in search of fresh heads !! (Christopher Walken !! You Gotta love it ! )  
   He begins to slowly unravel the Mystery of the Horseman and Sleepy Hollow . The tale that Burton crafts is a great one I think . I will say no more about the plot , as I don't want to give it away .
However , I will add the story that Baltus Van Tassel tells Ichabod about the origins of the Horseman that is haunting Sleepy Hollow . I thought it was a cool part of the flick .
" I thought I was supposed to pull the
sword from a stone !?? Not a tree !"

       The Horseman was a Hessian Mercenary , sent to these shores by German princes , to keep Americans under the yoke of England . But unlike his compatriots , who came for money , The Horseman came for love of carnage . When battle was joined , there you'd find him . He rode a giant black steed named Verden . He was infamous for riding his horse hard into battle , chopping off heads at full gallop . He'd filed his teeth down to sharp points to add to the ferocity of his appearance . 
   This Butcher didn't finally reach his end until the winter of 79 not far from here , in our western woods . They chopped off his head with his own sword . Even today , the western woods is a haunted place , where brave men will not venture . For what was planted that day was a seed of evil ! And so it has been for twenty years , and now .......... The Hessian Wakes ..

"What do you Mean ... Headless !!??
Huh smart guys !!?"
     Bbrrrr !! If that doesn't break out your goose flesh , your as dead as the Horseman for gods sake !! Okay , okay . For those "Purists" who can't get the Disney cartoon version out of their heads , this flick might be hard to take . However , Burton does add a couple scenes that pay homage to Disney's version . I won't tell you ...........
You'll have to watch this one to find out !!!! Ha Ha !
 Okay , thats all I've got for you tonight , so Pop some corn , Grab a Soda , and see if Ichabods faster than the Horseman !!

          And Remember ........... Tonight , as you're going home ......

                    If you should hear hoofbeats in the night ...............

                           Get in your Car and get the hell Out of there !!!!!!!! 


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