Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Gloom Girls Project: Julia Agrippina Minor

This is a project about ladies, maidens and queens who are just pure evil. It's the opposite to my "Golden Girl Project" series that I made years ago on this blog. Golden Girls is all about ladies of light. As with the "Golden Girls", although I shall focus on real historical figures, some won't be. Each post will focus on one such gloomy girl.

Julia Agrippina Minor

A Roman empress named Agrippina Minor or Agrippina the Younger, born 6th November CE 15. Her first name was Julia and she many siblings including her brother Caligula. Daughter of Germanicus and Agrippina the Elder. She grew up near the river Rhine in a Roman military camp. During her early childhood she lived in the wilds of Germany with her family and as a little girl, she was eager to explore forests alone but wasn't allowed to. She was sent to live with her grandmother Antonia in Rome so that her parents could carry out State trips to other countries.
After the death of her father, her uncle Tiberius became Roman emperor. He arranged for the teenager Julia Agrippina to marry Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, who was not particularly who she wanted. An extravagant wedding in the city was held with a feast, music, dancing and celebration. She soon had a son called Lucius Dominitus Ahenobarbus. Her uncle Tiberius soon died and then her brother Caligula became emperor. Caligula gave his sisters the gift of certain powers that made them go places that were once restricted. Coins were made in their images and they were included in many official events. That didn't last.
In Rome there was a ravage of illness and disease that claimed one of Caligula's sisters, called Drusilla. After she died, Caligula went over the edge. Drusilla and Caligula had incest so her death caused him to go darker and darker. Agrippina, her other sister Luvilla, and Marcus Lepidus, the widower of Drusilla conspired to kill Caligula. It failed. Caligula had Marcus Lepidus executed, while he banished his sisters to the Pontine islands. Agripinna's husband died.
The Pontine islands are small and remote rocks and that was where Agrippina and Luvilla stayed in exile until Caligula died. The sisters came to live there and often wandered the islands during misty twilights and along the stony beaches. Agrippina's uncle Claudius became the emperor and the sisters were allowed to return to Rome.
Claudius was married to the seductress Valeria Messalina who was both beautiful and cruel. Messalina threatened to kill the son of Agrippina who regarded the boy as a threat to her own son's position in the seat of power. Agrippina remarried and when her second husband died, she became extremely wealthy. Some suspected that she poisoned her second husband.
Messalina was soon executed for plotting to overthrow Claudius and later Claudius married his niece Agrippina, to the shock of everyone in Rome. Agrippina wanted to marry her uncle only so that she and her son would be powerful. She had anyone killed who she regarded as a threat. She then killed Claudius. After the death of Claudius, he was given godlike status and Agrippina was the priestess. Her son grew up and eventually became the emperor Nero. He soon turned on his own mother. After Agrippina's death, Nero displayed her body in an open coffin because he regarded her as incredibly beautiful. The ghost of Agrippina haunted Nero and she frightened him to the death. 

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Moon of the Wolf

This is a review of the 1972 low budget "Moon of the Wolf."
I shall attempt this film reviewing on werewolf movies beginning with this one. I'll try to be fair. This was a murder mystery when a woman was found dead in the woods. It was never clear if she died because of wild dogs or murdered by a human, so the viewer aims suspicion at the doctor. When the doctor admits that he was the victims' lover, it all became strange. Did he kill her? It took the word of a neighbour to say that the victim was pregnant. The doctor knew about it but wouldn't reveal this vital information to the town sheriff.
There are not many characters in the film. It stars David Janssen, Barbara Rush and Bradford Dillman. It was directed by Daniel Petrie. This is a mystery horror with no gore but definate scary moments. The most frightening scene was when the werewolf entered the jail.
Plenty of lovely scenes of the bayou, woods, the mansion and it's garden. Shocking moment when the werewolf appeared trapped in a burning barn. Major spoiler when the actual person who is the real werewolf suffers when entering a house with garlic and smoking sage.
My rating and opinion is 5/10.
Disappointments: It felt as though there could've been more to this. How did the werewolf come to be in the first place and why did no one else notice before? This is a pretty quiet and slow film, and looks quite old fashioned now but is charming as well as entertaining.       

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Gloom Girls Project: Zhao Feiyan

This is a project about ladies, maidens and queens who are just pure evil. It's the opposite to my "Golden Girl Project" series that I made years ago on this blog. Golden Girls is all about ladies of light. As with the "Golden Girls", although I shall focus on real historical figures, some won't be. Each post will focus on one such gloomy girl.

Zhao Feiyan

There were orphaned twin sisters who lived during the Han Dynasty. The sisters were called Zhao Feiyan and Zhao Hede. Emperor Cheng had a sister named Princess Yang'a who wanted to keep the twin girls and she employed them to work in her house. She gave them food, clothes and even school lessons in dancing. Both twins were talented at dancing and they were graceful as well as enchanting. They became beautiful as they approached womanhood. Princess Yang'a named the most slender, swiftest and enchanting sister "Flying Swallow". When Feiyan danced, she was so light that it seemed as if she was moving through air. One day, Princess Yang's invited her brother Cheng to visit the house. When he saw Zhao Feiyang the "flying swallow", he fell under a spell and wanted to keep her for himself. So this was how the teenaged girl Zhao Feiyan became the girlfriend and concubine of Emperor Cheng.
He loved Zhao so much that he awarded her the title of Jieyu (Lady of Handsome Fairness). In the Chinese harem, there was a ranking system for all of the concubines but the ranking system altered throughout the ages in different places. During the Han Dynasty, and all of the others, the Empress is alone at the very top of the rank. The others, including madames and other imperial concubines were given their own titles and positions.
Emperor Cheng had a crystal plate made for Zhao Feiyan to dance upon. When she did, her graceful moves impressed all those who watched her. She performed for everyone in the palace and gained popularity and fame as the Crystal Dancer. Much anger, resentment, jealousy and bitterness occurred amongst the other concubines who grew to hate Zhao Feiyan.
One day, Zhao Hede was invited to visit her sister and then she was made a concubine by Feiyan, to support her and help back her up against jealous rivals.
The Emperor found Feiyan's twin sister beautiful and fuller with curves. He loved both sisters so much that he lost touch with his own duties. Both sisters conspired to get rid of Cheng's wife, Xu, and they each created a malicious set up against the Empress Xu and accused her of witchcraft. The lies made by the twin sisters caused the downfall of Empress Xu and Consort Ban. Both Xu and Ban were deposed. Zhao Feiyang became empress.
The two sisters were both so beautiful that the Emperor forgot about the world, lost touch with reality and as a result of this, the country fell into chaos. The girls were not able to have children and they hypnotised this most powerful man into becoming selfish, who was only nterested in having fun and pleasure seeking. While both sisters continued to dance, they were stressing about not getting pregnant. Other concubines who became pregnant were met by "nasty little accidents" by the sisters. The fable "The swallow pecks at the emperor's offspring" comes from the time of the dancer and empress Zheo Freiyang who took her malice out on other concubines and their babies.
Emperor Cheng died and some believe it was caused by Hede who might've poisoned him. After his death, his oldest son Ai became the emperor and he made Zhao Feiyan the "queen mother". When the new emperor Ai died, his grandmother made her nephew Wang Mang the emperor. Emperor Wang Mang changed the status of Zhao to that of commoner.
At the age of 31, Zhao committed suicide.  

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Gloom Girls Project: Lucrezia Borgia

This is a project about demonic ladies, iron maidens and evil queens. It's the opposite to my "Golden Girl Project" series that I made years ago on this blog. Golden Girls is all about ladies of light. The Gloom Girls Project is about ladies of darkness. Obsidiously evil and dangerous by nature, they're cold blooded as they're so vicious, tainted and cruel. Each post will focus on one such lady of gloom.

Lucrezia Borgia

One of the most beautiful yet infamous women in history is the character named Lucrezia Borgia. She looked physically angelic, innocent with a pretty smile and tumbling curls, her flowery laughter and elegant manner. Yet people actually feared this woman. Why?
First of all, she came from a powerful and notorious family. This made her untouchable as well as immune to any justice. Her own family had a dark and brutal reputation that put everyone in the public on caution of getting in their way.
Lucrezia had a streak that made servants afraid of her, not to mention her access to poisons, how she didn't care about using it. Not only did she threaten to kill people, she killed people, and this made her frightening as well as cold and deadly. People could tell that she was capable of anything. She bullied anyone who wasn't as rich and powerful as her. Lucrezia had an image of being cruel and promiscuous. Her antics were considered evil and she was involved in orgies and incest.
Daughter of the corrupt and sinister Pope Alexander VI, formerly named Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia. Lucrezia married Giovanni Sforza but her husband was targetted to be assassinated by the king of France who was allied with Giovanni's uncle, Ludovico the Duke of Milan. The marriage failed, was anulled and Lucrezia was sent off to a convent.
After three years she married Alfonso of Aragon. An attmpt was made on his life and this injured him, but Lucrezia nursed him. Alfonso was soon murdered, by Cesere, brother and lover of Lucrezia. It was rumoured that she had an illigitimate child with her brother. Their incestouous relationship was known. Later Lucrezia married a Duke of Ferrara. She later died of childbirth at the age of 39.
Although her life was only brief, it was filled with scandal and insanity. The feelings that this girl projected onto others, mostly to make people frightened of her, gave her a sordid and grim reputation. She's gone down in history as a girl that is both beautiful, young and from a sinister family. 

The above picture is of Lucrezia Borgia made by me using Azalea's Dolls