(September 4, 2008)
As promised....the dramatic conclusion to this Hogfather review:
We left off with Susan, the monster-beating governess, going to death's house to find out why death is impersonating Hogfather on Hogswatch (Christmas eve) with his sidekick Alfred in tow.
We also left off with Teatime and his gang trying to put a spell on all the teeth they found at the tooth fairy's castle.
We've now learned that in this world, one can control you if they have some of your hair, your toe-nail clippings or your teeth. Interesting.
There is also a group of wizards at an unseen university that I neglected to mention in the first part of this review (simply because they failed to leave an impression on me) that has been sitting around talking about students, hygiene and a machine one of the students built called the Hex. (The hex is the largest thinking brain in the world)
Death and Alfred get to a small, dirty house and death reads the letter to Hogfather..."I'd like some food, some warm clothes, lots of toys, etc." Alfred, ever so graciously says "well he can settle for an apple and a truck" (or something like a truck). Death doesn't seem pleased. "What? You can't just give them everything they ask for...it's the whole socio-economics of the world. They need to want things..." he says. Alfred then explains to death about the first time he really wanted something for Hogswatch...
"I was a little lad and I saw this beautiful wooden horse in the window of a shop. I had my nose against that window all day staring at that horse, hoping someone would buy it for me. Someone did go in and buy it, and for a moment, I thought it was for me, but it wasn't. Incidentally, my nose froze to that window and I stood there, stuck for hours after the shop closed. I put up my stocking and the next morning I got a wooden horse, it was the size of my hand, my father carved it himself." Death interupts, "and that meant more to you than any expensive toy..." "No." Alfred says quickly. "You're selfish as ever when you're 9. I wanted that giant wooden horse."
Meanwhile, at deaths house, Susan reads a book and is suddenly knocked out by a huge gust of wind and has a dream of a castle of bones. She comes too and jumps on deaths horse (a white horse) and rides to this castle. (It's never explained how she finds it so easily). Once she arrives, the castle starts to collapse and she has only seconds to get out. Not without saving some random guy wearing a sheet. She takes this guy to the unseen university (apparently she can see it because she is only half human---death being her grandfather after all) and she asks the professors/wizards to help her.
"This is the god of hangovers," she announces as she throws the guy she rescued from the castle of bones on a table. He is clearly....drunk and passed out.
"What do you want us to do?" asks one of the wizards.
"I need you to make him sober so I can ask him some questions."
The wizards all look at each other with frantic faces...."you need him sober...so you brought him here?"
The wizards get together and come up with some kind of cocktail that is "pure sobriety" in a bottle. The god of hangovers drinks it....and passes out. He later comes to and says he has no recollection of where he came from...that one day he just...existed.
Similarly, this wierd knome suddenly existed earlier in the movie at the unseen university. The headmaster remembered this and said, "wait one moment...things that have never existed before are just....turning up all of a sudden. things that we imagine."
To test the theory, one wizard announces..."well I always wondered if there was an eater of socks...you know...since there always seems to be one sock missing."
"To the laundry room!" one shouts.
They all run to the laundry room to find....yup...you guessed it....a wierd little creature that looks like a mix between an anteater and a goblin....eating socks.
Susan doesn't really have time for this so she jumps on deaths white horse and starts to ride off when the god of hangovers is suddenly sober enough to jump on the back of the horse.
"I'll go with you." he says goofily.
"Are you any good in a fight?" Susan asks.
"Well....I can be sick on people."
Content with that answer, Susan and the god of hangovers ride off...into the unknown.
Back at tooth fairy's castle, the wizard Teatime employed to place a spell on all the childrens teeth is having some difficulty in performing his task. One of Teatimes other thugs has found a big vault that has numerous locks and is instructed by Teatime to open it.
Back at the unseen university, the wizards are taken by surprise to see death (again, impersonating Hogfather) drop down the chimney with gifts. They confront him and death explains that Hogfather has...disappeared and so he's taken his place to keep people believing. The wizards tell death about the wierd creatures that are coming into existence all of a sudden and then death sits down and has a conversation with Hex about what's going on.
"What will happen if Hogfather dies?" he asks Hex.
"The sun will not come up in the morning." replies Hex.
"Will the Hogfather die if nobody believes in him?" asks death.
"Yes." replies Hex.
"Do you believe in the Hogfather Hex?"
There's no reply.
"Dooooo yooooouuuuu believe?" asks death, sounding slightly irritated.
"Yes." replies Hex.
"Good, I need you to believe." With that, death takes off.
Susan and the god of hangovers has suddenly ridden deaths white horse right into a childs drawing and for a second I thought we switched movies to Mary Poppins.
They walk through this fantasy drawing land and find a house, open the door and voila! They're in the tooth fairy's castle. They happen upon Teatime and his gang (the gang is a little smaller now because he's killed off a few of them by this point). There's some chasing that goes on and some crazy ridiculousness. Susan and god of hangovers happen upon the kidnapped tooth fairy, only she isn't THEE tooth fairy (apparently it's kind of a commercialized business) and once the god of hangovers sees this tooth fairy employee for the first time he falls in love with her. The two of them run off (making later appearances here and there).
Susan confronts Teatime who grabs her sword (deaths sword, his second favorite weapon Susan happened to grab while snooping around his house earlier) and trys to kill Susan. Only, weapons don't work in the tooth fairy's castle...because it is built and maintained by childrens imaginations. So there is no death in the castle. And death himself can't get to the castle. There's a scuffle and Teatime falls to his death (so we think) and Susan opens the big vault with all the locks. Inside the huge room, there's a tiny wireframe bed with a little old lady (who looks awfully suspicious) resting there.
"Hello dear." the frail woman says.
"No." Susan says. "You're not the tooth fairy."
A really wierd conversation takes place and Susan beats up the old lady...then we see it's not really an old lady after all....it's a bogey man (they said bo-gee, I assume they mean boogie)...and not only A bogey man...THEE bogey the man...the ORIGINAL!
The bogey man tells Susan his story of scaring the children, but then starting to care about them and then he wanted to protect them and you know (hair, toe-nail clippings and teeth can be harmful if anyone gets their hands on them) so he started the tooth fairy business.
Then...the bogey man dies (even though there isn't supposed to be death in the tooth fairys castle).
Then Susan employs one of Teatimes gang members (who actually is a good guy) to look after the teeth.
Back at the unseen university, the professors and students are celebrating Hogswatch when suddenly Teatime falls onto one of their tables. Apparently, the tooth fairy's castle is located over the unseen university.
He gets up and leaves.
Susan goes back to the house where she is a governness but death is there waiting for her. She still needs to find the Hogfather.
Next thing you know... death and Susan are riding the white horse over a snowy mountain where there's a big hog running from some dogs. The hog is the Hogfather before he became the Hogfather and the dogs (we later learn) are the auditors trying to kill him.
Susan steps in, saves the hog, death steps in, gets rid of the auditors. (death was breaking all sorts of rules).
The Hogfather becomes himself again, the sun rises...and all seems well. Susan is dropped back off at the house where she invites death in for some hot cocoa.
Susan and death seem to be getting along when TeaTime shows up and trys to kill them.
No worries though, Susan kicks ass.
Teatime dies, death stops time so the kids Susan governs won't see the body and then hands Susan a Hogswatch card.
There seems to be a bloodied feather stuck to the front of the card. Death explains Alfred suggested he put a sparrow on the card...but that when he tried to put it on...it didn't want to stay. "It didn't seem to be in the spirit of Hogswatch at all." he says...disappointed. Susan smiles and thanks him. Apparently whatever family drama they had was now forgotten.
Death is about to leave but Susan has to know why he did what he did. Why he impersonated Hogfather.
"Humans have to believe. It's what makes them human. It's what makes them interesting." he says.
"And can you believe," death continues, "with all of the interesting things in all the worlds in this universe...someone actually came up with the idea of boredom?"
The movie ends...or so we think.
Then we see the words..."a long, long time ago..."
Death walks into a toy shop and asks the owner, "how much did you sell that wooden horse in the window for?"
"Twelve dollars." says the owner.
"I'll give you 50." says death.
"Do you want me to wrap it up for you?" asks the shop owner.
"No, but incidentally, there is a young boy with his nose frozen to your window outside...a little warm water should do the trick."
And then we see Alfred, as a boy, his nose frozen to the window.
This was definitely the MOST random movie I've ever seen in my life. I can't say that I'd watch it again...(unless I'm drinking) but I would definitely suggest it just for the pure wierdness of it. =)