Project SPN Rewatch: Monster Movie

(As I mentioned in my post announcing this rewatch project, there will be spoilers!)

Season 4, Episode 5: Monster Movie

via GIPHY

I don’t think I’ve seen this episode in years. It’s one I remember fondly but it isn’t one of my go-to episodes when I want to watch a random Supernatural episode. So I’m looking forward to seeing this again!

This episode is memorable for being fully shot in black and white, with an old-school movie vibe and soundtrack, and has its own opening like A Very Supernatural Christmas.

This one opens with Sam and Dean on the road. I love the music! We see a sign welcoming them to Pennsyvlania (which flashes to Transylvania). Dean is not impressed with the radio.

They’re working a job: dead victim, gnawed on neck, victim drained of blood, and a witness who swears it was a vampire. Dean is jazzed about this, but Sam is not as excited, what with the impending end of the world. Dean says this is like the good old days: an old-fashioned monster hunt.

We see them arrive at Oktoberfest 2008. Dean says he has to see the new Raiders movie, which apparently Sam saw while Dean was in hell. Dean is distracted by a big pretzel.

An Oktoberfest barmaid catches Dean’s eye. Sam sees the sheriff and they introduce themselves as FBI agents, here to handle his ‘problem’. The sheriff takes them to the morgue, where we see the victim does indeed have stereotypical signs of a vampire bite.

The sheriff tells the brothers about Ed Brewer, the witness, who is apparently not the most reliable guy.

The boys enter a pub and meet Jamie, the barmaid from earlier. They tell her they’re looking for Ed. They flash their FBI badges and say they need to talk to Ed as he witnessed a serious crime.

Dean and Jamie engage in some banter (Dean is a maverick apparently haha).

Jamie tells them where they can find Ed, and the boy sit down with him in the bar. He told the cops what he saw and they didn’t believe him, so he tells Sam and Dean even though everything thinks he’s wacky. It was just after midnight and he left the bar, cutting through the park on the way home. He thought he saw a couple kissing, but the woman was struggling and the man was biting her neck.

Sam asked him to describe the assailant. Ed: “Oh he was a vampire.”

Ed says he had fangs, slicked back hair, and a cape, like a Dracula. He even had a Dracula accent. This…does not sound like the kind of vampires we have seen on the show. But it does sound like a stereotypical vampire that someone who hasn’t seen ‘real’ vampires would think they look like.

Dean approaches Jamie and orders a beer. Sam sees a napkin with a lipstick imprint discarded by Jamie’s coworker. Sam doesn’t seem to think this is their type of case – maybe a ‘typical’ murder.

Jamie and Dean are hitting it off. Dean tells Sam he came back from hell without any of his old scars. He concludes that his virginity must also be intact. Sam laughs, and says he’s going back to the room to get some sleep, leaving Dean and his giant beer alone.

Dean asks out Jamie, but she has plans with her coworker Lucy.

Dean tells Lucy this case is not weird enough – they aren’t sticking around.

Meanwhile, we see a car parked off the road with a couple making out inside, while a wolf howls outside. The girl is scared but this guy is pressuring her. What a loser. We see a shadow creep towards them through the fog. Furry arms and clawed hands reach out, and then the car window breaks and the guy is pulled through the window while the girl screams!

Next we see her talking to Sam and Dean, recounting how the wolf tore her boyfriend into little pieces. When they ask her to describe the creature, she says decisively that it was a werewolf like from the old movies: furry face, claws, black nose, torn clothes. The brothers thank her and walk away.

Sam and Dean arrive at the morgue, wondering what is going on in this town with these old movie monsters. They definitely see that the victim was torn into pieces. Sam points out that there are bite marks right down to the bone. But he also points out that the heart is still intact, in one piece – which is not at all like the werewolf attacks that we are familiar with.

Sam and Dean are eating in the bar trying to figure out what is happening around here. Dracula? Werewolves? Jamie is working and Dean tells her the case just got weird enough for him and Sam.

Jamie tells Dean that she gets off work at midnight. Ooh. Dean says he will see her tonight.

Dean asks Sam if this Dracula can turn into a bat. “That’d be cool.”

We see a museum of American history. There’s a guard speaking to someone on the phone, telling them about an unexpected delivery. No shipping invoice or anything; it was there when the guard clocked in. Behind him, we see the lid open and a mummy rise up from the box! The guard stares in horror and drops his phone. He shoots with his gun but it has no effect. The mummy lifts him off the ground with one hand and strangles him!

Later the guard’s body is wheeled out by the coroner while Sam and Dean investigate the sheriff’s crime scene. Sam notices that the sarcophagus is from a prop house in Philadelphia and Dean finds a bucket of dry ice. So this is not authentic. What is happening?

Dean leaves to meet up with Jamie and Sam sticks around the crime scene.

We see Jamie give up on waiting for Dean and start to walk away. She hears a flutter and turns around. There’s a Dracula behind her! She turns to run but he gives chase. He does have a cape and slicked back hair.

He tells Jamie he’s watched her from afar. He says she is the reincarnation of his beloved and he must have her. Jamie maces him and runs. Dean catches up with her and sees the Dracula!

Dean punches him and tells Jamie to run. The vampire tries to bite Dean with his pointy teeth – that do not look like Supernatural-universe vampire teeth – but Dean rips off his ear! He runs and Dean gives chase. The vampire escapes on a scooter!

I LOVE THE INTERMISSION!

Jamie and Dean meet up with Sam at the bar to recount what happened. Dean says that he thinks he knows what’s going on, showing Sam the ear. He tells Sam to touch the ear and he does. Gross.

Sam gets it: it’s a shape-shifter. He also has the ribbon the vampire was wearing around its neck: it’s a costume rental. Dean says each monster that killed someone is the same guy, the same shifter.

Jamie asks if they’re like Mulder and Scully, like the X-Files. Dean scoffs, telling her The X-Files is a TV show and this is real. Haha.

Sam says it’s like he’s trying to reenact his favourite monster movies. When Sam hears the names that the vampire called Dean and Jamie (Harker and Meena), he realizes that the shifter must be fixated on Jamie.

Dean asks if anyone strange has come to town but it’s Oktoberfest. There are lots of people – but then she thinks about Ed Brewer (the witness to the first crime). He has a crush on Jamie and works at the old movie theatre, but Jamie doubts he’s behind this. But Sam takes off to investigate.

Meanwhile, Dean explains to Jamie that monsters are real, and what shapeshifters are. She figures out that Dean is not a real FBI agent. She asks if this is what he and his partner do: tramp across the country on their own dime until they find some horrible nightmare. “That must suck,” she says. Giving up his life for this terrible thing… Dean tells her he started thinking that way the last few years and it started weighing on him, before…he stops himself from telling her he went to hell. He says that a little while ago he had a near-death experience and when he came to, things were different. His life has been different. He realized that he helps people. He saves them. It’s awesome. It’s like a gift, a mission. A mission from God?

Yeah! Go Dean!

Jamie asks if that makes him a monk or something…celibate. Dean says he hopes not! They kiss.

The lights come on and we see Jamie’s coworker Lucy, saying she thought they were going out and she just came in to borrow a bottle from the bar. She says she’s going to get out of their hair but Jamie tells her to stay for a drink.

Sam approaches the old theatre (which is playing Phantom of the Opera). I love the music for this scene.

Sam enters the theatre and sees a man playing the organ. It’s Ed. Sam approaches him as Ed switches up the music. Haha.

When Ed sees Sam he freaks out and Sam pulls out his gone. Sam grabs his ear but Ed is very clearly not the shifter! Oops.

Back at the bar Jamie has explained to Lucy about the attack. Jamie leaves a lipstick mark on her napkin and Jamie gets a bit dopey. Dean also starts to feel funny. Uhoh, Lucy spiked their drinks!

Dean punches her but he’s woozy. Jamie passes out. Dean tells Lucy it’s her, she’s the shifter. Dean asks what’s in their drinks. Then he passes out.

Dean comes to in a Frankenstien-looking lab, wearing lederhosen! “Oh come on.”

The vampire from earlier comes in. Dean laughs at how crazy this guy is, telling him he’s not Dracula.

The vampire punches him, telling Dean he’s all monsters. Dean tells him life ain’t a movie, but the vampire replies that life is small, meagre, messy. The movies are grand, epic. He has chosen elegance.

Dean reminds him of his victims, asking if elegant is really the word. And doesn’t he realize what happens at the end of every monster movie?

“But this movie is mine,” the vampire replies, saying in this one, the monster lives and gets the girl, and the hero is electrocuted. He moves to pull a switch and Dean struggles but can’t get free. But the doorbell rings in the nick of time! The vampire excuses himself.

He opens the door and there’s a pizza delivery boy.

“Ah, you brought a repast. Excellent.” The pizza boy is not impressed with this guy’s getup. The vampire asks if there’s garlic on the pizza but the delivery guy doesn’t know. “Did you order garlic?”

The vampire pays for his pizza (“but I have a coupon”).

Sam gets back to the bar and calls Dean, leaving a message telling him that Ed is not the guy. He notices the broken bottle and the lipstick-stained napkin, realizing Lucy is behind this.

Jamie comes to in a bedroom that looks like it’s out of a castle. The vampire is there and tells her to put on a gown he has hanging up. Jamie asks what he’s done with Dean, but the vampire tells her he’s resting elsewhere.

He again tells her to put on the gown and they’ll dine on pizza.

Jamie asks what’s wrong with him, making up Lucy and pretending to be her friend. He says he needed to know if she was the one, but she says he should have just tried talking to her. She says she wants to go home but he loses his temper and yells at her to put on the gown.

We see Sam quietly enter the vampire’s house, gun drawn.

Jamie has put on the gown. The vampire says she’s the only one he doesn’t want to scare. He sees her in the gown and tells her he used to love the movies. Jamie tells her they aren’t real.

The vampire tells her real is being born this way, having your dad call you monster, when your dad tries to beat you with a shovel. Everywhere he went to try to hide, people found him, called him a freak, a monster, then he found the great monsters from the movies. They were strong and feared.

Lonely, Jamie says.

He says he was but now he has her. Jamie says maybe he’s lonely because he kills people. He tells her maybe he kills people because he’s lonely.

He hears a noise. Jamie calls for Dean but the vampire hits her and knocks her out.

Sam finds Dean! Yay! He frees Dean, and takes a moment to acknowledge his outfit.

Sam kicks the door down, and they exit the room. They find Jamie in her room but as Sam approaches her, the vampire grabs him and throws him through the prop wall. Then he punches Dean a few times.

Suddenly he’s shot from behind, with silver bullets. Jamie woke and got hold of the gun and when he turns around he sees that she shot him.

“Twas beauty that killed the beast”. He dies.

Next we see Jamie kissing Dean goodbye, thanking him for his service to his country. As Dean turns and walks away with Sam, Jamie calls out that they saved her life and thanks them.

“I like her,” Sam says.

Dean says it’s good to be back on the job: happy ending. Hero gets the girl, monster gets ganked. It would be nice if life were movie simple – not that this is the kind of movie Dean would pick.

Sam says he knows what Dean would pick: Porky’s 2. Dean says that was a lucky guess and they walk away.

Lore:

-vampire, werewolf, mummy

-shifter

Overall Thoughts:

I love the style of this episode: the black and white, the music, the credits. Very very fun stuff.

As for the plot, it’s pretty standard monster-of-the-week stuff, but the highlight is the monologue from Dean talking about his new perspective on his life and his mission. That was great.

This was a pretty Dean-centric episode, and I wish there had been a bit more Sam-and-Dean time, but it was pretty cute the way Sam knew exactly which movie Dean would have picked in the end.

There’s nothing here that moves the bigger story along, but we get a good look at where Dean’s head is at right now in terms of the family business.

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