Monk S02E09: “Mr. Monk and the 12th Man”

PLOT SUMMARY

Monk helps the police investigate a brutal string of nine murders but he is unable to stop two more killings before figuring out the pattern behind the killings.

More Information: IMDb

Actress: Shea Broom
Strangled With: Wire Garrote
Result: Fatal

Shea Broom enters a darkened movie theater with a bag of popcorn and takes a seat. A moment later, a man enters and takes a seat behind her. He gets her attention by whispering her name. As she starts looking around, he whispers her name again. When she turns to face him, he asks how she’s doing as he gets up to attack her. She asks him what he’s holding, only to start gasping once the garrote is wrapped around her neck. The camera then pans down to a shot of her feet as she’s strangled to death. The clip ends there.

Edits

None needed.

Thoughts

A little brief, but good. My only gripe is that her face is masked in shadow from the light of the movie projector.

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Taking Lives

PLOT SUMMARY

A successful FBI profiler, Illeana Scott (Jolie), is summoned to help out Canadian law enforcement in Montreal, to hunt down a serial killer who assumes the lives and identities (hence the title) of the people he kills as he travels across North America, which forces Illeana to adjust to working in a strange city with a police team with which she doesn’t really fit in with.

More Information: IMDb

Actress: Angeline Jolie
Strangled With: Wire Garrote
Result: Non-Fatal

This is the last scene in the movie.  After learning the hard way that they’ve been chasing the wrong man, Angelina decides to turn the table and use the killer’s (Ethan Hawke) own M.O. against him.  She has herself fired from the FBI and takes refuge in a farm home near a small town.

Six months later, she’s noticeably pregnant with his child (they fucked at about 3/4 into the film), before she knew who he was), and appears to lead an otherwise normal life.  Then, Ethan appears and tries to talk her into starting a family with him.  She refuses, and he starts lapping her around.  He knocks her to the ground and then orders her back up to try and persuade her one last time.  After she nearly vomits from having to kiss him, he knocks her down again and then pulls out his wire garrote.

He swiftly wraps it around her neck as she’s crawling away, and pulls her back up to her feet.  She begins to struggle before he assures her he’s not going to kill her and then spots a pair of scissors on a nearby dresser.  Unfortunately for her, he is quickly winning the struggle.  She’s able to grab the scissors while finally collapsing to the floor, and eventually kills him with them.

Edits

I removed a small chunk of their one-sided conversation after Ethan takes a seat at the table.  The dialogue hindered the scene’s pacing and was boring me.

Thoughts

The strangling was pleasantly long.  Angelina did a pretty decent job.  I have to admit, it was a bit surrealistic seeing Ethan Hawke play a bad guy, but he pulled it off well. 

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Blow Out

PLOT SUMMARY

This stylish Brian DePalma thriller plays off the theme of the unsuspecting witness who discovers a crime and is thereby put in grave danger, but with a novel twist. Jack is a sound-man who works on “Grade-B” horror movies. Late one evening, he is “sampling” sounds for use in his movies, when he hears something unexpected through his sound equipment and records it. Curiosity gets the better of him when the media become involved, and he begins to unravel the pieces of a nefarious conspiracy. As he struggles to survive against his shadowy enemies and expose the truth, he doesn’t know who he can trust.

More Information: IMDb

Actress: Deborah Everton
Strangled With: Wire Garrote
Result: Fatal

This is the second strangling in the movie and takes place in what I believe is Grand Central Station.  It opens with John Lithgow reading the latest headline about his murderous exploits while eavesdropping on a hooker (Deborah) and a Navy sailor on leave haggle over the price of a blowjob.  Lithgow then starts fidgeting with his watch garrote as they agree on a price.  Afterward, he follows her to a row of phone booths and pretends to make a call while he waits for her and the sailer to finish up.  The rendezvous abruptly turns sour, and she’s left trying to collect herself.  John gets her attention through the row of booths and offers $50 for the same action.  She agrees, motions him to give her five minutes, and then heads for the bathroom.

John follows her in and quietly takes a position in an adjoining stall as she starts brushing her teeth.  He pulls out his garrote and wraps it around his gloved fingers.  The camera shows a few close-ups between Deborah brushing and Lithgow waiting for his moment to strike.  Deborah senses something isn’t right, and when she looks up, is unable to react before John snares her.  In one smooth, deft move, he wraps his garrote around her neck and lifts her off the ground.  The camera then cuts to a close-up shot of her feet from outside the stall door as she starts furiously kicking.  The camera slowly pulls back to a wide shot of her feet from across the bathroom as she dies, and then lingers for a moment as they dangle mere inches above the floor.

Edits

There’s a brief shot of the sailer and his friends hanging out together after he and Deborah finish negotiating the price of the blowjob he wanted.  I removed it.  No further editing was necessary.

Thoughts

This is one of the best stranglings I’ve ever seen.  As a foot fetishist, the long shot of her feet after the initial attack made up for the lack of any more shots of her expression during the struggle.  My imagination has always filled that gap.  If I had a top 5 list of favorite stranglings, this scene would be on it.  I remember buying this on VHS what seems like eons ago now, and the excitement I felt upon learning it was on DVD.  I ordered a copy that day, and have never been happier to have this scene in widescreen.

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