STK-ATIC SUNDAY: ONE LIBRARY NOT CLOSED 

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December 7,2008 THE LIBRARIAN: CURSE OF THE JUDAS CHALICE was released.   The third in the Noah Wyle Librarian series of movies (and later a Television show) this one co-starred Stana Katic in the role directly preceding CASTLE

This installment actually is considered the best of the three full length features.  After retrieving the philosopher’s stone at an auction but losing his girlfriend, The Librarian Flynn Carsen has a breakdown. Charlene and Judson ask him to spend some time on vacation. Flynn travels to New Orleans and he has a crush on a French singer (Simone Renoir). However he discloses that she is the guardian of a key to access the Judas Chalice that is capable to resurrect vampires. Meanwhile the former Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Kubichek is seeking the chalice to revive Vlad the vampire with the support of Professor Lazlo. Also to raise an army of undead to bring Russia back to the top of the world. When Simone reveals that she is a vampire, Flynn question whether she is not using him to reach the chalice and increase her power.

I saw this online at RottenTomatoes and could not agree more.  STANA KATIC!!! Now that we have that cleared… This was much better than I expected, but I was sold the moment I saw Stana Katic. I missed badass vampires so much these days so thanks Stana, thanks Bruce. STANA KATIC!!!

As I mentioned, the script for this film contains a far more developed and plausible plot, one that hinges on Stana’s portrayal of Simone.  Click the arrow for full plot description:

THE RECAP:

 

Unanimously, the Library staff suggest that Flynn take a vacation, for as long as he needs with some discretionary funding, until he feels ready to return to work.

During his short vacation at home, he is encouraged by Charlene to travel just for fun. Haunted by strange dreams, Flynn chooses to go to New Orleans, and quickly finds himself in the midst of the conspiracy. Traveling to a converted churchturned nightclub, he meets the alluring singer Simone Renoir (Stana Katic), who reveals to him that she had contacted him through his dreams in his capacity as the Librarian, since she is the guardian of the first marker. While examining it, they are attacked, and narrowly escape the former KGB agents.

After their escape, Flynn and Simone take off for a night of fun through the town, and the two quickly form a romantic attachment.

The following day, Flynn goes to a local barbershop and has a brief discussion with Judson, who has appeared in New Orleans to fill him in on the unfolding conspiracy and provide answers about the previous night’s attack. The Judas Chalice is the sacrilegious vampire version of the Holy Grail, formed from the 30 pieces of silver given to Judas Iscariot after he betrayed Jesus Christ. Revealing that vampires exist, Judson advises Flynn to intercept the chalice before Sergei Kubichek and his men do. In doing so, he also gives Flynn crucial tips about killing vampires: they have an aversion to silver and if they are staked through the heart, it must be with Aspen wood, the tree on which Judas hanged himself.

With renewed purpose, Flynn deciphers the clues on the first marker, which takes him to the tomb of Marie Laveau, the “voodoo queen” of New Orleans, and he discovers the second marker, only to be ambushed by Kubichek’s men. Once taken into custody, and revealing that he speaks Russian, Kubichek questions Flynn about the marker. Flynn refuses to break under interrogation, claiming that Kubichek will need him to solve the other clues. Kubichek reveals the kidnapped Professor Lazlo to Flynn as the expert guiding his expedition. Flynn reluctantly admits that Kubichek could kill him and find the chalice with only Lazlo’s help. In response, Flynn is poisoned with a hallucinogenic compoundso that they can blame his death on an accident. Before it kicks in, Flynn escapes his binds (while citing a book on Harry Houdini,) and attempts to release Professor Lazlo. The two examine the second marker and, working in nearly perfect synchrony, decipher the second marker’s clues. Unfortunately, the hallucinogen begins to take effect before Flynn can free the professor, who encourages Flynn to leave without him since his handicap will only slow them down.

Flynn flees through a carnival-styled party on New Orleans streets until he is cornered by Kubichek’s men. Held at gunpoint with the visions wearing off, he is saved by Simone, who appears and mystically attacks Kubichek’s henchmen by turning into mist and demonstrating super-strength. However, one of the men manages to shoot her in the chest with a shotgun blast, and Flynn, believing her to be dead, manages to use one of the fallen pistols to shoot out a gas pipe, strikes a lighter, and sets the gas on fire. This prevents Kubichek’s henchman from getting close and gives Flynn enough time to carry Simone’s body outside.

After checking her vital signs and believing her dead, Flynn grieves until she rises up next to him. In shock and feeling the after effects of the poison, he passes out.

Awakening, he finds himself in Simone’s home. She explains that she is a vampire, born in ParisFrance in 1603, and turned at age 25. She had been a promising opera singer, deeply in love with a university teacher (played by Noah Wyle), until a chance encounter with a vampire changed her. If killed, her soul will never rest until she finds and destroys the vampire who created her, then she can die in peace. Due to her conflicted soul, she chose to guard the chalice from the forces of darkness and aid the monks who hid it in New Orleans, which she has done for two hundred years. As their relationship develops, they agree to work together to find the chalice.

Simone also shows Flynn a painting about the Library, before the Crusades. The painting represents the fight of the Library against Evil, and depicts the Scholar, the greatest of the Librarians, believed to have built the Library. The Scholar is using a shield with the symbol that is the Tree of Knowledge, and his name is Yahuda (who Flynn says is the Hebrew name for Judson).

The following day, Flynn and Simone travel to the chalice’s final resting place, a wrecked pirate ship once belonging to Jean Lafitte, with whom Simone had a brief friendship. Finding the chalice in the ship’s hold, they are again ambushed by Kubichek and his men with Lazlo in tow. Flynn and Simone are held at bay, then trapped on board while Kubichek gets away with the chalice. Simone is too weak to break them free because she has not fed in over 24 hours. Flynn uses a ship’s cannons to blast down one of the doors. After breaking free, Simone steals their boat, abandoning Flynn for his own good and to find Kubichek. Flynn, hurt but nonetheless determined, makes his way back to the mainland and tracks down Kubichek’s hideout.

Flynn and Simone find the hideout at the same time and confront each other’s motives before being captured by Kubichek’s men, who are getting ready to perform the resurrection ceremony over the body of Vlad Dracula. With Flynn and Simone secured, and their warnings falling on deaf ears, Kubichek performs the ceremony amidst gusting wind and thunder with no result. The body remains dead.

Shocked, no one sees Professor Lazlo take the chalice and drink from it. When he does, he undergoes a dramatic transformation into a powerful, revitalized figure. Kubichek looks on in both shock and disbelief, until Lazlo reveals the truth: the body in the crypt was not Dracula, but a peasant used as a decoy. Lazlo is Vlad Dracula and had been living in secret for centuries. Simone’s reaction to him was that of recognition: he was the vampire who turned her years ago. Even so, his handicap was not a lie. During an outbreak of cholera he drank from a diseased corpse, which infected him with the same blood ailment. He also reveals that he had been using Kubichek’s henchmen for food, simultaneously turning them into a new army of vampires—including Kubichek himself once he attacks—which explained their disappearances throughout the adventure.

Kubichek’s remaining allies, Flynn, and Simone break away and begin to fight the vampires. As the former KGB agents sacrifice themselves to take care of their former comrades, the battle eventually leaves just Simone, Flynn, and Lazlo/Dracula. During the fight Flynn stumbles upon an Aspen tree, and tricks the overconfident Lazlo into walking into an improvised stake. Lazlo dies in a pillar of smoke and fire. Finally at peace, Simone resigns herself to death and asks Flynn to help her watch one last sunrise; she dies from the sunlight.

And I would be remiss if I did not include a clip of our nocturnal songbird!

Let’s hear from Stana in her own words about this experience:

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