The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice
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Curse of the Judas Chalice
|Written by||Marco Schnabel|
|Directed by||Jonathan Frakes|
|Theme music composer||Joseph LoDuca|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||95 minutes|
|Original release||December 7, 2008|
|Preceded by||The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines|
|Followed by||The Librarians|
The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice is the third film in The Librarian series starring Noah Wyle as a librarian who protects a secret collection of artifacts from Vlad Dracula and his vampire hordes. It is a sequel to 2004's The Librarian: Quest for the Spear and 2006's The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines.
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Flynn Carsen (Noah Wyle) travels to an auction house in England in order to bid on a priceless Ming vase on behalf of the Library. During the bidding war that ensues, he accidentally both outbids his competitor by going over budget and has a fight with his girlfriend on the phone. Once he has signed for the vase, he promptly breaks it open, revealing the philosopher's stone, the most powerful transmutational artifact in existence, known for changing any object instantly into gold. As his opponent bidder and henchman ambush him for the stone, he deftly defends it. Once Flynn has won the duel, he proceeds to his hotel lobby, hoping to repair his relationship with his girlfriend, only to find that she has abandoned him after a string of disappointments.
Meanwhile, in Carpathia, a group of former KGB agents led by Sergei Kubichek (Dikran Tulaine), nostalgic for the defunct Soviet Union, have hatched a plot to resurrect the famous vampire, Prince Vlad Dracula, in order to create an army of invincible undead soldiers. Having secured the corpse in the tomb, they only need to secure a historical item, the "Judas Chalice", to ensure that they can resurrect and control him. To this effect, they travel to Bucharest and kidnap Professor Lazlo (Bruce Davison), a genius historian with a penchant for vampire lore, who has been searching for the chalice for years. The former agents cajole the crippled professor, who half-heartedly joins them. Using a handful of scrolls created by French monks, Professor Lazlo deduces that there is a marker that partially gives the location of the chalice in New Orleans.
At first, Flynn's return to New York City is marked with some playful criticism for going over budget. The auction house is in dispute over the check that he wrote (ignoring the fact that Flynn touched a throw pillow with the stone, effectively turning it into a 2 million British pound gold piece on his way out), and his suggestion of using the philosopher's stone to pay off the debt is met with resistance since standing policy is that the Library must not profit from its treasures. This causes his frustration to turn into a full blown meltdown. Feeling that his personal life is suffering and his mental health deteriorating, none of his friends, including Judson (Bob Newhart), Charlene (Jane Curtin), and Excalibur (the living sword of King Arthur and his personal coach in swordplay), are able to bring him out of it. 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 church turned 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 compound so 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 Paris, France 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.
Though still hurting from losing Simone, Flynn accepts the truth in the things that she said about living with purpose and passion, and returns to the Library to resume his duties. He gives Charlene the first marker. He starts to read the inscription (which is, "Even into her night, the queen of the Loa guards the cup of the dagger man"), but instead tells her that it says "follow your dreams", (which was her advice to him when she visited him at his apartment and encouraged him to take a proper vacation).
With Judson, the two have a brief conversation about the Library's role in the ongoing battle between good and evil (with Flynn trying, unsuccessfully, to have Judson admitting himself to be Yahuda/Scholar), and Flynn resigns himself to be a part of that fight without regrets. The final scene depicts the Library floor, whose pathways/corridors are in the shape of the Tree of Knowledge (as seen in Simone's old painting).
- Noah Wyle as Flynn Carsen
- Bruce Davison as Professor Lazlo / Vlad
- Stana Katic as Simone Renoir
- Bob Newhart as Judson
- Jane Curtin as Charlene
- Dikran Tulaine as Sergei Kubichek
- Jason Douglas as Ivan
- Beth Burvant as Katie
- Werner Richmond as Andrew
- Stephen David Calhoun as Nicolai
Writer Marco Schnabel said that he does not think that bringing vampires into the story gave the film a different tone from the first two, noting that the horror elements were not too dark and that supernatural elements had always been a part of the franchise.
- Wyle Returns For Librarian 3
- Cortez, Carl (2008-11-26). "Exclusive Interview: SCREENWRITER MARCO SCHNABEL WRITES ANOTHER CHAPTER OF 'THE LIBRARIAN' WITH 'CURSE OF THE JUDAS CHALICE'". iFMagazine.com. Archived from the original on January 1, 2010. Retrieved 2008-12-04. Cite uses deprecated parameter
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