Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Tuesday's Overlooked Films And/Or Other A/V: the links
More links to reviews and citations of overlooked a/v will be posted later in the morning...and probably throughout the day. Please feel free to let me know of any posts I've overlooked in comments...and, as always, thanks to all the contributors and to you readers.
Bill Crider: Bernie [trailer]
Brian Arnold: Teachers
Evan Lewis: "Doc Acupuncture"
Elizabeth Foxwell: "The Squeeze" (Four Star Playhouse)
Eric Anderson: Death of a Ghost Hunter; Poultrygeist
I watched the low-budget paranormal investigation indie movie Death of a Ghost Hunter (2007). It's uneven, but it delivers exactly what it sets out to deliver and, I have to say, the ending keeps nagging at me. In a good way.
Carter Simms, a skeptical paranormal investigator, gets hired to explore a suburban Arizona house where, 20 years ago, a man, a woman, and their two small children were bloodily murdered. She's joined by a cameraman, a journalist, and a fundamentalist woman who's a dead ringer for Sarah Michelle Gellar. Strong signs of haunting quickly appear, everyone gets pretty freaked out, and on the third and final night of the investigation, well . . . .
Everything, and I mean everything, goes horribly awry. No one survives the night -- though this doesn't stop a couple of them from posthumously narrating -- and this "strongest available evidence of life after death" angle is what nags at me. Granted, I'm not entirely sure how we're able to hear and see the posthumous narrations. This is disorienting. But as the weight of Carter Simms's fate sinks in, and I begin to realize that she's both trapped in a haunted house forever and doomed to be one of the spirits haunting it, I really appreciate that the filmmakers are able to deliver an ending that includes more than one turn of the screw. Wait, she's dead! Wait, she's undead! Wait, she's still not alone! She still feels haunted! and so on...
Pretty good stuff. That said, to watch this movie, you need a tolerance for characters who range from mildly annoying to very annoying indeed. You should probably also watch this movie on a computer, with headphones; I found the sound levels to be so uneven that I was constantly lowering and upping the teevee volume, and the switch to headphones helped a lot. One other possible concern: I've never seen any of those "reality" paranormal investigation teevee shows. But I suspect that Death of a Ghost Hunter resembles them pretty closely up to a point. This might not be a point in its favor. :)
But, for all that, I liked it pretty well. And it makes for a nice lead-in to Stephen King's haunted houses...
I finally started watching Poultrygeist yesterday afternoon. It's awful. Excruciating. Unless you think that exaggerating stereotypes to the breaking point is hilarious, you won't find the humor particularly sharp. Not too surprisingly, along with the drunken "Tromahawk" Indian, the humorless lesbian ideologues, and much more, we also get lots of very gross gross-outs. And, as if all this is not enough, I'm also sorry to report that Poultrygeist is a musical.
Watching Poultrygeist is kind of like watching a bad Saturday Night Live skit that goes on and on and on.
[Rebecca Gordon's] question about birds and horror/science fiction is really interesting. For me, E.A. Poe's Raven is not all that scary in and of itself . . . more like a horror prop than a wellspring of horror. But even so, Poe and (as [Gordon notes], Hitchcock) come to mind first when I think of horror birds. I'm trying to remember whether the movie Dead Birds does much with, well, dead birds? I think probably not. [Mason: no, not really. From the Horror List at Indiana Edu.]
Frederik Pohl: Harry Harrison and World SF; The First SF Convention?
How Did This Get Made?: Jaws the Revenge
Iba Dawson: Dead of Night (1945)
Ivan G. Shreve, Jr.: The Whistler film series, and much more...
James Reasoner: The Soupy Sales Show
Jerry House: Thriller: "The Return of Andrew Bentley"
John Charles: The Lost Empire (1983)
Juri Nummelin: Martha; Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
Marty McKee: Sharky's Machine
Patti Abbott: The Battle of the Network Stars
Prashant Trikannad: Sholay and the songs "Say You Love Me" and "Mehbooba, Mehbooba"
Randy Johnson: Thunderbirds Are Go
Richard Pangburn: The Story of Temple Drake; Sanctuary (1961)
Rick: Outward Bound; Between Two Worlds
Robert Greenberger: Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow? by Brian Fies
Rod Lott: Rogue (2007); The Onion Movie
Ron Scheer: Santa Fe Trail
Scott Cupp: Konga; Cthulhu
Sergio Angelini: That Woman Opposite (aka City After Midnight)
Stacia Jones: The Phantom Creeps and high school couture
Yvette Banek: Jane Eyre (1943)