Entries Tagged 'carl anne' ↓

a small tribute to…

...that 80s horror trend where chicks wore sports jerseys as pajamas.





the continuing adventures of carl anne, part 2

Maybe it was Kindertrauma's loving ode to Poltergeist III during this year's Hey, Internet! Stop Being Such Cynical Effing Douchebags! blog-a-thon that got me predisposed to like a film that's almost universally reviled. After all, I tend to take the words of Unkle Lancifer and Aunt John as gospel. It couldn't be that the movie really isn't that bad, could it?

'Cause when you break it down, Poltergeist III (1988) is all kinds of lousy. Somehow, though, all the crappy elements come together to create a work of magically enjoyable crap. In other words, The crappy sum is not nearly as crappy as the crappy parts. Poltergeist III is a bit like the cinematic equivalent of Desperately Seeking Susan-era Madonna, all jelly bracelets, lace, greasy hair, untweezed eyebrows, gloves, crucifixes, oversized bows, animal prints, and neon. Each horrid enough on its own, together they form a vortex of nonsense that's disturbingly compelling.

In related news, I still loves me some Madonna despite the fact that she's slowly morphing into the puppet from Saw and I'm starting to find her thighs threatening.

It was flat out ballsy- or just plain stupid- for writer/director Gary Sherman (Raw Meat, Dead and Buried) to essentially strip away everything people loved about the first two films as he embarked on P3. Gone were most of the Freelings as Carol Anne (Heather O'Rourke) went to stay with her aunt Patricia and uncle Bruce (Tom Skerritt and Nancy Allen) for reasons that remain vague throughout the movie (really, would Steve and Diane ever let Carol Anne out of their sight after everything they've been through?). Gone was the bland suburbia, as the action moved to a glass and chrome Chicago high rise. Additionally, Poltergeist III is more gory and teen-oriented than its predecessors. All of this new inevitably leads to cries of "Hey! What gives, jive turkey?" from legions of the world's Polterfiends. It's understandable, but sometimes change is good. Of course, I think the idea behind Halloween III is kind of a good one too, so take what I say about it with a grain of something or other.

What the film gets right, it gets really right. The ample use of mirrors as Reverend Kane pursues Carol Anne throughout the skyscraper is killer. Everyone's got a creepy, shriveled up, ne'er-do-well doppelganger and though it's cheesy at times, the effects are mostly spooky enough. Brood-esque Carol Anne in particular is bitchin'.

The biggest faults in Poltergeist III are...well, they're pretty big. The script is fairly weak and no one is given much to do beyond yelling "Carol Anne!" repeatedly- and boy, do I mean repeatedly. After it started to get on my nerves, I kept track; I counted 19 "Carol Anne!"s in a matter of ten minutes.

Despite this, most of the cast soldiers through admirably. As Bruce's daughter Donna, Lara Flynn Boyle (looking a bit like a young Lindsay Lohan), is both dull and charming. Tom Skerritt is reliably Tom Skerritt. Heather O'Rourke gives her all and rises above the material as best as she can. It's heartbreaking to watch her in her red footie pajamas, smiling though she must have been in pain, her face puffy with illness.

Nancy Allen, though...was she blackmailed into doing this picture? I love Nancy Allen, but man, she didn't even try. In fact, She was, like...anti-trying, to the point where you could read on her face how little she wanted to be there. Her performance sucked all the life out of every scene she was in, and I'm not sure why. Maybe the weight of her massive shoulder pads was too much to bear and her concentration was off.

At times, the entire production falls victim to a kind of lethargy. The most egregious example of this comes as Bruce, Patricia, and Tangina (Zelda Rubenstein) set off to find Carol Ann, who has fallen into the clutches of Reverend Kane. Tangina says "We must get upstairs as fast as we can!" and the three of them proceed to take their time, casually making their way with zero urgency. There's simply not a lot of tension to be found in Poltergeist III, and it's a shame. With a heavier hand, perhaps, from the director and a bit more enthusiasm, the film really could have been something.

That said, the scene where Donna busts out of beef jerky Tangina screaming her head off is really something, and that really something is totally boss.

Poltergeist III, I know you're no good for me, but I think I love you anyway. Why oh why do I always fall for the bad ones?

the continuing adventures of carl anne, part 1

First off, for those of you who have no idea who Carl Anne is, clicken ze click click and be enlightened.

So how 'bout that Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986), huh? For a sequel to a movie that wasn't exactly crying out for a sequel, it's not that bad. This is, of course, discounting the Floating Family Power and Gramma's Mighty Angel Robes ending and the whole "They're all psychics?" angle. Other than that, though, I don't think the film completely deserves its rep as a total turkey.

Reverend Kane is undeniably creepy. When he shows up at the Freeling's house and demands repeatedly to be let in, it's downright scary, especially since we don't know yet what this kookadook's motivations are- he's just a weird looking dude who seems...off...and really wants to get into their house.

Dammit, I like the Freelings. It's not often when you find characters who are across the board likable, especially in the horror genre, but this family fits the bill. They're sweet without being sickening, they're good but not perfect, they're funny and kind and man...it seems like they even like each other. The relationship between Steven (Craig T Nelson) and Diane (JoBeth Williams) is simply a delight to watch.

The scene where Steven pukes up the 'roided out tequila worm is so fucking boss! When it turns into the slimy torso thing and slithers away? Please. That scene alone makes Poltergeist II worthwhile.

It certainly isn't on par with the original film and it's certainly not the greatest of shakes, but come on. Cut it some slack, folks.

Except the end. The end sucks, I'll give you that.


- While you were sleeping, I went to see Disaster Movie and reviewed it for AMC. I think it was only because the hellish experience that was Demon of Paradise was still coursing through my veins that I didn't want to kill myself. So for that, I thank you, Demon of Paradise. Now get the eff out of my life forever! I seriously need to watch a quality movie before I find the nearest Grand Canyon and go all ten kinds of Thelma and Louise.

- Go visit my ol' pal Arbogast and check out his quasi-tribute to America's Next Top favorite caver, Beth, from The Descent. To avoid fainting, I must keep repeating, there are good movies out there...good movies out there...good movies out there...good movies out there...thanks for the reminder, Arbo! Beth rules and she rules hard.

- From the I weep for the children who are supposedly our future department: The Internets are all up in arms over the kinda sorta news that Vadim Perelman (The House of Sand and Fog) maybe kinda might helm the super possible Poltergeist remake. It's a fowl story, indeed, that Bloody-Disgusting has related. No one expressed their trepidation at the prospect more poignantly than commenter horrorchick81, however:
they need shot! y remake a GOOD classic horror/supernatural movie? who would star in it anyway everyone dies from them movies anyway bc of the poltergeist curse. there is noo way that this tupid ass remake will live up to the original even if they did get craig t nelson to reprise his role as stephen. anyone know what ever happened to that kid who played robbie in one an two?? i am soo signing it. never even seen house osf sand and fog so cant bitch bout the directer dude.
Verily...they need shot. And in case you were unaware of all the rumors of hauntings and curses surrounding the original Hooper/Spielberg production, horrorchick81 goes on to shed some light:
uh ya there is a thing as curse, how do you explain heather orourkes untimley/mysterious death??? the orignal cane/julian beck!? umm doninique dunnes (cant think of her name but she was robbies and carl annes sis in the first) death when she was strangeled by her boyfriend when i guess a friend/neighbor was litening to the poltergeist soundtrack?? taylor dying? that mysterious light when tangena got her pic. taken in the photograph?? to me that aint coincidence that is a curse so idk what u are talkin bout when u say there is no curses.
Maybe that's why I'm suddenly mired in bad movies when my week started out so well: there is a thing as curse. Who knew? I mean, besides horrorchick81, natch.

Now if you'll excuse me, I suddenly feel a burning desire to make some parse trees.