Archive for Poltergiest

Ghost vs. Ghost

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Foreign Horror, Ghosts, Scream Queens with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 4, 2017 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Sadako vs. Kayako

Sadako vs. Kayako (2016) had all the elements to become a supernatural tour de force lock-up worthy of a pay-per-view. (Now that I think about it, that’s what VOD is.) Regardless, the Japanese horror match with Sadako the long black haired ghost chick that crawls out of wells/TV screens from The Ring franchise, and Kayako, the long black hair ghost chick that crawls down stairs on her stomach from the Ju-on Grudge series, should’ve been a box office bonanza for these two iconic ghosts. Instead, it turned into a slow-moving, frightless flick made for teens. To put a sharper point on it, teens are more scary than this movie.

Sadako vs. Kayako

To access these vengeful ghost gals is easy. For Sadako, just watch a cursed video tape. Then the phone rings and it’s Sadako informing you of deadness by death in 48 hours. With Kayako, just poke around the abandoned house where she “lives” with that pasty white kid in diapers who makes cat growl sounds. Once inside, she spider crawls down the stairs and pretty much ends your existence with just a blink of her one eyeball. (Wonder if she wears contacts?)

Sadako vs. Kayako

Two high school chicks learn about Sadako from their urban legends teacher, then later go to a junk shop and buy an old VCR, which just happens to have the cursed tape still in it. Like all teens they burn it onto a disc and upload it to the Internet, where it goes viral. Now that’s some efficient population control. Of course, one of the girls actually watches the tape and the phone rings. Nice not knowing you.

Sadako vs. Kayako

Over at Kayako’s house, four young school boys go inside and…school’s out forever. This was witnessed by the teen girl across the street who is made stinky by the curse of Kayako. And now we have the dots in place to connect how this movie is supposed to work.

Sadako vs. Kayako

A botched exorcism with the girl earmarked for death introduces us to Keizo Tokiwa, a ghostbuster with psychic powers, who whips his hand around the doomed victim to expel said curse. Doesn’t always work. Must not be whipping hard enough. The die-now-pay-later teen kills herself with a belt wrapped around her neck instead of sagging britches. This leaves the unkilled friend and the girl across the street whose parents Kayako just ghosted (in a confusing sequence that made about much sense as the little boy who talks like a wet cat) to all gather at the Kayako’s house for the big showdown.

Sadako vs. Kayoko

And here’s where all the pointlessness could’ve been salvaged — the two scariest poltergeists in Japan’s movie history finally facing off. Keizo theorized that the ghost gals would cancel each others’ curses when their disparate energies collide. Guess what didn’t happen? Their first meeting had them evenly matched and nothing really happens except a lot of flailing black hair and everyone ending up in the well outside. (Who even has one of those in a middle class neighborhood? If I was middle class, I might consider having one installed — without the bucket retrievable curses.)

Sadako vs. Kayako

With no pay-off, Sadako vs. Kayako is a BIG let-down. There was so little screen time for both S and K, you wonder how someone justified their names being used in the title. They must have good agents.

Hi-Rise Ghosts, Low Rent Scares

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Ghosts with tags , , , , , , , on November 16, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Poltergiest III

Without hyperbole, I can say Poltergeist III (1988) is one of the worst sequels to a big budget franchise in the history of Mankind. So messed up is this messy mess of a demonic ghost STILL plaguing the Freeling family, the lifeless and pointless Poltergeist (2015) remake is better than PIII.

Poltergeist III

Carol Anne, the youngest daughter from the first two Poltergeist movies, remains the target of the devil ghost whose been haunting her for years. Now he/she/it has tracked Carol Anne to an uptown high-rise condominium (100 floors), where her folks dumped her off to live with her aunt and uncle. Way to go for atmosphere — the only thing scary about that well-lit place is the rent.

Poltergeist III

The “evil” special effects (snowing indoors) are as ridiculous as the plot; How dare they call this a ghost movie without floating dishes and self-moving furniture? And Rev. Henry Kane, that spooky/mean preacher fellow from Poltergiest II: The Other Side (1986)? He shows up wearing a hat, but doesn’t talk. I’ll give him this — it is a pretty cool hat. But he just stands around while everybody screams. Heck, even I could do that. In fact, I’m doing it right now.

Poltergeist III

And where were all the other neighbors when polter-poo was hitting the fan? Geez, my landlord threatens to evict me every time I fart in the central air-conditioner duct leading to all the other apartments. Freshly-digested baked beans are far more scary than this stinker.

A Ghost Classic Made Ghostier?

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Ghosts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2015 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Poltergeist

Skepticism was the first of many emotions that boiled all over my Old Navy™ shirt when news of a Poltergeist (1982) remake came a’blowin’ in the wind, followed by anger, sadness, frustration and an unquenchable thirst for Budwesier™ tallboys, which according to ancient biblical scriptures is indeed an emotion. But I digress.

Sam Raimi, the guy who brought us the unbeatably cool The Evil Dead (1981) and a metric crap ton of not-as-cool movies since, is behind Poltergeist (2015) and contemporizing the three decades old demonic ghost tale that had a little girl being sucked into the Netherworld of Hell (her closet), which forced her parents to go into the beyond (the closet) to rescue her.

PlotergeistI get that Sam has to cast this one in the here and now, but what does that mean to us who saw the original movie in an actual theater and not on a smart tablet back in the day? Here’s what Sam told me last week when I recently sat down for a light lunch with him at the sunny Marina del Rey:

“A family’s suburban home is invaded by angry spirits. When the terrifying apparitions escalate their attacks and take the youngest daughter, the family must come together to rescue her.”

I had the grilled chicken paillard with a starter of cheeses and charcuterie. Sam ordered the same thing he’s been eating since 1982.