Ain't It Cool News (www.aintitcool.com)
Movie News

A Movie A Day: GHOST STORY (1981)
I will show you things you’ve never seen and I will see the life run out of you.

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with the next installment of A Movie A Day: Halloween 2010 edition! [For the entirety of October I will be showcasing one horror film each day. Every film is pulled from my DVD shelf or streamed via Netflix Instant and will be one I haven’t seen. Unlike my A Movie A Day or A Movie A Week columns there won’t necessarily be connectors between each film, but you’ll more than likely see patterns emerge day to day.]

GHOST STORY has been on my radar for a while now. I remember seeing the poster art as a kid walking the horror aisle of the local video store and later I remember reading about Dick Smith’s make-up work (especially his cut creation… more on that later). I liked the idea of this great Old Hollywood cast in a ghost story, but a couple of things kept me from diving in. Mostly it was that I’d heard it was kind of a boring flick. This column gives me the perfect excuse to visit the film after all these years. What better time to bring it out and finally give it a spin?

I see the criticisms. GHOST STORY isn’t out to give you an entertaining thrill ride, but exists mostly to let you soak up the atmosphere as we get to know a few central characters. In some scenes that really ups the tension and in others it just makes the pacing feel sluggish. I like Peter Straub’s collaborations with Stephen King (The Talisman is a fantastic read and would make an amazing adult fantasy mini-series as long as Ehren Kruger isn’t writing it), but must admit to being fairly ignorant of his solo work, so I can’t comment on how faithful this is to his book, but one thought kept occurring to me over and over while watching: This is the kind of movie that could benefit from a remake. The basic structure is solid. A group of old men share a secret that is literally coming back to haunt them and their grown children. These old men have spent decades reveling in the macabre, gathering together in cigar smoke-filled dens, dressed to the nines, to tell ghost stories as a way of dealing with a real-life horror experienced in their youths.

With a solid structure and a possible vehicle for some great older actors mixed with a more competent director I think this could be an incredibly effective movie. What we have now is a near-miss. It’s great to see Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Patricia Neal, John Houseman, Melvyn Douglas and Fred Astaire working together and gracing the silver screen in their golden years. Especially Astaire. That is one dude you don’t want to see in a horror movie. With the baggage he brings just by being Fred Astaire you immediately don’t want to see him in jeopardy. But the whole doesn’t ever click. It’s not a bad movie, it’s not a great movie… it’s one of those kinda good movies, but with the talent involved it should have been a classic. I can pinpoint one particular failure of the film: the rejection of Dick Smith’s original design for the vengeful spirit. When the ghost, Eva, shows up wanting to scare the living to death we see a rather bad composite effect of a decomposing woman that feels like an afterthought. Here’s what she looks like:

It’s not a particularly great piece of work and the execution of the effect doesn’t help it at all. Now, here’s Dick Smith’s original design:

BOOM. You fucked up, movie people. What makes Eva interesting as a spirit is that while she’s right to be pissed and want revenge, there’s a malicious nature to her persona that would totally conjure a visual like the above to represent her inner hatred. KNB later worked with Dick Smith to reincorporate this design into THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL remake. It’s fine in that movie, but if it had been the threat as intended in GHOST STORY that could have been the push that would have taken that film from kinda good to great, I think. Because right now it’s all build up and character work with a minimal pay off. Without the great casting job on both the older cast and finding young Alice Krige to play Eva in the flashbacks (and in ghostly form later on) this would be a wholly unremarkable film. Final Thoughts: GHOST STORY is a mixed bag. There are horrible pacing issues, bad choices apparent in almost every scene, but still the overall story and casting helps elevate the movie to a slight recommend. Also, Alice Krige has never been more innocently beautiful in one scene and sinisterly creepy in the next. And young and nekkid for you more base constant readers. Currently in print on DVD: YES
On Netflix Instant: NO

Here are the next week’s worth of AMAD titles: Sunday, October 3rd: TWO ON A GUILLOTINE (1965)

Monday, October 4th: TENTACLES (1977)

Tuesday, October 5th: BAD RONALD (1974)

Wednesday, October 6th: THE ENTITY (1983)

Thursday, October 7th: DOCTOR X (1932)

Friday, October 8th: THE RETURN OF DOCTOR X (1939)

Saturday, October 9th: THE TENANT (1976)

I’ll be back tomorrow for my thoughts on TWO ON A GUILLOTINE, a remastered shocker from the Warner Archive starring Connie Stevens, Dean Jones and the great Cesar Romero! See ya’ then! -Quint quint@aintitcool.com Follow Me On Twitter



Previous AMAD 2010’s: - Raw Meat (1972)
Click here for the full 215 movie run of A Movie A Day!

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Oct. 2, 2010, 6:35 p.m. CST

    Bitches leave.

    by FlickaPoo

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 6:39 p.m. CST

    scared me as a teen.

    by nylon raider

    ghost story rocks . classy little movie.

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 6:40 p.m. CST

    I told you the book was better!

    by SoylentMean

    I still love watching this movie, on occasion, although I usually wait until it's winter time.

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 6:42 p.m. CST

    That original design pic is amazing.

    by Stuntcock Mike

    Like Snipes says... USE IT!

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 6:54 p.m. CST

    Nothing but shit movies on your list.

    by Fah-Cue

    Change the name to "Poop a Day".

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 6:57 p.m. CST

    Saw this as a kid

    by GhostofCicero

    And that bitch was scary back then.

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 6:57 p.m. CST

    Any chance you could review...

    by Red43jes

    Del Toros "Chronos"? I've often wanted to see this movie, but I can't tell if I would want to pull the trigger (I'm looking to buy it, as I can never find it to rent).

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 7:06 p.m. CST

    by The_Floating_Skull_of_Robert_Loggia

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 7:07 p.m. CST

    Dance with me you little toad!

    by alan_poon

    It's actually that kid in the back of John Houseman's car and not Alice Kriege.

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 7:07 p.m. CST

    I'd do Alice Krige in all seven holes...

    by The_Floating_Skull_of_Robert_Loggia

    I include nostrils and ears because I roll like that.

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 7:07 p.m. CST

    Chronos is getting a Criterion release in December!

    by SoylentMean

    It's kind of a slow burn type of movie, but if you like Del Toro's work you should like Chronos.

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 7:12 p.m. CST

    i remember the first 15 min.

    by nolan bautista

    ..(spoiler)Craig Wasson falling off a building,naked. That looked kind of cheesy..but it had Dick Smith on the credits so i had to stay for that..

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 7:21 p.m. CST

    This book.......

    by RoarsLoudly

    Besides King's "Salem's Lot" gave me some serious nightmares. I was constantly putting it down and I NEVER read it at night, lol's!!!!

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 7:22 p.m. CST

    I've had a soft spot for this since it first came out..

    by SubliminalJones

    ..due to it's slow burn creepiness, but the most frightening thing in the film is the site of Wasson's fully exposed, flaccid dick.

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 7:37 p.m. CST

    Nothing Like the Book

    by mike904

    The movie left out a great deal that was central to the plot in the book. The book dealt with shape shifters and spirits that blurred the difference between reality and illusion.

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 8:10 p.m. CST

    The tone was effective - drew me in

    by Generalcatburd

    the pacing couldn't be done today. Borg queen was a perfect mix of sexy and creepy. The design used looks more appropriate for watery grave death but the original considered is damn good.

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 8:14 p.m. CST

    i snuck in to see this when i was 12

    by animas

    it was the scariest shit i ever saw, but i haven't seen it since then so i'm sure it would be lame now.

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 8:21 p.m. CST

    Curious to see this again...

    by SAILOR_RIPLEY

    Haven't seen it since the good old early 80's cable years. Thought it was a creepy little "ghost story" back in the day. Never read any Peter Straub, always looking to discover different authors to read. Maybe the book would be worth checking out, love his collabarations with King.

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 8:24 p.m. CST

    used to see this on HBO back in the 80s...

    by torpedoboy

    ...scared me when I was 7, and it scares me now.

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 8:49 p.m. CST

    Straight up Torp!

    by RaggedyMan

    I caught this on Either HBO or Sexamax when I was young and it scared me so effing bad I have never watched it since >_<. Yep, Im a giant Mangina when it comes to this movie.....yay childhood scarring!

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 8:50 p.m. CST

    @SAILOR_RIPLEY

    by RoarsLoudly

    The book is definetely worth the read. Like mike904 said a LOT was left out of the book which generally happens when a film is being adapted for the screen.

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 8:53 p.m. CST

    RoarsLoudly

    by SAILOR_RIPLEY

    I will give it a read.

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 9 p.m. CST

    If you read the book

    by NippleEffect

    and watch the movie<br> Between the two, you get a nice creepy experience<p> Even though it's not a ghost in the book

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 9:02 p.m. CST

    COME ONNNNNNN !!!!!

    by prettybetty

    Wowwwwwwwwwww!!!Recently, I came across a hot dating site-----Black White Flirts.co-m----- There are many sassy ladies and handsome rich guys seeking fun, friendship, love ,marriage and even more!!!!! Maybe you wanna check out or tell your friends.

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 9:07 p.m. CST

    Re: Straub's novel

    by ArmageddonProductions

    Unfortunately, given the enormous page-length of the book, very little of the novel made it to the screen, just the core story with heavy alterations. However, if Smith's rejected makeup design pissed you off for missed potential, go back and read the book. It makes the adaptation of "It"" for ABC look too faithful to the source material by comparison. And the method of appearing as a corpse to scare and kill off the old dudes was completely fabricated for the movie. Go back and read the book. You're gonna be amazed.

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 9:09 p.m. CST

    Bad Ronald!!!

    by Seven_of_Borgnine

    Wow, that movie scared me to death as a (little) kid... I remember feeling really bad for Ronald. I've been looking for it for years but somehow had the name "Richard" in my memory all this time. Looking forward to THAT review, greatly!

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 9:14 p.m. CST

    I always had a soft spot for Ghost Story too...

    by Seven_of_Borgnine

    ... but the movie is especially bad when seen as a book adaptation. The book scared the living piss out of me, and far from having pacing issues, it's masterfully constructed. I mostly remember the movie for young Alice Krige's nude scenes (I think I was still in single digits in the R rating department at the time... and home rentals were still a new luxury... had to go over to a friend's house with permissive parents)

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 9:19 p.m. CST

    yep... it seems...

    by Noddy93

    if you saw this in the theater as a teen it was creepy as fuck. judge it against the times and it was a superior flick.

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 9:30 p.m. CST

    D.Vader gets banned, but Pretty Betty gets the OK

    by DA_CHOPPAH

    Course I've gotta thang for fembots...

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 9:33 p.m. CST

    The Tailsman

    by puto tenax

    I really thought HBO or Showtime would've picked it up. When The Dead Zone tv series hit it looked more promising. Loved the Talisman.

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 9:33 p.m. CST

    For the Thousandth Time

    by RogerOThornhill

    READ THE BOOK. It might have been brilliant in an unfilmable way, but I still think it could have been filmed better. The casting on this movie was fairly good, but the script needed to be worthy of this. ("I won't tell you the worst thing I've ever done, but let me tell you the worst thing I've ever heard . . . "

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 9:41 p.m. CST

    RELAX! Don't do it...when ya wanna cuuuuuummmm

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    Craig Wasson = Bill Maher.

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 9:46 p.m. CST

    thought it was great first time i saw it

    by frank cotton

    (mid '80s). 20+ years on, it don't hold up so well

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 11:23 p.m. CST

    The book is amazing: It SHOULD be remade

    by Redmond

    I read it when I was around 14, and thought I had passed the age when books could legitimately frighten me. But this book scared the beejesus out of me. It wasn't the Grand Guignol type writing that Stephen King indulged in, but more reliant on atmosphere, suspense, and eroticism. The structure was also incredibly elaborate for a horror novel. It was closer to Henry James than King. The movie oversimplified everything, pretty much boiled things down to their essence and lost all the subtext. I still find the movie kinda entertaining as a time killer, but the source material really could make for a masterful film in the right hands.

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 11:27 p.m. CST

    Wait til you get to Doctor X...

    by darthwaz1

    That movie is fucking amazing.

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 11:29 p.m. CST

    As for Straub's solo novels

    by Redmond

    After I read GS, I started to dig around for his other books. None of the ones I read approached GS in execution, though they dealt closely in themes and styles, especially the use of literary iconography and surreal visions to reveal layers of character. SHADOWLANDS was good, and would make an exceptional movie, but things started getting too dense around FLOATING DRAGON, and by the time he started doing suspense novels with the same recurring character Tim Underhill in KOKO, he'd completely lost me. I hear he's returned to supernatural recently, with middling results, but I haven't checked it out. GS remains pretty much his MOBY DICK.

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 11:30 p.m. CST

    Fred Astaire was knee deep in pudenda

    by Star Hump

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 11:33 p.m. CST

    Ghost Story is a lot like Hellraider

    by Star Hump

    wherein Fred Astaire opens this box and instead of Christy, it's Ginger, and they dance.<p> Jesus wept.

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 11:45 p.m. CST

    TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM

    by PRESIDENT BALTAR

    TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!TEAM D.VADER!!!

  • Oct. 2, 2010, 11:52 p.m. CST

    GHOST STORY SUCKED SOOOOOOOOOO BAD.....

    by JonChambers

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 12:26 a.m. CST

    I just read on CNN that Emma Stone getting Mary Jane role

    by RedJester

    Not really sure why you guys haven't broken this story yet, but whatever, there it is.

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 12:30 a.m. CST

    Loved it back then.

    by disfigurehead

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 1:33 a.m. CST

    Movie is NOTHING like the book

    by sonnyfern

    The book is HUGE, it was a lot like Salems Lot, dozens of characters to follow, a town being consumed by evil. It was a much more ambitious thing. I dig the movie though. It's just a little too old fashioned for its own good.

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 1:33 a.m. CST

    Movie is NOTHING like the book

    by sonnyfern

    The book is HUGE, it was a lot like Salems Lot, dozens of characters to follow, a town being consumed by evil. It was a much more ambitious thing. I dig the movie though. It's just a little too old fashioned for its own good.

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 1:34 a.m. CST

    Yay for double posts!!!

    by sonnyfern

    Damnit.

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 1:35 a.m. CST

    Whatever happened to Craig Wasson?

    by sonnyfern

    He was in a million movies then BAM...vanished.

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 1:44 a.m. CST

    scariest film when i was a kid

    by gamus

    saw this when i was about 10 and can't remember a film scaring me to the core as much as Ghost Story.

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 2:32 a.m. CST

    Book was GREAT movie was terrible

    by Monolith_Jones

    I remember loving the book, it was so fully realized it grabbed a hold of you. The movie as I remember it was boring and understandably had to leave a lot out. A mini series would be great,

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 3:22 a.m. CST

    D. Vader would never...

    by billyhitchcock1

    ...see the life run out of you!

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 3:34 a.m. CST

    Just watched for first time myself

    by bingolong

    in nearly 30 years it was out I never had urge until like last week I was up and saw it and DVR's it

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 4:13 a.m. CST

    I'm with many others

    by 2LeggedFreak

    Read the book...its one of the best horror stories I have read...the film comes nowhere near doing it justice.

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 4:15 a.m. CST

    The Tenant is no piece of shit!!

    by BenBraddock

    Seriously dude...

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 4:24 a.m. CST

    The Changeling

    by REDD

    I always confuse this movie with The Changeling, the George C. Scott movie. They came out around the same time, similar theme.

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 4:37 a.m. CST

    Redmond

    by scrote

    Try THE THROAT. And I agree with many of the sentiments expressed here when it comes to comparing the film version to the novel. The movie doesn't work, it tries too hard to condense so much of the novel that the result is a fairly banal piece of work. Krige is impressive and the atmosphere is quite well developed...but the film goes nowhere with it. I hear they're gearing up to adapt Straub's Shadowland, one of my favourite books; I'll lay money they'll screw that one up. Unless the movie's four hours long they'll destroy this. Hmm

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 5:42 a.m. CST

    A naked young Alice Krige?

    by AsimovLives

    I'm so there!

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 6:01 a.m. CST

    Bad Ronald: A Biopic Of Ronald Reagan

    by AsimovLives

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 6:58 a.m. CST

    Book Good, Movie Meh

    by Yer_Manky_Lanky_Wanky_Swanky_Unka_Franky

    Like a few have said, Straub's book is epic in scope, far more layered and complex than the movie. (Probably one of the most shameful adaptaitons of great source material ever.) The plot of the movie is a dumbed-down eviscerated version of only one thread fom the book storyline. Straub writing solo is grossly undervalued - a true talent.

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 7:38 a.m. CST

    But what about Fred Astairs in 'On The Beach'

    by tangcameo

    That's a bit of a horror movie in a way. The last of civilization just sitting around waiting for what killed everyone else to come and kill them. ???

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Is this the movie...

    by I_Snake_Plissken

    ...where a group of people push a car into the water and you see somebody appear in the back window struggling to get out? Whatever movie that was it freaked me out as a kid.

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 11:11 a.m. CST

    Astaire....

    by nylon raider

    Astaire brings a certain class to his later serious acting roles that you dont really see anymore .He's understated and effective in on the beach too. All these posters are pretty much dead on with the 'books better than the movie' comments - but I'm just commenting on the movie . Which was enjoyable and scary. Remake? why not ? Casting ideas? Crusty but distinguished old actor time.....!

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 11:26 a.m. CST

    85

    by Virginia_Woolf

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 12:03 p.m. CST

    Snake

    by scrote

    ...yeah it is. I thought Krige (along with Madchen)was the best thing in Sleepwalkers. Anyone remember that. The last I heard about Wasson he was doing audio books...

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Just watched it on

    by GhostofCicero

    youtube. First time I've seen it in at least 25 years. I liked it, though I can't believe I did as a kid. Patricia Neal is also in this!

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 12:24 p.m. CST

    Great Review

    by Captain Sensible

    Exactly what this film is missing, that design would have killed. Also, this would be a great remake fodder. Wasted opportunity for all these greats.

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 12:35 p.m. CST

    The Eyeless face...

    by Rameses

    was designed for use in the scene where kridge is in the bath.It was more of a shock cut idea .The mask /puppet head finally appeared on film in the House on Haunted hill remake , during the scene where geoffrey Rush , is tripping out underwater.I met Alice Kridge at a signing and she is Tiny!! Petite doesn't describe her.I imagined from watching Ghost story that she was kinda sturdy

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 12:43 p.m. CST

    That cover of BAD RONALD...

    by Harry Weinstein

    Spike Spiegel. Just sayin'.

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Love Peter Straub.

    by Sailor Rip

    If someone would make a Floating Dragon miniseries on cable and stay true to the source material it would be amazing.

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Also, The Throat...

    by Sailor Rip

    ...best mystery novel ever written.

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 12:57 p.m. CST

    I remember Sleepwalkers

    by I_Snake_Plissken

    Strange movie (if you think about it the concept, even for a horror film is downright hilarious) but what I really remember was Madchen Amick - she looked great!

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 1:09 p.m. CST

    Snake

    by scrote

    ...i saw that movie with my gf at the time and boy did we have a fuckin' belter of a row afterwards...might have had something to do with me trousers tightening...Ah Madchen...phwoarrrr....

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Sleepwalkers is.....ok.

    by Sailor Rip

    Nothing great or even a step above just "good" The cop with the cat was cool though. <p> And like someone else(and I)said, read The Throat. Read it four times and I can't get it out of my head. So dense and packed with character and backstory. <p> And, Floating Dragon, best horror novel ever written.

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 1:17 p.m. CST

    And she's young and naked for you humans who

    by UltraTron

    happen to have penises. Young,naked and female is usually ok in any movie. I find young naked females to be a delightful accent to any situation frankly. No question this movie would have been better with smith's design jumping out. Would have been pretty nightmare inducing for kids. I can see an alternate universe where Scott directed this and they used this design and the movie was classic

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 2:17 p.m. CST

    Ah yeah...

    by scrote

    Floating Dragon...who can forget the Leakers from that book? That was some seriously squeamish stuff. The problem with trying to fashion a decent movie out of Straub's stuff is that they are so multi-faceted in terms of character development and the plots themselves are devoid of a generic approach and execution. This guy is genius; it's through his recommendation that I checked out a whole bunch of Jonathan Carroll's stuff, and that guy is a seriously entertaining wordsmith...

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Naked Alice Krige

    by KelseysNuts

    Yum yum. A very enjoyable flick back in the day. Fred Astaire is straight class.

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Naked Alice Krige

    by KelseysNuts

    Yum yum. A very enjoyable flick back in the day. Fred Astaire is straight class.

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Naked Alice Krige

    by KelseysNuts

    Yum yum. A very enjoyable flick back in the day. Fred Astaire is straight class.

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Double post

    by KelseysNuts

    Sorry

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 3:50 p.m. CST

    I_Snake_Plissken

    by kurtisaurus

    Yup that's the one. Some pretty freaky moments throughout but I gotta agree somehow the sum was much less than all the parts put together.

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 4:34 p.m. CST

    The Blue Rose Trilogy

    by buffywrestling

    Are the novels "Mystery" "Koko" & "The Throat" & are some of my favorite novels I've ever read. Just outstanding work.

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 5:20 p.m. CST

    Scrote: Have you read "Lost Boy, Lost Girl"?

    by Redmond

    That was Straub's return to the supernatural after the Blue Rose books, and it got rave reviews, and I've been meaning to check it out. i was so disappointed by KOKO, that I didn't bother with the other books, though I may check out "The Throat" now since it seems to be a fave of everyone's. BTW, if anyone's interested, Google "Peter Straub"'s picture. He's a dead ringer for Dr.Phil.

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 9:11 p.m. CST

    Redmond

    by Sailor Rip

    I'll bite. "Lost Boy, Lost Girl" is good. It was nice to see Underhill again. <p> I like Koko and Mystery(though neither compare to The Throat) and though they form a loose trilogy you don't have to read either to understand The Throat. I'd definitely check out The Throat. <p> And yes scrote, Straub's work borders on literature. The man knows how to use words and elevates his novels beyond "horror" fiction.

  • Oct. 3, 2010, 9:13 p.m. CST

    The ending of the book was bad.

    by Ingeld

    If I remember correctly, hundreds of pages of a well paced spooky narrative ended terribly. Didn't Straub write The Keep? That was a very good book, but a terrible movie. The book was somewhat ripped off for the Highlander movie franchise.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 3:14 a.m. CST

    Redmond

    by scrote

    No, I haven't but I've got a PDF version on my HD. I'll check it out seeing as Sailor's given it the thumbs up. Thanks. Ingeld: that was F.Paul Wilson. I actually kinda liked some of the stuff in The Keep; flawed early Michael Mann. That Molasar...whut a guy, eh?

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 3:18 a.m. CST

    Dr Phil, yeah...

    by scrote

    I thought that too. Hasn't he done a couple of episodes of One Life To Live?

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 7:28 a.m. CST

    I still like it

    by Jack Burton

    Someone mentioned The Changeling (George C. Scott, not Jolie) up above and they are very different movies. Namely, The Changeling is much scarier. I love the hell out of that movie. They tried to remake it a few years ago but it thankfully stalled out in the scripting process. I really like Ghost Story, though. It is fun to see thoae actors but I admit the execution falls a bit flat. I liked the idea of Eva as both the fiance and a ghost and thought it was effective the way she seemed to flip back and forth. You are never completely sure what she is going to do and the end is actually really sad when the her fiance learns the truth about her. I've never read the book, I need to. I think I have it rambling around in the garage. I loved The Talisman and Floating Dragon. I tried Shadowland but couldn't get into it. Maybe I'll read Ghost Story for an October book this year.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 7:55 a.m. CST

    Fred Astaire in Battlestar Galacta

    by Ingeld

    I remember reading (back then) that Astaire agreed to be in BSG because his grandkids loved the show and wanted him to do it.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 8:33 a.m. CST

    One of the few books that has truly scared me

    by bah

    I've tried his other books and couldn't get into them, but this was hugely affecting. I should revisit it to see if it's still true.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 8:35 a.m. CST

    I prefer the used design

    by bah

    The second one is very unsettling, but it's not convincing as a ghost. Why would it look like that? I had that problem with Ghost Busters -- why are some ghosts humanoid while others are green blobs or cthonic winged things?

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 12:30 p.m. CST

    THIS WAS A SCARY AS HELL MOVIE.

    by uberman

    The designs were great, best scares in years, great actors, great story, great atmosphere. This is one of the scariest ghost movies hands down. Do NOT believe the negative BS-this is one to watch. GReat Flick all arounds.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 1:29 p.m. CST

    bah...

    by Rameses

    I thought I was the only one who had that problem with ghostbusters.The ghosts seemed more like demons or monsters than human spirits

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 3:32 p.m. CST

    The movie missed the point of the book

    by Vlad the Inhaler

    I hope I'm not giving anything away -- after all these years it's been in print -- but the huge mistake all these characters made was in thinking that "A.M." was a ghost. A tragic mistake (for them,) because they dealt with her, or, more precisely, "it," in precisely the wrong way. <p> Somebody above mentioned THE KEEP, F. Paul Wilson's novel where the characters mistakenly believe they're dealing with a vampire. We learn that such "Molasar" is only pretending to be a vampire, and is in fact an evil entity of Lovecraftian antiquity and malevolence. Likewise Peter Straub's GHOST STORY -- the title is a grim joke -- deals with an ancient nemesis, one that's similarly mistaken for a milder form of villainy, in keeping with its victims' own worldview. Straub's "Chowder Society" of old codgers can't see beyond their own fondness for the traditional Ghost Story, even to the point of being relatively comfortable with the notion of a vengeful ghost. Unfortunately, what they're dealing with is much much much worse than a ghost... <p> John Irvin's doesn't get that. Whether deliberately dumbed-down for the movie or just plain old misinterpreted, Peter Straub's titular joke is on him and screenwriter Lawrence Cohen. Just like the characters in the book, they thought they were dealing with a "ghost story." <p> Having said all that, I still kind of like the movie. It's atmospheric as hell, and it is terrific to see all those Hollywood legends working together. And Alice Krieg naked is worth the price of admission in and of itself!

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 5:01 p.m. CST

    It's a flawed but enjoyable film...

    by thegreatwhatzit

    Alice Krige is a fetching and randy succubus (nude scenes all over the place). Dick Smith's original makeup was published way back in '80 ("Cinefantastique" magazine); his rejected concepts are missed opportunities. You want a scary ghost story? Sample "The Hungry Glass" episode of BORIS KARLOFF'S THRILLER (w/ Russell Johnson and Wm Shatner, written by Robert "Psycho" Bloch). http://video.tvguide.com/Thriller/The+Hungry+Glass/6320061?autoplay=true

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 9:24 a.m. CST

    Morgana's boobs...

    by Anna Valerious

    Okay, having Alice Kriege (Morgana, Borg Queen) in this has piqued my interest...